How to be more eco-conscious when you are busy (lazy)
I am the first to admit I enjoy a good sit, and I am fairly certain my spirit animal is a sloth. I also want to reduce my impact on the world: so how do I do both?
For all my kindred spirits, and for those of you who have a hectic life, here are my top tips for being greener with little effort.1. Mail. Annoying isn’t it? You get mail, it needs to be opened, sorted, a decision made on whether or not to keep it. Many years ago, when my husband and I first moved in together, he was horrified to find my ‘stashes’ (yes plural) of correspondence. I would be plopped in front of the TV, handed a pile of letters and told it was the perfect job for me to do, as I could do it whilst sitting.
Solution – stop the mail. Most companies now will give you the option to ‘go paperless’ – do it. Not only will it save you a job, but it will reduce both the unnecessary paper waste and the annoying plastic windows on the envelopes (if you REALLY don’t need it, unsubscribe from the emails too – double enviro points for that one)
2. Don’t wash your clothes. I don’t mean ever, but if you have been sat round the house, not really embarking on any strenuous physical activity, the chances are your t-shirt, top, jeans, dress etc really don’t need a wash after one wear. And as a bonus, the less you wear, the less laundry you have to do, as well as reducing your water and energy use.
You can do more on this too, wash you clothes on a cooler cycle and air dry whenever possible – good for the environment and better for your clothes.
3. Let your hair dry naturally. Not leaving the house? If you have washed your hair, does it really need to be blow dried and styled? Embrace the natural look, and if it isn’t the middle of winter, leave it. Saves you time, effort, money (energy bills) and it will reduce your energy usage. Tick, tick, tick
4. Cook in bulk. I have a love hate relationship with cooking meals, in that I love the thought of cooking a delicious, healthy home-cooked meal every evening; I dislike doing it. By cooking in bulk you can have easy meals on hand that can be reheated saving energy (and effort), reducing food waste while still getting the same delicious result, and by having options on hand – the takeaway urge can be resisted (some of the time at least)
5. Shop with a list. This sounds like a hassle, right? Having to write a list and prepare? But it can save so many trips to the shop. Knowing what you need, buying only what you need and planning for a week or two can save the ‘oh, I just need to pop out for X’ journeys. Saving time, often car trips and as you have planned your meals, food waste.
6. Buy in bulk. Packaging is, more often than not, plastic. If you can either reduce the amount of packaging your buy, or eliminate it by shopping at a refill store & using containers you already have – not only are you helping to reduce waste – you will have to take the bin out less often too.
7. Let your garden grow. I will be upfront; I am not the one who does the gardening (no surprise there). Our garden was done last year to be bee friendly and have a ‘wild and natural look’ – so we have a lot of flowers, it is left to do its thing and is filled with bees, insects and butterflies. Leave things to grow, including the lawn – it is good for your garden visitors and saves you valuable sitting time.
8. Save your water. Have a bottle or watering can (we have both) near the kitchen sink so when we run water, and are waiting for it to heat, we catch the cold water in these so we can use it to water the plants/garden. It saves water waste and means it is ready to be used when needed.
It can seem overwhelming to make changes, but some are incredibly simple and ever change for the better is a good one.
I’d love to know your tips and tricks for being more eco-friendly.