07 Oct Top Green Living Trends of 2019
By Ruby Clarkson.
Most people are aware of the damaging effects of global warming - average temperatures around the world are increasing, the polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. It is feared that there will be irreversible damage to our planet if we don’t take urgent action to reduce our environmental impact. In response to this, many people are adopting sustainable practices and looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. With this in mind, here are some of the top green living trends of 2019/2020:
Shipping container home with solar panels.
There have been major developments in recent years to make housing more sustainable and less damaging to the environment. One of the most effective ways to make your home more eco-friendly is by using recycled building materials - it is now even possible to make a house from a recycled shipping container! A shipping container home is a modern and innovative way to create a stylish and functional living space that is environmentally-friendly, affordable and unique. One of the main benefits of shipping containers is that they’re designed to travel thousands of miles all across this world. For that reason, they’re built from highly durable material that is strong and built to last. What’s more, there are plenty of second-hand shipping containers for sale which means acquiring one if fairly quick and simple.
You also have the option to choose custom designs and create the perfect green home for you and your family. If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of a shipping container home, S Jones Containers specialise in bespoke shipping container conversions and have a huge variety of quality containers on offer to suit every style and budget.
Building your home from recycled shipping containers is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and lead a greener lifestyle. However, there are plenty more ways to make your home even more sustainable - here are some useful tips to make your home eco-friendly:
Install energy-efficient appliances - Switching to eco-friendly appliances is an effective way to instantly reduce your carbon emissions and cut your energy bills. According to financial experts at thisismoney.co.uk - “Households could save around £113 a year just by switching to a more efficient fridge freezer.” Make sure you also replace any incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient versions. These use far less energy and also need replacing less often, thus saving you energy and money on your utility bills.
Recycle your food waste - The average household produces a large quantity of food waste. Recycling these items offers many benefits, this includes - reducing the amount of waste ending up in landfills and lowering carbon emissions. You can easily recycle your food waste by starting a compost bin.
Harvest rainwater - You can simply collect rainwater, then use this as a free green water source in your garden.
Minimise Plastic Waste
Plastic pollution is having a massively detrimental effect on our planet. Environmental experts at Earth Day state that around 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean every year! This is extremely harmful to aquatic habitats and many animals are injured or killed from ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in it. What’s more, the majority of plastic products cannot be recycled and will not biodegrade over time. This means the amount of plastic in our environment will continue to grow unless urgent action is taken.
Addressing the issue of plastic waste has been a key environmental focus for many years. 2019 saw huge advancements in plastic technology which means plastic is now increasingly being recycled via chemical recycling technology and other processes. Consumers are also becoming more aware of the damaging effects of single-use plastic. In a bid to minimise plastic waste, more and more people are adopting green habits such as - using a refillable water bottle and opting for paper instead of traditional plastic packaging.
Finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels has been another major environmental focus during recent years, with 2018 marking the start of the green energy revolution. Fortunately, renewable energy like solar and wind power, are now far more accessible and can provide a reliable, clean energy source that reduces carbon emissions and minimises environmental harm. Solar continues to be the most popular green energy source in the UK. Fortunately, advancements in technology mean it’s now quick and easy for domestic properties to have solar panels installed on their rooftops. This allows households to produce their own clean energy. It was feared that recent tariff cuts and a reduction in government incentives would stall the growth of renewable energy, but this trend appears to remain strong in 2019 and will hopefully continue to grow over the coming years. Smart energy has also become popular in 2019. In particular, smart meters and smart energy apps are increasingly being used to monitor energy usage and identify ways to reduce harmful emissions.
Agriculture makes a significant contribution to all greenhouse gas emissions - it produced around 582 million metric tons of carbon emissions in 2017 alone according to data by the American Farm Bureau Federation. In response to these figures, there have been several projects designed to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. The way we produce food is changing and sustainable farming methods are commonly being adopted in a bid to reduce harmful emissions and minimise environmental harm. Technological advancements mean that smart farming is becoming a reality - farm robots, drones, and the Internet of Things are revolutionising the way we produce food and leading the way to greener, more sustainable agricultural methods.
Vegan crispy gnocchi, recipe here.
As mentioned above, agriculture produces large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and a large percentage of this can be attributed to rearing livestock. One way to instantly reduce your carbon footprint is by adopting a vegan diet that includes only plant-based foods. According to a recent study by Oxford Martin School - “If the whole world went vegan, it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, lead to health care-related savings, and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.”
The vegan trend has grown massively over the past few years due to many factors including an increase in social awareness, as well as far better access to meat-free alternatives. 2019 has been named ‘Year of the Vegan’, with new plant based food ranges being introduced in supermarkets all around the world. For instance, this year Greggs released their hugely anticipated vegan sausage roll and McDonald’s started selling McVegan burgers. It’s clear that vegan is now mainstream and people are becoming increasingly open to trying veganism as a lifestyle choice. For instance, this January saw over 250,000 people in the UK signing up to Veganuary - a campaign where people adopt the vegan diet during the month of January.
In this age of environmental decline, it’s more important than ever for people to be eco-conscious and take steps to reduce carbon emissions and minimise environmental harm. Fortunately, education around sustainability is improving and there has been increased social action in recent years. The above green living trends show a step in the right direction.
Picture sources - Pinterest.
Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course.