How to live more eco-consciously and protect the planet ahead of World Environment Day

By HarperLees

With climate change rising to the top of the global agenda, it’s likely that you’re taking more and more steps to limit your environmental impact on the planet. If so, you’re not alone.

According to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in March 2020, 83% of people reported having made at least one environmentally friendly change to their lifestyle.

That could be doing something simple like turning off electrical items at the wall when finished using them or something more in-depth like reducing meat intake or investing in eco-friendly technology.

With World Environment Day on the horizon, on 5 June 2023, discover the many ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the battle against climate change.

Align your finances with your ethics

Living more eco-consciously isn’t just something you can do physically; choosing an environmentally friendly bank or financial institution is also a great way of going green.

For instance, you could consider investments with strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials, and look to invest in companies and funds that make positive contributions to communities and the environment.

Or, you could identify financial institutions that have socially responsible business practices and investment policies and consider banking or saving with them.

Similarly, you could invest your pension in a “green” or ESG fund, which are funds that also endeavour to invest in companies with strong ethical credentials.

This is where working with a financial planner can add value as they can work with you to align your portfolio with your ethics and morals.

Turn off electronics when you’re not using them

One of the easiest and most important ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint is to turn your electronic items off at the wall when you’ve finished using them.

So rather than leaving your TV on standby, turn it off at the wall to potentially see your energy bill go down and help do your bit for the environment.

In fact, according to EcoCostSavings, leaving your TV on standby for an entire year would cost you around £11. So, if you have got two or three TVs in your home, that’s a costly activity that’s very easy to prevent.

Try composting any unused food

There are a multitude of benefits to composting any unused food rather than just putting it in the bin.

In addition to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and so preventing a build-up of methane gas, composting your food will also create a natural fertiliser and keep your garden green in the process.

Use LED lightbulbs

Replacing your conventional lightbulbs with LED alternatives is a great way of helping the environment. Not only do they last much longer than standard bulbs, but they are also far more energy-efficient.

By fitting LED bulbs instead of conventional ones, you will use less power, reducing your energy bills and reducing your carbon footprint in the process.

Plus, they come in a wide range of designs and brightness settings so you will be able to customise the lighting to suit the room.

Ride a bicycle rather than drive your car

If you are just popping down to the local shop or visiting some friends nearby, why not ride your bicycle instead of driving your car five minutes down the road?

You’ll be helping the environment and giving yourself some exercise and fresh air too.

Watch what personal care products you use

A lot of personal care products, including toothpaste, face scrubs and body washes, feature microbeads. These are small bits of solid plastic that aren’t biodegradable. They often find their way into water sources and end up damaging the environment by entering the food chain.

Make sure you’re purchasing products that don’t contain these beads and try avoiding chemicals and opt for more natural cleaning products instead.

Use eco-friendly cleaning products

Many cleaning products have a lot of harmful chemicals in them that are very difficult to create or dispose of in an environmentally friendly way.

Try switching to green cleaning products. These use more organic and natural cleaning methods that are far less harmful to the environment and to you.

Don’t waste food

On average, more than 9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year. Not only is that an incredible waste of money and food but it also adds to the amount of methane and carbon dioxide being created in landfills.

So, where possible, try not to waste any of your food. If there are leftovers, try making them into another dish for either lunch or dinner the next day. If you’re short of inspiration, head online to find great and simple recipes.

Shop local

Whether clothes, food, or other products, the closer to home these goods are made and bought, the less carbon that’s created by their transportation.

In addition to the environmental benefits, you will also be supporting the local economy, which means that over time you’ll have even more local items to choose from.

Try eating less meat

One of the most effective ways of being more environmentally friendly is by cutting down on the amount of meat you eat on a weekly basis.

For example, not eating red meat and eating a more plant-based diet for just two or three days a week can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.

A report by Our World in Data suggests that producing a kilogram of beef emits 60 kilograms of greenhouse gases, compared to the production of a pea, which emits just 1 kilogram per kg.

Similarly, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), revealed that 14% of all human-induced emissions come from dairy and meat production.

Grow your own vegetables

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is not just a great way to save money on your grocery shopping; it’s also a very effective way of being environmentally friendly and cutting down your carbon footprint.

If you don’t have much outside space, you can also utilise windowsill boxes to not only filter the air coming into your home but also offer plenty of space for small vegetable patches and herbs.

Host a zero-waste dinner party

While it’s important that you attempt to reduce your carbon footprint, you could also encourage friends and family members to do the same.

One way you can do this is by hosting a zero-waste dinner party. Shop locally, pick seasonal ingredients and challenge yourself to waste as little as possible. Any leftovers you do have, however unlikely, can be used for lunch the next day!

Get in touch

Like focusing on your impact on the environment, it’s also important to focus on your finances and the impact on your financial future.

To find out how we can help you achieve your goals, please email or call 01277 350560.