Going Green In 2020
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and worried by bleak statistics of global pollution and climate change but while the younger generation will be most impacted by the situation, there’s no reason why all of us shouldn’t start to lead a greener lifestyle too.
Here are some simple steps we can all take:
- Nearly every single piece of plastic we have used in our life still exists somewhere on the planet – including your toothbrush. So, start at home by swapping plastic bottles for soap and shampoo bars, plastic cotton buds for biodegradable ones, using recycled toilet paper, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable cleansing cloths. Use biodegradable cleaning materials such as vinegar and baking soda.
- The clothing industry uses huge amounts of non-renewable resources and belches out toxic chemicals into the environment during the manufacturing process so rather than keep buying new (often very cheaply made) clothes, make the most of those you already have (or buy from charity shops) which can then be repaired, upcycled and re-worn.
- We are using 86% fewer disposable carrier bags now, since the charge was introduced; the next step is to swap the single-use non-recyclable polythene bags for packaging loose fruits and vegetables at the supermarket for reusable, washable cotton or muslin bags.
- Most of our meals come from a minimum of 1,500 miles away so switch to buying locally produced, seasonal food and support smaller, artisan producers in your area.
Cutting out (or down) meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Swap two meat meals a week for vegetarian or vegan ones and use the money you’ve saved on buying better quality, free range or organic meat for the carnivorous meals you do choose to eat.
- Council recycling schemes have made it easier than ever to do our bit for the environment so make sure you put the correct waste in the right bins, or ask someone to help you.
- Switching your energy tariff is simple and can often save you money (many suppliers even have a green tariff) while turning the dial down on your washing machine to 30 degrees can also reduce your monthly bills and help the environment. Try replacing old light bulbs with more energy efficient CFLs.
- Grow your own vegetables; you don’t need much space and using containers or building a raised vegetable patch can make the task simpler. It’s also a great way to get outside and benefit from some much-needed Vitamin D. Buy a compost bin or create a compost heap in the garden, and you can dispose of all your organic waste here rather than sending it to landfill.
- Woodland burial, also known as green burial or natural burial is becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional burials and cremation. Taking place in natural burial grounds, or designated woodland burial sites in larger cemeteries, a biodegradable coffin or casket is used, usually made out of recycled paper, wicker or willow – and many woodland burials are not marked with a headstone but simply identified by a tree or flowers.
Going green and making these switches can be especially rewarding for elderly people because it can be a really positive focus, even becoming a fun hobby. Good luck with your eco-friendly journey!
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