7 changes you can make today that will help the planet

Electric Ireland

1. Explore ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Look around you right now. Chances are there are a lot of things you could make more efficient, or more environmentally friendly in your everyday life. For instance, if you’re at home you could consider turning your heating down a notch, or unplugging some of those appliances you aren’t using at the moment – or if you’re outside, start thinking about how you could maybe get involved in planting more sustainable foods in your garden or shared community spaces, cutting your overall commutes for errands per week, or taking the bus or cycling instead of driving.  


2. Look at the things you buy a little closer  

Examine where they come from really, and ask yourself if you could buy them from a more local source. Or, if you could buy them from a company that delivered them in more environmentally friendly packaging. Also, ask yourself if they are truly the most efficient products available. For instance, LED lights are far more efficient than the old lightbulbs. Or, perhaps it’s time you swapped an old appliance for a newer, more efficient one. Saving you both energy, and money in the long run.  


3. Think before you throw it out, or transform it 

Did you know coffee grounds and eggshells are ideal for composting? Or maybe it’s time you donated those old paint cans to a community project. Just purchased a plastic bag out of necessity? Don’t chuck it, keep it for something else in the future. Looking to get rid of some old furniture, first ask could you upcycle it? Or even just donate it to a charity shop. Same goes for old clothes. In fact, they could even be used as fabric to wrap a gift in. Turn something old into something unique. Stuck for ideas of what to do with old goods? Have a browse online first. You’ll find lots of inventive ideas. 


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4. Collaborate or team up with someone

Taking on changes doesn’t have to be all by yourself. See if you can get someone to collaborate or join up with you, a neighbour, or colleague even. Perhaps you could set yourselves a weekly goal of cutting back on one thing, or taking up another. Like walking to the shops instead of driving, or only putting on the dishwasher when it’s properly full. By making little commitments to each other, they can all add up to make a huge difference. It can be as simple as carpooling with someone, or finding a community group online you can help out with, or get tips from.  

5. Have a vegetarian day once a week

There are so many tasty plant-based or vegetarian dishes online these days, and in stores. Try and set yourself a goal of having at least one all plant-based dinner, or day per week. You don’t need to give up meat forever, but rather explore other options till you find something you do enjoy equally. There’s bound to be something out there to satisfy your taste buds, be it jackfruit tacos or even a soya-based burger. Pair up with a friend or family member and see how many weeks you can go with a vegetarian day in there. Keeping to more plant-based foods tends to be better for the environment, and helps to reduce your carbon footprint.  


6. Use all of that paper

Millions of tonnes of paper are wasted every year by homes and businesses. Be it notepads that are only half full, or sheets with only a few words on them. Try and fill your pads, and help save trees the world over from being unnecessarily chopped down. What’s more, make sure to recycle your newspapers.


7. Get a better understanding of your energy usage 

Take a look at how you really use your energy, when, and with which appliances. With the rollout of new smart meters all over Ireland, you have the perfect opportunity to really get to know how you are consuming energy, and to find ways to use less, and save more. A smart meter can enable you to see your electricity usage in a whole new light, and reveal personalised electricity insights, make better choices, and perhaps help you realise that you could switch to a different, better plan – like a time-of-use price plan where you can you avail of cheaper, greener electricity at night time.   


Learn more about smart meters here.  

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