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Environment

Residents tell us their tips for sustainable living

Residents tell us their tips for sustainable living

In November, when global discussions were taking place at COP26, we asked you to tell us about the ways you are living more sustainably and reducing your carbon footprint right here in Elmbridge.

We have published some of these ideas below to encourage and inspire us all to take action, make positive changes and reduce our impact on the environment. 

Elmbridge sustainable living tips

1. Eating less meat and choosing a plant-based diet

A selection of vegetables

Could you consider having more meat-free days? Eating more plant-based foods will help to cut your carbon footprint.  Plant-based foods include nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans, as well as fruit and vegetables.   

2. Saving energy by unplugging appliances that are on standby

Person pressing a button on the TV remote

So-called vampire appliances can use electricity even when they’re not on. Switch them off at the plug rather than leave them on standby and you will be helping to lower your electricity bills as well as saving the planet. 

3. Growing herbs, fruit and vegetables

Pots of herbs on a windowsill

Making use of space in your garden or even growing herbs on a windowsill can be a rewarding hobby that will also help the planet. Gardening is also known to help combat stress and anxiety so it’s good for your wellbeing too.

4. Installing a water butt in the garden

Catch rainwater in your garden with a water butt or barrel.  This will give you water on tap to water your garden whenever you need it.

5. Reducing water usage by timing showers

Shower head


Shortening your shower time by just one minute can make a significant difference to the amount of water you use and reduce the amount of energy used to heat the water. Why not give it a go?

6. Starting a compost

Compost heap

Not only is making your own compost good for your garden and for potting up plants, it’s great for recycling your vegetable food waste too, so reducing the tonnage that is collected by your bin men each week. The key to good compost is getting the mix right with a balance of green and brown stuff, and to turn it creating air pockets, then let the worms and beetles do their work.

7. Waking up earlier to walk to work

Two people walking

Of course not everyone lives within walking distance of their place of work, but if you do, walking instead of taking the car will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also helping you keep fit. 

8. Signing up to Greenredeem

Laptop, food waste bin and sustainable living items

Join fellow residents by registering with Greenredeem. The platform provides fun weekly activities (including videos, quizzes, blogs and pledges) with solutions for how to reduce waste at home and out and about. By participating in these activities you will get rewarded with points, which you can use to get something back for yourself or donate to the community.

More inspiration

Melodie

If you want to do more, why not take inspiration from Melodie (age 10 from Walton-on-Thames)? Melodie has been collecting crisp packets, washing them, cutting them and then sending to the Crisp Packet Project who use them as a layer of insulation in bedding for rough sleepers.  A great way to give life to single use plastics!

More information

Sustainability and carbon reduction are a priority for the council, and we are working to become a more sustainable organisation.  If you’d like to know more, please visit our Sustainable Elmbridge web pages for information on what we are doing in key areas such as travel, environment and development. 

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