Ten ways you can help save the planet
So you want to save the planet but can't quite afford that Tesla. We hear you.
It's no easy feat and sometimes the odds/cost looks stacked against us, however one step at a time, little by little, we can all make a change for good.
Now obviously, there are far more than just ten things everyone can do, but if you're on a budget and are not sure where to start. read on.
Use what you have
Let’s start with the easiest of all the zero waste suggestions. We firmly believe that it’s the most sustainable and almost essential, to use what you already have in your home - whatever that may be - before you go and buy an eco friendly alternative.
For example those multiple bottles of moisturiser that are so easy to collect over the years - even if they’re in plastic bottles, it’s better to use those up (as they’ve already taken up some of the Earth’s resources) before buying a plastic free moisturiser in glass.
Another example is using old clothing as rags for cleaning. While the eco sponges we sell look super snazzy, you can use old clothing to clean spillages or windows before switching to a bought sustainable alternative.
It’s no secret that we’re huge ambassadors for TreeApp. They are doing incredible things to tackle climate change.
This simple download (for free!) allows you to plant a tree every day in different locations. All under one minute!
They work with various NGO partners around the world to help support livelihoods and the reforestation of areas that need it most.
Every day you can discover different sponsors all with the same eco-friendly message in mind. Whether it’s plastic free shops like us or vegan wellness or even mindfully curated pieces of art - all of the companies have the planet in mind.
Since twinning up with them in May 2020 as a shop we’ve planted over 1,100 trees and have personally planted over 500!
You can read more and download the app via thetreeapp.org
Walk instead of drive
Alright, we know this may not always be possible (we live in the middle of nowhere), but where possible, opting for public transport or walking rather than getting in the car is much better for you and the environment.
You might have to factor in more time, but now spring and summer are around the corner you will boost your vitamin D intake as well as boosting your levels of serotonin and making you a healthier person! Plus, no more carbon emissions.
Win win win.
You can even download apps like Strava to track your steps and see your progress or even earn points and prizes for your steps with apps like Sweatcoin. These can then be turned into discounts for different items or vouchers!
The UK lockdowns have seen a huge increase in houseplant ownership. So why not save water for your plant babies by placing a bucket or old jars in your shower? Reduce, reuse, refill!
Once cooled these can then be used as plant water! In this same vein, the water you boil your veggies in is also super nutritious as all the goodness ends up in the water. Give your plants a nutrient boost by saving this and dishing it out when needed.
A quick tip on this, if you’re boiling broccoli, your plants will also end up smelling like broccoli as well so choose wisely!
Ok we should caveat this with - if you want to compost in a hot bin properly, this might set you back a fair whack for the bin itself.
However all hope is not lost if you’re doing this on a budget! There are easy to make DIY options or even the option to create a home-compost pile in a small corner of the garden.
Alternatively, saving those veggie scraps for your local curbside compost collection is a cheap and easy way to make sure nothing goes to waste. You can check out whether your council collects food waste via your local council website.
Use buy nothing/swap groups and apps
So after reusing, the next best zero waste trick is to see if there’s anything you can grab second-hand. Facebook buy-nothing groups and marketplace are amazing for picking up exactly what you need at a fraction of the price or for FREE!
We use a local free group and have swapped, picked up and given away some gems of items over the past year or so.
Olio is also a great option for picking up unwanted food items and even non-food items.
Volunteering for your local community is a great way to give back, not only to your area but to the planet too. Right now, there may not be these opportunities for big groups to get togeher but you can always go it alone!
Some local councils and charities allow you to borrow litter pickers. Grab those gardening gloves and a sweater and head out on your local walking route but give nature and wildlife a helping hand by picking up any discarded items.
"The RSPCA gets over 5000 calls a year for litter related problems harming wildlife. That’s roughly 14 calls a day! Plus 33% of litter comes from fast food." So you can also help the planet by switching to a healthier, home-made lunch rather than single-use packaged food that’s terrible for the environment.
Use your voice
Here are some of our favourite ways to use your voice to help the environment:
Write to your MPs outlining what you would like to see change
Blog/share/comment the ways you’re making a difference but also the difference you would like to see
Call out large companies and demand change
Start petitions, share and gain signatures to demand these changes
When safe to do so, attend rallies and peaceful demonstrations
By taking a stand and being heard, we can make the message louder and clearer for those who need to hear it.
Watch your shower length/shower over bathing
Alright, we’re back in the shower. Make sure you’re watching the time! We all know how easy it is to spend ten even twenty minutes in the shower when it’s warm inside and slightly chilly outside but all that water is being wasted (even if you’re collecting some in jars or buckets!).
“An ordinary shower uses more than 12 liters of water per minute. In other words, if you reduce your daily shower from 10 minutes to 5, you'll cut your water consumption with 22 thousand liters every year. For a family of four this would save more than 87 thousand liters of water a year.”
That’s a lot of water to save and carbon emissions with it!
Why not set a song to shower to, this way you'll know when you're nearing the end and when to wrap it up!
Have discussions with friends, family, your postman and anyone who will listen. Knowledge is power and the more you read and understand the better positioning you’ll have on planet-saving techniques and the impact they have.
For example, we had no idea the impact food waste was having and the effects of the greenhouse gasses as a result. Now, we make sure we use every scrap possible and have as little food waste as we can.
We also recently helped one of our youngest customers with their plastic free mission and circulated articles and videos to watch!
Here are some of our favourite documentaries:
2040: “2040 is a hybrid feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW! [It’s] a story of hope that looks at the very real possibility that humanity could reverse global warming and improve the lives of every living thing in the process. It is a positive vision of what ‘could be’, instead of the dystopian future we are so often presented.”
A Plastic Ocean: “Journalist Craig Leeson teams up with diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans.”
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things: “The Minimalists examine the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life.”
The last one is indirectly linked to the environment through getting into the mindset of less is more and only consuming what you really need but we’ve found it’s a been a game-changer for our low impact lifestyle!
So there are our top ten tips on how to save the planet. Please drop us a comment with your budget zero waste or plastic free tips below!
Thanks for reading!