Being ‘eco’ can benefit you in so many ways, whether it’s to help save our planet, pocket a few more pennies at the end of the month or just to find out how easy it is to make small changes to your lifestyle. Honestly, check out these tips, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner!
In the House
We’re pretty much in our houses 24/7 at the moment and that gives us the opportunity (and really no excuse!) to start making some positive changes to the way we consume energy and dispose of packaging.
If you’re not using it - switch it off
It’s easy to forget, we’re all guilty of it, but how hard is it really to unplug something when you’re done with it? Leaving your electrical equipment on standby uses up needless energy. By unplugging, you’ll notice a huge difference in your energy bill at the end of the month.
Eat less meat
Not many people realise, but consuming meat has a massive impact on the environment. Eating meat contributes to the levels of carbon and other pollutants affecting our landscapes and waterways. The agricultural business creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as the entire world’s cars, trucks and planes due to the sheer volume of deforestation required to make way for livestock and the methane gas produced by the animals themselves.
We’re all guilty of it, we buy salad, fruit and vegetables with the best intentions of eating it before the use by date and end up forgetting they’re packed neatly away in our fridge drawers - oops! The tomatoes have gone a bit squishy, the cucumber certainly isn't fit for consumption and that banana has gone well and truly brown. The solution - compost.
Not only are you contributing less to the landfill, you’ll be creating a brilliant natural fertiliser to keep your garden looking greener.
Ditch the plastic
There isn’t any escaping it, plastic is absolutely everywhere. It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (this makes us super sad!). It’s within our power to stop using plastic by making small changes to the way we live. For example, rather than buying a plastic bag every time you do a supermarket shop, you can reuse the bags you have at home. Avoid using the plastic bags to collect your fruit and veg, instead buy reusable net bags to hold your bananas until you get home. To find out how to make bigger changes to the way you use plastic.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce
You probably didn’t know you could recycle or reuse certain things you buy. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a handy list of how to recycle certain packaging or how to give it another life after it’s been used.
Carpet - Don’t just throw them away, there’s a carpet reclamation service that will collect and recycle your old carpet. Click here.
Batteries - Often supermarkets or the odd convenience shop will have designated buckets to recycle your old batteries, check before you recycle though, not all are applicable!
Wine Corks - Yes, there is the option to use them as something decorative or creative at home, but there is also a recycling scheme for them too. The corks you’re not willing to decorate your home with can be repurposed for something new in the form of sustainable furniture.
Cardboard Boxes - These fall into the same category as paper but can also be recycled in much more creative ways. You can either shred the cardboard for packaging your products, or if you fancy yourself as a bit of a gardener, you can use sheets of cardboard in your compost.
That piece of technology attached to your hand (your phone!) - These tech pieces that we all seem to rely on these days can be reused when you’re done with them or even taken apart for mechanical shredding to reuse the metals.
If you’re ever uncertain where you can recycle specific materials, there's a really handy feature on this website which can let you know your closest location to recycle your waste.
At the Office
Does your workplace have a recycling program in place? Some of the simplest changes can make a huge difference for our planet. Here are some tips:
Recycling is more than just paper, cans and bottles these days, as we’ve already mentioned above! Computers and laptops are items which are available for recycling, there are dedicated companies will reclaim and repurpose meaning less waste goes to landfill.
Here are some possible materials which may just be thrown into waste by your company:
Printer Ink Cartridges
Cans and Bottles
Why not introduce some specific recycling bins to reduce the excuse for not recycling? If you take away the individual bins for your employees, they can use a centralised recycling and waste unit which will mean all of your business waste is nicely separated. When employees are sorting their own waste they become more aware of what they are throwing away rather than having the convenience of a waste bin under their desk.
Promote litter-free lunches
Encourage your employees to bring in their own reusable lunch bags to reduce the use of carrier bags which are used once and then thrown into waste.
As technology progresses at a rapid rate, we are blessed with more apps and systems which reduce our need for printing on paper and thanks to email, the fax machine is slowly becoming redundant.
It may not be completely realistic for your office to go 100% paperless, but it’s a step in the right direction to reduce the amount of documents you print on paper. For example, memos and company announcements can be sent via email or another communication system.