5 Eco-Friendly Habits You Might Not Have Thought Of
In 2018, green is the new black. This has been a year of bombardment by veganism, straw-bans, and multinational corporations finally deciding to ditch their plastic packaging. As geographers, I’m going to assume that we all turn the tap off when brushing our teeth, and put our used beer bottles and cans in the recycling bin, but here are a few tips for those who want to diversify their earth-saving habits. You might even improve your life in other ways too.
- Have fewer kids
I’m going to guess that the majority of the readers of this article are not of an age where they are considering how many children they will have, but perhaps you could give it some thought. Nothing harms the earth more than the people on it, and, particularly in a developed world where every individual is consuming so much and has such a high carbon footprint, planning to have fewer children is an incredibly green decision.
Added bonus: more money to spend on your other future children/yourself!!
- Shop in charity shops
Perhaps with all the money you’re going to save now that you’re planning on raising one less child, you could go on a shopping spree! Not in a proper shop, mind, as we all know that consumption in our increasingly superficial/materialistic world is the root of all evil. No, how about you try a charity shop? You’ll be reducing, reusing and recycling all in one go!
Added bonus: you will get some killer bargains and probably locate an item in the newest edgy brand as well as saving the planet! You will also be giving money to a charity that does good in the world.
- Use a menstrual cup
Of course this only applies to those who menstruate, but it’s a lifestyle change that has not only remarkably improved my periods, but also removed a hefty weight of environmental guilt from my shoulders. Using my menstrual cup means I create that bit less waste in my day-to-day life.
Added bonus: you’ll save money, never have to worry about being caught short of sanitary items again, so what’s not to love?
- Holiday in Britain
Who needs Ibiza when you have Blackpool? And what’s the use of looking at a church in Goa when you haven’t even been to the one in your grandparents’ village since your own christening? The UK has so much to offer in terms of holidays, with beautiful beaches, cute countryside and high-quality history. By hopping on your nearest Virgin East Coast service you’ll even be able to get to Scotland, the most beautiful country in the world (see: roughguides.com), without going through the bother, or carbon footprint, of air travel.
Added Bonus: fish and chips (unless you’re a vegetarian/vegan for environmental reasons in which case – go you! You can have chips and mushy peas which are almost as good).
- Plant a tree
Turn green physically as well as metaphorically by getting some dirt under those fingernails. One tree can take 0.546 kg of carbon out of the atmosphere (equivalent to 2kg of carbon dioxide), and if everyone in the UK planted one tree, it could lock up roughly 33,000 tonnes of carbon per year. Now, this is certainly no solution to the world’s problems – but I’m a firm believer that every little helps.
Added bonus: if you plant one outside your house, it will provide lots of lovely shade for you in the summer and then you can save even more energy by not needing a fan or air conditioning.
Good luck eco-warriors!
By Anjali Gupta
DISCLAIMER: THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR ONLY AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OR OPINIONS OF COMPASS MAGAZINE AS A WHOLE OR THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY.