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Our readers’ top tips for green living

As part of our Christmas competition we asked our followers and readers to tell us their top tips for a green life. We were looking for the small acts that, when combined, can create a huge positive impact on the world around us. After receiving a huge number of responses we decided to collect some of our favourites together to share some wisdom and inspiration for a greener 2018.

Think we’ve missed one? Comment below to share your tried-and-tested tips.

Make do and mend

  • Keep your clothes a little bit longer before buying new, or keep them in the back of the wardrobe to rediscover years later. Helga Wills
  • Take the trouble to repair things when they break if possible, even if its a bit of hard work, even if it’s more expensive than buying a new one – see the big picture! Chris McCartney
  • I teach an up-cycling craft class and my top tip is to try to reuse rather than putting things straight into the recycling bin. For example, T-shirts can be made into cushion covers, beach bags, book covers, headbands, necklaces, t-shirt yarn to weave coasters, rugs, bowls etc, etc. Claire Olif

Get creative

  • Use vinegar (preferably in glass bottles) and bicarbonate of soda for cleaning. This saves on all those plastic detergent bottles, all those chemicals which invade the environment, and is cheaper and usually at least as efficient, and sometimes more so. Carolann Samuels 

    • My husband got a pram at a charity shop and refurbed it so I can transport my instruments to class without a car – works a treat, and doesn’t rattle them too much. (I don’t mind looking like a bag lady…) Mary Benefiel Dunn  

Ditch single use plastics

      • Stop using disposable coffee cups and buy a reusable Charley Autumn
      • Reject pre-packed fruit and veg at the supermarket, and buy only loose. They are happy to weigh them without a bag or, if necessary, you can take your own small bag and keep reusing it. Ian Bradshaw
      • Reduce one use plastics and containers. Carry a reusable water container and stop one-use cups by carrying reusable cup. Great Christmas gifts to encourage family and friends to do the same. Iona Hughes

Your money

      • Buy less, but buy better: for example, high quality, organic, free-range meat once a fortnight; a pair of well-made shoes which will last and which you can have resoled; things which can be repaired rather than intended to be used then discarded. Think before you buy something: do you need it? how was it made? what will happen when you’ve finished with it? Adelheid Russenberger
      • Switch to a renewable energy provider ☀ Rouben Freeman 
      • Change your current bank account to a Triodos account. Deborah Richardson-Webb
      • Switch banking to more ethical banks (Triodos wooooo); wash clothes slightly less; eat less meat; buy/make a canvas bag instead of plastic carrier bags; use soap instead of shower gels/body wash. Boom – environmental superhero. Immy Sykes 
      • Ask your pension provider how they incorporate sustainability issues into their investment strategy, demand transparency and action in line with the Paris agreement. Pavel Kirjanas
      • When you spend money realise that how you spend it shapes the world, so buy ethical, faritrade, local, independant and organic for a better world. Graham Watson


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Elizabeth Newman 1 week ago

Some I do, others I will do. I wish there were more clothes not made from fossil-fuel-based fabrics, even though they do last much longer.