In partnership with Guernsey Electricity
When it comes to living more sustainably, lots of small changes can have a big impact on our wellbeing, our local environment and can ultimately change the world we live in for the better. As Guernsey Electricity moves forwards with plans for a more sustainable future for our island through Electric Living, they shared some ideas with us on how to live a greener life.
Image from Guernsey Electricity
Did you know that a typical daily drive in Guernsey is around 14-20 miles? That’s a considerable amount of harmful exhaust fumes being pumped into our local atmosphere each day. By choosing to travel that distance in an electric or hybrid vehicle, you can significantly reduce the negative impact of your daily commute on the environment… and the good news is that the cost of electric cars, vans and scooters is gradually coming down as demand increases and technology improves. In fact, electric cars can cost as little as £2 a week to run locally.
Another eco-friendly option ideal for island life is the electric bike. This will give you a daily cardio workout but it’s not as vigorous as regular cycling… and let’s face it, you don’t want to turn up at work looking like you’ve just tackled the Val des Terres! And of course, walking instead of driving short distances is another easy win for your health and for the environment.
By making small changes to our eating habits we can all waste less food, which will play an important role in slowing down global warming. According to Love Food Hate Waste, if food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States. And it’s not just the environment that would benefit from less food waste - local families could save as much as £800 per year!
There are some easy changes you can make on your green food journey. Simple things such as planning your shopping so that you only buy what you need, eating less red meat to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, and adjusting your fridge setting so that your milk and fresh food last longer. Knowing your labels is another good way to waste less. Don’t eat food if it has passed its 'Use By' date, but 'Best Before' is about quality rather than safety so while your produce may not be at its best, you don’t automatically need to throw it away when it hits its 'Best Before' date.
When you buy from a local supplier you are helping to boost the local economy and also helping the environment by reducing the air miles and packaging involved in your purchase - your goods may have been produced on island, or brought into the island in bulk rather than being one of thousands of individual deliveries making their way to different homes every day.
The Shop Local message doesn’t necessarily mean you don't buy from the outside world - it’s just not possible to live like that on our small island. But we can support local businesses who use local resources sustainably and employ local workers. Chances are you’ll have a better shopping experience too, with personal service and accessible customer support and aftercare.
Using less energy means less stress on the environment, so by insulating your home and investing in eco-friendly technology you are doing your bit to combat climate change. We can all do our bit by making small changes like turning down the heating a few degrees or switching to LED light bulbs, to save money as well as energy in the longer term.
By making more significant changes such as switching to an energy supplier that uses renewable sources, you’ll have peace of mind that your choice of energy is helping to take a step towards a cleaner, greener future for our island. In Guernsey today, over 90% of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources such as hydro, wind and solar power.
Image from Guernsey Electricity
What better way to live a greener life than to reconnect with nature. By planting pollinator patches or turning over some of your garden to wildflowers you can give Mother Nature a hand to preserve natural green spaces... and cut down on the gardening chores at the same time! If wildflowers aren’t your thing, why not have a go at growing your own veg, or take advantage of the wonderful selection of hedge veg we have here in Guernsey - you know where your food is coming from and the food miles associated with your side salad are massively reduced.
Whatever you do, make sure you take time to enjoy a moment in nature and just take it all in.. our beautiful beaches, the stunning cliff paths, the parks or your own back garden. The more we appreciate the natural beauty of our natural island environment, the more likely we are to try to preserve and protect it for generations to come.