The UN announced yesterday that the levels of carbon dioxide increased at “record-breaking speed”, and reached new highs in 2016. Concentrations of carbon dioxide went up to 403.3 parts per million in 2016 from 400 parts per million in 2015, which is the biggest increase on record, according to the UN. Clearly, we are not moving in the right direction, and are on a slippery slope when it comes to the environment.
The government needs to take serious and strong action to help combat CO2 emissions, but it’s also up to us to make a change. All of us have the power to cut CO2 emissions, and it comes down to some very simple changes in our everyday routine. Below is a list of changes you make today to your home and workplace to make it more environmentally friendly.
Eat less meat
Now, while you don’t necessarily need to go vegan overnight, it is better for the planet to cut down on your consumption of meat. This is due to the extraordinary amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from raising livestock, which is as much as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. So, not only will eating more veggies be beneficial for your waistline, you’ll be saving the planet as well! Not bad for a day’s work is it? If you need some recipe ides, why not check out our Cooking with Vegetables course?
Use less paper
Offices can go through mountains of paper a day, in fact, in America the average office worker goes through approximately 10,000 sheets of the stuff each year! With the technology available to us today, it is not necessary to use this much paper anymore. Trees have to be cut down to make paper. It’s as simple as that, and we need to build a more sustainable future, because trees take a long time to grow! The benefits of reducing office paper consumption can be substantial, not just for the environment. It will save space, money, and can even increase productivity. So stop printing, and start working!
In the UK, each individual discards their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks, which is a staggering amount. If we don’t recycle our rubbish, it goes straight into landfill, which is bad new for the environment. It can end up in our seas, where it can kill wildlife, and it is clogging up the planet. Once you know how, recycling is easy, and it won’t cost you a thing. Most councils give out free recycling bags, which they take away with your usual rubbish, so all you have to do is fill them! It’s not just rubbish that can be recycled, if you have unwanted clothes or furniture, give them to charity instead of throwing them away, it’s easy!
Re-use bags and water bottles
Since England introduced a 5p charge for single use carrier bags, their usage has dropped by 85%, which is a step in the right direction. But there is still more to be done. If you’re still a serial carrier bag user, you should consider swapping to a re-useable one, as plastic bags are extremely harmful to turtles and other sea creatures. Approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they either mistake the bags for food or get strangled in them. So the next time you leave the house, remember to take a re-useable bag with you. The same goes for plastic water bottles, there are tons of re-useable options out there, and it will save you money as well as saving the environment.
Turn appliances off
Even if you leave appliances on standby, they are sucking up electricity, which is costing you money, and wasting power. So no more falling asleep in front of the TV! In addition, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of turning the lights off if you leave a room, as it’s amazing how much energy and money this can waste. Tech is catching up to this too, and you can now install fancy remote control devices that can be controlled with your phone, so you don’t even need to be in the house to switch devices off. What’s more, this means you can control your heating when you’re not in, so you won’t have any excuse not to be energy efficient!
Grow your own
Another fantastic way to make your home more Eco-friendly is to grow your own food, it’s cheap, easy, and can be incredibly fun. If you’re a beginner, Global Edulink has some excellent courses to get you started. You’ll save money, save on packaging, and will learn how to be self-sufficient, which is an important life skill. It will massively reduce your carbon footprint, and will be very tasty indeed. To learn more why not check out these courses: Mastering Container Gardening, Gardening and Landscaping or Gardening for Anything.