Thinking about how you could be more sustainable in the New Year? We’ve gathered some top tips from our staff and expert retrofit coordinators to help you turn over a new, greener leaf this year - from things you can change in your home to new habits to try.
1. Switch to LED lights
LED bulbs use up to 90% energy compared with incandescent light bulbs. Their initial purchase cost is higher but they last for approximately 15 years so you'll save on not having to buy replacements. Find out more about lighting from the Energy Saving Trust
2. Reduce your food waste
If you hate food waste, the OLIO app is a great way to give away food and other unwanted household items to their neighbours, all for free. For any food that does expire, why not try composting - read the guidance about composting from the West Sussex Waste Partnership website. You’ll feel good knowing that your food waste is being put to good use, instead of piling up in a landfill.
3. Switch to a clean energy supplier
These are often as cheap or even cheaper than the traditional suppliers and use only 100% renewable electricity. Many also use 'green gas' (from anaerobic digesters) and offset the remaining gas which effectively makes it carbon neutral. Find out more information about switching to clean energy suppliers, and Ethical Consumer has a great score table to help you compare.
4. Get to understand your heating controls
Monitors will help you identify devices and activities that use large amounts of electricity so you can change habits to save money - and you can get some free from your energy company. For more information, visit The Energy Saving Trust. and for tips of reducing heat loss.
5. Prioritise shopping locally
Shopping local is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and grow your local economy! Etsy is the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from delivery - and you can help small local businesses by shopping from UK stores. For even more local produce, visit Sussex Food and Drink to find a location near you.
6. Consider switching to an ethical bank account
Banking with a bank that doesn't invest in fossil fuels is both more ethical and sustainable. For more information, visit New Money
7. Eat less meat
Eating less meat and dairy is the number one way to reduce your carbon footprint, according to an analysis of the damage of the agricultural industry. Depending on how much meat and dairy you already eat, you could try doing a Meatless Monday, only eating meat on the weekends, only purchasing meat and dairy that’s ethically, locally and sustainably produced, or even just going vegetarian or vegan, or participating in Veganuary! Try some vegan recipes here
8. Say no to fast fashion
Did you know that textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined? (House of Common Environmental Audit Committee, 2019 ) Try prioritizing high quality, durable, timeless garments that will stand the test of time, or buying second hand. Visit Re-Fashion.co.uk for a great selection of second hand clothes – you can also send them your old unwanted clothes for free!