The climate crisis continues to cause chaos for many forms of plant and animal life across the globe. We have a duty as a species to reduce our carbon footprint and give back to the environment before it is too late. If you are a green-minded person, you may wonder what you can do on an individual level to help environmental sustainability in the UK.
You should remember, that although contributions on an individual level might seem small, they can make a world of difference. Making your life more sustainable and environmentally friendly is so simple that it can easily become a part of your daily life.
For this reason, we have outlined X ways you can make positive steps towards sustainability at home. Let’s get into it!
Support Local Charity Shops – Environmental Sustainability in the UK
One benefit of the UK is our high number of charity shops on our highstreets. There are an estimated 11,000 thrift shops, guaranteeing that you will be able to find one on almost every high street in the country. These shops are often operated bg large international charities or even smaller, local organizations. Charity shops stock a variety of donated, second-hand goods. Even better, is that the profits that go to these stores go to charities that need it!
Charity shops allow you the opportunity to source excellent bargains whilst reducing your carbon footprint. You can often find a range of clothes, household items, books and music in these stores and much more.
By donating to charity shops, you can help the environment even further as you will not have to go through the challenge of getting large items such as furniture recycled by your local authority.
Consider Your Chosen Energy Company
Fortunately, UK local energy sectors are some of the most renewable in Europe. In the first quarter of 2020, renewable sources generated a record 47% of the UK’s energy. This figure is also set to increase as the government looks to move even further away from fossil fuels and instead invest in the country’s wind farms and solar panel infrastructure. Furthermore, you can help with this energy shift whilst taking some simple steps at home.
Setting up gas and electricity is often one of the first things you do when moving into a property in the UK. There are plenty of choices to choose from for your chosen energy provider. If you are looking to make a sustainable live choice, you should make sure to do some research and select one of the UK’s green energy suppliers. There are an increasing number of smaller energy providers in the UK that offer 100% free electricity. These include providers such as Octopus and Bulb. However, to ensure that you can trust your provider fully when it comes to providing greener energy, you should always do some research online regarding your chosen supplier.
Get on the Bike! – Environmental Sustainability in the UK
Reassessing the way you use your car can help greatly reduce your carbon emissions. It has been proven that transport is the largest contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, in a bid to move to electric vehicles, the government has announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040. That being said, although electric vehicle sales are increasing in the UK, uptake remains slow as a result of issues with EV charging infrastructure in the UK.
Asides from buying these latest electric car models, there are still plenty of simple ways you can reduce your carbon emissions.
It can be a challenge trying to go completely car-free in the UK. However, depending on your location it can definitely be possible in some places. Local public transport networks in British cities are often good enough to ensure that you don’t have to rely on your car for some journeys. Additionally, if you don’t lie about the thought of catching the bus or metro, you can also consider signing up to car-sharing platforms.
Lastly, riding the bike to work can be a great way to not only lessen your carbon footprint but can also be a great way of keeping fit and healthy in the process too.
Reduce Your Food Waste
In order to truly support environmental sustainability in the UK, you must take into account the level of food waste produced at home. According to figures provided by environmental charity Wrap, the UK threw out 4.5 million tonnes of edible food in 2018 alone. This is equivalent to around £10 billion and can be associated with over 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The reason here is that when you throw out food, you don’t only waste the food itself but also the energy and resources needed to produce that good in the first place.
Luckily, there are several ways to reduce the amount of food waste in your home. Simple steps such as decluttering your fridge so you can see better what is inside will go a long way in contributing towards sustainability. Additionally, shopping smarter and ensuring you don’t end up with too many groceries can also help a lot. By remembering to write a clear list of the groceries you need before going to the supermarkets you can help reduce the amount of waste caused by buying the wrong or unnecessary items.
Be Mindful of Your Water Usage
Freshwater is an extremely valuable and precious resource throughout the world, and the UK is no exception to this. According to recent research, the average UK resident uses around 150 litres of water each day. This figure continues to rise by 1% year on year. However, although the UK does produce a lot of water through rain, it has a surprisingly limited resource of water ready for human use. Furthermore, the South East of England has less water available per person than both Syria and Sudan.
However, there are numerous ways you can reduce your water use in the UK at home. Unfortunately, you cannot change your water provider in the UK. That being said, many providers offer advice and products to help you save on water usage. These can include water-efficient showerheads and shower timers. However, saving water isn’t all about saving in the bathroom. Whether you are cooking, cleaning or gardening, increased awareness of your water usage will go a long way in supporting sustainability in the UK.
Replace Old Appliances – Environmental Sustainability in the UK
When moving into a new home, especially if it’s a rented one, you would be forgiven if your first thoughts were not about the energy efficiency of your appliances. In most instances, you’ll likely just be happy that they are working properly in the first place. However, in order to be more sustainable at home, you will want to inspect these old appliances. Recent figures show that new appliances often run on less energy and also help save money on bills.
Furthermore, if you are looking to replace an old appliance, be sure that the current one is recycled. Most local authorities in the UK will provide you with a designated recycling point for these kinds of items.
Support Local Shops by Buying Local!
Sometimes it can be easy to forget just how far groceries have had to travel before arriving in your kitchen. Food from supermarket shelves often hails from all over the world, no matter fresh or dry. Reducing food miles is a huge part of sustainable living in the UK. According to statistics provided by the government, transporting food to and around the UK produces roughly 19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. This is equivalent to around 5.5 million cars.
That being said, what can you do to reduce your food miles on your groceries? One step that can be taken is to change your food choices at the supermarket. By choosing locally- grown options, or eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, you are already off to a great start.
Another way to support Sustainability in the UK is to shop locally. Most towns and cities will hold a weekly market where you can benefit from buying fresh produce from local farmers. Using these markets will go a long way in reducing food miles and you will also be able to enjoy fresher homegrown produce!
Support Natural World Fund – Get in Touch!
We hope you have found these home tips for ensuring environmental sustainability in the UK useful. If you would like to find out more about how you can support UK wildlife and biodiversity, visit our website and get in touch.
Natural World Fund was created for those who want to help but don’t know where to start. We make it simple to make a difference by providing easy and clear steps to do your part for the environment.
How do We do it? It’s simple. Firstly Natural World Fund protects UK wildlife by working to rewild sites with the UK, ensuring that all donations make a real difference. We restore nature through the planting of forests, developing meadows. We also work to restore seabeds across the UK in order to protect some of our most vulnerable sea life.