Go green in 12+1 easy steps

a man on the bicycle observing green architecture

How to become more sustainable in our everyday life? Where to start? In this blog post, we list 13 green tips and hints on how to become more eco-friendly at home, at work and in your day-to-day life.

Human activity has not been kind to the planet. Every day, even without realising it we continue overusing the resources and damaging the fragile balance between nature, animals and humans. Do you think it's too late to reverse the done? Old habits die hard, but there's still a lot each of us can do to improve the environmental situation.

You don't need to completely change your lifestyle already tomorrow. But why not start cutting the bad and building up new, more eco-friendly habits already today. It's a process, that takes time and effort, but if you take one small step at a time, it won't be painful, yet still contribute to a more sustainable future.

We at moincoins, want to support you on your journey towards that green life. That is why we've created a guide to help you go green at home, at work and in your everyday life. Take a notepad, list the ones you feel you can adopt already this month and just start!

Going green at home

1. Recycling doesn't take much time

Start sorting your household waste into litter and recyclables. Have you heard of the initials P.P.M.G. or in full plastic-paper-metals-glass? These are usually recyclable materials you can find in the shape of rigid plastic packaging and bottles, paper and cardboard, cereal or snack cardboard boxes, magazines, junk mail, office paper, newspapers, tin, aluminium and steel cans, glass jars, wine or beer bottles. Memorise the initials and you will never be confused again when sorting your garbage. 

Don't forget about the things that shouldn't go in a bin! The common mistakes are frozen food boxes, hardcover boxes, light bulbs, mirrors and food containers. 

2. Avoid food waste and think about the packaging!

Did you know that 3.6 million tonnes of food go into waste every year in the UK? Buying more than you need is not just a huge waste of food and money, but it also adds up to the amount of CO2 being created in landfills.

Estimating how much food you need for a week might be a little challenging. If you're not ready for that yet, consider composting as an alternative too! Fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, nutshells and other stuff from your fridge can land in the compost bin instead of being thrown away. This way you will not only do good to the planet but also to your house plants as compost is the best natural fertiliser.

Another thing is the packaging! Have you heard of that plastic sandwich wrapper from 1992 found in Scotland in 2021 and looking completely brand-new after 28 years in the ground? It's just one example, and we have millions of similar plastic bags everywhere around us.

The best alternative is making grocery shopping at a zero-waste shop. But again if this is a big change for you, simply try making better shopping decisions in your local supermarket. Most of the times there is a choice between wrapped or packed fruits and vegetables and those without any packaging.

3. Make some small green home investments that will also save you money!

Water and energy consumption are the two things to consider when seeking to create a greener home! You've most probably heard about how precious water is, so why not start by making your next shower a bit shorter?

Remember to close the water tap while brushing your teeth, washing your face or hands and if you're up to go even further - install a water flow restrictor that will stop the water from running after a certain time. It will cost you a little money but it will make a great change!

Take some measures to cut your energy consumption too. Energy conservation is a quick and easy step you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Just put a sticky note on your desk to remind yourself to switch off all unnecessary devices and appliances for the night.

Another greener home idea for you is a small investment in LED energy-saving light bulbs. Those are known to save up to 75% of energy for the planet and as a bonus, they also lower your monthly electricity bills! Moreover, you can choose from a wide range of brightness and designs to match the style or needs of your home. That sounds like a win-win situation, right? Just give it a little time for the old bulbs to stop working before creating a bunch of non-recyclable waste for no reason.  

The UK government tries to support green home initiatives and provides vouchers to make energy-efficient improvements to your home. Check out the detailed guide to find out if you're eligible for the Green Home Grant and how much you could get to make your home more eco-friendly

4. Use eco-friendly cleaning products for your house

We’re all spending more time at home these days, so why not be more thoughtful about the products we use to clean our spaces?

Unfortunately, most of the popular cleaning products we’re using contain a lot of harmful chemical substances and therefore are not environmentally friendly. Dedicate some time to the small research and discover eco brands and products that are naturally derived, non-toxic and biodegradable. There are many companies that strive towards sustainability and can offer you some eco choices.

5. Try to fix it before throwing it away!

Repairing things around you might be time-consuming, but it's always more environmentally friendly than simply throwing things away. Plus, it boosts your creativity and gives a wonderful feeling of accomplishment as you finish.

There are many online tools and platforms, like Pinterest where you can take amazing DIY ideas to reuse furniture, gadgets or other stuff that seems old-fashioned or outdated for your house.

You can also find your inspiration on YouTube or by following creative influencers on other social media. And last but not least - you have to believe in yourself and giving a second life to some things will suddenly become an easy goal.

Going green at work

6. Embrace the digital!

Documents, receipts, junk mail, newspapers, bills. These can be totally replaced by the digital version of each. All you need to do is accept or request the e-copy.

Say no to receipts by asking your partners to send invoices via e-mail. Introduce e-signatures to sign documents and ask your energy, mobile or internet provider to send you the bills via email. You will be impressed with how many things can go digital already tomorrow.

7. Google it or maybe ecosia it?

Ecosia is a legitimate green search engine, similar to Google, but with the key difference - it plans trees while you search the web!

If you have doubts about the transparency of this search engine, check out its monthly financial reports. They will give you more insights into where exactly the income from your searches goes.

8. Say yes to the green commuting options

Some good news first - “in 2019, total UK greenhouse gas emissions were provisionally 45.2 per cent lower than in 1990 and 3.6 per cent lower than 2018” confirms the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the UK

But of course, there’s still a lot we can do to improve since most of these emissions come from the private vehicles we use daily.

The best way to reduce your personal carbon footprint is to switch to one of the alternative ways to go to work. Walking (if possible), biking or even using public transportation could be the next good habit of yours. This way it's not only the planet who benefits but also yourself, as you will be getting those extra minutes of exercise or book reading.

Going green in your everyday life

9. Find alternatives to plastic!

4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds - these are the official UK numbers of plastic usage in 2020.

Have you ever really paid attention to how many products you buy are packed in single-use plastic? We don’t say that you have to replace everything at once! But a cloth shopping bag could always become a permanent inhabitant of your handbag or backpack to help you carry things any time with no cost to the environment.

Plastic straws, cotton swabs and toothbrushes can also be replaced by eco alternatives made of bamboo or other sustainable materials. Another must-add to your starter list is a reusable water bottle.

If you don't have a clue where to find those, check out our eco category. It will give you an overview of many eco brands that are offering a great variety of eco-friendly stuff like the above-mentioned. What's more, some items can also get personalised with your name or favourite design.

10. Eat more plant-based meals

Of course, you don't need to become vegan tomorrow. Try to see a global picture - if the majority of people cuts down meat consumption to a couple of times per month, that will make a real change! And it's not just about the ethical aspect of things, animal agriculture is one of the main causes of many environmental problems we face right now.

Netflix has a number of documentaries on the matter, that can explain the severity of the problem with detailed numbers and very convincing videos, Cowspiracy is the one you could watch instead of your favourite series already today.

Try supporting your local farmers too. Check out when and where the market is taking place and just go for it. Lower-scale food agriculture tends to be more kind to the Earth.

11. Treat your skin naturally!

Organic, sustainable, cruelty-free, fair-trade, vegan - those seals are everywhere. If you have trouble understanding those, we've got another blog post making sense of the commonly used green terminology.

Once you feel more comfortable distinguishing eco labels, you can definitely try introducing some of those organic and eco-friendly beauty products in your skincare routine! There are many environmentally conscious beauty retailers that also deliver your products in ecologically friendly packaging and promise amazing results when it comes to slowing down the ageing process, deep hydration or natural make-up looks!

12. Do you really need all that closing?

With all the shops being closed for a while, we understand the urge to unwind and relax on the shopping tour. But do you really need every single item you put in your basket? That’s a good question to ask yourself before you check out the next time.

Start with the hardest task - reduce the number of clothes you buy. It takes a lot of energy, materials and countless resources to produce new tops, jeans, dresses, etc.

Secondly, give your clothes a second life! Many items in your wardrobe could simply be repaired or given away to charity. Just remember to wash them before donating.

This sounds a bit radical but it doesn't really mean that you have to completely spare yourself of the pleasure shopping brings you. If you are in a shopping mood and want to buy a new shirt, try to prioritise the quality, durability, ethically processes and sustainable materials over the look.

13. Extra hint: research is the key!

What takes seconds for you, may take years of recovery for the Earth.

There are many external sources, like The Good Shopping Guide, which is a sustainable and ethical evaluation rating platform that can help you make better and more eco-conscious shopping decisions.

As for moincoins - we are experts in eco brands and deals. If you feel ready enough to make the change, explore our eco deals and save while placing an order at your favourite sustainable retailer.

Remember, by making baby steps you create a foundation for the green lifestyle. Adopt your personal slogan for the first efforts, like recycle-repair-reuse and start bringing all these tips into life. Small steps day by day. And who knows, maybe soon it won't feel like an effort anymore.

Good luck!