There’s not much of a chance you’ll have missed recent conversations surrounding climate change. From Extinction Rebellion to Greta Thunberg, it’s normal people who are lobbying for change and whilst the government have pledged to reach ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050, environmental campaigners are saying it’s “still too slow to address catastrophic climate change.”
Despite the studies showing that this is a real worry for the majority of us, we can’t all cut classes like the Lewisham school children who joined protests this Friday or the thousands who have protested this year all over the world, however we should all be doing the little things that can help stop climate change in its tracks. After all, according to the World Health Organisation, over 92 percent of us are now living in places where the air quality levels exceed their limits, resulting in more casualties than those from HIV, tuberculosis and road injuries combined.
We’ve curated this list of the little differences you can make to your day, without breaking the budget or breaking a sweat.
Choose your lunch right
Whilst the best way to reduce waste on your lunch hour is always going to be to bring it in from home, in a reusable tub, we know that that isn’t always a possibility. Living in this fast-paced city, we want a fast-paced lunch and most often that means pre-packaged. Fast food packaging however makes up an estimated 40 percent of all litter, meaning that Tesco sandwich is going to linger longer on the planet than it does in your stomach. Choosing local organic food can offset this harm and avoiding places whose meals come in Styrofoam will help cut non-recyclable waste (Styrofoam takes about 900 years to biodegrade). There are also a whole host of restaurants out there who reduce their food waste by donating it to homeless charities, including high-street chain Pret A Manger.
Get your caffeine kick
Like with your food, avoiding wasteful coffee drinking is super easy. Bringing a travel mug in from home for your Starbucks run, will reduce paper wastage and what’s more, not only will you be saving the planet, you’ll also be saving pennies, as the coffee giant reward you with a 25p discount.
Don’t print to proofread
Hailing from our school days, more of us than ever are printing off important documents in order to check spelling and grammar. This paper wastage however has become completely obsolete, with apps like Grammarly telling you exactly what and where your problems are.
Sweeten up your sugar
A staple of the office and the coffee shop, the sugar packet has taken over from the humble sugar cube. However in this case progress isn’t always for the best. Replacing paper packets with a bowl of loose granules will not only cut costs but also wastage. Just maybe put a sign on there to warn people off from the double dip.
Skip the Uber
Living in the capital, there’s so many ways to get about that the times you need to jump in a cab are slim. Yet despite the introduction of the night tube as well as more frequent rail times, the number of taxis and licensed private hire vehicles have risen by 9pc over the last two years. Downloading apps like City Mapper will help you to cut your travel time by finding the best route, whilst making the most of public transport AND your legs. What’s more swapping out awkward taxi driver conversations for the tube could make a huge difference to your wallet.