Britain’s eccentric eco habits revealed

We all know that recycling, flying less and going vegetarian can reduce our environmental impact, but now a new survey has revealed the stranger side of going green.

Making wildflower seed bombs, ditching lawnmowers for Poldark-style scythes and eating less baked beans to limit personal emissions are all changes Brits are making for the planet, according to a poll carried out by renewable energy company Good Energy.

David Brooks, managing director of Good Energy said: “It’s fascinating to uncover the lesser-known ways that the British public are doing their bit for the environment.

“Driving less or switching to renewable electricity are now common knowledge, but this survey shows that there are plenty of other, and sometimes unusual ways, of being greener.”

The 100% renewable electricity and green gas firm found other unusual practices included not showering, booking a plot at a natural burial site and not using toilet paper.

Mike Childs from environmental charity Friends of the Earth said: “As experienced environmental campaigners we have seen plenty of fantastic ideas from people eager to make small but meaningful changes, and the British public continue to be full of surprises.

“It would certainly make for an interesting summer to see Aidan Turner lookalikes practising their scything skills in gardens from Cornwall to Carlisle.”

“A lot of the suggestions have multiple benefits: cycling and walking make you feel good, and by saving a short car trip it’s a meaningful way of reducing air pollution.”

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that the most popular green changes for 2016 were saving energy at home; cycling and walking instead of driving; reducing, reusing and recycling and buying locally.

Notes to editors:

  • Good Energy asked 2,078 UK adults: ‘What green change are you making for the planet in 2016?’ as part of a competition to win tickets to Friends of the Earth’s Basecamp
  • The top unusual answers, selected by Good Energy, were:
    • Making wildflower seed bombs
    • Using a scythe instead of a lawnmower
    • Eating less baked beans to reduce personal methane emissions
    • Not using toilet paper
    • Stopping showering at all
    • Booking a plot at a natural burial site
    • Improving swimming skills to spend more time in the water instead of consuming
    • Telling teenage children that too long in the shower is bad for their skin
    • Not having kids to stop consuming more of the world’s resources
    • Having an eco-friendly wedding
  • The most popular answers were saving energy at home (15%), cycling/walking more (13%), reducing/reusing/recycling (9%), driving less (8%) and buying local (7%).

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