8 easy ways to be greener

It’s not that easy being green. You’ve got to only wear hemp and eat only lentils and own an allotment - who's got time for that? It's sods law that the things that are the most ingrained in, and arguably most vital to, our modern lives - cars, hot showers, bacon sarnies - are often the worst offenders when it comes to the environment. BUT there are some super simple things we can all do to lead greener lives.

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1. Ditch face wipes

I don’t contend that face wipes are every girl's best friend after stumbling home on a Saturday night, desperate to swiftly to wipe off your dream matte mouse before collapsing into bed and falling into an 11-hour coma. But they’re certainly not a friend of the earth. Most are made from synthetic fibres – and are not biodegradable – meaning you use them once and they’ll stay on earth indefinitely - releasing plastic-y particles as they break down. The number of wet wipes found along the coast has increased by 400% in the past decade. Take your make up off with a flannel instead - your skin and the world will thank you for it. 

2. Use cloths you can wash

The same logic applies to your kitchen cloth. Since when was a cloth a disposable item? Why can’t we just use a flannel to wipe down the surfaces then wash it when it gets dirty? No I don't know either. 

3. Get a reusable coffee cup

It’s estimated around 2.5 BILLION disposable coffee cups are used every year in the UK – creating 25,000 tonnes of waste. Get yourself a reusable cup and get serious kudos every time you stroll into Starbucks each morning for your caffeine fix, smug in the knowledge your habit is no longer contributing to the needless wastage.

4. Drink tap water and use a refillable bottle

Londoners drink more bottled water than anywhere else in the country – 7.7 billion bottles a year. HAS ANYONE EVER HEARD OF A TAP? Sorry, didn't mean to get preachy there, I've definitely ingested my fair share of Evian, but doing so is clearly INSANE when we're lucky enough to be able to turn a tap and receive fresh, clean aqua in an instant. Buying it bottled is unnecessary, wasteful and expensive. Use a renewable (preferably glass) bottle. Evian is SO 2015.

5. Air dry your clothes

We all need to wash our clothes - there's no getting away from that looming pile of laundry. We do not, however, need to tumble dry them. Drying clothes with electricity can more than double the carbon footprint of your laundry session. Air drying means they'll be less creased too. Hooray – less ironing! I hate ironing. 

6. Shop vintage 

Did you know fashion is one of THE most polluting industries? I know. It upset me too. Plus, if I had a £ for every time I stepped out in a snazzy new Zara number, only to realise 12 other girls are wearing exactly the same thing - I'd have several pounds. That Zara coat. Need I say more? BUT, if you shop vintage, not only do you get to don SUPER COOL clobber nobody else owns - you're also being an environmental QUEEN and rescuing items from landfill. It's a total win/win.

7. Say no to straws

THE DRINK IS ALREADY RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR FACE - WHY DO YOU NEED TO INGEST IT THROUGH A TINY TUBE?!?!?!

8. Bring a bag

The year before the carrier bag charge 7 BILLION bags were given out. Now we're down to 500 million - which is still a pretty hefty number considering we all really could just BRING OUR OWN BAGS. Next time you go to the supermarket, whip out your bag for life and feel smug in the knowledge you're not complicit. 

All really easy things that don't require a massive lifestyle upheaval - sometimes it is actually quite easy being green. 

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Sarah Barratt