Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment. From what we eat to how many children we decide to have, there’s a lot we can do improve.
Think twice before shopping
Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint, from the materials used to create it, to the pollution emitted during manufacturing, to the packaging that ends up in landfills. So, before you buy, ask yourself if you really need it and look for minimal packaging and shipping. For example, if you are buying wine have a look at British company www.hattingleyvalley.com, which uses the latest technology and equipment from continental Europe, has a sophisticated waste disposal facility and was the first UK winery to adopt solar power.
Make sure your big purchases have big environmental benefits
Not everyone can run out and trade in their old gas-guzzling clunker for the latest planet-friendly hybrid car. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; manufacturing new cars takes a lot of resources, too. But if you’re in the market for a new car, look for a fuel-efficient model. If you’re buying a new refrigerator, washer or dryer, look for the Energy Star label to find the most efficient appliances. Need a new water heater? Consider upgrading to solar.
Boycott products that endanger wildlife
Products made from animals on the endangered species list are illegal to buy, sell, import or trade. Some products harm endangered species by threatening their habitat, from cutting down old-growth forests to using up the water that riparian species need to survive. To avoid contributing to the endangerment of wildlife, shop conscientiously and look for products made from sustainable materials like bamboo, and dine at restaurants that refuse to serve imperilled species like bluefin tuna. Try Waterside restaurant in Saltaire.
Pay attention to labels
Choose Fairtrade-certified goods when possible, to support companies dedicated to sustainable production and paying labourers a fair wage. Buy organic food whenever you can; it may cost a little more, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of our land and water, protecting farm workers, wildlife and your family.
Green your home
Make sure your home has adequate insulation and energy-saving windows, and use a programmable thermostat for more efficient heating and cooling – and, of course, energy-saving lightbulbs for more efficient lighting.
Take extinction off your plate
Meat production is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet, responsible for massive amounts of water use, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction. You have three chances a day to improve the health of the planet – by reducing your meat consumption you can reduce your environmental footprint.