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How You Can Live More Sustainably: Recycled Items, Alternative Options and Greener Habits

There’s never been as great an emphasis placed on environmental sustainability as there has been over the past couple of years. The advocacy and activism being carried out by the likes of Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough seems to have made a genuine difference. There are so many easy ways in which you can live a more sustainable life that don’t require you to permanently up sticks and live in the forest! The team here at Lemon, who offer various recycled items as a workplace solutions provider, wanted to look at some of these little tips and tricks in a little more detail.

Reducing How Much We Use Single-Use Items

One of the biggest environmental issues faced, globally, is the problem of pollution, especially ocean pollution. Single-use plastics don’t degrade - at least, not in any useful timescale, with one plastic bottle, for instance, taking up to 500 years to degrade. Because of this, they end up on landfill, strewn across the countryside or within the world’s oceans, circulating around in global currents (known as gyres). These plastics can have devastating impacts on marine life, and so the best thing we can all try and do (before we even get to recycled items, themselves) is reducing our single-use plastic usage in the first place.

Switching to re-usable items is an easy and pain-free way in which you can make a difference. Purchasing your own re-usable water bottle, for example, is better for the environment and saves you money in the long-term! They’re also much easier to stamp your own personality on. Here at Lemon, for example, we offer bespoke water bottles which can be personalised with the logo/design of your brand, workplace, club, or whatever it happens to be! In our eyes, these bottles are a win-win, and a must-have in this young decade. We also sell stainless steel drinks flasks. Lemon donate 10% of all proceeds to the Big Blue ocean clean up campaign, removing plastics from oceans around the world.

Other Single-Use Alternatives

Saving up on bottles of water isn’t the only change you can make. Other single-use plastic alternatives include:

· Swapping disposable razors for a reusable alternative (generally, they look, feel and perform better).

· Visiting ‘refillable’ stores (which are becoming increasingly common) and using your own personal containers, rather than always going to the supermarket – where most the food comes in single-use plastic containers.

· Straw replacements; plastic straws are a nightmare for animals such as turtles, and using a metal, bamboo or silicon (reusable, washable plastic) alternative is much more environmentally-friendly.

Of course, there’s a form of ‘single-use’ which is more acceptable – biodegradable items. If you can find something which is compostable, or that will break down completely in a short time-frame, then there’s no reason at all why you can’t use this.

Mix Up Your Transport – Go Green Every Day (Or As Much As Possible)

During the lockdown, earlier this year, many of us became much more active as a means of looking after our health, both mental and physical. With the majority of us consigned to working from home (or twiddling thumbs whilst furloughed, also from home), exercise seemed as good a way as any to pass the time. Alongside this surge in activity came an almost total drop-off in vehicular emissions. Cities across the world reported on significant reductions air pollution and particulate concentrations, prompting the question: why should this change, post-lockdown?

If you’re able to, walking or cycling to work is a great way of keeping active whilst also keeping the air around you cleaner - something which is beneficial, not only to you, but everyone around you. As humans, we tend to think in absolute terms. And whilst the greatest benefit, environmentally speaking, would come from giving up driving altogether, for example, this isn’t always feasible. That’s no reason not to make the effort, though! Anywhere you can make a change, even if it seems too small to make a difference, is worth it. If it’s a case of cycling into work once a week, that’s still one day a week where you’re not contributing to vehicle emissions!

Recycled Items: Make Smarter Purchases

Whilst there’s been a big push in recent years on making everything paperless, we’re not quite there yet, and many offices still get through a fair amount of stationery supplies every year. Traditionally, this has been difficult to do because cheap, mass-produced (less environmentally friendly supplies) just made more sense, financially. This isn’t the case anymore, however. Recycled items are more commonplace and widely available than ever before, and mean that if you are needing to bulk buy stationery, to continue with that example, then you can do so with a more environmentally-clean conscious, and without breaking the bank.

Recycled Doesn’t Mean Bad

There’s a bit of a stigma surrounding recycled items, pertaining to their quality. People seem to think that because they’re made from reconstituted ‘ingredients’, that they’re somehow lower in quality. This isn’t the case. Whilst early attempts may have, indeed, been a little ‘rough around the edges’ (quite literally in the case of recycled paper…) they’ve long since been refined. Nowadays, there’s no doubt that the quality of recycled items is on a par with their ‘new’ counterparts.

Living a more sustainable life needn’t be as drastic as many people make it out to be. It’s about making the difference that you’re able, in whatever way that may be. The important thing is that you do make the effort. So, if you’d like to find out more about the recycled items we offer, then get in touch! Contact Lemontoday by emailing us on info@lemon.co.uk or by calling us on 0333 241 6950.