Enduring the Covid-19 pandemic meant that we took our focus off the environment and went into survival mode.
After a slight reduction in pollution during lockdown, the UK went backwards in other areas; increase in delivery lorries, supermarkets using plastic bags for safety and disposable face masks. It makes for a gloomy read.
So here are a few ways that you can start the fight back and stick to a New Year’s resolution to green up your life in 2021!
Switch to bamboo toilet roll
Toilet paper is the single use product that we rarely think about (until panic buying became a thing during the pandemic!). We use on average 125 rolls per person per year.
Traditional toilet paper manufacture involves chopping down slow growing trees, then using wasteful, chemical-based manufacturing processes to produce a final product wrapped in plastic.
There are alternatives.
Bamboo is fast growing, does not need pesticides or fertilisers and it absorbs carbon and improves the soil it grows in.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to wipe out waste and find out more at https://www.trinidalbamboo.com/
Invest in reusable food wraps
Now widely available in cook shops, eco shops or online, these handy wraps can be cleaned and re-used endlessly. Use them to pack your sandwiches for picnics, cover leftovers or keep your bread fresh.
You can choose from wraps made from beeswax or organic cotton and vegan versions are available.
The wraps also make fantastic presents for eco-minded family and friends as they are easy to post and come in a variety of colours and patterns.
Switch to an electric vehicle
With Covid-19 making it harder to travel safely on public transport, could 2021 be the year you switch to an electric vehicle (EV) with zero emissions?
Newer models have a range of up to 239 miles if you need to do long journeys. If you have a short daily commute and can charge at home or at work, then you can save money by buying a second-hand model with a lower range.
Have a look at Zap Map to see handy chargers in your area and make it your New Year’s resolution to test drive an EV this year.
Insulate your home
‘Green up’ your home by improving the insulation in order to reduce energy use for heating.
Block out any draughts – close your curtains as soon as it is dark, shut internal doors and invest in some draft excluders, then start by turning your thermostat down by 1 degree at a time.
If you are a homeowner (or have an eco-landlord!), get a quote for improving the cavity wall insulation in your home to make a difference in the long term.
Look out for refill (or Zero Waste) shops that reduce plastic and fill your own bottles with laundry and washing up liquid, shower gel or toilet cleaner.
Refill shops often stock eco household items such as dry food refills (pasta, rice, lentils etc) and washing up loofahs to re-place disposable scrubbing pads.
If you don’t have a refill shop near you, take advantage of mobile refill trucks (like a mobile library!) which visit several locations on different days of the week, especially in rural areas.
There are also refill companies who deliver, such as Loop and Splosh, with liquids in pouches that you post back to be re-used. Try to buy in bulk with a neighbour or local friend to reduce the number of deliveries (most of these firms still use diesel/petrol vans).
Good luck with your green resolutions in 2021!