At Happy Way we are passionate about caring for our environment and are always striving to be more sustainable in our practices - both in the workplace and at home. We understand that the small actions we take now can have a big impact on the generations to come and it’s because of this that we always endeavour to make environmentally friendly choices. Being kind to our planet and making necessary changes to our way of life can help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, keep our air clean, as well as preserve our environment. All of this will have a roll-on effect on our health, and is a great practice to get the kids involved in - creating positive habits for their futures and educating them on the reasons why.
As David Attenborough (profound Mother Nature ambassador) once said - “It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth.” - and it is OUR responsibility.
So what are some simple ways we can be more environmentally conscious at home? Read our list to find out.
1. Minimise food wastage
Wasting food is not just poor form for the planet, but with so many people starving in the world it’s also disheartening when you have to throw stuff out because of bad food management. A simple yet super effective way to minimise this is to ensure you are ALWAYS writing a shopping list before heading to your local supermarket. Choose ingredients that you can use over several meals and don’t go shopping on an empty stomach - you will end up with items that you don’t need (we’ve all done that before). Plan meals for the week in advance, and move food that needs to be eaten sooner to the front of the fridge so it’s not forgotten. All of these practices will help you save some money too!
2. Minimise on plastic bags/packaging
Keep your shopping bags in the boot of your car or in a visible spot in the home, so you don’t forget and realise at the checkout! Invest in fabric shopping bags rather than plastic, or you can even find produce bags online or at health food stores made from organic cotton. Buy your fruit and veg loose, and avoid using the disposable bags or purchasing anything wrapped in plastic. If you are buying from a bulk store take glass jars or containers from home to fill, and use a cloth bag to buy bread from the bakery. This will not only keep your bread fresher for longer, but will also save roughly 52 plastic bread bags and plastic tags per year. Winning!
3. Store food correctly at home
Knowing how and where to store your food at home is super important in preventing food wastage, as well as maximising on quality. Bread will last longer wrapped in a cotton bag but also when it is purchased unsliced. Nuts and seeds are best kept in the fridge to increase shelf life, whilst tomatoes are to stay out of the fridge - a common mistake made by many households. Before throwing away produce, try and think of ways it can still be used. Any scraps or wilted vegetables can be used to make stock, broths or even chutneys. Overripe fruit can be used for jams, and stale bread can be processed and made into bread crumbs for homemade schnitzels or crunchy croutons for soups and salads. We all know that super ripe bananas make the perfect banana bread, but apples can also be easily turned into a delicious applesauce or used in an apple cinnamon cake.
4. Minimise paper wastage
Instead of buying a notebook to write down your shopping or to-do lists, use your mobile phone notes app, the back of an envelope or a piece of scrap paper. Cut up old t-shirts or towels to use as cleaning cloths around the house, as a substitute for paper towels. Sign up to receive and pay all your bills online, preventing the pile up of “not fun” mail, as well as saving the planet. Choose fabric napkins instead of paper ones and when it comes to gift giving, wrap presents in cloth bags, second hand scarves, leftover fabric or tea towels. Furoshiki is a Japanese cloth, which is traditionally used for wrapping - check out the many YouTube clips on how to wrap with cloth using this method. It not only looks super cool but is a great paper saver!
5. Save energy
This time we are not talking about our own personal energy, but the energy of our home! Switch off all appliances when they are not in use - television, phone chargers, kettle - the list goes on. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running a cycle - give everything a good rinse before loading it up but if it takes a few days to fill, then it takes a few days. Only heat or cool the rooms that you are using, and in cooler months use blankets or put on a jumper instead of cranking the heater (pets make great hot water bottles too!). Get romantic with a candlelit dinner one night a week, even if it is just you - you deserve it! Set a limit in the shower - we all know how carried away we can get, especially when it’s freezing outside. Or, if you’re all about health and well-being (which you know we are at Happy Way) why don’t you try the Wim Hof method of having daily cold showers? There are so many benefits to having cold showers which include boosting metabolism, improving circulation and soothing and energising the mind and body.