Five Easy Ways to Live More Sustainably

Happy New Year from everyone here at Action 21!

We’ve had the most amazing 2013 but this is the season, inevitably, to look forward into the future. With that in mind, we want to start 2014 off by listing the top five simple ways you can live more sustainably in the New Year.



1. Recycle Christmas  Christmas cards, wrapping paper and Christmas trees can all be recycled or reused. If you live under Warwickshire District Council then wrapping papers and cards (not including paper which is glittery or metallic, ribbons, bows and tape) can be recycled with your usual paper and card recycling. Your tree, likewise, can be placed next to your green bin throughout January or taken to one of the recycling points listed here. Wherever you live, there is sure to be a special recycling policy for your left over Christmas paraphernalia and it’s a great start to a more sustainable year to save it from landfill.

>>View Council recycling info



2. Walk / Bike to Work  Commuting is responsible for approximately a third of all car travel, so you can make a significant reduction to your carbon footprint. Not only that but it’s cheaper, healthier and better for the environment so it’ll help you cross off three New Year’s resolutions in one. With a decent pair of walking shoes or a safety-checked bike, you can make an investment in a more sustainable future for yourself and the planet. Even if it’s impractical to walk or cycle the whole way, why not walk to a bus stop further away or try it a couple of times a week? It’s a small change which can make a big difference to your personal well being as well as the planets.

>> Why not buy a reconditioned bike from us? More



3. Grow an Edible Plant Whether you have five acres or a window box, edible plants are a great gateway into sustainable living. Whether you start simple with a potted herb or go all out with a vegetable patch, you can save yourself some money, reduce your food waste, spend more time outdoors and potentially eat more fruit and vegetables. If you don’t have the space, then why not check out local allotments? Or, if you have the space but not the know how, check out this great website from the RHS, with seasonal tips, tricks, recipes, advice and videos for how to grow your own vegetables:

>> More on our Whitnash-based allotment project: Dobson Lane Community Allotments



4. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products  While it may seem like we need toxins in our cleaning products to kill germs and bacteria, the fact is that there are many ways of keeping your house clean which avoid these pollutants altogether. There are plenty of non-toxic brands on the market but their niche makes them a little pricey. A better bet may be to make your own: both these links show you how to make bleach, window cleaner, rust remover, all purpose spray, mould killers and more with household ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. The other great thing about this is that homemade cleaners can come to as little as a tenth of the price of their commercial counterparts!





5. Think Locally  Wherever you live, there will be local charities, businesses and organisations engaged in issues of sustainability. Whether it be in renting out and maintaining allotments or community gardens, wildlife preservation and awareness, cycling groups, car-sharing or skills sharing, there is bound to be something which can both help the environment and get you more involved with your local community. Here at Action 21, we have a lot of events and projects on the go: even if it’s just donating to or using our Re-Useful Centre, by contributing to the efforts of your local area you can make big changes on a local scale.


By Action 21 volunteer Grace Organ