How can you be more sustainable in 2021?
The phrase “sustainable living” is constantly being bandied around. But what does it actually mean. In it’s simplest form it’s a philosophy that aims to reduce our negative social and environmental impacts by making positive changes in our lives to counteract climate change and other environmental issues.
Sustainable living encourages people to minimise their use of Earth’s resources and reduce the damage of human and environmental interactions. This fits neatly with the concept of the Zero Waste circular economy.
One way to measure the impact of the positive changes you make is to measure and track your carbon footprint. There are lots of carbon footprint calculators available but one of my favourites is the WWF Footprint Calculator.
5 Things to do in 2021 to be more sustainable
Now you know what Sustainable Living is here are some ideas of changes you can make in 2021 to be more sustainable.
Walk and Cycle more
A simple but effective way to be more sustainable is to reduce your car journeys and walk or cycle more.
Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per kilometre. That’s less than walking or getting the bus and less than a tenth the emissions of driving – Bikeradar
reduce food waste - be more creative with leftovers
Food waste has become such an issue in the UK. It’s hard to believe but more than 8 million families in the UK struggle to put food on the table – and yet, around 10 million tonnes (household and commercial / retail) of food waste ends up in landfills each year.
It has been estimated that the average family in the UK wastes nearly £60 a month by throwing food away.
However, there are some easy ways to reduce waste including meal planning and being creative with leftovers. For more ideas check out my Blog Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste.
Buy Pre-Loved / Seconhand
Fast fashion has such a detrimental impact on the environment and the UK is one of the biggest culprits. We buy more clothes per person in the UK than any country in Europe, with many of them being made from materials like polyester which can take up to 200 years to decompose.
And, according to Greenpeace
it’s thought that if nothing changes, by 2050 fashion will take up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.
Therefore a great way to combat this is to buy pre-loved clothing. But if that isn’t for you then at least be a conscious consumer and buy long lasting sustainably made pieces.
Start Growing your own food
I’m not suggesting we all rush out and start an allotment and become self sufficient but why not start growing a few veggies and herbs at home. If you don’t have a large garden you can grow herbs on your windowsill and tomatoes are easy to grow in pots.
Check out Gardener’s World for 10 easy to grow vegetables for beginners.
Do a digital declutter
This might not be something that springs to mind when you are considering how to live a more sustainable life. However, have you ever thought how much energy is consumed from storing your old emails?
Email providers store our emails on their servers which are consuming energy 24 hours a day. This means the more messages we keep the more servers they need to store them, and the more energy consumed.
A study by ICF International and McAfee estimated that 1 GB of email uses 32.1kwh per year.
And, Cleanfox estimates that an email is on average responsible for the emission of 10 grams of Co2 per year, and if the Internet were a country, it would be the sixth biggest electricity consumer in the world.
The telecoms company Orange say:
if every single person in France deleted 50 emails, the energy savings would be equivalent to turning the Eiffel tower’s lights off for 42 years, or to New York City not consuming any electricity for 4 hours.
So, why not start saving energy today and clean up your inbox. For tips on how to keep your inbox clear check out my Blog Clean Up Your Email and Help Save Energy.
These are just a few ideas on how you can make small changes in your life to live more sustainably but there are many more and I’d love to hear about yours.