How to live sustainably in London

How to live sustainably in London

With 9 million residents and over 270 nationalities, it is easy to say London is one of the greatest cultural cities in the world. The fast-paced nature and endless opportunities at your disposal are some of the few reasons the Hydrogrow team love the city; however, it can still prove challenging to live healthily and sustainably.  

People generally find the city one of the hardest places to live a sustainable lifestyle, but as London was voted the most eco-friendly city to work in the world in 2020, possibilities abound to reduce your environment impact while going about your daily life. 

We at Hydrogrow are here to provide some easy solutions to making your daily life more sustainable in this vibrant and ever-changing environment. 

1. Say goodbye to fast fashion and shop second hand. 

It is now well known that the fashion industry in the second most polluting industry globally, following the oil and gas sector. Alongside pollution, fast fashion brands currently use around 93 billion cubic metres of water per year, which accounts for 4% of all fresh water extraction. These staggering statistics are some of the few reasons why choosing to #neverbuynew is great way to integrate sustainability into your wardrobe and life. 

London is filled with second hand and charity shops, with usually at least one featured on every high street. By buying from charity shops, you are not only reducing water usage for clothing, but supporting a range of great causes. The Red Cross, FARA, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Mary's Living & Giving Shop are all great options for a day out to shop with friends and support local charities. 

The culture of second hand shopping has grown astronomically over the past 10 years, on only on high streets but online too. Depop, Vinted and Vestiaire are a few examples of booming online marketplaces dedicated to selling and buying second-hand items (including designer), that reduces your impact on overconsumption and contributing to only-wear-once fashion brands. 

2. Change your daily commute and get outside. 

This can seem like an intuitive choice on the path to becoming more sustainable, but riding a bike or walking to work not only reduces congestion, fossil fuel usage and pollution, but has been found to dramatically improve your mental and physical health. Cycling and walking both release our 'feel-good' hormones known as endorphins. These hormones help to make you feel happier and boost your mood. Research shows that those who regularly cycle have a significantly lower risk of feeling stressed, which undoubtably is a better way to start your day than being cramped on a crowded bus or tube if your commute allows it. 

If you don't have your own bike or are visiting for a short time, you can still enjoy contributing to the sharing economy and make use of the extensive network of Santander Bikes set up all over the city which can be hired for as little as £2. 

3. Create your own green space from home. 

We are fervent believers that bringing in fresh flowers, produce and green plants into your living space in a vital part of staying happy and healthy in the bustling city. This is one of the key reasons Hydrogrow decided to create the Halo, a completely autonomous at-home hydroponic garden made from 100% recycled materials. Not only do indoor plants clean your air, but also improve your psychological wellbeing by reducing stress levels and increasing your overall mood. So, why not stay connected to nature by introducing some plants into your home this spring? 

If you have access to a balcony, garden or windowsill, you could take this further by growing your own food, like veggies and herbs. If you are starting out, the Halo is a great way to help you grow fresh herbs from the comfort of your home without the fuss. There is nothing like super local organic food to help you live more sustainably! 

4. Switching to a renewable energy provider.

Switching to a renewable energy source is an easy way to passively make your daily life more environmentally friendly. It takes very little time to switch and smaller energy energy suppliers often provide greater benefits and rewards than UK Gas giants occupying the energy market. Below are a few of the leading green energy providers reinventing the way we use energy for a common good. 

- Octopus Energy. The best green energy supplier for customer service, and they'll also reward you and a friend with £50 each for switching. 
- Green Energy UK
- Outfox The Market 
- Npower
- Ecotricity
-  OVO Energy

5. Swap the Supermarket for Farmers' Markets 

Living in London can sometimes feel overwhelming and isolating, so a weekly visit to a farmers' market can be a great way to connect your local community. Having a relationship with smaller producers provides a poignant reminder of the effort and hard work behind the food that comes to your table. 

Alongside the social aspect, you generally find the fresh produce coming from farmers' markets are almost all organic and better quality than those available at grocery stores in London. 

There are plenty of weekly farmers' markets to be found in each suburb of London, including Marylebone, Hampstead, Notting Hill, Dalston, Wimbledon and Borough Market which is a fan favourite of the Hydrogrow Team.  A full list of farmers' markets can also be found below 

Final Note 

To finish, it is clear that living in the big city does not mean you have to sacrifice sustainable living and be eco-friendly, on the contrary! There are plenty of great opportunities to get outside and explore different parts of London while contributing to sustainable brands and lifestyle habits. We feel becoming more conscious of energy consumption, pollution and fast fashion is vital more taking a step forward to a net-zero future. 

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