Ways to Become More Eco-Friendy

Becoming more eco-friendly is not just about reducing the amount of plastic that we use, nor is it just making sure that we re-cycle or re-use items as  much as possible, there are so many other things we can do to help the environment and reduce the impact that we have on it, and there are ways that we can help other earth inhabitants to not just survive but to thrive too.  And each little step we take to help our environment goes a long way towards helping us and Earth to survive.

Earth Day, this year, was about raising awareness, and putting into action, plans to Protect Our Species, from tiny insects to larger animals, and there are so many ways we can do our bit to help.

Bees are one of the many declining insects in our world, without them and other insects, we would have no food supplies, we rely on these little creatures to pollinate crops that give us our food.  With no insects we would have no corn, no salads, no crops, no coffee…nothing.  We can help to increase their numbers in lots of different ways – planting bee friendly plants and flowers, encouraging insects into our garden spaces by making insect houses and reducing our use of pesticides.  There is plenty more that we can do from inside the house too, things like reducing the amount of aerosols we use, a good example is to switch from spray canned antiperspirants and using block deodorants instead (I’m especially fond of Lush’s Sunflower Deodorant), using less harsh chemicals when cleaning our homes by making our own cleaners or choosing products that are less harmful to the environment.

Being a more conscious shopper can also help the environment.  Choosing to source and buy more local produce will lead to less carbon emissions, support the local producers and encourage them to plant more crops which, in turn, will encourage more wildlife to stay in the area and survive.  Think about how far the items you buy have had to travel to get to you and take steps to reduce the mileage travelled by each product you buy.

Choose products that will last longer, opt for garments that have been made from materials that are not as harmful to the environment, and where possible, try to steer clear of fast fashion or outfits that you may use only once.  If clothing is ripped or has a hole, opt to mend it rather than replace, and if a garment is dirty or stained then learn the tricks and tips to get stains out rather than add it to landfill.  If that isn’t possible then see if you can salvage parts of it and re-make into something else you can continue to wear or use for a time.

Reduce food waste, create a meal plan and buy only what you need.  If you cook too much food for a meal see if you can use it in another meal or have the leftovers for lunch the following day.  i regularly have pasta and will then have it cold the following day for lunch with a salad.  Freeze leftovers and have them at a later date if you don’t fancy eating it the following day.  If you have foodstuffs that are nearing their expiry date and you know you are not going to use them up, see if friends and family would like to have them instead, or, see if you can invite friends and family over and use the items in a feast.

There is so much more that we can be doing for the survival of all species if we just use our brains more and think about what we are doing.  I’m sure that there are lots of other ways we can become more eco-friendly.  What tips do you have?  Let me know in the comments….

Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Consumption

In the lifestyle we lead today many of the items we come into contact with on a daily basis are designed to be used once and then thrown away, from plastic packaging to cups, bottles and food wrappers.  A lot of the waste we produce is made of plastic and with plastic being one of the biggest problems the environment has, it is one that we need to work on to reduce.  Today I am going to give you some easy ideas that you can choose in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we throw away.

When Shopping.

Take re-usable shopping bags with you, or re-use the plastic ones that you already have.  With many plastic bags only ever being used once, and for a total of just 12 minutes, it seems obscene to just use once and then throw away.

When buying tinned goods try to avoid purchasing those multi-packs that are wrapped in plastic to keep them together.  Instead, buy single cans where possible, or look for cans that are packaged together with cardboard as it is easier to re-cycle.

Choose loose veg and fruit where possible (it can work out cheaper too).  Buy (or make) some produce bags to put your fruit and veg in or just place them, loose in your cart.

Eating Out.

I always carry around a set of my own cutlery just incase I decide to buy food when I am out and about.  This means that I don’t have to use plastic cutlery that comes with many fast food items.  I have a small pencil-case that I keep them in and, once used I put them back into the case to be washed at home and returned to my bag.

Think about whether drinks you buy really need a straw.  Where possible, refuse the straw and if you really do need one, think about buying a re-usable straw.  I have stainless steel straws that are perfect for most cold beverages.

When I am in work, I make my own lunch at home the night before and pack it into a lunchbox that I can re-use time and time again.  This helps me, not only to eat more healthy, but to save money too, because I’m then not tempted to buy a pre-packed sandwich meal deal (with crisps and a bottle of pop).

Buy a re-usable travel flask or cup.  Most coffee shops will be happy to use your own cup for drinks so long as it is clean and in good condition.  Sometimes places will even offer you a discount if you use your own cup.  Or, if you have time, why not sit and enjoy your hot drink in the cafe in a proper mug?

At Home.

Cut down on your use of cling film.  Assess what you use cling film for and have a look on-line for other alternatives, for example, if you use cling film to wrap food items, why not give wax wraps a try?  Or for heating food in the microwave (or for covering leftovers) these silicone food wraps are brilliant.

Swap plastic dish brushes with wooden ones.  I really like the design of this one, not only can you re-cycle the whole thing but, you can re-use the handle and buy replacement heads for it.

Be mindful of what you throw away.  Where possible re-cycle.  In my area, we are lucky enough to have a re-cycling collection each week that runs alongside our normal refuse collection.  I have 3 containers – one for glass, plastic and metal and a bag for cardboard waste that I put on the kerb weekly for collection, however, even if you don’t have this sort of scheme running where you are, you can still re-cycle.  Look online for your nearest re-cycling facility and sort your waste, dropping it to the centre weekly.

There are so many other ways to reduce the plastic that we consume daily, these are just a few ideas to help you along the way.  What other ways can we reduce plastic?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!