Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Here’s a list of some of the things I do to try to reduce my impact on the environment. They’re not particularly earth-shattering, and I’m very aware that I fly far too much, but maybe if we all did lots of little things, it could make some kind of difference. I also realise that I’m privileged to be able to make some of these choices and that not everyone can do this.

  • Recycle as much as I can.
  • Write on scrap paper.
  • Reuse envelopes.
  • Don’t use straws.
  • Drink water.
  • Use just enough water when cooking or boiling the kettle.
  • Use charcoal in a glass jug to filter my water, rather than plastic water filters.
  • Use clothes and washable sponges instead of disposable plastic-based sponges and kitchen roll.
  • Use toothpaste tablets/DentTabs instead of toothpaste.
  • Use shampoo bars instead of bottled shampoo.
  • Use soap bars instead of soap from a dispenser.
  • Dry my hands on my clothes instead of using paper towels or a hand dryer.
  • Write with pencils instead of pens.
  • Save pens to be recycled.
  • Switch off lights when I leave a room.
  • Switch off my phone at night.
  • Never leave things on standby.
  • Switch off my computer completely.
  • Take my own bags shopping, including for fruit and veg.
  • Choose products in paper metal or glass instead of plastic if I can.
  • Almost never order takeaways.
  • Make my own bread and cakes instead of buying ones wrapped in plastic.
  • Keep my electronic devices for as long as they are usable, rather than replacing them every couple of years.
  • Only charge my devices when the battery has run down, and unplug themonce they’ve charged.
  • Walk or use public transport – I’ve never wanted to learn to drive, partly for environmental reasons.
  • Have reusable water bottles.
  • Eat almost no meat at home.
  • Reduce the amount of dairy I eat.
  • Choose the most local fruit or veg.
  • Eat what’s in season.
  • Buy only as much food as I need and eat all of it before it goes off or freeze it if I think I won’t be able to.
  • Use my own lunchboxes to take away leftover food from restaurants.
  • Only buy clothes and shoes when I really need them.
  • Buy clothes from charity shops or secondhand instead of new.
  • Use to pass on books I’m unlikely to ever read again.
  • Use a solar-powered lamp in my bedroom.
  • Use a solar-powered fan.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Put extra clothes on or use extra blankets before I choose to turn up the heating.

What haven’t I thought of? What else do you do?

Comments on: "Reducing my environmental impact" (10)

  1. Amy Wilson Pleydell said:

    A great effort, Sandy! Well done. One idea I read recently was collecting excess water from your shower, or the water you run while waiting for the sink/bath tap to heat up, and using it to water your plants.I I haven’t yet done it myself, to my shame, but it makes sense. You’ve inspired me with your post.


  2. I am intrigued by the toothpaste idea. I have never heard of the alternatives you suggested. I have tried a toothbrush made from bamboo but now use an electric toothbrush on the dentist recommendation. I try to only charge in the day as we have solar panels. Also in the classroom I really try to cut down on my photocopies and use double sided, create documents with narrow margins to use less paper etc. If everyone does what they can I am sure it must have a positive impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost never cut anything up or copy anything for the classroom, but then my students generally have books, which helps! I only found those alternatives through the Anything But Plastic website. I’m still working through a bumper pack of plastic toothbrushes – I didn’t know about bamboo ones when I bought them, but have one to try when the plastic ones are finished.


  3. HI Sandy,

    your list is great! I hadn’t thought about using pencils instead of pens.

    Can I share your list on my social network page? do you have a facebook page?










  4. […] In a recent post, Sandy Millin gives a list of some of the things she does to try to reduce her impact on the environment. They include some good suggestions, but they ignore the issue of flying. “I’m very aware that I fly far too much” she says, but she says nothing more about it. It’s an issue that surely needs addressing. […]


  5. Erika Karlsson said:

    What do you do about an alarm clock if you switch your phone off at night?


  6. Janey Futerill said:

    data storage = energy use. Lots of energy use. I’m no longer sure that ‘paper bad’, ‘online good’ is quite rght.


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