07.04.20

The eco-friendly lockdown guide.

Eli Kasmir

Since most of the nation are staying at home, it’s of little surprise that there has been a significant reduction in air pollution. Cars remain parked in garages, airplanes are grounded on the runways, and factories all over the world have come to a standstill.

With school runs cancelled, and work commutes ditched, millions of people isolating at home, now have extra time on their hands. What better way to utilise this time, than to boost this environmental silver lining?

So, here are our top 7 eco-friendly, sustainable living choices for staying at home!

1. Grow your own veg.

If you’ve got a garden, or even a window ledge where you can keep houseplants, why not invest in seeds for future food? Gardening helps cut down on the CO2 emissions from the transport of fresh produce.

Lettuce, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, spring onions and tomatoes are staple foods that can be grown in the UK. All you need are seeds, soil, sunlight, some water and a ‘little’ help from mother nature!

2. Cut down on water waste

We all know what it’s like to procrastinate in the shower, and with an increased amount of time at home it’s quite a tempting activity. However, taking efficient showers can significantly reduce water waste, and energy you are using. Alternatively, why not opt for a shower instead of a bath. The average bath requires 70 gallons of water to fill, whilst a 5-minute shower uses 10-25 gallons. How’s that for shower power?

3. Ditch your car, and walk afar

Although the majority of the country has switched their morning commute for a walk from their bedroom to their ‘work from home office’ aka the kitchen table, many people are still using their cars to get to the supermarkets.

If you are within walking distance of your supermarket, why not bring with a large rucksack and spare bags and carry your shop home with you! Not only will you be reducing your carbon offset, but you’ll be getting some exercise in too!

4. Say no to single-use items

Single-use items are costly to the environment, and since our lifestyles are built on convenience we use theses all the time. Just think about how frequently you use toilet paper, plastic bottles, straws and paperware – all single-use items. Obviously, you won’t be able to give up all of these e.g. toilet paper, but you can certainly reduce your intake of most of the others.

Swap kitchen roll for kitchen rags, plastic straws for glass or metal ones and paper coffee cups for reusable ones!

5. Time to bring back that washing line

With the summer weather on the horizon, what better way to go sustainable than to bring out the washing line. Switching from machine drying to air drying will not only save on your energy bills, but reduces wrinkles (disclaimer, on the clothes – not your skin) and eliminates that ever so irritating static cling.

6. Go Meatless on Mondays

Animal agriculture is a large contributor to greenhouse gases. The livestock has to be fed, transported, butchered, and then transported again to reach you. Trying to cut down on the meat you consume is a great way to help the planet. There are so many delicious recipes that can you can try out – why not use this time to get creative in the kitchen! Who knows, you might just be the next Heston Blumenthal.

7. Recycle, recycle, recylce – oh and did we mention recycle?

We can’t emphasise just how important recycling is. Opting for foods with recyclable packaging is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll recycle your waste. Why not create yourself some homemade recycling bins for the kitchen. It’s a great kickstart to making sure your waste ends up in the right bin, and it’ll leave the kids entertained for hours (hopefully)!

Why not start a compost pile? It’s a great way to dispose of vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags and plant pruning. You can even add in some cardboard egg boxes and scrunched up paper!