Free ways to help the environment
Actions everyone can afford to change outcomes
There is no reason why we shouldn’t all be getting involved and do our bit for the environment. Sometimes things are time consuming or expensive. These one’s aren’t. So there is no excuse to not get involved and make an effort to contribute to changing the current climate. Have a go and see if you can do them all!
Whether you are walking somewhere in a hurry or just going for a leisurely walk around a park. Walking is extremely underrated. Better Health say walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
Try to walk as much as possible and reduce transport that emits pollution. If you need to drive to get around consider using public transport or pooling. We suggest going for a walk once a week somewhere with nature. A park, river, lake, canal, wood. Being immersed in nature and changing scenery is a great way to destress and recalibrate a busy lifestyle. The chance to spend time somewhere quiet with less movement, like the woods or a river walk, it provides the reprieve from our busy world that taxes our senses.
There has been a rise in litter picking and beach clean ups. They have now become social environments where likeminded people get together and help clean their community. You can even do it in a canoe! Dive Magazine have reported over 60 per cent of litter would disappear from the River Thames basin if we moved away from single-use items, according to a report from the Marine Conservation Society.
Surfers Against Sewage give you a step by step guide to organising a clean up.
We suggest you get the Litterati app where you can add to a digital landfill. You can tag where you picked up the litter and tag the company who’s litter it is. It also tracks how much litter you have collected! Littergram app is the same idea but limited to Great Britain.
This not only encourages more people to stop littering (people are more likely to drop litter if they see litter) but also cleans waterways reduces the risk of the rubbish going into the ocean. The litter can be processed correctly and hopefully not harm our planet.
Donate left over food
Food waste is a huge problem across the globe. There are many ways to reduce your waste like planning weekly food shops. But instead of throwing your left overs out or knowing there is something in the fridge you wont eat but leaving it there until it goes mouldy share your food. You can bring it to work and create a food swap service.
Check out The Community Fridge who have 70 fridges around the UK hoping for 100 by 2020 to reduce food waste. If you want to make it into an event, look into attending a Food Cycle where you can volunteer for a food collector or cook with food that would be wasted to feed those in need. If you are looking for smaller organisations read this article from Feedback to see what’s going on in London more specifically.
This will reduce waste which in turn will decrease the amount of energy currently used for waste disposal. It will also make you more conscious of the food you would otherwise be wasting and potentially change your future purchasing habits.
E.C.O. have spoken already about Ecosia, the search engine that uses income from adverts on searches to fund planting tress to tackle reforestation. Read our full article here. Get it and track how many trees you have planted!
Cut down on all paper
In his TEDx talk William McDonough said ‘Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars and food, creates microclimates, changes colours with the seasons, and self-replicates. Well, why don’t we knock that down and write on it?’
Cutting down on paper not only saves money but processing the recycling of paper requires lots of energy and bleaching agents which can harm the environment. 90% of paper comes from trees, which the majority are not sustainably harvested. If we can we would like to reduce supporting the non-renewable, unsustainable industry.
Easy ways to cut down on paper;
Change bills to paperless, save online receipts to computer rather than print and file, end as much junk mail as possible, reduce paper use by using both sides as much as possible, use smaller pieces of paper for less waste, use paper from recycling bins as scrap, buy recycled paper when you need to use paper, read articles online rather than in newspapers, think before you print, when you print consider resizing to have multiple pages, change your margins before printing to use more of the page, use reusable cloth napkins at dinner, avoid paper plates, use a whiteboard for lists.
The best thing you can do is talk to people. Share experiences, tips, articles (online of course) to encourage conversation about the climate emergency.
These are six easy ways to help the environment for ZERO MONEY, so have a go at all or some of these and make an effort to change outcomes.
Grace works for a School Improvement Partnership and is our resident ocean lover. Having worked as a scuba instructor in Indonesia she has picked up her fair share of ocean plastic. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.