Sustainable development is all about balancing our economic and social needs with the needs of the environment. We can all do our bit to help by changing the way we do things, even if this means making small changes to start with. Why not try doing one or all of the following?
- Reduce – try to reduce the resources and energy that you use. For example:
- plan your meals in advance so that you only buy food which you know you will eat.
- turn the lights off when leaving a room
- use low energy bulbs
- try walking or cycling instead of taking the car
- turn down your heating thermostat by one degree; it’s amazing how much energy and money you will save.
- Re-use and repair – try shopping at charity shops for clothes and other household goods and give your unwanted goods to charity shops for someone else to benefit. Buying second-hand goods off friends, online or through the local paper can save money and help reuse unwanted goods. However older models can be less energy efficient and may not always be better overall. Consider buying things that will last and which can be fixed rather than being sent to landfill.
- Recycle – use your blue and brown bins to recycle as much as you can
- Use compost bins and water butts – composted garden and kitchen waste (not cooked meat or food) can be used in your garden to save you money. Collecting water using a water butt reduces the need to use tap water, thereby protecting the environment and reducing energy/resources used to provide clean water for drinking.
- Micro-generation and sustainable heat and power – if you’re really interested in being ‘green’ then you might consider installing micro-renewables, such as a solar panel, wind turbine or ground source heat pump. Please see the climate change section for more details.
- Wildlife – if you have access to a garden or outdoor space, try leaving an area of it to go wild, or plant wildflowers and fruit-bearing trees that will help feed birds and insects, and support a range of other wildlife. If you have space a small pond can provide a haven for aquatic wildlife.
- Spread the word – tell your friends and family how easy, fun and important it is to do your bit for the environment.
Find out more about recycling and waste.