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Super small changes that make a difference

Plastic bottles on a stony beach

RYA Sustainability Officer, Olivia Wells, shares some of her super small and simple changes with The Green Blue.

In this article I wanted to share some simple changes with you that I have made to live more sustainably, reduce my own carbon footprint and to help make a difference.

1) Swapping your search engine to Ecosia: This one takes less than 2 minutes, and you can make a difference whilst sat working. Ecosia search engine plants trees whilst you search the web. Each search you make, generates income from ads, which is then used to plant trees across the globe. So far Ecosia have planted over 117 million trees. They are a carbon negative certified B corporation. You are also able to download it as a mobile app.

2) SMOL products: I switched to SMOL products for laundry and dishwasher tablets last year and it has been amazing. You have total control of your orders which can be modified any time and they are delivered to you in plastic free recyclable packaging. You can also post back certain containers to be refilled. All the products are cruelty free and free from any animal derived ingredients. Bonus they make your clothes smell amazing too.

3) Tetra pack recycling: Most of us know what can and cannot be recycled in our home waste bins. But did you know local tips have facilities to recycle so much more. For the last year I have been collecting tetra cartons (from oat milk and fruit juice) and then take them to the tip to be recycled.

4) Going meat free – your diet has a huge influence over your carbon footprint. Reducing your intake of meat and dairy products has a positive impact on the environment, animal welfare and your budget. If you need some meal inspiration check out the BBC good food article on classic recipes minus the meat.

5) Using a re-usable bottle – I take my bottle everywhere with me. It is worth investing in a good quality, BPA free bottle that will last you. There is a very helpful free app called Refill which shows refill water stations as well as places offering discount for bring your own cup.

6) Green Energy – swapping to a green energy supplier or tariff is a quick way to make a difference without really doing anything. I use Ecotricity for my home supplier. Through the RYA’s partnership with Ecotricity you can now receive a John Lewis voucher worth up to £30*, plus Ecotricity will donate the equivalent amount of up to £30* to The Green Blue.


Want to know more on sustainable boating top tips? Check out The Green Blues ‘You & Your Boat’ page to start thinking about environmental conscious actions you can do whilst prepping to get back on the water.

Interested to find out more on a specific sustainability topic? Email your questions to Olivia on environment@rya.org.uk .


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