Everyone is keen to know how they can do their bit for the environment at the moment. The great news is that making small changes can make a big difference.
While it can feel like global warming is a problem that can only be solved by larger corporations, everyone can do their bit. In fact, you as a consumer have a lot of buying power!
Here’s a list of eight easy things you can do to help reduce your impact on the environment.
Cycle or walk where you can
While it’s not always the most convenient choice, leaving the car at home is a great way to help the environment. Plus, cycling is great exercise!
Why not get the whole family on board for some time outdoors and being active? Bikeability is cycling proficiency for the 21st century and can help young family members feel more confident on two wheels.
If you can’t cycle or walk, how about using public transport or car sharing? Even changing how you travel once a week to a more environmentally friendly alternative would make a big difference!
Switch to a greener energy supplier
If you aren’t already with an energy supplier that uses green or renewable energy sources, this is another one with dual benefits as you may also save money by switching supplier. What’s not to love?
One supplier that uses renewable energy is owned by Sussex councils: Your Energy Sussex. Because they are owned by councils, they don’t pay dividends or bonuses to shareholders or directors and their profits are used to help local people who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
While it may seem impossible to change your shopping habits to reduce waste and plastic use, it’s slowly becoming easier to make those small changes that add up.
We are lucky that in East Sussex more and more zero waste shops are opening. These are great for shopping in an environmentally friendly way. Take your own containers (even old plastic ones) and fill up on cleaning products, food, bathroom essentials and more – often for similar prices that you’d find in the supermarket.
There are lots of changes you can make in the supermarket too. For example, opt for glass jars over plastic bottles, buy fruit and veg in season and quit cling film (use Tupperware instead). If you can afford to switch, how about having your milk delivered in glass bottles?
Check out our top tips for cutting down on plastic use at home.
Upcycle rather than throw away
If you’re planning on having a clear out of clothes, or you still haven’t used that gift that you were given two years ago, you may want to consider either donating, re-gifting or upcycling.
Using one of these three options means less waste! To help get you started here’s five easy ways to upcycle everyday items.
Do a beach clean
There are lots of reasons why you should take part in a beach clean in East Sussex.
Millions of tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year, slowly breaking down into harmful micro-plastics. These micro plastics are eaten by fish – which are then eaten by us or other animals. Plastic debris also hurts and kills seabirds and marine mammals, with birds mistakenly feeding plastic to their young.
Beach cleaning is a great way to meet likeminded people, get involved in local plastic free groups and teach your children about recycling and issues surrounding use of plastic and beach life. Plus by getting involved you can help prompt people around you to think about their own use of plastic.
Of course, it’s not just litter on the beaches where you can make a difference. You can be an environmental hero on the streets too. If you happen to see litter on the pavement that hasn’t quite made it to the nearest bin, why not give it a helping hand?
Compost heap it
Composts offer a great solution for inedible food waste like banana skins. They are also great for insects, worms and frogs in your garden. Check out Recycle Now’s guide to composting to get started.
Let your garden grow
Choosing flowers that bees love, such as campanula, fennel, thyme and delphinium, and letting your grass grow wild for a little while can have a significant impact on wildlife and the eco systems that live in your garden.
Staycation instead of vacation
With the hot summer we’re having, why not forget flying abroad (which is both costly to you and the environment) and have a staycation at home? Our coastline is one of the prettiest, with sandy beaches at Camber, beautiful walks along Seven Sisters and a different festival each week in Hastings – what more could you ask for? Sussex Life have some serious inspiration for staycations in Sussex.
We often get asked what the council is doing to reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Find out more about our plans to reduce our energy consumption.
What are your favourite hacks for being more environmentally friendly?
Note: Your Energy Sussex is operated by West Sussex County Council with support from councils across Sussex including East Sussex County Council and a range of local district and borough councils.