50 Simple Ways to Live Green

Tips from experts on how to be kind to the earth – from cleaning and cooking to finance and fashion

Clean up your kitchen

Enjoy leftovers 

Look at the basic ingredients you’re saving. “Chefs talk about what to do with carrot tops or whey from cheese, but that’s not where we need to make changes,” says Feast food writer Anna Jones. “It’s the milk poured down the sink and stale bread – the items we don’t put as much value on.” Jones breaks bread into pieces to freeze for instant croutons or to whizz it into breadcrumbs and add to pastas, croustades and salads. If oatmeal has been converted into porridge, you can take a cue from Claire Thomson, chef and author of The Art Of The Larder (Quadrille PS25) and make a substitution for some of the flour and water that is in Bread dough.

Use “food waste” as ingredients according to Ollie Hunter, a chef and the author of 30 Simple Ways to Take Part In The Food Revolution (Pavilion, PS14.99). “It’s simple to transform it into something else. the aquafaba (chickpea liquid) can be turned to make a delicious vegan mayonnaise. fry the squash seeds in oil, then sprinkle them with salt for an appetizer; slice courgette stalks into penne forms and cook as pasta. It is important to come up with creative ways to make use of everything Food waste is due to an inability to think.”

Use technology to do good

Apps are fighting to reduce food waste. Olio links neighbors as well as local retailers, so excess food can be shared. Too Good to Go permits restaurants and cafes to offer meals that are not used at a lower cost; and the Farmdrop app connects you to local sustainable farmers. For kitchen scraps that can be recycled locate neighbors with compost bins (or chickens) on sharewaste.com.

Shop less often and more frequently

The majority of the waste comes from big shopping trips by putting two-for-1 “bargains” in the trolley and purchasing on repeat instead of making a plan for meals. “I’m always clear about what we will eat at home and when,” says Skye Gyngell, chef and creator of Spring in London that offers the “scratch menu” using waste. She shop a little, and frequently with a in the pantry of wholegrains, vinegars, olive oil and mustards to enhance the meals. “Working out what kind of cook you are is also useful,” Jones says. Jones, “then reverse engineer the way you shop. It’s not worth doing your weekly shopping in the event that you decide what you’ll cook for dinner at 6 pm, like me. I shop in smaller increments and find that I’m less wasteful by doing this.”

Half of your food can be purchased in the local area

The more efficient your food chain is, the lower food waste is created before it gets to your kitchen. Hunter adheres to purchasing 50 percent of the food that is grown in the 30 mile radius of the area you reside. “It’s an achievable figure,” Hunter claims, particularly when growers, like Hodmedod’s in Suffolk are trying to revive local pulses, including British lentils as well as quinoa, carlin peas, and Fava beans (which Hunter ferments to turn into miso and soy sauce). Nutritional value is a big factor in fruits and vegetables is just a few days Gyngell says. Gyngell and the distance your food has traveled can be a factor.

Choose your own

“Foraging solves many problems,” Hunter says. “You’re getting into the countryside, engaging with nature and the community, and finding food that has a different flavor.” Begin with grasses, herbs, wild garlic, berries and, one of the most favored items of Hunter’s nets (“They’re extremely undervalued”). Serve as garnish for on pies, in risottos, and soups. Wear gloves to avoid stings , and clean well in salted and saline water. Make sure that the ingredients you have foraged are identified prior to eating.

Change your flour

It isn’t possible to grow crops every season in the exact soil, without replenishing nutrients that plants consume changing the type of flour you’re using could help. “Spelt or wheat is often grown in rotation with rye and clover to replace lost nitrogen,” Hunter says. “Eating rye supports the farmers’ rotation; I use spelt and emmer flour as an alternative to wheat because they have similar baking properties, while being beneficial to the soil.”

Begin by chatting with a butcher

“There is no way around it, eating meat sustainably requires a little more effort on our part,” says Fergus Henderson, chef and the founder of nose-to-tail dining. The primary rule is “hug” your butcher: “Support them and ask questions . They can help you establish an efficient supply chain. They can also provide you with accessibility to insides as well as parts of the body, like shanks, kidneys, feet and glands. These give you more options and taste than fillets.” Whole-animal food is not just about blood and stomach however, it is about “respecting animals enough so that they realize that, if it sacrificed itself in your place, the most it can be done is to make use of each part”.

Compost on the go

Composting doesn’t have to be just for your garden. Think about reducing the amount of food you waste while traveling also, according to Lindsay Miles, whose book More Waste, No Fuss Kitchen The Simple Steps to Shop, Cook , and Eat sustainably (Hardie Grant, PS12.99) will be available in June. “A reusable coffee cup makes a great impromptu container for your lunch scraps – take apple cores or bread crusts home to compost.”

Make plans ahead

Utilize the season’s abundance and preserve your vegetables in vinegars, oils, chutneys, ketchups and marinades, or even freeze the leftovers. “Blitz and freeze tomatoes in containers for passata all year round; make kimchi from cauliflower stalks and leaves; use beetroot in jams, vinegars and oil, then chop stalks and leaves to top pastas, pizzas, curries and dal,” Hunter says. Hunter.

Minimise packaging

Find loose fruits and vegetables, and then take containers with you to the shops and markets. “If you are buying packaged food,” Miles advises Miles, “look at where the product comes from and try to choose the more local option – oat milk from Scotland will have a lower carbon footprint than almond milk from California, even if they have the same packaging.” The most recycled plastics are PET. They are that is found in bottles for drinks and fruit punnets, as well as HDPE in cereal box and milk bottle liner. If you are able to avoid it opt for the latter, and then recycle or reuse the items you can.

The green is all over the front of the home

Reduce the amount of washing you do

Erin Rhoads’ Waste Not Everyday (Hardie Grant Books PS10) states the fact that “the majority of the environmental burden caused by fashion happens after we take the clothing home: 82% of the energy a garment will use is in the washing and drying we do each week”. Rhoads recommends spot-cleaning and neutralising the smell by spraying dilute vodka or lemon juice.

Clean using castile

Making cleansers (from polishing to detergent) it is possible to reduce your plastic that enters your home, and also the amount in harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including formaldehyde, which are released. “Of all the green cleaning ingredients I use, liquid castile soap is by far my favorite,” writes Jen Chillingsworth in Clean Green (Quadrille, PS7.55). “Originating from Spain, castile soap was traditionally made with pure olive oil, but is now more commonly produced by mixing vegetable oils such as hemp, avocado, jojoba and coconut.” To make a basic, multi-purpose spray for the kitchen, add 50ml castile soap to 800ml of tap water in the spray bottle. Include a few drops of essential oils (tea tree has antibacterial properties). Spray and wipe off with the cleanest cloth.

Opt for plastic Personal care that is free

There’s a vast universe of non-waste sanitary protection to explore. Chillingsworth recommends purchasing an disposable tampon application device. “The reused version is suitable for every size of tampon and is non-bacterial and easy to insert. After each use wash it with a clean cloth then rinse it off and put it back in the storage box that is inside your bag. Sterilise in hot water between periods.”

You can recycle as often as you can.

“Most major supermarkets provide plastic recycling collection points in store for stretchy plastic (such as frozen food bags, carrier bags and bread bags) which normally can’t be recycled from home,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at the government waste advisory body wrap.

TerraCycle is a rescue service for difficult-to-recycle materials that are not handled by councils. It provides free recycling programs across the nation and sells zero-waste bins that you can fill with organic, non-recyclable, and non-hazardous garbage, and then return for recycling. Check its website for an area near you or start one.

Look after your electrical appliances

The Restart Project is an social enterprise with the goal to improve our relationship with electricity and electronic devices. Co-founder Janet Gunter says the first step to keep household appliances running longer is regular cleaning. “By simply cleaning and maintaining your white goods, laptop or mobile, you will prolong its life.” Restart operates a nationwide group of workshops that share skills and also promotes an online list of repair services for commercial use within London. “If we don’t have access to spare parts,” Gunter says Gunter, “these appliances will be thrown away, which has a huge carbon impact.”

If your appliance is damaged beyond fix, Rhoads suggests you “call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back items or packaging for reuse or recycling”. There are some charities that do not take electrical products, however, the homeless charity Emmaus accepts items that are working. They are tested prior to being sold to make it the ideal location to purchase second-hand electrical items, too.

Clean air

“You can never have enough house plants,” says Oliver Heath, who runs an eco-friendly architecture firm. Certain plants are ideal for specific rooms: “Mother-in-law’s tongue gives off oxygen at night, which makes it best suited to the bedroom.” According to Chillingsworth the peace lilies and boston ferns thrive best in rooms that have high humidity. They can help reduce the amount of mould spores that are that are present in the air. This makes them perfect for bathrooms. Weeping figs have been proven to be the ideal plant for eliminating formaldehyde from furniture and carpets and furniture, which is why they are ideal for living areas.

Change your shower head

“Investing in an aerated shower head will make a significant difference to energy and water consumption,” says Brian Horne at the Energy Saving Trust (EST). They pump an air stream into water, thus reducing the amount of water used. “A water-efficient shower head could save a four-person household PS70 a year on gas for water heating, and a further PS115 on water bills if they have a meter,” Horne says. Horne.

Opt for green energy suppliers

It is possible to find “shades of green” when selecting an energy provider, according to Horne. Horne says the EST identified four providers who have clearly stated the sources of renewable energy for their electricity on their sites in the past this year. They were Green Energy UK, Good Energy, Ecotricity and Octopus Energy. “But just because you’re on a green tariff, it doesn’t mean you should stop worrying about how much energy you use,” Horne says. Horne.

Practise eco-driving

The RAC Foundation has discovered that eco-driving can lead to more secure, cleaner and cost-effective travel. Regular maintenance of vehicles improves efficiency of fuel by 10 percent. Prior to a long trip be sure to check the pressure of your tyres (tyres that are underinflated by one quarter could result in a 2 percent increase in the amount of fuel consumed) Also, take down any roof racks and boxes and make sure you don’t over load the vehicle (every extra 90lbs of weight reduces the fuel efficiency by 2 percent). When you’re traveling less than 40mph it’s better to open the windows instead of using air cooling. Stop engines in the event of a wait that exceed an hour ( 5-8% of fuel consumption is consumed when idle) Avoid fast accelerations and rapid brakes: driving that is reckless will significantly increase fuel consumption.

Your home is draught-proof

One of the least expensive and most efficient ways to conserve energy and cash at home is to install draught-proofing on the doors and windows lettersbox as well as loft hatches and fireplaces According to Professor Sarah Price, head of building Physics at Enhabit which is a company that specialises in low-energy designs. Professionally done, it’s approximately PS200 and you can also DIY with tools like Gap Seal.

Purchase antique furniture

“Reusing furniture is the best thing to do, and so much more fun than buying new,” says Nicola Harding, founder of the interior design firm Harding and Read. “Secondhand items come with interesting stories and force you to think creatively, and give you have something far more unique.” To reduce your mileage, begin with your local auction houses as well as charity shop (the British Heart Foundation has homes with dedicated stores as well as the charity has a Free collection option) and then follow up with an individualized search through Freecycle as well as the Facebook Marketplace.

Optimize your white goods

According to the independent energy comparison company U Switch the costs of running your refrigerator and freezer can be as high as 7 percent of your bills for energy (they are among the few appliances which are running every day). U Switch recommends replacing your refrigerator and freezer when it’s more than the age of 10. Even if the appliance is working and isn’t expensive, the expense of replacing it will be repaid by energy savings over time. Maintain your refrigerator at a temperature of 5C or less (most refrigerators run at around 7C and food items is likely to go out earlier) and make sure there’s at least 3.5 inches of space between your fridge and the wall to allow heat to escape effortlessly. Be sure that your seal is secure If it isn’t able to hold the paper piece when shut, it might allow warm air in and making it harder to work.

Let the garden develop

Locally-sourced flowers are available – or plant the flowers yourself

The majority of flowers that are sold by UK florists as well as supermarkets and wholesalers come from overseas predominantly from the Netherlands However, they also come from as far such as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Reduce your floral air miles and find a local supplier.

Alternately, you can cultivate your own flowers that you can bring indoors. The gardener Sarah Raven suggests choosing “annuals which are cut and come again: pick above a pair of leaves and the plant will spring back and produce more flowers – and keep on doing so as long as you keep picking”. Plant snapdragons, cosmos, the rudbeckias and zinnias in the ledge of a window that is sunny in March. Pot them on and plant them out after all the snow has gone away.

Help bees

Honeybees only visit one kind of flower on any given foraging journey, according to Sarah Wyndham Lewis, author of the book Planting for Honeybees The Grower’s Guide to Creating A Buzz. “This is known as “flower fidelity,” and it is the reason they’re efficient pollinators. Plant large clumps of flowers or “drifts” of a single species to maximize every bee’s travels.” Consider swathes of catmint, field scabious , and the hyssop. “March to September are the key months for honeybees – they will fly whenever the temperature is above 10C, even in winter, so early- and late-flowering plants are especially valuable,” she says.

Spend less and prop more

Your garden is the most perfect garden center you can find: gather seeds Learn to cut and then divide the plants to create your own nursery backup. The gaps can be filled with your own home-grown stock plants. Expand what is successful in your garden and build the foundation for a healthy ecosystem of plants. If you decide to shop look up a plants natural habitat in order to prevent problems.

Lock carbon

Within the Garden Jungle, Or Gardening To Save The Planet (out in paperback, 2 April vintage, PS9.99), Dave Goulson clarifies that even though most gardeners aren’t able to make room for trees of a large size, “The basic rule is that the more vegetation you have, the more carbon you are storing.” The more vegetation you plant in your backyard is, the better even if it borders into overgrown. Be careful not to be overly tidy also. “Log piles also lock up carbon for as long as it takes them to decay, which can be many years.”

The grass to grow

The longer grass you let your grass grow between cuts not only helps save energy or fuel which decreases the carbon dioxide emission and also attracts more wildlife to your yard. A longer-lasting grass is more drought-resistant as well. You can cut it every three to four weeks. Let dandelions, daisies, and violets bloom in spring. then buttercups, clovers and self-heal in summer.

Encourage hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are a fervent desire to eat pests like snails, caterpillars, and slugs. They require easy access to and out of gardens, according to Helen Bostock and Sophie Collins who are the authors of How can I help hedgehogs? (Octopus, PS14.99 ). “This is simply a hole cut into the bottom of a fence – it should be around 5 inches high and at least as wide, preferably in a sheltered corner.”

Refresh your wardrobe

Set a bar

If going a year with out buying something new is too much of to handle, consider one month, or purchase only secondhand. Livia Firth, the founder of eco-friendly consultancy Eco-Age adheres to her own “30 wears rule”: Ask, “Will I wear it at least 30 times?” prior to purchasing.

Locate a used item that can work for you

Buying secondhand or vintage is among the simplest methods to shop sustainably however, while some people praise the benefits of rummaging through massive warehouses, this method is not suitable for all. However, there are alternatives. Smaller shops with a more curated range may not have the same deals like a car boot sale however they’re less intimidating. Some, like Dress Vintage or Cow, have websites. Dress Vintage as well as Cow also have websites.

Buy in person or on your own

But shopping in person, especially when you’re walking around is generally more sustainable than shopping buying online. Clothes that are shipped around the globe are a major carbon source and are typically packed in plastic. It is also much less likely to exchange clothes you’ve tried on.

It is a great way to get rid of your acquaintances. “When you ask a friend if you should buy something, you already know the answer will be yes,” writes Lauren Bravo in How to Break Up with Fashionable Fashion (Headline, PS12.99). “It’s an unwritten rule of sisterhood.” Consider it as the latest method of not going to the supermarket for to shop if you’re hungry.

Choose your carefully the materials you use

Certain fabrics last longer than others. The Guardian’s stylist editor Melanie Wilkinson, recommends buying leather items secondhand. Leather belts, jackets, and shoes last for a long time and typically are more comfortable and stylish once they’ve been worn. Denim’s environmental impact is another fabric that is durable. makes jeans a great choice found second-hand.

Subscribe and then unsubscribe

“If someone wants to quit fast fashion, I recommend unsubscribing from all the emails,” Aja Barber, a writer, and fashion expert Aja Barber. “A brand that is always offering new products could be sustainable just in name. Emails and pressure on customers to buy and purchase isn’t sustainable – this is fast fashion.” The same is true for brands and influencers using social media platforms like Instagram. Deleting fast-fashion shopping apps can help, too.

Start Swishing

Clothing swaps, also called swishing are among the greenest methods to update your wardrobe. They give you rewards based on amount of the items you contribute that can be exchanged with items donated by others. Beware of trends and look for pieces that will last for many years. Find a store near you on swishing.com.

Learn to repair

Your clothes should be sized correctly

Layla Sargent, founder of The Seam The Seam, a site that connects you with local seamstresses, tailors, and embroidery experts, says: “If it doesn’t fit properly, you’ll never be able take it off. Even if we make our trousers the proper length, or changing the waistband so that we are more likely to wear them more often.” This service currently is only available available in the London area, but it is expected to expand into Manchester and Birmingham in the coming year. In the meantime, you can start by visiting the dry cleaners in your area.

Learn to sew on the button

What number of jackets and shirts are you storing in the bottom of your closet because they don’t have button? Sewing on buttons is a basic ability that should be a requirement for everyone. There are many online tutorials, and I suggest you check out one of the environmentalist Wilson Oryema of Fashion Revolution.

Create the apron you want using an old pair of jeans

Repurpose an old pair of jeans into a denim-work apron by removing the inside leg seams, then stitching the seams together. This is among the many tricks from the Great British Sewing Bee’s guide Sustainable Style (Quadrille, PS27 released on the 26th of March).

Don’t forget to sock your socks

“Once a life skill, darning has skipped a generation (or two),” says Emma Mathews of Socko, that makes socks out of yarn that has been repurposed. “But we can learn a lot from the way things were done in the past.” Make small, stitching lines across the region around the hole. Then reverse the repair and stitch perpendicularly to the stitch, weaving the thread together until you’ve covered the hole. Very relaxing.

Start by rubbing your trainers

It is a growing industry of service. Grael is located in Liverpool is a tiny business that is specialized in the cleaning of “coveted footwear”, offering laces cleaning (PS3) and a deep clean (PS15) and the precise high-end package that covers the entire undersole and insidesole (PS35). Additionally, Jason Markk provides premium shoe care at locations located in LA as well as Carnaby Street in London, where your shoes will be restored to their original glory by the brand’s shoe-care specialists.

Makeover the bathroom

Recycle it

While we 90 percent of us recycle food wastes, we recycle only 50 percent of our cosmetic packaging likely because our recycling bins are located in the kitchen. Joseph Joseph makes an attractive bathroom waste bin that is split for just PS20. You can cut down on the waste that is thrown out by using soaps and shampoos that are bar-based (I enjoy social business Beco priced at PS2.50 from Co-op, Boots and supermarkets) and handwash that is plastic-free like Soap Co (PS19 300ml or PS110 for an impressive 1.1 gallon biodegradable container which should last for an entire year).

Eliminate the disposables

An astounding 20000 cubic litres of water are required to make just one kilogram of cotton it’s enough to make one T-shirt and pair of jeans. Therefore, every cotton you purchase should be considered a good investment. Removing the cotton wool is a great beginning. Take off the mass of makeup using disposable discs, like The Face Halo (PS7) and that is soaked in plain water. They do an amazing job, even with waterproof mascara. Then follow with a cleanser, and a terry-cotton flannel that is wet as well as a disc. Both are expected to be able to last through hundreds of cycles in the washing machine. Toners, exfoliants, as well as nail polish removal make use of bamboo pads that can be washed. A set of 18 with a washbag is priced at around PS10.

Choose the correct package

There’s no reason to justify packaging everyday, short-term cosmetics in plastic. There’s now a huge variety of brands that are packaging their products in recycled plastic that has been post-consumer (PCR) that range from high-end (Aveda, REN, Biolage) to mid-priced (Soaper Duper, Lush) and even those that are mass (all Simple and Dove bottles are completely PCR-free for Europe; L’Oreal Elvive, the most popular haircare brand in the world has begun rolling out bottles that are 100% PCR this summer . The caps are recyclable, but they’re not made from PCR , thereby saving 77,000 tonnes of plastic each year). Alternately, you can choose to purchase products in glass that don’t have traveled to far. Neal’s Yard typically uses glass in areas that are it’s safe, and is distributed through Dorset.

Do not be lured by miniatures

These pick-n-mix bars of travel-sized cosmetics are very appealing however they create a massive amount of waste with no reason, and produce very little. Instead, you should make a one-time purchase of refillable containers and travel bottles purchased from Muji(from 95 pence) or any other high-street pharmacy, and decant your most loved full sizes or, even better use and wash the mini bottles you already have. Keep in mind that active skincare products like vitamin C and Retinol serums should be kept inside their containers to ensure their quality, however anything else is able to be decanted to travel. If you have several minis left from hotel stays and flights that you don’t need every single one, take them to your local homeless shelter and let them be used by those who are in need of them.

Embrace baths

Baths have been viewed for a long time as being more wasteful and less eco-friendly than showering. However, certain studies has shown that modern powered showers use more, not less more water than bathing. It is possible to take a an extravagant, yet environmentally mindful bath. Utilize sulphate-free bathing oils, salts or foams and unwind (I’ve also been known to clean expensive delicate bras while I bathe). You can conserve water by washing your hair in the tub prior to getting in by letting the water fill up the tub. The shampoo can create bubbles as well.

Save for the planet

Conserve water and reduce your costs

You might consider switching to a meters, where you only pay for the water you consume. Put the money you save into water-saving appliances and plumbing including the harvesting of rainwater or recycled greywater systems. Get free water-saving products. If you are somewhere in England and Wales it is possible to get an water meter installed free of charge, but you might have to pay PS300 when you live in Scotland. A variety of investment funds feature sanitation and clean water as their primary focus according to Becky O’Connor of Royal London. For instance, Parvest Aqua and RobecoSam Sustainable Water are highly recommended by ethical financial site.

You can get an installment loan to boost the efficiency of your home’s energy use

Certain lenders offer green mortgages as well as loans for energy-efficient upgrades. Ecology Building Society provides discounts to people who are borrowing to finance this. Nationwide promises to begin providing low-interest loans up to PS25,000 for homeowners looking to upgrade their existing homes using energy efficient measures..

Select an eco green current account

A total of $150 billion has been put into carbon-based fuels from UK banking institutions since Paris Climate Agreementwas signed in the year 2016. The ethical bank Triodos The bank, which is backed by Friends of the Earth is a reputable bank that invests in projects that result in positive social, cultural and environmental results. For a look at the track record of your bank look up lobbying organizations that provides information on the activities banks finance across the globe.

Make wise investments

“Look at funds with sustainability in mind,” says Alice Evans, co-head of BMO Global Investment’s Responsible investment team. “Invest with funds classified as’responsible’ or “SRI” (socially responsibly invested) as well as ethical or “dark green”. These funds meet the strictest standards and should be avoided investing in companies that has a negative performance on human rights, environmental rights, or any other ethical basis.”

Assess you savings

“For many people, their workplace pension will be their largest investment,” says Rich Mayor of research and analysis firm Fundscape. It is your right to be aware of the source of your funds placed. “Ask your HR department or pension provider what funds you’re invested in and whether there is a sustainable or ethical option,” says Jon Dean, head of retirement strategy for the financial services firm Altus.

Find an eco-friendly financial advisor

In the year 2000, a brand new financial advisory firm named the Path was established to invest in only portfolios that make an impact on the world. “You don’t need to be a millionaire to invest your money wisely,” claims the founder David MacDonald. “With very little effort you can make a significant difference, moving from harming the planet with your money to sustaining it.” A little research suggests that ensuring that your investments are sustainable can have an impact of 27 times greater than the other ways you can take to decrease your carbon footprint when taken together. “If you put the maximum annual ISA contribution of PS20,000 into a positive-impact fund, it would be the carbon equivalent of taking one car off the road,” MacDonald claims.