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The Naturesave Guide to Being Green

Welcome to the Naturesave guide to being green. We’ve scoured the web and asked a few friends, in an effort to come up with the definitive list of the changes you can make that will have the most impact.

Importantly, we would like to highlight that individual changes alone will not solve the climate crisis. In addition to that we need to major policy changes at a government level. The good news is that individuals can influence those changes, and we dont mean by waiting for an election – read on to find out how.

Decarbonise your power

What can I do? 

You can also           

Change your boiler – Heating your home accounts for around 60 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference. If your boiler is more than 20 years old it is worth replacing with a condensing boiler that is 15-20% more efficient

Swap the plane for the train

When you think of flying, it usually relates to holidays and sunshine. So its tough to hear that it is worse than most other forms of transport in terms of the impact of greenhouse gases per passenger mile. This is then further exacerbated by the distances involved. If aviation was a country, it would be the 7th worst polluter globally. Unfortunately we cant blame the rest of the world as it’s us Brits who fly way more than anyone else (blame the weather!). Whilst there are great technological solutions to many of our fossil fuel driven industries, from electric cars to home batteries, air travel has no such magic bullet, at least not one that will arrive in time.

Fortunately reducing the number of flights you take can have a big impact.

What can I do?             

Get extra time off for low carbon holidays – Cutting down on flying is feasible, but it takes more travel time. Employers therefore play a major part in making this possible through their HR policies. SO, why not campaign for your employer to change their holiday policy. Here at Naturesave we award extra travel time to employees who choose to take the train instead of flying. This concept was taken up by campaign group Possible who created Climate Perks, an initiative to encourage other employers to take up this super green policy.

What else can I do?   

Re-think your car

When it comes to the environment, vehicle emissions are a double whammy. The total CO2 emitted from the transport in the UK is second only to the energy sector. In addition to contributing to climate change, vehicle emissions also contribute to an incredible 40,000 premature deaths each year as a result of the harmful chemicals emitted from exhaust pipes. What is worrying is that the UK is still breaking its air pollution limits.

What can I do ?            

If you cant make more use of public transport or take up cycling, you have three options. Buy a more efficient car, buy a low emission electric car or take part in the growing trend of car sharing.

Change your diet

Where your food comes from and how it is produced can have a significant environmental impact. Judging food from an environmental and ethical perspective can be complicated. For instance, local is not always best, tomatoes trucked from Spain are actually less impactful than heating a greenhouse in the UK in February (that may change in the future when the greenhouses are running on renewables). Conversely, eating seasonally is better still.

What can I do ?            

You can also                

Be a more conscious consumer

Making your general consumption greener is a hard one, as it can be difficult to determine the impact behind a product or brand, particularly as so many claim to be green.

What can I do            

You can also                

Decarbonise your finances

As our green guide shows, lots of things can be green. When it comes to the area of finance (and insurance) there is a common misconception that green and ethical options are not relevant or simply do not exist. This is certainly not the case.

What can I do            

Switch It – Use switchit.money to find out if your bank, pension or energy provider is green and ethical. You could also use this handy web tool to rate your employers choice of bank and pension provider and use the data to persuade them to change.

Exert your democratic Influence

That concludes our Guide To Being Green.  If you found this useful please remember to share. This is a work in progress. If you have any of your own ideas please tweet them to us @WeAreNaturesave or find us on Facebook @NaturesaveInsurance