Asking someone to take responsibility for saving the entire planet is usually limited to lycra-clad weridos who have had a radioactive incident in their youth or bellicose heads of state. It is now, however, the lot of every responsible twenty-first century citizen. But it doesn’t have to be a grind – as part of our FHM Vintage campaign, here are nine ways to save the world that shouldn’t be beyond even the most sedentary cynic out there. Plus you’ll save money, Win all round.
Lower the settings on your equipment
We’ve all grown up on Spinal Tap’s “turn it up to 11” mentality, but a quick twist of a few dials in the other direction works wonders. For example, set your fridge temperature to 36 and your freezer to 5, and you’re saving a considerable amount of energy. By the same token, turn down the thermostat on your boiler a couple of degrees and keep a jumper on indoors.
Use a microwave whenever you can
Music to the ear of the lazy man, microwaves use much less resource and power than conventional gas and electric ovens, and are perfect for some surprisingly good results: scrambled eggs, or roast chicken, for example. Toasters and George Foreman-type grills also come into this category, although we don’t recommend basing your entire diet on Pop Tarts, popcorn and toasties.
Take a shower with your other half
Uses half the water, obviously. And has obvious benefits. Remember to install “grippy flooring” first.
Use a ceramic coffee cup
While some corporations insist on making workers risk meagre portions and scalded palms by providing paper cups for breaks, a reusable cup creates no waste. So feel no shame at installing your jumbo “QPR, FA Cup Finalists 1982” bad-boy in the cupboard and brooking no alternative when the workie gets the teas in.
Don’t rinse dishes before using the dishwasher
Few men actually do this anyway, but avoid all other half moaning by smugly pointing out that you’re saving up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you're saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water. OK?
Wrap presents creatively
Specially-bought festive paper creates an enormous amount of landfill every year, so look to use old newspaper or other alternatives. Nothing says “Happy Christmas” more than a Michael McIntyre DVD wrapped in page 17 of The Times with “UNEMPLOYMENT SET TO RISE 10% IN 2010” emblazoned across the front.
Try and work from home
By and large a euphemism for “doing sod all, spending all day in your pyjamas and rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the sixth time”, this is actually a good idea for the environment. You save money, petrol, office resources and you will also – as is proven – be more efficient. Once the CDs are reorganised, obviously.
Download all your software
This doesn’t mean steal everything. However, most software comes on a compact disc, and more than thirty billion compact discs of all types are sold annually. Pretty much all software can now be obtained from a manufacturer’s site (even games, with the likes of Steam now up and running), so there’s no need for all that packaging. Plus you’ll get the free upgrades without having to lift a finger.
Plant a tree
Nothing can achieve more for less effort – simply chuck an acorn in the ground in your back garden and you’re making a difference. Try and do it somewhere where a gigantic oak tree won’t cause issues in one hundred years time though – your window-box might not be the best place.