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50 simple ways and means to represent your life greener

Expert tips-off on how to be kinder to the planet from cooking and cleaning to way and finance

Clean up your kitchen

Love your leftovers
Look at what basics you’re binning.” Chefs talk about what to do with carrot surfaces or whey from cheese, but that’s not where we need to make changes ,” says Feast food writer Anna Jones.” It’s the milk poured down the settle and stale bread- the items we don’t employed as much value on .” Jones tears up bread to freeze for instant croutons, or whizzes it into breadcrumbs for incorporated into croustades, pastas and salads. If oats have already been obligated into porridge, follow Claire Thomson, chef and author of The ArtOf The Larder( Quadrille, PS25 ), and substitutefor some of the flour and liquid in eat dough.

Treat ” food waste ” as ingredients, says Ollie Hunter, cook and scribe of 30 Easy WaysTo JoinThe Food Revolution( Pavilion, PS14. 99 ).” It’s easy to turn it into something else; aquafaba( chickpea liquid) can be made into a vegan mayonnaise; fry squash seeds in oil and sprinkle with salt for a snack; section courgette straws into penne conditions and cook like pasta. You need to find creative ways to use everything up; squandering meat 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 meat can be shared; Too Good To Go enables cafes and restaurants to sell uneaten meals 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 big-hearted patronizes, putting two-for-one ” agreement” in the streetcar and buying on repeat rather than planning dinners.” I’m always clear about what we will eat at home and when ,” says Skye Gyngell, cook and founder of Spring in London, which operates a” scraping menu” use litter. She browses little and often, supported by a store cupboard of wholegrains, olive oil, vinegars and mustards to bolster banquets.” Working out what kind of cook you are is also useful ,” says Jones,” then alter architect how you shop. There is no point do 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, extremely .”


Buy half your food locally
The shorter the food chain, the less consume established before it reaches your kitchen. Hunter subscribes to buying 50% of meat flourish within 30 miles of where you live.” It’s an achievable person ,” he says, specially when creators, such as
Hodmedod’s in Suffolk, are revitalizing homegrown pulses including British lentils, quinoa, carlin peas and fava beans( which Hunter ferments to turn into miso and soy sauce ). The nutritional cost of fruit and veg lasts for only a short period of time, adds Gyngell, so how far your nutrient has travelled matters.

Pick your own
” Foraging solves many problems ,” Hunter says.” You’re getting into the countryside, involving with nature and the community, and receive meat 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 ornament pies, in risottos and soups; wear gauntlets to avoid stings and soak thoroughly in salted sea. 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 replacing nutrients taken by the weeds, and swapping 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’ rotation; I use spelt and emmer flour as an alternative to wheat because they have same baking dimensions, while being beneficial to the soil .”

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

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 book 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 layers home to compost .”

Plan onward
Make the most of seasonal gluts and retain vegetables in lubricants, vinegars, chutneys, ketchup and marinades, or freeze them.” Blitz and freeze tomatoes in containers for passata all year round; clear kimchi from cauliflower stalks and buds; expend beetroot in jams, vinegars and petroleum, then chop stubbles and leaves to surface pastas, pizzas, curries and dal ,” says Hunter.

Minimise box
Look for release fruit and vegetables, and take your own containers to stores and markets.” If you are buying packed food ,” says Miles,” look at where the produce 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, is available in alcohols 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 clean
Erin Rhoads’
Waste Not Everyday( Hardie Grant Books, PS10) points out that” the majority of the environmental burden caused by fashion happens after we take the clothing home: 82% of the power a wear will use is in the washing and dehydrating we do every week “. Rhoads advocates spot-cleaning, and neutralising bouquets with a spritz of diluted vodka or lemon juice.

Clean with castile
By making cleanse makes( from polish to cleanser) you can reduce the amount of plastic entering your home and the different levels of injurious VOCs( volatile organic combinations ), such as formaldehyde, that are exhausted.” Of all the dark-green cleanse 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 spraying, add 50 ml of castile soap to 800 ml tap water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of all-important oils( tea tree is antibacterial ). Spray and wipe with a clean cloth.


Go for plastic -free personal caution
There is a world of waste-free hygienic protection to explore, and Chillingsworth suggests buying a
reusable tampon applicator.” The reusable version matches every length of tampon, is antimicrobial and easy to insert. After use, give it a mop, rinse and return to the storage box that fits in your handbag. Sterilise in hot water between stages .”

Recycle as much as you can
” Most major supermarkets provision plastic recycling collection objects in store for stretchy plastic( such as frozen food handbags, carrier bags and bread crates) which normally can’t be recycled from dwelling ,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at government consume advisory body Wrap.

TerraCycle rescues hard-to-recycle waste that is not handled by councils. It has free national recycling curricula and likewise sells zero-waste caskets, which you can fill with the majority 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 endeavour 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 cleanup.” By simply cleaning and maintaining your white goods, laptop or mobile, you will prolong their own lives .” Restart runs a nationwide network of skill-sharing seminars as well as promoting a directory of commercial-grade restore options in London.( See also repaircafe.org for happens in your neighborhood .)” If we don’t have access to spare parts ,” says Gunter,” these devices will be thrown away, which has a huge carbon impact .”

If your electrical contraption really is beyond repair, Rhoads intimates you” call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back items or packaging for reuse or recycling “. Not all kindnes shops consent electrical parts, but the homelessness charity Emmaus abides acting items. These are researched before being resold, which prepares it a good target to purchase secondhand electrical goods, too.


Create clean breeze
” You can never have enough house bushes ,” says Oliver Heath, who runs a sustainable structure rehearse. Certain bushes are best for certain rooms:” Mother-in-law’s tongue gives off oxygen at night, which becomes it best suited to the bedroom .” According to Chillingsworth, quietnes lilies and boston ferns thrive in rooms with high humidity and can reduce the mould spores in the air, acquiring them standard for showers; mourning figs ought to have found to be the best plant for removing formaldehyde liberated from carpets and furniture, manufacturing them good for living areas.

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

Opt for green vigour suppliers
There are” shadows of light-green” when it comes to choosing an energy supplier, says Horne. The EST identified four suppliers who clearly listed the renewable sources of their intensity 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 force you use ,” says Horne.

Practise eco-driving
Research by the RAC Foundation has found that eco-driving leads to safer, clean and more cheap journeyings. Regular vehicle maintenance improves ga economy by as much as 10%. Before a long journey, check tyre pressures( tyres underinflated by a one-quarter can cause a 2% increase in fuel consumption ), remove unused roof racks and containers, 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 space than utilize air conditioning. Turn off instruments for waits of more than one minute( 5-8% of ga is eatenwhile idling ), and avoid sharp-witted acceleration and heavy braking: aggressive driving can greatly parent ga consumption.

Draught-proof your residence
One of the cheapest, most effective ways to save energy and coin at home is to draught-proof windows, entrances, letterbox, hearths and loft incubates, says Dr Sarah Price, head of building physic at Enhabit, a consultancy specialising in low-energy design. Done professionally, it costs about PS200, or do it yourself with concoctions 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 stories and pressure you to think creatively, and give you have something far more unique .” To preserve mileage down, start at your local auction houses and charity stores( the British Heart Foundation has dedicated home accumulates and a free collection service ), follow the example of a targeted trawl through Freecycle and Facebook Marketplace.

Optimise your white goods
According to independent force likenes work U Switch, the cost of running your fridge and freezer equates to about 7% of your total energy legislation( they are one of the few household energy inventions that are on all the time ). U Switch recommends supplanting your fridge and/ or freezer if it is over 10 years old. Even if it’s working, the costs of a new example will be made up for in energy savings over the years. Keep your fridge at 5C or less( most are kept at about 7C, which symbolizes food will go off sooner) and ensure there is a 10 cm breach behind your fridge to let heat flow away easily. Make sure the seal is strong- if it can’t grip a piece of paper when closed, it could be letting in heated breeze, representing it work harder.

Let the plot grow

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


Buy local buds- or originate your own
About 90% of the flowers sold through UK florists, supermarkets and wholesalers
are imported, mainly 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 local supplier through flowersfromthefarm.co.uk, a co-operative of small independent flower growers.

Alternatively, flourish your own buds to bring indoors. Gardener Sarah Raven proposes going for” annuals which are cut and come again: collect above a duet of buds and the flower will spring back and induce more buds- and keep on doing so as long as you hinder picking “. Sow cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias and rudbeckias on a sunny opening ledge in March, pot 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, generator of
PlantingFor Honeybees: The Grower’s Guide To Creating A Buzz.” This is called’ flower faithfulnes’ and is what forms them such effective pollinators. So weed large globs or’ impetus’ of single species and optimise each of the bees’ expeditions .” Think swathes of catmint, environment scabious and hyssop.” March to September are the key months for honeybees- they will fly whenever the temperature is above 10 C, even in wintertime, so early- and late-flowering weeds are specially valuable ,” she says.

Spend less, prop agate more
Your own scheme is the best garden centre there is: obtain seed, learn to take bisects and divide weeds to inventory your own backup nursery. Gaps can then be filled with home-propagated stock plants. Increase what does well in your garden to build a health community of floras. If you do go shopping, study a plant’s natural environment to reduce defaults.

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 chamber for large-scale trees,” The basic regulation is that the more botany you have, the more carbon you are storing .” So the fuller the set in your garden-variety, the very best, even if it verges on overgrown. Don’t be too tidy, either.” Log batches too lock up carbon for as long as it takes them to decompose, who are able to many years .”


Let the grass originate
Letting your grass germinate longer between slice is not simply saves petrol or electricity, and therefore shortens carbon dioxide emissions emissions, but also inspires more wildlife into your garden. Longer grass is more drought-resistant, more. Try cutting every three or four weeks and let dandelions, daisies and violets bloom in springtime, followed by buttercups, clovers and selfheal in summer.

Encourage hedgehogs
Hedgehogs have a voracious 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 openings between gardens.” It is merely a pit cut into the bottom of a fence- it should be around 13 cm high and at least as wide, preferably in a sheltered area .”

Reboot your wardrobe

Set a forbid
If a year without buying anything new seems too big a challenge, try a month, or buy only secondhand. Livia Firth, founder of sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, follows the” 30 wears govern “: expect,” Will I wear it at least 30 periods ?” before buying.

Find a secondhand that works for you
Opting for antique or secondhand is one of the easiest ways to shop sustainably, but although some followers will extol the virtues of rifling through giant depots, this approach is not for everyone. Thankfully, there are other access. Smaller accumulates with a curated assortment may not offer quite the same agreements as a automobile boot auction, but they can be less intimidating. Many, such as Paper Dress Vintage or Cow, also have websites.


Shop in person- and alone
That said, browse in person- especially if “youre walking” there- is usually greener than online. Invests carried across the world have a significant carbon footprint, and often come are available in plastic. You are also less likely to return things you have tried on.

It can help to ditch your best friend.” 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 brand-new version of not exiting supermarket shopping when you’re hungry.


Choose substances wisely
Some fabrics age better than others; the Guardian’s styling editor, Melanie Wilkinson, recommends looking for leather when browsing secondhand. Leather jackets, shoes and regions last-place for years and often appear and feel better once they have been worn in. The environmental effects of denim- another durable fabric- signifies jeans are too best buy secondhand.

Unsubscribe and unfollow
” If someone wants to quit fast manner, I recommend unsubscribing from all the emails ,” says columnist and way consultant Aja Barber.” A brand that is constantly introducing brand-new products might be sustainable in name only. Sending emails and pushing consumers to buy, buy, buy is not sustainability- that’s fast mode .” The same becomes for influencers and labels on social stages such as Instagram. Deleting fast-fashion shopping apps can help, too.

Get swishing
Clothes exchanges- known as swishing- are one of the greenest ways to refresh your wardrobe. They volunteer ascribes based on the value of the items you bring, which can be swapped for pieces bring along others. Avoid trends and hunt for quality articles you’ll wear for years. Find one near you at

Learn to mend


Make your invests fit
Layla Sargent, founder of
The Seam, an internet site to connect you with neighbourhood adapts, seamstresses and sewing creators, says:” If it doesn’t fit well, you’re never going to wear it. Even by making trousers simply the right span, or varying a waistband somewhat, we will be inclined to wear them more .” The service is currently simply in the London area, but coming to Manchester and Birmingham this year. Meanwhile, begins with your local dry cleaner.

Learn how to sew on a button
How many shirts and jackets do you prevent 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 tutorials; 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 act apron by unpicking the inside leg seams and stitching them together. This is one of many hacks from The Great British Sewing Bee’s book on Sustainable Style( Quadrille, PS27, published on 26 March ).

Darn your socks
” Once “peoples lives” knowledge, darning has bounced a generation( or two ),” says Emma Mathews of Socko( socko.shop ), which establishes socks from repurposed yarn.” But we can learn a lot from the channel things were had in the past .” Sew small-scale operating stitches up and down the area around the hole and then turn the reparation around and stitch perpendicular to them, weaving the thread together until you have covered the hole. Highly therapeutic.

Primp your coaches
This is a growing services sectors. Grael in Liverpool is a small business that specialises in cleanse” coveted footwear”, give laces cleansing( PS3 ), a late cleanse( PS15) and the meticulous payment packet from undersole to insole( PS35 ). Meanwhile, Jason Markk offers premium shoe care from divisions in LA and Carnaby Street in London, where your trainers will be brought back to life by the brand’s sneaker-care technicians.

Give the shower a makeover


Recycle in there
While 90% of us recycle our kitchen trash,
we recycle only 50% of our beauty box– probably because our recycling bins are currently under kitchen. Joseph Joseph makes an attractive split-waste bathroom bin for PS20. You aimed at reducing what resolves up inside further by switching to forbid soaps and shampoos( I love social enterprise 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 container that should last a year ).

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