It can be quite daunting to even think about the impact our lifestyles have on the environment. You don’t need to make big changes or spend a lot of money to make a difference. Marnie of One Big One Small is just the right person to turn to if you’re looking to make some changes, here’s a few ways that you can start...
Despite it being what I share most about on social media, plastic is not my biggest concern. We are experiencing a mass climate emergency across the globe. The prospect of a sixth mass extinction, wildfires visible from a thousand miles away, unprecedented rainfall causing mass flooding, rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and melting ice caps. Thousands of species become extinct every year as a direct consequence of our actions, how we grow food, dispose of waste, consume resources and produce energy, everything we do has an impact on our planet. I feel so deeply connected to Mother Earth and have spent the last few years doing everything I can to protect her. From going plastic free, to litter picking, to climate strikes, lifestyle changes and to constantly sharing my opinion and facts about climate change on social media. Humans are constantly taking, abusing and neglecting our planet but we cannot possibly go on this way if we as a species are to have a future, it’s time for change!
Sadly a lot of this is out of our power as individuals but there are many actions we can take every day to reduce our own ecological footprint. Here is a list of 30 things we can all start doing to lower our impact…
1. Turn off all devices fully when you aren’t using them.
2. Choose energy efficient light bulbs.
3. Turn off your central heating when you aren’t home.
4. Recycle properly following your council’s guidelines. Head to their website to find out what can/cannot be recycled in your area. Drop off anything that can not be recycled curbside to your local supermarket recycle bins, recycling centre or terracycle drop off.
5. Use the eco mode on your washing machine if you have one. This will lower wash and rinse temperatures using less energy along with minimising the amount of water required. If you don’t have an eco mode you can choose to wash at a lower temperature.
6. Let clothes dry naturally. We stopped using our dryer about 8 month ago and now our electricity bill has halved!!
7. Avoid disposable plates and cutlery. Always use your reusable products.
8. Open a window and/or close your blinds on a hot day rather than using fans and air conditioning.
9. Save water by sharing bath water or taking shorter showers. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving etc.
10. Use a dishwasher if you have one, they require less water for washing up. If, like us, you don’t have a dishwasher, fill up a dish of water for washing and scrape plates first rather than rinsing.
11. Switch to natural cleaning products to avoid pouring harmful chemicals down the drain.
12. Collect rainwater for gardening. We live in a rental and our landlord is against us fitting water butts to the drain pipes so in the meantime we have buckets out there collecting rain water, which we then use for watering the plants.
13. Compost your food scraps and garden waste. Alternatively see if your local council has a food waste collection or donate your scraps to your local community allotment.
14. Sweep up instead of hoovering.
15. Cover leftover food with a plate rather than using disposable wrap.
16. Buy seasonal fruit and veg. This is far better for the environment as it more than likely hasn’t travelled miles to get to your plate.
17. Walk to school/work instead of taking the car if possible and don’t sit with your engine running.
18. Have a holiday in your own country to avoid air miles.
19. Don’t leave litter behind. Most of the plastic in our ocean started on land. Always
dispose of your littler responsibly.
20. Choose second hand over new purchases where possible.
21. Donate old magazines to the doctor, dentist and hospitals for their waiting rooms.
22. Donate unwanted items to charity instead of throwing them away.
23. Stay in touch via email rather than sending cards.
24. Go paperless with your bills.
25. Repurpose items that people no longer want.
26. Keep lids on pans when cooking to conserve energy.
27. Use rechargeable batteries.
28. Water plants early in the morning or late in the evening, this reduces water loss to evaporation.
29. Avoid chemicals when gardening. Choose natural fertilisers and plant food instead. We use liquid seaweed.
30. Use what you have instead of replacing perfectly good working items with new eco alternatives.