How to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint of mark World Earth Day
Living sustainably doesn’t have to be challenging or expensive. It’s about education, and a consciousness of our direct impact on the environment. Simple habits, such as recycling, conserving energy, and minimising our use of plastics and other unsustainable materials all make a huge difference to maintaining the health of the planet.
That’s why here, on World Earth Day (22nd April), James Dutton, founder of PATCH, the world’s first 100% compostable plaster, shares his top tips on the simple ways you can help to reduce your environmental footprint.
Shopping consciously and swapping everyday products made with single-use plastic for sustainable or plastic-free alternatives is a great way to help the environment – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Plastic pollution is a global problem that needs addressing and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realise the amount of waste that small, everyday products can create.
Take traditional plasters, for instance. Not only do they contain plastic, but they also create shocking amounts of waste – around 2.04 billion metres of waste every year. That’s why we created PATCH strips as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plasters.
PATCH strips are made from fully sustainable and compostable bamboo fibre, a rapidly renewable resource. Bamboo grows many times faster than trees, uses much less water, produces up to 35 more oxygen and doesn’t need pesticides or herbicides.
LOOK FOR SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Look out for products with sustainable or compostable packaging. With excess waste resulting in more landfill and more harm to our precious environment, it’s important that we reduce our packaging where it’s not needed. That’s why, at PATCH, we’ve made our packaging 100% compostable, so once you’ve finished using the product, you can simply place it in your home compost and see it decompose within 10 weeks.
GIVE UP THE BOTTLE
The average woman uses 14 jars, bottles and pots every day when she gets ready in the morning. Statistically, of those, just one will be recycled. To help combat this waste, try and switch to refillable options, or solid beauty bars that eliminate the need for plastics.
OPTIMISE YOUR HOME ENERGY USE
Every day changes, such as switching off lights and unplugging devices when you’re not using them can go a long way to reducing your energy use – as can turning down the heating and replacing halogen light bulbs with more efficient LED lights. Did you know that using washing machines on cold cycles only, can save more than 80% on your energy consumption? This is because most of the energy used in washers goes towards heating up the water.
CUT DOWN YOUR FOOD WASTE
It has been estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Reduce your food waste by saving or freezing leftovers and repurposing scraps. Plan your meals ahead of time where possible to avoid over-buying and check the use-by dates of fresh food before you buy it.
INCORPORATE PLANT-BASED MEALS INTO YOUR DIET
Another way to give the planet a helping hand is to cut down your red meat consumption. In fact, research from Oxford University found that if every family in the UK swapped out a red meat-based meal for a plant-based alternative just once a week, the environmental impact would be equivalent to taking 16 million cars off the road.
Along with reducing your environmental footprint, swapping meat dishes for vegetarian or plant-based meals at least once a week will also cut down your shopping bill, while adding variety to your diet.
While cutting your food waste will help to reduce your impact on the environment, composting is a great way to use the food scraps you can’t avoid, such as banana skins or eggshells. Composting your food waste at home will help to decrease fossil fuel consumption from waste transportation and reduce the greenhouse gases that would otherwise be produced if the food was to decompose in a landfill.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Education is key to reducing your carbon footprint. Be smart with reading packages, ingredients, and knowing the ‘dos and don’ts’ of hidden chemicals. In addition, taking a natural approach and choosing products that are free from laboratory-made pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilisers, colourings and preservatives, can also go a long way to help.