8 easy, sustainable switches to make at home

Watching the wildfires and floods around the world this summer, there’s no doubt that we need rapid international action to cut carbon emissions fast. 

We all have a part to play in protecting our planet and small changes can have a big impact when we make them together. Climate change can feel overwhelming, but there are many things we can do - starting at home. 

At Natusan, we are committed to building a better future through paw-sitive action.

 

1. Delete old emails, photos and videos

Did you know that digital pollution has a greater carbon footprint than civil aviation? While we often think of the internet as a ‘cloud’, our digital storage is an invisible energy guzzler. To put it into perspective, if every Briton sent one less ‘thank you’ email a day, we would save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year, or 81,152 flights to Madrid*! 

It’s a good idea to trim down your email and photo archive, it can help your phone or laptop work faster, and you’ll minimise the energy consumption of your filing cabinet in cyberspace.

 

2. Clothing? Reduce, reuse, recycle 

The most sustainable clothes you own are the ones you’re currently wearing. The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, generating an astonishing 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.* 

Beware the greenwashing of the High Street fashion chains who invite you to recycle your clothes in return for vouchers or discounts - as buying more just isn’t going to solve the problem. Instead, look to resell, repurpose or donate your unwanted threads to good causes, and think twice before buying anything new. 

 

3. Practice being a sustainable pet parent

From beavers to wolves, in a balanced ecosystem, animals usually have a net positive impact on their environment. Our four legged friends, on the other hand, have substantial carbon paw prints. 

One US study found that through diet and waste, the American pet population has the same environmental impact in greenhouse gasses as 13.6 million cars! Here in the UK, an estimated 2 million tonnes of feline waste is sent to landfill annually. Switching to a 100% natural and biodegradable litter, such as Natusan, will help cut your cat’s carbon paw print through our circular composting service. 

 

4. Opt for active travel

If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it led to a significant reduction in domestic and international air travel in 2020, resulting in a 17%* drop in CO2 emissions. Transport is the biggest source of air and noise pollution in the UK with surface transport accounting for 25% of UK emissions. Where feasible, try not to use the car for short journeys, and walk or cycle instead, as this will cut pollution whilst improving your physical and mental health. 

5. Consider cutting back on meat 

It’s a sad fact but *60% of global biodiversity loss is a direct result of what’s on our plates. In the Amazon, rainforest is being cleared for intensive cattle farming and even in the UK, most of our agricultural land is set aside to produce feed solely for livestock. 

What we eat contributes 25% of global GHG emissions, and animal agriculture generates as much as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. Going meat free on Mondays or being a ‘weekday vegetarian’ means you can still enjoy eating meat at the weekend, whilst encouraging a more plant-based diet, which is better for our health too.

6. Don’t bottle it - pass on plastic 

Plastic isn’t fantastic. The UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles every year, of which only 7.5 billion are recycled, and 65% of this comes from just 12 companies*. While the remaining 5.5 billion end up littering our pavements, parks, rivers and beaches, rotting in landfill, or being incinerated, generating 233,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Find a reusable steel flask, fill up on tap water and save money and plastic. 

 

7. Conserve energy and water at home

In the UK we waste an astonishing 54% of energy - that’s the equivalent of squandering the power of 37 nuclear plants! What can we do? There are many small but simple ways to conserve energy at home. When it comes to lights; switch to energy saving bulbs and make sure to turn them off when you leave a room. Beware those ‘vampire’ devices that sneakily use energy in standby mode, draining 135,000 hours of power, per household, per year. 

Switch off and unplug everything when not in use. Close the doors and windows when the heating, or air conditioning if you have it, is on. Make sure to turn off taps too. Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, saves 5 litres of water a minute! Being conscious about the amount of water you use at home really can make a big difference - and cut your monthly bills. 

8. Give to an environmental charity 

Lap cats love armchair activism, so consider supporting a cause close to your heart this year. If we look after the planet, we look after everyone and everything in it, so pick a charity or organisation that is working to save our rainforests, protect indigenous people or endangered animals and marine life. 

Volunteering, monetary donations and spreading awareness on social media are all valid contributions. Alternatively, look for brands that are known to support and have affiliations with specific charities. For example, Natusan works with Ecologi, who help to improve lives within local communities by planting trees.

 

 *https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html 

*https://www.ft.com/content/4749756c-1149-334f-b3cb-16ce6acfbca0

*https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-017-0058-9  

*https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/carbon-footprint-animal-dogs-cats-america-study-meat-vegetarian-a7878086.html 

*https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/air-pollution-uk-transport-most-polluting-sector-greenhouse-gas-emissions-drop-carbon-dioxide-climate-change-a8196866.html 

*https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/overeating-animal-products-devastating-wildlife  

*https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions#:~:text=Food%20is%20responsible%20for%20approximately,to%20quantify%20food%20GHG%20emissions

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/aug/11/coca-cola-most-common-littered-brand-on-uk-beaches-says-study-deposit-return-scheme-pollution

*https://www.confused.com/gas-electricity/guides/standby-energy-vampire-device

*https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/33903.htm#:~:text=The%20UK%20uses%2013%20billion,of%20CO2e%20emissions%20a%20year.

*https://www.energylivenews.com/2015/10/01/uk-losing-9-5bn-a-year-on-wasted-energy/ 

https://natusan.co.uk/blogs/inside-scoop/25-ideas-to-become-more-sustainable

 

01/09/2021 by NatuTeam

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