10 ways to protect the environment this week

10 simple ways to protect the environment

Inside this week: 10 simple ways to protect the environment and help you live a green lifestyle

This week, as we carry on our green living series, we have not 1 but 10 juicy tips for you. So grab a cup of tea, sit back and work out which you are going to tackle first.

1. Carry on using your microwave
This first tip is the simplest of all. If you have a microwave but were worried by last week's alarming headlines about the amount of CO2 they emit, relax. A quick scan of the headlines may have led you to believe that microwave cooking is bad for the planet. You may have decided to use other cooking methods instead. However, this TreeHugger article criticises poor headline writing and looks properly at the study. The study concludes that there are lots of microwaves on the planet and collectively this adds up to a lot of energy used. But it doesn't compare microwaves to other cooking appliances. Microwaves actually use "a fraction of the energy at a fraction of the cost to cook a given item than any other appliance". So perhaps ditching it doesn't seem like the best idea!

2. Could you eat a cricket as part of your green lifestyle?
You have probably heard about the growing popularity of insects as a culinary treat but have you taken the plunge and sampled them yourself? Last week the BBC asked 'Do insects actually taste any good?'. The article explores the many places around the world where eating insects is both normal and pleasurable. The idea of eating insects is gaining interest in the UK because it is seen as a 'sustainable superfood - an environmentally friendly alternative to livestock'. Many companies are now finding ways to make it a more palatable choice for those of us who have not eaten insects before. Cricket flour, in particular, is gaining popularity. Are you willing to give it a go as part of your quest for a low carbon diet?

3. Turn food waste into a new recipe opportunity
If you are not ready to start eating bugs why not pay more attention to what you currently eat instead and try to reduce the amount of food waste that you generate. This article in the Guardian gives some useful tips on how to use up food that you may currently consider a waste product. Read it and perhaps you will never again be guilty of throwing away stale bread, cheese rind and chickpea water!

4. Support renewables
If you are concerned by the fall in investments into renewable energy why not consider showing your support for renewables by switching your energy provider to one which provides 100% renewable energy. MoneySupermarket recently published a useful guide to green energy which outlines what it is, what the current energy mix is made up of in the UK and how you can make your home greener. It also offers a comparison service allowing you to find the best green energy deal.

5. Refuse straws in bars, restaurants and cafes
Last week, in the Ecojam news round-up, we heard the good news that Wagamama has become the latest highstreet restaurant to announce a ban on plastic straws. The round-up also covered the launch of the Evening Standard's 'Last Straw' campaign which aims to end the use of plastic straws throughout London. These are pleasing signs that the most damaging single-use plastics might be on the way out. To speed up the process you can show your support by refusing straws when you are out and asking friends and family to do the same.

6. Go further on your quest to live with less plastic
If the thought of all those plastic straws wreaking havoc in our oceans has got you thinking about your use of plastic, why stop at straws? Give your green lifestyle a real boost by saying no to wasteful plastic in your life. Check out this article on TreeHugger which lists 10 plastic items you can give up right now. Are you willing to give it a go to protect the environment?

7. Help fund the miracle recovery plan for our planet
Avaaz is calling on the world to chip in to make a 'miracle' recovery plan a reality. They say that scientists believe that if we can protect 50% of our planet from human exploitation, our ecosystem will be able to stabilise and regenerate. Life on earth will recover! Their message is clear:

If 50,000 of us chip in just the cost of a cup of coffee a week, we can make the proposal famous, face down the polluters and poachers, and campaign to get leaders to drive through a deal to save the planet at the Global Summit on Biodiversity.

Click here if you would like to contribute to the miracle recovery plan.

8. Zero waste on Instagram
Use your Instagram account for more than just posting selfies and photos of your lunch. Use it to provide inspiration for your green lifestyle. Find others who are also on a journey to protect the environment. To get you started check out this list of zero waste experts to follow on Instagram.

9. Plan for a successful garden in 2018
It's true, the weather at this time of year doesn't do much to inspire us to get out in the garden. But if you look around there are many promising signs that Spring is just around the corner. If you are planning to grow your own fruit and vegetables this year or you want to make your garden into a haven for wildlife, there are many important things you can be doing this month to prepare for the brighter, warmer (and hopefully sunnier) months to come. Check out this RHS guide for 10 jobs to do this month.

10. Join Avaaz in trying to 'end the unbearable cruelty of meat'
Avaaz is calling on the world to join them in making the following pledge:

As a citizen concerned about animal welfare, climate change, and biodiversity, I pledge to eat less meat (or no meat at all!), and encourage workplaces, schools, supermarkets, and restaurants to join in helping spread this critical culture change more widely.

This simple lifestyle change can boost your eco credentials and protect both animals and the environment. Click here to join them.

We really hope you are enjoying our new blog series. Remember to check our news page again next week for more greener living tips to prevent climate change. You can also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more greener living tips.

To keep up with all the climate change and environment news each week you can also check out our news round-up on the Ecojam news page.