103 Simple Acts to Help Save the Planet
Our list of all the little things you can do to live a greener lifestyle. Not all green steps need to be big – there are lots of simple things you can do that all add up to big change. From starting a compost heap, to avoiding single use items, or planting a tree – simple acts that can add up to big change.
“simple acts can add up to big change”
Hopefully there are things in this article that everyone easily can and will do, and please spread the word, as these simple acts combined will not only make a big difference, but can also be the catalyst for adopting even larger greener steps to living a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Use reusable containers for food
- Unsubscribe to junk mail (physical mail of course)
- Plant a tree
- Learn about endangered species
- Get ice cream in a cone instead of the small tubs
- Use reusable carrier bags as often as possible. Keep them in your car or rucksack.
- Buy in bulk – spices, beans, grains, dried fruits, canned veg
“Bulk buying not only reduces packaging but also means saving money. Saving money in itself is green act as it means more money is available to go towards other greener steps. Saving money also means a reduced requirement to earn money and all the additional consumption that goes with it.”
8. Use dishwasher rather than washing by hand. If possible.
9. Take shorter showers
10. Lobby your local government bodies about causes that you are passionate about
11. Use reusable straws
12. Carpool to work, if you can
13. Shop locally and use local produce
14. Turn off or unplug appliances that aren’t in use
15. Plant bee friendly flowers like buttercups and clovers. Bees love purple, yellow and blue!
16. Host or collaborate with people within your community to do a beach or river clean up
17. Try to cut down the amount of meat you consume. Try ditching it once a week and go from
“Eating responsibly can make a huge difference. Eating less meat or going meat free a couple of days a week is hugely positive. Eating locally sourced, seasonal foods, and better still food that you grow yourself are crucial steps towards sustainable living”
18. Use biodegradable dog waste bags
19. Try not to use products containing palm oil.
20. Use all-natural cleaners rather than the chemical-based alternatives
21. Try to place your fridge out of direct sunlight, and make sure you close the door!
22. Start a compost pile in your garden
23. Opt for e-tickets where possible
24. WALK – for those journeys that really don’t need a car, take a stroll and enjoy the world
25. Invest in a reusable tea ball, get rid of the bags
26. Buy local honey
27. Use reclaimed wood to do those odd carpentry jobs everyone wants to do in their house
28. Buy a reusable water bottle
29. Use professional car washers, it costs less than doing it yourself, for the most part.
30. Use eco-friendly sponges – biodegradable being the best option
31. Try to use less water when you can, wash your hair less for instance
32. Eat fruit and veg that is in season
33. Grow flowers, instead of buying flowers for people, you can cut a bunch yourself
34. Switch to LED light-bulbs in your car and home, better for the environment, and your bank.
“Changing to LED light bulbs can pay for itself in energy savings in as little as 1 year, and reduce your home electricity consumption by as much as 25%.”
35. Put money where your heart is and invest in local eco-friendly companies
36. Order smaller portions when out for a meal, try to cut down on food waste
37. If you buy from farmers markets, try and return the containers that you bought your fruit
and veg in. They can be reused by the vendor
38. Take a reusable cup around with you for teas and coffees while you’re out and about
39. Record your car journeys and re-evaluate which ones were necessary over coming months. It’s
easy to jump in the car when there are alternatives there
40. Use stainless steel ice trays to avoid the plastic alternatives
41. Turn your computer off over night to save on electricity and will help the life of your comp
42. Explore the outdoors. Go Hiking, running or cycling. The money you save on electricity while
on a mini expedition might just be worth it. Not to mention the health benefits.
43. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Don’t let the tap waste water that isn’t being
44. Switch to a green energy provider. Save on your bills and help the environment at the same
“ For households who cannot afford to install their own solar pv panel arrays, buying green electricity from companies such as Ecotricity means you can be using renewable power without the investment.”
45. Get a high efficiency shower head, it uses a lot less water
46. Quit smoking! Not only is it better for your health but cigarette butts litter the world
47. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, get a better detergent
48. Use clothes lines and let the wind dry your washing, instead of wasting energy on a dryer
49. Get a handkerchief instead of using lots of tissues. Use, Wash, Repeat.
50. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room
51. Use a watering can over the hose, you’ll use a lot less water
52. Support local bike highways and try to use them for your commute if possible
53. Reuse gift bags. On the occasion you get a gift in a bag, say thanks and then use the bag for
someone else’s gift.
54. Use matches over lighters to get away from plastic
55. Make your own dog toys, craft them out of old rope or old t-shirts
56. Use air dryers over paper towels when down the pub or at a restaurant
57. Say no to conventional glitter – opt for biodegradable alternatives, or just don’t get it. No
one likes opening a card up, only to be attacked by a glitter bomb
58. Switch up to a bamboo toothbrush, a great alternative and is compostable
59. Don’t kill spiders! Trap and release them. They are our friendly neighbourhood wall crawlers,
even if you do find them scary, they are vital to ecosystems
“How and when you drive can make a big difference. Ride a bike or switch to and Electric car. Avoid the rush hours where possible. Avoid harder breaking, and don’t carry unnecessary weight.”
60. Easier said than done but, try and avoid rush hours.
61. Try and avoid roof carriers, they create a lot of wind resistance, making fuel economy, be it
electric or otherwise, much worse
62. Avoid hard braking. This wastes fuel and wears your pads down quicker
63. Support fair trade
64. If you’re staying in a hotel for more than one night, try and reuse towels and sheets
65. Cut dairy out of your diet
66. Say no to fur and ivory
67. Invest in a non-disposable razor, there’s no need for shave and chuck razors
68. If going out for cocktails, skip the plastic stirrer, you just don’t need it.
69. Cut down on meat, try vegetarian or vegan alternatives
70. Share articles about eco-friendly causes or environmentally friendly schemes that are
“Share green articles and petitions to your friends and family over social media to help spread the word and encourage change from even more people – we can all do our bit to promote green causes and steps towards a more sustainable human lifestyle.”
71. Instead of floodlights, maybe try solar walkway lights. Harness the sun!
72. Ask for an e-receipt over a paper copy where possible
73. Switch up your utensils for bamboo or stainless-steel alternatives
74. Try and avoid fast food, it may be quick and easy, but there are much better alternatives
75. Don’t use weed killers, the chemicals end up in waterways
76. Share taxis and Ubers if you can, save on the fare and help the environment
77. Buy used items, much better to recycle than buying new
78. Get a rainwater barrel for your garden, then use that to water everything
79. Share the knowledge, help children respect and enjoy the planet we live on
80. Use bamboo for building materials, the stuff grows so fast it’s easy to cultivate
81. First in, first out. Reduce food waste by making meals with the items that have been in the
fridge the longest
“Food is very precious and it is shameful that the uk household wastes almost half the fresh food it buys. Don’t buy more than you need, freeze leftovers, and cook with whatever has been in the fridge the longest.”
82. Support national trust sites and national parks
83. Get electronics fixed rather than throwing them away
84. Support organizations that are helping coral reefs
85. Don’t spit your gum onto the pavement, it stays there. Forever. And it’s gross.
86. Use reusable sandwich container for kids’ lunches
87. Don’t keep wildlife that prefers to live in its’ natural habitat. Birds that can fly, for example,
really don’t belong in cages.
88. Opt for metal frames over plastic for your glasses or sunglasses
89. Rotate crops in your garden or veg patch to keep the soil nutrient rich
90. Use biodegradable confetti instead of the traditional stuff
91. Use paper clips over staples where possible, you can reuse paperclips, staples are a bit more
“Really little steps like using a reusable paperclip over a staple may seem minor, but these things all add up, and more importantly if you care enough to do the little things, them making the bigger changes will become like second nature.”
92. Use reusable menstrual products if it suits, disposable alternatives only end up in landfills
93. Use natural mosquito repellents to keep away the annoying little pests
94. Stop using balloons, and if you must, don’t release them into the air. They end up harming
wildlife down the line
95. Avoid single us items like plastic bags, cups and utensils
96. Don’t put hot food into the fridge, let it cool down first, otherwise the fridge needs to use a
lot more energy cooling everything back down
97. Make your own bread, it’s not as hard as you may think and is always fun to try out different
types once you get the hang of it
98. Try to create natural barriers with trees or shrubs instead of fences and walls.
99. Learn about your local recycling centre, what it does and doesn’t accept
100. Speak to your local councillors about what your area is doing to go green
101. Be careful about what you flush, certain things can clog up your drainage system,
such as; cat litter, coffee grounds, baby wipes or old medication
102. Properly put out campfires completely to stop the risk of the fire spreading
103. Get your kids enjoying the outside. Take them on walks or get them involved in
activities around you. Help them learn about their relationship with nature
Doing the little things to help be more environmentally responsible are hugely important. Not only are they green acts in themselves, but once you get in the habit of religiously doing all the little things, making the bigger green steps will seem far more approachable.
The rules are simple – if it is bad don’t do it, and if there is a greener way – do it, no matter how minor. Hopefully the suggestions above are a good place to start.
Thank you for reading.
Author Details: Richard Norris, founder and Director of ‘Completely Green’ and ‘Drive Green’, family man, and sustainable living enthusiast.