Eco-Friendly Living for City Dwellers

We’re lucky in Glasgow to have such good local services that provide options for recycling. It’s generally not that much of a challenge to find a nearby bottle bank, and the council provides weekly recycling and food waste collection. This makes it much easier for city dwellers to reduce their landfill contribution. But there’s lots more we can do to be eco-friendly without impacting negatively on our lifestyle, so here are some easy solutions to help and inspire you.

Stylish recycling solutions

To keep your kitchen or utility area looking neat and stylish, there are lots of compact recycling options you can use. Here are our favourites:

Food waste

The OXO Compost Caddy is an attractive and practical little food waste receptacle that you can sit on your worktop next to your cooker or food preparation area. A great option for storing food scraps – it’s easy to clean and has a sturdy handle for transporting to your outdoor food waste recycling bin or composter.

General Recycling

The Totem recycling bin from Joseph Joseph is a fantastic multi-compartment recycling and waste disposal unit. It has replacement odour filters and provides compact drawers for paper, glass, plastic, food waste, and anything else you need to recycle. You can keep everything in one neat unit and remove each compartment for emptying as and when required.

If you’re after something for a smaller kitchen or utility space, these white Waste Sorting Bins from IKEA are perfect. You can place them side by side or stack them on top of one another, so they’re ideal for putting on shelves or lined neatly on the floor.

Grow your own or buy local

If you have a garden, why not try your hand at growing some vegetables? There’s nothing more satisfying that getting stuck in to some delicious home-grown produce. If you don’t have suitable outdoor space, you can even just grow a selection of your favourite herbs on a windowsill or sunny utility area in your apartment.

For those who find the prospect of growing vegetables too much like hard work, there’s always the option of getting fresh, seasonal, local produce from the stall opposite M&S in Hillhead, the farmers’ markets in Partick and Queens Park, or a fruit and veg delivery service. Not only is this produce available for a fraction of the cost of supermarkets, but you’ll also be supporting local growers and reducing the carbon footprint of your fruit and vegetable purchases.

Turn off the power

This is something that most of us are guilty off. The amount of electricity that gets used up by simply not switching off and unplugging appliances when not in use is considerable – it can be as high as 10% of your annual bill. So, you’ll save a pretty penny and be doing your bit for the environment if you make a conscious effort to unplug electronics—radios, the TV, phone and computer chargers, lamps, the kettle and microwave, etc—when not in use. Just be careful not to switch off the fridge freezer!

Home made cleaning supplies

You can make some really effective and eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning supplies from items you likely already have. Things like lemons, herbs, salt, and bicarbonate are great for everyday cleaning in the home – and they’re all pretty cheap to buy. You’ll also reduce the number of plastic bottles you’re using. Here are some great DIY cleaning recipes to get you started.

Reusable coffee cups

The amount of disposable coffee cups we use is unbelievable. It’s not something we tend to think about when we pop into the local coffee shop for our daily lattes, but it certainly mounts up. Instead, why not buy yourself a lovely reusable, insulted coffee cup that you take with you. If you’re a caffeine addict like most of us here, you could be saving 5-7 disposable cups per week from ending up in landfill – sadly, they’re not actually recyclable. Many coffee shops also give a discount if you use your own cup, so it will end up paying for itself in no time.

Get your groceries delivered

Rather than driving to the supermarket on a weekly basis to get your groceries, it’s actually more eco-friendly to shop online and have them delivered. Even more so if you do a big shop once a fortnight or month, and just pick up your weekly essentials at the local shops or markets on your way home from work. Because the delivery vans are out and about anyway, less emissions will result than if you were to drive to and from the supermarket in your car. You’ll also save time.

Ditch the car

It’s so tempting to just jump in the car each day because it seems like the most convenient way to travel. However, if you’re living in the city, you could enjoy a much less stressful commute to work by hopping on the subway, low-level train, or bus. You’ll have time to read your book or prepare for the morning meeting because you won’t have to concentrate on the road and negotiate the hectic traffic. Nor will you have to pay escalating parking costs in Glasgow West End and city centre.

Alternatively, ask your work about the possibility of a car share scheme. It’s such a small city that you’re likely to live in close proximity to other colleagues, so you could potentially take it in turns to drive to and from work each day, thus reducing your carbon footprint and petrol costs.

If you like the idea of fitting more exercise into your daily routine, many workplaces also take part in the cycle to work scheme that allows you to spread the cost of buying a bike. If you’re used to driving, you’ll already have great awareness on the roads that you’ll need to travel on to get to work. You will also feel more alert and motivated by the time you arrive at the office after a bit of peddling!

For sales and lettings in Glasgow and beyond, contact our friendly Vanilla Square team. Whether selling or letting property, you will always be liaising with one of our business partners, which makes our service that much more responsible and approachable. When you instruct us, your property will reach a wider audience as we are one of the few agents who are present on all the major property portals to offer sellers and landlords maximum exposure. If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or lease your property, or you’re simply considering the idea, contact us by calling 0141 229 0210 or pop into our new office at 711 Great Western Road. One of our partners will be delighted to help and provide you with impartial, expert advice.