01 Apr Unexpected ways you can Help the Environment
Guest blog written by Ruby Clarkson.
We all know that the planet is at crisis point and that everyone should all be doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions and waste. And whilst a lot of people are conscious about their impact on the earth, regularly recycle their household waste and try not to waste water, there are also a number of unexpected ways that you can help the environment.
By changing some other aspects of your life, you can make an even bigger impact on the planet – or smaller, depending on how you look at it. There are things you can change – large and small, which the earth will thank you for.
1. Reduce your junk mail
Let’s face it, we all hate junk mail. Not only because it’s annoying to have and then have to get rid of, but it’s also really wasteful. Junk mail often consists of paper and plastic and often gets thrown straight into the bin. According to Stop Junk Mail, the average household gets 453 pieces of junk mail per year – that’s a lot of waste. By stopping some of that junk mail, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste that you are creating. Try contacting the companies who are sending it to you and asking them to remove you from their lists. You can also return the post to sender or join a Mail Preference Service.
2. Get a septic tank
Let’s start of talking about our own body’s waste. There’s not much that we can do about reducing that. But we can change what we do with it. A septic tank is a sewage solution for houses that aren’t attached to the general waste system. Instead of being able to send waste away through the plumbing system, it is kept in a septic tank. Commercial waste plants often use chemicals which aren’t good for the environment to treat sewage. A septic tank will allow the waste to break down naturally without the use of nasty chemicals, meaning that your personal waste isn’t going to damage the environment.
3. Get re-usable straws
There has been a lot of publicity around the use of plastic straws recently. Whilst many people have simply cut out the use of straws altogether, there are some cases when using a straw is just better. One solution is to get a re-usable straw, made from an environmentally friendly material such as bamboo or metal, meaning that the plastic waste in cut down.
4. Use bars not bottles
When it comes to keeping ourselves clean, quite often environmental concerns go a little bit out of the window. Shampoos, conditioners, shower gels etc. often come in plastic bottles and often use chemicals which aren’t good for the environment You can cut down on your plastic waste by using more natural, environmentally friend shampoo, conditioner and soap bars to keep yourself clean and smelling lovely.
5. Change your lighter for matches
Disposable plastic lighters are often filled with butane, meaning that none of it is healthy for the world. It might seem more convenient to carry a lighter around, but the world will thank you more for using wooden or recycled paper matches.
Whether it is bank statements or electricity bills, we still get a lot of our correspondence by paper post. For a lot of people this gets shoved into a pile and never looked at again once they are dealt with. Most banks and utility companies now offer digital bills and statements, meaning that firstly you can have a more organised set of bills and statements (with access at the touch of a button and not having to rifle through piles of paper) and of course, you will have less physical waste.
7. Use the revolving door
When you are going into a building, use the revolving door option if you can. Revolving doors are designed to keep as much warmth inside the building as possible. So, unlike a ‘normal’ open and close door, using a revolving door means that less energy will be used up in keeping the building warm.
8. Get cold water detergent
Washing our clothes these days doesn’t mean that you need the water to be warm anymore. If you buy a cold-water detergent, you can wash you clothes without spending the extra energy (or money) heating up your water.
There are ways to save energy, cut waste and reduce our impact on the environment in almost everything that we do. By being conscious about what we are doing, and changing the way that we do things, we can begin to show the planet that we care and make the world a better place to live for everyone.
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.