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45 WAYS TO BE MORE ECO FRIENDLY IN 2015

 by tom on 12 Jan 2015 |
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eco friendly tips ideas

Here at Tiny Box Company, we offer a wide range of recycled and eco-friendly products. You can see a full selection of recycled paper bags, clear cello bags, coffee bags and fabrics pouches online; to shop, simply click add to basket or contact our sales team on +44 01342 810900.

If you are looking for more ways of becoming environmentally friendly in the coming year, take a look at our great tips below. Here are 45 ways to be more eco-friendly in 2015...

eco friendly home ideas

1| Don’t pre-heat the oven – unless your recipe really requires you to pre-heat the oven (such as breads and pastries), skip this step to save energy. When checking your food, try to do this by looking through the oven window rather than opening the door as this will cause your oven to lose heat.
2| Choose CFL lightbulbs – CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) can help to save energy, saving you money each year. 
3| Don’t pay more for antibacterial soaps – if you’re tempted to pay that little bit more for antibacterial hand soaps, don’t. Studies have shown that antibacterial ingredients such as trilosan and troclocarban only work if they are left on your hands for at least two minutes. Most of us don’t wait this long before rinsing. So swap “antibacterial” labelled products for standard ones and use hand sanitizer when required.
4| Upcycle empty containers – don’t throw away used containers in the home. You never know when they might come in handy. You can reuse jars, tins or plastic tubs for herbs and spices, dried fruits, cereal or dried pasta.
5| Say goodbye to paper calendars – save paper and card by choosing to keep your social calendar on a device or tablet. Instead of using a paper calendar each year, create a digital one that can be easily accessed whenever you need it.
6| Ban newspapers and magazines – did you know that many mainstream newspapers and publications operate online now? Some are even downloadable as apps for your phone. Ban newspapers and magazines in your home and you can help to save the trees.
7| Make your own cleaning solutions – not only is this more eco-friendly, but homemade cleaning solutions are also non-toxic and natural.
8| Avoid non-stick pans – fluoropolymers are chemicals which are used to create the non-stick surface of many pots and pans. But this chemical is released into the air when you cook; not only is it bad for the environment but it is said to also cause cancer. Swap your non-stick cookware for cast iron pans which already have natural non-stick properties.
9| Keep your fridge well-stocked – it costs more energy and power to cool an empty space than it does to cool a fridge full of food. So make sure you do regular grocery shops to maximise your fridge power.

utlities energy eco friendly ideas

10| Don’t leave things on stand-by – turn all electrical equipment and appliances off at the end of each day. Don’t leave TVs or computers on overnight.
11| Research the Green Deal – The Green Deal is set to receive a new instalment of funding in February 2015 and homeowners and businesses across the UK will be eligible to apply for eco-friendly improvements for their properties.
12| Consider loft or wall insulation – loft or wall insulation can prevent the loss of heat through your roof or the gaps in your walls. Insulation will help to retain heat during the colder seasons, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
13| Power your home with solar – today, there are many solar panel systems which can operate even when the sun is not bright. Powered by daylight (no matter the weather), a solar system could provide your home with up to 60% of your annual hot water.
14| Turn the thermostat down – every little helps so even by turning down the thermostat a few degrees can help you reduce energy consumption.
15| Wash your clothes on a low temperature – unless your laundry is heavily soiled from sports or outdoor activities, most washes do not require high temperature settings. Choose 30°C and you can save a third on running costs.
16| Pay your bills online – save paper and organise for all your utility bills to be paid online. Every little helps when it comes protecting our forests.

eco friendly diy

17| Upcycle old furniture – don’t add to the UK’s landfills with more unused furniture and junk. Anything made out of wood or metal can be easily taken apart and remade into something stylish, unique and useful.
18| Invest in vintage decor – save a vintage piece from becoming waste by giving it a new home. Shopping for vintage furniture and décor relieves the vigorous global manufacturing and production process and helps to rehome some time-honoured pieces. 
19| Re-use old fabrics – don’t throw away unwanted clothing or old curtains/upholstery. Hang onto your unwanted fabrics so that you can use them in the future to make new cushion covers, table cloths, table runners or fabric decorations.
20| Use local paint exchange – if you’re painting your home, search for a paint exchange programme in your local area to see if you can get paint for a fraction of the price.
21| Ditch vinyl show curtains – when renovating your bathroom, don’t choose vinyl shower curtains as they emit over 100 chemicals into the air. Opt for plastic free PVC, cloth or bamboo curtains instead.
22| Use home-made wood stain – did you know that vinegar can make a great stain for your wooden furniture? Avoid using expensive wood stains made from harsh chemicals and try using vinegar from your kitchen cupboard as an alternative.

eco friendly gift ideas

23| Buy recycled gift bags – when shopping for gift bags and gift boxes, always choose a retailer which sells products made from recycled materials. See our full range of eco-friendly gift bags online here at Tiny Box Company.
24| Make your own wrapping paper – use magazines and newspapers to create a ‘recycled chic’ style of wrapping paper. To make it extra special, use newspaper or magazine pages to create intricate bows and gift toppers. Get the full ‘homemade’ effect by using recycled gummed paper gift tape to seal your wrapping.
25| Save gift bows and paper – if you want to save money and the environment, make sure you keep used gift bows and wrapping paper from Christmas, Easter and birthday celebrations.
26| Get crafty with unused fabric – store unwanted clothing or fabric instead of throwing them away and you could create some very unique and beautiful gift bows and ribbons. Ribbon from a haberdashery or gift shop can be expensive; by making your own you are minimising waste and upcycling something old and tired into something new and stylish.
27| Make your own gifts – whether you’re a great baker, a skilled chocolatier or a pro knitter, there are so many ways you can show a loved one that you’re thinking about them rather than purchasing a gift from a shop. Every time you create your own gift, you are saving the environment from manufacturing and production outputs, delivery and emissions, and packaging. Finish off your gifts with some of our eco-friendly bags.
28| Shop for second hand books – there are many second hand book stores in the UK (and online) dealing in used books which are in near perfect condition. These are ideal for gifting, especially if the recipient is an eco-warrior too.
29| Choose vintage designer – whether you’re looking for high-end designer fashion for yourself for an upcoming special event or you’re looking to gift someone special with a one-off designer piece, you can do it much more ethically by choosing to shop vintage. There are many online shops which specialise in vintage designer fashion or you can find a local shop in your area.
30| Save the rainforest gifts – starting from around £25 a month, you could help to preserve the world’s rainforests. Charity organisations such as Woodland Trust and World Land Trust offer ‘Save the Rainforest’ gifts allowing you to donate on behalf of your recipient.
31| Adopt an animal gifts – do your bit for nature by adopting an endangered animal such as tiger, a polar bear or a leopard. Organisations such as the WWF offer gift adoption packages from as little as £3.00 a month and the recipient will receive a certificate of adoption and a photo of the animal. For a presentation box, take a look at our full range of affordable gift boxes.

eco friendly health and beauty

32| Cut cotton pads in half – don’t waste cotton pads or makeup wipes by using more than necessary. Cut everything in half so you only use what you need each time.
33| Make your own lip colours using crayons –one of the best eco and money saving beauty hacks that you have to try for 2015 is making your own lipsticks and lip colours. Believe it or not, cheap children’s crayons are the number one ingredient and you can create any shade you desire instead of paying high street prices. All you need in addition is some coconut oil and a few small pots/containers.
34| Reduce waste with spray bottle – if you use cotton to apply your toner, you could be wasting small amounts of product through the cotton ball’s absorption. Put your toner into a spray bottle to maximise coverage and to prevent wastage.
35| Upcycle your Kirby grips – before you throw away those tired Kirby grips that have lost their grip and shape, check your tool box for a pair of pliers. Straighten out your hair pins and bend them around your pliers until you have some spin pins. Spin pins are perfect for securing hair buns, top knots or any kind of complex up do.

eco friendly shopping tips

36| Try being a veggie – adjusting your diet to include less meat can help save both water and the rainforest. The farming of meat in the UK or in other countries can be extremely detrimental to the environment so sticking to a vegetarian inspired diet, just once a week (or once a month) could help to make a difference.
37| Use reusable shopping bags – don’t let those plastic bags pile up in your waste bin. Instead, bring reusable bags with you every time you do your groceries. Keep a stash in your car in case you do an impromptu shop. 
38| Do your grocery shopping online – in Great Britain, almost 50% of food waste comes from homes. This means that we are not very efficient food shoppers. The key to shopping efficiently for your home is to plan; the best way to do this is to plan meals for the week ahead and shop accordingly. If you want to make sure you avoid food wastage, try shopping online instead of instore. Online shopping allows you to contrast and compare (shop more wisely) and you will also be able to avoid the pitfalls of shop floor marketing.
39| Go to a local green grocers – buying local produce can sometimes be more expensive but it can help to reduce the effects of global warming. Fresh produce in supermarket chains have often travelled up to 1,500 miles to get there so shopping locally reduces the use of fuel and transportation. Many shoppers will also agree that local food tastes fresher and is better for your health.
40| Donate food to homeless shelters – food banks and homeless shelters are always looking for food donations. Instead of chucking everything away, check the best before dates and consider donating to someone who might need it. Reduce the shocking food wastage in Britain today whilst feeding hungry mouths.

eco friendly driving tips

41| Join a car pool – UK air pollution may kill up to 13,000 people each year according to the NHS. Help to reduce the co2 emissions by joining a car pool system at your work place.
42| Try the ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’ – invest in a bicycle and join thousands and thousands of other office workers in the UK who cycle to and from work instead of driving a car. Reduce your carbon footprint and get a discounted bike through the Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme.
43| Work from home – if you’re self-employed, a freelancer or a sole trader, swap your rented office and opt to work from home. Cut back on fuel, save energy and do your bit for the earth whilst working from the comfort of your own home.
44| Adhere to the speed limit – sticking to the speed limit will help you use your fuel much more efficiently. Driving recklessly or over the limit can actually cost you more money and the co2 emissions are damaging to the environment.
45| Plan your route – save every penny of fuel and dramatically reduce your fuel output by planning your route carefully. Find the most time-efficient and fuel-efficient routes by using an online route finder or your SatNav. 
 
Here at The Tiny Box Company, we are big ambassadors for recycling. If you want to find out more about why you should recycle, take a look at our article here. And to shop for eco-friendly packaging products, shop here.

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