“SMART Choices save you time and money, bring you peace of mind, improve your wellbeing, serve your long term happiness, and come back to hug you!”
With Big Green Week in Bristol set to bring an exciting programme of ‘Smart Living’ events (11-19 June) demonstrating how our best lifestyle choices combine optimising our personal needs with being ‘Green’ – Mukti Mitchell, author of The Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles, shares 10 Top Tips for Smart Living.
- SMART HOMES: Smart Living always starts at home, so make yours warm and cosy! Insulate your property by fitting loft insulation, draft proofing, secondary or double glazing, and wall and floor installation. You’ll save money and energy, so it’s good for the planet and great for your peace of mind (See www.cosyhomecompany.co.ukfor details)
- SMART SHARED LIVING. Get a lodger, rent a room or share a house. Sharing bills radically cuts your carbon footprint and saves money. And having people around meets our need for community, sharing life’s experiences, as well as enjoying other people’s cooking and pooling together to cover the chores!
- SMART FOOD: Eat organic, local food, it’s tastier, healthier, supports the local economy and has lower emissions. It’s also much better for everyone involved in getting the food from the field to your fork, for trading this way helps build communities, nourish traditions and encourage innovation, helping the countryside to keep buzzing with life.
SMART COOKING: Cook from scratch – listening to music or cooking with a friend is more fun, and fresh ingredients use less refrigeration, processing and packaging. Cooking a good dish from scratch makes you feel great about yourself, andtastes way better!
- SMART SPENDING: Use your money like a vote – spend it with organisations you would like to see in your ideal world. For me these are small scale, ethical shops and farms – places where I’d like to work myself. Spending your money in the shops you like makes you feel really good, and positive that you are building the world you want.
- SMART SHOPPING: Purchase quality, long-lasting products. A product that lasts five times longer has one fifth the CO2 emissions over its life span. Natural clothes made from wool, hemp and leather last far longer than synthetics, and curiously don’t smell, so require much less washing!
- SUPER SMART SHOPPING: Double up! The perfect pair of shoes is good for home and work. The perfect bicycle goes on and off road. The perfect coat is good for rain and shine. Versatile products can take more time to find, but once we have them, they serve multiple purposes, save physical and mental space, and embodied energy.
- SMART TRANSPORT: Use shared transport – buses, trains and full cars all emit a quarter of the emissions of a solo car journey and tend to be very cost effective. Having the chance to chat, read or relax on public transport can really lift your day – it’s like being chauffeur driven!
- SMART TRAVEL: Holiday by ground or sea transport – due to radiative forcing, high altitude emissions are around three times more damaging. Travelling abroad by ferry, ship and train is also much more fun! (See www.voyagevert.orgfor details of an exciting new sustainable ferry service!) Plus optimise your travel: travel less often and spend more time – a longer stay makes for a richer experience.
- SMART HOLIDAYS: Take holidays in your home country – it’s nice to get away in the winter, but in the summer, home may be the best place in the world! Getting to know your own country can be, surprisingly, even more interesting, and the English countryside and coast have so many hidden gems to uncover!
Mukti Mitchell is Director of the award-winning CosyHome Company, which retrofits energy saving insulations for period properties. The author of The Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles (downloadable at www.lowcarbonlifestyle.org.uk) and five highly commended online carbon calculators, Mukti has been leading a low carbon lifestyle for 15 years. A director of pioneering sustainable ferry service Voyage Vert, he famously sailed around Britain in a zero-emission micro yacht, and is an acclaimed writer and speaker on low carbon living.
Events with Mukti Mitchell at Bristol’s Big Green Week:
A ‘Smart Homes’ event (also featuring Kevin McCloud) takes place at Watershed, Canon’s Road, BS1 5TX on 13th June, 2-6pm. £10 (adv), £12.50 (door)
‘Smart Living – in your Home and on our Oceans’ on 15th June (7-9pm) takes place at the Architecture Centre, Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA. Free event
Mukti is also giving Home Energy Clinics answering questions on home energy saving 10-11.30am, Monday-Thursday, 13-16 June at Primrose Cafe, 1 Boyces Avenue, Clifton BS8 4AA
For details on Big Green Week and other events, visit: www.biggreenweek.com
About the AuthorView Author Profile
Since 2004, Will Gethin has worked as a holistic explorer and travel writer, writing articles for the Independent, the Evening Standard and various lifestyle, wellbeing and environmental magazines, including Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Resurgence, Kindred Spirit and Yoga Magazine. In February 2012, he set up Conscious Frontiers, a leading edge communications, speakers and events agency giving voice to the growing movement of people working to propel a shift in consciousness. Inspirational speakers represented by Conscious Frontiers include Peter Owen Jones, Graham Hancock, Dr David Hamilton, Tim Freke, Dr Jude Currivan and Sarah Rozenthuler. Prior to founding Conscious Frontiers, Will also worked as a communications consultant, promoting humanitarian and intercultural organisations like The Isbourne Foundation, IT Schools Africa, The Makhad Trust, Tribe of Doris and Afrika Eye Film Festival. And he founded a Guest Speaker programme at the Isbourne Holistic Centre in 2008, bringing leading edge conscious living authors and presenters like Byron Katie, Graham Hancock, Dr Masaru Emoto and Brandon Bays to Cheltenham to present educational talks and workshops. From 1993-2003, Will worked in music, consumer and arts PR for London agencies, ultimately working as Account Director for Virgin Megastore at Borkowski PR. Will is also a Contributing Editor to Life Arts Media.
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