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  • Writer's pictureLiam Mcsherry

4 cheats for the lazy sustainabilist

A lot of the eco alternatives that you read about today can look like hard work, expensive and sometimes just plain unappealing. But just as amazon has nailed the one click buy and deliver solution, there are a few lazy swaps you can make that are primed for planet and pocket friendliness.

Refill as a service

There are some awesome companies popping up that make great products and save you a whole load of faff. Just choose the product you need, set up the direct debit and frequency of delivery. Done. No more supermarket pickups required and consign those bulky plastic packaged products to the recycling bin permanently.

I switched to smol laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets in April 2020. The products arrive (with a thud) on time every month through the letter box in a compact, cardboard package (which is 100% recyclable). The environmental impact of my lazy swap? Pretty good.

Spring clean your tech

No access to a car or can’t be bothered to drive to the recycling centre to drop off your unwanted / knackered tech and devices? There’s a lazy solution for that. Find a Spring pod at your local participating Co-op, Sainsbury’s or Morrison’s and you can deposit your unwanted smartphones, tablets and smartwatches for free.

There are trade in programmes available at some retailers but often they will only take your tech if you’re going to make a purchase. So save yourself the in-store hard sell and recycle your device at a Spring pod. You might even get some cash back.

B&Q deserves a big hand for their tech recycling points. Any small electrical item with a plug such as a kettle or drill can be deposited at one of their recycling points. Hassle free.

Be a digital womble

There are some hardy souls out there picking up litter and cleaning rivers all year round and in all weathers. But if that’s not your bag, you can still fight the good fight from the comfort of your cushioned chair by making some very minor adjustments to your online habits.

Watch and plant - download Treeapp, watch an advert from a sustainable / eco-friendly brand and plant a tree at the end of it. It takes about 40 seconds from opening the app to planting your tree. Just ridiculously easy and something you can do while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil instead of scrolling through TikTok.

Search and rescue - OceanHero is an alternative search engine to google. Instead of planting a tree after a set number of searches, ocean hero’s drive is to remove plastic from the oceans. So your searches fund projects that remove plastic pollutants from the seas. So awesome and so easy.

Ecosia is another alternative search engine that plants a tree after every 40 searches you make via their platform. Better still, if you make a purchase through their ‘Shopping’ page, they will plant 3-5 trees. Positive outcomes for doing what you would normally do through google.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch

Well, there is now :) OLIO is fast becoming a more familiar brand after a recent hard hitting advertising campaign but it’s a super simple app that shows you where there is free food available via olio members in your local area. Download, set your boundary (ie how far you’re prepared to walk) and click on the item(s) that you’d like to liberate. Easy. You can also find non food items but you have to be quick as these tend to be snapped up quickly.

Too Good To Go is another food waste fighting app that’s worth a look. Users can book a ‘magic bag’ from participating supermarkets and food outlets such as M&S @ BP garages, Costa, Gregg’s and more. The bags are filled with multiple food items but you don’t know what you’re getting until you pick it up.

There are plenty of simple and easy swaps with more cropping up every day so for consumers who aren’t massively motivated to go green but want to save some money or cut down on some of life’s hassle then there are some lazy ‘n green options out there.


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