How to make a difference without making an effort.
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak means that many of us are now facing an extended period of time at home. Now, while that might not do a whole lot for your boredom levels, not being able to get out and about doesn’t have to affect your eco-efforts. Here are 10 really easy ways you can make a difference to the environment without even leaving the house.
- Make Ecosia your default search engine
Let’s face it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time online in the coming days and weeks, so why not turn your digital surfing into real-world action? Ecosia is a powerful search engine that delivers the same service as other well-known search providers, but does good in the process by using its profits to plant trees around the world. Find out more here.
- Hang your laundry outside
With the days getting longer and sunnier, now’s the time to give your tumble dryer a break. According to the Energy Saving Trust, line drying your clothes outside during the summer can save on average £30 a year on your electricity bill and 90kg CO2 in emissions.
- Or don’t even wash your clothes in the first place!
Some items of clothing, such as socks and pants, need to be washed after every wear, but others can be worn multiple times before being chucked in the laundry (assuming they don’t end up covered in filth, of course). Experts say that trousers, skirts, sweaters and jackets can be worn at least five times before being washed – if every household in the UK saved a whole laundry load per week, we would slash CO2 emissions by 840,000 tonnes a year.
- Leave your lawn alone
While plants and grass help to absorb CO2, a perfectly manicured lawn actually generates more greenhouse gases than it saves – using an electric mower for an hour once a week throughout the growing season results in an extra 15kg of CO2 a year. Letting your lawn grow out a little bit also helps to support our friends the bees as flowers will flourish.
- Stop shaving
Around 40 million disposable razors are thrown away every year around the world, often ending up in landfill or natural environments. Plus, wet shaving involves hot water, which comes with its own carbon footprint. Switching to an electric shaver will use just 3% of the electricity otherwise needed to create this hot water. Better yet, just stop shaving altogether and you’ll also be saving 0.95kg used to make the razor in the first place. Maybe this is a good time to try out a beard?
- Make a plant-based meal
A lot of people will be using this extra time at home to hone their culinary skills. If that’s you, why not consider learning a new vegetarian or vegan recipe, or at least commit to one meat-free day a week. Eating just one less serving of beef a week for a year saves emissions equivalent to driving 348 miles!
- Sign up for paperless billing
There’s really no reason to keep receiving paper bills and statements when pretty much everything can be done online these days. Most companies will give you the option of going digital and the environmental benefits can be significant, helping to save trees as well as resources such as water and energy which are needed to produce paper.
- Take a shorter shower
Better yet, just be mindful of your water consumption altogether. It’s never been more important to conserve water, and it’s actually really easy to do – here are 10 super simple tips to get you started. You can even order a bunch of free water-saving gadgets to help you along.
- Use a greener cleaner
More time spent in the house probably means more mess to clean up. But instead of reaching for the chemical-laden products kept under the sink, try an eco-friendly alternative that you can easily whip up with items you’ll probably already have at home. We’ve got loads of tips here.
- Talk and share
Talk about the environment with your loved ones, and share interesting sustainability articles on social media instead of just liking them. Creating a conversation around the climate can have a ripple effect that can lead to real change – more awareness leads to more action. If you are trying these actions at home then make sure you post your efforts online using #OneHome, and we’ll reshare on @ouronehome.
The bottom line
A lot of our daily routines will have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and eco-friendly activities such as walking to work or carrying a reusable bottle may well be off the table now. But there’s still plenty of green activities you can do from home, and most of them require hardly any effort at all.
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