Today (June 5th) is World Environment Day! This annual day, established by the United Nations, exists to encourage awareness and action to protect our environment.

At Aiimi, we know we’re still starting out on our journey to ‘Go Greener’. We’ve set up a major company initiative, Aiimi Goes Green, to get us all thinking about what we can do as individuals to better protect our environment, and, crucially, to set our goals and ambitions as an organisation. We’re starting with a Carbon Footprint assessment to work out where we can make the most improvements – stay tuned for an update on this in the coming weeks.

But today, for World Environment Day, we wanted to keep our message to you simple. Here’s what we’re doing as individuals in all areas of our lives to make improvements, no matter how small, to our environmental impact. We hope there’s some tips in here for everyone…

Food & Drink

  • Try to choose seasonal foods – by eating as much food grown in your own country as you can, you can make a big impact on the environmental impact of importing goods. Many items are flown into the UK, particularly items like fruit which aren’t robust enough for non-air transport and have a short shelf-life. See Mind Body Green for more benefits of eating seasonally.
  • Take your own water bottles, coffee cups, reusable straws and cutlery with you to save on using single-use items when out at work or for leisure.
  • Sometimes we need to purchase water whilst out – don’t dehydrate! Look out for cans of mineral water, like the aptly named CanO Water, on sale in most major retailers. Cans are a better choice for the environment than plastic bottles – cans can go from the recycling bin to store shelves within 60 days!
  • Try to reduce your food waste by only buying what you need and making sure to use up all items in your fridge. Struggling to figure out what to make with the dregs of your fridge at the end of the week? Check out Tesco Realfood’s ‘What Can I Make With…’ recipe finder tool.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you eat in a week – even 1, 2 or 3 days of going vegetarian can make a big impact. If everyone cut their daily meat intake by half, we could reduce our footprint by 35%, saving almost a tonne of CO2 a year per person! Look to dishes like dal and curries using chickpeas and lentils. You should also find lots of meat-free replacements available in your local supermarket, such as burgers, sausages and meatballs – make sure to check out the frozen section!

Household & Toiletries

  • Consider switching to an alternative product like an EcoEgg for laundry. This innovative product reduces your use of the single-use plastics many laundry products come housed in and makes laundry day MUCH easier. Check out their dryer eggs for more efficient (up to 28% faster) tumble drying too (though of course drying clothes with an airer is always the best bet environmentally!)
  • Make a swap to recycled toilet paper. UK companies like Who Gives A Crap are a great option for aesthetically-pleasing (check out their colourful wrapping), plastic-free and recycled toilet paper, delivered straight to your door. There should be recycled options in your supermarket too, though these tend to come wrapped in plastic.
  • Try to avoid microplastics in your products – these tiny particles can have a horrible effect on aquatic life. Look out for micro-beads or glitter in toiletries and avoid where possible. You can usually find edible glitter in supermarkets instead, and non-plastic washing up brushes such as www.boobalou.co.uk
  • Ditch disposable cotton buds – Companies like EcoShoots make cotton buds out of bamboo, and they are fully compostable. There are even reusable silicone options, like LastSwab.
  • While you’re there, ditch disposable cotton pads – there are plenty of re-usable, washable material cotton pads available to buy online or in stores. Get googling!
  • Switch from plastic bottled shampoo, conditioner and body wash to solid bars. Bars like these usually come packaged in paper or metal, with options available for sustainable in-shower storage too. At Aiimi, we’ve seen recommendations for Ethique bars – available at Boots and Holland & Barrett too.
  • Browse online! Often you can get a much greater range of eco-friendly alternatives when you go online. One of our team's recommended options for all your eco-friendly needs is www.peacewiththewild.co.uk
  • Scrap your greaseproof paper/foil and get some reusable silicone baking sheets.
  • Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to clingfilm, a single-use plastic and one which is usually non-recyclable for local councils.

Clothing

  • Make your wardrobe more sustainable by reducing how much you buy and where you buy it from. Ditch fast-fashion for clothes swaps with your friends and colleagues, charity shops and vintage finds. Another option is to purchase a LostStock box – a mystery box of clothes worth £70+ RRP, sold for just £35. This initiative was set up by fashion app creators MallZee to prevent $2 billion worth of clothing going to landfill. Fast-fashion retailers have cancelled their orders for this stock from their suppliers due to COVID-19’s impact on retail. Purchasing a box of clothes from LostStock helps to support factory workers in areas like Bangladesh who otherwise would not be paid for their work.
  • Need a new phone case? Take a look at non-plastic options like Pela Case.

Travel & Energy

  • Consider switching to a renewable energy provider. Companies like Bulb and Octopus offer competitive rates usually alongside guarantees that your energy will come from 100% renewable sources.
  • Drive less, walk more! If you’re able, get yourself a pair of trainers, a bike or a scooter and walk to more places you’d normally take the car to. A great way to exercise and explore more of your local area.

Recycling & Reusing

  • Regularly review your council’s recycling guidelines and make sure you’re recycling correctly for your area – otherwise your efforts to recycle may be going to waste. Don’t forget to check out any recycling programmes on offer in your local supermarket or on-street recycling facilities, such as recycling bins for batteries, clothing, water jug filters and plastic bags.
  • Try to generate less waste by putting ‘rubbish’ to use – collect spare bits of wood from fencing or palettes to craft something for your garden, or use up old egg boxes and other items you would throw away to do some crafting with your kids.

If you liked these tips, please share with a friend! Feel free to get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram too to let our team know your best environmentally-friendly swaps.