Easy ways to go green | Modern Mummy

Friday, 2 October 2015

Easy ways to go green

It’s a common misconception that you have to be well off if you want to be environmentally-friendly; almost as common as the misconception that good food costs a packet. Being environmentally friendly is what is best for our families ultimately, but often it can seem like a financial burden - and stretched finances isn’t what is best for your family in the here and now. Helping protect the earth doesn’t have to cost it though.

Simple measures such as saving water, walking more, recycling, reusing, eating local organic produce and so on can really help you become more environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to get you started:

FOOD
Going green with food means you’ll have to make some adjustments to your diet but that doesn’t mean more effort or compromising on taste. Simple things like replacing a quarter of your meat in dishes like Bolognese, chilli con carne or cottage pie with lentils and grated carrot will save you money and is better for the environment. The children won’t notice a difference in taste and they’ll be getting more of their 5-a-day.

Shelling home grown broad beans for dinner!

Organic food can be made more affordable by visiting your local farm shop or better still, by growing your own. You don’t need to grow lots of different vegetables by yourself - get your friends, family and neighbours involved with you each growing different things and swapping the excess. Organic gardening isn’t expensive and it’s an activity the whole family can enjoy. If you don’t have a garden or can’t afford an allotment you could ‘borrow’ growing space from a neighbour who might be happy to let you grow some veg for a bit of your produce or grow tomatoes on a balcony or window-sill. Kids love making meals from scratch with ingredients they’ve grown themselves.

It’s a complete myth that buying locally from your local greengrocer or butcher will cost more than the supermarket and if they do it’s usually negligible. If you are replacing some meat as detailed above you can buy it from your local butcher where you have better knowledge of its providence and can tap the excellent knowledge of cheaper but equally tasty produce your butcher will have. The same goes for your greengrocer.

UTILITIES
Switch to a green energy tariff which guarantees your electricity will be from 100% renewable sources. Many of these tariffs are competitive with fossil fuel tariffs and you’d also be supporting the UK renewable energy sector, saving money AND being more environmentally friendly. You could also choose to make use of your new green tariff by going electric with your heating system to keep your house warm, be more eco-friendly and save money. Electric radiators from Verismart Heating are low maintenance, heat and disperse warmth more efficiently than conventional systems, are safe from environmentally damaging carbon monoxide and are modern and attractive. Best of all, anyone can install them in minutes.

Conserving water is one of the easiest things to do and the changes you make will save loads of money if you are on a meter. The majority of water companies provide water saving shower heads or adaptors as well as special packs for your toilet tank for free. You’ll barely notice a difference in how much water you are actually using until your bill comes through. Collect rainwater for washing your car and watering your organic crops for free as well.

One of the greenest things you can do is to stop wasting energy every time you cook. Make use of free oven space by filling it with extra meals that you can go on to freeze. Need some cooking inspiration? There are hundreds of great recipes online for you to browse through.

QUICK TIPS
Ditch the dryer. Even on a cold day your washing will get dry outside but you if absolutely have to use a dryer put a dry towel in with your damp washing, it’ll cut your drying time by up to 30%.

Cut your fuel bills by investing in organic sheep’s wool loft insulation. It’s a little more expensive but it is sustainable, green and organic.

Join the library! Your local library will probably have a great selection which you can often rent for free depending. You will be surprised by what a great resource your library is for family-friendly activities in your area. Once you have your DVD you can extend the fun with a ‘Saturday Night Tea’ where you have a potluck mish-mash of whatever is in the freezer, left-overs from the week or needing to be used up which will help cut down on your food waste.

These are just a few small changes that you can make to become more environmentally friendly and hopefully save some money in the process. But best of all you’ll be passing on good habits to your children, for whom green living will be second nature.

Written with Sammy Quinn.
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7 comments

  1. I'm certainly trying to eat less meat and having a go at growing some organic produce. Though our apples were attacked by something hungry that didn't leave much for us!

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  2. some great tips, we are vegetarian although we eat a done of veggies, we have never grown them.

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  3. I'm a vegetarian,so i eat alot of veggies,but it's only been recently that ive attempted to grow my own too x

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  4. I love the quick tips, I'm always looking on ways to cut down and be more eco-efficient so good on you!

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  5. Wonderful tips, anything that helps me be more green is great

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  6. wow! some great tips. never knew about putting a dry towel with damp clothes can cut drying time by up to 30%.

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  7. There's some great tips here the towel in the. Drier will definitely try this, I do try and go green as much as possible I'm quite lucky as my girls love veggies it helps that we grow quite a lot of our own and they help so are interested in the end product

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