The one sentence summary
There are some easy ways to live a more sustainable life.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- The book includes 50 easy ways to live a more sustainable life in 6 areas: Plastics, Energy, Travel, Cooking & Eating, In the Garden, and Action. Here are some examples.
- Take Home Less Plastic. Around one fifth of household waste is food packaging, so a good place to start cutting back is to bring less home in the first place.
- Greener Washing. Apparently you can replace fabric softener with a cup of clear vinegar added during the rinse cycle – this neutralises the soap and freshens clothes without using extra plastic-packaged products. Reduce your washing temperature (30 degrees is plenty) and avoid the tumble dryer too.
- Greener Fibres. Many of the smallest shreds of plastic found in sea water samples come from clothing – microfibres shed in the washing machine. Try a mesh bag in the wash designed to capture shreds. And seek out natural (organic) fibres where you can (Hemp, Bamboo, Wool, Cotton).
- Greener Celebrations. Birthdays, weddings, etc don’t have to be wasteful to be fun and special. Avoid disposable plastics for food/drink; Steer clear of balloons and plastic decorations; Go for non-material gifts (experiences); Find a ‘green’ jeweller for wedding and engagement rings.
- Passive Houses. The most efficient homes are known as ‘passive houses’ (invented in Germany). These are designed with high thermal efficiency and are virtually airtight, with ventilation that circulates and recaptures heat.
- Low Carbon Heating. Heating accounts for more than half the cost of energy used by the average home. Reduce your thermostat (19 degrees is plenty unless you are older); Install a smart meter; Replace older gas boilers with efficient A-rated models; or Explore lower carbon options like heat pumps and biomass boilers.
- Green Machines. The amount of electricity consumed by the average home has increased 40 per cent since the 1970s.
- Mend It.Over six million electrical items are thrown away every year in the UK alone, many of which could be repaired to last longer.
- Lower Carbon Travel. When deciding how to travel it helps to know the impact you’re having. Data in grams of carbon dioxide, per kilometre, per passenger: Diesel coach (average occupancy) = 28g; Average car (medium-sized, four people) = 43g; Trains = 47g; Diesel London Bus (average occupancy) = 73g; Average car (medium-sized, one person) = 173g; Plane (average occupancy) = 160-270g.
- Don’t Waste Good Food. Around half of the food waste in the UK occurs in the home (more than farms, factories or restaurants), and at least half of our wasted food could have been eaten if it had been managed better.
- Cut Down on Meat. Try these resources for veggie inspiration: vegsoc.org; vegansociety.com; bbc.com/food.
- Low-Energy Cooking. Cook like you’re on a camping trip.
- Make Friends with Wildlife. If you have a garden or any outdoor space: Feed the birds; Plant bee-friendly flowers; Try an ‘insect hotel’; Plant a hedge; Leave a wild corner.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Not much. The book can easily be read in an hour and contains a lot of really useful resources at the back.