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Do Your Part and Protect the Earth - Think Globally, Act Locally
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi
LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO:
100 Simple ways to help change the world!
1. Open an ethical bank account with Smile/Co-OP www.smile.co.uk or
2. Invest your other savings ethically www.eiris.org
3. Change your electricity supplier to a renewable one
4. Buy local http://www.buylocalfood.co.uk
5. Buy less! Save yourself time and money as well as the planet
6. Buy organic www.soilassociation.org
7. Eat seasonal food www.foodlinks.info/buying/VegSeasons.php
8. Volunteer www.csv.org.uk
9. Give to charity www.charitychoice.co.uk
10. Buy fair trade www.fairtrade.org.uk or www.maketradefair.com
11. Get on your bike – get fit, get around and see the world at an entirely
different pace www.sustrans.org.uk
12. Compost your garden and kitchen waste in a heap or a wormery.
Reduce the waste you send to landfill sites and get lovely compost for
your plants into the bargain! - www.compost.org.uk or
13.Get a rain butt and use the water to give your garden a drink not the
14. Grow stuff, indoors and out, to eat, clean the air in your house or to
give to friends instead of cut flowers www.permaculture.co.uk or
15. Install a nesting box/bird table or feeder to attract feathered friends
16. Carbon neutralise your holiday. For further details visit
futureforests.com, chooseclimate.org, carbonneutral.com.
17.When on holiday: ask for your towels to be washed every other day, or
less, instead of every day (only 17% of people do this when on
18.Switch off your air conditioning when you are out for the day (only
18% of holiday-makers do this). If just 50% of people did, it is
estimated that across the world 5m tonnes of CO2 emissions would be
prevented each year.
19.Use water sparingly when abroad. The average tourist uses as much
water in 24 hours as a villager in the developing world uses in 100
20. Follow Tourism Concern's traveller tips; put money into local hands by
drinking local beer and fruit juice rather than imported brands; stay in
locally owned accommodation; stick to footpaths, don't stand on coral,
and don't buy products made from endangered animals or plants; wear
respectful clothing; and always ask people if you can take their
21. When cleaning the house: Avoid all the expensive and dubious
chemicals such as the ‘Mr Muscles’ of this world as they often contain
anti-bacterial agents more dangerous than the bacteria they are
designed to eliminate! Instead why not make effective cleaning
products yourself from cheap, easily available household products.-Make a window cleaner by mixing vinegar with water; or neat,
with a few drops of tea tree oil, it can be used as a disinfectant.
Try baking soda as an all-purpose cleaner or scourer, salt as an
abrasive for cleaning pots and pans, and lemon juice as an
alternative to bleach. Just re-label your old spray bottles to
Use bicarbonate of soda to deodorise carpets or with white
vinegar to scrub stainless steel, clear drains, remove tea stains
from mugs and remove permanent marker pen from skin.
Vinegar is a good replacement for limescale remover. Unscrew
your showerhead and leave it in vinegar overnight; the next
morning it will be free of limescale.
22. If you must buy cleaning products then use biodegradable or
environmentally friendlier products such as Ecover Squirteco, an allpurpose
cleaner that relies on plant- and mineral-based surfactants to
provide its cleaning oomph, and Ecover washing-up liquid
23. Get your family and workplace to perform a waste audit to determine
how much they throw away. Hopefully, this will shock them into action.
24. For recycling to work, recycled goods have to be a profitable industry.
Do your bit by buying recycled goods whenever possible.
25.If practical, build or set aside an area dedicated to sorting recyclable
26. About 80% of what we throw away is recyclable. Find your nearest
recycling point at www.wastepoint.co.uk
27.Crush the rubbish you send to the landfill as small as possible. This
way, it will take up less space.
28.Try to avoid drink cartons that are made of a paper/polyethylene mix,
which are notoriously hard to recycle.
29. Rid yourself of junk mail, sign-up with the Mailing Preference Service
(www.mpsonline.org.uk tel: 0845 703 4599).
30. Get inspiration from others. See how New Zealand is putting the rest of
the western world to shame with its Zero Waste policy
31.Be careful to note the subtle difference between various "mobius
loops" - the circle of arrows seen on packaging. Only arrows with a
dark background mean that the item is made with recycled materials.
Arrows on a light background mean the item can be recycled - a big
32.When buying plastics look out for the following recyclable types: PET
(polyethylene terephalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and
LDPE (low-density polyethylene).
33.Follow the lead of Friends of the Earth and the Women's Environmental
Network which urge you to post excessive packaging to the guilty
34.Avoid buying anything that boasts on its packaging that it is disposable
- gloves, paper towels, cleaning cloths, bin liners, nappies, plastic cups.
35.Buy products with less packaging
36.Buy in bulk
37.If you use the dry cleaner, ask them to put several items in one plastic
38. If you can't think of a use for something you don't want, take it to a
39. Re-use good packaging such as paper, boxes, bags and bubble wrap or
wrap gifts in fabric and tie with ribbon; both are reusable and prettier
than paper and sticky-tape.
40.The best way to re-use is to repair rather than throw away.
41. Get children interested in our waste problem. Start by getting them to
42. Buy your own bee hive: without bees the planet would last for only 60
years (and honey is good for your health) www.bbka.org.uk
43. Use a nappy washing service: they use 32% less energy and 41% less
water than home washing. UK Nappy Helpline: 01983 401959
44.Slow down. Driving at 50mph uses 25% less fuel than 70mph.
45.Wash your clothes with your flatmates' instead of wasting water on
46.Turn down your central heating and put on a jumper.
47.Install a new condensing boiler, they are up to 30% more energy
efficient than traditional systems
48.Take a brisk shower, not a leisurely bath, to save water.
49. Hold a Tupperware party. Airtight food containers can be reused;
sandwich bags and plastic wrap cannot. www.tupperware.com
50.Choose energy-efficient appliances when you replace old ones.
51. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last eight times as long and
use a fraction of the energy. www.saveenergy.co.uk
52.Join a library instead of buying books.
53.Get to know your neighbours; they are more likely to keep your home
safe than energy-guzzling security lamps. You might even like them!
54.Recycle your car oil at a recycling depot or petrol station rather than in
your driveway; it contains lead, nickel and cadmium and oil in the
drainage system covers water in a thin layer suffocating life
55. Let them carry you off in a biodegradable cardboard coffin, saving
trees, instead of burning your body at the crematorium.
56. Raise your glass to organic beer; conventionally grown hops are
sprayed up to a dozen times a year. www.stpetersbrewery.co.uk
57.Take the plunge and move in with your partner so you light and heat
one home rather than two.
58. Give a colleague a lift to work; if no one is going your way, join a
carshare scheme to find a passenger. Www.liftshare.com
59.Cook for friends. Large quantities of food use less packaging than the
same quantity in individual portions (and take less energy to cook).
60. Copy Government Ministers by holidaying in Britain (but unlike them,
skip the follow-up trip to Tuscany) there are thousands of amazing
places to visit right here on our own little rock (no promises on the
61.Refuse plastic carrier bags, or at least reuse them. Cloth bags are
62. Donate your leftover paint to a community project; Britons fail to use
6.2m litres of the paint they buy each year.
63.Drink tap or filtered water, not bottled. It is no accident that ‘Evian’ is
naïve spelt backwards!
64.Invest in a washing line; tumble dryers devour electricity.
65. Put a ‘hippo’ or plastic coke bottle full of water in your toilet cistern to
reduce the flush volume and save water www.hippo-thewatersaver.
66.Turn off TVs and stereos instead of switching them to standby.
67.Lighten up: paint your walls a pale colour, so you need less artificial
68.Only flush toilets if really needed; follow the Australian maxim: "If it's
yellow that's mellow, if it's brown flush it down."
69.Improve the ambience and dine by candlelight, saving electricity.
70.Insulate your home. Cavity wall insulation can cut heat loss through
the wall by up to 60%.
71. Buy from companies with eco-friendly policies; boycott those without
72. Soak up the sun; even in Britain, solar panels can produce a surprising
amount of energy. www.solarcentury.co.uk
73.Clean the back of your fridge. Dusty coils can increase energy
consumption by 30%.
74.Avoid air travel; it produces three times more carbon dioxide per
passenger than rail.
75.Choose a car with a 3-way catalytic converter, to reduce nitrogen
oxides and hydrocarbons emissions by 90%.
76.Ban blinds. Heavy curtains keep in more heat in winter.
77.Change materials as well as rooms; MDF and chipboard release
formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Buy sustainably produced wood instead.
78.Cut up the plastic rings from packs of beer; they are invisible in water
so wildlife can choke on them or trap themselves.
79.Bring a mug to the office instead of using polystyrene cups.
80.Snap up a 36-exposure film instead of 24, reducing waste from
packaging and processing. Better still get a digital camera!
81.Cancel that expensive gym membership and walk to work instead.
82.Drink more water, most of us are dehydrated most of the time
83. Reflect! Take time out from your day and spend 15 minutes thinking
about yourself, your friends, family and the rest of the world, a great
way to reduce stress (hopefully) and be more positive
www.stressbusting.co.uk and www.calmcentre.com
84. Improve yourself! Do a course of study or activity at your local
education centre…learn a language, how to dance the fandango or knit
sweaters from the fur of obscure south american mammals
85. Get out of debt if you can, we all get into difficult financial situations
but there’s always a way out. www.nationaldebtline.co.uk or
86. Be independent. Set up your own business, be your own boss and do
something you really believe in www.businesslink.gov.uk
87. Work flexibly, get a work:life balance www.w-lb.org.uk
88. Buy wood only from sustainable sources www.fscoax.org
89. Vote! Get out there and make your voice and opinions count! –
91.Buy chocolates from proper chocolate stores, so they are not
92.Pretend Christmas has come early; turkey is more likely than chicken
to be produced in the UK, while British-grown brussel sprouts require
less transport than Kenyan mangetout.
93.Tell your friends and family about this list of simple things to do
94. Switch off your television and go out and do something less boring
instead in a ‘Why don’t you’ style www.whitedot.org
95.Laughter is the best medicine – see the funny side of life
96. Do something amazing, donate blood www.blood.co.uk
97. Carry a donor card and enable someone to www.uktransplant.org.uk
98. Buy only Marine Stewardship Council accredited fish products
99.Don’t fill the kettle to the brim every time you make a cuppa – save
energy by only boiling as much as you need
100.Instead of buying yourself an expensive new outfit swap your clothes
with your friends to reinvigorate your wardrobe
This list compiled by FUTERRA with the help of Friends of the Earth
and Leo Hickman’s Guardian column on ethical living
101 Ways To Live More Ecologically
1. Avoid disposable in favor of reusable
2. Avoid drying rags in a clothes dryer.
3. Avoid power appliances when handpower works.
4. Avoid highly processed foods.
5. Avoid using styrofoam—it can't be recycled.
6. Avoid watering driveways and sidewalks.
7. Be responsible and creative with leftover foods.
8. Buy in bulk goods to reduce wasted packaging.
9. Buy energy efficient electric appliances.
10. Buy foods without additives.
11. Buy foods without preservatives.
12. Buy food and goods from sources you trust
13. Buy large quantities to reduce shopping trips.
14. Buy living Christmas trees.
15. Buy locally grown food and produce.
16. Buy organic, pesticide-free foods.
17. Compost your food scraps.
18. Discover and protect watersheds in your area,
19. Don't burn trash or other smoky materials.
20. Drain cooking grease onto paper bags, not paper towels.
21. Drive a fuel-efficient car.
22. Drive less: walk, bicycle, carpooland use public transportation.
23. Eat foods low on the food chain; avoid meat.
24. Eat more natural, nutritious foods.
25. Educate elected representatives on ecology.
26. Exercise regularly.
27. Explore and learn about your bioregion.
28. Grow your own food, even a small amount.
29. Hang dry some or all of your clothes.
30. Heat your home less and wear warmer clothes.
31. Heat your home more with renewable energies.
32. Hold a potluck dinner to discuss local ecology.
33. If you use a dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle.
34. Install a water-conserving device in your toilets.
35. Install a water-conserving showerhead.
36. Insulate your home to maximum efficiency.
37. Invest for social responsibility as well as profit.
38. Invest in solar power, where practical.
39. Invest in well-made, long-lived clothing.
40. Keep hazardous chemicals in safe containers.
41. Keep appliance motors well adjusted for efficiency.
42. Mend and repair rather than discard and replace.
43. Oppose meddling in ecological balance.
44. Oppose private development of special areas.
45. Oppose roadside use of defoliants.
46. Organize or join a neighborhood toy exchange.
47. Pick up litter along streets and highways.
48. Plant native trees and shrubs around your home.
49. Plant trees throughout your community.
50. Plant your living Christmas tree.
51. Practice preventive health care.
52. Practice responsible family planning.
53. Prepare only as much food as will be eaten.
54. Protect your favorite distinctive natural areas.
55. Purchase goods in reusable/recyclable containers.
56. Put a catalytic converter on your wood stove.
57. Put toxic substances out of reach of children.
58. Recycle aluminum.
59. Recycle glass.
60. Recycle newspaper.
61. Recycle old clothes.
62. Recycle plastic.
63. Recycle used motor oil.
64. Recycle your unneeded items.
65. Re-use paper bags.
66. Re-use plastic bags for storage and waste.
67. Save up for full loads in clothes washers.
68. Save up for full loads in dishwasher.
69. Shop by phone, then go pick up your purchases.
70. Speak out about your values in community groups.
71. Support efficient energy sources in your bioregion.
72. Support elected representatives on ecological issues.
73. Support energy conservation in your bioregion.
74. Support global ecological improvement efforts.
75. Support local credit unions.
76. Support local merchants before large chains.
77. Support neighborhood food cooperatives.
78. Support proper waste water and sewage treatment.
79. Support the cultural diversity in your bioregion.
80. Support the plants and animals in your community.
81. Take shorter showers.
82. Teach your children ecological wisdom.
83. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater.
84. Turn off the lights when not needed.
85. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
86. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents.
87. Use cloth diapers.
88. Use cloth table napkins.
89. Use less tapwater whenever possible.
90. Use non-toxic pest control.
91. Use only medications you trust/understand.
92. Use rags or towels instead of paper.
93. Use rechargeable batteries.
94. Use the second side of paper for scratch paper.
95. Use water from cooking vegetables to make soup.
96. Volunteer for work in a community garden.
97. Volunteer to maintain local parks and wilderness.
98. Wash clothes in cold water.
99. Wash dishes in still, not running water.
100. Weather-seal your home.
101. Work to unlearn poor ecological habits.