Naturally, many people feel overwhelmed by the climate crisis. And a recent IPCC 报告, claiming that temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5C within the next two decades, is enough to make us feel even less hopeful about the future of our planet. 然而, as individuals, we do have the power to make a difference.
根据 BRITA research, more than half (57%) of UK citizens feel that they could be doing more to reduce their environmental footprint at home. Whether it’s switching energy suppliers, experimenting with plant-based eating or travelling by train, there are many things we can do to live more sustainably.
Play around with power
The first place to start is in your home. And the easiest way to make your household more eco-friendly is by switching energy suppliers. Green suppliers such as Good Energy and Ecotricity will power your home using renewable energy sources instead of harmful fossil fuels.
Watching how much energy you use is important, 也. When you change to a new provider, make sure to request a smart meter, so you can monitor usage. Considering that lighting accounts for 15% of electricity bills, switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs is a no-brainer. Remembering to turn off lights and, 还, devices at the socket helps too.
Watch your water usage
Water is also a precious commodity. Ditch the bath, which uses on average 80 litres of water, in favour of a short shower. You could also consider switching to a low-flow shower head, which uses six litres a minute compared with a conventional one, which uses double that.
It’s not just the water use in the bathroom that can make a difference, though – buying plastic bottles of water for drinking is also harmful for the environment. Not only does plastic pollute our oceans and lakes, 但 the amount of water used to produce the bottle can be up to three times higher than the amount of water in the bottle.
By investing in a BRITA water filter, you can ensure you always have clean, great-tasting water at home, without harming the environment, 和 BRITA water filter bottle means you’ll be able to carry your water around with you without having to rely on single-use plastic bottles.
Explore plant-based dishes
Next up, reassess your diet. According to the University of Oxford, plant-based diets can slash food-based emissions by 73%. If going full vegan feels like too much commitment, cutting back on how much meat and dairy you eat can make a significant difference. Start experimenting with plant-based meals or choose specific days of the week to eat a plant-based diet.
Wasted food is a waste of resources – even though it hasn’t been eaten, the carbon emissions to grow it still end up in the atmosphere. Considering the fact that households in the UK waste 4.5m tonnes of food a year, cutting back on food waste is one small act that can make a huge difference. Freeze leftovers or give away food you can’t eat on apps such as Olio 和 Too Good To Go. Growing your own food is one of the most low-impact ways to eat as there’s no transport emissions or packaging waste.
Go on a plastic-free crusade
Plastic waste is another area to tackle. Most UK households throw away at least 40kg of plastic each year. Avoiding plastic entirely is difficult but there are some simple swaps you can make to lessen your load. 例如, you can buy in bulk (invest in 5kg bags of kitchen staples such as rice and pasta), or purchase from shops that allow you to bring your own containers to refill.
According to Beeco, there are more than 220 shops that offer dry food refills in the UK. Don’t forget household items such as washing-up liquid or laundry detergent. For products you buy again and again, consider refillable options (Ecover offers in-store refills and Spruce delivers to your door).
Get your recycling right
Make sure you always recycle correctly, 也. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, but there are things you can do to increase the chances of your rubbish being reused. Ensure all recycling is clean and screw plastic bottle lids back on. You can always pop a double-compartment bin in your bathroom, giving you a dedicated space to recycle your plastic.
BRITA offers no-hassle recycling at various stores – find your closest recycling points 这里. And continue your plastic-free crusade while out and about. Single-use plastic bags have an average lifespan of just 12 分钟, so switch to cotton tote bags or baskets instead. Out for the day? Pack a reusable water bottle, such as the BRITA Active filter bottle, a collapsible coffee cup and reusable cutlery.
Say no to fast fashion
When it comes to shopping, rethink where you make your purchases. Whenever possible, shop local and seasonal for produce to reduce air miles. Saying no to fast fashion is one of the best choices you can make for the planet. According to Greenpeace, the global textile industry is responsible for 1.2bn tonnes of CO2 a year. 反而, buy secondhand from vintage stores, eBay and markets. The booming fashion rental market also means it’s now easy to hire clothes for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings (check out Hurr 或者 By Rotation). For kids’ clothes, try Bundlee 或者, to buy second hand, look at Kids O’clock.
Put on your walking shoes
Transport accounts for a third (34%) of UK emissions 所以, wherever possible, ditch the car and walk or cycle. If you live somewhere where driving is the only option, consider investing in an electric car. And if you’re planning to go abroad, consider travelling by train, rather than flying.
Turn your money green
Arguably the easiest yet potentially most powerful sustainable change you can make is switching where you bank. Traditional banks regularly invest in fossil fuels – one of the main causes of climate change. By September 2019, nearly £150bn had been invested in fossil fuels by UK banks since the Paris agreement was adopted in 2016.
Switch to a green bank such as Triodos 或者 Ecology Building Society and make your money work harder. While you’re at it, you might as well switch over any other long-term investments and pensions, 也. According to Make My Money Matter, investing in a sustainable pension can reduce your carbon impact by 21 times more than if you stopped flying, switched to a vegetarian diet and changed your energy supplier.
Make your voice heard
The scale of the climate crisis can feel overwhelming, but channelling these feelings into action is important. Beyond lifestyle changes, making your voice heard is crucial. Write to your MP (follow this handy template), 例如, or join a local community initiative such as a beach clean-up (they’re widely available). Little by little, we can all make a difference.
A simple change like ditching plastic bottles will help the environment. Head to BRITA for more information