By Georgina Wilson-Powell, sustainability expert and author of '365 Ways To Save The Planet'
Georgina Wilson-Powell is a sustainability expert, former magazine editor and author. '365 Ways To Save The Planet' is her third book, and is available to buy now.
Living sustainably doesn't need to be complicated. Here are five quick and approachable ideas that are easy to implement straight away.
1 - Reduce your energy use in the kitchen
We waste a lot of heat and electricity in the kitchen but simple hacks can cut this back, which saves you money too. Putting lids on your pans while boiling pasta or veg means that they cook quicker, cutting energy usage by up to 30%. Turning your oven off 10 minutes before the time is up also cuts down energy use, and cleaning behind your fridge and making sure it has good airflow around it means that the cooling appliance works more effectively, requiring less energy to run.
2 - Embrace the power of seaweed
Every 1km square of seaweed sequesters 1,000 tons of carbon every year and harvesting promotes its growth. Seaweed is a massive superfood and supervitamin, so whether you want to eat it, put it in your bath or use it to fertilise your veg patch, creating a demand for it will help the UK's burgeoning seaweed farmers. Nutritionally it contains iron, iodine and calcium and can assist gut health and calm irritated skin. I love seaweed.
3 - Switch to a recyclable razor
Did you know no disposable razor can be recycled thanks to the mix of metal and plastic, so each one you’ve used is still with us languishing in landfill? Swap to a safety razor, which have wooden or metal handles and refillable metal blades. The blades can be recycled and they don’t come in lots of plastic packaging.
4 - Cut down on your carbon in your diet
Building in and committing to Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, Fish free Fridays are easy ways to remember to eat more plants each week, rather than having to commit to being fully vegan. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, if relatively easy things like this work for you, then commit to doing them every week. We all need to reduce the nine tons of carbon per person on average we go through in the UK each year (to ideally about two tons).
5 - Delete Your Digital Files
Global data storage centres now have a greenhouse gas emission footprint bigger than some small countries and use 1% of all of the world’s electricity. We add to this footprint every day as we save more and more documents, email attachments, images and videos to the cloud. Set aside a few minutes at the end of every week to have a file clean up and reduce the amount of digital storage you use, because the less you store, the less energy is needed by those data centres.
Buy a copy of '365 Ways To Save The Planet' here.