Green is the New Black: How to Have a Sustainable Summer

Image of a bumblebee on a flower.

Summer is finally here! But before you run outside to bask in the much-missed heat, it’s important to be aware of the impact we all have on the planet, especially during the warmer months. To help you help the environment, we’re sharing tips about small changes you can make to your daily life that have a bigger effect on earth.

 

1. Reach for reusable bottles

Did you know that around 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans annually?

You can take care of both your health and the environment by investing in a reusable water bottle. It’ll keep your drinks nice and cool in the hot weather and help to reduce the huge number of plastic bottles going into landfill or bodies of water.

2. Check out outdoor markets

In the UK, only a third of the plastic packaging used for our fruits and vegetables is recycled, leaving the other two thirds to pollute and damage our planet for years to come. Turn your weekly food shop into a fun summer activity by switching from supermarket-wrapped produce to fresh picks from your local market. Not only will you be doing your part to save the planet, you’ll also be supporting small businesses in your community.

 

 

3. Skip straws or go metal

There is an estimated 8.3 billion plastic straws currently polluting shorelines all over the world. To help reduce these numbers, sip your iced latte or summer smoothie with a metal reusable straw or ask for a recyclable paper one at any popular café. Or you can go cold turkey and cut them completely out of your daily routine.

4. All that sparkles is eco-friendly

Although the majority of glitter and body jewels used in festivals, parties and parades are made of non-degradable plastic, there are some amazing biodegradable options out there that are just as sparkly and much better for the environment as they break down within hours/days as opposed to their counterparts that take decades. You can find eco-friendly glitter online and in most retail and beauty shops.

5. Travel smartly, avoid the minis

If you want to travel sustainably and save some money, pass on purchasing travel-size products and instead decant what you already have into reusable pots. That way, you won’t have to leave any plastic bottles/jars behind!

6. Totes are totally in

Plastic bags are so last decade! Get yourself a reusable tote bag for all things everyday life – from grocery shopping to impromptu summer picnics and beach getaways. They’re also great for holding your recyclable rubbish built up throughout the day and only cost a few pounds. Your purse and the planet will thank you.

7. If you can – cycle!

What’s better than staying fit, cutting down spending and making the most of the sunshine all at the same time? Round up your mates, hop on some Santander Cycle bikes and start exploring the city’s scenic routes.

 

8. Unplug and become one with nature

It’s time to switch off your lights and let in some sunlight and summer air. This won’t just save you some money on your energy bill, but also help save the planet by reducing the amount of energy used to power all of our power and electricity. Plus, now that we’ll have longer periods of sunlight, you won’t have to flick on a switch until after 9pm.

9. Let’s get minimal!

De-cluttering your life = de-cluttering your mind and ultimately feeling a whole lot lighter. If you are Marie Kondo-ing your place, be sure to donate your usable, old items to charity shops and take your unusables to a clothing/fabric recycling bin – you can find the clothing and textiles recycling bin closest to you by going to  this website.

10. Make haste, Zero Waste!

From early September, you can learn more sustainable tips and tricks like these by visiting our new zero waste shop, Nought. As well as providing a wide range of sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to your favourite products, the shop will also host fun and educational workshops for free!