If you’re looking for a few things to add to your to-do list amidst the UK lockdown, we’ve got some suggestions that will also help the environment. Here are eight easy things to do from your sofa for the planet — you may also save some pennies, learn new recipes, and have a clearout along the way!
1. Search with Ecosia
Planting trees is crucial for tackling climate change. Good news — you can plant trees from your sofa by searching online! Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine that uses its profits to fund tree planting all around the world. It takes approximately 45 searches on Ecosia to finance the planting of one tree. Install it for free and set it as your default search engine — if you’re anything like us, you’ll be planting forests in no time!
2. Clear out your inbox
Even sending and receiving emails bears a carbon footprint. It takes electricity to type, send, and store emails in the cloud. More than 64 million pointless emails are sent in the UK every day, which amounts to a significant amount of carbon emissions. Do the planet — and your inbox — a favour by unsubscribing to nuisance spam and newsletters you no longer read. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that ours makes the cut.
3. Switch to green energy
Switching energy suppliers is something that requires a bit of research — now’s a good time to look into it! Grab your laptop and check out T3’s guide to the best green energy suppliers (UK). Switching to green energy can lower your carbon impact by 3.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which is the equivalent of approximately 1,770 trees! That’s a great accomplishment from your sofa.
4. Don’t reach for the thermostat
Now that we are all spending more time at home, there’s a risk that our energy emissions will increase. It may be tempting to keep your heating on all day to stay warm, but before you reach for the thermostat, put on a few more layers and grab a blanket. After all, electricity and heating account for nearly a quarter of all human greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s important that we don’t let them increase. Your energy bill will thank you for it, too! OVO Energy has more tips for how to save energy at home.
5. Discover vegan recipes
Now you’ve got extra time, why not try some vegan recipes? Cutting down on meat can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Challenge yourself to introduce a few vegan meals into your week. Katy Beskow’s cookbook titled “15 Minute Vegan: Fast, Modern Vegan Food” is a favourite of ours. Her budget-friendly recipes are made with ingredients you’ve probably already got in your cupboard! And if you’re not following them already, checkout Bosh TV on Instagram for some quick meal inspiration.
6. Plant bee-friendly flowers
This tip provides you with a welcome break from your sofa! We’ve got bees to thank for a third of the food we eat. But honey bees are disappearing globally at an alarming rate. One way to help bee populations is to plant bee friendly plants in your garden, balcony, or window box. Check out Friends of the Earth’s guide to bee-friendly flowers for what to grow. You can also receive seeds that bees will love in this month’s Shorebox!
7. Recycle correctly
Now’s a good time to brush up on your recycling knowledge. Many recyclable items end up in landfill sites because households don’t know what their council collects. Alternatively, putting the wrong material into your recycling bin can lead to entire lorries of recycling ending up in landfill or incineration instead. Enter your postcode into this website to find out what your council recycles. Print it out and stick it on the fridge to get your household onboard!
Read more: Recycling symbols explained
8. Reject junk mail
Approximately 17.5 billion pieces of junk mail are produced every year in the UK. That translates to 550,000 tonnes of paper and 16.5 billion litres of water in resources. Did you know that you can opt out of receiving junk mail by returning a form to the Royal Mail? Put it on your to-do list and recommend that your friends do the same — the more of us who opt out, the better! You could also switch all your utility bills to paperless.
Whilst you’re on the sofa, you can also start your Shorebox subscription to discover plastic-free alternatives to your everyday products! Get 10% off with the code FIRSTBOX. Start your subscription here.
Oh hello! Just a quick note to say, we’re an eco-friendly subscription box helping our subscribers reduce plastic waste step-by-step. If that sounds exciting, enjoy 10% off your first box today with the code FIRSTBOX. That’s all for now, cheerio.