Brace yourself for impact!
We're going green this week with lots of information and ideas, so we can all do our bit to help the planet in how we spend and invest our money.
While the challenge of global warming might seem like a huge and insurmountable problem, even small steps add up to a big difference.
Let us inspire you with brilliant ideas to see what tickles your fancy.
Earth Overshoot Day
Global Footprint Network's research organisation measures and publishes countries' ecological footprint worldwide and sets a date for each country's overshoot day. This overshoot day is the day each year when the countries' combined demand for environmental resources has outstripped what the Earth can effectively regenerate.
Since 1970 the world's population has increased by 121%, and resources to accommodate everyone are running low. The overall Earth overshoot day has been steadily getting earlier and earlier in the year, from late December 1971 to late July 2022.
Overshoot Day for the UK fell on May 19th – so we are generating over twice the resources the UK can sustain.
What's that got to do with me and my money, you ask! Well, the great thing about the network's website is that you can calculate your ecological footprint and personal overshoot day. From that, you can begin to make small changes, both in business and personal life, to make a difference to the Earth and make savings on the way.
Thinking about making changes in your life might be overwhelming – they're so much information out there - where do you start? Right here!
The environment and you
The consistent actions you take over time, no matter how small, will make a difference, so here are SmartPurse's top tips for lowering your carbon footprint, both at home and at work.
Let’s start with business:
🌎 The world saw a massive shift in where we work during the Covid pandemic – we worked more remotely than ever before. Is your company still open to you working from home at least a few days a week? This saves not only on transport costs; if you were used to eating out lunch, you could save a ton (in packaging and money) by eating at home too.
🌎 What about starting and encouraging a paperless philosophy in the office? Even a reminder in your email signature that asks recipients if it is really necessary for them to print out the email can be a start to questioning whether other data at work needs to have a hard copy or whether it can be saved digitally only.
🌎 Let's head to the company's kitchen or break room. Do you regularly use paper cups and towels? Switching to china mugs and plates and ditching paper towels for cloths will make a huge difference over time. And don't forget, adding a little branding to your mugs is a great boost for your brand!
🌎 Reducing your overall emissions is as simple as switching your supplier if they don't already provide you with energy from renewable sources.
🌎 Encourage recycling by providing bins that make it really easy for people to recycle their waste. And by making it easy, we mean providing lots of containers around the office, so people can walk only a short distance from their workplace. Convenience is key to habit change!
🌎 If you own a business and your employees must travel, have you signed up for a cycle-to-work scheme? It offers employees an opportunity to get a new bike and accessories to make green travel easier. You can opt for a loan scheme whereby the cost of the cycle is taken from wages over a period of time, tax-free.
Easy things you can do to make a greener life at home:
🌿 Change the energy tariff if your provider isn't supplying renewable energy. It's quite simple these days, and to make it even easier, Ofgem have a to-do list that takes you through all you need to do to
make the switch.
🌿 It's an oldie but a goodie: turn off your lights! It's amazing how many households still leave lights on all around the house when no one is in the room. It's a small act but it will make a difference to your bill over time.
🌿 Additionally, using all the shelves in your oven at any time is another simple but effective change. Don't just pop in a pie for one – get creative and fill up your oven with several batch-cooked dishes over the week – saving you money and energy. If you only have a small amount to cook, for whatever reason, a good tip is to fill the other shelves with empty baking trays and dishes so less space is being heated.
🌿 The choices you make on where you buy your food from and your diet have a big impact on the planet too. According to the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, switching to a vegan diet saves 0.8 tonnes
of CO₂ annually. If that's too big a leap, you can buy loose vegetables instead of wrapped in plastic or seek out one of the 'wonky fruit and veg' companies to reduce waste.
🌿 Time for a change of transport? Using your car less or using public transport has been proven to reduce your carbon footprint dramatically. It's a challenge more people are taking up, and few regret it. Of course, it depends on your accessibility needs, so could you consider an upgrade to an electric car via a Motability scheme?
🌿 Compost your food waste. With council green bins, it's never been easier to recycle your green waste – everything from hedge clippings to banana peels! And if you want your compost for your garden, building one is simple. Why not go one step further and have a bokashi bin to regenerate your cooked food waste into useable compost for your garden?
🌿 If you're into making your money work harder (that's what you're here for, right?), National Savings and Investments has a scheme for you. Their new Green Bonds is a 100% safe investment that helps UK households to invest in green projects. The government publishes the details of how the money is spent, so you have peace of mind that your investment is an environmentally friendly one.
🗓️ A date for your diary 🗓️
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