With Earth Day 2018 fast approaching, it seems like the perfect opportunity to find out how to reduce your carbon footprint with easy and actionable swaps. On April 22nd this year, Earth Day strives to end plastic pollution. With the growing threat of plastic and the effect it’s having on the planet, not only to marine life but also the human population, the time to act is now. Sometimes it can be daunting to know where to start when wanting to reduce your impact on the planet. These 10 swaps focus not only on reducing plastic waste but a number of different things to help lessen your carbon footprint.
Information and stats from: http://www.wmnorthwest.com/guidelines/plasticvspaper.htm, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-straws-on-request-20180116-story.html & https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/news/global-shot-at-a-greener-coffee-cup
1. Go Vegan!
Animal agriculture is a major strain on the planet and really takes a toll on the environment. Even reducing your meat intake, perhaps having a meatless Monday would help reduce your animal intake. If Meatless Monday goes well, perhaps start heading towards a fully plant-based lifestyle. The Veganuary site has some really useful resources and recipes to help when first cutting out animal products.
2. Reusable Shopping Bag
After the implementation of the 5p plastic bag charge in 2015 there was around an 83% drop in bags handed out in just one year. Now we’re fully into the swing of bringing our own bags and with so many fun designs now, you no longer have to be reliant on a boring plastic bag to carry your food or shopping.
3. Reusable Straws
One of the single-use plastic disposable items that need to go is plastic straws. The next time you buy a drink, have a think of whether you really need a straw. An alternative to plastic straws are stainless steel or cardboard options. We love these ones from Eco Strawz.
4. Bring Your Own Coffee Cup
Next time you pick up a coffee to go, remember to bring your reusable coffee cup. Coffee shops like Pret A Manger are really leading the way by offering customers a 50p discount on takeaway coffee if they bring their own cup. A staggering 2.5 billion coffee cups are estimated to be discarded every year
5. Cut Down on Driving
This one’s simple, instead of driving everywhere perhaps walk, take a bus or maybe cycle to work. Get your workout in for the day at the same time by walking to and from your destination instead of driving.
6. Peg Your Laundry Out to Dry
Another easy swap, instead of using a tumble dryer peg your laundry out to dry. Obviously, a much easier option in the spring/summer when the sun’s out but every little helps.
7. Reusable Water Bottle
There are so many options for reusable water bottles from different colours and materials, ranging from glass to BPA-free recycled plastic. We love our reusable glass water bottles and take them everywhere.
8. Go Paperless
Turn all your bank statements paperless and make sure any bills only come through online as well. This is a simple move that reduces your paper waste significantly as well as helping you to keep online versions of all statements and bills.
9. Reduce Disposables
We’ve already touched on water bottles, straws, bags and coffee cups but the disposables don’t end there. The next time you pick up a one-use item, think about how you could choose something which you can re-use. Try avoiding disposable utensils and use cloth instead of paper towels.
10. Think Before You Buy
Before you make your next purchase, whatever it may be, think about the brand and product. Some brands are more ethical and source their products in a much more eco-friendly way. If you need to buy plastic, try finding something made from recycled plastic.
All these little swaps are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and will soon become second nature. We’ve only got one planet so let's look after it.
For more information on Earth Day and how to prepare and join the fight to end plastic pollution head to www.earthday.org to learn more about your plastic consumption and how to help.