Going Green: Top tips to shopping online less ... helping our planet a lot more
Latest article from Angela Terry
Green Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and here she explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.
Q: To save money and the planet, I want to buy less stuff. Do you have any tips?
A. Yes, lots! As well as reducing your spending and cutting your carbon footprint, simplifying your life can be so freeing.
Most of us have far too much stuff. Brits are hoarding more than £48 billion worth of used items with two thirds of adults saying their homes are full of things they never use.
Here are my tips for how to curb your shopping habit and live better with less ...
Change your mindset
It helps to reconsider your mindset. In our consumer culture, we’ve been taught that more is better. And, yet, it definitely isn’t.
Once your basic needs are met, owning an ever increasing number of things won’t make you any happier.Indeed, it could actually make it harder to enjoy life, by negatively affecting the way your brain works.
Using MRI scans of the brain, researchers from Princeton University showed that disorganised, cluttered spaces drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to concentrate.
By focusing on what we really need, we can live more purposeful, less stressful lives.
Identify your triggers
It’s helpful to start thinking about when it is you tend to shop.
If you notice a certain situation often results in extra spending, like surfing the net after a busy day at work, glass of wine in hand, try changing your behaviour.
Go and visit a friend or take the dog for a walk instead.
Crucially, have a cooling off period. If you wait to press ‘buy’ until the next day, the impulse may be gone.Unsubscribe
If you’ve an online shopping habit, you probably receive newsletters from retailers, about all their new products and services.
Unsubscribe from all of them. An emptier inbox can feel liberating.
Write a list
When you do need to buy an item or two, write a list before shopping and stick to it. Watch out for items placed next to checkouts to encourage impulse purchases. Fight the urge to buy them.
If you do need something, buying second hand is a great way to help the planet.
The Net is awash with places where you can buy quality preloved items.
You can also sell anything that’s cluttering up your home and raise cash. You can look at Preloved or Shpock.
For fashion items, try Oxfam, Depop or Vinted. For books, it’s worth visiting World of Books.
If you’re looking to buy refurbished tech, musicMagpie is a great place for games consoles, smartphones and computers that operate like new.
For more visit musicMagpie website, to make it easier for those looking to shop secondhand. Visit https://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/ website.
Hollywood A-listers continue to invest in planet-friendly vegan businesses.
Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is one of the backers of plant-based haircare brand Vegamour, which is coming to the UK.
With the aim of helping protect the natural world, the brand sources its ingredients through Fair Trade partnerships with women-owned businesses in Africa.
Meanwhile, in New York, Wolverine legend Hugh Jackman has opened a vegan café, selling his eco-friendly Fair Trade Laughing Man coffee with sandwiches and baked treats.
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a sustainable bamboo one.
If we follow dentist guidelines and buy a new toothbrush every three months, Brits dispose of 200 million each year.
It’s worth knowing that each plastic one takes 400 years to degrade and then leaves toxic microplastics behind.
From city to seaside, how best to enjoy staycation
As we face both the cost of living crisis and chaos at airports, have you considered enjoying a wonderful holiday here in the UK?
From the world-renowned wilds of the Highlands to the azure seas off the Cornish coast, Britain has so much going for it: spectacular scenery, unspoilt beaches and vibrant cities.
Here are some ideas that I hope fire your imagination ...
If you like the idea of being in the great outdoors but aren’t so enamoured with the idea of roughing it, you could consider glamping.
You can enjoy a little bit of luxury by staying in a beautiful yurt or bell tent with gorgeous furnishings as well as plenty of space and privacy. Often you have access to premium facilities, like hot tubs and Jacuzzis, in stunning locations. Websites like Canopy & Stars, Glamping UK and Love Glamping offer a wide range of UK glamping holidays.
If you want majestic skylines, lively nightlife, cobbled backstreets, fine dining, world-famous museums and galleries, historic monuments, bustling markets and buzzing waterfronts, why go abroad?
From London to Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool, York, Newcastle or Edinburgh, our cities are among the best in the world.
Many of our coastal villages and towns have been gentrified and offer amazing quality food, experiences and accommodation. VisitBritain is a great source of inspiration.
Home from home
If you’re lucky enough to own your own property, you could temporarily swap your home with someone in a different part of the country.
Home swapping is an extremely affordable way to holiday. Look online at Home Exchange, Home Link or Guardian Home Exchange.
If you want to travel around and enjoy life on the road without maxing out your carbon footprint, you could hire an electric campervan from We Are EV. Alternatively, Yorkshire-based eDub Trips offers the first classic electric-converted 1970s campervan, which means you can plug-in and travel in cool vintage style.
One of the greatest green benefits of a British holiday is that you can avoid flying, the most environmentally-destructive mode of transport.
Taking a train instead can reduce your emissions by as much as 90 per cent. If you embrace the experience as part of the holiday, going overland can be joyful.
And you won’t need to worry about terrible airport queues, lost bags, flight cancellations and delays!
Fact or fiction
You must clean every jar or tin before recycling. True!
Food or other residue can cause problems at recycling facilities. If contamination levels are too high, a load could even be rejected. It’s best to give jars and tins a good rinse.