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How to be more sustainable at home

From cutting down on what you throw away to shopping more mindfully, here are some easy, everyday ways to be greener at home and kinder to the planet.

From avoiding single-use plastics and making our homes more energy efficient, to thinking more about where the products we buy come from, we are all being encouraged to make more eco-conscious choices in our daily lives as the climate crisis grows ever more urgent. 

The good news is that there are lots of easy, everyday things we can do to reduce our individual carbon footprint and live more sustainably. 

Here are some small eco-friendly changes you can start making today to help make a big difference.

Make conscious choices

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When it comes to reducing the amount of energy we consume at home, there are plenty of quick-win changes we can all make with very little effort. 

Get in the habit of unplugging electrical devices once they’re fully charged and avoid leaving them on standby. Turn off lights when you leave a room and make the switch to LED lightbulbs. Washing your clothes at 30°C, and with a full load, will save you energy and water, while installing a smart meter is a great way to keep track of how much energy your household is using in real-time. 

Reduce your carbon footprint by making shorter journeys on foot, by bike or on public transport, rather than always jumping in the car. And cut down on your use of single-use plastics by taking your own bags to the shops, using reusable coffee cups and water bottles and buying loose fruit and veg rather than ones that are heavily packaged.

Recycle, reuse, donate

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You never just throw something away- it has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually landfill. Most of us are pretty good at recycling these days, but it’s good to familiarise yourself with what you can and can’t recycle in your local area, and what items need to be washed, flattened or separated out. For hard-to-recycle items like batteries or plastic bags, find out about your nearest collection point. 

When it comes to getting rid of unloved items from your home or wardrobe, stop to think about whether it still has some life in it first. Can it be repaired, repurposed or upcycled- or find a new home with someone else? Donate items that are still in good condition to charity, give them away to friends or family or sell online. 

Avoiding food waste

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The most obvious way to reduce how much food you waste is to only buy what you’re going to eat. Plan out your meals before you shop, basing your shopping list around food you already have in the cupboard at home and buying ingredients that work for a few different meals, so you’ll be sure to use them all up. Batch cooking meals for the freezer will also help you reduce what you throw away-and help you get ahead of the food prep, too (check out our great beginner’s guide to batch cooking for tips on getting started). 

When it comes to leftovers, often all it takes is a little creativity to turn  last night’s dinner into today’s lunch. Leftover veggies can be blended down to make a hearty soup or pasta sauce, added to a couscous salad  or used in a stir fry. Stale bread? Don’t chuck it away- it’s perfect for making croutons for a delicious panzanella salad, or blitzing into breadcrumbs in your food processor to use another day. And don’t forget about vegetable peelings and stalks. Save scraps throughout the week and keep in an airtight container in the fridge until you have enough to make a delicious homemade vegetable stock.   

Connecting you with local eateries, retailers and even neighbours who have leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away, using food waste apps is another great way to do your bit to promote sustainable eating, and possibly pick up a cheap meal while you’re at it. While if you have a little patch of garden to call your own, or even a window sill, growing your own fruit, veg or herbs will provide you with a steady stream of your own locally grown, organic goodies. It may also encourage you to eat a more plant-based diet- cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy products we consume is said to be the biggest single thing we can individually do to help the planet.

Built to last

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Buy less, and buy better. When it comes to shopping for clothes or homewares, invest in high-quality, well-made items that you will use and love for years to come, instead of being swayed by the latest fast fashion hit or seasonal trend. Or scour pre-loved sites and shops for classic vintage pieces that are completely unique, with zero cost to the environment. 

Creating timeless, innovative products that are built to last is at the heart of what we do at Kenwood. Products like our range of versatile stand mixers are designed for you to use and enjoy for years and years, and even pass on down the generations. All our products come with at least a year’s guarantee, while many of our stand mixers and food processors are guaranteed for 5 years from purchase. Spare parts are also readily available, so in the unlikely event that something goes wrong at some stage, it doesn’t have to mean the end for your machine.  And with an unrivalled range of over 25 additional attachments available to create every kind of dish, you can tailor your stand mixer to be the ultimate kitchen companion- negating the need to buy several different kitchen tools and gadgets that you may only end up using occasionally. 

There are so many simple ways you can make your life greener.  You can get more sustainable living inspiration and work out your individual carbon footprint here.