It's 2021. It's time to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, behaviour and our planet. We cannot let Sir David Attenborough down.
We've made a handy list of all the easiest ways to become eco-friendly and make Sir David Attenborough proud. We've broken it down into the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (cue our year 4 Geography teacher to make an entrance) and highlighted the key ways for you to make a change within these topics.
- Appliances still use electricity when left on standby, so turning them off at the plug can reduce electricity usage by a significant amount. Good for your bank account and the planet, everybody wins.
- Use less water. An easy way to do this is by turning the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth.
- Don’t overfill the kettle. You know those symbols on the side of the kettle? Actually very accurate. If you boil more water than you need it wastes water but also wastes electricity so just boil what you need.
- Avoid food waste. Pay attention to the portion sizes and try to make enough for the amount you are feeding, and whatever is left, save for throughout the week!
- Choosing to dry your clothes on a maiden or the clothes line rather than using the tumble dryer uses no energy, plus it takes the fear out of laundry - no more shrunken T’s!
- Eat less meat. Even just cutting down your meat consumption to 4 nights a week instead of 7 would make a massive difference.
- Avoid microbeads! Those little plastic balls that are in toothpastes, face washes and body scrubs are called microbeads, and they get washed down our drains and into the ocean. The government banned these recently, however you can choose to avoid them while those products are still being sold by opting for products that don't contain microbeads (or contain eco-friendly versions of them such as sugar and salt).
- Paper. Most people have moved to online note-taking now anyway, but you can almost always guarantee a pile or random junk mail at the front of any student house. To try and combat this, just stick a “no junk mail please” sign on your front door, it is certainly worth a try.
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room, that is all, don’t be lazy.
- Don’t buy aerosol sprays!!!! Roll on, sprays and tubs of products are the way forward.
- Pasta sauce jars, Chinese takeaway boxes, even those little chutney jars can all be cleaned and then reused or repurposed for different things. There are so many things you can do with them other than their original purpose, like a rustic vase?? OR you could use them exactly for their original purposes - it's actually cheaper to make your own pasta sauce, then store it in the old jar! Chinese takeaway? Nope, that's yesterday's pasta. The possibilities are endless.
- Use canvas bags! It's no secret that plastic bags are nobody's friend, so switching to canvas is a way to combat that. It also saves money as most places charge for plastic bags now, not to mention canvas tote bags are actually really cute.
- Get yourself a reusable bottle (we recommend BPA free plastic or glass) and start drinking tap water, you will save a fortune and it cuts down your plastic usage.
- Use reusable straws, cups and cutlery where possible.
You have to really be going out of your way not to recycle in this country - just make sure you put the right thing in the right box and then place it nicely on the kerb. You can google your area's bin timetable as well, so there really are no excuses for not doing it.
Even if you just apply a couple of these tips to your life, that is still a win for the planet, and it will make Sir David Attenborough (and us) very proud of you.