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A Guide To Living Greener, One Small Change At A Time

Climate change is a hugely pressing concern. Not only are our summers getting continually warmer, so too are our winters. This time last year, on the 26th of February, the temperature in Kew, London reached 21.2 celsius- the warmest winter day ever recorded.

If we don’t change our day-to-day habits and make a conscious effort to live a greener lifestyle, this situation is only going to get worse. Research has revealed that there is currently more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than there has been at any point in the last three million years. Or to put it a different way, more than at any time in human history. We need to reverse the pattern. It will take a monumental effort, and a lot of discipline, but it is definitely possible.

It is down to each individual to make changes in their own life. Only then will we see meaningful results. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one person’s actions won’t make a difference. But that is exactly the sort of defeatist mindset that will result in climate catastrophe. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and every positive action- no matter how small- contributes to the creation of a more sustainable earth.

Think of your daily routine, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. Do any of your habits stand out as instances where you might be being wasteful? Do you leave the tap running whilst brushing your teeth? Do you waste food at breakfast time? Do you drive yourself to work every day when you could be car sharing with your colleagues? All of these things waste valuable resources, resources that we are not in a position to be wasting. Looking critically at yourself and your own carbon footprint is the pathway to change.

Crucially though, a sustainable rate of change is the key to a more sustainable lifestyle. Trying to change everything all at once is a pathway to failure. Start small, and gradually build towards a truly eco-friendly way of living. This approach makes it far easier to adapt to a green routine.

Wondering where to start? The best place to look is the place we tend to spend most of our time- the workplace. It may not seem obvious at first, but there are a number of eco-friendly changes that can be made within the working day. For example, using electricity wisely. Is your PC set to its most energy-efficient setting? Is the printer switched off overnight? According to BP’s world energy study, carbon emissions from energy use increased by 2% in 2018. We need to act now to ensure this does not continue.

It’s also hugely important to make the most of natural light. Rather than wasting energy by having the lights on constantly, why not open the blinds and let the sun do its job? Similarly, rather than perpetually having the heating on, could you instead wear more layers? The energy sector accounts for two-thirds of carbon emissions.

The sustainable use of stationery is also key. Do you buy refillable ink cartridges? Is your paper 100% recyclable? Instead of using plastic tape, could you switch to washi tape which is both highly renewable and biodegradable? At present, the world’s tropical forests are shrinking at a rate that is equivalent to 30 football pitches per minute. With washi tape made from Japanese shrubbery rather than tree pulp, eco-friendly versions of everyday products are very much available. It’s down to you to find them.

Living green is the future. With climate change becoming more and more urgent by the day, the time for action is now. Every positive action- no matter how small- makes a real and lasting difference.

Cameron Boyle is a content writer for

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