You can make 2018 your most eco-friendly year yet — and you don’t even have to sell your house, move into a solar-powered RV and live “off-the-grid.” Follow one of these steps each month, and you’ll know you’re doing your part to save the planet.
1. Join the Meat Free Monday brigade
It’s an easy way to do your bit each week while also practising your cooking skills and getting experimental. There are loads of great recipes on the Meat Free Monday site to help get you inspired.
2. Cut down on your energy usage, effortlessly!
If you want to be eco-friendlier but are lacking the motivation — perhaps money will incentivise you.
Turning your heating down by just 1°C could save you an incredible £85 a year! Now that’s definitely worth doing.
3. Use the dishwasher
Now this one’s a welcome surprise – turns out the dishwasher is actually more environmentally friendly than washing dishes by hand — who’d have thought it?
Just make sure it’s full before you put it on.
4. Ditch the tumble drier
Sorry folks, but if you really want to save on electricity and be more environmentally friendly, you’re going to have to ditch the tumble drier.
Get yourself a washing line hung up in the utility room or even over the bath, and you’ll be able to air-dry laundry all year round.
5. How to be eco-friendlier when food shopping
Plastic. We all know it’s bad, yet we continue to load our shopping trollies up with the stuff during every weekly shop.
Next time you’re at the supermarket, pick loose produce wherever possible and don’t bother with a plastic bag at all.
6. Sip without a straw
Single-use straws are extremely bad for the environment. If you want to be eco-friendlier when sipping on your favourite cocktail, opt for a metal or paper straw.
Or, better still, ditch the straw completely!
7. Try a charity shop
Charity shops — once you’ve tried them, you won’t go back. Not only are they an extremely cheap way of kitting yourself out, but they save perfectly good clothes from going to waste.
Benefits for you and our lovely planet too.
8. Slash your shower time
How long is your average shower? Five minutes? Seven at a push?
The average shower in the UK is actually a rather shocking nine minutes and makes up around 12% of our total water usage. Cut yours down today to see a reduction in your water bill — and be more environmentally-friendly too.
9. Air dry your hair
Do you really need to use a hair dryer? Air-drying is not only better for the environment, but better for your hair too.
The heat will dry out your hair and leave it looking frazzled and split over time.
10. Why it’s better to walk
Have you checked your step count recently? The recommended daily amount is 10,000 steps.
If that’s not incentive enough to walk into town as opposed to hopping in the car, think of all the good you’ll be doing the environment. Fewer cars = less CO2 emissions = a happier planet.
11. Bring your own coffee cup
Got a bit of a take-out coffee habit? In Britain, we drink more than eight million takeaway coffees every day! Just imagine all those empty coffee cups…
An easy way to be eco-friendlier every day is to get a reusable coffee cup. This will help reduce your carbon footprint, and could also save you money. Also most coffee shops now offer a discount when you bring your own mug.
It’s a win-win.
12. Water plants in the morning or evening
When it comes to saving the planet, every little helps.
Even the way you water your plants can have an impact on your carbon footprint. For best results, water them first thing in the morning or late in the evening to prevent water loss via evaporation.
13. Meal planning
If you don’t meal plan, it’s high time you started.
Meal planning not only makes life much more convenient but is also likely to save you money and reduce food waste. What are you waiting for?
14. How to travel sustainably
Time to dust off your old bike and get yourself back out on two wheels again. There’s something so satisfying about feeling the wind blowing through your hair.
Get an adrenaline rush and reduce carbon emissions by hopping on your bike instead of in the car for your next short trip.
15. Why bags for life are the best
There was reasoning behind that 5p plastic bag levy — our usage of them has dropped by more than 85% since its introduction! Pretty impressive, huh?
If you’re still yet to get on board, now’s your chance. Investing in a lovely bag for life is an easy way to reduce waste every time you shop.
16. Try natural cleaning
We’re big into natural cleaning at Expert Home Tips. Not only is it often much cheaper, but it also prevents harsh chemicals in standard cleaning products from making their way into rivers and streams.
Make 2018 the year you give natural cleaning a go.
17. Learn to sew
Whether you’re a seamstress or not, having a few basic sewing skills is always a good idea.
Simple repair techniques will mean you can prolong the life of your clothes, reduce waste, and buy less.
18. The cotton bud dilemma
Believe it or not, there’s a whole website dedicated to ending plastic cotton bud pollution: Switch The Stick.
The problem with cotton buds is not just that they’re made of plastic — it’s their size. They’re small enough to slip through sewage filters, which explains why they make up over 60% of beach litter.
It’s time for you to switch the stick too! Make 2018 a year of paper-only cotton buds.
19. Save your gift bags and paper for later
There’s no doubt that wrapping paper looks pretty, but it can be such a waste. All that paper for just a few minutes of pleasure!
If you still want your presents to look pretty without impacting on the environment, save your paper and bags from gifts you receive.
If you open presents carefully enough, nine times out of 10 the paper will still be useable thereafter.
20. Use eco-friendly lighting
Make a vow that every time a bulb goes bad in 2018, you’ll replace it with an eco-friendly alternative.
These use less electricity, so you’ll be saving on your bills too.
21. Switch to paperless bills
Speaking of bills, an easy change to make to reduce your carbon footprint is switching to online bills.
If you’re unsure how to do this, your bank, electricity supplier and other providers will be more than happy to assist you.
22. Consider carpooling
Some days it’s nice to sit back, and let someone else do the driving. That’s where carpooling comes in.
Why not have a chat with some of your colleagues and see if you can alternate the drive in to work? You’ll save on petrol and reduce both of your environmental impacts too.
23. Turn off the electric (at the sockets)
Turning off your computer and unplugging your phone is all well and good, but if they’re still plugged in at the sockets, electricity will continue to travel along the wires.
Turn your electrics off at the wall to prevent them from using juice when they’re not in use.
24. Don’t just recycle, recycle well!
Already recycle? Great stuff! However, did you know, if you’re not recycling properly, it could ruin all your efforts.
This year, make a vow to recycle as best you can. Ensure all your plastics, tin, paper and whatever else go in the right bin to ensure they can be successfully turned into something new.
25. Eat raw
No, I’m not talking grass. Believe it or not, raw meals can actually be extremely delicious.
With no energy involved in the cooking process, and the use of only fruit and vegetables, raw meals are seriously eco-friendly.
26. How to be eco-friendlier at lunchtime
Packed lunches may be convenient, but the packaging seems such a waste when you could make it without at home.
A few days a week (or every day, if you can), take your own sandwich into work. Pop it into a reusable plastic bag, and you’ll do both your wallet and the planet a favour.
27. Wash on 30°C
Did you know, most detergents are now so powerful that you really needn’t wash any higher than 30°C, especially for standard cloth-washes.
Wash at 30° and use around 40% less electricity than washing at 60°C.
28. Skip the supermarket!
The average item of fresh food travels an incredible 1,500 miles to get to our dinner table.
Shopping locally, at farmer’s markets or local greengrocer’s, is a much more environmentally friendly way of shopping. Not to mention how much better fresh produce tastes.
29. Print on both sides
Reducing your carbon footprint can be so simple.
Small things, like printing on both sides of the paper, will all help to reduce your resource-usage.
30. Take the bus
When was the last time you got on a bus? Relive your teenage years, and go by bus not car next time you’re popping into town.
You’ll save on parking, stress and do the environment some good too.
31. Start a compost heap
Remember, you don’t have to rearrange your entire life to go green. Think about your everyday habits – and follow these steps to change them for the better.