We love watching BBC1’s Shop Well for the Planet and we know that a lot of our customers are in a similar position – wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and live a greener lifestyle. We want to help you on your journey so we’ve come up with some easy suggestions to get you started.
Eat less meat to reduce your carbon footprint
In October 2019, scientists warned us that a huge reduction in meat-eating was required to reduce climate change. This included western countries cutting their beef consumption by 90%. Although plant-based diets have increased to about 8% of the population, researchers are still encouraging us to eat less meat.
You don’t have to cut meat out of your life completely, just reducing your intake a couple of days a week could make a huge difference. There are great alternatives on the shelves now! Even if meat substitutes aren’t to your taste – rice, quinoa, beans and pulses have just as much protein to fill you up and they’re more budget-friendly.
In one episode of Shop Well for the Planet, one family swapped their lamb curry for a vegetarian alternative which could save half a tonne or more of Co2 a year!
How does meat’s carbon footprint add up? It’s a mixture of deforestation for livestock, methane emissions from cows and fertilisers and transportation. When you do buy and eat meat, consider where it came from because where and how it is produced makes a big difference.
For example, beef imported from Brazil that had to cut down trees to make space for cattle and soya production for feeding them has three times the carbon footprint of that of British beef that is fed on grass and doesn’t have to travel thousands of miles.
Wipe Uranus sustainably
In the first episode of Shop Well for the Planet, a family put eco toilet roll to the test. Thousands of trees are cut down every day to produce toilet roll and as it’s something that’s always in our weekly shop. As we go through so much of it, 120 tolls each per year on average, it makes sense that we look for sustainable alternatives.
Something as simple as wiping your bottom could reduce your plastic consumption and prevent deforestation. Our two favourites are:
This 18 roll pack of toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper, it’s BPA free, vegan, hypoallergenic, septic safe and comes in compostable packaging – butt more could you ask for?! It’s also a good alternative to bamboo because it doesn’t require any shipping from China.
This 36 pack of toilet paper will last you for ages! It’s made from 100% recycled toilet paper such as old Christmas cards and newspapers, it’s made without any chemicals, perfumes or dyes and it’s delivered in a recycled cardboard box. Plus, for every roll sold, Serious Tissues will plant one tree.
Discover more about eco-friendly toilet roll here.
Clean your laundry with an ecoegg
The award-winning ecoegg laundry eggs are designed to naturally clean your clothes and reduce plastic waste in your home, potentially up to 40 bottles of laundry detergent and fabric conditioner per year. Simply fill your egg with the pellets and let the magic commence. The egg lasts for 10 years, all you have to do is refill it with pellets costing 10p per wash – big savings!
Not only does it reduce your plastic consumption, but it’s also vegan, cruelty-free, allergy-friendly and palm oil-free! Find out the science behind ecoeggs here. I absolutely love my ecoegg because it is so easy, I don’t have to think about it. I just pop it in with my laundry and it comes out sparkling clean, even removing tougher stains.
Plus, with our downloadable countdown sheet, you can keep track of how many washes you’ve done so you never run out of pellets.
Save a flush with a displacement bag
A displacement bag is a simple but wonderful creation only costs £2.95 and helps to save you thousands of litres of water a year. It’s super easy to fit and doesn’t need any maintenance so as soon as it’s installed, you can start reducing each flush by one litre of water.
It’s essentially a perforated polythene bag with water-absorbent granules that swell, displacing water in the cistern so you use less water with each flush. It cuts carbon emissions by reducing the energy needed to pump and clean water in your home or business.
Brush your dishes more sustainably
The kitchen is one of the least eco-friendly rooms in the house but there are small affordable swaps you can make to change this. Traditional plastic sponges make up some of the 51 trillion pieces of microplastic in the ocean right this second. As you wash your dishes, minuscule pieces of plastic get washed away down the drain too.
Choosing sustainable dish brushes prevent single-waste plastic use and even ends up saving you money over time. Two of our most-loved products are:
This biodegradable multipurpose coconut bottle brush cleans just as efficiently as a plastic brush except it’s reusable and doesn’t cause any waste. Made from coconut husk, it’s perfect for cleaning baby bottles, wine glasses and reusable drinking bottles as it’s robust with non-scratch features.
This robust brush is endlessly reusable because it’s made from beech wood, tampico, silicone and stainless steel. The durable material is perfect for washing pots, pans, trays, dishes and glass without scratching. Once it has reached the end of its long life, all you have to do is buy a replacement head.
Pick up dog poop more consciously
On average, your dog produces 150 pounds of waste a year so you’re likely going through a lot of dog poop bags. Traditional dog poop bags are made from plastic which will end up in landfill but the Beco Compostable Poop Bags are entirely plant-based and home compostable. With plant power, they’re strong and sturdy too, able to hold even the biggest of poops.
Get sparkly clean dishes with Ecozone
Traditional dishwasher tablets are individually wrapped in plastic which is super fiddly and easily littered. Ecozone All in One Dishwasher Tablets eliminates this problem! Simply pop a plastic-free tablet with the wrapper still on in your dishwasher and it will dissolve. It’s not got any chemicals in so no need to worry about microplastics finding their way down your drain. Their magic formula is effective even in short cycles and low temperatures, cleaning away grease and saving you money on your water bills.
Replace your kitchen roll with reusable bamboo sheets
Kitchen roll is a staple in most households as they’re convenient but choosing a reusable option such as the egoegg Reusable Bamboo Towels means you don’t have to worry about running out. These are made from bamboo which is super absorbent and can be washed, dried and re-sed 85 times. This adds up to a total of a whopping 1,700 uses before replacing – just imagine how much kitchen roll you are saving from landfill.
One group of artists on Shop Well for the Planet were surprised by how absorbent eco-friendly kitchen towels were but they were put off some products by the price. But it doesn’t cost more to be sustainable. Swapping to bamboo towels mean a yearly saving of around £67 which is a nice meal out or pennies in the holiday fund.
Curious to know more about eco-friendly bamboo? Discover more here.
It’s not too late to go eco-friendly for Christmas!
You don’t have to wait until the New Year to start your eco-friendly lifestyle. With our eco-friendly Christmas gift guide, you can kickstart your journey and even encourage your loved ones to do the same.