These days, adopting a greener lifestyle isn’t simply a good idea – it’s essential. While scientists are still studying ways that climate change is affecting the planet, many effects of our ravaged environment are already obvious, with the media regularly reporting on pollution and extinction.
The situation has worsened to the extent that, as per a UN Committee on Climate Change warning, there are just 12 years left for us to prevent catastrophic climate change, as Sky News has reported. What little things that we can start doing right now to help the planet?
Where possible, walk or cycle instead of drive
Did you know that even just a mile of driving solo in an SUV produces over 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, as Everyday Health reveals?
However, when investigating opportunities to forgo car usage, you could be pleasantly surprised by what you uncover. You might be able to manage short trips by walking or cycling; and, as the former can hourly burn 240 calories and the latter 300 calories, your waistline could soon thank you.
Cut meat out of your diet
Whatever your stance on the ethical viability of consuming meat, doing so undoubtedly puts more strain on the environment than a vegetarian diet. In fact, on average, a carnivore diet daily generates nearly twice the amount of carbon dioxide – 7.2kg, to be exact.
“Worldwide adoption of plant-based diets would require 3.1 billion hectares less farmland,” University of Oxford researcher Joseph Poore has explained. Trees growing back on old fields, he added, would remove “6 billion tonnes of CO2 a year from the atmosphere over 20 years.”
Reduce plastic usage
Every year, over eight million tonnes of plastic washes out to sea, where it endangers marine life mistaking plastic for food. Excessive plastic consumption can prevent sea animals from being able to eat nutritional food at all, leading them to starve to death.
Furthermore, plastic production is globally responsible for roughly 4% of oil production, and less than half of the approximately 36 million bottles purchased daily in the UK are recycled.
Regularly drink from a reusable bottle
While recycling more of your plastic bottles would be a good start, it would be better still for you to switch to a bottle from which you can keep drinking over and over again.
For regularly replenishing your body’s water content, use an eco-friendly, reusable stainless-steel bottle of canteen-like design. If you enjoy sipping hot beverages, do so from a thermos to spare yourself adding to the tally of disposable coffee cups and lids discarded each year.
Opt for environmentally friendly home improvements
Want to spruce up your home? That could be an ideal opportunity to opt for features that have the long-term potential to lower your carbon footprint. For example, with Velux windows, you can turn more of your roof into windows, letting you more often use natural light in place of electrical illumination. These windows can be fitted by roofers in Middlesbrough, Newcastle and further afield.