Eco-Friendly Living: How to Create a Sustainable Life at Home
The climate crisis is worsening, as the effects of carbon emissions begin to affect weather patterns sooner than expected – and much closer to home than expected. UK heatwaves are anticipated to increase in severity, as regions of Europe already begin to suffer from volatile temperature increases.
The effect of man-made pollution is now inarguable, and more and more people are aware of their own contributions to climate change – leading to a grassroots revolution in sustainability. Many are making profound lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon footprint; what could you do in order to lead a more sustainable life?
Reject Fast Fashion
The fast fashion industry has a significant impact on global greenhouse emissions, and one which is exacerbated by consumer trends. The relentless appetite for buying into the next fashion trend, and the subsequent rejection of clothes from previous trends, has led to UK consumers throwing away more than 10,000 items every five minutes – equal to £140 million in clothing a year.
Rather than buying into new trends, and the incredible industrial effort behind the mass production of cheap clothing items, try buying higher-quality items from independent brands on a less frequent basis. These clothes will last longer than the vast majority of cheaply made high street items, and will come with less environmental baggage at the checkout. If you choose the right styles, they could also encourage you to buy less fashion items overall.
Use Your Car Less
If you are part of a motoring household, your car is likely the single biggest contributor to your personal carbon footprint. Reducing your reliance on your car should be a priority, where public transport is a much greener option – and self-powered transport such as biking greener still.
You may need your car for certain essential trips, but you should nonetheless ask yourself if it is truly necessary to use it for each and every trip. It may be possible to save money as well as the environment, by cancelling your insurance policy and only taking out temporary insurance when you need to drive. This can incentivise seeking out greener methods of transport and could even eventually lead to you selling your car.
Your wider retail habits can also be altered with sustainability in mind; shopping locally means you can avoid the air miles and associated carbon cost of supermarket and chain store goods. Rather than regularly buying supermarket meats that have travelled all over, you could seek out a local butcher – ensuring your meats are locally sourced, and with minimal carbon footprint attached.
The same can be said of greengrocers, fishmongers and all manner of small businesses. There are some useful online tools you can use to find local and independent shops, which enable you to shop more independently and reduce your emissions liability in the process.
Invest in Eco-Friendly Appliances
Electrical appliances present a unique ecological burden, being difficult to sustainably dispose of. However, there are repair and recycle initiatives that ensure old appliances don’t go to landfill – enabling you to invest in updated, eco-friendly electrical goods that use less energy to provide the same modern convenience.