I am not a climate change expert, but I am someone who wants to look after the planet as best as I can. We really are as a generation destroying it for the generations to come. I’m not saying we all need to drop everything and become protestors like Greta Thunberg, but we all need to do our bit, even if we make baby step size changes to what we do.
Here’s some of the things I’m doing to try and be a better tenant on the planet:
Cut down my single use plastic
I try to avoid using single use plastic where at all possible. This means using a reusable water bottle, and trying to buy things which are either not wrapped at all or are wrapped in other materials such as cardboard. This isn’t always possible, so when I do have to use single use plastic, I don’t beat myself up, but I do make sure it is always washed and recycled.
Recycle like mad
I’ve definitely been able to do more recycling since I moved from my one bedroom flat to my house. I have more space for recycling bins and I find it easier to manage. The main source of things that I need to recycle is cans (I drink a lot of fizzy drinks as I don’t drink tea or coffee and I need to get some caffeine from somewhere). I also seem to generate a reasonable amount of cardboard, which again goes straight into the recycling.
Manage my energy use
I recently had a smart meter installed and although I was always pretty good at managing my energy use, it’s made me that bit more aware of the financial cost to me, but also the cost to the planet seeing those figures go up. I’m more conscious of turning off lights when I leave a room, and of other ways of saving of saving energy use such as having quicker showers, or not leaving devices on standby. I also always put a jumper on or get a blanket out before I will put the heating on. That’s not to say I don’t put the heating on, if it’s that cold then it is going on, but I can usually hold out that bit longer by putting on an extra layer and as I live alone (apart from my three feline hot water bottles) no-one is complaining!
I also use a green energy supplier so I know that my energy is more environmentally friendly than that produced by some other suppliers.
It’s not always appropriate or possible, but where possible I travel by public transport or even arrange car shares through work. My last job had a scheme where people who were car sharing even got priority parking too so that was a great perk. It saves you money (as you split the petrol costs) and also means you are doing your bit by cutting down the number of vehicles on the roads and therefore generating less pollution.
One thing I don’t yet do, as it is expensive to implement, is have solar panels. It is something I am really interested in doing, but the costs up front are too much for me at the moment. Not only are you cutting down on your energy costs (after all you will almost always be generating more electricity than you are using) but you can even make extra money back if you create a surplus of energy and it is fed back into the grid.