Saving Emissions at Home
The first place to look are the dark corners of your home. The energy vampires that are lurking behind cabinets, racking up your energy bill little by little. It turns out phone chargers left plugged in beside your bed or leaving your TV on standby isn’t as harmless as you might think.
They’re all still draining energy. You can save yourself a handful of money at the end of the month just by unplugging them. And if it feels like too much effort to reach behind the cabinet to unplug them all individually every time, get a multi-socket extension to do all the work for you.
Growing your own veg is a great way to reduce waste. But if you don’t have the space or the green fingers to grow a vegetable patch, you can easily get the likes of celery, cabbage, scallions, leeks and lettuce growing again by placing them in a glass of water.
And for everything that won’t grow back, make sure you compost it. When food waste isn’t composted it ends up in landfill. When it breaks down, it produces intense amounts of greenhouse gases like methane, which in turn has a huge effect on global warming. The same goes for your compostable coffee cups – they’ll do more harm in a regular bin if you don’t compost them.
Try collecting rainwater from your back garden to feed the plants inside the house. It contains traces of nitrates and has a better pH balance so they’ll end up brighter and greener than before.
Even if you only have the smallest back garden, give it a pond. Not only is it a great way to increase the biodiversity of your garden, they’re also great at absorbing greenhouse gases and locking up carbon.
Plant a diverse range of trees and plants wherever you can. And on top of this, dig your garden as little as possible so you don’t release the carbon that’s stored in the ground. What’s more, growing the right kind of climbing plants over the walls of your house can even help improve insulation during the winter and keep the house cool in summer.
Fighting the Plastic Fantastic
That’s all well and good. But what do you do with all the plastics that won’t degrade and help nourish the ground you live on? The world is upping its game when it comes to recycling. At Toyota we make sure our vehicles are up to 95% recyclable. And while we want to build cars that last, they shouldn’t last a thousand years. And there’s one simple thing you can start doing to help out too. Making an Ecobrick.
They’re really simple to make. Take a clear plastic bottle, the smoother the better and make sure it’s clean and dry.
Then stuff it with any plastic that you come across. It works best when you chop it up into smaller pieces so you can pack it as tightly as possible.
It’s the perfect place to put all the plastics that you can’t recycle and you’ll find a load around your home. Crisp packets, bottle labels, film lids, carrier bags, clingfilm, bubble wrap, straws – the list goes on. Again, make sure it’s clean and dry. Wiping down with a cloth a cleaning spray works a treat. Anything that’s bio-degradable or will end up growing inside the bottle will ruin its integrity.
Once you’ve cleaned and chopped, start filling your bottle and compress it down with a long wooden stick. You want the bottle to be as densely packed as possible.
So much so that the weight of the bottle in grams should equal the volume of the bottle x 0.33. This way it’ll be built to last.
Finally, with a couple of centimetres left to spare, screw your cap on and you’re done. They’re great building blocks for the garden, like making stools or even raised gardening beds.
And if you can’t seem to finish filling it then you’re already doing something right by not having enough plastic to complete them so fair play.
It’s that easy. Some of these things might seem really obvious. But we don’t always think about them. And it’s by making proactive choices to make these small changes that add up to make a huge difference. Power your home with purpose and help reduce your carbon footprint today.
Toyota. Powered by Purpose.