Here’s how to make your everyday a little more green.
Do you remember when the world was on fire? It’s easy to forget in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2020 began with an environmental crisis that shocked the world and sprung many of us into action. Climate change seems like such a big problem that combating it feels futile but individual efforts, embraced across society, can have a major impact.
Staying at home during lockdown has seen pollution levels plummet across the world, but that won’t last. It’s up to us, therefore, when we do gradually return to normal, to make that return as gentle for the planet as is possible. These ethical habits can help you to do your bit.
Just as they were there for you when you needed toilet paper, often your local shops are better stocked with essential items – and that includes fruit and veg. They may not have your preferred cotes de Provence, but the trays and bowls of fruit and veg out the front will stock your kitchen with nutrients while avoiding the aisles of plastic covered produce and big carbon footprints of supermarkets.
Or, if you fancy going digital, the Farmdrop farm-to-door delivery service connects you directly with local farmers, to ensure maximum transparency. Or Oddbox will deliver ingredients that, though they look a little wonky, are entirely good for you and would otherwise go to waste.
Don’t let food go to waste
Speaking of waste, statistics show that the UK alone wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food each year. Plenty of that can be fixed by proper meal planning and only buying the ingredients you know you’re going to use. That and shopping daily instead of weekly, which often ends with a clear out of the tired forgotten veg at the back of your fridge.
But even with those best intentions, often there is cause for a safety net – and thankfully, there’s an app for that. Olio helps to connect neighbours and local retailers so surplus food can be shared and not disposed of.
Grow your own
The ultimate way to eat locally, of course, is eating from within your own home. Plenty of people are now spending more time than ever in their gardens (although you really only need a sunny windowsill) and this is your chance to get green-fingered. Your health, wallet and ethical credentials will all see a growth spurt as a result. If you’re looking to grow herbs but that basil plant you keep bringing home from the shop always dies within a week then invest in a Click and Grow smart garden kit; it holds enough water for three weeks and the LED lights will ensure your herbs not just survive, but thrive.
Veg that is easy to grow in England: Beetroot, Carrots, Kale, Lettuce, Potatoes and Parsnips.
Herbs that are easy to grow in England: Basil, Chives, Mint, Rosemary, Tarragon and Parsley.
Kit yourself out
There are a few additions to your day-to-day kit list that will earn you instant environmental kudos: a reusable coffee cup, reusable water bottle and reusable bags. All of which are available in your Third Space club, but if you aren’t a member, here are our top picks…
For everything else there’s Giki. This app enables you to track how healthy, sustainable and ethical the companies you buy from are with a simple scan of the product’s barcode. Download here.
Reduce your cardio footprint
Fast fashion is problematic and there is a heartening move towards renting out clothes on sites like ourcloset.co.uk, as well as recycling clothes on freecycle.org. However, one major problem persists, especially in the fitness space, and that’s our hunger for new trainers. The plastic soles are decidedly un-green. So take advantage of a Nike initiative; you can drop any brand of old runners at Nike stores and they grind them down and turn the rubber into running tracks and gym floors.
Use a Guppybag
When it comes to clothes, there’s even more you can do. Every time you do your laundry, countless plastic fibres from synthetic textiles make their way from washing machines into rivers and oceans. Do your bit by investing in a Guppybag, which you place your clothes inside when washing. The bag filters out the tiniest micro-fibres released from textiles and you can then dispose of them properly.
And finally, if you’re struggling to get hold of your normal skin products, fear not – there’s no need to go out and buy more products in plastic packaging. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen. Give these homemade, planet-friendly treatments a go. 3 skincare recipes for you to try at home.