Recent years have seen a huge growth in understanding of environmental issues and the importance of sustainability to reduce the amount of harm that is done to the planet. What exactly does this mean, however, how can you be more green in your everyday life?
Simply put, sustainability is about satisfying the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to, in turn, satisfy their needs.
It is ensuring that the earth’s natural resources are not plundered and are instead protected for future generations.
This is achieved through a number of means, such as practising recycling and avoiding single-use materials whenever possible, shopping locally to reduce your carbon footprint, and walking and using public transport to reduce road traffic as much as possible.
However, it can be hard to break the habits of a lifetime and introduce new sustainability measures into your everyday life. To help you out, here are five tips for a sustainable household.
Use reusable products
From bags of carrots to bottles of laundry detergent, many ordinary household items come packaged in single-use plastic. Unfortunately, these often end up landfill and the ocean, causing a lot of harm to wildlife and the surrounding environment.
You can help to prevent this by using reusable and eco-friendly alternatives, such as reusable water bottles and using beeswax wraps for wrapping leftovers and sandwiches for work instead of plastic clingfilm.
When grocery shopping, avoid pre-packaged produce and instead buy loose items, storing them in a reusable cloth grocery bag.
Consider an electric car
With a busy lifestyle, it’s not always feasible to reduce your journeys and instead walk or take public transport all the time.
However, there are ways you can reduce your carbon emissions even if you are unable to give up your car completely. An electric car is a great alternative to a traditional petrol powered car as they do not produce carbon emissions.
Furthermore, with an increase in the number of charging points being built around towns and cities and in traditional filling stations, making the switch to an electric car has never been more convenient.
You can dispose of your old petrol powered car in an eco-friendly way: Scrap Car Kings in Essex responsibly scrap older vehicles that have not been fitted with the same level of sustainable technology as newer models.
From artificial lighting to electrical appliances, music players to the TV, many households needlessly waste a huge amount of energy. Get into the habit of saving energy in the home whenever possible and it will soon become second nature to you.
Energy saving tips include hanging clothes to dry instead of using a tumble dryer, switching off standby appliances and purchasing energy efficient appliances.
You could also set your thermostat on a timer, such as a smart meter, to properly regulate the heating in your home and prevent energy from being wasted on warming you home when it is empty during the working day.
Don’t waste food
Disposing of uneaten food is hugely wasteful – and expensive. However, with supermarkets offering all kinds of tasty treats at tempting prices, it can be all too easy to more food than you are able to eat in a week, the result being that most of it spoils and ends up in the bin.
To avoid wasting food, take the time to plan out your meals for the forthcoming week, taking leftovers into account (these can be eaten as next day’s lunch, or frozen for a later date).
Then, stick strictly to items on your shopping list when grocery shopping to prevent buying food that you will not eat.
By doing this, not only will you reduce your food wastage, but you will also find that you are well within your budget.
If food does go off, however, use it to compost your garden – it will provide your soil with important nutrients.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Though it is vitally important to keep a clean and hygienic home, many cleaning products contain chemicals that have a devastating impact on the environment, particularly marine biology.
Use instead eco-friendly cleaning products that kill bacteria and cut through dirt and grime while also being gentle on the environment.
For example, instead of bleach, use biodegradable cleaners containing lactic acid to tackle 99.9% of bacteria. Instead of chemically-based polishes, traditional and all-natural beeswax can be used to give wood a sparkling – and delightfully perfumed – shine.