Little Things You Can Do to Help Reverse the Global Climate Crisis
We are currently in the midst of a climate crisis, with global warming being the greatest threats to human civilisation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to control the rate at which the global, temperature is rising we have to cut our CO2 emissions by 45% by the year 2030. Although this may seem impossible to combat as individuals I’ve curated a list of products and lifestyle changes which you can adopt to reduce your individual contribution to climate change. These small changes are easy to make without costing an excessive amount of money and can be made by almost anyone.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Although this may seem to be obvious and trivial, the amount of people I have seen that buy a single use plastic water bottle when they’re on the go is astounding. Buying a reusable water bottle whether that’s glass, metal or plastic can have a greater impact than you think in cutting down on individual plastic usage. One of my favourites is the Original Dopper Water Bottle which comes in a variety of materials and adorable pastel colours. The German brand also sustainably produces all of its products and donates 5% of proceedings to cleaning the oceans of plastic.
Dopper Original, Sunshine Yellow £12.50
Bring a Reusable Bag
Another obvious one, but again you would really be amazed. Although all supermarkets have introduced a bag charge and bags for life which are reusable, people still don’t bring their own bags. Whether it’s a sturdy jute bag or a pocket bag, this is a great way to cut down on your plastic consumption.
Whole Foods Jute Bag, Whole Foods £3.99
Reusable Shopping Bag, Waitrose £1.25
Buy and Use Metal Straws
Not only are metal straws aesthetically attractive, they are also a great alternative to using plastic straws which flood our oceans and seas, whilst severely harming ecosystems and sea life. I’ve found that although many companies are working towards swapping out plastic
straws for paper straws, most of them aren’t actually recyclable and area quite frankly useless if you don’t finish your drink in 5 minutes. So, carrying your own metal straw in your bag is not only easy but also a convenient way to help the environment
Joie Reusable Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – Pack of 6, Lakeland £5.99
Recycle your Coffee Pods
Although it is believed that most coffee machines are great contributors to plastic consumption due to the use of pods, I have actually found that a majority of these pods are actually recyclable within the UK. If you have a Delonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto, a Nespresso or a Tassimo, these pods are surprisingly recyclable. In a majority of these cases you can collect these pods and send them into the company who will then recycle these plastic pods into new products. If you order pods on the Dolce Gusto website, the company will send you a bag to fill and free-post back to them to be recycled.
If You Have to, Buy Metal or Glass Packaging
Although you can carry around your own water bottle, you can’t always avoid using plastic bottles for fizzy drinks. However, as opposed to buying plastic bottles looking out for metal cans, paper boxes or glass bottles instead is a more sustainable alternative and can be easily recycled. This can also be applied to buying products in glass jars rather than plastic packaging in the supermarket, they can also be reused as cute décor and storage for other foods!
Use Bee’s Wrap
You might not think about it but when wrapping away food for later you are contributing to your plastic consumption which can be easily avoided. Bee’s Wrap is another great alternative to cling wrap which is a kitchen essential. Rather than single use wraps you can use and reuse bees wrap which is also easily cleanable and a lot prettier than cling wrap. You can also get different sizes and bundles online which are tailored for different sized products.
Starter Bundle, Beeswax Wrap Co. £20.00
Use a Keep Cup or Reusable Cold Cup
The kitchen theme might seem a bit obvious now but it’s just proof that we use so much single use plastic without even thinking about it. Another way you can reduce this is by bringing your own coffee cup or cold cup depending on what you fancy. Although it can seem inconvenient you can also now buy collapsible reusable cups which will fit perfectly in your bag, meaning there’s no excuse not to use one.
LongPlay, KeepCup £22.00
Navy Collapsible Pocket Cup, Stojo £12
Cold Cup 16 flOz, Starbucks £15
Use Bar Soap and/or Bar Shampoo
As opposed to using shower gels and bottled shampoo, you can also easily reduce your level of plastic consumption by swapping out the bottles for waste free bar shampoo or soap. One of my favourites is the Karma soap from Lush or the Moringa Soap from The Body Shop.
Moringa Soap, The Body Shop £2.50
Karma, Lush £4.50/100g
Angel Hair Shampoo Bar, Lush £8.00/55g
Get an iPad and Apple Pencil
This is possibly the most expensive change you could make towards being more sustainable, however it is a life changer. Being a university student, I used to waste an obscene amount of paper on lecture notes and jotting down essay ideas, but getting myself an iPad and Apple Pencil has perhaps been my best idea yet. Not only are you using less paper in terms of notes, you can also download any books and readings on to it and annotate on it too. It’s also so portable and light weight that you’ll thank yourself every day when you’re walking home after a long day at work or in class.
Classic iPad, Apple £349.00
Apple Pencil, Apple £89.00
Go to your local bulk foods shop
I used to work in a bulk foods store in Australia and it was one of the most efficient ways that everyone could cut down on their personal plastic consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. Almost of all of the products were locally sourced, hence reducing the air-miles collected by the foods and also reduced the copious amounts of plastic packaging which is wasted by a majority of supermarkets. You can bring your own bags and containers, fill them to the extent that you want which also helps cut down on food wastage!
Cut Down on Meat and Dairy or even better go Vegetarian or Vegan!
One of the best ways to reduce the majority of your carbon footprint or contribution to climate change is actually perhaps one of the simplest and also perhaps one of the most cost efficient. Farming for meat has been proven to be one of the greatest contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases and in increasing your carbon footprint, so cutting down on how many times a week you consume meat and animal products or even eliminating them from your diet completely will contribute to you doing your bit for the environment.
Main Photo: @TropicalStudios