Here are ten ways in which you can truly “do your bit” to promote environmental sustainability. Simply trying to form a few new habits will allow us to live a life that is more sustainable; however, at first, this will not be an easy task.
Now, before we get into the bad news…
Duncan Stewart, an architect, environmental activist, and media personality, asserts that the homes we currently live in are not at all sustainable.
We’re in the top one percentile for greenhouse gas emissions. We are contributing nearly twice as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as the typical home in Europe.
As of 1990, Europe has been able to cut its emission levels by between 20 and 30 percent, but Ireland has been able to increase its emissions by 12 percent. He makes the assertion that they are the stragglers of Europe and that they do not behave responsibly.
In addition to this, the number of our wildlife populations is decreasing. At this time, we only have a third of the total number of species that we did back in 1970.
“The number of insects has decreased by a staggering 75%. In addition to all of this, we had also allowed the amount of plastic we use to steadily increase over the course of each year.
It should go without simply stating that we have to make significant adjustments to our routines.
1. Get Rid of Your Single-Use Items
Do you recall the old adage “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”? There is a rationale behind the order of “reduce,” “reuse,” and “recycle.”
Refusing to use take-out paper cups, plastic disposable plates, straws, hand towels, razor blades, toothbrushes, or even disposable nappies is an effective way to take an active role in reducing the amount of waste produced by your household.
When you go to the store to buy fruit and vegetables the next time, make an effort to select as many items as possible that are not packaged in plastic or are sold loose.
2. Pay Attention to Food
There is still a problem with food waste, as Ireland throws away over one million pounds of rice every year. According to O’Neill, a third of it originates directly from individuals’ homes.
You might be able to cut down on the amount of waste generated by multipacks by purchasing fewer items and purchasing them in bulk (for example, fruits and vegetables). Foods like fish and meat can be frozen and then defrosted as needed if they are stored in the freezer.
In order to cut down on food waste, another effective strategy is to make soup or juice from vegetables that have gone bad. Also, keep in mind that reducing the amount of meat you eat is among the most efficient ways to lessen the impact that you have on the environment.
You might want to try going meatless every first Monday of the week.
3. Keep an eye on the water.
Are you aware that the typical shower can get rid of ten litres of water in just one minute? So the average amount of water used in a shower that is 15 minutes long is 150 litres.
If you take shorter showers (say, five minutes instead of ten), you could save up to fifty litres of water.
If every member of the household does their part, just think of how much water you’ll be able to save so over course of one week, a month, or even an entire year!
4. Make a Change in Your Energy
According to Stewart, “every time you spend ten euros on coal as well as turf, eight of that money is lost up the chimney.”
Make the switch to just using renewable energy sources for your fire, including such wood logs, and even better, try use a stove that is energy-efficient to make your energy last longer and reduce your environmental impact.
“Open fires are 25% efficient,” says Stewart, who recommends, if at all possible, switching out your open fireplace for a wood stove or a wood pellet burner.
“He notes that the efficiency of the wood burning burner is 85%, whereas the efficiency of wood stoves is approximately 75%.
5. Make sure the power is turned off.
Once the battery has been fully charged, he advises you to unplug your phone. Because so many people recharge their phones overnight, this behaviour results in an unnecessary loss of battery life.
Even though LED televisions are becoming more energy efficient, it is still important to remember to turn it off completely. Leaving any home appliance on standby can cause it to use up to 20% more energy than it does when it is actively operating.
Reduce the amount of times you use your tumble dryer and try to avoid reboiling the kettle multiple times.
6. Trade your Transport
Are using your car less. Instead of driving to a business meeting, you should hold the meeting over Skype instead.
Make the commute to work more environmentally friendly by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation rather than driving alone. Invest in plug-in hybrids or electric cars.
Additionally, Stewart cautions against purchasing a diesel vehicle, stating that such vehicles “will be prohibited from urban regions in a few years.”
7. Make Some Alterations to Your Cleaning
It is possible that some cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals which pollute our water; therefore, you should switch to alternatives that are better for the environment.
In recent years, there has been a significant expansion in the shortlisting and choice of environmentally friendly cleaning products, and these products have been shown to be very effective.
8. Personal Care Products
Do you clean your face with facial wipes? They are harmful to the environment because they are composed of multiple types of plastic, such as polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene.
The use of a cotton cloth that can be washed and reused is preferable.
Make the switch to bamboo toothbrushes, and if you want to try making your own face mask, there are plenty of recipes online that call for ingredients like rolled oats, honey, avocado, and even used coffee grounds.
9. Give some thought to performing a comprehensive energy retrofit on your home.
According to Stewart, “the majority of homes in Ireland are extremely poorly insulated.”
Thermal insulation the roof, walls, floors, and window frames to a high standard would be part of a comprehensive energy retrofit. This would result in a reduction of the energy consumption of the typical household by approximately 80 percent.
He acknowledges that it is a very expensive undertaking, but there are grants available for up to fifty percent of the total cost.
10. Finally Help Biodiversity Blossom in your Yard
According to Stewart, a better alternative to using pesticides and other chemicals in the garden is to make use of it to encourage the growth of wildflowers such as dandelions, dandelions, and cowslips.