Our planet needs to be saved for our children. Even if our little actions can't change the world, we should try and do our best : if one action looks like a drop in the ocean, if several thousands of people do something, we can create new lakes. Here is for you 30 small actions that can protect the planet.
Level 1 : Actions for the beginner
1. Sort waste
Sort waste is an excellent way to keep your house organised and cleaned. It allows to recycle some of your wastes (packagings, cardboards...) and save some natural resources. By recycling, glass and packaging can be used again ! A way to reduce the plastic in our oceans.
2. Stop ad
In France, over 18 billion ads are left in French postboxes each year. A real disaster for the environment when most of this papers go straight to the bin. To stop that, just ad a sticker with STOP AD on it.
3. Turn off your devices
Even if you don't use the devices in your kitchen everyday, they consume some electricty. To save money (to 10% of your bill), turn them off (kettle, toaster, coffee machine or phone charger).
4. Limit the heat and the air con
In winter or in summer, many people used to heat too much or use the air con even in the morning... For the perfect temperature in winter, put your radiators at 17°C. Just reduce of 1°C can make the difference on the bill.
Same for the summer. If you use the air con, don't make your living room or your office as cold as Scotland in winter... At least, open the windows in the morning to ventilate and add new air in the room. And at the beginning of the afternoon, close the shutters or curtain to have a fresher room without using the air con.
5. Drink from the tap
In France, we can drink water from the tab. So why should you buy water in plastic bottles ? Plus, bottles are more expensive and aren't very eco-friendly. If you don't like the taste, you can add some filters.
6. Cover your pots with a lid
When you're cooking, waiting for the water boiling could be long. And it consume some energy. Use a lid and your water will boil quickly.
7. Take showers
Baths consume between 150 and 200 L of water instead of 30 to 80L for a shower (3 to 4 minutes).
8. Don't put anything in your toilets
Toilets aren't bins. If you throw towels, wipes or other, you're indirectly polluting the oceans. Buy a small bin in Ikea to save the environment.
9. Close the tap when you brush your teeth
When you're brushing your teeth, you don't need to listent to the water waste. If you like this sound, just add a music of water on your phone :) Magical !
10. Turn off the light when you leave a room
In France, there is a famous TV ad where a man is shouting "It's not Versailles, here !" while his teenagers are leaving empty rooms with the light on. So, yeah, your house is probably not Versailles (you might be very lucky ^^), so turn off the light or use candles :)
11. Drink in flasks
You might've seen that flasks are trendy accessories, at school, uni or work. Flasks are everywhere, in different shapes and colours. Use the ones in stainless steel to keep your coffee warm for the whole morning or your ice tea fresh for 24 hours :)
12. Stop wasting food
Each year in France, over 10 millions of tonnes of edible food are waste and finish in the bins. It's about 150 kg for one person. How to solve this main problem when we know that billions of people don't eat everyday.
Meat and fish : if the use-by date is coming, eat them quickly or put them in your freezer.
Fruits : don't waste anything. Use the brown bananas for compotes or "old" apples for a pie. Your vegetables can be cut, baked and stayed in the freezer.
Use-by date : In France, the use-by date doesn't mean you can eat after it. Yoghurts still edible one month after if, 2 years for the chocolates, several months for rice and pasta, two weeks for the cheese. And some products can be used at all time like spices, sugar, hooney and salt.
1. Eat less meat
In France, 1kg of meat (beef) needs 15 000 litres of water (it includes what the animal is drinking during its life). For the pork, it's 6000 L. For chicken, 4000. While vegetables are so much less.
If you're a meat addict (and we understand you !), maybe try to reduce and replace the meat in some of your meals. Try to make lasagnas with courgettes and aubergine (it soooo good), soja steaks, Hachis Parmentier with carrots only, tajines with lents and rice, croque-monsieur with spinach and mozzarella...
2. Say yes to LED
Yes, these bulbs are more expensive than classic ones. However, you can save about 80% of the energy and the last longer. In France, you can receive free one on this website : www.mesapoulesgratuites.fr
3. Low temperature for your laundry machine
Nowadays, we can wash our clothes under 30°C and have cleaned ones. 80% of electricity of the machine is used to make the water hot. Try to wash at 30°C or 40°C instead of the usual 60°C.
4. De-ice your freezer and fridge
If your fridge or freezer has about 4 mm of ice, it's gonna consume twice more than usual. Instead of that, de-ice every three months (unplug the freezer and leave it or be very cautious and une the air-dryer).
5. Bring your meds back to the pharmacie
Just like food, medicine also have used-by dates. Check a few times a year your med cupboards (we all have one ^^) and bring all the old boxes to your pharmacist.
6. Say stop to the packagings
Limiting the packaging for food shopping is impossible. False ! To do that, several tips : 1) Do your food shopping in loose and buy the meat and fish by weight. Then, you can prefere glass and cardboard packagings instead of plastic. Also, you can buy in bigger quantities (things you are sure to eat) like flour, cereales, pasta but also the cosmetics with big bottles of shampoo or better solid shampoo.
7. Say hello to local and organic products
Local products limit the impact on the environment (less transport). It still better to make the local farmer work than people you don't even knwo living in a foreign country.
Eating organic vegetables and fruits respect the environment and your body : no chemical products. For the eggs, meat and fish, try as much as you can to pick local producers that also guarantee the animal wellness (chickens in a cage VS chicken living in a field).
8. Use ecofriendly search engines
Even if Google is soooo useful, it's not the most ecofriendly search engines... The digital industry represents about 10% of the greenhouse gas in the world. nevertheless, some search engines try to limit their impacts and your search impacts on the planet like Écosia or the French ones : Écogine and Lilo. If you love animals, YouCare give money to feed animals thanks to your searches.
9. Digitise instead of print
More and more people are working with screens and it could be very useful to keep documents on your laptop, a drive or a hard drive. Before printing, think twice and print only when you need :)
10. Buy second hand
You need a new desk ? Find it on a second-hand website like Le Bon Coin, in flea markets or on facebook Marketplace. You need a new phone ? Try on Back Market ! Find new books for your library on fairs (most of the time, the 1 or 2€ books are given to a foundation). Amazing if you want something new without becoming a ennemi with your banker.
11. Sell your useless belongings
Everyone has a wardrobe with clothes they wore once or old stuffs you keep in the garage "just in case". Think about this objects and the second life they could have. You don't wear it ? Sell it on Vinted. Your kids don't play with their toys ? Sell them or give them to foundations.
Level 3 : The experts
1. Do your own household products
Very trendy : make your own tablets for the dishwasher, your own washing liquid, household products... Many website give you some advise just like some groups on social media. It looks like cooking but it's for your house. You can do miracles just with simple products you find in supermarkets like bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar or essential oils.
2. Rainwater collection for your plants
About 45% of the water you use doen't need to be drinkable : for your plants or wash your car, wash the floor... With a rainwater collection, use this water to save drinkable one. Plus, this water is free so you can save money. In France, for 5000L, it costs between 2000 and 25000€. But you can find some cheaper on specific website or second-hand sites like Le Bon Coin.
3. Make you own compost
If you have a garden (even shared if you live in a flat), reducing your rubbish is very easy. Add a compost in your garden to put all the rest of your vegetables, fruits, eggs, flowers or coffee grounds. Moreover, if you cat love your flowers too much and destroy your labor, just add some coffee grounds next to your flowers. You should see the difference very quickly.
4. Limit you car usage
Yes, it's hard not to take the car when you live in the middle of no-where. However, you can try to limit your transport usage : share you car (Blablacar), use the public transports to go downtown, use your bike to buy little things you can put in a bag...
For your holidays, pick the train to the plane. Some advantages : cheaper, you see the landscapes, you avoid the stress at the airports and during the flight and the train station are downtown contrary to the airport which are sometimes quite far for the cities.
5. Recycle liquids
As your toilets aren't bin, your sink isn't too. Houselhold products, cooking oil, solvants... To recycle them, put them in bottle and bring them to the tip.
6. Recycle as much as possible
Today, most of objects can be recycled or reused. Instead of get rid of them, find a new function. A Nutella packaging can be used as a cookie box, a jar box or a desk box to put your paper clips. For old clothes with gap that no one can wear, just cut it to have tea towels (not for tea but for your car, to wash the windows. An old and ugly furniture can become very trendy if you follow some tutorials on Youtube, Pinterest or social medias groups. Finally, some objects you have at home might be very useful for schools, activity centres or summer camps : toilet rolls, olds newspaper, old books for children, pencils you don't use, board games...
7. Salvage the unsold products
In supermarket and some restaurants, too much food is wasted everyday : "ugly" vegetables and fruits, used-by dates products or sandwiches never touched. Use some apps like Too Good To Go to save money and reduce food waste.