Want to make your new life in the UK a little greener? Find out how with our list of 4 simple steps towards sustainable living in the UK.
If you’re a green-minded expat living in the UK, you might be wondering what you can do to make your new life more sustainable. Thankfully, sustainable living doesn’t mean giving up the things you love about life in the UK. In fact, these days, making your life greener is so simple it can easily become part of your everyday life.
To give you an idea of how you can boost your green credentials in your new home, this article outlines 10 simple steps towards sustainable living in the United Kingdom.
1. Download the right green apps
Does the answer to a more sustainable life really live inside your smartphone? Not quite, but downloading the right apps is an important – and easy – first step. Thankfully, there are plenty of’green apps in the UK, covering everything from food to fashion to fitness! But which apps should you be downloading? Well, that depends on you. If an app is really going to make a difference to your life, it’s essential you choose the ones you’ll actually use.
- If you like your sweet – and savory – treats, Too Good To Go is a great way to save delicious fresh food from the trash. Using the app, you can pick up these goodies at a reduced price from local cafes, restaurants, and bakeries.
- Are you a fashionista? Then avoid fast fashion choices with Good on You, an ethical clothing app for your wardrobe.
- If you spend your life looking for things online, why not help plant a tree with every search? Download Ecosia and your own personal tree counter will tell you how many you’ve helped plant.
For more information on what apps you should be downloading, read our guide to the must-have apps in the UK.
2. Check out your local charity shops
If there’s one thing new arrivals to the United Kingdom will notice when they first walk down their local high street, it’s that there are plenty of charity shops. In fact, you’ll be able to find them in almost every town across the country, as there are an estimated 11,000 thrift shops. These stores are operated by both large international charities and small, local organizations. They stock a wide range of donated, second-hand goods, and all the profits go straight to the charity.
These second-hand stores can be a great way of finding excellent bargains while reducing your carbon footprint. Most stock a range of clothes, household goods, books, and music. At larger stores, you’ll also find second-hand furniture, including sofas, bookcases, and more.
Charity shops aren’t just good for picking up bargains, either. If you’re looking to upgrade your furniture or wardrobe, then contact your local store and see how you can donate. Not only is this a greener choice, but it’ll also save you the challenge of trying to get it recycled by your local authority in the UK.
3.Choose a green energy company
Green-minded expats arriving in the United Kingdom will be pleased to know that the local energy sector is one of the most renewable in Europe. In fact, in the first quarter of 2020, renewable sources generated a record 47% of the UK’s electricity. This figure is expected to increase as the UK government looks to move away from fossil fuels by investing in the country’s wind farms and solar panels infrastructure. And the good news is that you can help this energy shift by making some easy choices at home.
Setting up gas and electricity in the UK at your new home will probably be one of the first things you do when you move to the United Kingdom. When it comes to choosing your energy supplier, you have plenty of choices. However, if you’re looking to make sustainable living choices, why not consider one of the UK’s green energy suppliers? An increasing number of smaller UK energy providers offer 100% green electricity, including Octopus and Bulb. If all this choice is a little too confusing, comparison websites like MoneySuperMarket.
4.Leave the car at home
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon emissions, an easy way to do it is to reassess the way you use your car. According to official figures, transport is the largest contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. In a bid to boost the switch to electric vehicles, the UK government announced plans in 2017 to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040. However, while electric vehicle sales are increasing in the UK, uptake remains slow due to issues with EV charging infrastructure across the country. But, even if you don’t buy the latest electric model, there are still simple ways you can reduce your carbon emissions.
While many expats living in the UK will find the prospect of going completely car-free too challenging, it is definitely possible in some places. The local public transport networks in British cities are good enough to ensure you can ditch the car and lower your carbon footprint. If you don’t fancy catching the bus or metro, why not consider signing up for a car-sharing platform like Zipcar or Turo? Alternatively, hop on your bike and get some exercise by exploring the UK on Two wheel.
5.Reduce your food waste
When it comes to sustainable living, the issue of food waste is a growing concern across the UK. According to environmental charity Wrap, the households in the UK threw out 4.5 million tonnesof edible food in 2018 alone. This equates to around £10 billion and is associated with over 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s because when you throw out food, you don’t only waste the food itself but also all the energy and resources that went into producing that food. And the answer to solving this problem starts at home.
Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Living In The UK.Thankfully, there are plenty of simple ways you can reduce your household food waste in the UK. These range from decluttering your fridge so you can better see what’s inside, to shopping smarter when you visit your local British supermarket. One easy way to ensure you don’t end up with too many groceries is to use a meal kit delivery service. These include:
As well as providing fresh and innovative recipes for you and your family, you won’t be left with any unused groceries. Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Living In The UK