8 ways to be more eco-friendly this Earth Day

In light of Earth Day this week, we thought we’d do something a little different from the usual blog posts we share. Normally, our posts consist of design tips and news, but thought we’d pop together a list of easy ways to be more eco-conscious…

“Is that a bag within a bag?”

Invest in a Tote Bag

Plastic bags tend to make their way to the streets, fields and peoples gardens. They’re harmful to our wonderful wildlife and are particularly costly to clear up. So invest in a tote bag! This is a little inception-like, but roll the bag up and keep it in your bag at all times. Holding heavy plastic bags does nothing but cut off the blood circulation to your fingers and cost you money, not to mention they’re incredibly bad for the environment! If you haven’t got one, adopt one immediately! They’re really cheap to buy, comfortable to carry, store loads and can be pretty damn fashionable.

“How’s your drink still hot?”

Purchase a Reusable Coffee Cup

Paper cups are mainly designed to be used once and then thrown away. The majority are made from raw materials, such as real trees, and not recycled paper! I’m pretty sure most of us can agree that’s not very sustainable at all! Not to mention, most paper cups can’t be recycled either because they have a plastic coating. So why not purchase a reusable coffee cup!? Most reusable cups you buy these days will keep your hot drink, well, hot. They are more hygienic, save you around 20p per drink, prevent you from drinking harmful toxins and you’re less likely to have any leakages over your work clothes! It’s a win-win-win-win (yes, four wins!).

“Eh, you’re turning your computer off, you’ll be back on it in an hour?"

Turn Off Your Computer

For the majority of us, turning off our appliances and devices is probably the last thing on our busy to-do-list… but, we can start changing our habits! Unplug your equipment, turn off your computer and take your laptop chargers out of the bloody plug socket! Here’s a convenient tip: use an extension cable for all of your devices so you can flip that switch and turn everything off at once! Less kerfuffle right? Don’t forget your mobile phones either - once your phone is charged and has reached the beloved 100%, take it off charge straight away, and switch that switch off! Let’s save some money and energy.

“Where’s the steak!?”

Go Veggie (or Vegan) One Day of The Week

Let’s cut out the science behind our meaty dinners and make this short and sweet. Firstly, animals need to be raised, either on land or in a factory, meaning the land is destroyed to raise them. Secondly, we have to feed them, which means harmful gases are released when growing crops. And thirdly, they need that fresh H2O. A study was conducted which discovered a soy burger has a water footprint of 158 litres and a beef burger has 2,350 litres! That’s over 14 times as big. Mad, but interesting right? Now, we are not saying give up meat or dairy forever, but this is great for your health and the environment... why not consider it and go veggie or vegan one day of the week!

Source: https://www.ombar.co.uk/blogs/news/3-environmental-benefits-of-going-vegan

“Will you stop with your slurping!”

Don’t Use Plastic Straws

Single-use plastic is probably the worst form of plastic. Thousands of different plastics end up in our oceans killing more sea creatures than you can imagine. Think of little Nemo and Dory! Luckily, a lot of bars, cafes and restaurants are starting to use paper or recycled straws. Though, this stems back to our first point of ‘paper waste’ - why not ask for your drink without a straw? They’re not entirely necessary. I suppose if you genuinely like drinking from a one, there are reusable metal straws nowadays. In fact, these are nicer to drink from as you don’t end up with minuscule holes or a chewed tip! Give it a go and don’t use a plastic straw.

“Just print it and see what it looks like!”

Don’t Print Unless You Need To

With everything being digital these days, there is little need to print. E-tickets and receipts can be sent to our email addresses and downloaded on our phone. Understandably, not everything can be stuck in your inbox or the cloud, we’ve got to have some documents that are physical. If that is the case, try and use the two-sided printing option, this can cut paper use up to half. You could also try and change the layout to pack more on the page and reduce your word margins. Also, try opting for recycled paper when printing out what you need - at least then if you really do need to print, you can pat yourself on the back as you’re still being eco-conscious! Don’t print unless you need to.

“Why has the shower stopped working?”

Reduce Your Shower Usage With a Timer

A shower in the morning or evening might be one of the most electrifying and stimulating things, ever. By reducing your shower usage, you will save yourself an incredible amount of energy and reduce your water consumption. Once in a while, we really need that long shower to wash away our sins and be re-energised... but, most of us are hygienic people! We don’t always need a really long shower. Why not try and reduce your shower usage with a timer. Try getting yourself an egg timer or put an alarm on your phone. Test yourself on how swiftly you can shower, but don’t slip in the process! You’ll be surprised how quickly you can do it and how much water you’re actually saving…

“You’ve got so many bins, is that necessary!”

Recycle!

There are so many products made from different materials - so how do we work out what goes where? Always look for the recycling symbols on the packaging. Some may not always have symbols, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t recycle it. There is a great website that explains recycling symbols pretty well. By recycling paper and wood, you’re saving the planets trees from being demolished, recycling plastic means that less new plastic is being made and recycling glass reduces extraction of raw materials, i.e, sand. You can always recycle in a more creative way too. For example, making your jam jar into a money pot, or a gin bottle into a hand lotion holder. Think before you bin!

Recycling website: https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/packaging-symbols-explained

“This isn’t so hard after all!”

Make a small change

Hopefully this list has given you a small insight on how to be more conscious about your ‘eco’. Let’s all try and rethink our lifestyles and research other ways on how to help our planet! If we attempt to make a small change, we can begin to make a huge difference.