What can I do during lockdown?
Even with the end of lockdown in sight, many of us have a lot more time on our hands stuck at home, but what to do with it? If you’ve been feeling at a loose end due to COVID-19, and are concerned about the climate crisis, there's never been a better time to make some changes in your personal life to help!
Here at Lambeth Friends of the Earth, we have collected a list of actions that are impactful and (mostly) easy to help you get started! So, make a cup of tea and tick off some admin changes that help you and the environment:
Change your bank account (and if you’re lucky enough to have savings, put them in a sustainable account!) - Putting your money in ethical banking ensures your bank will never invest it in fossil fuels or other environmentally harmful business. Instead, ethical financial services typically invest in projects that have a positive impact for society and the environment. This Is Money have done a really handy summary of the best choices
Change your lightbulbs to energy saving - Energy efficient bulbs such as LED operate off a low wattage but still produce the same amount of light, if not more! They also last much longer than traditional light bulbs, produce fewer emissions and compared to conventional alternatives LED bulbs are fully recyclable! (Source: www.thelightbulb.co.uk)
Sign up to a renewable energy supplier (it’s often cheaper, and also covered in the link above). Don’t be deterred by the time it would take either - it often takes less than five minutes, as your new supplier will do all the work for you.
Try more vegetarian and vegan meals, even better if grown in the UK! If you don’t know where to start, find inspiration via our weekly challenge on Instagram, #MeatlessMonday: Every Monday we share delicious plant-based meal ideas cooked and devoured by our volunteers. When you’re ready, you could even take it a step further and plan your shopping around what food is currently in season (BBC Food have a great breakdown).
Call for change. Write to your councillor or MP and ask them to call for environmental action in Parliament. If you are not sure what to say in your letter, you can also do this by filling in Friends of the Earth’s useful form. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and join our climate emergency group to organise a climate response in Lambeth!
Look at making home improvements to insulation or your heating - 15% of the UK's planet-warming gases come from heating our homes! Check out Government schemes including the new Green Home Grant . When you insulate your home, not only you’ll reduce carbon emissions by saving energy, you’ll also save up to 20% on your energy bills (source: Friends of the Earth). That’s what we call a win-win!
Look into refillable products like bulk food shopping or refillable detergent, hand-soap or washing up liquid
Shop second-hand, not just clothes but electronic goods are now easy to buy (and a lot cheaper!)
Look into sustainable cleaning products such as Ecover or Bio-D (more examples are here from the ethical superstore). All of the chemicals in conventional products either get into the seas and river or take a lot of energy and time to get out of our water.
Buy or grow some plants for your home, window box or garden. Plants absorb CO2 as they grow and they provide homes and food for wildlife.