Thinking generally, you could probably break your life down into a number of categories, this doesn’t stand the same for everyone, but helps to identify some main groups.
What many don’t realise is that when seeking ease and comfort, expenditure increases dramatically, but can in fact create less comfort in other areas of life. By thinking about how you consume, you cut out the need for relying heavily on others and also pressures in other areas of your life.
Print off as little as possible, back up files and keep them online, this reduces waste and saves time, money and trees.
By using a laptop this will also save more energy than using a desktop computer, however keep it energy efficient with continued maintenance.
Long hours in the library mean food cravings and coffee breaks…keep a flask on hand and think ahead with a packed lunch of Fairtrade treats.
Perhaps factor in some environmental issues, facts and figures into your studies, and spread the message to get everybody else on board. Many don’t realise the implications of long term habits until research is carried out which shows comparative figures, by researching into this, you can teach others to cut carbon footprints with the shock factor.
Offices chuck out so much waste, from paper, to ink cartridges, to electricity; however, with long term rules and habits set in place, it’s difficult to make change happen. Unfortunately, not everybody will be as environmentally focused as others; however it isn’t too hard do to just a little bit that will make a great difference…
Ensure your office uses recycled paper, and also recycle your paper and other waste. Make sure everyone switches off their computer at the end of the day, even at the wall, install energy efficient lights and use other energy efficient electrical items such as laptops and kettles.
Keeping healthy by getting up and about and cutting down on things like smoking, bad eating habits and generally being a couch potato, will help to put less pressure on your body and on healthcare services.
Many of us have been a bit guilty of slacking off or procrastinating with a hobby that keeps us happy, for instance, playing guitar, drawing or reading a book. If you’re into reading books, perhaps you can donate the ones that you have already read and have no future plans for, and switch to a hi-tech reading method such as using a kindle.
If you like to play guitar or the drums, keep it unplugged and use less electricity.
Go zero waste…reuse, make and mend, recycle, compost and give to others.
There are some really simple ways to cut down on energy usage at home, such as using a colder setting on your washing machine (30 degrees) and doing a large load on a quicker was, unless clothes are really soiled they shouldn’t need any longer than 30 minutes. Refrain from using a tumble dryer by hanging clothes outside or on a rack.
5 minutes in the shower will use around 25 – 30 litres of water. Keep shower time to a minimum and use a water efficient shower head and instantly save money on water bills.
Ensure your clothes suppliers practice fair trading and equal pay for workers, and buy second hand, pass it down or go to charity shops wherever possible http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
Get sturdy shoes made from natural materials, which will last a lifetime and when investing make up, make sure it is natural and kind to skin, but also not tested on animals.
We live in a luxury world where we can get our hands on almost anything we want throughout the year even if it isn’t in season, whether that’s strawberries, or coconut. Growing your own vegetables and fruits cuts out the carbon footprint of transporting veg and fruit from other countries and also cutting the costs that you would pay for the product itself if bought from a store. A big plus is knowing that unwanted pesticides usually used on mass grown crops won’t be an issue for your health or the environment.
If you can’t grow your own and have to buy foods in, find a local market which sells locally grown produce and use a handy cotton bag to take it home in. If you have no market nearby try to buy Fairtrade.
On a night out, try a microbrewery, where beer is made on site, this cuts out the need for transporting the beer from other places, microbreweries tend to cut the chemicals too, which means less of a hangover in the morning. (It usually tastes better too)
Gigs, Theatre, Clubbing…
Unless the walk to the strip is an hour away, walking somewhere will always be more energy and cost efficient and will also be better for your health. If you plan to go with a friend, you can share a car or a taxi to get there, or perhaps you could just take a taxi on the way back (when you’re less coherent) and walk to the club on the way there; keep some foldable flats in your bag if you’ve had enough of the heels…http://www.scholl-shoes.com/gb_en/ballerine-flats/pb-bow-syn-w-black-3.html
Nights in give you the opportunity to choose exactly how your night goes, this means you can choose to have the most enjoyable eco-friendly night possible.
If you’re thinking about sitting down with a glass of wine, make sure it’s from the UK or France and is boxed in cardboard; not so classy, but you can fool people by decanting the wine. This chops a large amount off of the carbon footprint, by cutting out airtime.
Get your hands on a growler (reusable beer bottles) and fill them up at a local bar or shop, this way you cut out the packaging process and use of extra unnecessary materials.
Choose to go to a festival that is environmentally conscious this year, make sure you pack waste bags, make good use of the recycling spots and take all of your stuff home with you.