Environmental issues are at the forefront of both personal and political agendas, and whilst some of the issues seem quite large and difficult to impact on an individual level, these ten tips will help you to do your bit toward a more sustainable future.
Save Your Glass Jars
If you buy a jar of pickle or marmalade, don’t throw it away after its initial use. Keep it and reuse it. Glass jars can be sterilised and reused to store home made jams, pickles and similar. You can also use them to hold pens, loose change, flowers, straws and kitchen utensils. If the jar is a nice shape you could cover it in glitter to make a pretty vase. There are lots of craft projects available on line that help you to create nice items from jars and bottles.
Save your plastic tubs.
Margarine tubs make great re-usable pots for single portions of left-over food. They are particularly good for freezing meals that you have batch cooked. Batch cooking itself can save energy, helping both the environment and your pocket. Using these tubs rather than purchasing aluminium trays and single use plastic bags for these purposes will save money and time. For larger families, use larger tubs or buy second hand pottery to use and re-use for this purpose.
Walk to work rather than driving.
There are a few reasons to walk to work. Aside from adding a healthy amount of exercise to your routine, you will be reducing the amount of exhaust fumes emitted by your vehicle. If this isn't practical then why not use public transport or perhaps car share with a colleague so only one of your vehicles is on the road each day. Keep your car tyres at the correct pressure. Incorrectly inflated tyres will use more petrol and cost you, and the environment more.
Clothes and Fabrics
Donate old clothes and home goods rather than throwing them away. This will allow others to benefit from your clean, good condition clothes. If your clothes are not in great condition any more, the clothes can be sent for rags and recycled into other products. Don't throw out clothes that have lost buttons or have broken zippers, instead replace these yourself (there are videos on YouTube showing you how) or get them replaced at the local alterations shop so you can continue to wear them. Consider purchasing second hand clothes.
Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LED types.
Recycle paper, plastic and the glass that you cannot reuse yourself.
Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles and bags. Instead, consider reusable cups and bottles. Many coffee shops are more than happy for you to bring a recyclable cup for your coffee.
Change your paper bills to online billing. You’ll be saving trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your bills by road and rail. Read documents online instead of printing them.When you need to use paper, make sure it’s 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Set your office printer to print two-sided and recycle your used printer and copier cartridges.
Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head.Fix leaky faucets and shower-heads.Run your dishwasher only when it’s full to save water and energy.
Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics.