Want to help save the planet? YES, you do!
Expert Home Tips are on a mission to be as eco-friendly as we can, and we want you to join us!
We've gathered 31 extremely easy, effective ways to become more eco-friendly (one for every day of the month).
1. Join the Meat Free Monday brigade
Are you familiar with Meat Free Monday? This was an initiative set up to encourage people to eat less meat and reduce the impact of the livestock industry on the environment.
It's an easy way to do your bit each week, whilst also practising your cooking skills and trying some new flavours! Have a look at our amazing Meat Free Monday recipes for some inspiration.
2. Ditch the tumble drier
Sorry folks, but if you really want to save on electricity and be more environmentally-friendly, you're going to have to ditch the tumble drier.
Get yourself a washing line hung up in the utility room or even over the bath and you'll be able to get laundry dry all year round.
3. Start a compost heap
Composting isn't just good for the environment, but your garden too. It saves water, reduces waste and gives your plants and flowers a nutritional boost.
4. Print on both sides
Reducing your carbon footprint doesn't have to be all about big changes.
Small things, like printing on both sides of the paper, will all help to reduce your resource-usage.
5. How to be more eco-friendly when food shopping
Plastic. We all know it's bad, yet we continue to load our shopping trollies up with the stuff during every weekly shop.
It's time to stop.
Next time you're at the supermarket, pick loose produce wherever possible and don't bother with a plastic bag at all.
6. Consider carpooling
Some days it's nice to sit back and let someone else do the driving. That's where carpooling comes in!
Why not have a chat with some of your colleagues, and see if you can alternate the drive into work? You'll save on petrol, and reduce both of your environmental impacts too.
7. Turn off the electric (at the sockets)
Turning off your computer and unplugging your phone is all well and good, but if they're still plugged in at the sockets, electricity will continue to travel along the wires.
Turn your electrics off at the wall to prevent them from using juice when they're not in use.
8. Take the bus
When was the last time you got on a bus? Relive your teenage years, and go by bus not car next time you're popping into town.
You'll save on parking, stress and do the environment some good too.
9. Cut down on your energy usage, effortlessly!
If you want to be more eco-friendly, but find yourself lacking the motivation, listen to this:
Turning your heating down by just 1°C could save you an incredible £85 a year! Now that's definitely worth doing.
10. Are straws bad for the environment
Single-use straws are extremely bad for the environment. If you want to be more eco-friendly when sipping on your favourite cocktail, opt for a metal or paper straw.
Better still, ditch the straw completely!
11. Try a charity shop
Charity shops - once you've tried them, you'll be hooked. Not only are they an extremely cheap way of kitting yourself out, but they save perfectly good clothes from going to waste.
Benefits for you, and our lovely planet!
12. Water plants in the morning/evening
When it comes to saving the planet, every little helps.
Even the way you water your plants can have an impact on your carbon footprint. For best results, water them first thing in the morning, or late in the evening to prevent water loss via evaporation.
13. Is the dishwasher environmentally friendly?
Now this one's a welcome surprise - turns out the dishwasher is actually more environmentally friendly than washing dishes by hand - who'd have thought it?!
Just make sure it's full before you put it on.
14. Slash your shower time
How long is your average shower? Five minutes? Seven at a push?
The average shower in the UK is actually a rather shocking nine minutes, and makes up around 12% of our total water usage. Cut yours down today to do your budget some good, and be more environmentally-friendly too.
15. Air dry your hair to save electricity
Do you really need to use a hair dryer? Air-drying is not only better for the environment, but better for your hair too.
The heat will dry out your hair and leave it looking frazzled and split over time.
16. Why it's better to walk
Have you checked your step count recently? The recommended daily amount is 10,000 steps.
If that's not incentive enough to walk into town as opposed to hopping in the car, think of all the good you'll be doing the environment. Fewer cars = less CO2 emissions = a happier planet!
17. Meal planning
If you don't meal plan already, it's hide time you started.
Meal planning is worth doing for convenience alone, but if you add to that the money you'll save, and the reduction in waste, it seems silly not to try it!
Learn the ins and outs of meal prep today with my guide, Why YOU need to meal prep & how to get started.
18. Be more eco-friendly on your travels
Time to dust off your old bike and get yourself back out on two wheels again. There's something so satisfying about feeling the wind blowing through your hair.
Get an adrenaline rush and reduce carbon emissions by hopping on your bike instead of in the car for your next short trip.
19. Is natural cleaning better for the environment?
If you follow our blog regularly, you'll know we're big into our natural cleaning. Not only is it often much cheaper, but eliminates the chance of harsh chemicals in standard cleaning products from damaging the environment.
Make 2018 the year you give natural cleaning a go. Want some inspiration? Try our article, 17 natural ways to clean your lovely home.
20. Bring your own coffee cup
Got a bit of a take-out coffee habit? In Britain, we drink more than eight million takeaway coffees every day! Just imagine all those empty coffee cups...
An easy way to be more eco-friendly every day is to take your own coffee cup. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but most coffee shops now offer a discount when you do!
It's a win-win.
21. Why bags for life are the best
There was a reason behind that 5p plastic bag levy - our usage of them has dropped by more than 85% since it's introduction! Pretty impressive, huh?
If you're still yet to get on board, now's your chance. Investing in a lovely, bag for life is an easy way to be more eco-friendly every time you shop.
22. Are cotton buds bad for the environment?
Believe it or not, there's a whole website dedicated to ending plastic cotton bud pollution - Switch The Stick.
The problem with cotton buds is not just that they're made of plastic, it's their size. They're small enough to slip through sewage filters, which explains why they make up over 60% of beach litter.
It's time for you to switch the stick too! It's paper-only cotton buds all the way.
23. Save your gift bags & paper for later
There's no doubt that wrapping paper looks pretty, but it can be such a waste. All that paper for just a few minutes of pleasure!
If you still want your presents to look pretty without impacting on the environment, save your paper and bags from gifts you receive.
If you open presents carefully enough, nine times out of ten the paper will still be useable thereafter.
24. Learn to sew
I'm not saying you have to be a seamstress, but having a few, basic sewing skills is always a good idea.
Knowing a few basic repair techniques will mean you can prolong the life of your clothes, reduce waste, and buy less.
25. Use eco-friendly lighting
Make a vow that every time a bulb goes in 2018, you'll replace it with an eco-friendly alternative.
These use less electricity, so you'll be saving on your bills too. For more energy saving tips, read our other article.
26. Switch to paperless bills
Speaking of bills, an easy change to make to reduce your carbon footprint is switching to online bills.
If you're unsure how to do this, your bank, electricity supplier and other providers will be more than happy to assist you.
27. Don't just recycle, recycle well!
Already recycle? Great stuff! That said, if you're not recycling properly it could ruin all your efforts.
This year, make a vow to recycle as best you can. Ensure all your plastics, tin, paper and whatever else go in the right bin to ensure they can be successfully turned into something new.
28. Eat raw
No, I'm not talking grass. Believe it or not, raw meals can actually be extremely delicious.
With no energy involved in the cooking process and the use of only fruit and vegetables, raw meals are seriously eco-friendly.
Head over to Rawberry Fields to get your hands on some scrummy recipes.
29. How to be more eco-friendly at lunchtime
Packed lunches may be convenient, but the packaging seems such a waste when you could make it without at home.
A few days a week (or every day, if you can!)take your own sandwich into work. Pop it into a reusable plastic bag, and you'll do both your wallet and the planet a favour.
30. Wash on 30°C
Did you know, most detergents now are so powerful that you really needn't wash any higher than 30°C, especially for clothes-washes.
Wash at 30° and use around 40% less electricity than washing at 60°C.
31. Go to the market
Skip the supermarket!
The average item of fresh food travels an incredible 1,500 miles to get to our dinner table.
Shopping locally, at Farmer's Markets or local Greengrocer's, is a much more environmentally friendly way of shopping. Not to mention how much better it will taste!
How are you going to make 2018 your most eco-friendly year yet? Let us know in the comments below!
What a great article! I decided to try to change at least one more thing this year, so I've switched to using shampoo bars rather than shampoo from a plastic bottle. Apart from the saving on plastic, there are some options that are also less toxic to the environment. I'm really enjoying using mine now and won't switch back. I think one of the best win win switch most people could make is move to having their milk delivered to the door in glass bottles rather than buying it in plastic containers from shops. It is so insanely convenient and saves on a huge amount of plastic. Where else would you have a fresh product delivered to the door so cheaply!
Hi Anita, Thanks a lot for your kind comment! How are the shampoo bars? I can't say I've ever tried them. I love the milk bottle idea - there's also something so charming about having a milk van deliver to your door!
Recycling present wrapping. I make fabric gift bags for birthday and christmas presents which are then re-used next year, some have already done 3 christmas's.
Hi Amabda, This is a wonderful idea - we'd love to see photos!
While waiting until it is hot enough, run off shower or washing-up water into a bucket, rather than lose it down the drain. Then use that water to flush the toilet or water plants. We save up to eight gallons of this scarce resource every week just by having a bucket to hand. We don't necessarily flush the toilet every time we use it, either.
Wow, what a fab idea! I never would have thought to try this, but I'm sure the amount of water saved would be astronomical.
Aldi have loose bananas 13p each & many are large, or purchase a polythene pack of 7 small bananas for 99p. So I paid 91p for 7 large unwrapped! So save money whilst saving the planet.
It's certainly surprising how much cheaper it can be to opt for the more eco-friendly option. It's easier than ever!
When I was at school there was a paper shortage, something to do with the weather or a flood in China. We were made to use both sides of paper and never let any go to waste. This go me into the habit of making note pads of what would be considered waste and I keep all envelopes and junk mail for either this or padding when packing parcels.
Great idea, Maria!
Great ideas. Instead of just taking your own cup, why not make your own /take your own flask - save a packet load. You can also boil the kettle once for a cuppa and put the rest in a flask and use throughout the day, save the environment by using less electric and of course save ££ Take your sandwiches to work in a airtight sandwich box and ditch the plastic bag altogether. Harvest rainwater. Fairy lights are an atmospheric/cheap/eco friendly way to light your living room. Best way to save on food miles, packaging and £ is to grown as much of your own food as possible - there are heaps of websites for container gardening ( so if you don't have much of a back yard, you can still grow food) plus you can recycle all sorts of containers to do it. AND they taste soooo much better
Great ideas, Dee! I love the idea of recycling rainwater.
Have been doing most of what you suggested for the last 50 years as I was born in the 1940's ! But even people my age still offer me a plastic bag for 3 carrots and look surprised when I politely decline. It is difficult when you live on your own and only have access to shops by walking or by bus - but get yourself a shopping trolley !!
It's quite sad to realise that most of our bad habits have been formed in the last few decades!
I don't agree with washing at 30% as I think it is unhygienic. I'm thinking undies! The minimum I use is 40% & washing machines used to have 50% options which was a great substitute between 40 & 60% that I use for towels & bedding. I've been recycling wrapping paper for ages. We used to have our milk delivered to the door step by the milkman, but prices got very expensive so that is why people switched to the supermarket as plastic was cheaper. Also glass bottles could break so plastic was safer.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
To save Gas and energy use an air fryer as you don’t need to pre heat the oven which wastes gas and they work on electric so don’t cost more than an electric heater. If your cooking small amounts cook faster and often taste better. Some even cook joints or roast. You use less fat so no disposal of fat. When roasting joints use roasting bags as they cook the meat faster and you don’t need to baste the joints so no need to open the oven and the heat escape which means the oven got to use more gas to keep the temperature. You also don’t need fat to cook or dispose of. You can use the juices of the joint to make delicious gravy. You also don’t need foil . Invest in a rain barrel or two as during summer you use the water to water the garden instead of a hose pipe. During Autumn and winter can use the water for the toilet or water indoor plants. Water the plants at night or early morning as it is better for the plants and water will last longer as won’t evaporate.
Excellent ideas! I need to get an air fryer.
To save money on heating if your mainly in one room use a fan heater instead of heating the whole house and close doors after you. Fan heaters are more energy efficient as they blow hot air out and don’t just heat heat the air around them like halogen or oil filled heaters. Just put the heating on in the morning to get the house warm and turn off unless it gets really cold and need it on. They are also safer than bar heaters. Use an extension lead with sockets you can turn off that way when not using something can turn the separate things off without having to turn the whole extension lead off. Don’t leave the Tv or satellite on when not in use as even in standby the tv and satellite use electric as they are always searching for a signal. If watching tv in bed put a timer on on it so if you fall a sleep it turns the tv off at a set time. When washing up boil a kettle for the hot water instead of waiting for the water to heat up. Use hot water bottles instead of an electric blanket as a blanket can take a while to heat up. Where you only need to boil a kettle just before bed and put in bed while doing your teeth or having your using toilet. You don’t need to use just one can have a few bottles to warm the bed and cuddle up to a bottle in bed if it’s too hot wrap in a pillow case. In the summer can fill with cold water to use to cool down.
Thanks for sharing! Using a fan heater in one room and closing doors can save money on heating bills. Using hot water bottles instead of an electric blanket and turning off individual sockets on an extension lead can reduce energy consumption.
We cut future Xmas card tags from old Xmas cards. For family, we put Xmas or bday presents in a pillow case tied with ribbon. Saves on wrapping paper.
That's a great idea!
stop heating the street! Cover cardboard with foil and slip down the back of radiators It reflects the heat back into the room. I cut down on the use of foil in cooking by using baking parchment to line trays etc. It saves washing the trays and can be wiped down, turned over and used again. I do use foil to line a large baking tray in the bottom of the oven, though - it catches drips and makes the bottom of the oven so much easier to clean. I just replace the foil when it gets dirty.
On this cooler autumn morning, I have filled my first hot water bottle of the season. It's now on the chair, in the small of my back and keeping me warm. I'm not putting on the heating until I really have to! I try to mend or reuse everything before throwing it away, be it a plastic bag or a reusable container. I also second the comment about shampoo bars, my hair is soft and conditioned, and there is no waste! All too easy to pour out too much liquid shampoo, and then use extra water to rinse it all out.
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