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8 ways to make your life more eco.

Posted on November 10 2014

The world in which we live is constantly striving to be more eco, so as part of the continuing campaign we have highlighted 8 areas of your life that could undergo a little change. If we ALL make small changes they can have a big impact in the long run, so read on for some tips for how to …

 

Food

 

We all know that going out for dinner every once in a while is the ultimate treat. To be wined and dined without having to worry about the washing up can be a welcome break, even for the most domesticated amongst us. However, when you consider that by cutting even just one of your monthly treats out you could not only better your own health but the health of the planet it has to be something to take into consideration.

 

Having read an article by Dr. Hyman from The Huffington Post on “How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life” he makes such a valid point regarding the way our attitudes have changed over the centuries regarding eating at home and with the family, he says “ One hundred years ago all we ate was local, organic food; grass-fed, real, whole food. There were no fast-food restaurants, there was no junk food, there was no frozen food -- there was just what your mother or grandmother made.” He goes on to say how most meals were also eaten within the home, around the table, with the family without the distractions of modern day life -  a tradition that has definitely died a death in our modern society.

 

Not only in sentimental terms is this loss of a tradition a sad thing but it is an intrinsic part of our health today. Dr. Hyman says “The sustainability of our planet, our health, and our food supply are inextricably linked. The ecology of eating -- the importance of what you put on your fork -- has never been more critical to our survival as a nation or as a species. The earth will survive our self-destruction. But we may not.”

 

– Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/family-dinner-how_b_806114.html)

 

And there are no excuses. If it is company around the table you are short of, don’t let that put you off! Cook in bulk and freeze into portions for a easy and delicious mid week dinner (there really is nothing better than knowing dinner is sorted for when you step through the door AND its homemade!) This type of kitchen behavior also give you the opportunity to meal plan – that means no wastage, saving you even more money and time aswel as being the best for your health.

 

It really does go without saying but buying organic is truly the way forward. Go to your local farmers markets, butchers and bakers and really get hands on with choosing the foods you want to add to your weekly shop. Things not only look better out of plastic packets but they taste better – we promise! No GM , no hormones and no pesticides also make the organic food choices in your basket the best for your health. There is so much you can read about the organic debate online so we thought we would let you do your own research – however, it is definitely a really important step towards making your life more eco.

 

Driving

 

Nearly everyone has some sort of journey to make every day, to and from work. There is nothing more frustrating than the daily commute, particularly in endless queues of traffic and with no other company than the radio. One solution? Car share. When researching information regarding car shares and the impact they have on the environment we have found some pretty scary statistics:

 

 

  • Traffic has increased by over 60% since 1980.
  • Cars are the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If average car occupancy were to increase by half - with 2.37 persons per car rather than 1.58 - it would lead to a one-third fall in traffic.
  • If there were an increase of 10% - with 1.74 persons per car on average - this would reduce traffic on our roads by 9%.

Now, we know that it is not possible for all of us to car share, but why not ask around the office and see if there is anyone that may be en-route to you on the daily commute. You never know you may be the eco-warrier that your team has longed for. It takes the pressure off too – you could go from having to drive twice a day, everyday, to maybe only once or twice a week , and that’s an incentive if ever we heard one.

 

Walk, Cycle, bus?

 

According to gov.uk “55% of car journeys are under 5 miles - many of these trips could be walked, or made by bike or public transport.”

 

Is work within walking distance? Or a short bus ride away? Ditch the fear of sitting next to a stranger and try public transport – even if just to see how it feels! Not only will you be reducing our carbon footprint but you will also get to enjoy a little ‘you’ time. Read a book, listen to some music and enjoy taking in the sights. We guarantee it can be much more stress free of a morning than the honking of horns and restraining expletives towards fellow car drivers.

 

If home is close enough to the office, put your work shoes in your backpack, don some comfies and get walking. It is free, incredible for your health and will make you feel even more awake for the day ahead. According to the NHS “Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.”

 

Why not bike?

 

Get the rusty wheels out and don’t forget to put on your helmet! Not feeling confident enough? Get prepared and find a local cycle training course. There are so many work cycle incentives now too that can help you get a bike if you don’t already have one. Give it a go, you never know you might just find your new favorite hobby!

 

Fashion

 

Needless to say, here at Beaumont Organic we MORE than understand the importance of using organic fabrics. We are also very happy to see the continuing increase of Organic products that are available on the high street, from even the smallest of high street stores. With shops such as H&M having a ‘Conscious’ range, organic and ethical clothing has never been so affordable. Organic Cotton avoids the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides which are hugely detrimental to the environment, and as the Soil Association points out, Organic Cotton production is all round a healthier way of producing the fabric - “by building soil fertility naturally through the use of compost and manure organic farmers help lock CO2 into the soil, helping mitigate climate change, and they also avoid the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy intensive fossil-fuel based fertilisers".

 

If you don’t want to buy new then why not buy someone else’s old? Vintage and Charity Shopping have been really popular for a few years now and are the go to place for unique and interesting , one-off pieces. If you pick your area carefully you can even get ex-designer pieces at a slash of the original price (here’s a hint – King’s Road in London is amazing!).

 

Home

 

Energy efficiency is the first subject on everyone’s list when it comes to buying any modern day appliance. It is helpful that efficiency ratings are provided as standard but still important to consider the efficiency of the place in which they are used – your home.

 

Insulation is key, from walls to windows and lofts. Investment into your home insulation really will pay off in the long run, reducing the costs and the amount of energy you will face to heat your home and in turn the impact your home then has on the environment.

 

If you have an open fire or a log burner, switching to carbon neutral fuels is a great way to recycle unwanted matter and reduce the impact that open fires are having on our planet. There are many different types of eco fuel, if you are a log burner or open fire owner it is definitely worth some research. Go green and grow more!

 

Haven’t mowed the lawn and its looking a little long? Don’t worry – your only helping the bees!

 

If growing veggies is your thing, then well done! If not then why not give it a go? You don’t need huge amounts of space and could start with something as simple as Tomatoes. If you do want a bigger space then ask around to see if anyone knows of any communal allotments or community projects that might need a little helping hand!

 

Washing

 

Wash at 30 degrees and tumble dry only when necessary. Its simple, small changes from all of us when doing our domestic duties will have a positive impact on our environment. You could save up to £13 annually on your bill just switching to 30, according to a study by The Telegraph.

 

You can even go eco on your washing powder – the leading supermarkets tend to stock at least one eco brand these days – Go green and stay clean!

 

Holidays

 

There are so many places right on our doorstep that we are yet to discover, still every year nearly all of us are guilty of hopping on a aeroplane to an all inclusive hot, sandy destination. Tempting though it may be, have a think before next summer about how much of an adventure you could have closer to home.

 

Reducing your carbon footprint by choosing not to fly is not only comforting for the conscience but also for your experience. Stay-cations most certainly are not overrated.

 

Only got a couple of days? No sweat, why not have a UK city break or even just find out what is going on in your local area? There is bound to be a market, castle or town that you have never visited - so get out and be touristy.

 

Shopping

 

Before you leave the house there is one thing you must remember – and that’s your shopping bags! There is no better way to go green than to make sure you are doing your bit by taking your canvas or recycled carrier bags with you. If you happen to forget them and need to use new one’s then make sure you recycle them or use them on the next trip! Some stores are choosing to charge 5p per bag used so taking your own really will help save the pennies too.

 

Online shopping is so easy and convenient, you can find what you want at just the click of a button and occasionally cheaper that it’s price in the local shopping mall! Fuel saving and more thought provoking, with online shopping you are less likely to impulse buy to only later realize you want to return the item resulting in another car trip to the shops. We are more likely to only buy what we were looking for.

 

As a general rule we should all be more considerate about the pieces that we purchase. Investment buying is a term that we are hearing more and more, in our increasingly ethically conscious society. The idea behind this is that we spend a little more and invest our hard earned money into quality pieces that will age well and last a lifetime. Taking this kind of action will give each piece that you purchase more time out of the wardrobe and spread the price that you paid much further than the disposable fashion piece would have done.

 

Recycling/Upcycling

 

Bored of your wardrobe and have a well dressed friend? Why not plan a clothes swap shop? Get your friends together and ask them to bring any garments with them that still have a life in them but aren’t getting the wear that they deserve, and then, you guessed it – get swapping! It’s free and easy to arrange. You are bound to bag yourself a beauty that will liven up your wardrobe whilst also clearing it out!

 

Another great way to inject some new life into your clothes is by customizing. Old jeans make the best shorts and if that skirt length is out of season then get the sewing machine out and get shortening! Additions of patches, sequins, beads, ribbon and tapes can often take something old and make it better than new – unique! If your garment really has passed the days of being worn then why not get crafty and turn it into something else, textile gift ideas are in abundance on sites such as pinterest, so if your fingers are twitching but your in need of a little inspiration then get signed up and get stitching.

 

If it’s a mass clearout your having then don’t just bin it! If it’s still in a good, wearable condition then drop it into your local charity shop or clothing recycle bank – it will probably be just the thing somebody was looking for.

 

When it comes to the kitchen and cooking there is one topic that is forever under scrutiny, and that’s food waste. Aside from trying to ensure that we use up all the ingredients in our fridge without them going to waste it is also crucial to be recycling our scraps into food waste bins or compost bins in our back gardens. The local council will have allocated you a food waste bin, whether individually or communally, which you can use to recycle food waste. If you are missing a bin or would like further information about recycling in your area then get in touch with your local council who I’m sure will be more than happy to help.

 

We hope that this blog may have helped give you some inspiration for going more eco. It contains nothing revolutionary or too difficult to do, and that really is the point. Small changes can help towards making a big difference to our planet and if we all became a little more considerate then these small changes would eventually result in big changes.

 

Like us on facebook and share our blog, helping spread the word towards a brighter future. Lots of eco love, Beaumont Organic xx

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