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50 simple ways to reach your life greener

Expert tips on how to be kinder to the planet from cooking and scavenging to fashion and finance

Clean up your kitchen

Love your leftovers
Look at what essentials you’re binning.” Chefs talk about what to do with carrot crests or whey from cheese, but that’s not where we need to make changes ,” says Feast nutrient novelist Anna Jones.” It’s the milk moved down the subside and stale dough- the items we don’t placed as much value on .” Jones weepings up dough to freeze for instantaneous croutons, or whizzes it into breadcrumbs for incorporated into croustades, pastas and salads. If oats have ever done into porridge, follow Claire Thomson, cook and scribe of The ArtOf The Larder( Quadrille, PS25 ), and substitutefor some of the flour and irrigate in dough dough.

Treat ” food waste ” as ingredients, says Ollie Hunter, chef and writer of 30 Easy WaysTo JoinThe Food Revolution( Pavilion, PS14. 99 ).” It’s easy to turn it into something else; aquafaba( chickpea sea) can be made into a vegan mayonnaise; fry squash seeds in lubricant and scatter with salt for a snack; slashed courgette husks into penne determines and concoct like pasta. You need to find creative ways to use everything up; squandering food is down to a lack of imagination .”

Use tech for good
Apps are taking the fight to food waste. Olio connects neighbours and local retailers so surplus nutrient can be shared; Too Good To Go enables cafes and restaurants to sell uneaten dinners at reduced rates; while Farmdrop connects you with sustainable local farmers. To recycle kitchen scraps, find neighbours with a compost bin( or chickens) at sharewaste.com.


Shop little and often
A lot of litter comes from doing large-hearted shops, putting two-for-one ” agreement” in the trolley and buying on recur rather than planning dinners.” I’m always clear about what we will eat at home and when ,” says Skye Gyngell, chef and founder of Spring in London, which leads a” scratch menu” exploiting debris. She patronizes little and often, supported by a accumulation cupboard of wholegrains, olive oil, vinegars and mustards to bolster snacks.” Working out what various kinds of cook you are is also useful ,” says Jones,” then turn designer how you shop. There is no sense make a weekly shop if you like to decide what you’re going to make for dinner at 6pm, like me. I shop in small increments, and I find I squander less this room, very .”


Buy half your meat locally
The shorter the food chain, the less waste formed before it reaches your kitchen. Hunter subscribes to buying 50% of meat swell within 30 miles of where you live.” It’s an achievable chassis ,” he says, especially when farmers, such as
Hodmedod’s in Suffolk, are revitalizing homegrown pulsations including British lentils, quinoa, carlin peas and fava beans( which Hunter ferments be transformed into miso and soy sauce ). The nutritional importance of fruit and veg last-places for only a short period of time, lends Gyngell, so how far your nutrient has passed matters.

Pick your own
” Foraging solves many problems ,” Hunter says.” You’re getting into the countryside, engaging with nature and members of the community, and receive food that has a different flavour .” Start with herbs, grass, berries, wild garlic and, a favourite of Hunter’s, nettles (” They’re so underrated “). Use to garnish pies, in risottos and soups; wear gauntlets to avoid bites and bathe thoroughly in salted liquid. Ensure foraged parts are identifiable before eating- check woodlandtrust.org or wildfooduk.com.

Switch your flours
Crops can’t be grown every year in the same soil without superseding nutrients taken by the floras, and switching the flour you use can help.” Spelt or wheat is often grown in rotation with rye and clover to replace lost nitrogen ,” says Hunter.” Eating rye supports the farmers’ spin; I use spelt and emmer flour as an alternative to wheat because they have similar baking belongings, while being beneficial to the soil .”

Befriend a butcher
” There is no way around it, snacking meat sustainably requires a little more effort on our place ,” says Fergus Henderson, chef and godfather of nose-to-tail eating. His firstly regulation is to ” hug” your butcher:” Support them and ask questions- they are your way in to a positive ply chain. They will also give you access to the insides and members, such as kidneys, shanks, feet and glands, which offer so much more possibility and flavour than the fillet .” Whole-animal eating are not talking about blood and guts, but” respecting the animal enough to realise that, if it has died for you, the least you can do is make use of every role “.

Compost on the go
Compost isn’t just for the plot- think about reducing your food waste when you’re on the go, too, says Lindsay Miles, whose volume Less Waste, No Fuss Kitchen: Simple Steps To Shop, Cook And Eat Sustainably( Hardie Grant, PS12. 99) is out in June.” A reusable coffee cup makes a great impromptu container for your lunch scraps- take apple cores or bread crusts home to compost .”

Plan ahead
Make the most of seasonal gluts and save veggies in lubricants, vinegars, chutneys, ketchup and marinades, or freeze them.” Blitz and freeze tomatoes in receptacles for passata all time round; see kimchi from cauliflower husks and leaves; use beetroot in jams, vinegars and oil, then chop stubbles and foliages to surface pastas, pizzas, curries and dal ,” says Hunter.

Minimise package
Look for release fruit and vegetables, and take your own receptacles to browses and sells.” If you are buying packed nutrient ,” says Miles,” look at where the commodity comes from and try to choose the more neighbourhood option- oat milk from Scotland will have a lower carbon footprint than almond milk from California, even if they have the same packaging .” The most recyclable plastics are PET, found in sucks bottles and fruit punnets, and HDPE, in milk bottles and cereal carton liners; so if you can’t forestall it, go for these, then reuse or recycle what you can.

All green on the dwelling front


Reduce your soak
Erin Rhoads’
Waste Not Everyday( Hardie Grant Books, PS10) points out that” the majority of members of the environmental burden caused by fashion happens after we take the clothing home: 82% of the force a garment will use is in the washing and drying we do each week “. Rhoads recommends spot-cleaning, and neutralising bouquets with a spritz of diluted vodka or lemon juice.

Clean with castile
By making clean makes( from polish to cleanser) you can reduce the amount of plastic registering your home and the level of damaging VOCs( volatile organic combinations ), such as formaldehyde, that are liberated.” Of all the dark-green cleaning ingredients I use, liquid castile soap is by far my favourite ,” writes Jen Chillingsworth in Clean Green( Quadrille, PS7. 55 ).” Originating from Spain, castile soap was traditionally shaped with pure olive oil, but is now more commonly produced by mixing vegetable oils such as hemp, avocado, jojoba and coconut .” For a simple, multipurpose kitchen spray, add 50 ml of castile soap to 800 ml tap water in a spraying bottle. Add a few drops of essential oils( tea tree is antibacterial ). Spray and wipe with a clean cloth.


Go for plastic -free personal upkeep
There is a world of waste-free hygienic protection to explore, and Chillingsworth hints buying a
reusable tampon applicator.” The reusable version accommodates every length of tampon, is antimicrobial and easy to insert. After use, give it a wipe, rinse and return to the storage box that are appropriate in your handbag. Sterilise in hot water between periods .”

Recycle as much as you can
” Most major supermarkets support plastic recycling collecting degrees in store for stretchy plastic( such as frozen food pouches, carrier bags and bread pouches) which is usually can’t be recycled from home ,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at government trash advisory figure Wrap.

TerraCycle rescues hard-to-recycle waste that is not treated by committees. It has free national recycling programmes and also sells zero-waste caskets, which you can fill with most non-hazardous , non-recyclable and non-organic waste, and return for recycling. Search its website for a strategy near you, or set one up.

Look after your electrical appliances
The Restart Project is a social organization that aims to fix our relationship with electricals and electronics. Cofounder Janet Gunter says the first step in keeping household appliances for longer is regular cleansing.” By simply cleansing and maintaining your white goods, laptop or mobile, you will prolong their own lives .” Restart moves a nationwide system of skill-sharing seminars as well as promoting a directory of commercial-grade fixing alternatives in London.( See also repaircafe.org for events in your domain .)” If we don’t have access to spare parts ,” says Gunter,” these appliances will be thrown away, which has a huge carbon impact .”

If your electrical contraption really is beyond repair, Rhoads indicates you” call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back pieces or boxing for reuse or recycling “. Not all kindnes stores abide electrical parts, but the homelessness charity Emmaus admits wielding items. These are experimented before being resold, which becomes it a good target to purchase secondhand electrical goods, too.


Create clean breeze
” You can never have enough house flowers ,” says Oliver Heath, who runs a sustainable structure practise. Certain bushes are best for certain rooms:” Mother-in-law’s tongue gives off oxygen at night, which reaches it best suited to the bedroom .” According to Chillingsworth, armistice lilies and boston ferns prosper in rooms with high humidity and can reduce the mould spores in the air, reaching them model for bathrooms; weeping figs have been found to be the best plant for removing formaldehyde secreted from carpets and furniture, realise them good for living areas.

Change your shower president
” Investing in an aerated shower chief will make a significant difference to energy and ocean consumption ,” says Brian Horne at the Energy Saving Trust( EST ). They inject air into the water stream, restraint water application.” A water-efficient shower head could save a four-person household PS7 0 a year on gas for water heating, and a further PS1 15 on irrigate bills if they have a meter ,” says Horne.

Opt for green vigor suppliers
There are” shadows of green” when it comes to choosing an energy supplier, says Horne. The EST identified four suppliers who clearly listed the renewable sources of their vitality on their websites last year: Green Energy UK, Good Energy, Ecotricity and Octopus Energy.” But just because you’re on a light-green tariff, it doesn’t mean you should stop worrying about how much vigour you use ,” says Horne.

Practise eco-driving
Research by the RAC Foundation has found that eco-driving leads to safer, cleaner and more inexpensive journeys. Regular vehicle upkeep improves fuel economy by as much as 10%. Before a long journey, check tyre press( tyres underinflated by a one-quarter can cause a 2% increase in fuel consumption ), remove unused roof racks and cartons, and don’t overload the car( every additional 45 kg increases gasoline economy by 2 %). At less than 40 mph, it’s more fuel-efficient to open a window than apply air conditioner. Turn off engines for waits of more than one minute( 5-8% of fuel is exhaustedwhile idling ), and forestalled sharp acceleration and heavy braking: aggressive driving can significantly raise gasoline consumption.

Draught-proof your residence
One of the cheapest, most effective ways to save energy and coin at home is to draught-proof windows, doors, letterbox, hearths and loft hatches, says Dr Sarah Price, head of building physics at Enhabit, a consultancy specialising in low-energy design. Done professionally, it expenses about PS200, or do it yourself with makes such as Gap Seal.


Buy vintage furniture
” Reusing furniture is the best thing to do, and so much more fun than buying new ,” says Nicola Harding, founder of interior design studio
Harding and Read.” Secondhand parts come with interesting narratives and push you to think creatively, and give you have something far more unique .” To keep mileage down, start at your neighbourhood auction houses and charity browses( the British Heart Foundation has dedicated dwelling accumulations and a free collection service ), follow the example of a targeted trawl through Freecycle and Facebook Marketplace.

Optimise your white goods
According to independent vigor likenes work U Switch, the cost of running your fridge and freezer equates to about 7% of your total power invoice( they are one of the few household energy designs that are on all the time ). U Switch recommends changing your fridge and/ or freezer if it is over 10 years old. Even if it’s working, the costs of a new simulation will be made up for in energy savings over the years. Keep your fridge at 5C or less( most are remain at about 7C, which represents food will go off sooner) and ensure there is a 10 cm chink behind your fridge to let heat flow away readily. Make sure the seal is strong- if it can’t accommodate a piece of paper when slam, it could be letting in warm breeze, building it work harder.

Let the garden grow

Photographer: Aaron Tilley. Set design: Rhea Thierstein, being supported by Isabelle Dodd


Buy local flowers- or flourish your own
About 90% of the flowers sold through UK florists, supermarkets and wholesalers
are imported, principally from the Netherlands, but they are also flown in from countries as far away as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Reduce your floral air miles and find a neighbourhood supplier through flowersfromthefarm.co.uk, a co-operative of small independent flower growers.

Alternatively, change your own blooms to bring indoors. Gardener Sarah Raven hints going for” annuals which are cut and come again: pick above a duet of buds and the bush will spring back and produce more flowers- and keep on doing so as long as you impede picking “. Sow cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias and rudbeckias on a sunny opening ledge in March, utensil on and bush out after the last frosts.


Encourage bees
Honeybees visit only one type of flower in any one foraging trip, says Sarah Wyndham Lewis, writer of
PlantingFor Honeybees: The Grower’s Guide To Creating A Buzz.” This is called’ bloom accuracy’ and is what establishes them such effective pollinators. So flora large-scale clumps or’ floats’ of single species and optimise each of the bees’ tours .” Think swathes of catmint, domain scabious and hyssop.” March to September are the key months for honeybees- they are able to fly whenever the temperature is above 10 C, even in winter, so early- and late-flowering flowers are especially valuable ,” she says.

Spend less, prop agate more
Your own plan is the best garden centre there is: accumulate seed, learn to take carves and subdivide plants to broth your own backup nursery. Gaps can then be filled with home-propagated stock flowers. Increase what does well in your garden to build a health parish of plants. If you do go shopping, investigate a plant’s natural habitat to reduce omissions.

Lock up carbon
In The Garden Jungle, Or Gardening To Save The Planet( out in paperback 2 April, Vintage, PS9. 99 ), Dave Goulson explains that although many gardeners don’t have area for big trees,” The basic convention is that the more vegetation you have, the more carbon you are storing .” So the fuller the embed in your plot, the better, even though they are it verges on overgrown. Don’t be too tidy, either.” Log collections likewise lock up carbon for as long as it takes them to decay, who are able to many years .”


Let the grass develop
Letting your grass develop longer between slice is not simply saves petrol or electricity, and therefore shortens carbon dioxide emissions radiations, but also spurs more wildlife into your garden. Longer grass is more drought-resistant, more. Try cutting every three or four weeks and give dandelions, daisies and violets bloom in springtime, follow the example of buttercups, clovers and selfheal in summer.

Encourage hedgehogs
Hedgehogs have a ravenous craving for pests such as caterpillars, slugs and snails. They need easy access in and out of gardens, say Helen Bostock and Sophie Collins, authors of
How Can I Help Hedgehogs?( Octopus, PS14. 99 ). They recommend that neighbours get together to arrange hedgehog punctures between gardens.” This is simply a flaw cut into the bottom of a fencing- it should be around 13 cm high and at least as wide, preferably in a sheltered corner .”

Reboot your wardrobe

Set a table
If a year without buying anything new seems too big a challenge, try a few months, or buy exclusively secondhand. Livia Firth, founder of sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, follows the” 30 wears pattern “: ask,” Will I wear it at least 30 seasons ?” before buying.

Find a secondhand that works for you
Opting for antique or secondhand is one of the easiest ways to shop sustainably, but while some devotees will extol the virtues of rifling through monstrous warehouses, this approach is not for everyone. Thankfully, there are other ways. Smaller accumulates with a curated selection may not offer fairly the same buys as a automobile boot sale, but they can be less intimidating. Many, such as Paper Dress Vintage or Cow, also have websites.


Shop in person- and alone
That said, store in person- especially if you walk there- is usually greener than online. Clothes shipped across the world have a significant carbon footprint, and often come packaged in plastic. You are also less likely to return things you have tried on.

It can help to ditch your friends.” When you ask a friend if you should buy something, you already know the answer will be yes ,” writes Lauren Bravo in How To Break Up With Fast Fashion( Headline, PS12. 99 ).” It’s an unwritten rule of sisterhood .” Think of it as the new version of not moving supermarket shopping when you’re hungry.


Choose textiles wisely
Some fabrics age better than others; the Guardian’s styling editor, Melanie Wilkinson, recommends looking for leather when patronizing secondhand. Leather coats, shoes and belts last for years and often gaze and feel better once they have been worn in. The environmental impact of denim- another sturdy fabric- aims jeans are too best buy secondhand.

Unsubscribe and unfollow
” If someone wants to quit fast way, I recommend unsubscribing from all the emails ,” says scribe and manner consultant Aja Barber.” A firebrand that is constantly introducing new makes might be sustainable in name only. Sending emails and pushing consumers to buy, buy, buy is not sustainability- that’s fast pattern .” The same disappears for influencers and labels on social pulpits such as Instagram. Deleting fast-fashion shopping apps offers an opportunity to, too.

Get swishing
Clothes swaps- known as swishing- are one of the greenest ways to refresh your wardrobe. They render ascribes based on the value of the items you creating, which can be swapped for parts brought by others. Avoid trends and hunt for quality portions you’ll wear for years. Find one near you at

Learn to mend


Make your clothes equip
Layla Sargent, founder of
The Seam, a website to connect you with neighbourhood adapts, seamstresses and sewing artists, says:” If it doesn’t fit well, you’re never going to wear it. Even by making trousers precisely the claim segment, or adjusting a waistband slightly, we will be inclined to wear them more .” The service is currently only in the London area, but coming to Manchester and Birmingham this year. Meanwhile, begins with your neighbourhood dry cleaner.

Learn how to sew on a button
How numerous shirts and cases do you maintain unworn at the back of your wardrobe because they are missing a button? Sewing on a button is a simple skill that everyone should have. There are lots of online seminars; try one by the environmental activist Wilson Oryema for Fashion Revolution.

Make your own apron from a duo of old jeans
Turn a duet of old jeans into a denim labour apron by unpicking the inside leg strata and sewing them together. “Its one of” many hacks from The Great British Sewing Bee’s book on Sustainable Style( Quadrille, PS27, was issued on 26 March ).

Darn your socks
” Once a life knowledge, darning has bounced an entire generation( or two ),” says Emma Mathews of Socko( socko.shop ), which stirs socks from repurposed yarn.” But we can learn a lot from the mode things were had in the past .” Sew small moving sews up and down the area around the hole and then turn the mend around and sew vertical to them, weaving the thread together until you have plowed the hole. Highly therapeutic.

Primp your coaches
This is a growing service industry. Grael in Liverpool is a small business that specialises in clean” begrudged footwear”, give fastens cleaning( PS3 ), a deep scavenge( PS15) and the scrupulous payment bundle from undersole to insole( PS35 ). Meanwhile, Jason Markk offers payment shoe care from divisions in LA and Carnaby Street in London, where your teaches will be brought back to life by the brand’s sneaker-care technicians.

Give the bathroom a makeover


Recycle in there
While 90% of us recycle our kitchen trash,
we recycle simply 50% of our beautiful parcel– probably because our recycling bins are in the kitchen. Joseph Joseph makes an attractive split-waste bathroom bin for PS20. You can reduce what dissolves up inside further by switching to bar soaps and shampoos( I love social endeavour Beco, from PS2. 50 at Co-op, Boots and supermarkets) and plastic-free handwash such as Soap Co( PS1 9, 300 ml, or PS110 for a whopping 5l biodegradable receptacle that should last a year ).

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Read more: www.theguardian.com

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