10 ways to reduce your ecological footprint in 2020

Why not make your New Year’s resolution one that benefits the planet too?

1 - Reduce your consumption of meat

Livestock farming produces a whopping 14.5 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Cutting down on meat helps the planet and is good for your body and wallet too. Begin by reducing or cutting out beef and lamb if you aren’t ready to go vegetarian or vegan. Check out #meatlessMonday or #meatfreemonday for recipe ideas. 

2 - Be a conscious consumer

Every dollar you spend is a choice you make about the life you’re living and the future of the planet. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it takes 3781 litres of water to manufacture just one pair of jeans, so buy vintage or second-hand when you can.

3 - Plant a garden 

Plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide, and creating a garden is a quick, easy and enjoyable way to reduce your ecological footprint. When choosing plants or trees for your backyard or balcony, opt for native species. They are more likely to thrive, need less water and will provide a habitat for native wildlife.

tiny backyard farm

4 - Switch to tree-free toilet paper

Sign up for regular deliveries of eco-friendly products such as our tree-free toilet paper. You’ll be helping the planet and it’s one less thing to think about when you’re shopping.

5 - Reduce your energy use

As with many eco-conscious lifestyle choices, this is one that benefits the earth and your pocket. Turn the lights off, switch power points off at the source, switch to energy-efficient appliances and replace traditional lightbulbs with LED ones.

6 - Switch to an ethical bank

It’s important to check where your money is being invested. An ethical bank is one that doesn't invest in fossil fuels; they use their money on renewable energy projects, not-for-profit organizations and social initiatives instead. The same goes for an investment funds.

7 - Dry your clothes on a washing line

Air-drying your clothes on a line or clothes horse instead of in a dryer can cut one-third of their carbon footprint. According to World Wildlife Fund (https://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2014/articles/handle-with-care), one dryer load uses five times more electricity than a washing machine cycle.

drying clothes under the sun

8 - Switch to a renewable energy provider

Buy your electricity and gas from providers who sell renewable power. Generating energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduces some types of air pollution. Other benefits (https://www.epa.gov/statelocalenergy/local-renewable-energy-benefits-and-resources) include diversification of energy supply and reducing our reliance on imported fuels, as well as helping with job creation through manufacture and installation.

9 - Reduce your water usage

Take shorter showers, turn off the tap when washing veggies or brushing your teeth and check for leaks. Re-use water where possible by keeping buckets in the shower to catch water that can then be used on your garden. Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go.

Save Water Concept Paper Cut

10 - Drive and fly less

While transport is a necessary part of modern life, there are ways to cut back on driving and flying. Could you commit to walking, cycling or using public transport in your commute? If not, could you carpool with a friend or colleague? Consider ‘slow travel’ options for holidays, such as using a train to get to your destination. If you do fly, purchase carbon offsets when you buy your ticket.