There's no excuse for not doing your bit to save the planet... join the Tom Raffield team in having a more sustainable summer with these five easy, ecological tips.
At Tom Raffield, we are always searching for ways to make our business more eco-friendly. Using sustainable materials and cutting down on our waste are some of the things we do to reduce our environmental footprint on a daily basis, but there is still much more work to be done.
Here's a few of our tips on how you can live more sustainably this summer...
1. Ditch Plastic Bottles
As the weather heats up, it's tempting to pop into the nearest shop and buy a bottle of water to quench your thirst. Would you think twice, however, if you knew that the bottle you were buying was one of 7.7 billion plastic water bottles bought in the UK every year?
Single-use plastic water bottles are a key contributor to marine pollution, most end up in landfills and never get recycled, so cutting down this summer is a great way to start reducing your ecological footprint.
Instead of buying plastic water bottles every time you get thirsty, try a reusable, BPA-free alternative. There is currently a huge market for reusable flasks and bottles that are made of recycled or recyclable materials, such as stainless steel. Refill with tap water for a guilt-free, plastic-free thirst-quencher!
Of the many skincare products that contain a type of minuscule plastic called microbeads, sunscreen is one of the most widely used, especially during the summer. Microbeads are known to cause damage to ocean life, human health and the environment, due to their tendency to absorb harmful toxins that end up in the marine food chain.
Fortunately, awareness of the dangers of microbeads and microplastics has risen dramatically in the last couple of years, resulting in the availability of many plastic-free sunscreens. You might need to avoid the big brands, who still use microbeads in their products, but a quick internet search should reveal a host of plastic-free alternatives!
3. Grow Your Own
One of the best ways to be sustainable this summer is to grow your own food. There are a whole host of environmental issues associated with buying supermarket food, from the plastic packaging it is sold in, to the distance is has travelled from farm to shelf and the harmful pesticides and herbicides used during the growing process.
Growing your own fruit, veg, salad and herbs is the perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint. Along with the numerous environmental benefits of growing your own food, there are many advantages for you and your family to enjoy. Locally grown food tastes better, is healthier for you and, more often than not, is much cheaper than buying from a shop. Gardening itself is great exercise and a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Fast fashion – cheap clothing produced by big brands in response to trends – is a massive contributor to global CO2 emissions. It also comes with other environmental risks, such as the shedding of microplastics from polyester clothing, textile waste and water pollution from toxic chemicals and dyes.
There are many ways you can cut down on fast fashion in your life. For instance, why not try cutting up an old pair of jeans or trousers as an alternative to buying new summer shorts? By making your own shorts and up-cycling a pair of forgotten jeans you are helping to save 2,000 gallons of water.
Furthermore, ‘wardrobe swapping’ is another popular, fun way to find your new favourite outfit at no cost to the environment (or to your wallet). Simply gather garments you no longer require together and put a date in the diary with friends or colleagues to arrange a swap.
5. Go Veggie
The meat industry is one of the world’s biggest contributors to CO2 emissions, with 18% of all greenhouse gases originating from meat and dairy farming. Other environmental issues, such as acid rain, water degradation and deforestation are also badly affected by the meat industry.
Highlighted as ‘the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the planet’, cutting down on your meat and dairy intake is a great way to be more sustainable this summer. For those who would struggle to give up meat entirely, campaigns such as ‘Meatless Mondays’ can help ease you into a vegetarian or vegan diet!