Think Green, Be Green — July 2021

think green be green

Welcome to the latest instalment of our “Think Green, Be Green” series, where we round up a whole host of sustainable lifestyle hints, tips and trivia.

Take a look below for this month’s picks!

think green be green


The problem with palm oil

Many common gifts and everyday products such as chocolates, cosmetics and bath products contain palm oil, the world’s most popular vegetable oil.

Palm oil grows best uncultivated land. The huge growth in global demand has led to the clearing and burning of vast areas of tropical forest. This destroys the rich biodiversity, and adds to environmental pollution.

Nearly 200 endangered animal species, including critically endangered orang-utans in Borneo, are losing their homes.

It’s not always easy to see that a product contains palm oil, or whether it meets sustainable (RSPO) standards.

The Palm Oil Scorecard from WWF shows which brands are committed to producing palm oil responsibly.

Your smartphone can help, too. Installing sustainable shopping app Giki Badges (for Apple and Android devices) will allow you to scan barcodes to check if a product is made with sustainable palm oil or meets additional environmental aims.

think green be green


Supermarket sweep

Aldi has promised to remove single-use plastic bags from fruit and veg aisles. The retailer will encourage customers to bring their own containers or buy reusable produce bags made from recycled plastic bottles.

With nearly 900 stores in the UK, the move is set to save over 100 tonnes of plastic annually.


Switch savvy

Dark winter days and nights need extra light. But forgetting to switch off lights when leaving a room can bring gloom with the bills.

Just one old-style bulb left on unnecessarily overnight between now and March could cost £18 — and an extra 31 kg in CO2 emissions.

Even an energy-friendly LED bulb would be around an extra £3 and 5 kg in CO2.

think green be green


The wonder of woolies

Drying laundry outside is great if the weather allows. If you need a dryer, though, consider swapping dryer sheets for natural, chemical-free wool dryer balls.

They help to separate the laundry in the machine, cutting drying times, saving money and even reducing static. They last for ages, and they’re compostable, too.

We couldn’t resist this fabulous little flock!


Did you know?

Bonfire Night fires and fireworks quadruple air pollution around November 5, a 2018 Newcastle University study showed.

It helps if bonfires contain only dry, natural materials (not waste wood). Plus, you should only light them in favourable weather.

Still air makes local pollution worse; a good breeze will disperse it to safer concentrations

We’ll be publishing the next instalment of Think Green, Be Green at the end of this month. Keep an eye out for it!

For more great lifestyle advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.