As winter's chill settles in, it's the perfect time to embark on a journey of eco-friendly living that aligns with the season's cosy atmosphere. Embracing sustainability during the winter months not only warms the heart but also protects the planet.
From ingenious ways to stay warm without cranking up the thermostat to crafting eco-conscious Christmas traditions, this is your guide to embracing the winter season while minimising your environmental footprint.
So, grab a mug of your favourite hot beverage, wrap yourself in a snug blanket, and let's discover how to make this winter a time of both warmth and sustainability.
5 Eco Friendly Tips for Winter
1. Energy Efficient Home Heating
While it’s tempting to turn up the thermostat to stay toasty, it's actually a prime opportunity to be more energy-efficient. Consider setting your thermostat a degree lower than usual. Not only will you barely notice a difference (if at all), but according to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save yourself £145 a year.
Programmable thermostats are your best friends. They can automatically adjust the temperature when you're not home or while you're sleeping, saving both energy and money. Don’t forget to bleed your radiators too, to get maximum output and making sure no energy is wasted in getting the room up to temperature.
It’s a bit of a cliche, but layer up with an extra jumper before switching the heating on. Similarly, try an electric blanket or heated throw before flicking the switch. That way you can avoid heating your whole house, but still stay snug while working from home or watching TV on the sofa.
2. Turn Out The Lights
With the short daylight hours and long dark evenings, we naturally use more energy lighting our homes in winter. Get into the habit of switching off all lights when you leave a room, and don’t keep any turned on unnecessarily in hallways etc. Also, opt for LED lightbulbs to use less energy for the lights you do keep switched on.
Don’t just stick to lights though. Switch off appliances at the plug and avoid keeping them in standby mode where you can. These are simple things that can have a positive impact on the planet.
3. Reduce Winter Food Waste
Winter often means hearty, home-cooked meals, like soups, stews and hotpots. These are perfect for slow cookers, which means you can enjoy delicious meals with minimum effort and lower energy consumption. Who doesn’t love walking through the front door after a day at work, and the wonderful smell of dinner that’s ready and waiting.
These meals are also the perfect places to use up those leftover bits of veg from the back of the fridge. Plan it right, and you can enjoy delicious meals for lunch and dinner, without having the same thing 4 days in a row!
Practising mindful meal planning and getting creative with leftovers is a great way to minimise food waste. Check out these tasty recipes if you’re looking for some imaginative ideas to use up leftovers. Remember to use them for lunch as well as dinner. Taking a pre-prepared lunch to work is a great way to cut down on single use plastic from sandwich and crisp wrappers. Pack everything in a super stylish lunch bag or lunch box and you’ll be the envy of the office!
Switching out for one or two plant based meals a week is a positive eco choice at any time of the year. Likewise, composting food scraps is not only environmentally friendly but also provides nutrient-rich soil for your garden come spring. Additionally, support local and sustainable food sources to reduce the environmental impact of long-distance food miles.
4. Have an Eco Friendly Christmas
Christmas is a time of joy and giving, but it can also be a period of excess and waste. If you’re wondering how to have an eco-friendly Christmas, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are lots of ways to make your celebrations more sustainable.
Be conscious about buying new decorations and consider how long they’ll last. Will they be reappearing year after year, or are they a novelty to be in the bin by new year? What can you do using plastic free, natural materials, or buy second hand?
5. Sustainable Winter Wardrobe
Your winter wardrobe doesn't have to harm the planet. Fast fashion takes a heavy toll on the environment, so consider sustainable alternatives when shopping for winter clothing. There are lots of sustainable fashion brands cropping up, across many styles and price points, so you’re sure to find pieces to suit. Think about investing in high-quality, durable items made from sustainable materials. Additionally, practice layering and dressing warmly indoors, allowing you to keep the thermostat lower.
Charity shops and secondhand stores are fantastic places to find unique, eco-friendly winter clothing options. Plus, repurposing or upcycling your old clothing items can give them a new lease on life.
To sum up, winter offers an incredible opportunity to harmonise with nature and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. By implementing the tips and tricks shared throughout this article, we can enjoy the beauty of the season while treading lightly on the Earth. From energy-efficient home heating to eco-friendly products and mindful celebrations, each small change we make has a ripple effect on our environment. So, let's keep the fires of eco-conscious living burning brightly throughout the winter and beyond, knowing that every effort contributes to a more sustainable and brighter future. Here's to a season filled with warmth, joy, and a whole lot of eco-friendly love.