20 easy ways to go green

Written by

Tara Covell

Wednesday 27th April 2022

From simple eco swaps to sustainable lifestyle changes, here are 10 ways to be a little kinder to the planet this year.

Here are some simple ideas to go green this year if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably in 2022.

Choose a few you like and combine them with ones you already do, and you'll be well on your way to living a more environmentally friendly life.


Ditch the disposable coffee cups

In the UK alone we throw away 2.5 billion cups every year which end up in landfill sites.

Next time you fancy a coffee when you’re out and about, take your own travel mug with you. Not only will you be doing your bit for the planet but also your bank balance.

Most coffee shops will offer a discount, so it will also save you a bit of cash.

Best rewards

  • Pret – 50p discount

  • Starbucks – 25p discount

  • Costa – 25p discount

  • Nero – Double loyalty stamp

Eco-friendly cleaning products

As we all know, chemicals and water supplies don’t mix, so why do we insist on using harsh household cleaners? Plus, most detergents come in plastic packaging.

The answer? Make your own or if you’re short on time, swap out regular cleaning products with environmentally friend alternatives. Not only will it prevent contaminating the water supplies, but it can also save you some money.


Carry canvas and stop buying bags

A green tax was introduced last month for all plastic packaging including carrier bags when you go shopping. The new levy on all new carrier bags will be 25p.

More and more people are now opting to use reusable alternatives such as canvas or cotton instead so get yourself online and stock up on your favourites to take with you on your next supermarket trip.

Top Tip: Leave your bags in your car or by the front door so you won’t forget to pick them up on your way out.


Travel with intent

Traveling less frequently is a simple approach to be more environmentally conscious, but when you do travel, it's important to do so more thoughtfully. Could you take a longer trip instead of several short breaks?

Explore alternatives ways to travel and, if possible, avoid flying, but also do your research on the destinations you'll be staying and visiting.

Responsible Travel, a self-described "activist travel firm," is a fantastic place to start because it promotes holidays that help communities and safeguards wildlife.


Let loose

Unfortunately, most weekly shop items are still covered in plastic, but when it comes to fresh produce there’s usually the option to buy it loose with most supermarkets swapping out plastic bags for reusable produce bags instead.

Helpful Hints

  • Buy loose fruit and veg when possible - take your own produce bags to put them in if you’re worried about bruising
  • Visit local farm shops and outdoor markets where plastic is rarely used as standard

  • If you fancy a challenge, have a go at growing your own

Use a refillable water bottle

Every year, 500 billion plastic bottles are used, which is 66 times more bottles than people on the planet. According to recent data, there are 150 plastic bottles for every mile of UK coastline time, which is quite damning in itself.

Investing in a quality stainless steel or glass water alternative not only protects the environment but will help reduce waste. There's plenty of options, so you're likely to discover one that appeals to you.


Compost your food waste

Composting is a great way to make use of all your food and garden waste as well as caring for your trees, plants, and flowers. It’s so easy to get started and all you need is a small kitchen compost bin and a larger one for your garden, which are usually available through your local council for a small fee.


Pack your own lunch and snacks

If you frequently grab a meal deal at lunchtime, you'll be known that everything you buy is wrapped in plastic. Let's be honest: those premade sandwiches aren't even that appetizing, so why not make your own lunch and snacks? There are countless delicious alternatives to ty out and you'll be surprised at how much money you can save in the long run.


Borrow not buy

The next time you think you need something new, think again and ask yourself ‘Can I borrow this from someone?’ If you are only going to use it once or twice then this is a better option for both your wallet and the environment.


Buy second hand instead of brand new

If you do have to buy, consider buying second hand. Most items are still in good condition with lots of life left in them and by buying from a charity shop, you are supporting good causes.

Best places for bagging a second hand bargain:

  • Vinted

  • Facebook Marketplace

  • Preloved

  • eBay

Use less water

On average, each person uses about 142 litres of water every day, which is a lot when considering the UK population is over 6.5 billion. But there are lots of ways you can use less or even repurpose it, such as saving your pasta or veggie water or catching it from your shower with a bucket while you’re waiting for it to warm up then using it on your garden.

Top Water Saving Tips

  • Use a rain barrel in your garden

  • Install a Grey Water System

  • Reuse left over drinking water on household plants

Stop using cling film

Cling film isn’t recyclable so will end up in a landfill after only one use. The good news is that there as so many other alternatives available to cling film that will surprise you such as: beeswax wraps, bowl covers and parchment paper.


Green pets

Even the four-legged family can be involved in going green with just a few simple changes. Using biodegradable doggy bags is the easiest change you can make however there is a catch – they won’t biodegrade in a normal landfill so a bit more effort is required for disposable.

Other changes such as making your own treats, pet food and choosing eco-friendly toys is a great way to get your pooch or feline to join the sustainability movement.


Buy in bulk

Bulk buying not only reduces the amount of waste packaging but might also save you some money. For example, if you buy large quantities of dried food, you will be throwing away less than if you bought smaller packs. If you don’t have much storage space or want to bulk buy perishables, speak to your friends and family to see if you can bulk buy together and share.


Use leftover veg for stock or broth

If you fancy an alternative to composting your left over veg then why not make a delicious veggie stock? Onions, celery and carrots are a good base, but you can add lots of other leftovers depending on your taste.

Top tip: Freeze portions of the stock in an ice cube tray to use as needed.


Reusable nappies

For all you new parents out there, reusable nappies may seem like a waste of time when disposables are readily available from the supermarket, however there are some pretty good reasons for the swap. Not only are they better for the environment but also, they are better fitting than disposables. Give it a go to see if they work for you.


Swap to solid shampoo & conditioner

Making the switch from ‘traditional’ shampoo & conditioner can be a bit scary but there are plenty of benefits to convince you. Many of these bars come package free as well as being concentrated so a little really does go along way which is a bonus for your bank balance. There are so many varieties out there for all hair types.


Disposable razors

Like anything plastic and disposable, our razors end up in the bin after only a couple of uses, and let’s face it, they’re not cheap to buy either! Making the switch to a traditional safety razor is a great way to be more eco-friendly and saves you money as you’re only replacing the blades (which can also be sharpened to extend their life).


Swap dryer sheets for dryer balls

Not only are dryer sheets not recyclable, they’re also not very cost effective. Swapping to natural dryer balls and adding a few drops of essential oil to them before putting them in will leave your laundry, soft and nice smelling for a fraction of the cost. You can now rest easy knowing that all this has come waste free.


Donate not dump

Next time you have a clear out at home, don’t just throw things away and donate them instead. A recent study found three-quarters of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted garments. This is down to many people not realising old clothes still retain value and can be recycled. So next time you have a clear out, pass all your unwanted items to your local charity or put clothes bin as someone else will be able to find a use for it.

Categories