Surprising changes to make to help Save Our Planet!

Since the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared a “code red for humanity” in a report released Monday, we got a glimpse of the world’s future and it is natural to feel overwhelmed and helpless.

Below we have put together a list of things you can change in your life to ensure you are taking the right steps in helping our planet rather than contributing the the damage. As most of us are prioritising food-waste reduction, eliminating single-use plastics and turning away from fast fashion it is clear we want to help save the planet. it is reassuring to know that the simple lifestyle changes with the biggest positive impact are things like changing to a 100 per cent renewable energy provider or switching to an ethical financial provider.

  1. Change who you Bank with!

the Independent reports- “By moving your money and investments you really can make a difference in the world. Switching banks is one of the most powerful environmental changes you can make as an individual,” says Triodos Bank UK CEO Bevis Watts. “You can have impact by aligning your money with your values and can choose to prevent your money from financing arms, pesticides, plastic packaging or fossil fuels.”

One NGO that tracks the involvement of banks in financing business activities with a negative impact on people and planet, BankTrack, has calculated that the top five UK banks have poured approximately £150bn into financing fossil fuels since the Paris Climate Agreement was adopted in 2016.

It’s Banking on Climate Change report, released last month, suggested that included £45bn for the expansion of fossil fuels, including £13bn invested in fracking.

Barclays is the largest fossil-fuel supporter, investing more than £98bn since 2016, and outpacing other European banks’ by a 36 per cent margin.

2. Know your Land

We need to know what grows naturally on our land so that we reduce what food we are buying from different countries and reducing the carbon- footprint of our dinner.

Food production is a major driver of wildlife extinction. What we eat contributes around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for almost 60% of global biodiversity loss.

Farming animals for meat and dairy requires space and huge inputs of water and feed. Today, one of the biggest causes of forest loss is the expansion of agricultural land for animal feed production, such as soy. And producing meat creates vastly more carbon dioxide than plants such as vegetables, grains and legumes. 

Moving away from a meat-dominated diet towards a more plant-based diet can lower your impact on the environment. Vegetarian and vegan foods are massively on the rise and becoming far more common in restaurants, cafes and supermarkets, so you’ll rarely struggle. 

Not only that, but cutting down on meat and dairy products can reduce your weekly food bills. 

3. Reduce your Junk Mail

LONDON, United Kingdom – JULY 25: Sample of junk mail items delivered to a private residence in England as advertising for local retail businesses and services

Let’s face it, we all hate junk mail. Not only because it’s annoying to have and then have to get rid of, but it’s also really wasteful. Junk mail often consists of paper and plastic and often gets thrown straight into the bin. According to Stop Junk Mail, the average household gets 453 pieces of junk mail per year – that’s a lot of waste. By stopping some of that junk mail, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste that you are creating. Try contacting the companies who are sending it to you and asking them to remove you from their lists. You can also return the post to sender or join a Mail Preference Service.

4. Get a Septic Tank

Let’s start of talking about our own body’s waste. There’s not much that we can do about reducing that. But we can change what we do with it. A septic tank is a sewage solution for houses that aren’t attached to the general waste system. Instead of being able to send waste away through the plumbing system, it is kept in a septic tank. Commercial waste plants often use chemicals which aren’t good for the environment to treat sewage. A septic tank will allow the waste to break down naturally without the use of nasty chemicals, meaning that your personal waste isn’t going to damage the environment.

5. Get Re-Usable Straws

There has been a lot of publicity around the use of plastic straws recently. Whilst many people have simply cut out the use of straws altogether, there are some cases when using a straw is just better. One solution is to get a re-usable straw, made from an environmentally friendly material such as bamboo or metal, meaning that the plastic waste in cut down.

6. Use Bars not Bottles

When it comes to keeping ourselves clean, quite often environmental concerns go a little bit out of the window. Shampoos, conditioners, shower gels etc. often come in plastic bottles and often use chemicals which aren’t good for the environment You can cut down on your plastic waste by using more natural, environmentally friend shampoo, conditioner and soap bars to keep yourself clean and smelling lovely.

7. Change your Lighter for Matches

Disposable plastic lighters are often filled with butane, meaning that none of it is healthy for the world. It might seem more convenient to carry a lighter around, but the world will thank you more for using wooden or recycled paper matches.

8. Paperless

Whether it is bank statements or electricity bills, we still get a lot of our correspondence by paper post. For a lot of people this gets shoved into a pile and never looked at again once they are dealt with. Most banks and utility companies now offer digital bills and statements, meaning that firstly you can have a more organised set of bills and statements (with access at the touch of a button and not having to rifle through piles of paper) and of course, you will have less physical waste.

9. Use a Revolving Door

When you are going into a building, use the revolving door option if you can. Revolving doors are designed to keep as much warmth inside the building as possible. So, unlike a ‘normal’ open and close door, using a revolving door means that less energy will be used up in keeping the building warm.

10. Get Cold- Water Detergent

Washing our clothes these days doesn’t mean that you need the water to be warm anymore. If you buy a cold-water detergent, you can wash you clothes without spending the extra energy (or money) heating up your water.

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