The Eco Revolution. Small steps to reduce your environmental impact

As we enter a new decade, the environment is the word on everyone’s lips. But reducing our impact on the planet can seem like an overwhelming task. The key is to start small by making modest changes to your everyday life. Every step counts. From recycling and reducing water to donating used goods, InsideOut has your guide to reducing your impact on the environment.
Don’t waste water
By reducing your time in the shower from seven minutes to four and installing a more efficient shower rose attachment, you can save 25,000 litres of water per year. Dual and eco-flush toilets are becoming normal in new homes, but a similar effect can be gained by simply putting a brick in the cistern. The water displacement means there is less water used, and therefore less to flush away.
See the light
Compact fluorescent light bulbs can be installed on each lamp; they may cost a little more but will last for years and use a quarter of the electricity of traditional bulbs. Remember, the wattage is different so a seven-watt compact fluorescent bulb is the equivalent of 40-watt output strength.
Walk this way
Public transport can be a great way to get to and from work, if the bus route is suitable. But for drivers, something so simple as keeping tyres properly inflated can result in a three per cent increase in gas mileage. Car-share schemes not only reduce congestion but will help you to make new friends. The brave souls who ride bicycles on-island are not just indulging in the most efficient form of transport ever but saving money and getting fit, too.
Waste of time
Around 60 per cent of solid household waste is compostable. Rather than adding to the mess of Mount Trashmore, household waste can be put into composters or worm farms, both of which are efficient at converting food and garden waste into rich soil.
Keep it clean
If cleaning products are out of reach, ask your grandmother about old-school ways to clean. Vinegar and baking soda are both efficient natural cleansers and a vegetable oil and lemon juice mixture is said to be an excellent wood polish.
Recyclable, not plastic
It’s time to get rid of plastic bags. These non-biodegradable products are used worldwide to the tune of 500 billion per year.  A number of supermarkets now offer reusable carry bags, for a small fee, which are perfect for carry groceries or other items. Kirk Supermarket’s carry bags (above) even allow you to display your love for the islands.
Flick the switch
Finally, when the day is done, flick those switches. We’re all guilty of not doing it but one of the best ways to save energy is to turn things off properly. Around 12 per cent of electricity is being guzzled by appliances on standby.  And that is a figure to give anyone nightmares.