This weekend, on April 22nd, it’s Earth Day. Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s an annual event in which around one billion people around the world focus on reducing our environmental impact on the planet. From marches to signing petitions and committing to pledges, it’s a day for action and concerted effort to make sure the world is a beautiful – and habitable – place for generations to come.
At LinenMe we are committed to being as sustainable as possible in the production of our linen home textiles. Linen itself is a great environmentally-friendly material thanks to its durability (meaning less discarded items), the fact that fewer resources are needed to grow and process flax, and its biodegradability. To mark this day we’ve come up with 5 simple changes we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, to reduce waste and to live more sustainably. If we all take small steps, we can make a big difference.
1.Cut back on plastic
This is a hot topic at the moment, with governments around the globe waking up to the disastrous impact our addiction to plastic is having on the oceans. While they need to use their powers to help reduce plastic waste, we can also change our own habits for the better. Instead of using plastic drinking straws we can buy reusable glass or stainless steel ones. In place of plastic tubs in the kitchen we can use bamboo containers and metal tins. Beeswax wrappers are a brilliant alternative to plastic wrap – whilst they are pricey initially they can be used over and over again, so in the long run will also save you money.
2.Plant a tree or wildflower patch
The massive reduction in forests and wildflower meadows globally has had a big impact on the ecosystems these habitats support. If you have the space in your garden, plant a tree. If you only have a small space, create a wildflower patch. And if you have no outdoor space consider sowing wildflower seeds on a nearby verge or roadside – just make sure you buy seeds that are native to your area and that will be happy in whatever soil and position you choose. You’ll be rewarded with annual displays of colour and texture, as well as providing essential nectar for pollinators.
3.Reduce our dependence on throwaway things
So much of Western culture is based on a throwaway mentality: fast fashion, fast food, cheap technological goods that we constantly upgrade. Now’s the time to try to think more long term. Use linen napkins instead of disposable wipes or paper tissues. Buy linen home textiles that will last for years instead of needing constant replacement. Invest in top quality clothing and create a capsule wardrobe of garments you will definitely wear, and that work with each other. Reuse and repurpose wherever you can. Buy second-hand. Resist the urge to get the very latest gadget with its all-new shiny new functions, when your old device works perfectly well.
4.Carry a reusable cup
The large chains and supermarkets are making moves to cut the number of disposable coffee cups that are discarded each year. Contrary to popular belief these cups can be recycled, but the process of recycling them is more expensive and complex than other currently recycled items, which means it just doesn’t happen. By carrying our own reusable coffee cup we can help reduce waste and resources. Once you get used to remembering it, it’s a doddle.
5.Get a smart energy meter
The first step in reducing our carbon footprint is to work out exactly what that footprint looks like. Once we have seen which areas of our daily life at home use the most energy we can start to work out more energy-efficient ways to live. A smart meter gives us important information about our energy consumption, as well as being a gentle reminder to be mindful of how we run our households.
Any other ideas for easy ways we can mark Earth Day and be a bit more sustainable?