Sustainability Saturdays – Six simple ways to be more sustainable in 2023
These six simple steps won’t cost much money or be much of a change in your life but will significantly impact your sustainability and decrease your energy bills.
- Draughtproof your home
Checking all the windows and doors for a draught is a great place to start with being more sustainable this year. Stopping draughts in your home will help you stay warm and keep the chill of the January air outside, meaning you won’t need the heating turned up so high, which is better for the environment and your energy bills! You can get draught excluder seal strips for more permanent solutions or door draught cushions to place on the floor where the cold is getting in, which come in a range of designs to match your interior and even some super cute versions like this one on our proofreader’s wish list: https://amzn.to/3GCVj9O
- Rethink how you are storing your groceries
Learning how to store your groceries properly can make them last much longer, which is beneficial for you, your bank balance and the environment. Did you know that you shouldn’t be keeping your milk and eggs in the refrigerator door? And not storing tomatoes, onions and garlic in the fridge not only makes them last longer but also lengthens the shelf life of the things they would have been surrounded by if they were in there.
- Always keep a travel coffee mug in your handbag or your car
Just take a moment to sit and think about how many one-use coffee cups you have thrown away over the last few years. I can think of at least 5 in the last few months, and I am a sustainability manager! When I know I am heading somewhere for a coffee, I will take a reusable cup with me. Still, I have been caught out many times by fancying a quick Tim Hortons French Vanilla to break up a long journey or grabbing a hot chocolate to-go to warm me up on a long walk, and I have to throw them all away. If I always carried my reusable cup, even when I have an unexpected beverage, I would be covered.
- Switch to LED
Switching all your existing light bulbs for LEDs is a great way to be more environmentally friendly and reduce your energy bill. Not only do they require a lot less electricity, but LED bulbs last longer, they are safer, they light up quicker and they give off virtually no heat.
- Stop running the tap when you brush your teeth
According to research conducted by Middlesex University London, a third of the UK population has admitted to leaving the tap running whilst they brush their teeth. A running tap wastes over six litres per minute. So, if you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, that is 24 litres a day or 168 litres a week! You only need it at the end of the two minutes and for a couple of seconds at the beginning, if you like to wet your brush.
- Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need
It wasn’t until I recently had a smart meter installed (another great way of improving your sustainability) that I realised quite how much electricity I use when I boil the kettle at home. I have a resting rate of 0.01-0.05p per hour, which skyrockets up to 0.86p when I boil my kettle. At such a sharp increase, the less time it is boiling for the better. Now, all different models are going to vary, but the average boiling time for a full kettle is 4-10 minutes and for two cups worth of water is just two minutes.
What other small changes are you making to be more sustainable this year?