10 Environmentally Friendly Lifehacks
Saving our planet and our future will take a combined effort from international policies right down to the environmentally friendly lifehacks and choices we make each day. We may often feel that our efforts are insignificant, but if millions of people make small changes locally we can bring about a butterfly effect of global change.
There’s a plethora of information out there, but knowing where to start can still be confusing and even overwhelming. So, we thought we’d break it down and give you 10 actionable environmentally friendly lifehacks and simple ways you can make lasting changes to your habits and go green.
1.Carry out your own personal eco-audit
To set clear goals and know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you’re coming from. Download the Earth Rewards app and measure your impact to understand how your current life choices affect your carbon footprint. Using your results, think about your regular actions and where you can make low impact swaps, it may be something small, but done consistently can make a huge difference – much like Gucci are doing. For some, it may mean switching to a greener energy provider, for others changing how they eat or travel. Start small, be consistent and change your habits to change our planet.
2. Eat less animal-derived foods
Eating less meat and dairy is one of the most beneficial and impactful (in the good sense) things you can do to improve the state of our planet. If we all removed meat and dairy products from our diet, we would cut our personal food-related carbon footprint by a two-thirds! This is HUGE, especially when you consider that our food choices from farm to table are responsible for a quarter of global carbon emissions.
3. Don’t waste food
Reduce food waste and buy only what you need, or get creative with foods that are getting close to their use-by date. We may not all be the next Masterchef winner, but with a little bit of creativity, we can stop overconsumption, encourage better food distribution and reduce unnecessary waste.
- Got too many bananas and they’re getting too soft? Make banana bread.
- Onions or potatoes starting to sprout? Plant them.
- Bread drying up? Cut it up into cubes and make croutons.
4. Use LED light bulbs
LED lights are the most efficient light bulbs out there, plus they last longer than their conventional cousins. So, as well as using less energy to light a room and saving the planet, you’ll be saving some pennies too as they don’t need to be replaced so often.
5. Swap the bottle for the bar
Another simple but highly effective swap you can make at home is using bar soap for your hands, bodies and even your hair. It may sound a little old school, but often bar soaps have substantially less packaging than their liquid counterparts as they can safely be packed in paper or cardboard – hooray to not using any plastic! One of our favourites on the market is the shampoo bar from Lush who have a whole range of packaging-free body care.
6. Make your own toothpaste
Toothpaste tubes (along with other tube products such as creams and lotions) are one of the hardest items to recycle as it is almost impossible to clean them, which is a vital step if we are looking to recycle plastics or glass. So, one option is to buy toothpaste in a jar like this one from georganics or make your own (which is even cheaper). Some recipes like this one from The Guardian contain only two ingredients – baking soda and essential oils – although we prefer this recipe which also contains coconut oil and has a more paste-like consistency.
7. Take your own toiletries
Whilst we’re on the topic of toiletries, why not take your own using refillable travel instead of using the miniature samples found in hotel bathrooms. This would save around 200m miniature plastic bottles from being added to landfill from hotel waste each year in the UK alone according to The Guardian. Some hotels are also working to reduce bathroom-related plastic waste, with InterContinental Hotels Group pledging to install bulk dispensers in the 843,000 bathrooms across all of its hotels by 2021.
8. Cycling is good and not just when you use your bike
Aside from walking, we all know the health and environmental benefits of using your bike, but other forms of cycling are equally enviro-friendly! Try and increase the lifecycle of products in your life by repurposing them, recycling them or upcycling them. Sew up that hole in your sock, whilst your chilling and catching up with your latest Netflix series or turn that glass jar into a flower pot. Getting creative with things and how we can use them ensures as little goes into landfill as possible.
9. Cut back on the plastics
Whether you’re choosing furniture, children’s toys or even just pens and pencils try and pick things that are made from natural, recyclable materials. Just think, every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet today, and will, unfortunately, outlive us all, so why continue producing more?
10. Go paperless
Although we can recycle paper, it still takes energy and trees to produce it, plus the carbon footprint of the ink we use to print. Many suppliers now give you the option to have your bills, statements and all communications sent to you either in-app, via email or through your online account.
Another way to cut back on paper is by using cloth napkins and cleaning cloths in the kitchen – ditch the paper towels and save the trees!
Ready? Let’s go!
Leading a greener lifestyle is an ongoing journey of change and improvement. Adopting some of these environmentally friendly lifehacks and working will not only change our actions, but also how we care for and value our planet and our future. Do what you can and remember that every action – however big or small you may feel it is – can help make our planet a cleaner, greener place.