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5 Ways to do your Bit for the Environment

The impact humans are having on the environment is astounding. Whether you believe in the climate change issue or not, the facts are clear that due to our massive population and our desire to surround ourselves with gadgets, gizmos and labour-saving devices, we are polluting our planet and rapidly using up our dwindling supply of natural resources.

While it might seem impossible that one household could really change the world, it is important that we do what we can to make a difference to the environment both locally and globally. Making a significant change might seem like a tough job, but with a little thought there are some really simple things that everyone can be doing to make small steps towards a big change.

  1. Heat your home smarter: Heating accounts for around 65 per cent of a household’s total energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust, so by figuring out how to use our heating less, we can save substantially as well as reducing our carbon footprint. Turning the thermostat down just one degree can save up to £65 per year, and by insulating lofts and walls we could be in pocket by £300 or more!
  2. Drive less: With the obesity crisis reaching epic proportions, making a change that also helps us get more exercise is a smart choice for everyone. Consider if you can walk or cycle to work a few times a week, or if there is a bus you can use in place of a private car from time to time. You’ll be improving local air quality as well as reducing your spend on fuel for the car.
  3. Recycle more: Only about 17 per cent of the UK’s waste is recycled, despite the fact much more of it could be. Use local recycling facilities for things like paper, tins, glass and plastics and look out for specialist clothing recycling companies who may even offer you a cash payment for your unwanted garments. Old electrical devices can also be recycled, often for cash. Even if they don’t work, things like mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras and Sat Navs contain rare and valuable metals and components that can be used in the manufacture of new devices.
  4. Learn to compost: It is estimated that around 50 per cent of dustbin waste could go into a compost bin and turned into usable fertiliser for a beautiful garden. When organic waste goes into landfill, the lack of oxygen means it decomposes anaerobically, releasing methane which is a greenhouse gas five times more damaging that CO2. Get a compost bin and separate your food waste to make a big difference.
  5. Shop locally: In these tough economic times, many local businesses are struggling to compete with big supermarket chains. Choosing to shop locally not only improves the local economy by supporting these businesses, but also helps reduce the CO2 emissions and other environmental issues associated with transporting our food and clothes half way around the globe to buy them.