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50 simple ways to stir your life greener

Expert gratuities on how to be kinder to the planet from cooking and scavenging 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 tops or whey from cheese, but that’s not where we need to make changes ,” says Feast nutrient writer Anna Jones.” It’s the milk spouted down the sag and stale eat- the items we don’t set as much value on .” Jones snaps up food to freeze for instant croutons, or whizzes it into breadcrumbs for is in addition to croustades, pastas and salads. If oats have already been stimulated into porridge, follow Claire Thomson, chef and columnist of The ArtOf The Larder( Quadrille, PS25 ), and substitutefor some of the flour and ocean in food dough.

Treat ” food waste ” as ingredients, says Ollie Hunter, cook and author 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 spray with salt for a snack; piece courgette straws into penne figures and concoct like pasta. You got to find creative ways to use everything up; consuming 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 meat can be shared; Too Good To Go enables cafes and eateries to sell uneaten snacks 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 consume comes from doing large-scale patronizes, putting two-for-one ” agreement” in the trolley and buying on reproduction rather than planning banquets.” I’m always clear about what we will eat at home and when ,” says Skye Gyngell, chef and founder of Spring in London, which extends a” scratching menu” expending waste. She shops little and often, have been endorsed by a storage cupboard of wholegrains, olive oil, vinegars and mustards to bolster banquets.” Working out what kind of cook “youre gonna” is also useful ,” says Jones,” then reverse operator how you browse. There is no point doing a weekly shop if you like to decide what you’re going to make for dinner at 6pm, like me. I browse in small increments, and I find I squander less this road, extremely .”


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

Pick your own
” Foraging solves many problems ,” Hunter says.” You’re getting into the countryside, employing with quality and the community, and procure food that has a different flavour .” Start with herbs, pastures, 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 stings and soak exhaustively in salted ocean. 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 flowers, and swapping the flour you use can help.” Spelt or wheat is often grown in rotation with rye and clover to supplant 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 properties, while being beneficial to the soil .”

Befriend a butcher
” There is no around it, ingesting meat sustainably requires a little more effort on our proportion ,” says Fergus Henderson, cook and godfather of nose-to-tail eating. His firstly convention is to ” hug” your killer:” 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 tips, such as kidneys, shanks, feet and glands, which offer so much more possibility and flavour than the fillet .” Whole-animal eating is not intended to be 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 proportion “.

Compost on the go
Compost isn’t just for the plot- think about reducing your food waste when you’re on the go, very, says Lindsay Miles, whose notebook 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 residence to compost .”

Plan ahead
Make the most of seasonal gluts and perpetuate vegetables in petroleums, vinegars, chutneys, ketchup and marinades, or freeze them.” Blitz and freeze tomatoes in containers for passata all time round; stir kimchi from cauliflower stems and buds; call beetroot in jam-packs, vinegars and oil, then chop straws and foliages to top pastas, pizzas, curries and dal ,” says Hunter.

Minimise package
Look for loose fruit and vegetables, and take your own receptacles to shops and groceries.” If you are buying packed food ,” says Miles,” look at where the produce comes from and try to choose the more local alternative- 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 boozings bottles and return punnets, and HDPE, in milk bottles and cereal box liners; so if you can’t eschewed it, go for these, then reuse or recycle what you can.

All dark-green on the home front


Reduce your soak
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 intensity a costume will use is in the washing and drying we do every week “. Rhoads recommends spot-cleaning, and neutralising stinks with a spritz of diluted vodka or lemon juice.

Clean with castile
By making cleanup commodities( from polish to cleanser) you can reduce the amount of plastic entering your home and the level of injurious VOCs( volatile organic combinations ), such as formaldehyde, who the hell is released.” Of all the dark-green clean parts 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 stimulated 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 indispensable oils( tea tree is antibacterial ). Spray and erase with a clean cloth.


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

Recycle as much as you are able to
” Most major supermarkets ply plastic recycling collection degrees in store for stretchy plastic( such as frozen food suitcases, carrier bags and bread containers) which normally can’t be recycled from dwelling ,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at government consume advisory organization Wrap.

TerraCycle rescues hard-to-recycle waste that is not processed by committees. It has free national recycling programs and also sells zero-waste chests, which you can fill with most non-hazardous , non-recyclable and non-organic waste, and return for recycling. Search its website for a programme 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 are able to prolong its life .” Restart lopes a nationwide network of skill-sharing workshops as well as promoting a directory of commercial-grade repair options in London.( See also repaircafe.org for contests in your arena .)” 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 appliance really is beyond repair, Rhoads shows you” call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back parts or packaging for reuse or recycling “. Not all benevolence patronizes countenance electrical parts, but the homelessness charity Emmaus countenances labor parts. These are experimented before being resold, which becomes it a good region to purchase secondhand electrical goods, too.


Create clean breath
” You can never have enough house bushes ,” says Oliver Heath, who runs a sustainable building rule. Certain plants are best for certain chambers:” 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 areas with high-pitched humidity and can reduce the mould spores in the air, inducing them ideal for bathrooms; moaning figs have been found to be the best weed for removing formaldehyde exhausted from carpets and furniture, constructing them good for living areas.

Change your shower chief
” Investing in an aerated shower pate will make a significant difference to power and ocean uptake ,” says Brian Horne at the Energy Saving Trust( EST ). They introduce air into the water stream, restriction sea 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 water proposals if they have a meter ,” says Horne.

Opt for light-green vitality suppliers
There are” shades of dark-green” when it comes to choosing an energy supplier, says Horne. The EST recognized 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 precisely because you’re on a dark-green tariff, it doesn’t mean you should stop worrying about how much force “youre using” ,” says Horne.

Practise eco-driving
Research by the RAC Foundation has found that eco-driving leads to safer, cleaner and more affordable passages. Regular vehicle upkeep improves ga economy by as much as 10%. Before a long journey, check tyre influences( tyres underinflated by a quarter can cause a 2% increase in fuel consumption ), remove unused roof racks and chests, 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 opening than implement air conditioning. Turn off machines for waits of more than one minute( 5-8% of ga is destroyedwhile idling ), and evaded sharp acceleration and heavy braking: aggressive driving can significantly elevate fuel consumption.

Draught-proof your residence
One of the cheapest, most effective ways to save energy and money at home is to draught-proof windows, entrances, letterbox, fireplaces and loft incubates, says Dr Sarah Price, head of building physics at Enhabit, a consultancy specialising in low-energy design. Done professionally, it expenditure about PS200, or do it yourself with products 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 fibs and action you to think creatively, and give you have something far more unique .” To preserve mileage down, start at your local auction houses and charity patronizes( the British Heart Foundation has dedicated dwelling accumulates and a free collection service ), be held following a targeted trawl through Freecycle and Facebook Marketplace.

Optimise your white goods
According to independent vigor comparing service U Switch, the cost of running your fridge and freezer equates to about 7% of your total power statute( they are one of the few household energy devices that are on all the time ). U Switch recommends ousting your fridge and/ or freezer if it is over 10 years old. Even if it’s working, the costs of a new prototype will be made up for in energy savings over its first year. Keep your fridge at 5C or less( most are kept at about 7C, which symbolizes nutrient will go off sooner) and ensure there is a 10 cm breach behind your fridge to let heat flow away readily. Make sure the seal is strong- if it can’t hamper a piece of paper when slam, it could be letting in warm breath, realizing it work harder.

Let the garden-variety grow

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


Buy neighbourhood flowers- or originate 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 local supplier through flowersfromthefarm.co.uk, a co-operative of small independent flower growers.

Alternatively, develop your own blooms to bring indoors. Gardener Sarah Raven hints going for” annuals which are cut and come again: picking above a pair of needles and the plant will spring back and make more flowers- and keep on doing so as long as you obstruct picking “. Sow cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias and rudbeckias on a sunny space ledge in March, toilet 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, scribe of
PlantingFor Honeybees: The Grower’s Guide To Creating A Buzz.” This is called’ flower accuracy’ and is what draws them such effective pollinators. So bush large-scale clusters or’ floats’ of single species and optimise each of the bees’ expeditions .” Think swathes of catmint, discipline 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 floras are especially precious ,” she says.

Spend less, prop agate more
Your own plan is the best garden centre there is: obtain seed, learn to take decreases and subdivide bushes to broth your own backup nursery. Gaps can then be filled with home-propagated stock bushes. Increase what does well in your plot to build a healthy community of flowers. If you do go shopping, study a plant’s natural environment to reduce collapses.

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 numerous gardeners don’t have room for large-scale trees,” The basic principle is that the more botany you have, the more carbon you are storing .” So the fuller the planting in your garden, the better, even if it verges on overgrown. Don’t be too tidy, either.” Log stacks also lock up carbon for as long as it takes them to disintegrate, which can be many years .”


Let the grass germinate
Letting your grass grow longer between cuts is not simply saves petrol or energy, and therefore shortens carbon dioxide emissions, but too promotes more wildlife into your garden-variety. Longer grass is more drought-resistant, extremely. Try cutting every three or four weeks and give dandelions, daisies and violets bloom in springtime, be held following buttercups, clovers and selfheal in summer.

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

Reboot your wardrobe

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

Find a secondhand that works for you
Opting for vintage or secondhand is one of the easiest ways to shop sustainably, but while some fans will extol the virtues of rifling through giant repositories, this approach is not for everyone. Thankfully, there are other routes. Smaller accumulations with a curated assortment may not offer fairly the same bargains as a vehicle 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, browse in person- specially if “youre walking” there- is usually greener than online. Invests 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 brand-new version of not extending supermarket shopping when you’re hungry.


Choose textiles wisely
Some cloths age better than others; the Guardian’s styling editor, Melanie Wilkinson, recommends looking for leather when patronizing secondhand. Leather jackets, shoes and belts last for years and often examine and feel better once they have been worn in. The environmental impact of denim- another durable fabric- means jeans are likewise best purchase secondhand.

Unsubscribe and unfollow
” If someone wants to quit fast pattern, I recommend unsubscribing from all the emails ,” says scribe and fad consultant Aja Barber.” A brand that is constantly introducing new produces might be sustainable in name only. Sending emails and pressuring consumers to buy, buy, buy is not sustainability- that’s fast mode .” The same leaves for influencers and firebrands on social pulpits such as Instagram. Deleting fast-fashion shopping apps is helpful, too.

Get swishing
Clothes barters- known as swishing- are two of the greenest ways to refresh your wardrobe. They give recognitions based on the value of the items you bring, which can be swapped for pieces brought by others. Avoid trends and hunt for quality slice you’ll wear for years. Find one near you at

Learn to mend


Make your robes fit
Layla Sargent, founder of
The Seam, an internet site to connect you with local tailors, seamstresses and embroidery artists, says:” If it doesn’t fit well, you’re never going to wear it. Even by making use of trousers just the right section, or adjusting 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 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 tutorials; try one by the environmental activist Wilson Oryema for Fashion Revolution.

Make your own apron from a duet of old jeans
Turn a duo of old jeans into a denim job apron by unpicking the inside leg seams and stitching them together. “Its one” of numerous hackers from The Great British Sewing Bee’s book on Sustainable Style( Quadrille, PS27, be issued on 26 March ).

Darn your socks
” Once a life ability, darning has skipped 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 way things were done in the past .” Sew small ranging stitches up and down the area around the hole and then turn the restore around and stitch horizontal to them, weaving the thread together until “youve had” handled the hole. Highly therapeutic.

Primp your tutors
This is a thriving service industry. Grael in Liverpool is a small business that specialises in cleaning” begrudged footwear”, present cords cleansing( PS3 ), a deep clean( PS15) and the thorough payment box from undersole to insole( PS35 ). Meanwhile, Jason Markk offers payment shoe care from diverges in LA and Carnaby Street in London, where your managers 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 debris,
we recycle simply 50% of our elegance box– probably because our recycling bins are in the kitchen. Joseph Joseph makes an attractive split-waste bathroom bin for PS20. You can reduce what ceases up inside further by switching to prohibit soaps and shampoos( I adore 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 container that should last a year ).

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