Ways you can do your bit to help the planet…
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The 3 R’s – Jack Johnson even wrote a song for this years ago to help kids become more aware and get involved. Whenever possible: reduce your consumption of single-use plastics, reuse anything that can be used again ie. canvas shopping bags – even those plastic supermarket bags can be reused. If you’ve reduced and reused as much as you can, recycle it by throwing it in a recycling bin instead of the general waste bin.
Many plastics, cans and packagings can now be recycled but always check the label. An alternative to recycling is upcycling! This works when you can take an old item and give it a new life in the same form or as something different. For example, with an old dining chair give it a new lick of paint and make a nice padded seat with new fabric. Upcycling can be a lot of fun and will save you money on buying something new!
Cutting your carbon footprint
Every little really does help. By cutting your carbon footprint whenever possible you can help keep the air cleaner, especially in busy locations where children’s schools are located. Little Man’s primary school is based on a side road off one of London’s most busiest routes and the air pollution levels are concerning. Children dying from air pollution caused by car traffic emission is nothing new and should be a sign that something must be done in order to keep children safe.
Living in London this is easier to do than in rural areas. We can pretty much walk, ride or take public transport to pretty much anywhere we’d want to go. If the distance is short, swap the car for a good walk. Or hire a bike and get riding. The new cycle route is underway and will link up central London’s main roads to major cities like Greenwich, Woolwich, Lewisham.
Become more aware of the things you’re buying. Look at the packaging – is it recyclable or refillable? What about the product itself – has it been made in a sustainable way? Are the ingredients natural or synthetic? Have the materials been sourced and farmed responsibly and/or sustainably? These are all questions you should think of when buying something.
Household brands are also getting more involved in the cleaner, greener approach. KINN Living cleaning products use natural and organic essential oils to power their products instead of chemical nasties. They work pretty good too, I can vouch for that personally! Beauty brands are becoming more aware of the synthetic fillers and bulkers they add in their formulations and have now reduced or completely cut it out. You can find green beauty, hair and skincare brands online. Love Lula is great for finding organic and natural brands and Look Fantastic has a decent collection too.
Look Fantastic have also gone one step further and launched their new eco-beauty recycling scheme where you can send all of your used plastic beauty, skin and hair packaging back to them so they can recycle it for free. All you have to do is make sure the packaging (plastic only!) is clean with no residue left inside and sign up for a free returns bag for you to place your empties into. Look Fantastic will recycle the packaging on your behalf. Best thing of all? It doesn’t have to be just products you’ve purchased from them, it’s ALL of your beauty plastics!
Retail and fashion brands are onto creating sustainable clothing too. Mountain Warehouse have launched a new organic cotton collection which features super soft cotton clothing that’s both sourced and farmed sustainably. They also have a recycled collection where previous plastics and recycled materials have been given a new lease of life in clothing. H&M’s Conscious collection has been around for many years and has always been a great choice for me. Their products also feature organic cotton and now include a portion of recycled materials into their clothing. The best thing is that unlike some brands, there’s not a massive difference in price to buy from the conscious range – how it should be! We shouldn’t have to pay more to wear recycled clothing.
Turn off that… tap / light / heating
We all do it. We leave the tap on when we’re brushing our teeth or washing the dishes. We leave the lights on when we leave the house for a couple hours or throughout the night. Or we leave the heating on full blast during the colder days and forget to turn it off in the summer. It happens. But we know it happens so let’s try and do something about it.
Swapping baths for showers can save you a load of water and even just switching the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth can make a difference to your water consumption which also saves you on your water and energy bills. Switching to energy-saving bulbs is also a no-brainer and if you remind yourself to turn off the lights as you leave the house, that can save you a little more. For heating, use your thermostat settings and instead of having the heating on constant, set times of when you’re more likely to need it on. On thermostats you can even set the temperature so they heating needn’t be on full blast.
For more info on Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org