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A More Sustainable Lifestyle

While awareness of the environment has greatly increased, sometimes we are overwhelmed by the scale of the difficulties confronting us and confused as to who or what to believe.

If we leave science to one side, there is no doubt that as human beings, we impact on the world around us from the minute we are born.  We become ‘consumers’ and it is this consumption of resources which ultimately causes problems.  We can learn to live simpler lives and make less impact on our shared planet.

This course of action is open to people of all ages and starts at home, the best place to make changes, which will create a more sustainable and fairer society.  Remember, your actions can impact on people across the world.  This is certain but you have to decide whether this impact is going to be positive or negative.

If we are to make an effective contribution to improving the sustainability of our Borough, we need to change the way we live and the decisions we make. Every day we all, regardless of age or circumstances, make decisions which impact on both our fellow human beings and the planet we share. Many of these decisions impact on the developing world where people are less able to cope with these unforeseen impacts. This year, at least 150,000 people will die across the developing world, directly because of climate change and this changing aspect of our world has now been named ‘CLIMATE POVERTY’.

How we consume resources is central to how sustainable our lifestyle might be.  If we are to minimize our impact we must become ‘smarter shoppers’, saving money and the planet in the process.  This can only be good if we want future generations to enjoy the world as we do now.

What can you do?

Every year we produce seven times our body weight in rubbish and unnecessarily throw away up to £720 worth of food. The key to reducing your rubbish is to create less in the first place. Here are some tips to help you look after the environment, save money and make the world a better place.

  • Make a shopping list. Plan your meals before you go shopping and only buy what you need. Don’t be tempted by special offers on food items that may go out of date before you get round to eating them.  It’s only a bargain if you actually need it!
  • Shop locally.  Reduce your carbon footprint by buying food grown and products made locally. Buy from farmers’ markets, delicatessens, butchers, bakers and green grocers.
  • The Magic Tenner.  There is a well-researched theory that if you spend £10 in a locally owned and staffed shop it could be worth up to £50 to the local economy.  The owner tends to spend his/her money in the local community.
  • Take a cloth bag or ‘bag for life’ shopping and reduce unnecessary plastic carrier bags.
  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables. They are often cheaper than pre-packed - and remember, only use a bag for them if absolutely necessary.
  • Buy dry goods such as pasta, rice and cereal in bulk. Avoid multi-packs or individually wrapped items which are more expensive, contain less and create more rubbish.
  • Choose products with recyclable packaging and avoid over-packaged goods.
  • Buy refills or long-lasting products- rechargeable batteries & low energy light bulbs.
  • Buy recycled products such as toilet and kitchen roll. Products made from recycled materials take less energy to make and help save valuable natural resources.
  • Drink tap water and avoid bottled water. Tap water is just as good for you, cheaper and doesn’t create packaging waste. Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water to drink when you’re on the go.
  • Keep your fridge between 1-5 degrees Celsius. Food will go off quicker if it’s not stored correctly.