Woman with her feet up on a table, lying back in a chair while drinking coffee outside

8 lazy ways to be environmentally friendly

Dirty dishes piled high

1. Save water. Don't wash the dishes

Let them pile up to the point where you're actually wondering if it's ok to eat soup from a dog's bowl. Then, and only then, casually load the dirty pots into a dishwasher. Press the start button. Now sit down and catch your breath.

A fully loaded dishwasher can be more water efficient than washing by hand. Even if you're using a washing-up bowl.

Are you getting the hang of being environmentally friendly?

Dirty dishes piled high
Garden furniture in an overgrown lawn

2. Help bees. Don't mow the lawn

Look at your neighbours joyfully murdering the life out of their garden again. They won't sleep soundly until they've lopped the head off every buttercup, daisy and bee-friendly dandelion.

What would an eco warrior do? Absolutely nothing. Pull up a chair, grab a cocktail and watch the grass grow – you green god.

Leaving even part of your garden to grow wild can help pollinating insects, like bees, thrive.

Garden furniture in an overgrown lawn
Wooden cutlery in pint-size pots

3. Stop plastic waste. Avoid plastic packaging

Takeaway food and drink often come in plastic food containers with disposable utensils. They're a big part of the plastic pollution in our waste system.

And as we know, disposing of them doesn’t mean they disappear. A lot of disposables are landfilled, blown or washed into waterways or end up as yet more plastic pollution in our rivers and oceans.

To encourage a society that reuses instead of throwing away, the UK government should ban disposable plastic items.

Wooden cutlery in pint-size pots

It's time to stop climate chaos. The government's clearly not doing enough. Demand action now.

Sign our climate petition
A dog lying down in front of a massive bone, looking upset

4. Tackle climate change. Chew less

If you really want to get good at this eco lark, you're going to have to learn to do less – like eating less meat. Yeah that steak might look good, but think how tiring it's going to be to chomp on.

Meat and dairy production is responsible for 14.5% of climate changing gases (more than all forms of transport).

Chewing is work. The clever environmentalist indulges in meat-free food that requires less mouth muscle.

A dog lying down in front of a massive bone, looking upset
Man lying face down in a supermarket aisle

5. Burn less fuel. Let your food do the leg work

Are you seriously wasting valuable sprawl time pushing a trolley up a supermarket aisle?

This is the 21st century. The modern-day captain planet takes out their smartphone, presses a few buttons and an organic veg box arrives on their doorstep.

Ordering a weekly food delivery can cut down on separate car journeys – reducing your climate change emissions. Local box schemes are also likely to use much less plastic packaging than supermarkets.

Man lying face down in a supermarket aisle
A laptop with a tree screensaver

6. Plant trees

No, you don't plant anything; Ecosia does. It's a search engine that plants trees with the money it makes from ads. Every time you click on an ad in your search results, you're helping to reforest the Earth. I like doing this in between streaming videos of people planting trees.

Be aware, if you block adverts, you won't be helping the planet. You might prefer to use Google – it's reportedly buying enough green power to match all its electricity needs.

You can also support our call for more tree cover.

A laptop with a tree screensaver
Acrobatics holding on to the top of a car while it races on two wheels tilting to the side

7. Clean the air. Get a cheap ride

You've unplugged your alarm clock to save some energy, 'for the planet'. But you'll have to get up at some point. Let's not overdo it though. How about a chauffeur?

I know we shouldn't be advocating driving but blah blah blah. BlaBlaCar actually. Find a driver going to the same place as you. By sharing a ride with others – or as I like to call it, being driven around by someone – you'll be helping to reduce air pollution.

Acrobatics holding on to the top of a car while it races on two wheels tilting to the side
A broken windmill

8. Support clean energy. Don't build a windmill

We both know that your talents are better served in a hammock pretending to read a book.

Switch to renewable energy instead. Lie back and watch it happen in as little as 5 minutes. No disruption to your supply and no engineers asking you to make tea.

It's cheaper than you think and means your dreams of an eco-powered robot butler are still well and truly alive.

A broken windmill