New Year’s Resolutions? This year we’ll be publishing an eco-tip every week. Could your resolution be to protect God’s creation, and reduce your footprint? Start simply – instead of buying new food, make a simple meal from leftovers from the festive period.
It’s Veganuary. A vegan diet could be the ‘biggest single way’ to reduce your environmental impact, Oxford researchers have said. Cutting meat and dairy from your diet can reduce your footprint from food by 73% If you’re not ready for the full commitment, maybe introduce some meat- and dairy-free days into your week to get started. https://veganuary.com/
It’s obvious when you think about it, but a switched-off device uses less energy than something left on, so be vigilant at home and at work to turn off appliances you’re not using.
Do you know how green your bank is? Check it out at https://bank.green. If yours isn’t so good, maybe it’s time to change?
Flying is one of the most environmentally damaging things you can do – a return flight to the US is over 10% of an average UK person’s annual carbon footprint, and equal to the annual footprint of someone in sub-Saharan Africa. Might you think about somewhere closer to home when you next book a holiday, or go by train instead?
Have you ever thought about how the energy you use at home is produced? Switching to a renewable tariff will lower your personal emissions, and boost the renewables sector. You could even save money. https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/switching-your-energy-supplier/
Metal Lunch boxes - Instead of packing your kid’s lunch (or yours) with a bunch of plastic bags, get a metal box with compartments, which you can use over and over again.
It’s Fairtrade Fortnight. How can you save the planet and help struggling farmers at the same time? The Fairtrade mark guarantees farmers in the developing world a good wage, so switch to Fairtrade today, if you haven’t already. Find out more at https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
As Lent gets underway, how can we use these 40 days to live more sustainably? https://greenchristian.org.uk/top-tips-for-green-lent-resources/
Skip Plastic Produce Bags - There’s no need for plastic bags. Just put your produce all together in a big basket or bag. Or if you prefer, you can buy cloth bags such as these:
Do you know how much carbon you’re using? Once you’re aware of your footprint, you can start to take steps to reduce it. Find out today at https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
Earth Hour is Saturday 26 March, at 8.30pm. Switch off all your lights for an hour, together with millions of others worldwide, to show support for the planet. https://www.earthhour.org
Recycle, recycle, recycle. We all do it, but more can be recycled than you think. Go to https://www.recyclenow.com and be inspired to recycle more, and send less to landfill.
Cloth Grocery Bags or Baskets. Plastic bags are typically used for no more than an hour or two and then sit in landfills for hundreds of years. They are the epitome of consumerism and wastefulness, along with plastic water bottles.
Easter is a time of rejoicing and chocolate. Is yours Fairtrade: https://meaningfulchocolate.co.uk/pages/real-easter-egg
Spring is here, so a good time to get out in the fresh air. 50% of car trips are under 2 miles, and could be cycled or walked, better for you and the planet.
As the days grow longer and hopefully sunnier, have you thought that solar energy could power your house and reduce your bills? https://www.treadlighter.co.uk/
Buy or sell unwanted clothes rather than send them to landfill. Look at Vinted – https://www.vinted.co.uk/app As well as giving users the opportunity to sell second-hand clothing, Vinted also enables people to swap clothes with one another if they wish. Instead of buying brand new clothes, it encourages everyone to purchase and swap items to help the environment.
Jesus said: “ Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted” (John 6, 12). If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse emissions. Much fruit and veg is wasted because it’s the wrong shape or size to sell in supermarkets. But it’s just as tasty, and available for sale through Oddbox. Oddbox is delivered to your door weekly or however you often you wish at very reasonable prices: https://www.oddbox.co.uk/
Faced with the climate crisis it’s easy to feel powerless. So why not write to those who make the big decision and ask them to act? https://www.writetothem.com/
The UK’s housing stock is the oldest, and most poorly insulated, in Europe. Insulating your home will cut your bills, keep you warmer, and help cut carbon. Lofts, walls, floors and windows can all be improved. https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/roof-and-loft-insulation/
Sunday is World Environment Day. How green do you think you are? This week could be the time to audit your lifestyle – get started at https://3ak4be4522es3y5i4l2cwfkx-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/L4-Auditing-your-lifestyle.pdf
Metal Water Bottles - It takes 450 years for a plastic water bottle to breakdown into microscopic pieces. It will never fully biodegrade. They can’t actually be recycled, only down-cycled. They are easily replaced with a metal bottle which you can keep and refill from the tap.
They say it never rains but it pours. Could you catch that extra water for use on drier days? A water butt can help keep your garden green and lush, without needing to use precious tap water. https://www.waterbuttsdirect.co.uk/
Trees are great at absorbing carbon from the air, and provide a habitat for animals and other plants. Can you plant one yourself, or maybe buy one as a gift to the world? https://www.treedom.net/en/
How do you get to church, work, or the shops? Walking, cycling and public transport are all lower carbon than a car, even an electric one, and will help you stay active too.
If you are able, ditch the tumble dryer and air dry clothes: outside on a line if you have an outdoor space; inside on an airer in a room that you can ventilate or with a Sheila Maid over the bath or sink - https://sheilamaid.com/collections/sheila-maid-new
Turn off the tap when cleaning your teeth! On average, about two gallons of water flow from a tap each minute. Something as simple as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to three or four gallons of water per person per day
Just Say No to Plastic Cutlery and Straws - Disposable cutlery and straws are among the worst plastic pollution culprits. Like plastic bags and bottles, they’re used just once, for a few minutes, and then thrown away. Keep metal or wooden utensils set in your purse or travel pack
Wash clothes in cold water. Not only does it save water by washing clothes in cold water, colours last longer and clothes retain their size and shape
Talk about it honestly! Tell others what you are doing to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Help and encourage people to make new habits. If they hear you are doing something they may feel inspired too. “We are in the earth’s overdraft and it is time to restore the balance”.
Worried you can’t make a difference on your own? Here is story about that very thing - “One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a small boy picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, the man asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”
Carry Your Own Cup - Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups each year. Even the paper cups are lined with plastic. A growing number of eco-friendly coffee shops now offering discounts for bringing your own cup
Supporting an Environmental Charity. Why not join up to Friends of the Earth, The World Wild Life Fund, The World Food Programme. Here is a list of the best Environmental Charities in London: https://www.attitudeorganic.com/5-best-environmental-charities-in-london/
SEQUINS - Resist the temptation to splash out on sequins (they’re made from PVC); instead use biodegradable substitutes made from plant-based plastics which will compost. You can buy them if you are making clothes from Josyrose for example.
Changing a lightbulb? LED bulbs use only a tenth of the energy of traditional filament or halogen bulbs, they even save compared to the older low-energy bulbs.
Thursday 22 September is World Car Free Day – if you own one, leave it at home and enjoy taking a different mode of transport. Imagine how quiet, and clean, our streets would be with fewer cars.
Cloth or Paper Diapers - Most nappies are made with plastic and are loading up landfills by the ton. Here are some alternatives:
Water-metering - This means we can keep an eye of the water we use, and hopefully reduce it. It saves money too. Via Thames Water: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/my-account/water-meters
It’s harvest, when we celebrate God’s bounteous gifts. But are we using them wisely? Go through your fridge and pantry this week and use up any produce which is near its use-by date, to avoid throwing it out later. And try to make this a habit.
Do you want to look good this autumn? For statement, eco-friendly designs, try WeAre Thought https://www.wearethought.com/ They use only natural and sustainable fibres – clothes for women and men.
Are you still using petrol? The next generation of vehicles will be electric, and with charging points proliferating, maybe now’s the time to think about a change. Remember though, shorter journeys are better walked or cycled.
10 million pumpkins are grown a year in the UK. What percentage are hollowed out for lanterns? Answer 95%! If you buy one use the pulp for soup or even make beer with it. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pumpkin-soup
COP27 is underway in Egypt. Pray for a just outcome, and send your MP a message highlighting your concerns. https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/
Batteries – Cut down on gadgets that need alkaline batteries or if you have to use them, recycle them. Most supermarkets have a recycling station.
Give Services instead of goods for Birthdays and Christmas: e.g. an hour’s massage at a local spa, or music lessons for a budding musician. And any parent would love a few hours of childcare or a tutoring session with older children. How about a gift of a car wash and vacuum, or a few scheduled dog walks. Many older folks could use internet lessons to learn how to use email and share pictures and ideas with their friends and grandkids. Clever young folks can download the latest and greatest “apps” to an older person’s smartphone so they can benefit from the new technologies. Most homeowners could use a gift of lawncare, cooking lessons, window-washing, gardening, or a good old Gift Voucher.
Christmas Trees. Choose a Live Tree. ... According to the Carbon Trust, a two-metre artificial tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg, more than ten times that of a real tree that's burned after Christmas. ... Burning is a particularly effective way to dispose of a used Christmas trees and reduces potential emissions by 80% over those that are thrown out. However LA have collection schemes for Christmas Trees and can convert them into wood chips for use on flower beds.
Christmas is coming – but all those cards use a lot of paper, and are expensive too. Think about sending a card by email, or a single card to all your friends at church, or in the office, instead of individual ones.
Eco Decorations found here! https://giant.sg/10-easy-eco-friendly-christmas-decorations-that-look-awesome Best ones on this site look to be: Scrap Ribbon tree ornament (ribbon round a twig or cinnamon stick); Salt dough decorations (cookie cutters to cut out snowman, Xmas trees etc)Recycled paper Xmas decorations (hanging baubles made of scraps of wrapping paper, pages from old books etc);Recycled greeting card wreath.
Gifts of Social Service and Overseas aid - www.Oxfamunwrapped.com ‘ Oxfam Unwrapped is a range of charity gift cards and instant eCards that help people beat poverty for good. You can choose a gift to give to your friends or family on any occasion and know that you are helping and improving the lives of people living in poverty eg poverty busting pig; support women entrepreneurs; water pump.
MAKE YOUR MOBILE PHONE LAST. DON’T BE SUCKED IN TO CONSTANT UPGRADES. Mobile phone manufacturing is putting a huge strain on the planet’s resources. People working in awful conditions mining the minerals and precious metals needed to keep up with demand. So try and make your phone last. If you do get a new one, many places (such as Boots) have recycling schemes. HERE IS A PAGE TO HELP WITH WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR OLD PHONES - https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/mobile-phones-0