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8 ways to be greener this summer

Posted by arden on 25th July 2018

8 ways to be greener this summer

We’re not often blessed in the sunshine department here in old Blighty, but when it does make an appearance, you better believe that even us expert homebodies make a special effort to emerge from our dens to appreciate all that nature has to offer.

With picnics galore, nightly BBQ’s and festivals taking place every other weekend, the environment can really take a hit. So with that in mind, we’ve come up with a few simple ways to greenify your summer and reduce your footprint without (we hope) ruining any of that lovely summer fun!

plastic-free picnics

Two things that often make picnics rife with plastic? Disposable serving ware, and plastic food packaging!  Switching to reusable cutlery is a simple and waste free solution. In terms of food packaging, try to buy in bulk or better yet - make your own food and bring it in reuasable containers. Things like crisps and sweets packaging really add up. In fact, crisp and sweet bags are two of the top 5 things found on beaches around the world (according to the #2minutebeachclean app, where over 35,000 pieces of litter have been logged.)

Leave no trace

Millions of people in the UK go to music festivals each year - and you can count a few of us teapigs in that statistic! As wonderful as festivals are, thousands of people gathering in a field for a prolonged period of time is always going to be a BIG environmental burden. 23,500 tonnes of waste was produced at music festivals in the UK in 2014 with 68% of that litter going to landfills. Double yikes!

So next time you go to a festival or have a big park picnic, challenge yourself to leave nothing behind but footprints. We recommend packing lightly with only reusable, recyclable or biodegradable things, and most importantly…take all your belongings back with you, tent pegs and all. 

go veggie at BBQ’s

It turns out the beloved BBQ may lead to more environmental harm than car pollution. Livestock production releases an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases to all of our transportation combined, plus a BIG part of those emissions is something called CH4 (methane), which scientists have concluded is 28 times more potent than CO2 in terms of its “global warming potential!” Picnics and BBQs are also often breeding ground for rubbish like plastic cups, cutlery, straws, and plates. Even paper plates and cups often contain plastic as a coating (check out other hidden plastics here!)

Add more salads and veg to BBQ menu, like our quinoa salad recipe with matcha dressing (yum!) or veggie burgers, and you'll be making a BIG impact. Fun fact--one of the winning sausage rolls in our annual sausage roll contest at teapigs HQ was a vegetarian version filled with butternut squash and goats cheese.

leave the car at home

With the prospect of a sunny Saturday spent on the beach, it's no wonder greenhouse gases from transportation emissions see a spike in the summer. 

Why not get outside and enjoy the sunshine by walking or cycling. If you're heading further afield, try public transport or simply carpool with friends, rather than all driving seperately.

Visit your local ‘pick your own’ or farmers market

How fun is it to go to a pick your own farm and hand select your own strawbs on a nice summer’s day? Picking your own not only reduces your food packaging waste but it reduces the miles your food takes to get to you, reducing your carbon footprint drastically. Farmer’s markets are another venue which offer a huge variety of really fresh produce and a more engaging shopping experience where you can talk to some local farmers. If you don’t have either of these options, a greengrocer can be a good one for local produce with minimal plastic wrapped veg.

Go one better and start your own vegetable patch

Why not go SUPER local and start your own backyard vegetable patch (or windowsill herb garden, if you live in a flat). It may sound like a ton of work but in the end it’s totally worth it for the endless free rosemary, tomatoes, basil, and anything else you could grow. Here at the teapigs office we’ve started growing some mint, basil, and chives and who knows? Maybe the mini courtyard we’ve got could turn into a full on teapigs allotment (one can dream!)

Heading to a festival? Use biodegradable glitter!

Festivals now days are ALL about the glitter (…for us at least) however did you know glitter classifies as micro-plastic, and will be found lurking in the Glastonbury fields for years to come. The fab news is biodegradable glitter exists, and it is just as colourful and wonderful as the regular stuff. Seems like a no brainer to us. 

Reusable water bottles - always!

This one may be a bit obvious but…get yourself a reusable water bottle! We get through 3.5 billion plastic bottles every year in the UK and it is a huge issue.  It is hot and sunny and you will need some refreshment in the summer, so why not just bring your own bottle everywhere you go and avoid having to buy some at the shop! 

Bonus point – liven up your living space with some indoor plants! They not only look great, but they help clean your air and reduce indoor pollution.

Want more tips for a fun and sustainable summer?