Everything, from the food we eat to the clothes we buy, has a carbon footprint attached to it. That means all of the emissions which added up in the processes that went into making and shipping the final product to you or the shop where you bought it.
There are things we can all do to minimise our impact on the environment, following the three ‘R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. If you’re new to this, perhaps pick one or two things to start with and try to stick to them. You can always do more later.
Reduce – the amount of the earth’s resources that you use
Did you know that the fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than aeroplanes?
- Take the #SecondHandFirst pledge – when you do buy new clothes, consider second-hand websites, charity shops.
- If you are buying new clothes, you can also check whether the retailer follows good sustainable practices. Download the Good On You app to check the credentials of brands.
Kick the single-use plastic problem:
- Try a refillable water bottle – the Mayor of London has installed water fountains around the capital, including one in Willesden Green and thousands of cafes, shops and businesses offer free tap water on request
- Use a bag for life when shopping
- Cut down on plastic bottles – shampoo bars and bar soaps are a great alternative to bottles
Love food, hate waste:
- Reduce the amount of food you throw away by planning meals before you go shopping so you know exactly what you need, and look up recipes for leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste has some great recipes and tips
- Animal agriculture – that is raising animals to eat – can be very carbon-intensive. Try eating meat on fewer days a week, or not at all.
Reuse – don’t just bin it, could you use it for something else?
- Learn how to extend the life of your clothes by repairing and upcycling them – check West London Waste’s website for tips and upcoming workshops
- There are lots of creative ways to re-use furniture, electrical items and more by learning to upcycle.
Recycle – could the materials be made into something new?
- Download the Recycleopedia app where you can search for products to find out which bin they should go in. The advice is all tailored to Brent.
- Recycle your food waste using your green caddy (for houses) or communal bin (for flats). If you’ve lost your caddy, you can order a new one here.