There are so many articles and news stories around the Internet right now about environmental issues and all the things that we should all be doing to treat our planet better with our everyday behaviours and live a more sustainable life. It can be hard to wrap your head around which things to pursue with so much noise, it feels like there are so many challenges to overcome!
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Read on for our hour-by-hour breakdown of how you can make your daily life more sustainable and eco-friendly.
7:00 – The sustainable bathroom
The alarm goes off. You drag yourself out of the warm haven that is your duvet and make it to the bathroom – where there are so many ways you can make your routine more sustainable!
Saving the ocean by going plastic-free? Great, there’s a bamboo toothbrush for that. You can reduce the amount of plastic on your bathroom shelves too by switching out your shampoo for a hair cleansing soap bar, or buying products that come in glass bottles (including everything from moisturiser to mouthwash).
8:00 – The eco-friendly commuter
There are so many ways you can get to work in a more eco-friendly way. Car-bound commuters in the UK lost, on average, more than a day sat in congestion in 2017, but a bike could have you flying past these individuals, with the bonus side-effect of boosting your health. Using the bus or train reduces your carbon footprint too. If you do need to drive, electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming a more realistic option for many.
9:00 – The waste-free coffee
You didn’t have time for breakfast, but you did remember your reusable cup, so you can get a coffee (and a pastry, it’s alright, you’re going to the gym later…) just before you get into work. Many nationwide chains and smaller, local coffee shops offer a discount now if you bring in your own reusable cup, which is great as you save money whilst reducing waste output! There are many reusable cups available on the market now, including options made of glass, and others that are collapsible so you can always have one ready for impulse buys.
10:00 – The end of the office thermostat war
Why bicker with your officemates over the temperature of the office and the fact that Karen’s always cold when Gavin’s too hot when you could all just be wearing appropriate layers? As many penny-watching parents are fond of saying – put a jumper on!
11:00 – The sustainable snack
That pastry feels a long time ago now. Hmmm, how to be eco-friendly about elevenses? You make a cup of tea, using loose leaf tea as many teabags contain plastic, which means they aren’t fully biodegradable even if you do put them in the compost bin. Instead of a biscuit, you have a healthy fruit snack, grown locally – good for you, good for the environment.
12:00 – The eco-friendly lunchbreak
You like to bring your own lunch to work, so have checked out eco-friendly transporting options, from metal lunchboxes to replace your Tupperware and beeswax paper as a substitute for cling film. On the days where you aren’t so prepared, you’ve found what options are available to you on your doorstop and know which of your nearest shops and restaurants source locally. Many supermarkets are looking to reduce plastic-waste going forward, but for now you remember to wash and recycle your pasta pots if you buy one.
13:00 – The force of nature
You notice it’s a windy day out and think that must be keeping the turbines on the nearest hillside busy. You causally mention this to your co-worker, who wonders whether your office gets their energy from a renewable supplier.
14:00 – The thermostat truce continues
You’ve all been feeling a bit warmer this afternoon. Someone suggests the air conditioning be turned on, but no, you say, I’ll open the window. We’ll get a nice breeze through.
15:00 – The paper cup foregoer
You’re feeling a bit dehydrated, which means it’s time to top up the reusable water bottle you keep on your desk. No paper or plastic cups from the water cooler for you!
16:00 – Environmentally planning ahead
You realise that you need a few extra ingredients for tonight’s dinner, and make a mental note to pass by the shop on your way home, instead of making another trip out in the car later. A win for the earth and your time management skills (plus you’ve got your canvas tote bag to take the shopping home in!)
17:00 – Sustainably shutting down
You used to leave your computer on overnight to save time waiting for it to boot up in the morning, but now you’ve realised the impact that has on the environment. Instead, you shut everything down properly before leaving, including remembering to switch off your PC screen.
18:00 – Supporting local farmers
You notice there’s a new product line in the supermarket featuring vegetables grown only a few miles away.
There’s not much difference in price, so you buy it knowing that the carbon footprint of this cucumber is better than that of those in the next box over, which have been imported all the way from Spain.
19:00 – The energy saving chef
You’ve checked out a few eco cooking tips that make your culinary efforts more energy efficient and are sure to remember them as you make dinner. You only boil as much water as is actually needed for your pasta, you keep the gas burning low with a lid on the pot, you don’t open the oven to check on things unless absolutely necessary so it doesn’t waste energy getting back up to temperature again.
20:00 – The cosy blanket
You’re not going to the gym, you knew that wouldn’t happen as soon as your partner arrived home with a bottle of Fairtrade wine. And it has been a long day, after all. Instead, after dinner, you get warm under the blanket you keep on the back of the sofa and pick up where your binge-watching left off.
21:00 – The efficient home
You get up to close the curtains to keep the heat in as it’s winter so, although the blanket is keeping you warm, the central heating has kicked in – you’re with a renewable energy supplier though, so you don’t feel too bad about it. You turn the lights on knowing they’re powered by sun, wind and rain, and the energy-saving bulb will make the most of it.
22:00 – A silent night
On your way to bed with a book, you make sure to turn off all the appliances that aren’t needed overnight. All the lights go off and nothing is left on standby.
You fall into a sustainable sleep.