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Each and every one of us has the power to help tackle climate change. While large-scale systematic changes such as reducing our reliance on fossil fuels undoubtedly play a huge part in cutting emissions, individual action also has huge potential to have a wide influence on society.
An individual who changes their behaviours can inspire those around them to do the same, and so the spread of sustainable lifestyle choices grows, creating new norms and sustainable ways of living – in theory, a domino effect.
Knowing the most effective but simple ways to reduce your own environmental impact can seem like a minefield. That’s why we’ve listed a few examples that our staff do here at Speedy Fuels, on how to be more sustainable while living a healthier and happier life.
If you think it, say it
Your voice is one of the most powerful tools you possess, especially if you talk to the right people. We’re not referring to the likes of environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who’s using her voice to make big changes.
We mean speaking to the people who will value your opinion. Talk to your local MP, your company and whoever will listen! Change comes from communication, and you might be surprised at how many of your friends and colleagues feel the same way and want to take action.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
It’s a no brainer really. Recycling is no longer just an option. It’s a must.
Most major supermarkets have recycling collection points, and you can also find clothing charity bins located throughout the UK. We all need to do our bit to help reduce the amount of waste in landfill and donating unwanted goods also helps declutter your home too!
Businesses can also make moves toward reducing landfill waste by adopting recycling practices – often at nearly the same cost as their current waste strategy. Office and kitchen waste are especially easy to recycle through the simple implementation of specific bins and ensuring staff are engaged with the business’ green strategy.
Did you know that we collect and recycle all our customers unused barrels? Call 0330 123 3773 to find out more.
Partner with sustainable organisations
Join forces with fellow green companies and you’ll reap the rewards. Choosing a brand that aligns with your vision and values will help promote your sustainable efforts and allow you to share resources. You will also benefit from learning best practices and sharing skillsets.
Want to partner with Speedy Fuels? Get in touch!
Reduce your waste
Over 15 million tonnes of food are thrown away every year in the UK and almost 50% of this comes from our homes. But throwing away food can simply come from a lack of imagination.
A lot of waste comes from doing “the big shop” and grabbing those bargains – but do you really need that 3 for 2 deal? Planning ahead and taking a shopping list will help make sure you’re not buying unnecessary items that you may well not eat.
The Mayor of London aims to make London a zero-waste city by 2026 which will mean zero biodegradable and recyclable waste sent to landfill. This goal can only be achieved through collective action.
Go green in your commute
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Cycle to work, take public transport, walk to work… whatever you decide, leave the car at home!
Ditching the car is also a great opportunity to catch up on reading and doing those jobs that you wouldn’t normally get the time to do.
Offset your emissions
Offsetting is easy, and it’s a great way to give back into local communities, helping to fund projects that reduce carbon emissions. The process allows you to compensate for the emissions you produce by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere.
These initiatives help fight global climate change as well as care for local communities. Examples include reforestation, health improvement and protecting biodiverse ecosystems.
Did you know that we voluntarily offset all our tankers’ delivery emissions?
Work from home where possible
Following the pandemic, we’ve all adapted to new ways of working. Many of us have come to appreciate the flexibility and benefits from not having to commute into the office.
Working from home has seen considerable environmental benefits during the lockdowns and yet we’ve continued to work efficiently thanks to digital platforms such as Zoom & Microsoft Teams.
If you want your staff back in the office, why not introduce staggered shift patterns or encourage hybrid working? This can help to keep your emissions low both at work and during your commute as well as improve staff morale.
Switch it off
Probably the easiest way to keep your emissions low is to simply switch off electric sources when not in use.
Motion-sensitive lights or a “last one out” policy are great, yet simple ways to help conserve energy and encourage staff to get on board.
Reinvest into communities
Climate change is everyone’s responsibility. Volunteering such as implementing charity days, tree planting days and donating gifts allow you to work on the front line of protecting the planet while also giving back to society.
You can also switch to more local suppliers for your raw materials, office supplies and everyday consumables, such as milk or coffee – the less an item needs to travel to reach you, the lower its carbon footprint.
Choose renewable products
Research conducted by Ørsted found that almost ¾ of UK consumers would prefer to purchase products from companies powered by renewable energy rather than those that don’t.
Among consumers, millennials claim they would be happy to pay more for eco-friendly and sustainable products (Young, 2018).
Renewable fuels such as HVO fuel are a simple and cost-effective way to dramatically reduce your emissions, without having to make expensive or expansive amendments to infrastructure or engines.
HVO is a direct, drop-in renewable diesel fuel that eliminates up to 90% net CO2 emissions.
Say no to plastic
Rethink bottled water and plastic bags. The birth of the modern plastics era only came in 1907, but it’s one of the planet’s biggest enemies. Today, we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic every year. It ruins our streets, makes its way into oceans, harms wildlife and takes hundreds of years to break down, while releasing toxic chemicals.
According to Oceana, an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year, with approximately 5 trillion plastic pieces in the ocean already. Out of all the plastic waste ever produced, only 9% has been recycled.
Buying recyclable products and saying no to single use plastic can make a big difference. Reusable cups, bottles and shopping bags are also simple ways to help, significantly reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans, green spaces and landfills.
It’s the 21st century, but you’d be surprised how many companies still rely on paper. Did you know that we encourage paperless invoicing and have reduced paper use in all our offices? Going paperless can make a huge contribution to your in-house environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) targets and play big a role in your corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme too.
Grow your own
Growing your own food is fun for all the family and much tastier too! Start simple with herbs, berries and wild garlic. Then, when you’ve mastered the growing technique, get stuck in! Even if it’s just a few pots around the house or a greenhouse in the garden, every little helps.
Sharing is caring
You name it, you can share it! Hand-me downs, donating unwanted items and sharing resources with friends and family are great ways to reduce unwanted materials ending up in landfill.
Likewise, you can breathe new life into old and tired furniture with some simple DIY and a little effort. Or if upcycling isn’t for you, look for local reuse and recycle groups on social media – most likely there’s someone near you that would be grateful for your unwanted furniture. Most will even take used business furniture like desks and chairs too!
Say no to fast fashion
We’re all doing it. We’re buying more clothes and wearing them once. But when polyester and nylon clothes are washed, they release minuscule particles that contaminate sewage. These tiny fibres contribute to a huge part of micro plastic polluting of the ocean.
Using your buying power and changing your shopping habits will help make sure your money goes towards positive change and help reduce the manufacture of new clothing.
Big brands such as H&M are making green strives in the industry and have launched entire collections made solely out of recycled materials.
Choose green energy suppliers
When it comes to choosing an energy supplier, there are many “shades of green”, says Horne. Green Energy UK, Good Energy, Ecotricity and Octopus Energy are four suppliers who all list renewable energy sources on their website, and OVO Energy supplies renewable energy as a standard.
Energy comparison sites and consultancies can help you find the right energy supplier for your business while choosing one that has the environment at heart.