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Tips for sustainable living at home

Bridging World Earth Day on April 22 and World Ocean’s Day on June 8 the Chronicle aims to run a series of articles that hope to help address the various ways people can ‘Restore Our Earth’, this week its tips on what you can do at home.

A lot of people are aware of many little tips that can help reduce the impact of humans on the planet.

Tips such as turning off lights when leaving a room, not wasting food, recycling, reducing use of plastic, not wasting water. However, some people may not be aware of ways to do some of these things.

Saving water is beneficial to the planet, not just in general but in particular in Gibraltar where electricity is used to desalinate the sea water that flows from our taps and toilets.

Some water saving tips include:
1. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth or shave your face
2. Reduce the time you spend in the shower and turn the shower off when you are lathering your hair or beard with shampoo
3. Avoid baths when possible or if you do bathe the baby in their bath use the water to wash down the balcony, car or even the windows
4. Let the water you have used to cook your vegetables in cool down and use it to water your plants
5. Stop flushing the toilet for non-human waste purposes such as flushing a tissue used to wipe your nose or tears away
6. If you are remodelling the bathroom get a low flush toilet or place a plastic bottle in the cistern of the traditional toilet
7. Only use your washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load
8. When handwashing dishes do not let the water flow continuously. The same for washing vegetables or fruit
9. Fix a dripping tap as soon as it starts to drip
10. Only use what you need when boiling the kettle or cooking food and if you overestimate use the leftover on house plants or for cleaning

Some tips on being more sustainable with food and drink:
1. Place a used banana peel in a jar and fill with water, wait a week and use the water as fertiliser for your plants
2. Use ground coffee from a percolator as a fertiliser for your plants
3. Buy locally sourced food and food that is in season and ugly misshapen food
4. Think about the packaging your food comes in, avoid plastic and choose recyclable products like cans or paper
5. Compost your food if possible or offer it to someone who does compost
6. Take up vermiculture and use worms to create fertiliser from food wastage
7. Use your vegetable peels to make a vegetable broth
8. Or use those vegetable peels to make home-made chips by baking in the oven after you drizzle them with oil and a sprinkle of salt
9. Use the seeds found in your food to regrow them at home, or use cutting such as that of an onion to grow them at home
10. Chop up fresh herbs and freeze them in water and defrost when you need them

Some other tips for around the house:
1. Avoid products with chemicals as much as possible, especially chemicals in washing detergents use eco friendly products instead
2. Toilet paper made many headlines during 2020 and while it is obviously essential opt for eco friendly toilet paper made from bamboo as that grows a lot quicker than trees
3. Avoid plastic wrap and instead buy waxed products to wrap food in
4. Use metal or bamboo straws instead of plastic
5. Carefully unwrap presents and re use the paper
6. Bring your own containers to collect your takeaway food and your own cup for takeaway coffee/tea
7. Become a minimalism and learn to live with less of everything not just clothes, but furniture, kitchen appliances, towels, toys etc
8. Use an old t-shirt or shirt as a cleaning cloth, wash and reuse
9. Use natural brushes and scrubs instead of plastic ones that are typically green with white or yellow

Check back with the Chronicle over the coming weeks for more ideas on how to restore the earth and live more sustainably.

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