Be a sustainable consumer

If everyone consumed the way we do in the UK we would need 3 planet earths!

Our contribution to climate change doesn’t just come from our travel, our electricity use and our heating. In fact almost everything we do in our lives involves products or services that have consumed energy to be made or transported, thus emitting carbon dioxide and causing climate change.

We can have a huge positive impact by aiming to live and consume in a “sustainable” way. What’s more we won’t just make a difference by our own lifestyles, but also from the influence we have on others.

Don’t buy things you don’t really need or want

Most of us far more ‘stuff’ than we ever need. Every time you buy a product you’re responsible for the emissions due to its manufacture, packaging and transport. So only buy stuff you really need or will actually use.

Buy local food to avoid unnecessary “food miles”

When you buy food from overseas you’re responsible for the “food miles” incurred by shipping that product to the UK. Why not reduce your impact on climate change by buying local produce instead? It tastes better too!

Buy organic or grow your own

Conventional intensive farming methods use 25-50% more energy than organic farming per unit of product. Buying organic or growing your own significantly reduces your impact on climate change.

Use a vegetable compost at home

Using a compost for organic waste is easy and avoids it decomposing in landfill sites where it will emit methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas which contributes heavily to climate change. It’s also handy to use in the garden.

If you’re doing up your garden buy sustainably sourced sandstone paving ; or find a local reclamation centre or upcycler.

Make an effort to recycle

We live in a throw-away culture, but if packaging, glass and other items can be recycled that reduces the energy needed for manufacturers to get the materials to make new items. It saves things ending up in landfills too.

Re-use rather than throwing away

Every time you throw something away it gets buried in the ground and energy needs to be used to make another one. Save energy by keeping and re-using packages and bags more than once.

Give unwanted items to charity

If you don’t want something and it can’t be recycled, don’t simply throw it away. If you give it to a charity shop someone else can use it and that saves on unnecessary new products being made and energy wasted.

Use refill packs

A great way to reduce on packaging for the products you use is to buy refill packs for items like soap powder – they use less packaging and therefore have lower carbon emissions from manufacturing.

Buy less packaged food

The more packaging your food has the higher the energy that was required to make it. Try to buy produce and goods with less packaging and send a signal to manufacturers that we don’t need that kind of wastage.

Don’t waste food

Energy is used in packaging, transporting and heating food, so if we waste food rather than consuming it that’s a lot of needless carbon dioxide emissions. Think before you throw it away.

Drink tap water instead of bottled water

Tap water is clean, fresh and free so why buy expensive bottled water? Energy is consumed for each bottle created, filled and transported, leading to unnecessary carbon emissions and yet more plastic in landfill sites.