We’ve handed the blog over to our students today! Read on for some top tips on greening your home life. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your team would like to contribute to the blog.
Ten easy ways to help save the planet
As Green Impact teams are getting stuck into the workbook and making positive changes on campus, don’t forget that many of the changes you make can be implemented at home too! Here’s 10 easy things you can do at home to reduce your waste and carbon footprint. Please have a look and try out a few…
- Switch things off when not in use! I am a culprit for this, I always forget to turn my laptop and speakers off properly so I know it’s hard but it does make a difference! Using timers is a good way to turn things off without having to worry about it yourself. Also, unplug your devices- even if they’re off, as this still uses energy in some cases.
- Dry your clothes naturally, rather than with a dryer. Also – when washing clothes try to save your washing until you have a full load. It may not be as convenient but it’s better for the planet and your pocket.
- Recycle! Whilst we’ve been pushing for this at the university a lot lately, this is something that many people struggle to do at home. Getting to grips with what the council will take is hard- try to split things properly and save what you can’t put in your recycling bin (for example tetrapaks) to take to your nearest recycling center. Buy rechargeable batteries instead of single-use, reuse water bottles and old take away containers.
- Use blankets and warm clothing in the winter so you can reduce your heating — again, good for your pocket and the planet. Also be aware of open windows and drafty doors!
- Reduce your water usage. This is very important and can be done in many ways: having shorter showers and shallower baths, turning the tap off during you bathroom routine when not in use (especially whilst brushing your teeth), handwashing your dishes or only using the dishwasher when it’s full, being sensible when cleaning and landscaping, and much more.
- Use cleaner transport methods. Our university makes it easy to commute sustainably – with discounts and support buying and fixing bikes, a tram stop just by the IC and carpool schemes for staff. This can be extended to other trips we make- walk or cycle short distances, car pool or use public transport for longer journeys. Plan out your errands so you can combine trips to town.
- Try to avoid electronic exercise devices when working out. Instead use static or mechanic equipment or none at all- go for a run, swim or yoga… the possibilities are endless.
- Reduce how much meat and dairy products you eat. Going vegan is the biggest thing an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint, and whilst this may be inconvenient or unrealistic for some people, every little helps! Try cutting meat out of your day a few times a week first, try going vegetarian for a month… you don’t have to do everything all at once, or ever. Just try it- there are lots of tasty and healthy alternatives so it’s not as hard as people think. Check out our other blog post for more tips.
- Be more efficient with your food. Buy and store food sensibly to reduce how much food you waste. Buy locally where you can, and try to avoid excessively packaged food and disposable items such as plastic cutlery and bags.
- Make your home more energy efficient, by whichever means fit- better windows and insulation, solar panels, skylights, updating your appliances to be more energy efficient, white roofing, to name a few. These changes do require an investment but it will quickly be paid back in the savings you’ll make. Smaller changes include adding carpeting and curtains to reduce heat loss.
- Laura Turner