100 things you can do to save the planet

In the last few days you've probably heard the alarming reports in the news about climate change and that we have only 12 years left to fix it. It can all make us feel overwhelmed and helpless so it's time to re-post this list with 100 things you can do to help instead of just posting sad face emojis.

Climate change news isn’t exactly good news, is it? Hurricanes, floods and droughts, famine and food waste, melting glaciers, mass extinction of species, plastic killing our oceans, and a climate-change denier in The White House. Nobody could blame you for feeling helpless. Without superpowers, what kind of difference could you hope to make? Well, here’s some good news for you: YOU are the only person who can make a difference. Because if you don’t, and I don’t and the person next to me doesn’t, then who will? The other piece of good news is that you don’t have to do anything difficult.

I’ve put together a list of simple steps we can all take to make a difference. I’ve tried to avoid extremes. You don’t have to become a vegan, just eat a little less meat. I’m not saying don’t use disposable nappies if you have a baby or make your own deodorant. That just wouldn’t be realistic. I’ve also left out the much-debated “buy organic” topic. Most of the things on this list are feasible for everybody living in an urban flat. And you don’t have to do all of them. Even making a few changes in your life makes a difference.

1) Use canvas bags for shopping instead of paper or plastic bags.

2) Buy groceries that aren’t wrapped in plastic.

3) Generally, buy products with less packaging.

4) Buy less.

5) Buy second hand.

6) Buy at charity shops.

7) Buy fair trade products.

8) Buy local.

9) Buy seasonal.

10) Buy less processed food.

11) Buy in bulk, bring your own containers.

12) Buy canned beer without plastic rings.

13) Try to buy sustainably sourced products. Check the labels.

14) If you’re a tea drinker try to buy loose tea instead of tea bags.

15) If you’re a coffee drinker, avoid coffee capsules.

16) Look at the labels. If you have a choice buy products with recyclable packaging.

17) Don’t buy bottled water.

18) If you go outdoors fill a stainless steel flask with tap water.

19) Carry your own cup for your takeaway coffee.

20) Carry your own containers for takeaway food.

21) Say no to plastic straws.

22) Skip single use plastic cutlery.

23) Pack food in reusable containers instead of cling film or plastic bags.

24) Use glass or metal containers instead of plastic boxes.

25) Eat less (red) meat.

26) Cut food waste by planning your cooking a week ahead.

27) Compost food waste or dispose of it in food recycle bins.

28) Freeze leftovers.

29) Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.

30) Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning.

31) Use natural cleaning cloths instead of synthetic sponges and paper towels.

32) Remove make-up with reusable cotton pads instead of disposable cotton balls or facial wipes.

33) Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

34) Use shaving soap instead of shaving foam.

35) Use bar soap instead of liquid soap.

36) Reduce landfill by recycling more.

37) Learn how to recycle properly.

38) Learn about recycling symbols.

39) Learn about plastic codes. The safest choices are 1, 2, 4 and 5. Avoid 3, 6 and most plastics labelled 7.

40) Dispose properly of hazardous waste. Batteries, light bulbs, e-waste, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, automotive fluids, and paint, should never be disposed of in a landfill.

41) Upcycle.

42) Always bin your litter.

43) Pick up litter even if somebody else dropped it.

44) Don't buy products made from (endangered) animals.

45) Plant trees.

46) Plant flowers that attract bees.

47) Grow your own herbs and vegetables (you can do a lot on your window sill).

48) Use more energy efficient light bulbs.

49) If you have to buy new electric appliances choose more energy efficient ones.

50) Turn the heating down.

51) Turn off the lights when not needed.

52) Unplug appliances if you’re not using them.

53) Don’t pre-heat the oven.

54) Adjust the gas flame to suit the size of the pot.

55) Cover your pots and pans when cooking.

56) Don’t boil more water than needed for your next drink.

57) The ideal temperature of your fridge should be set to +4 Celsius and your freezer to -15.

58) Wash your clothes on a lower temperature.

59) Wash your clothes with a full load.

60) Wear your clothes more than once before washing them.

61) Let your clothes air dry instead of using a dryer.

62) Turn on your dishwasher when fully loaded.

63) Don’t hand wash dishes with the water running continuously.

64) Don’t let water run while you brush your teeth or shave.

65) Take a shower instead of a bath.

66) Take shorter shower times.

67) Share a shower.

68) Stop using personal care products containing microbeads.

69) In hotels, keep using your towels.

70) Fix leaky faucets.

71) Remember the 3Ps: only paper, poo and pee should be flushed down the toilet.

72) If you have to use wet wipes bin them, don’t flush them.

73) Burn natural candles to scent your home, instead of air fresheners.

74) Use rechargeable batteries.

75) Print only when it’s absolutely necessary.

76) Print on both sides of the paper.

77) Recycle the ink cartridge.

78) Use recycled paper.

79) Reduce your printed junk mail, subscribe to e-newsletters instead.

80) Subscribe to paperless billing from your suppliers.

81) Walk, cycle or use public transport instead of driving a car.

82) If you have to use your car never run the engine while stationary.

83) Make sure your car is regularly serviced.

84) Properly inflated car tires are safer, they last longer and the car uses less fuel.

85) If you can choose between plane and train, choose the latter.

86) Use video conference for business meetings rather than travelling.

87) Take care of what you have already.

88) Repair things, don’t throw them away.

89) Donate, don’t throw away your old stuff.

90) Re-use old gift wrappers or skip wrapping presents.

91) Collect memories, not stuff.

92) Debate with climate change deniers, try to convince them with scientific facts. Hard, I know.

93) Teach your kids to respect the environment. Lead by example.

94) Teach your kids the three Rs: reduce, re-use, recycle.

95) Sign petitions that demand a bottle deposit return system.

96) If you can, donate money to reliable environmental organisations.

97) Support policies that prefer renewable energy solutions to fossil fuels.

98) Write to your MP to influence environmental policies.

99) Turn your clicktivism into activism. Become an environmental volunteer.

100)Share this post.