Small steps to a cleaner life

As a country, we are all very much used to hearing about how we need to save the environment, and rightly so. However, it is also very common to hear people saying that there is no point in taking any action, as apparently “there is nothing as individuals that we can do.” This is completely wrong, and this post will tell you why.

There are so many small and easy changes that we can make, and many of them can become an easy part of your routine that will soon become unnoticeable:

#1 – Change your deodorant

As mentioned in previous posts, the LIFE ambassadors have conducted an experiment with formaldehyde air monitors where we found the drastic impact that spraying aerosols has on the air we breathe. This is why we recommend that everyone changes to a roll on deodorant, rather than an aerosol. This is an easy swap that we can make that is equally as effective as spray-on deodorants that most of us use. The spray within aerosols isn’t the only part of them that is bad for the environment but the physical container as well. The container contains toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and xylene and are also far from biodegradable. The containers of roll on deodorants aren’t exactly good for the environment either, but are still far better than aerosols and are very easily accessible. This is why some companies have gone one step further, to create deodorants that are both environmentally friendly inside and out. For example, Nuud has made a paste deodorant with a container made from sugar cane, the company Ben & Anna have made a deodorant stick wrapped in a tube of Forestry Commission Certified paper and Meow Meow Tweet have made a deodorant especially for people with sensitive skin, which is packaged in a recyclable glass jar, so changing your deodorant is definitely worth looking in to.

#2 – Change your lightbulbs

This might seem like a big project to do, but it is very easy to do, as you can simply replace your normal light bulbs with eco-friendly LED ones. The reason LED bulbs are good for the environment is simply just because of how much less energy they require to run. In fact, they can be up to 80% more energy efficient, which can save you around £70 per year. Although they are a little more expensive than normal light bulbs, the energy saved pays for themselves within a year. As well as this, they are a lot more durable than normal light bulbs, and can last up to 25 years! They also shine brighter as well, meaning your lightbulbs are definitely worth replacing.

#3 – Reusable bags

This change saves you money as well as saving the environment. First of all, everyone knows how shops now charge you an extra 5p or sometimes even more to purchase a plastic bag, and with the amount of shopping that most of us do, those pennies add up a lot more quicker than we realise. This is why reusable bags have become increasing popular. For example, many shops are now selling reusable bags that can fold into tiny pouches, so that you can keep them in a handbag/rucksack etc for whenever you may need them, instead of purchasing a plastic bag. Another example of reusable bags are ones you can purchase online for fruit and vegetables in supermarkets. These can be cleaned and used with every shop instead of plastic bags which are used by almost everyone on a very frequent basis. Food packaging makes up almost two thirds of total packaging waste, reusable bags can help to decrease this.

#4 – Reuse whatever you can

There are many other small changes you can make, such as using reusable water bottles and upcycling containers like ice cream tubs, glass jars and take-away tubs into other useful items such as storage containers. There are coffee shops, such as Starbucks that allow you to bring in your own cup for your drink and will therefore discount the price, helping you to save both the environment and money.

Imagine the amount of waste you could save by doing even a few of these and then think of the extortionate effect we could have if everyone did at least one of these. We have all of these opportunities at our fingertips, we just need to embrace them and raise awareness to make a difference.

By Eleanor Savine

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