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A Journey to Sustainability: Simple Eco Wins

Aside from the plastic swaps that you can make, there are other straightforward actions that can be a big win. These have been gleaned from various websites/ magazines and I will seek to credit those in the footer.

“We don’t need to do it perfectly, just one little thing at a time. Look at sustainable fashion and organic food- we can see it’s more expensive but, actually, the price is representative of the true cost. We expect things to be cheap and forget that someone, somewhere, is paying the price”.

Jen Gale author of Sustainable(ish) Living Guide

Simple/ quick/ non costly eco wins:

  • Move your energy supplier to a renewable tariff. You could cut your carbon footprint by almost a quarter www.bigcleanswitch.org

  • Not quite ready for the Good Life in its totality? How about devoting a small corner of garden (if you have one) to growing some tomatoes or simple veg. There is lots of information on the Grow Food, Not Lawns website: https://www.foodnotlawns.com/

  • Delete your old stored emails. These are all sitting on massive servers in the middle of the desert using vast amounts of the world’s energy to cool them down

  • Switch your search engine to Ecosia- which uses its profits to plant trees ecosia.org

  • Switch appliances off instead of leaving them on standby

  • Need a gift idea for the person that has everything? Plant some trees on their behalf- https://onetreeplanted.org/

  • Eat less meat- even switching to meat free meal once or twice a week can make a big difference- https://www.futurelearn.com/in...

  • Buying less out of season produce, especially if it has travelled a long way

  • Buy kids clothes and toys from charity shops, or accept preloved from friends/ family. Pass on good condition clothes/ shoes/ toys likewise, they grow so fast :(

  • Consume less. Although, as a society, we are more vocal about the need to recycle, everything we consume needs energy to be created in the first place. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. https://ethicalrevolution.co.uk/2019/09/02/we-must-consume-less-and-when-we-have-to-consume-we-must-do-it-better/

  • If able, walk short journeys instead of taking the car (e.g. school run, local shops)

  • Replace a takeaway with a ‘fakeaway’- reduce the cost, increase the nutrients, and make some memories by doing it yourself https://www.deliciousmagazine....

Eco wins that need more time/ investment/ effort:

  • Buy sustainable and ethical clothing https://goodonyou.eco/most-ethical-and-sustainable-clothing-brands-from-uk/

  • Buy organic food if possible https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/why-organic/

  • Move your money to a sustainable pension fund- this can have 27 times as much impact at giving up flying or going vegan combined makemymoneymatter.co.uk

  • Meal plan- food waste is the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and 50% of this occurs in the home. Have an ‘eat first’ box in the fridge and enjoy planning suppers with anyone you live with.

  • Check out local allotment plots and grow your own. Could you take one on with a friend/ family if you are not ready to go it alone? Check out your local council for how to apply.

  • Use a local zero waste shop to refill household cleaning products- or make your own: https://greatist.com/health/27...

  • Insulate your home. Homes that aren’t well insulated are much harder to keep warm when it's cold, and cool when the weather is hot.

  • Fix it, don’t throw it- Repairing or fixing something is more environmentally friendly than simply throwing things away, although the latter may seem easier and cheaper sometimes. The internet gives you access to the tools and information you need to fix practically anything, and if you still can’t fix it then why not try and turn it into something else?

Eco tips accumulated from sources including ‘Oh’ magazine (ohmag.co.uk); Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com); Good Energy (goodenergy.co.uk)
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