With global warming making this one of the stormiest and most turbulent winters in recent memory, and 2016 predicted to be the warmest year on record, we all want to do whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help transform the world into a greener place.
Most of us are aware of the importance of reusing, reducing and recycling, but there are still so many more things we can do to save the planet, and some of these things may surprise you! We look at some of the most surprising and effective ways to go green in 2016.
1 – Fly in a private jet
Aviation and environmentalism don’t traditionally go hand in hand. Air travel is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide in the world. But flying private, if you do it right, is one way to take to the skies without destroying the Earth. Environmentally-conscious private jet company Bespoke Air Charter discuss the various ways to be green and fly private, looking at how the aviation industry it doing their part.
They point to how a private jet user can make sure they are flying in a newly-developed ultra-efficient plane, like the Dassault Falcon 5X or Citation CJ2+. These planes have better engines that use less fuel, and their wings allow for higher lift, meaning the engines do less of the work, lowering carbon emissions even further.
Because of the customisation and freedom of choice offered when flying in a private jet, you will also be able to make sure your jet uses sustainable fuels for an even greener airborne experience.
For eco-conscious flyers who can afford it, taking a private jet is a no-brainer.
2 – Keep using products that are bad for the environment
If you have decided that 2016 will be the year you fully commit to using eco-friendly alternatives to your household products, you might want to hold off making the switch immediately. Though the decision to switch to environmentally friendly products in every corner of your home is a big one, throwing away all your toothpaste, body lotion, washing up liquid, shampoo and whatever else and rushing out to the shops to buy sustainable versions could actually do more harm than good.
The folks at Tree Hugga talk about this frequently. For example, in this post about buying eco-friendly clothing, Kim Davies says throwing out your old wardrobe and replacing it with a new, entirely organic wardrobe is wasteful, and actually harming the environment more than helping it. The same principle applies to every harmful product. The fact that you have already purchased it means that using it up before replacing it is the more eco-friendly approach.
3 – Have a green funeral
We hope none of your loved ones pass away in 2016, and when a friend or family member dies, the environment is understandably not always the biggest thing on your mind. Still, funerals are often surprisingly wasteful, so it might be worth making sure you are know how to arrange one that will not damage the environment if the worst happens.
Good Funeral Guide lays down the basic principles of a green funeral in this article on green funeral basics. Their approach has a lot to do with the spiritual aspect of becoming one with nature. If this is important to you, a green funeral is a must. But even if your green views are more about practical preservation than spiritual connection, a green funeral can still be the way to go.
The Green Burial Council in the USA outlines the problems with traditional funerals on their website. Put simply, traditional funerals waste a lot of raw materials and energy. Gravestones are manufactured and transported in unsustainable ways, so green funerals do not have them. The same goes for most coffins. For a list of GBC-certified funeral materials and practices, see their certified green products section.