1. Observe an eco-sabbath.
In the busy world in which we live taking time out is really important, not just for our own well-being but for the environment too.
For one day, or one afternoon, or more likely one hour per week, why not just stop? Don’t use anything, consume anything or buy anything. And keep your phone off.
2. Apply the 30 day rule.
When you’re poised to hand over your credit card details think to yourself, “Do I Really Need it?” Or is it something I could make with some clay and a few willing volunteers? And if it’s something you really can’t make or live without then apply the 30 day rule. If you still want it in 30 days’ time then go ahead.
3. Replace disposable with reusable.
We all do it now with shopping bags (when we remember to take one of our many bags-for-life with us), so why not take other containers with us too?
Loose pulses are available from enlightened health food shops like Earth Natural Foods and you can usually refill your Ecover bottles there too.
4. Seek a moratorium on food waste.
The first step to reducing food waste is careful meal planning so that you only buy what you are going to eat. The second step is being creative with the inevitable leftovers. We all do it at Christmas so why not the rest of the year? Zero Waste Europe lists 27 blogs with recipe ideas to help.
5. Hail the vintage revolution.
The re-branding of second hand as ‘vintage’ has made old clothes and neglected household items highly fashionable. This is great news.
Rather than sending your 90s outfits to landfill offer them as a retro collection.
6. Meat free Mondays.
Meat production results in more carbon emissions than any other protein, so meat free Mondays are not only good for your health they are also good for the environment. Next Monday try substituting a winter or summer squash for meat. Just as tasty and invariably cheaper.
7. Source wood sustainably.
Illegal logging is still rampant and some of this timber makes its way to “Uptown” homes all over the world. The only way to be sure that a wooden product is made from a sustainable source is to look for the FSC or PEFC logo. These guys are rigorous in their audits, so if you see their logos you can rest easy that there has been no illegal logging involved.
8. Compost what you can.
If you don’t yet have a compost heap this could be the moment to start one. It is so easy and so satisfying. All you have to do is put two large bottomless bins directly on the soil and every time you have vegetable waste from the kitchen like banana skins or potato peelings pop them into one of the bins.
And your garden waste like grass cuttings can go in there too. When the bin is full cover it, and while the worms are transforming it to compost start using the second bin. Once the second bin is full the first bin should be wonderful compost.
9. Use the tumble dryer only as a last resort.
In places like the Yucatan, you can just hang washing outside to dry; but in other countries it is a different story. For instance, most parts of the UK over 50% of the days are dry and the clever weather forecasters have a pretty good idea which days they’re going to be, so most of the time it should be possible to hang washing outside and have it dry naturally. Line drying is better for your clothes too.
10. Forage for your food.
Foraged food is not only bang on trend with food fashionistas it is also good for the environment. Blackberries foraged from hedgerows in the autumn have much less of a carbon footprint than their cultivated cousins (and more flavour) as does elderflower cordial made from elder flowers in the early summer.
If you live in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can grow your own papayas, mangos, oranges, limes, coconuts and many other fruits.
by Stephanie Wareham, Reporter
Visit www.henandhammock.co.uk to learn more.
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