At home

Gemma McCaw's 11 simple things you can do to help save the planet

We all need to do our bit and these small changes can make a big difference!

By Gemma McCaw

Carry a cup
Investing in a keep cup or bringing your own thermos to your local café is another way to reduce your plastic footprint. Many cafés are even offering a discount for those who bring their own cups. It's a win-win for both
the planet and your bank balance.

Reconsider your attitude toward fast-fashion
The fashion industry is one of the largest sources of waste on the planet, so you can cut down by avoiding buying garments you don't really need. Consider having an annual clear-out, then donate your old clothes to a local charity.

Bring the bags
Always take canvas bags to the supermarket and instead of putting your fresh fruit and veges into the plastic bags on offer, just pop them straight into your own reusable one. Keep a stash of bags in the car so you don't forget them at your next grocery shop.

Think ahead before shopping
Before heading to the supermarket, plan your week's meals and write a list. This will cut down on food wastage hugely. And instead of throwing away bones and vege scraps, try making stocks or broths. Great for the environment and delicious too.

Bring a bottle
Always have a reusable drink bottle handy and look to refill it when you're out and about. This means you can avoid having to buy plastic bottles each time.

Scrap the paper
Think of all the unnecessary paper that comes through your letterbox each day. Opting for paperless billing is a really simple way to reduce this. A "no circulars" sign can also lowers the amount of paper advertisements distributed and if enough of us opt out, companies will reduce the amount printed.

Say no to single-use plastic
Whether it's disposable cutlery or opting for a straw in your drink at a restaurant, single-use plastic is often unnecessary. Not only are such things almost impossible to recycle, but they can end up in the ocean, which poses a serious risk to our marine life.

Stop using plastic
Replace your plastic wrap and bags with reusable options such as jars or glass containers to store your food in the fridge. Instead of filling a plastic lunch bag, try packing a reusable bento box or use a cute tin.

Leave the car
This is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your carbon emissions. Instead of driving, walk, cycle, take public transport or try car-pooling with a friend.

Order online
Ordering groceries online will not only save you time and reduce the risk of buying things you don't need, but is also great for the planet. One truck delivering goods in the neighbourhood is better than everyone driving individually to the supermarket.

Do your bit
Help butterflies and bees by making sure your outdoor area is hospitable. Perhaps plant native wild flowers for pollinators and avoid pesticides that put these insects at risk. They are crucial to our planet.

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