GP: Wash at 30: Ways to Rescue the Environment

environmentThe need to preserve and protect the environment around us is now at a crisis point; the damage that has already been done to the earth’s atmosphere is having a direct negative effect on the population of the world and the natural environment that surround us. Together, we are emitting a large amount of pollution into the atmosphere, which is resulting in global warming; the melting of the polar ice caps and the prospect of a world that may not be viable for future generations is one that is terrifying. We need to look at the way in which we live our lives, the items that we rely on, and the amount of damage we individually contribute to the earth’s atmosphere. Scientists and experts are dedicating themselves to finding solutions to the everyday tasks we do that harm the atmosphere, and are offering alternatives and advice on little changes that can be made to help the overall cause.


  • Washing your clothes at 30c uses 40% less electricity compared to washing at 40c. Most people are reluctant to make this change as they are concerned that clothes and garments will not be cleaned thoroughly. To counteract this, washing detergents are now considerably stronger, and new washing machines also contain high quality whirlpool washer parts to allow for a lower temperature wash and the same level of cleaning.


  • Simply turning off electrical items is not enough; you need to stop the power supply that goes to the item. Standby is a common way of turning off items, but although you might think the appliance is considered as turned off, the equipment is still sourcing energy unnecessarily. If the item is not in use then the power supply needs to be cut to stop using energy that is not required.


  • Bottled water is something we all use, but 90% of the plastic bottles are not recycled, and instead are left to broke down over many years in landfill sites. Tap water is an easy alternative, and the standard of cleanliness and hygiene that is required is actually better for tap water than bottled.


  • There are very few of us that don’t like a long soak in the tub, but baths use twice the amount of water than a shower and use a significant amount of energy to heat the water. Showers require a lot less heat and are a shorter form of cleanliness that achieve the same results.


  • Mobile phones are the most relied upon item of technology with a majority of people owning at least one handset. 130 million phones are left unwanted each year and the batteries especially if left in landfill sites emit harmful substances into the environment. There are new methods of phone recycling and there are now no excuses not to recycle old handsets.


  • 15 billion batteries are produced a year and have a relatively short shelf life. Rechargeable batteries are more expensive to buy but last for a much longer period of time although they do require energy to charge the effects on the environment are a lot less than the disposal of batteries.
  • Cars need a lot of fuel, depending on the level of use, but driving at a lower speed will reduce the amount of fuel that it requires. Driving at 50mph uses 25% less fuel than driving at 70mph.


  • Homes are one of the biggest drains of energy and resource, but there are ways to try to minimise the amount of energy that is used and potentially wasted. Insulating a home can cut heat that is lost by up to 60% saving money and energy waste.


  • Harsh winters and cool evenings mean we are quicker to put our heating on to keep warm whilst at home, reducing the temperature of the thermostat will reduce the amount of energy used and instead of having high heat in a room things like blankets and jumpers work just as well.


  • 115 billion sheets of paper are used annually and a typical web user prints on average 28 sheets a day, which dramatically increases the amount of trees that are cut down and increases the paper making process which relies on machinery and energy. Any paper that is used should be recycled.


The earth is our home and it needs to be protected as much as possible at every given opportunity. Our lifestyles can have a negative impact on the earth and our environments. Making simple changes such as the suggestions above will not undo all the damage that has been done but it will begin to reduce the amount of harm that is created until alternatives are found to save our planet and to secure a home for future generations.




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