10 Simple Ways To Live Greener (And Cheaper)
The environment is an important global issue that governments have started taking seriously.
But there’s a lot we can do on an individual level. We all play a part in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air, and reducing our carbon footprint.
If enough people made small changes, it would make a big difference to the world we live in.
Here are 10 small steps that you can take to live greener:
1. Only run full appliances (washing machine/dishwasher)
If you want to save energy and water, wash your clothes/dishes when the appliances are full.
The less you wash, the less water and electricity you spend.
If you only need one or two items cleaned, wash them by hand.
Additionally, electricity is often cheaper at night (or late evening and early morning). This is because fewer people use it at those times. Check this with your provider and consider using your appliances at night to save money.
2. Turn off your gadgets at night
Many people leave their appliances such as their phones and computer on overnight. This increases the average household’s energy consumption by an estimated 44%. Turning off these gadgets at the socket is a great way to go green and save money too.
Electronics emit a blue light that tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime even when it isn’t. Sleeping with your phone next to your bed or your computer on can affect the quality of your sleep and make you feel tired and lethargic in the morning. If you want to get great sleep, ban electronics from your bedroom overnight and enjoy a more restful night.
3. Turn off taps when you are not using them
Don’t keep taps running while you brush your teeth or wash your hands.
If you turn your taps off when you are not using them, you can save gallons of water every day.
If everyone did this there would be no need for hosepipe bans or shortages in the summer months.
4. Lower the thermostat during colder months
Energy prices have gone up and millions of people in the UK are looking for ways to save on heating bills.
One of the easiest ways to do it is to turn the thermostat down a few degrees and put a jumper on instead.
As a bonus, you’ll also get better skin. It is thought that central heating is bad for skin complexion.
5. Make cycling your first choice of transport
In London and other bigger cities, cycling is the quickest, cheapest and healthiest way to get from A to B. Plus, it keeps you in shape and is environmentally friendly.
For shorter journeys consider cycling rather than taking the car.
If you really need a car, consider an electric car.
An electric car doesn’t guzzle fuel or toxic chemicals, so it is much better for the environment.
Electric cars are going to be much more in demand in the future, as the UK government is planning to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. ElectriX is leading the way in getting your electric car on the road too with some great insurance deals and car charging devices on offer.
The site also has lots of useful information on electric cars and electric car leasing.
6. Avoid disposable bottled water
Disposable water has a devastating effect on landfills and wildlife. Bottled water adds a huge amount of waste to landfill sites and the bottles take millions of years to break down. We can easily avoid this horrific impact by just choosing to have a reusable glass/ plastic bottle instead.
Bottled water is expensive, and you don’t get anything superior to the water you can get out of a tap.
Buy a reusable flask or container and fill it at home before you go out. You will save a lot of money as well as help the environment by not adding more plastic to your rubbish.
7. Pack home-cooked lunch in reusable containers
When you buy lunch, it will likely be packed in a bag you’ll have to throw away, which is unnecessarily wasteful.
Taking lunch to work is not only healthier and cheaper, but it’s also a great way to help reduce waste.
8. Sell or donate your unwanted items
Millions of tonnes of unwanted clothes go into landfills every year but there is no need for this.
Rather than throwing things away, you could sell them on sites like ebay.com depop.com, and vinted.com, or donate them to your local charity.
Reselling second-hand items has become a big business – many people make good money doing this as a full-time job.
9. Avoid printing paper unless absolutely necessary
At work, bring your laptop to meetings to illustrate your point during or jot down notes in your notebook instead of defaulting to printing paper.
If you really need to print, use both sides of the paper.
Companies can do a lot to encourage their staff to print less. You can sign documents online, keep your files in the cloud instead of shelves, send digital payslips and invoices etc.
10. Read books and magazines online
Most magazines are thrown away after they have been read but it is estimated that less than half of these are recycled.
This means that not only have trees been chopped down to provide the paper for reading material, but the finished product ends up in landfills.
Reading online means that you can be kind to the environment.
Sometimes, it’s of course great to have an actual paper to read. Just be sure to take it to charity or give to a friend to prolong its lifecycle.