How to do your part; help make Chelmsford more eco friendly

Ellie Lakin, The Boswells School


In the last few years, the threat of global warming and plastic pollution has become a serious topic throughout the world, triggering mass protests demanding change from businesses and the government. Although big changes made by the government are needed to aid the earths path to recovery, little changes within households can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing emissions, plastic pollution and general waste. However, it can be hard to find the time and money to invest into living more sustainably, so I’ve come up with 5 top tips that make this lifestyle change accessible to everyone!

1. Shop refillable

       Chelmsford’s local refill shop provides a range of eco-friendly products from tea bags to rice, sponges to laundry detergent. This is a great way to buy clean, waste free products whilst also supporting a local business. The shop which is ran by an eco-enthusiastic couple is tucked away at the end of Bond Street and is perfect when everyday household necessities need to be topped up. Although shopping in this style is stereotypically a lot dearer than products coated in plastic with thousands of air miles, this is most certainly not the case in Chelmsford. Most of the time, your total bill is pretty much the same or sometimes even less money. 

How can you use this store? Well, as previously stated the shop has nearly everything you need in your house. The best way to make the most of their facilities is by taking a container of your own and filling it up with desired product; pasta, flour, raisins, shampoo and my personal favourite, their plant based and gluten free sweets, yum! This may be one of the bigger changes suggested but is definitely one that you won’t regret.

 2. Eat less meat and more plant based

The meat industry is responsible for around 60% of global greenhouse gases, having the most detrimental effect on the environment. Producing one burger uses the same amount of fossil fuels as powering a small car for 20 miles and with the UK consuming over 2.5 billion a year, that’s enough power for a small car to drive around the circumference of the world over 1.26 million times! Although this statistic is terrifying, it’s a statistic that’s in our control and with hard work and commitment, we can aim to reverse it. 50 years ago, meat was more of a delicacy but now due to mass production, meat is now a staple part of most people’s diet. However, there are so many plant-based options that taste just as good and helps the planet in the process. By becoming a vegetarian, you HALF the carbon footprint of an average meat eater. This change may seem impossible to many but coming from personal experience, it gets easier once you’ve taken the plunge with so many alternative products available such as ‘Quorn’ or ‘Linda McCartney’s meat free range’ the change really is within your reach. With many supermarkets and restaurants making meat-free alternatives more flavoursome and accessible, there’s no excuse not to give them a try. However, if you’re a real meat lover and refuse to give up meat, just reducing your weekly intake or buying from sustainable sources can make a difference. Eating less red meat and replacing it with chicken will not only benefit the environment but also your health. Little changes make all the difference. 

3. Reduce fast fashion intake – 


Now we all love buying new clothes for different seasons, following current trends and putting on something glam for a new event, there’s something about buying a new outfit and strutting in it that makes us feel so special. But I can tell you, nothing can beat the feeling when you find an absolute gem in a charity shop that fits you like a glove for half the price. 

Fast fashion is the second biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions. Fast fashion is when clothes are popular one season and not the next, meaning you keep buying and filling up your closet with new clothes attempting to stay on top of trends. 

Charity shops are a great way to access different styles and fashions trends without having a bad impact on the environment. Chelmsford is filled with charity shops; products ranging from furniture to wedding dresses, boots to scarves, everything you need can be found in a charity shop. 


3. Ditch your car one day a week – 

In the modern world, we rely heavily on transport to get us from a to b in the quickest way possible. Domestic transport is responsible for 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions, however those who decide to walk or hop on their bikes reduce their carbon footprint by 0.5 tones each year! Cycling or walking is a great way to reduce your CO2 emissions as well as getting in some exercise and socializing, with many routes around Chelmsford providing scenic views, it’s a no brainer to ditch your car on the weekend. 


5. Recycle – 

Finally, recycling! Recycling is a simple way to dispose of your single use waste. Many eco-friendly brands rely on people to recycle so they can carry on making their sustainable products made from recycled materials. Recycling can also be reusing; carrying a reusable coffee cup instead of buying your drink in a disposable one, try and carry a water bottle with you so you don’t have to buy bottled water when you’re out this could mean you save 150 plastic bottles from being thrown away each year.

Different items such as food, clothes and shower products are all recycled differently. By recycling or composting your food you can reduce your carbon footprint by 25% .If it went to land fill, it releases chemical the damaging greenhouse gas, methane. Clothes can be recycled by donating to charity shops, selling on eBay, or even giving them to a friend or family member, this breaks the fast fashion cycle. Shower products from Lush that are bought in plastic can be bought back to the store as part of their recycling scheme where they reuse the empty pots you take back. This allows you to still buy luxurious shower products without feeling guilty because they’re wrapped in plastic. 


So, overall there are many different ways you can make a small changes, which will make a huge difference . Make a positive change today!