50 easy ways to go green

by Cat Woods

Everybody has to start somewhere so here are some simple ways to go green for everybody, in no particular order of importance. Some of these ‘green tips’ will also save you money. So it really is a win win situation. You’ll be helping your pocket and the environment at the same time.

  1. Use a reusable water bottle

Each year the average household uses 480 plastic bottles. My way of reducing this is by using a reusable water bottle and tap water.

2. Encourage our bees and pollinators

A third of the worlds food production depends on bees. You can help them by planting bee friendly

3. Plant a tree

4. Pick up litter

One way to improve your local environment is to engage in litter picking activities. Please keep an eye out on our Facebook page for future events in collaboration with Keep Britain Tidy

5. Recycle as much as you can
“Most major supermarkets provide plastic recycling collection points in store for stretchy plastic (such as frozen food bags, carrier bags and bread bags) which normally can’t be recycled from home,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at government waste advisory body Wrap.

7. Buy local flowers – or grow your own

Flowers cut-out inside green-rimmed circle

About 90% of the flowers sold through UK florists, supermarkets and wholesalers are imported, mainly from the Netherlands, but they are also flown in from countries as far away as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Reduce your floral air miles and find a local supplier through flowersfromthefarm.co.uk, a co-operative of small independent flower growers

8. Switch lights off

One of the simplest ways to reduce energy consumption is to switch lights off when you leave a room. If it’s sunny outside open up the blinds and make the most of natural light instead.

9. Switch computers off

Both in services and offices make sure computers are switched off when you’re not using them rather than just leaving them on standby – you’d be amazed how much energy this saves!

10. Green the commute

Can you car share, use public transport, walk or ride a bike instead of jumping in the car? This often provides a great chance to integrate with the community or get to know your colleagues better too!

11. Household items — donate hygiene products to a local shelter.

12. Pet supplies — give to your local animal shelter.

13. Drive at the speed limit. 

It is safer, cheaper and better for the environment.

“Studies have shown up to 30% of the difference in miles per gallon (MPG) is due to driving habits alone. You could save more than a ton of CO2 per year by:
– Accelerating slowly and smoothly
– Driving the speed limit
– Maintaining a steady speed
– Anticipating your stops and starts” – Matter Of Trust

14. Plan your errands. 
Work out what needs to be done and plan to do all your errands in one day using the most efficient route. This saves you money, time and is one very simple way to go green.

15. Eat less meat and dairy.

16. Stop mowing your lawn. 
Yes doing less in your garden is a very easy way to go green.

17.  Go on a beach clean-up.

a picture speaks a thousand words

Join a local beach clean up initiative with One Planet Patrol.

18.  Look for sustainable, natural materials. Find clothes or linen made from sustainable organic cotton, bamboo or hemp.

19. Reduce the temperature 

Turn a notch on your thermostat down or just pop a jumper on.

20.  Take shorter showers.

21. Don’t use pesticides.
Embrace the bugs in your garden, don’t kill them!

22. Grow your own food

You can start simple by sowing some cress seeds.

23. Make meals using leftovers

24. Walk or ride a bike

25. Choose energy efficient appliances

26. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth

This is such an easy way to save water and something that has been drummed into me from a young age.

27. Run the washing machine and dishwasher only with a full load.

28. Get rid of chemical cleaners

Try making your own eco friendly cleaning products for your home.

29. Open the windows

Let some fresh air in at home

30. Use your bath water to water your plants.

31. Make natural skin masks and cleansers

Using natural skin care products is safer, better for the environment and can save you money.

32. Wash clothes using cold water.

33. Combine multiple errands into one trip.

34. Use a reusable shopping bag.

More and more municipalities are now banning single use plastic shopping bags, while others are charging for them. Get into the habit of reusing plastic bags, or opt for the tote bag varieties.

35. Plant a garden.

36. Use energy saving light bulbs.

Energy Star-certified light bulbs use between 70 and 90 per cent less energy on average than conventional incandescent bulbs. In addition, LED lights last 15 times longer.

37. Only wash full loads

Instead of washing a small load of laundry or dishes every day, wait a few days and then tackle one large load. After a while, you’ll notice your energy bills will reduce.

38. Use refill delivery services

Eco-friendly refillery markets are popping up all over the country. Check if you have one in your area.

39. Wash in cold water.

You can save energy by using a cold-water cycle for your washing machine or dishwasher. If you prefer warm water, opt for a lukewarm setting.

40. But or make natural detergents.

41. Create a compost bin.

42. Start a family “go-green fund.” Review your previous water, gas and electric bills.

43. Create your own wrapping paper or gift bags out of magazines, scrap cloth or newspaper.

44. Assess your house every autumn for drafts.

45. Carpool — find out where your co-workers live and share the ride.

46. Power down — turn off computers and other equipment when not in use.

47. Stay close to home. Choose shopping and dining destinations that are nearby whenever possible.

48. Dry clothes on a clothesline or drying rack.

49. Use a timer to take shorter showers.

50. Books — donate to the library, used bookstore or children in your area.

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