Concern over climate change has never felt more pressing, especially living in London. Two million people – including 400,000 children – are living with illegal air pollution levels in London every day. It’s hoped the new ULEZ, electrified transport and other schemes will help solve this, but in the meantime there’s loads of simple ways you and your kids can do your little bit to live green in London.
7 Easy Ways to Live Green in London
Trade up transport
Chances are if you live further into central London, you don’t often drive anyway. London has some of the best public transport in the world – so make the most of it! There’s 24 hour tubes and buses that will get you pretty much anywhere you’re going. Better yet on those awful rush hour commutes, try walking instead of cramming yourself underneath someone’s armpit on the tube. Stops are often much closer together than they appear so you may even shave time off your morning commute. If it’s too far to walk, plan your route around the 800 Santander bike stops around London.
Plan for the future ULEZ
The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is coming whether you like it or not. It’ll be fully in place by 2021 for everywhere between the North and South Circular. Your car will need to meet Euro 4 standards if it’s petrol and Euro 6 standards if it’s a diesel. Londoners have a 100% discount until 2021 before they’ll be penalised with the £12.50 daily fee for non-compliant cars. There’s never been a better time to part exchange your car for a newer one with cleaner emissions. The government is also offering grants of up to £3500 for Londoners who go fully electric or a scrappage scheme for low income residents.
We’re all what you eat
Eating sustainably is a huge part of going green and you don’t need to become a diehard vegan to do it, you can just do your bit. Shop at your local farmers market for local, sustainably grown produce, use sites like Farms, Not Factories to find meat not produced in polluting mega factories or shop at zero waste or bulk buy stores to reduce wasteful food packaging.
Waste not, want not
Those piles of clothes your kids have already outgrown or that piece of old furniture you’ve been meaning to take to the dump might be rubbish to you, but exactly what someone else is after. Donate them to your local charity shop or recycle them on your local Freecycle group. Make use of London’s amazing vintage and second hand clothes scene and get yourself a bargain while avoiding fast fashion brands.
Go green… literally
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden in London, you can fill your garden with plants that help British wildlife like bees and butterflies and it’s a great activity to get the kids involved with too. Even if you’re lacking in outdoor space you can still go green with an abundance of house plants. Indoor plants have been proven to reduce urban hot spots in cities as well as lowering stress levels.
There’s so many community projects in London to get involved with which are friendly for both adults and children. Projects like Trees for Cities run amazing community schemes like edible playgrounds and urban tree planting. It’s a great way to teach your children the importance of giving back to their community and planet.
Last but by no means least, enjoy it! Staying in touch with nature makes us appreciate the importance of looking after it. Although many think of London as an urban jungle it’s actually got some incredibly beautiful outdoor spaces for you and the kids to explore. With hundreds of activities on offer from stunning Japanese gardens to relaxing natural swimming baths, so you’ll always find something to keep you all entertained.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post