GREEN Frog Blog
9 July 2021
GREEN Frog Blog - Change in Habits
We are all becoming increasingly aware of the damaging effects that our actions are causing to the environment, and many of us are taking small steps to improve our everyday lives to help the impact.
At Frog we are sustainability-conscious and want to help reduce our carbon footprint and encourage our team members to do their bit wherever possible. We share ways in which we can contribute to action against climate change and the way in which our habits have changed over recent years.
Here’s how the team have adapted their lives and some suggestions that you could use to help adapt yours too:
Plastic is everywhere!! UK households use over 500,000 tons of plastic food packaging each year, but less than a third of that was recycled, and with a single plastic bag taking 100-300 years to decompose we all need to make changes to help the oceans.
According to the Environmental Investigation Agency and Greenpeace UK reports, leading supermarkets are responsible for producing more than 1.2 billion plastic bags for fruits and vegetables, one of the Frog team commented “When shopping at the supermarkets I will always avoid all fruit and vegetables that have plastic wrapping.”
The same source also states that supermarkets are responsible for producing more than 1.1 billion single-use bags, and 958 million bags for life a year.
A Frog Bikes team member stated “I always re-use carrier bags in the supermarket. If I forget them in the boot, I will go back out to the car to get them. There is no point in paying money and adding to the plastic problem!”
The good news is that the majority of these supermarkets have an action plan for removing or replacing plastic packaging by 2025!
NO SINGLE-USE CONTAINERS
With almost 1 million plastic bottles being sold every minute around the world many people are taking to reusable containers, from glass bottles to Tupperware products and recycled pots in order to be kinder to the environment.
One team member commented “I never buy cling film anymore since it does so much damage to the environment as it isn’t compostable so ends up in a landfill. Instead, I use Tupperware, and it lasts a lot longer!”
Another team member said, “A refill store opened on my local high street so I try to use this for things like washing up liquid and detergents, to avoid single-use plastic.”
Glass packaging has many sustainability benefits; it is recyclable, reusable and refillable and it’s completely safe to store food, drinks and other liquids in. Glass produced from recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20% and related water pollution by 50%.
Shelley, Co-founder of Frog Bikes stated “We get our milk, juice and peanut butter delivered by the milkman in glass containers, to reduce polluting the planet!”
Buying secondhand products can help reduce waste and pollution and save natural resources.
A Frog team member commented “I buy a lot of my clothes on eBay now to reduce my environmental impact. They are usually in excellent condition.”
By limiting new purchases and opting for recycled or preloved items instead, we can contribute to helping the environment.
BE LESS WASTEFUL
Don’t let edible leftover food go to waste! Use leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, get inventive and make it into something else, or consider freezing certain foods to extend their life. Cutting down on food waste can also help you save money.
One member stated, “I always freeze leftover takeaways to eat the next weekend rather than throwing them in the bin.”
Another member commented, “Meal planning has helped us to only buy what we need at the supermarket, which means less food wastage and saving money.”
Buying items grown or manufactured locally shortens the distribution chain, which means less waste, fresher produce, fewer fossil fuels and helps boost the local economy, and with these in mind consumer buying habits are changing.
A member of the team said, “I tend to buy beer directly from local breweries in reusable containers rather than bottled beers from supermarkets.”
Another team member commented, “If I see something I like in a big retail chain, I always look for something similar in independent stores as I would prefer to support the local shops.”
BORROW NOT BUY
There are many items that you might not already own, that you might need for a one-off project or for short-term use, so rather than buying new ones, why not consider borrowing or renting these items instead?
Aside from saving money, borrowing or renting items will increase their usage duration and reduce the environmental impact by decreasing the demand for new items and cutting waste and in turn lowering the need for landfill.
One team member stated, “I always borrow tools from friends and family rather than buy something I will only use once or a few times.”
There are now many initiatives that offer a large variety of items that can be borrowed, such as power tools, unicycles, musical instruments and jigsaws. It reduces ownership and keeps items in use for longer. Some of these libraries even have repair shops to prolong the life of items even further!
Here are some examples:
REPURPOSE GREEN WASTE
In our last GREEN Frog blog, we talked about the many inventive ways that items can be repurposed or reused, but one thing people overlook is green waste.
Jerry, Co-founder of Frog Bikes said “We collect the green waste from a local florist and put it on our compost heap, as the council will only collect it in black bin bags and send it to landfill.”
You can reuse the green waste in your garden to replace nutrients back into the soil, which in turn stimulates plant regrowth. Chipping tree trunks and branches is another great option when you're looking at reusing your green waste.
To sustain healthy lives we need biodiversity, without the pollinators, we would lose many of our favourite foods and the perfect place to start is in your own back garden! A biodiverse garden can attract many forms of wildlife and with just a few small changes you could bring your garden to life for the creatures that will come and visit.
A team member commented, “We love to encourage biodiversity in the garden with an 'untidy corner' and log piles.”
Another stated, “We plant bee and butterfly friendly plants, or shrubs with berries for winter food for birds.”
For sustainable forms of gardening, avoid peat-based composts, choose sustainably sourced wood, recycle where possible, and save water where you can.
LOCAL LITTER PICKING
Help to take action in your local area by cleaning up the streets, paths, gardens and beaches.
Many communities have a local team that regularly meet to collect litter in their area to help create a cleaner, less polluted environment and to protect the wildlife.
Shelley, Co-founder of Frog Bikes commented “We litter pick around the streets, to stop plastic ending up in the river and eventually the sea.”
Any litter removed from the natural ecosystem helps both humans and animals.
Take a read of our past Green Frog Blogs: