It’s up to each one of us to make day-to-day changes that will help the planet and reduce our carbon footprint. There are loads of things you can do, many of which take little or no effort and are very easy to implement.
Many people find it overwhelming and don’t know where to start, so we’ve put together some ideas to make it easier for you. Here are 11 ways to become more eco-friendly in 2022.
If you don’t already recycle, then all of your household waste will end up in landfills which poses major issues for the environment. Most plastics and cardboard can be recycled, so next time you intend to put something in the trash, pop it in a recycling bin instead.
Ditch the plastic food wrap
If you, like millions of others, like to wrap leftovers and other food items before putting them in the fridge, consider using alternatives instead. Glass containers with bamboo lids are very popular and readily available, or if you are feeling particularly motivated, why not make your own beeswax wraps. They are easy to do and can be used over and over again.
Have a staycation
A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop flying to destinations further afield and have a staycation instead. This may involve driving to a destination not too far away from where you live, or for some, it involves staying at home and doing a series of day trips instead. It’s a great way to explore your local area and do your bit for the planet.
Switch to LED lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs are a great way to reduce the amount of power that you use. A standard filament bulb uses around 40 watts of power, but an LED only uses 5, so as well as running a more energy-efficient household, you should see a drop in your electricity use too! Due to the popularity of these bulbs, the price point is very affordable, so if you can afford the initial outlay, it may be worthwhile switching all of your bulbs immediately.
Another great way to reduce your energy consumption is to have solar panels fitted to the roof of your home. These panels convert sunlight to energy which could save you hundreds over a lifetime. A solar energy specialist will survey your home, give you a quotation for installation, and give you a good indication of how much you may expect to save over a certain period. More and more people are switching to solar energy, so if it’s something you have considered, it makes sense to start the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Walk to work
If your daily commute isn’t too lengthy, why not ditch the car and walk to work each day instead or, if walking isn’t feasible, perhaps cycling is another option. The more we drive, the more we contribute to air pollution, so leaving the car at home is a good choice. Walking is a great way to keep your heart and mind healthy, so your body will thank you for it too! If walking or cycling isn’t an option, consider car-sharing or taking public transport instead. There are many ways to reduce air pollution – you simply need to figure out what works best for you and your family.
Stop using plastic straws
You must have seen the impact that plastic straws have on sea life, so if you are still using them, switch to paper or reusable alternatives such as bamboo or metal instead. Reusable straws don’t cost a lot and are easily transported, so there is no excuse for using plastic. Many of the big fast-food chains have moved away from plastic straws, so if they can do it, you can!
Think twice before buying prepacked food
For whatever reason, many products are sold in unnecessary plastic packaging. The more people who boycott buying it, the quicker manufacturers will realize they need to stop doing producing it. It happens a lot with fresh fruit and vegetables, so next time you are tempted to buy a pack of plastic-wrapped bananas or apples, buy loose instead. Many businesses now sell loose produce such as pasta, flour, cereals, and so on. It is a great way to replenish certain groceries using your own containers – and at a fraction of the cost.
Switch to an electric car
If having a car is essential for your family, consider buying an electric vehicle instead. There’s been a considerable increase in the number of public charging points available, or if budget allows, you can always have one fitted at home too. The initial outlay of an electric vehicle is a lot higher than a petrol or diesel engine, but the minimal running costs should balance that out. Many leading car manufacturers are making electric or hybrid vehicles nowadays, so you shouldn’t be short of choice.
Don’t waste electricity
It’s easy to waste electricity when at home all day, so try and get out of any bad habits you may have formed over the years. If you aren’t using a room, switch the lights off when you leave. Similarly, if appliances or sockets are not in use, make sure they are switched off at the wall. Even when a TV, for example, is left in standby mode, it’s still using electricity. Get into the habit of switching everything off when you aren’t using it, and you could save a bit of money at the same time.
Educate your children
How we treat our planet will have a substantial impact on our children and grandchildren. Educating future generations is one of the most powerful things you can do to help the cause. Explain to them about waste, let them see what is happening to the rainforests, and help them understand that it’s up to them to change things. The more educated our children become, the less harm humans will do to our beautiful world.