365 Simple Acts to Help Save the Planet

365 Simple Acts to Help Save the Planet

Our list of all the little things you can do to live a greener lifestyle.  Not all green steps need to be big – there are lots of simple things you can do that all add up to big change.  From starting a compost heap, to avoiding single use items, or planting a tree – simple acts that can add up to big change.

“simple acts can add up to big change”

Hopefully there are things in this article that everyone easily can and will do, and please spread the word, as these simple acts combined will not only make a big difference, but can also be the catalyst for adopting even larger greener steps to living a more sustainable lifestyle.

“The rules are simple – if it is bad don’t do it, and if there is a greener way to do it – then do it, no matter how minor.”

  1. Buy eco household cleaners
  2. Upgrade your boiler
  3. Buy local
  4. Use a recyclable water bottle
  5. Don’t use chemical garden fertilisers
  6. Change your bedding for non-treated cotton
  7. Don’t mow all your lawn
  8. Use reusable containers for food
  9. Unsubscribe to junk mail (physical mail of course)
  10. Plant a tree
  11. Show off all the green things you do
  12. Get a set of separate recycling bins
  13. Buy drinks in glass bottles or cans
  14. Learn about endangered species
  15. Get ice cream in a cone instead of the small tubs
  16. Use reusable carrier bags as often as possible. Keep them in your car or rucksack.
  17. Buy in bulk – spices, beans, grains, dried fruits, canned veg

“Bulk buying not only reduces packaging but also means saving money. Saving money in itself is green act as it means more money is available to go towards other greener steps. Saving money also means a reduced requirement to earn money and all the additional consumption that goes with it.”

18. Use dishwasher rather than washing by hand. If possible.

19. Take shorter showers

20. Lobby your local government bodies about causes that you are passionate about

21. Use reusable straws

22. Carpool to work, if you can

23. Shop locally and use local produce

24. Save brown paper from parcels for wrapping paper

25. Drink tap water (flavoured by fruit or carbonated) as much as possible rather than buying packaged drinks

26. Turn off or unplug appliances that aren’t in use

27. Plant bee friendly flowers like buttercups and clovers. Bees love purple, yellow and blue!

28. Host or collaborate with people within your community to do a beach or river clean up

29. Try to cut down the amount of meat you consume. Try ditching it once a week and go from there.

“Eating responsibly can make a huge difference. Eating less meat or going meat free a couple of days a week is hugely positive. Eating locally sourced, seasonal foods, and better still food that you grow yourself are crucial steps towards sustainable living”

30. Use biodegradable dog waste bags

31. Try not to use products containing palm oil.

32. Use all-natural cleaners rather than the chemical-based alternatives

33. Try to place your fridge out of direct sunlight, and make sure you close the door!

34. Start a compost pile in your garden

35. Opt for e-tickets where possible

36. WALK – for those journeys that really don’t need a car, take a stroll and enjoy the world

37. Invest in a reusable tea ball, get rid of the bags

38. Buy local honey

39. Use reclaimed wood to do those odd carpentry jobs everyone wants to do in their house

40. Buy a reusable water bottle

41. Use professional car washers, it costs less than doing it yourself, for the most part.

42. Use eco-friendly sponges – biodegradable being the best option

43. Try to use less water when you can, wash your hair less for instance

44. Eat fruit and veg that is in season

45. Grow flowers, instead of buying flowers for people, you can cut a bunch yourself

46 Switch to LED light-bulbs in your car and home, better for the environment, and your bank.

“Changing to LED light bulbs can pay for itself in energy savings in as little as 1 year, and reduce your home electricity consumption by as much as 25%.”

47. Put money where your heart is and invest in local eco-friendly companies

48. Order smaller portions when out for a meal, try to cut down on food waste

49. If you buy from farmers markets, try and return the containers that you bought your fruit and veg in. They can be reused by the vendor

50. Take a reusable cup around with you for teas and coffees while you’re out and about

51. Record your car journeys and revaluate which ones were necessary over coming months. It’s easy to jump in the car when there are alternatives there

52. Use stainless steel ice trays to avoid the plastic alternatives

53. Turn your computer off over night to save on electricity and will help the life of your comp

54. Explore the outdoors. Go Hiking, running or cycling. The money you save on electricity while on a mini expedition might just be worth it. Not to mention the health benefits.

55. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Don’t let the tap waste water that isn’t being used.

56. Switch to a green energy provider. Save on your bills and help the environment at the same time!

“ For households who cannot afford to install their own solar pv panel arrays, buying green electricity from companies such as Ecotricity means you can be using renewable power without the investment.”

57. Get a high efficiency shower head, it uses a lot less water

58. Quit smoking! Not only is it better for your health but cigarette butts litter the world

59. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, get a better detergent

60. Use clothes lines and let the wind dry your washing, instead of wasting energy on a dryer

61. Get a handkerchief instead of using lots of tissues. Use, Wash, Repeat.

62. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room

63. Use a watering can over the hose, you’ll use a lot less water

64. Support local bike highways and try to use them for your commute if possible

65. Reuse gift bags. On the occasion you get a gift in a bag, say thanks and then use the bag for someone else’s gift.

66. Use matches over lighters to get away from plastic

67. Buy and artificial or potted Xmas tree

68. Make your own dog toys, craft them out of old rope or old t-shirts

69. Use air dryers over paper towels when down the pub or at a restaurant

70. Say no to conventional glitter – opt for biodegradable alternatives, or just don’t get it. No one likes opening a card up, only to be attacked by a glitter bomb

71. Switch up to a bamboo toothbrush, a great alternative and is compostable

72. Don’t kill spiders! Trap and release them. They are our friendly neighbourhood wall crawlers, even if you do find them scary, they are vital to ecosystems

“How and when you drive can make a big difference. Ride a bike or switch to and Electric car. Avoid the rush hours where possible. Avoid harder breaking, and don’t carry unnecessary weight.”

73. Easier said than done but, try and avoid rush hours.

74. Try and avoid roof carriers, they create a lot of wind resistance, making fuel economy, be it electric or otherwise, much worse

75. Avoid hard braking. This wastes fuel and wears your pads down quicker

76. Support fair trade

77. If you’re staying in a hotel for more than one night, try and reuse towels and sheets

78. Cut dairy out of your diet

79. Say no to fur and ivory

80. Invest in a non-disposable razor, there’s no need for shave and chuck razors

81. Take a nature based rural camping holiday and enjoy the countryside

82. If going out for cocktails, skip the plastic stirrer, you just don’t need it.

83. Cut down on meat, try vegetarian or vegan alternatives

84. Share articles about eco-friendly causes or environmentally friendly schemes that are happening

“Share green articles and petitions to your friends and family over social media to help spread the word and encourage change from even more people – we can all do our bit to promote green causes and steps towards a more sustainable human lifestyle.”

85. Instead of floodlights, maybe try solar walkway lights. Harness the sun!

86. Ask for an e-receipt over a paper copy where possible

87. Switch up your utensils for bamboo or stainless-steel alternatives

88. Try and avoid fast food, it may be quick and easy, but there are much better alternatives

89. Don’t use weed killers, the chemicals end up in waterways

90. Share taxis and Ubers if you can, save on the fare and help the environment

91. Buy used items, much better to recycle than buying new

92. Get a rainwater barrel for your garden, then use that to water everything

93. Share the knowledge, help children respect and enjoy the planet we live on

94. Use bamboo for building materials, the stuff grows so fast it’s easy to cultivate

95. First in, first out. Reduce food waste by making meals with the items that have been in the fridge the longest

“Food is very precious and it is shameful that the uk household wastes almost half the fresh food it buys. Don’t buy more than you need, freeze leftovers, and cook with whatever has been in the fridge the longest.”

96. Support national trust sites and national parks

97. Get electronics fixed rather than throwing them away

98. Support organizations that are helping coral reefs

99. Don’t spit your gum onto the pavement, it stays there. Forever. And it’s gross.

100. Use reusable sandwich container for kids’ lunches

101. Don’t keep wildlife that prefers to live in its’ natural habitat. Birds that can fly, for example, really don’t belong in cages.

102. Opt for metal frames over plastic for your glasses or sunglasses

103. Rotate crops in your garden or veg patch to keep the soil nutrient rich

104. Use biodegradable confetti instead of the traditional stuff

105. Use paper clips over staples where possible, you can reuse paperclips, staples are a bit more difficult

“Really little steps like using a reusable paperclip over a staple may seem minor, but these things all add up, and more importantly if you care enough to do the little things, them making the bigger changes will become like second nature.”

106. Use reusable menstrual products if it suits, disposable alternatives only end up in landfills

107. Use natural mosquito repellents to keep away the annoying little pests

108. Stop using balloons, and if you must, don’t release them into the air. They end up harming wildlife down the line

109. Avoid single us items like plastic bags, cups and utensils

110. Don’t put hot food into the fridge, let it cool down first, otherwise the fridge needs to use a lot more energy cooling everything back down

111. Make your own bread, it’s not as hard as you may think and is always fun to try out different types once you get the hang of it

112. Try to create natural barriers with trees or shrubs instead of fences and walls.

113. Learn about your local recycling centre, what it does and doesn’t accept

114. Speak to your local councillors about what your area is doing to go green

115. Be careful about what you flush, certain things can clog up your drainage system, such as; cat litter, coffee grounds, baby wipes or old medication

116. Properly put out campfires completely to stop the risk of the fire spreading

117. Get your kids enjoying the outside. Take them on walks or get them involved in activities around you. Help them learn about their relationship

118. Eat by candle light

119. Shower together

120. Fit solar panels

121. Donate old clothes

122. Only eat MSC certified fish

123. Drive at lower speeds

124. Don’t buy imported foods

125. Use fans rather than air con

126. Buy cast iron garden furniture

127. Boycott unethical multinational companies products

128. Grow plants to encourage butterflies

129. Give your home an energy audit

130. Use rechargeable batteries

“Behave as if what you do as an individual or as a family does make a difference. It does.”

131. Use only FSC certified wood products

132. Invest in ethical companies

133. Don’t over-boil vegetables

134. Carefully choose sustainable holiday souvenirs

135. Act as if what you do makes a difference

136. Plant native species in your garden

137. Quit smoking

138. Use less detergent in washes

139. Drive a low or zero emissions vehicle

140. Use natural soaps

141. Don’t waste water

142. Increase your fridge temperature slightly

143. Keep your tyres at the correct pressure

144. Cook fresh foods

145. Put foil reflectors behind your radiators

146. Use TRV’s on your radiators

147. Buy green electricity

148. Compost not landfill

149. Boycott microbeads

150. Get involved with a local conservation group

151. Spend more time out in nature

152. Stop buying fizzy drinks

153. Reduce the energy you use at home

154. Make a bug home

155. Switch to low energy bulbs

156. Don’t buy take-aways

157. Go on family bike rides

158. Make part of your garden into a wildflower meadow

159. Drink filtered tap water instead of bottled

160. Do not save or invest in banks with unethical practises

161. Compost as much as possible

162. Don’t leave your computer in screensaver mode

163. Reuse envelopes

164. Buy organic food

165. Imagine a world without trees

166. Put a bell in your cat

167. Do something serious like getting an electric car or a green heating system

168. Turn radiators off in rooms you don’t use

169. Turn the iron off when there is only one thing left to iron

170. Don’t throw away left over paint

171. Eat fruit and veg in season

172. Recycle aluminium cans

“Reconnect yourself and your family with nature and the outdoors. Go on country walks. Learn to identify different species of tree. Adopt a sapling in your local woodland – stake it, protect it and watch it grow.”

173. Give your bike a makeover

174. Reduce your plastic use

175. Calculate your carbon footprint

176. Vote with your spending

177. Boycott wood from old growth forests

178. Switch off appliances at the power socket not standby

179. Avoid chipboard and MDF

180. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners

181. Buy less new clothes

182. Unplug chargers when not in use

183. Leave wildflowers to grow in your garden

184. Use your own reusable bags

185. Use slow cookers

186. Switch to an ethical bank

187. Use natural insulation

188. Put kitchen scrapings in a composter

189. Buy recycled goods

190. Plant some trees

191. Use a reusable coffee cup on the go

192. Carry your own re-usasble plastic bottle

193. Store food in non-disposable containers

194. Don’t fly

195. Take your holidays in the UK

196. Reduce food waste by planning meals better

197. Install solar panels

198. Buy green electricity

199. Use public transport

200. Compost all your compostable waste

201. Boycott palm oil containing products

202. Buy recycled loo and kitchen roll

203. Buy and use a bike

204. Only boil the water you need for a cuppa

205. Squeeze your own juices

206. Eat UK grown fruit

207. Print double sided and on recycled paper

208. Drink tap instead of bottled water

209. Buy organic

“Buy as little as possible, but where you do need things, where possible, buy used or reclaimed, or at the very least ethically sourced or produced products – think of the carbon cost of all you buy.”

210. Walk instead of driving

211. Don’t leave TV on standby

212. Giver your old mobile to a recycling project or a friend

213. Use natural soaps

214. Buy organic honey

215. Plant flowers to attract and help bees

216. Buy reclaimed or sustainably sourced outdoor furniture

217. Grow your own fruit and veg

218. Join community environmental initiatives

219. Exercise your consumer power by choosing to buy sustainable good from ethical sources only

220. Use natural fragrances and perfumes

221. Watch nature and environmental documentaries

222. Watch them as a family

223. Use skylights, mirrors and windows to make the most of natural light

224. Reduce your overall home energy consumption

225. Do a home energy audit

226. Insulate your roof and walls

227. Draft proof

228. Eat local food

229. Wash at a lower temperature

230. Have your heating thermostat as a lower temperature (1o saves 10% approx.)

231. Send an email rather than a letter

232. Avoid supermarkets and buy local

233. Vote with your £’s and buy ethically

234. Make a compost heap at home

235. Buy some rainforest from the World Land Trust to protect it

236. Buy and electric car

237. Use hemp paper and products

238. Travel by train not plane

239. Switch ‘all’ appliances off at the socket when not in use

240. Install a dual flush toilet

241. Fit low water spray taps

242. Fit a volume reducer in you toilet cisterns

243. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth

244. Cut down the paper you use

245. Read online magazines

246. Teach children about nature and conservation

247. Help kids learn common flowers, trees, butterflies, and birds etc

248. Buy dolphin friendly Tuna

249. Buy re-tread tyres

“Reducing the amount of energy we use to heat our homes can make a massive difference to our carbon footprint. Get a new and more efficient boiler, or better still a heat pump installed. Insulate and draft proof as much as possible, wear extra layers so you can turn the temperature down – a 1o drop on your thermostat could save 10% of your heating energy used.”

250. Don’t accept tourist brochures or flyers

251. Return to sender junk mail

252. Wear extra layers at home and use less heating

253. Fix leaks

254. Arrange your living areas to make the most of the sun

255. Don not drop litter

256. Join local littler clearing groups

257. Cook real fresh food and don’t buy processed

258. Avoid excessive cardboard packaging

259. Buy your on-line orders grouped together so less boxes

260. Use old clothes as household cloths

261. Donate old bikes to charity

262. Do not use disposable wipes

263. Buy or make reusable cleaning cloths

264. Use eco shampoo for carpets

265. Add leaves to your compost heap

266. Use brown paper an natural decorations for present wrapping

267. Support local forest and woodland protection groups

268. Shop in ‘plastic free’ isles

269. Recycle your old computers for community projects

270. Don’t buy things you will hardly ever use

271. Cut down your meat consumption as much as you can

272. Put your work desk near a window

273. Create a wildlife pond in your garden

274. Buy reclaimed wood furniture

275. Buy organic sustainably sourced chocolates

276. Grow something you can eat ion a windowsill, such as herbs

277. Give a potted plant and not cut flowers

278. Take more walks in the countryside

279. Use your own compost to feed your garden

280. Plant at least 1 tree this year

281. Donate to Greenpeace

282. Cook for your friends to use less packaging

283. Avoid part paper cartons

284. Only use washing machines for a full load

285. Only use dishwashers for a full load

286. Set-up separate bins for easy recycling

287. Use free city bikes when visiting

288. Buy cast iron, stainless steel, or ceramic pots and pans

289. Make your own or use natural cleaning sprays

290. Recycle as much as you can and encourage others to do so

Recycle as much as possible, reusing where you can. Get some easy recycling sorting bins, and make sure everyone in your household (and your guests) know exactly what goes where”

291. Keep your fried in a free standing spot

292. Clean you fridge coils one a year

293. Deal responsibly with your ‘own’ waste

294. Recognise that our family’s waste is ‘our own’ waste.

295. Use recycled paper at work and print on both sides

296. Buy only sustainably sourced woods FSC

297. Use reusable cloth bags

298. Use glass and cans instead of plastic as packaging

299. Switch to a renewable energy only supplier

300. Learn more about the products you use

301. Change your fire to a new high efficiency wood burner

302. Buy in bulk and refill containers

303. Promote your green steps on your social media network

304. Spend, eat, and enjoy local as much as possible

305. Get unbleached cotton towels

306. Buy second hand baby clothes

307. Donate your old baby clothes

308. A home battery storage system can help you use your solar

309. Try to self-consume your solar by timing appliance usage to sunny daytimes

310. Avoid chlorine containing products

311. Invest in ethical pension funds

312. Sign environmental petitions

313. Do a littler pick afternoon

314. Use organic insulation in your walls and roof

315. Recycle your old glasses (spectacles)

316. Do not use pesticides in your garden

317. Use as many small scale renewable power systems at your home (PV, solar, thermal, wind)

318. Rip up plastic beer can rings

319. Make a bud hotel

320. Put up bird boxes

321. Use bamboo

322. Support the environmental Investigation Agency

323. Boycott products made from marine life such as coral

324. Get involved in a local tree planting project

325. Show your electric car if you have one to other and taker them for test drives

326. Avoid solvent based paints

327. Use reusable cleaning cloths

328. Switch lights off when not in a room

329. Buy fair trade foods and products

330. Put a brick in your toilet cisterns to reduce water usage

331. Go veggi or vegan completely or partly at least – worth saying again as it is a biggie

332. Hang a bird feeder

333. Add cardboard and some paper to your compost heap

334. Buy green gas

335. Choose wine with natural corks and not plastic

336. Don’t use fly spray

“Make your garden as wildlife friendly as possible. Leave part of your lawn to grow as a meadow, plant lots of wild flowers, build a bug hotel, have a wildlife pond, hang a birdfeeder, and plant ornamental trees where you can.”

337. Gather acorns and tree seeds and plant them in pots to return to nature

338. Cut down red meat consumption in particular

339. Help free trapped butterflies and bees.

340. Stake a frail sapling

341. Don’t use disposable nappies

342. Use / buy as little single use plastic products as possible – try

343. Buy and energy efficient fridge and freezer A++

344. Donate old toys

345. Get an electric bike

346. Use rechargeable batteries

347. Don’t use slug pellets, use a log pile to attract slug predators

348. Pick weeds, don’t kill them with pesticides.

349. Reuse scrap paper

350. Volunteer for a local conservation project

351. Eat only responsibly sourced seafood SCF

352. Support local farmers that grow organically

353. Boycott animal tested beauty products

354. Recycle paper products

355. Car share

356. Encourage biodiversity in your garden

357. Use non-toxic snail and slug control

358. Order less to use less cardboard

359. Conserve the water you use

360. Harvest your rainwater

361. Start buying at least one regular organic product

362. Try filtering and flavouring tap water with a slice of lemon

363. Get a Soda Stream to replace bottled fizzy drinks

364. Change your boiler for a heat pump

365. Use a water butt to collect water for your garden and car cleaning

Doing the little things to help be more environmentally responsible are hugely important.  Not only are they green acts in themselves, but once you get in the habit of religiously doing all the little things, making the bigger green steps will seem far more approachable.

The rules are simple – if it is bad don’t do it, and if there is a greener way – do it, no matter how minor. Hopefully the suggestions above are a good place to start.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Author Details: Richard Norris, founder and Managing Director of ‘Drive Green’, family man, and sustainable living enthusiast.