There is a lot of information out there on how we can reduce our carbon footprint; as individuals, we can make a significant contribution to the wave of people cutting their gas emissions by taking actions like reducing single-use plastic, using energy-efficient light bulbs, recycling, using the car less or cutting out meat.
But if you are already walking to work, carrying a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and tote or taking your food to work or school. In that case, you might begin to wonder what else you could be doing to further become eco friendly and reduce your impact on the environment.
This blog will suggest ways to help the environment that you might not know or may even find surprising. Read on for our unexpected tips on what you can do to have a big impact on climate change.
Surprising Ways To Support The Environment In Your Home And Garden
Install Remote Control Sockets
We all know that leaving lights or appliances on uses energy and increases our carbon emissions and our electricity bill, but remembering to turn everything off can easily slip our minds or become a chore.
Installing remote control sockets is not only an efficient way to turn off all of your electronics, but it will also save energy, money and effort. Making switching off easy and fun also means you are more likely to do it—a win-win situation.
Clear Out Your Inbox
Did you know that each email in your inbox emits 10 grams of carbon dioxide? Servers that hold your e-mail are always on, looking after all of your e-mails, continually emitting carbon. Consider all of the e-mails that have been piling up in your inbox. Clearing your inbox would save you carbon, but it will also clear your mind and simplify your e-mails.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
Water is essential for all living things, yet climate change and plastic pollution wreaks havoc on our rivers and seas. You can do several things to help maintain our rivers and streams clean and flowing, but an important one is to use natural cleaning products.
Using eco-friendly cleaning products eliminates the risk of harmful chemicals being released into our waterways which damage the ecosystem and upset the natural balance.
Stop Using Pesticides In The Garden
Cut down, or preferably stop, your use of herbicides and pesticides in your garden. These chemicals kill butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects, such as ladybirds, beetles and spiders – the natural enemies of your garden pests.
Pesticides are toxic chemicals that easily contaminate the air, soil, and water systems even when only used in certain areas of your garden and significantly impact our natural ecosystem.
You can research alternative ways to repel pests, like companion planting, natural, organic or homemade deterrents. The wildlife in your garden will thank you.
Plant Your Garden With Pollinator Friendly Plants
Pollination is a necessary ecological function for survival. The human race and all of Earth's terrestrial ecosystems would perish if pollinators were not there. Almost all of the 1,400 crop species planted throughout the world, which provide all of our food and plant-based industrial products, require insect or animal pollination.
Help butterflies, moths and other pollinators without breaking the bank by adding a container of nectar plants to your doorstep, balcony or back garden this spring.
Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Clean
You can make your fridge or freezer more energy-efficient, making them use less energy by ensuring the coils at the back are free from dust build-up.
When dust gathers on the condenser coils, it means your fridge or freezer has to work a lot harder, meaning more energy is consumed and higher electricity costs for you.
The good news is that this isn’t a weekly task; about every 3 months is fine for most households - though if you have pets that shed a lot, you may need to clean monthly.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint While Doing The Laundry
There are a number of ways you can reduce your energy consumption when you wash your clothes:
Make sure your washing machine is full, don’t wash small loads.
If they aren’t heavily soiled, wash your clothes using cold water — this saves energy money and reduces the number of microfibres that synthetic fabrics produce.
Air dry your clothes using a washing line outside, or an indoor clothes rack whenever possible. Not using a tumble dryer will undoubtedly reduce energy consumption.
Skip pre-wash or extra rinse cycles.
Following these simple tips will reduce your laundry carbon footprint one load at a time.
Unexpected Individual Ways To Support The Environment
Use Cold Water To Wash Your Hands
This may sound unusual, but washing your hands with cold water saves energy as the water doesn’t need to be heated.
Washing your hands with cold water is actually just as effective at removing germs as warm water. The key thing that determines handwashing effectiveness isn’t the temperature of the water but the length of time spent washing. So you can save energy every time you wash your hands by making this change.
Surprisingly, driving at 50mph uses 25% less fuel than 70mph, so driving more slowly will cut your use of fossil fuels by a quarter.
You can also reduce your fuel emissions by driving more smoothly, avoiding sudden braking or suddenly accelerating.
Taking heavy extras like roof racks, tow bars or bull bars off your car when they are not in use will also affect your fuel consumption.
Donate Your Glasses
Donate your old glasses and sunglasses or reuse the frames yourself when getting a new prescription/look — this reduces waste and/or supplies glasses to those in need in other countries. This also decreases the production of new glasses, with all the associated greenhouse emissions.
Use An Environmentally Friendly Search Engine
Did you know there is an environmentally friendly search engine? There is! Ecosia is an environmentally conscious search engine. All their servers are powered by 100% renewables, and they plant trees as you search the web. They have an app you can download onto your phone from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. They have a chrome extension to add to your web browser. This small change can make a significant impact. Think of all those trees being planted by you just surfing the internet.
Use Your Voice To Speak Up About Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As the first generation to really know the effect we are having on the planet, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to speak up for the environment. We can be the changemakers.
Speaking out is one of the most powerful things you can do, especially if it’s to the right people. Talking to your MP’s and Councillors and asking them to commit to action can be very impactful. They will be obliged to act if enough people speak.
Contact the brands you buy from and get them to be transparent about how their products are sourced. Use social media – this is one of the most effective ways to get brands to listen to you, so tell them that you want a change.
Many voices saying the same thing to policymakers and commercial brands will effect change.
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