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50 simple ways and means to make your life greener

Expert gratuities on how to be kinder to the planet from cooking and cleaning to style and finance

Clean up your kitchen

Love your leftovers
Look at what essentials 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 columnist Anna Jones.” It’s the milk ran down the sag and stale dough- its consideration of this agenda item we don’t applied as much value on .” Jones tears up food to freeze for instantaneous croutons, or whizzes it into breadcrumbs for incorporated into croustades, pastas and salads. If oats have ever formed into porridge, follow Claire Thomson, cook and generator of The ArtOf The Larder( Quadrille, PS25 ), and substitutefor some of the flour and ocean in bread dough.

Treat ” food waste ” as ingredients, says Ollie Hunter, cook and columnist of 30 Easy WaysTo JoinThe Food Revolution( Pavilion, PS14. 99 ).” It’s easy to turn it into something else; aquafaba( chickpea irrigate) can be made into a vegan mayonnaise; fry squash seeds in petroleum and scatter with salt for a snack; slash courgette stubbles into penne determines and concoct like pasta. You need to find creative ways to use everything up; wasting 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 food can be shared; Too Good To Go enables cafes and restaurants to sell uneaten banquets 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 waste comes from doing big-hearted patronizes, putting two-for-one ” bargains” in the trolley and buying on recite rather than planning snacks.” I’m always clearly defined what we will eat at home and when ,” says Skye Gyngell, chef and founder of Spring in London, which flows a” scratching menu” exploiting consume. She shops little and often, been approved by a supermarket cupboard of wholegrains, olive oil, vinegars and mustards to bolster dinners.” Working out what kind of cook “youre gonna” is also useful ,” says Jones,” then turn designer how you shop. There is no sense 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 way, very .”


Buy half your nutrient locally
The shorter the food chain, the less trash made before it reaches your kitchen. Hunter subscribes to buying 50% of nutrient arise within 30 miles of where you live.” It’s an achievable digit ,” he says, specially when makes, such as
Hodmedod’s in Suffolk, are resuscitating homegrown heartbeats including British lentils, quinoa, carlin peas and fava beans( which Hunter ferments to turn into miso and soy sauce ). The nutritional evaluate of fruit and veg lasts for only a short period of time, includes Gyngell, so how far your nutrient has advanced matters.

Pick your own
” Foraging solves many problems ,” Hunter says.” You’re getting into the countryside, participating with nature and the community, and discover 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 ornament pies, in risottos and soups; wear gauntlets to avoid bites and soak exhaustively in salted sea. Ensure foraged ingredients 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 changing nutrients taken by the bushes, and switching 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’ gyration; I use spelt and emmer flour as an alternative to wheat because they have similar baking owneds, while being beneficial to the soil .”

Befriend a killer
” There is no around it, ingesting meat sustainably requires a little more effort on our component ,” says Fergus Henderson, cook and godfather of nose-to-tail eating. His first rule is to ” hug” your killer:” Support them and ask questions- they are your way in to a positive ply series. They will too 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 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 area “.

Compost on the go
Compost isn’t just for the garden- think about reducing your food waste when you’re on the go, more, says Lindsay Miles, whose journal 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 dwelling to compost .”

Plan ahead
Make the most of seasonal gluts and continue veggies in lubricants, vinegars, chutneys, ketchup and marinades, or freeze them.” Blitz and freeze tomatoes in containers for passata all time round; make kimchi from cauliflower stalks and foliages; utilization beetroot in jam-packs, vinegars and oil, then chop stems and foliages to top pastas, pizzas, curries and dal ,” says Hunter.

Minimise parcel
Look for loose fruit and vegetables, and take your own receptacles to patronizes and sells.” If you are buying boxed 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, are available in sips bottles and fruit punnets, and HDPE, in milk bottles and cereal casket liners; so if you can’t eschewed it, go for these, then reuse or recycle what you can.

All light-green on the home front


Reduce your clean
Erin Rhoads’
Waste Not Everyday( Hardie Grant Books, PS10) indicates only that” a majority of the members of the environmental burden brought about by fad happens after we take the clothing home: 82% of the vigor a costume will use is in the washing and drying we do each week “. Rhoads indicates spot-cleaning, and neutralising smellings with a spritz of diluted vodka or lemon juice.

Clean with castile
By making cleanse makes( from polish to detergent) you can reduce the amount of plastic enter your home and the different levels of injurious VOCs( volatile organic complexes ), such as formaldehyde, who the hell is secreted.” Of all the light-green cleanse 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 attained 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 spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential 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 proposes buying a
reusable tampon applicator.” The reusable form shapes every size of tampon, is antimicrobial and easy to insert. After use, give it a erase, cleanse and return to the storage box that are suitable in your handbag. Sterilise in hot water between points .”

Recycle as much as you are able to
” Most major supermarkets add plastic recycling collection objects in store for stretchy plastic( such as frozen food purses, carrier bags and bread luggage) which normally can’t be recycled from home ,” says Helen Bird, plastics expert at authority debris advisory torso Wrap.

TerraCycle rescues hard-to-recycle waste that is not processed by parliaments. It has free national recycling programmes and too sells zero-waste chests, which is able to fill with the majority 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 endeavor 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 cleaning.” By simply scavenging and maintaining your white goods, laptop or mobile, you will prolong their own lives .” Restart flows a nationwide network of skill-sharing shops as well as promoting a directory of commercial-grade fixing alternatives in London.( See likewise repaircafe.org for affairs in your field .)” 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 advocates you” call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back items or packing for reuse or recycling “. Not all kindnes patronizes accept electrical pieces, but the homelessness charity Emmaus consents making items. These are researched before being resold, which builds it a good lieu to purchase secondhand electrical goods, too.


Create scavenge air
” You can never have enough house flowers ,” says Oliver Heath, who runs a sustainable architecture rehearsal. Certain weeds are best for certain chambers:” Mother-in-law’s tongue gives off oxygen at night, which constructs it best suited to the bedroom .” According to Chillingsworth, serenity lilies and boston ferns prosper in chambers with high-pitched humidity and can reduce the mould spores in the air, stirring them model for bathrooms; bawling figs have been found to be the best plant for removing formaldehyde liberated from carpets and furniture, doing them good for living areas.

Change your shower brain
” Investing in an aerated shower top will make a significant difference to force and water consumption ,” says Brian Horne at the Energy Saving Trust( EST ). They introduce air into the water stream, restraint ocean 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 statutes if they have a meter ,” says Horne.

Opt for green energy suppliers
There are” shadows of dark-green” when it comes to choosing an energy supplier, says Horne. The EST distinguished four suppliers who clearly registered the renewable sources of their vigor on their websites last year: Green Energy UK, Good Energy, Ecotricity and Octopus Energy.” But exactly because you’re on a dark-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, cleaner and more inexpensive journeys. Regular vehicle upkeep improves fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. Before a long journey, check tyre pushes( tyres underinflated by a quarter can cause a 2% increase in fuel consumption ), remove unused roof racks and boxes, and don’t overload the car( every additional 45 kg reduces ga economy by 2 %). At less than 40 mph, it’s more fuel-efficient to open a opening than application air conditioner. Turn off machines for waits of more than one minute( 5-8% of ga is downedwhile idling ), and shunned sharp-worded acceleration and heavy braking: vigorous driving can greatly grow gasoline consumption.

Draught-proof your dwelling
One of the cheapest, most effective ways to save energy and fund 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 produces such as Gap Seal.


Buy antique furniture
” Reusing furniture is the best thing to do, and so much more fun than buying brand-new ,” says Nicola Harding, founder of interior design studio
Harding and Read.” Secondhand components come with interesting storeys and force you to think creatively, and give you have something far more unique .” To maintain mileage down, start at your neighbourhood auction houses and charity stores( the British Heart Foundation has dedicated dwelling accumulates and a free collection service ), will be monitored by a targeted trawl through Freecycle and Facebook Marketplace.

Optimise your white goods
According to independent vigor likenes busines U Switch, the cost of running your fridge and freezer is equal to about 7% of your total vigour proposal( they are one of the few household energy devices 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 cost of a brand-new model 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 means food will go off sooner) and ensure there is a 10 cm chink behind your fridge to let heat flow away easily. Make sure the seal is strong- if it can’t include a piece of paper when shut, it could be letting in heated breath, manufacturing it work harder.

Let the garden grow

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


Buy local buds- or change 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, thrive your own buds to bring indoors. Gardener Sarah Raven intimates going for” annuals who the hell is cut and come again: collect above a pair of buds and the weed will spring back and develop more heydays- and keep on doing so as long as you keep picking “. Sow cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias and rudbeckias on a sunny window ledge in March, container on and flora 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’ heyday accuracy’ and is what establishes them such effective pollinators. So weed big globs or’ strays’ of single species and optimise each of the bees’ excursions .” 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 plants are especially valuable ,” she says.

Spend less, prop agate more
Your own story is the best garden centre there is: accumulate seed, learn to take tailors and segment weeds to capital your own backup nursery. Gaps can then be fitted with home-propagated capital plants. Increase what does well in your garden to build a health community of plants. If you do go shopping, study a plant’s natural environment to reduce lacks.

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 big trees,” The basic convention is that the more vegetation you have, the more carbon you are storing .” So the fuller the set in your plot, the better, even if it boundaries 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 flourish
Letting your grass germinate longer between slashes is not simply saves petrol or energy, and therefore reduces carbon dioxide emissions, but likewise promotes more wildlife into your garden-variety. Longer grass is more drought-resistant, very. 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 devouring craving for pests such as caterpillars, slugs 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 loophole cut into the bottom of a fence- it should be around 13 cm high and at least as wide, preferably in a sheltered angle .”

Reboot your wardrobe

Set a saloon
If a year without buying anything 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 regulation “: 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 although some followers will extol the virtues of rifling through monstrous warehouses, this approach is not for everyone. Thankfully, there are other methods. Smaller storages with a curated selection may not offer fairly the same agreements as a auto boot auction, but they can be less intimidating. Many, such as Paper Dress Vintage or Cow, likewise have websites.


Shop in person- and alone
That said, store in person- specially if you walk there- is usually greener than online. Clothes shipped 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 new form of not running supermarket browsing when you’re hungry.


Choose fabrics wisely
Some textiles age better than others; the Guardian’s styling editor, Melanie Wilkinson, recommends looking for leather when browsing secondhand. Leather coats, shoes and regions last-place for years and often ogle and feel right formerly they have been worn in. The environmental impact of denim- another durable fabric- necessitates jeans are likewise best bought secondhand.

Unsubscribe and unfollow
” If someone wants to quit fast pattern, I recommend unsubscribing from all the emails ,” says novelist and style consultant Aja Barber.” A firebrand that is constantly introducing new commodities might be sustainable in name exclusively. Sending emails and pressuring consumers to buy, buy, buy is not sustainability- that’s fast way .” The same exits for influencers and firebrands on social stages such as Instagram. Deleting fast-fashion shopping apps offers an opportunity to, too.

Get swishing
Clothes exchanges- known as swishing- are one of the greenest ways to refresh your wardrobe. They furnish recognitions based on the value of the items you bringing, who are able to swapped for pieces brought by others. Avoid trends and hunt for quality bits you’ll wear for years. Find one near you at

Learn to mend


Make your robes accommodate
Layla Sargent, founder of
The Seam, an internet site to connect you with neighbourhood adapts, seamstress and sewing masters, says:” If it doesn’t fit well, you’re never going to wear it. Even by making use of trousers only the claim segment, or varying 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, start with your neighbourhood dry cleaner.

Learn how to hem on a button
How numerous shirts and casings do you impede 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 duo of old jeans into a denim production apron by unpicking the inside leg seams and stitching them together. “Its one” of many hackers from The Great British Sewing Bee’s book on Sustainable Style( Quadrille, PS27, published on 26 March ).

Darn your socks
” Once “peoples lives” skill, darning has bounced a generation( or two ),” says Emma Mathews of Socko( socko.shop ), which does socks from repurposed recital.” But we can learn a lot from the style things were done in the past .” Sew small-time running sews 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 considered the hole. Highly therapeutic.

Primp your trainers
This is a developing services sectors. Grael in Liverpool is a small business that specialises in cleanse” begrudged footwear”, offering fastens scavenging( PS3 ), a deep clean( PS15) and the meticulous payment container from undersole to insole( PS35 ). Meanwhile, Jason Markk offers premium shoe care from limbs 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 garbage,
we recycle only 50% of our elegance package– probably because our recycling bins are in the kitchen. Joseph Joseph makes an attractive split-waste bathroom bin for PS20. You to further reduce what dissolves up inside further by switching to prohibit soaps and shampoos( I cherish social organization 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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