Top 10 Tips for Greener Consumption in 2010
1. Be Selective
Make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t need! Try not to fall into marketing traps that make you feel as if you have to have something. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it! One of the biggest contributors to over-consumption is our ability to persuade ourselves to buy things we don’t actually want or ever use.
2. Buy local
Help your local community go green by buying local wherever possible. Not only does this mean a lower carbon footprint but it also keeps local independent shops running, they need all the help they can get in this age of big supermarkets and online shopping. Instead of driving to the nearest Tesco, walk to your local butcher, baker or delicatessen and help keep your local shops and producers open.
Don’t let anything go to waste. Find out from your local council what recycling options your community has and recycle everything you can – from cans to plastic, from paper to fabric. Get down the local bottle bank and take the plastic bags that have accumulated from years of shopping to a recycling centre.
If it can be re-used then don’t throw it away! Shopping bags, newspaper, plastic bottles and fabric are all materials that can be very useful around the house. Try to get the most wear out of all your clothes and shoes and make sure nothing goes to waste.
5. Plan Ahead
If you plan your meals in advance you’re guaranteed not to over-buy on your weekly shop. Make sure you know exactly how much produce you’re going to use so you don’t end up wasting food and drink each week.
6. Cut Down
Cutting down your intake of meat can make a drastic difference to the environment. Try to eat meat just once a day (or once every two days if you can!) to lower the emissions and carbon footprint caused by your food consumption.
7. Get Creative
Don’t throw that old pair of jeans out, turn it into a denim skirt! See what you can do with all those things you normally throw away. Wine bottles make great candle holders and old dresses can often be turned into wonderful new skirts. It’s good for the planet, your wardrobe and your imagination!
8. Make a Small Change
Small changes lend themselves to big differences. Try focusing on one aspect of your life a week that can be slightly altered to help the environment. It might be switching energy companies, it might be turning off appliances at the plug, it might even be walking or cycling to work every day. Buy your next party dress from an ethical clothes supplier rather than Topshop. Take small steps one week at a time and see your carbon footprint shrink.
If your favourite pair of shoes are starting to look a little worn then take them to the cobblers. If your favourite top has holes in then sew them up. Make the most out of what you’ve got by mending your current clothing rather than buying replacements.
10. Search Around
Check out your local charity shops before you go on that shopping spree. Not only could it save you money, but if you search around before buying ‘that’ top you might realise you didn’t need it in the first place!