It’s no secret that our planet is struggling. High populations combined with high consumption levels mean that the ice caps are melting, the global temperature is rising, weather is getting more extreme, our seas are filling up with plastic, and our forests are being chopped down at an alarming rate.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. While all governments and countries need to start making big changes, each and every one of us can make small eco-friendly tweaks to our everyday lives in a bid to help the planet.
To help get you started, here are 5 easy eco-friendly changes you make today.
1) Ditch takeaway coffee cups
Although takeaway coffee cups look like cardboard, they’re coated in a plastic wax that sadly makes them unrecyclable. This means every time you grab a latte to go, you’re adding more waste to the already mountainous landfills across the world. In the UK alone, it is estimated that we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every single day.
Thankfully, most, if not all, coffee shops will let you use your own reusable travel mug — and many will reward you with money off or even a free drink for doing so. Travel mugs come in a wide range of colours, styles, and materials, and most are dishwasher proof and can be picked up in any supermarket or homeware store.
So grab a reusable mug and enjoy your morning coffee guilt-free.
2) Tote around a tote
Since the UK introduced a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags in 2015, our plastic bag usage has dropped by a massive 85% — which is incredible! But there’s still more work to be done.
Instead of stockpiling Bags for Life (which, sadly, rarely last ‘for life), invest in a stylish tote bag. Not only are they easier to carry than shopping bags, but they’re also much stronger than even the sturdiest of plastic bags.
3) Get friendly with your local charity shop
Shopping on the high street might be cheap and convenient, but the cost of fast fashion on the environment is huge. Not only are the materials and dyes used in most high street clothes bad for the environment (polyester, for example, sheds non-biodegradable microfibres into the water systems which can be dangerous to aquatic life), but fast fashion also leads to a huge amount of textile waste.
Moving away from fast fashion can be hard, however, particularly if you don’t have a lot of disposable income. More ethical fashion brands tend to be much more expensive and tricky to get hold of.
Luckily, the UK is filled with hundreds of unique charity shops which can be full of gems for even the most fashion conscious person. So, next time you need a new pair of jeans or fancy a new jumper, skip Topshop and head straight to your local charity shop. Not only will you save money and help the environment, but you’ll also be contributing to a good cause.
4) Scrap the chemicals
Most household cleaners are full of chemicals which are not only bad for the environment, but could also be bad for you.
Fortunately, most stubborn stains and grease can be lifted with some combination of vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda, all of which can be picked up cheaply from your local supermarket and are much gentler on you and the environment. So, instead of reaching for the Detol, make your own cleaning supplies.
5) Be paper savvy
Although we live in a largely digital world, many of us still rely on paper-based systems at least some of the time. But your notebook addiction doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Here at Dingbats, all of our notebooks are green so you can bullet journal and plan to your heart’s content without damaging the environment. All of the materials used in our notebooks are 100% vegan, and are manufactured in ‘green’ factories where water and air emissions are strictly controlled.
What’s more, our notebook covers are made of degradable faux leather, rather than the toxic PVC used by most notebook manufacturers, and our paper is FSC certified, which means that every tree harvested to make our notebooks is replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.