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6 Low-Cost Green Lifestyle Hacks

If there’s something that’s been cemented into our collective awareness, it’s the invasive impact our actions have on our Planet. Chances are, you’ve already incorporated the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) of sustainable living into your daily routine. If not, rest assured, you don’t need to completely overhaul your life to be kinder to our Planet. Gaining awareness of the natural resources needed to support our lifestyles allows us to become proactive and make greener choices.

The new wave of ecognition revolves around taking #littlegreensteps towards a more conscious, less polluting way of living. And you don’t have to break the bank when doing so! Here’s a list of some easy, low-cost tricks you can do each day to reduce your carbon footprint. When it comes to being sustainable, even the simplest changes can have the most significant impact.

Go local and buy seasonal

Buying locally-sourced food that is seasonal is still the most simple, effective way of polluting less. Globalization spoilt us a bit, giving us access to exotic fruits at our whim! Time to say goodbye to those all-year-round, juicy mangos and avocados imported from South America (think of the air mileage!). Ready to embrace pumpkins, apples and blackberries and the rest of the deliciousness of our autumnal produce? If you’re unsure about what’s in season, this website can help you. When possible, avoid using your car for your shopping run. Consider buying from your local greengrocers, or getting your groceries delivered straight to your house. Abel & Cole deliver organic and season-ready goods to your door, and they only require a £12 minimum spend (+£1.25 for delivery). Oddbox helps fighting food waste by offering home delivery of seasonal surplus and wonky fruit & veg, which would otherwise go to landfill.

Sustainability starts at home

Missing some ingredients for tonight’s curry? Avoid new plastic bags at all costs! The most simple eco-trick is to keep a spare bag in your work backpack/handbag, so you don’t have to ask for a new one when you’re on your way back home from the office and stop at the grocery store. Reusable tote bags are great and trendy, but highly energy-intensive and water-heavy to produce. It sort of defeats their purpose! The ultimate eco-trick is to repurpose those paper or plastic bags stuffed under the kitchen sink.
Easily forget to do so? Help remind yourself by resorting to the good old post-it on the back of the door, or make it fun by starting a competition with your family and friends. If everything else fails, consider re-usable tote bags that fit on your keyring, so you won’t be able to leave the house without them.

Repurpose your containers

Those leftover containers from your latest takeaway are gold! OK, they’re actually made of nasty plastic… but they could save you some serious dollar. Eco-Tupperware like bamboo lunch boxes looks great and makes our lunchtimes more enjoyable, don’t get me wrong! However, there is nothing better than re-purposing some empty plastic containers that would otherwise get thrown out after being used once, yet take 500 years to decompose.
Empty glass jars can also be repurposed – get rid of the sticky label residue by rubbing them with oil and baking soda and you’ve got instant, FREE containers for your meals!

Donate your car

If you have a disused old motor parked outside your house, why not donate it to charity? According to the Sierra Foundation, a US leading charity in car recycling, 75% of all pollution produced by cars is created by vehicles over 13 years old. Every year, about 15 million automobiles reach the end of their life. Recycling 13 million automobiles per year recovers 14 million tons of recycled steel. That would save enough energy to power 18 million households! Plus, the steel industry uses 74% less energy by recycling instead of producing new steel. That’s an annual saving of 85 million barrels of oil!
Charitycar.co.uk will responsibly recycle, repair and re-use your car. Your chosen charity will receive 100% of the car’s scrap value. In addition, if your motor still has a few miles left in it, Charitycar will auction it to raise more money for your cause of choice. However, if your life can’t work without your four wheels, you could consider…

Car-sharing

Liftshare is a user-friendly platform that matches your journey with that of neighbours and commuters who need to go to nearby locations. Whether you’re a passenger looking for a lift or a motor owner, all you need to do is register a (free) account, add your journey details and… magic! You’ll find someone to share fuel costs and your Monday moan.
Berkeley study of the effects of Car-sharing services found each “communal car” eliminated the need for seven to eleven cars! This included vehicles that were not bought (despite being in the pipeline) or sold because unnecessary once their owners switched to a car-share membership. The hope is that, as membership numbers increase, fewer cars will need to be produced thanks to a decline in demand.

Switch from four to two wheels

Commuting by bike is still the greenest way to get around town. Cycling significantly reduces transport AND traffic congestion emissions, while decreasing our oil-dependency as a society. A 10-mile, round-trip commute 5 days a week will save you a minimum 68 gallons of petrol…that’s around £240. Moreover, producing a car is a lot more carbon-heavy than a bike. The former emits 14,000 tonnes of carbon while the latter only requires 530! Building, paving, and maintaining roads for cars emits almost four times the greenhouse gases as maintaining the roads for bikes. You’ll get fitter as the world gets greener, and that’s no small achievement! Additionally, cycling encourages you to support your local businesses. That’s because when relying on a car for transportation, we tend to add extra mileage to our errands.

Ready to pack disposable bags and recycled containers in our backpacks? Time to get on our bikes and be off on our merry eco-way!

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