Even though we’re reminded daily to recycle waste, switch off lights in rooms, go paperless and shop at independent stores, some of us still won’t take the time to act like the responsible citizen – their attitude is likely to be, “Why bother?” Hardly surprising, since the reasons for such “good deeds” are rarely explained in any detail or when they are it’s in a wave of rhetoric about “caring for the environment” or “cost saving.” So we thought we’d find out for ourselves what all the fuss is about. We took five commonplace cultural clichés and conducted our own research to find 5 ways we can each help improve the economy.
Pins and passwords are a hallmark of life but no matter what we do there is always a danger of being hacked. Here are some ways to lessen the chances:
- Don’t reuse passwords; change them regularly
- Download software updates when available
- Check for a padlock icon in front of the URL address of a “secure” site
- Never open or forward an odd-looking email
Whether at work or at home falling victim to a hack has economic fallout. Personal attacks can be costly and nationwide raids pose a serious threat to a nation’s infrastructure. A hypothetical cloud service attack could, “ruin public and private utilities, transportation and financial institutions,” said a report by Lloyds.
Protesting against the government is a national hobby. UK folk are entitled to protest peacefully without blocking by the police. But marshalling protests feeds off tax payers’ money and rarely brings about policy change. So if you’re considering making your voice heard why not try one of the following instead?
- Start an online group, blog or vlog
- Arrange to see your MP
- Visit the UK Government Petition website
- Start mobilising support for your cause at org
When protests get out of hand – most notably when things turn ugly – the economy is upset. Reporting on the 2011 riots, The Guardian put the cost of damage in London alone at £300m while policing came in at £74m. So what we’re saying is… protest by all means, but make sure it’s done in the right way so as not affect, but to help improve the economy of your beloved country!
Riding a bike
The benefits of riding a bike to work are often talked about but what exactly is meant by “benefits”? Well:
- It’s cheaper than driving
- It’s a free gym on wheels and helps to combat cardio vascular disease
- It reduces congestion
- It saves employers money through improved productivity
Simple, really: more cyclists would help improve the economy nationally. In addition to the health harvest, cycling would also boost the lifeblood of our towns, raise house prices and generate savings in every way imaginable, according to Cycling UK.
The first bottle bank was used in 1977. Since then the government has encouraged homes and businesses to recycle just about everything. As a direct consequence, the UK has reduced her carbon-dioxide output by 10% year-on-year, the same as taking 3.5m cars off the road.
- 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials
- The energy saved by recycling 1 can is enough to run a TV for 3 hours
- Disposable nappies take 500 years to decompose
- 25 recycled PET bottles can be used to make an adult’s fleece jacket
By lessening our gulp of limited natural resources and the associated impacts of extraction and processing, recycling pays dividends. And we haven’t even taken into account the positive knock-on effect of jobs’ creation, training opportunities and improved access to cheaper goods for lower income families.
Switching lights off
The UK produces around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions making us the 8th largest polluter in the world. Per year, the UK averages 9.8 tonnes of CO2 per person, twice the global average.
Here are just a few ways to cut energy use:
- Turn down your PC monitors brightness to 70%
- Turn PCs and tablets off rather than to standby
- Boil a kettle with only the water you need
- Keep a look out for new ways to monitor and adapt your environment
Together we waste £170 million a year by leaving lights on unnecessarily. The Independent back in 2014 told us we had only five years left of fossil fuels. Once these have gone we will become increasingly reliant on expensive energy imports costing billions of pounds a year.
These simple opportunities, available to almost everyone in the UK are a great way for each of us to do our bit and help improve the economy… so what are you waiting for?