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Our Favourite Ways to Save the Planet

It's sometimes easy to forget that we need to protect the environment. So we've compiled some super simple tips you can start with at home

 

In 1970, Earth Day was established in the US to celebrate the planet and all it has to offer. Since then it's been a phenomenon that has spread all over the world, and you don't just hear people talking about it on April 22nd.

The phrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has been used for many years to simplify what we, as individuals, can do to limit our impact on the planet and its resources. You may find it's an expression your children are particularly familiar with as it's plastered all over the internet, as well as finding a place in educational curriculums.

Through our experiences with children, we know that while you can tell a child to turn off the taps when brushing their teeth, they are likely to want to know why. Rather than using the age old response - "because I said so" - why not take a moment to investigate why together?

Some shocking statistics

For Earth Day this year, we've been looking at staggering statistics for you to share with your child... we know they've made us think about how important it is to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Packaging

As a nation we are getting better at thinking about what goes into the items we buy - from free-range and organic to paraben-free, we make conscious shopping decisions. But we still have a way to go!

Next time you're at the grocery store, look at these eco-friendly products and you'll notice in most cases that they have a similar amount of packaging to their counterparts, if not more.

In the UK, we use over 150 million plastic bags each week. Each bag takes about 500 years to decay - that's a lot of plastic milling around! This is just a small amount of the rubbish we produce each year. The Titanic weighed 46,000 tonnes, just 1/8th of the household rubbish we throw away every year.

Saving our resources

From cutting down on the water we use to handing our clothes on to someone else, we can all reduce the amount of things we buy and use. Decreasing demand means that suppliers can produce less.

The United Nations has stated that a human needs 50 litres of water a day to drink, prepare meals and for personal hygiene. The average Briton uses approximately 153 litres of water a day - one third of this goes down the loo! Every time we flush the toilet we use as much water as most people in developing countries have to use in a whole day.

Replacing what we use

In the society we live in there are certain things we need, like houses to live in, gas to heat our homes and food on our tables. But what are we giving back?

Britain used to be covered in trees but over the years we've been using them faster than we're replacing them, leaving us with less than 12% wooded coverage.

Trees provide homes for animals, offer shade, help reduce ground heat, and a single fully grown tree aids in the process of producing approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year - the average human needs only 130 pounds of oxygen a year to survive.

15 simple steps you can take at home to save the planet

 

Recycle - Most people cut their home waste by more than half when they learn how much can actually be recycled - or composted! To find out what you can recycle in your area visit your local authority website.

 

All of our appliances need electricity to run, but how efficient are yours? Not only can you do your bit for the planet by purchasing energy efficient appliances when yours need replacing, you can actually save money on your energy bills - compare products at which.co.uk.

 

Don't wash just one jumper or iron one shirt at a time. Do a full load of washing to maximise water and energy usage and iron a bunch of items at a time as your iron uses more energy heating up than staying hot!

 

As we mentioned, trees are a vital part of the oxygenation process, so plant them in your yard or fill your window boxes with leafy green foliage.

 

 

We know that you've heard this before - but turn off the lights when you leave a room. How often do you come home to find that all of the lights have been shining brightly while you were at work and school? When you replace bulbs, convert to low wattage or compact fluorescents to save on your electricity bills.

 

A nice glass of cold water can be a treat, but think about how much water goes down the drain when you run the tap until its cold. Fill a jug and keep it in the fridge for instantly cold water when you want it.

 

Think about the maximum heating conditions when cooking. Depending on the type of pan you use, and how well it fits the burner, you may well be letting energy escape! Look into the efficiency of your appliance and try cooking in new and creative ways to save energy.

 

Decreasing the number of plastic bags you use is important, and with so many bags for life out there, you'll have no shortage of styles and patterns to choose from.

 

Buying an item once often saves you money in the long run. Cheap products often break and end up in landfill much faster than their more expensive counterparts. Think about quality and longevity when buying products.

 

Decrease the amount you use your own vehicle - walk, cycle or take public transport when possible.

 

 

Cut flowers are pretty but they have a short lifespan and often end up inside a plastic bag in landfill. When possible put potted plants in your house for a similar effect that lasts longer.

 

 

Hang your laundry out to dry - We all know this isn't always possible with the English weather, but dryers use a lot of electricity that doesn't need to be expended.

 

 

Plant a garden - or even a window box garden - and grow your own vegetables. You might be surprised what vegetables your children are willing to try if they've helped cultivate them.

 

 

Buy local - Whether it's because you want to support the local economy or you're conscious of the miles your products have had to travel, local farmers and artisans will be happy to have your custom.

 

Don't play with the temperature of your home. Set your thermostat at 18 degrees and put on a jumper when you're cold.

 
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