With the threat of a climate emergency and a huge hike in energy prices looming, we all need to find ways to help reduce our carbon footprint and our energy consumption. Saving the planet, and doing our bit to live more sustainably can be done in small steps – and you are part of the solution.

There are savings to be made that could also help to rebuild our fractured communities.

There’s still time.

Your actions will make a massive difference to your bank balance, your neighbourhood, and the environment.

At Home

Charity begins at home, as they say. And that also applies if you’re trying to save the world – and save money at the same time.

With rising energy prices, many of these tips are more than just great ways to save the planet at home. They’re also great ways to live frugally and live a more sustainable life.

Now, obviously, you’re not gonna do all of these in one – but if you’re wanting to make the change to your lifestyle factor a few of these in

  • Turn the heating down.

Yes its cold, but try wearing an extra layer and slippers if you want to stay warm.

  • Insulate your house and eliminate draughts.

One of the best ways to save money is to keep your heat in. Fun fact: A well insulated home can actually be warmed only with body heat.

  • Switch off lights when you’re not in the room.

Not just a good habit but a great way to save money and energy.

  • Use LED lights or energy saving bulbs.

Although they’re more expensive they do save you money in the long run.

  • Switch appliances off rather than just putting them on standby.

If you see a standby light, energy is being used. Switch off sockets at the wall.

  • Switch to energy efficient appliances.

Increasingly most home appliances are energy efficient. If you’re shopping for new white goods, keep an eye on the energy rating.

  • A full freezer retains the cold better than an empty one.

As if you needed an excuse to stock up. But make sure you don’t waste food!

  • Cook with the lids on your saucepans.

Keep the heat in, cook faster and avoid smells in the home too! Save energy, save the world and your home will smell nicer…

  • Take showers instead of baths and keep them short.

A short shower can save more than 75% of the water of a bath.

  • Do your washing on a cold cycle.

Where possible, wash your laundry on a 30 or 40 degree cycle.

  • Grow your own fruit, vegetables & herbs.

If you’ve got a garden, you can potentially grow herbs and veg year round. Even with a window box you can grow veg and herbs!

  • Don’t use weedkillers or pesticides.

Most pesticides are highly toxic to more than just your weeds. Avoid using things like Roundup and instead manually weed your garden and use natural pesticides.

  • Compost any uncooked plant-based food scraps.

Composting is a great way to keep your garden fertile and use food scaps.

  • Recycle as much as you can.

One of the most important parts of knowing how to save the world and live sustainably, but you need to recycle properly. Understand what can and cannot go in the green bin!

In The Car

Here in the Westcountry, the car is king. So it can be hard to avoid using the motor – but there are ways to be more sustainable and eco-friendly in the car.

  • Drive less.

Obvious right? But if you are making short trips, walk or cycle. And if you avoid making unnecessary trips you save money too.

  • Slow down.

Fast driving and rapid accelerating wastes fuel and is highly uneconomical. Keep the revs lower and you’ll be more sustainable (and you’ll go futher).

  • Take the roof rack off.

Did you know keeping the roof rack on your car increases the wind resistance and lowers the performance of your car. Take it off to improve your fuel economy and do your bit to save the planet!

  • Car share.

Ever sat in traffic and wondered why people don’t just share cars? Why not give it a go? Check out TravelWest and find your car share buddy.

  • Maintain correct tyre pressures and fluid levels.

Keeping your tyre pressure at the right level improves your fuel efficiency and, yup you guessed it, the performance. Saving money is great. Saving the world is even better!

At The Shops

Our shopping choices are some of the most powerful ways we can help the global crisis. From lowering our carbon footprint to choosing products that have a more ethical standpoint. Aim for these sustainable lifestyle changes to reduce your impact on the planet.

  • Eat less meat.

The craze for veganism has certainly caught on. But if you can’t quite bring yourself to ditch the meat, try meat free days, or weeks. And aim to eat more fresh produce.

  • Buy local, direct from the producer if possible.

In the westcountry we have plenty of great farm shops we can choose from. Skip the supermarkets and buy local produce to reduce your carbon foodprint and help the local economy too.

  • ‘Best before’ dates are just a suggestion.

Out of date? Give it a sniff… Many food products will be edible well past their best before date, including bread, milk, eggs and vegetables.

  • Only buy what you need.

Food waste is a huge problem. In fact in the UK alone nearly 7 billion tons is wasted. Buy only what you’ll eat and avoid adding to this massive wastage.

  • Can you get it from a charity shop?

Retail therapy is great, but sometimes charity shops have the same, or better, for much less. Support local charity and pick up a bargain too.

  • Take your own bags and coffee cups.

Reusable coffee cups are the norm these days, as are bags for life. Save more plastic going to landfill and carry your own coffee cup and bags.

  • Buy from ethical brands

Fast fashion is cheap – yes. But those cheap clothes come at a cost environmentally and socially. Buy quality clothes from brands that have a commitment to sustainability. Look out for B-Corp branded items as these will have a high standard of sustainable welfare.

Out & About

We live in a stunningly beautiful part of the world. But, if you haven’t noticed, a lot of rubbish makes its way into our beauty spots, from Dartmoor to the coast. If you want to do your bit, save the world and our local environment, follow these simple tips when you’re out and about.

  • Make sure you’re prepared by taking your own food & drink and a waterproof coat.

A picnic is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, and save money too. Obviously this is the westcountry we’re talking about so don’t forget the coat (yes in summer too).

  • Take your litter home or at least to a bin.

At the beach? Enjoying drinks with friends on Plymouth Hoe? Heading to the moors for a walk? Take your rubbish to the bin! Seriously.

  • Volunteer for a beach clean or litter pick.

There are many opportunities for volunteer work in Devon and Cornwall. Do your bit for the local community and the environment and join a litter pick. You’ll even meet some nice people too!

  • Start a social neighbourhood group.

No-one doing what you wanna do? Spotted a problem in your community that you think could do with some team work? Start your own neighbourhood group… Chances are many others will agree with you!

  • Pick up rubbish when you see it

Spotted a pile of discarded plastic wrappers on your favourite country walk? Or seen all the rubbish that has washed up with the tide? Take it to the bin, because chances are no-one else will.

In summary

Small things add up, and living sustainably can be the difference between adding to the mess our world is in, or helping to save it. Do what you can to change your habits and live more sustainably.

Avoid using unnecessary plastic items.

Recycle as often as possible, and learn what can and can’t be recycled.

Reduce the amount of things you buy or consume, this will reduce food waste and clothing waste, and save money too.

Let us know what you thought of these tips in the comments below, and share your own tips to save the world and live sustainably!