Today marks Earth Day 2021, so we wanted to share just a few easy tips that can help you reduce your carbon footprint (and save some money along the way too). The benefits of protecting the world are obvious, as well as becoming increasingly necessary; active conservation and sustainability efforts worldwide are critical in order to make sure we can keep enjoying the beautiful planet we live on.
CBD & Sustainability
Before we get into things - how does CBD measure up environmentally? Fortunately, hemp plants are one of the most sustainable and versatile plant materials out there. Their fast speed of growth means a quicker turnaround on harvesting, less land needed, and in many cases (and in the case of Unique CBD) can be grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. We also use CO2 extraction, considered the more environmentally friendly CBD extraction option, and test all our products to ensure they are free from unwanted chemicals.
We also make ongoing donations to Ecologi; supporting climate projects and planting forests. You can view our forest here, and see what projects we are currently funding.
Now, let’s have a look at some of our tips on what you can easily do on a daily basis to help minimise your own impact on the planet.
1. Travel Considerately
Often, travel can’t be helped. Everyone needs to catch an Uber or go on a plane every now and again; when we say to travel "considerately", this is more about making small adjustments where you can. Be conscious of your future travel plans or work commutes, and if you can walk or cycle, or even take public transport over driving, then this will have a significant reduction on your personal carbon emissions. If driving is your only option and it’s something you do regularly, you might also want to consider switching to an electric or hybrid car - modern electric cars can now run more cost-effectively than petrol/ diesel vehicles, as well as offering tax and congestion charge incentives.
Plane journeys can admittedly be harder to avoid- if there’s an ocean in the way and you need to get somewhere quickly, you're fairly limited for options. However, packing light and planning long or frequent trips as efficiently as possible will still make a surprising contribution. Even very small reductions of weight on a flight can have a significant long term impact on fuel consumption, especially if everybody makes the collective effort.
2. Eat Less Meat
The link between meat consumption and the environment isn’t an immediately obvious one, but it accounts for a surprisingly large proportion of global environmental damage. Raising animals requires huge amounts of water, land and time, which could far more efficiently be used for much larger quantities of plant-based food. As an example, a report found that about 15,000 litres of water is needed per 1kg of beef produced, whereas products such as rice, beans and wheat are closer to 1000-3000 litres per kg.
There are plenty of meat alternatives out there, but also (as with travel) it doesn’t have to be about cutting everything out- that’s just not realistic for most people. An awareness of your meat intake and a couple of substitutes or alternatives here and there, however, would still contribute to a marked difference overall. Perhaps try going meat-free during weekdays, or trying out some of the veggie or vegan takeaway options in your area next time; you might be pleasantly surprised.
3. Keep Track of Energy Usage
Leaving a light on or the heating going whilst you’re out of the house might be the easy option, but all those little things that might not feel like they’re making a difference can add up over a month or a year. Not only does this add a measurable amount to your carbon footprint, but also to your bills; so there’s a direct incentive there for you to make sure you’re not wasting energy.
Replacing old filament bulbs with LED bulbs, turning down the thermostat by a few degrees, unplugging appliances you aren’t using (depending on how much you use it, for example, the clock on your microwave might be using more power throughout the year than it uses actually heating up food)- there are a whole load of ways to make small optimisations that can ultimately add up to noticeable savings in the long run, plus you’re helping the environment while you’re at it; everyone’s a winner.
4. Recycle & Reuse
When we are able to recirculate the materials we have already created, this cuts back on our need to source new raw materials from the earth. This means greater rainforest conservation, less crude oil used, and less energy required to recycle the material into a new product. Useful though materials like cardboard and plastic are, the amount of single-use plastic products and cardboard waste going into landfill is an unsustainable epidemic.
In recent years, many brands have become more aware of this and more consumers have started to recognise the importance of buying products that have less of an impact on the planet, but there is still some way to go. Thankfully, almost all packaging these days will let you know if it’s recyclable.
5. Shop Sustainably
It can be very tempting to buy mass produced clothing or products, especially when the prices are as low as they are. “Fast fashion”, as it’s commonly referred to, has led to a huge increase in customers buying clothing but a significant decrease in the amount of time people keep those clothes for - what can feel like savings at the time may not actually pay off in the long run.
Garments that are made sustainably and from responsibly sourced materials may cost more, but will have much less of an impact on the environment and will last much longer. Fast fashion has also been linked to other ethical issues such as excess water use, harmful chemical pollution, unsafe/ unfair working conditions and human rights violations.