What have your own two feet, ocean trash and choosing beautiful polcore picture frames got in common? Well, that’s what we’re about to show you.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by concerns about our planet, and the damage we’re doing to it. Recently the media has focused on plastic. Images of tidal waves of waste on remote beaches and sea creatures strangled by packaging are hard to avoid.
This can be tremendously moving. However, it’s also common to believe “I’m only one person, what can I do?” The answer is, a lot.
There are many small steps you can take, that will greatly improve your own environmental impact. If everyone plays their part, imagine the total effect!
Before you rush out to buy wool to knit your own clothes or move to a cave, it’s important to get some perspective. The changes you make don’t need to be drastic. They just need to be consistent. If you decide to help protect planet Earth, you better make sure that determination sticks!
Starting small can make a big difference
This is another reason why making lots of small changes is helpful. The more you do to improve your environmental footprint, the more inspired you will be to keep going.
So, the following list is not one you need to commit to completely from day one. It’s like a shopping list of items you can pick from. Who knows; before long everything on this list could have a tick next to it.
Keep to easily achievable steps to start with, such as buying more goods made from recycled materials. Polcore picture frames are the perfect example. These are great products as well as supporting waste management. Find more purchases like that, and it will inspire you onwards and upwards!
One of the reasons that thinking about what you buy is a good place to start, is that the practical advantages you gain will motivate you even more.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes saving the planet for future generations feels too much on top of our everyday concerns. Being environmentally conscious costs money, right? So, keeping yourself financially afloat out trumps saving the planet!
Well, that’s not actually true. Some things you can buy will be practical and cost effective. Going back to the Polcore picture frames example again. Though they are made from recycled polystyrene, they are surprisingly inexpensive. They also look great and last a long time. This is strong evidence that making the right choice can bring other benefits.
You can also buy in bulk to reduce the quantity of packaging needed. It also makes shopping cheaper. Also, store food in jars and tubs and avoid using plastic wrap and bags whenever possible.
Other environmental money savers
The good news keeps on coming. Because making changes to help protect our planet doesn’t have to cost you anything. In fact, in some cases, it will put more cash in your pocket. You can save the planet and the pennies!
That’s where walking or cycling to work comes in. Using your own feet means using fewer fossil fuels. When you do need your car, drive sensibly and keep it well maintained to reduce how much oil and petrol you use.
Energy conscious measures in your home will save you money too. This includes changing your light bulbs to more energy efficient ones. Turn lights and electrical equipment off when not in use. Fill your washing machine before you set it off and dry clothes on washing lines whenever possible. Carefully monitor your use of gas and electric in cooking. An illustration of this is that pre-heating an oven is rarely necessary.
Your energy bills will show a positive result from all of this too.
Conserving water and energy
You can conserve energy and water in many easy ways. Some may not have crossed your mind before.
For example, modern farming is efficient but does involve using a lot of energy and water. Especially when it comes to animal care and butchery. If you reduce the amount of meat you eat, you will be reducing your environmental footprint. Getting creative with more plant-based foods could save money too.
One common misconception is that as water is plentiful on planet earth, conserving it is unnecessary. However, a lot of energy goes in to cleaning up wastewater and returning it to your taps. The less you use, the less energy is needed.
In your own home, reducing how much water you use is simple. Shorter showers, not leaving taps running and quickly tackling drips and leaks for instance. Drinking tap water is still far preferable to buying water in plastic bottles though!
Recycling household waste can seem like a big chore, but it’s an important, no cost step towards being more environmentally aware. Sorting bottles, cans and paper is a great way to make a difference. Look around your area for recycling centres that take clothes, shoes, plastics, garden waste and various other items.
Get a compost bin for your garden too. You can make nutrient-rich garden fertiliser by storing household food scraps and other compostable materials.
You can also support the principle of recycling by your buying decisions, as mentioned above. Every time you consciously buy goods created from recycled materials, you are playing an important role in saving the planet. As well as polcore picture frames, this could include everything from garden furniture, office staples and toys made from recycled plastic. (There is a great list here!)
In the supermarket, look for the many household items that include substantial amounts of recycled materials. Or, research companies who make a conscious effort to use recycled components in their packaging or goods.
Reuse, repair and repurpose
Another great way to reduce waste and pollution, is to avoid throwing away larger items, such as children’s toys, clothes, furniture and mobile phones. They could all find a new home and new life.
Donations to charity shops keep items in circulation. Some charities collect boxes and bags from your home to make your contribution easier. Or, you could sell or give away unwanted items on free social media sites.
There’s another way for you to save money too. Shopping in second hand stores or at car boot sales is great for bargain hunting. It also reinforces the principle of reusing rather than dumping things.
Even if an item is worn or outdated, someone may be happy to repair or reuse it. There are also ways to repurpose items that are past their best.
This is a substantial trend in interior design and garden landscaping. Examples include mounting old bicycle frames on walls, then attaching lights or hanging plants. You can use old bookshelves, barrels and boxes as great garden planters and display areas. Or, use a diverse range of items such as old cutlery and chains to create wall art for your garden. Budget conscious but attractive polcore picture frames are another example. They don’t have to be used simply for traditional artwork or photographs. They make a great frame for wall art, to mount your earring collection or as a towel rail or key holder. That’s just a few of the creative ideas you can find on the internet.
Use your voice and hands!
As well as making lifestyle and purchasing changes, your voice counts. Even if it’s just politely encouraging your friends, family and work colleagues to introduce some of these measures too.
You could add your weight to demands that manufacturers and retailers use less (or recycled) plastic in packaging. Or, join campaigns to encourage more retail outlets to reward customers who supply their own reusable containers. Some coffee shops give discounts for using travel mugs, for instance.
We can all contribute to calls for big companies to be more environmentally conscious too, and demand that they clean up their acts.
Lastly, find an hour or so to help local volunteer clean-up crews. They operate in many UK locations, rallying folk to pick up rubbish from beaches, parks and open spaces. At the very least, please always dispose of your own rubbish, when out and about.
While you are feeling inspired and ready for action, take a look at our polcore picture frames as a great first step towards saving the planet!