There is no denying it, we all need to be greener, to think more about the impact we are having on the environment, and to, well, just doing more to think about our green credentials. So with that in mind here are my 5 ways I think we can be greener in 2021.
Sign up to Save Money Cut Carbon Club
This is a game changer for me, and such a simple idea. By signing up to the club you get a “swap box” which contains a curated collection of products that are all easy swaps to make, allowing us all to make a difference to our environmental impact instantly. The 12 month membership to the club allows you to then shop the huge range of products on the site with a discounted price (full price is already cheaper than you will find anywhere else). Everything from eco friendly cleaning products to smart lighting to biodegradable dog poo bags to electric scooters is for sale on the site meaning it can fast become your “one stop shop”.
Did you know that 1.8 billion cotton buds are used and thrown away in the England every year? Years. Decades in fact, and they regularly turn up in rubbish washed up on beaches and in the gut of marine animals. By simply switching to bamboo cotton buds we can all do our bit to stop this pollution (and even then they should never be flushed down loos. Seriously, who is doing that?!). Bamboo cotton buds, toothbrushes and plasters are all the easiest of swaps to make, and can have a big impact when we all do the same.
I am loving having access to this club. As the CEO of Save Money Cut Carbon, Mark Salt says
People tell me that they want to do something, but they don’t know where to start…. I hear it so often that Ive given it a name: The Green Faff. People assume that bing more sustainable, cutting energy and water bills, reducing their carbon footprint has to involve compromises. And we are here to show that it doesn’t need to and is easy.
Minimise food waste
I have really worked hard on this this year. Not just because I needed to save money on our weekly shop but because during lockdown the idea of throwing anything away whilst others were struggling just felt several layers of wrong. I am now making sure I menu plan once a week and then do one food shop online so it takes away my chance to browse and fling other things in my trolley that we may or may not get around to eating before they go off. We also signed up to Olio, a great little app that helps redistribute left over waste from supermarkets into the community (along with other things). Every night local “Food Heroes” collect food which they then list on the app, allowing others to say they would like it. It keeps it out of landfill and is free. I should add that food banks and charities have had “first dibs” on it all so this really is the stuff they cant use such as fresh pastries and bread.
Get a green pension
Do you have a pension? I don’t but it is on my list of things to sort out in 2021 (what with being a granny now I feel I really need to start being more of a grown up and not putting these things off). I want to make sure that when I invest I am making my sure my money is being used wisely and not being in invested in initiatives that are destructive or damaging. There seem to be a few pension providers now that claim to be offering greener and more ethical pensions, and hopefully this number will continue to grow.
Repurpose old furniture
Okay I made a dog’s dinner of it because I didnt know what I was doing but over the summer I turned an old battered wooden table that was the “wrong colour” (read brown) into one that was the same colour as our kitchen walls and looked really cute up against the wall with the fruit bowl on it. Yes I went about it the wrong way before I read about using chalk paint and sanding it all down first but it made me realise that actually we can turn old furniture that may have served its purpose, into something we can use for a few more years.
Go paperless wherever you can, and plant trees whenever possible
Do you really need your bank statements to be posted to you? Or your energy bills? Could you go paperless and pay by direct debit? Surely we dont need all this paper to be sent to us when so many of us have access to online banking and accounts now. It is also possible to shop with companies that will plant a tree for every purchase you make. This article on Medium is very US-centric but has a picture from my BFF Annie included in it so I just have to share.
Do you have other ways to be greener? If you do I would love to hear them in the comments below.