With new stories like the one last week reporting the huge piece of Antarctica called A-68 breaking off, it’s difficult to see how reusing our ‘bag for life’ at Tesco is really going to make any difference in minimising humanity’s impact on the environment. But don’t give up! Scandinavian countries are leading the way in reducing their nations’ carbon footprints, and we hope it’s only a matter of time before countries closer to home toughen up on their promises to the environment. Before that happens, there are quite a few things we can do to minimise our impact on Earth, and we’ve listed a few here to get you started.
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Buy second hand – More often than not, a new version of something isn’t necessary, and will cost you more. Consider whether a brand new sofa is really worth it, and check local sites like Gumtree for any second hand ones up for sale. You’ll bag something with a bit of history and will almost certainly save money too.
Mend, don’t throw – If something is particularly cheap it can be tempting to throw it away if it’s no longer looking its best, but try where you can to reinvent rather than send it to landfill. You might even learn a useful new skill like sewing.
Try a different commute
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Try and ditch the car – If you automatically jump in the car whenever you need to go anywhere, having a think about different options every now and then could bank balance. In an ideal world we’d cycle and walk everywhere, but in reality we know that’s not always feasible. Next time you’ve got a long journey, consider getting the train or a coach. You’ll have more time to admire the views, catch up on reading, or do some work on the go.
Find a carshare – If you have colleagues that live near you, try approaching them and seeing if you can alternate driving during the week. There are also lots of websites for carsharing for long one-off journeys, like Liftshare or BlaBla Car – if you’re driving a long way with a car full of spare seats, consider offering them out.
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Buy higher quality that’ll last longer – Cheap fleeting fashions come and go and are a false economy. Spend a little more on the things you use all the time and wardrobe staples that will always be needed like vests, jackets and jumpers.
Considering hiring, not buying – If you’ve got a big event coming up, websites like hirethecatwalk.com allow you to hire designer outfits for a while which saves you splashing out on something new you’ll only wear a couple of times.
Take a bag – Carrying a fold up bag when you’re out and about avoids adding to your existing plastic bag collection when an unexpected purchase is made.
We hope you try out a few green ideas and let us know if you think of any new ones too!