A man in a blue shirt is washing up in a campervan opposite a window. There is a woman who is smiling from the other side of the window at the man washing up.

10 things you can do that will help protect our planet

There are a number of actions you can take every single day to make a difference… 

Are you thinking you’d like to do your bit for Earth, some things that will help save our planet? There are some easy changes that are eco-friendly to consider if you’re not sure where to go beyond doing your recycling and trying not to buy fast fashion.  

It’s the little things that count, and the more people that do them, the bigger an impact those things have. Obviously cutting out flying, or ditching the car for a bicycle would be great, but we also need to be realistic. Here are 10 things you can do towards saving our planet that are easy to follow and no big deal to commit to.

Let the washing up wait  

Putting on a half-full dishwasher load is a waste of energy and water. Wait a little bit and put it on when it’s full. Use an environmentally-sound tabs company, such as Smol, and for those bits you need right now, try just giving them a quick hand wash. Which brings us to the next point… 

Have a washing up bowl in the sink  

 Are you one of those people who do their washing up under running water? Save water, and money on your water bills, by filling up the washing up bowl to get through the dirty dishes. Best case scenario, to ensure your crockery and cutlery is nice and clean; wash up in a washing up bowl or sink full of water, and then rinse in another bowl of clean, hot water. This might be teaching you to suck eggs, but it’s easy to forget. And keep an eye out for your washing up liquid. Is it damaging to the environment? Make the switch. Pension buddy adverti

Whilst we’re talking about water… 

 Sometimes a long relaxing bath is absolutely what you need, but for regular washing, showering is far better for the environment. A bath can use up to 80 litres, whereas a shower lasting up to five minutes uses less than half that amount. And arguably, you don’t need to shower every day either, unless you’ve been exerting yourself or getting actually dirty!  

 As well as your washing water, have a think about your loo. Do you really need to flush it every time? If it’s just a ‘number one’, the answer is probably not – a modern UK toilet can use around three litres for a short flush and six for a full flush. If you’ve got an older loo, consider sticking a brick in the water cistern so it doesn’t hold so much water. An older loo can use up to 13 litres of water for every flush. 

Don’t mow the lawn 

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to avoid mowing the lawn, then here it is! Not mowing your lawn, and instead leaving it to grow a little wild will provide the perfect environment for bees and other ecosystems to thrive. 

If you’re not keen on that idea, and you’re a lawn-proud sort of person, why not try just leaving one section of the lawn. A little corner maybe.  

To get started on, er, not starting the mowing, take part in No Mow May which will help boost spring flora and fauna that are perfect pollinator food. 

Read more about Easy Gardening this Spring

Eat less meat  

Steaks are delicious, we know. But having less meat in your diet not only helps keep you healthy, it also has an overwhelmingly positive impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Studies show that ‘If each country was to adopt a sustainable diet (i.e. follow their country’s recommended dietary guidelines, which results in Western nations reducing their meat consumption and increasing consumption of plants), this would reduce the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 30%’.  

There is a plethora of alternative options available to eat these days. Maybe start off by trying ‘Meat Free Monday’ and see how you go. If you decide you can’t forego your meaty meals, look to step away from mass-produced, intensively-farmed cheap meat, and buy from local farmers and producers. Not only is it kinder to the planet, and MUCH kinder to the animals, it’ll taste a lot better. 

Pension Buddy AdvertSwitch to a green tariff 

It’s as easy as a couple phone calls and visiting a couple websites. You can do it from the sofa. Switching to a green tariff has heaps of positive impacts on the environment 

There are lots of companies that provide clean energy as renewable energy suppliers like Octopus, Bulb Energy, OVO Energy, Pure Planet, and many more.  

Try carpooling  

We get it, you can’t always walk or bike somewhere, and for a lot of people, public transport is a nightmare. 

But there is another alternative. Why not try carpooling. Cut your CO2 emissions by sharing journeys with other people. To get started, have a look at BlaBlaCar where you can find people who’re going to the same places as you. Sharing lifts will help reduce air pollution, reduce emissions, petrol consumption, and parking costs. And who knows, you might even make some new friends. 

Use reusable shopping bags  

It’s estimated that globally, we use a terrifying 5 trillion plastic bags each year, producing a whopping 160,000 per second. The worst part is that only an estimated 1% of those get recycled.  

We all know we should be taking our own reusable bags or baskets to the shops. This is just a reminder, and a look at the still-stark statistics.  

A woman is picking up litter, she is putting a plastic bottle into a bin bag whilst outdoors. Join a local clean-up crew 

Joining a local clean-up meet is a really nice way to get involved. You’ll help restore littered environments, help get rubbish to the right places, e.g. bits that need to be recycled and so on. You’ll get out and about, and meet likeminded people. 

Have a look for a meetup near you, and if there isn’t one, why not have a go at organising one yourself? Facebook can be a great way to create a group and spread the word. If you prefer to avoid social media, contact your local environmental agency or organisations, who will no doubt be thrilled to help you organise something. 

Support local farms  

Whilst it can be expensive to shop local, the positives are that you get tastier food, and you reduce your CO2 emissions. Plus you’re supporting independent producers and farmers. Shopping local not only helps your community and independent businesses, it’s also way more eco-friendly. 

These are all quite simple things but if lots of people do them, it can make a real difference.  

We’re not going to change the world overnight, but this little list of 10 things you can do towards saving our planet can have a positive impact. Spread the word!

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Lili Lowe

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