Sustainable Swaps for Great Big Green Week

Published: 9th June 2024 | Written by: Jonny Evans

In 2024, we’ve unfortunately been breaking climate records left, right, and centre. 

We’ve had the wettest 18-months since 1836, the hottest April on record, and believe it or not, despite the rain, the hottest May, too. 

All of this points to the fact that our climate is changing. And, in some cases, more rapidly than scientists predicted. 

This means that we all need to do our part more than ever to help the planet, and while the constant stream of apocalyptic news may make you feel hopeless, there are several steps we can all take to live more sustainably.

Great Big Green Week poster

Four ways to live more sustainably this Great Big Green Week and beyond!

As we enter the Great Big Green Week, we wanted to share four swaps you can make.

Think before you shop 

Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint. Even recycling or composting a product after use doesn’t eradicate the damage made upstream in the manufacturing process. 

So, before you buy, ask yourself: do you really need this? And if you do, consider buying second-hand or from sustainable retailers. 

Ditch plastic 

If Da Vinci was drinking from a plastic bottle while he was painting the Mona Lisa, that plastic bottle would still be around today, isn’t that crazy? Remember: plastic lasts a really, really, really long time – and even as it begins to break down, it releases microplastics which can get into fish and even our blood. 

Pretty scary stuff – but switching from single-use plastic to reusable products is actually pretty straightforward. Here are some options for you: use reusable bags when you shop; use a refillable water bottle; avoid plastic straws; and prioritise products free from plastic. 

Cut down on meat consumption 

If you stand under a shower for 800 minutes, you’ll be using the same amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef – that’s a lot of water! 

Here are some other animal agriculture stats that might surprise you: 20% of all the land on Earth is currently used for raising livestock; the meat and dairy industry uses one third of the world’s fresh water; and 90 million tonnes of fish are pulled from the ocean every year. 

In other words, meat production is one of the most environmentally damaging industries around. We’re not saying you need to to ditch your bacon, burgers, or sausages for good. Even swapping to one plant-based meal each week can help protect the planet. Plus, it’s good for your health, too!

Use public transport, if you can! 

Stop laughing! No, really, stop laughing! We know public transport connections in our part of the world aren’t as regular as we might like them to be, but still, making use of our buses and trains is a great way to cut down your carbon footprint. 

Or, better yet, walk (if you can)! We’re not short of natural beauty here in Devon, and even a short stroll into town can be full of wonder that’s sure to put a spring in your step.