Great Britain

Professor Green’s top eco tips to help save the planet — from donating clothes to picking up rubbish

HE is Green by name and green by nature.

Now Professor Green wants to help you be more environmentally friendly too.

The rapper has teamed up with Budweiser to encourage the nation to make small changes that will help tackle climate change.

Whether it is thinking carefully about your food waste or the number of clothes you buy, there is plenty you can do.

Pro – real name Stephen Manderson – 37, said: “Being climate conscious is so important because it’s about caring for the planet we leave behind for future generations.

“When it comes to sustainability, I’m inspired by kids.

“They don’t just talk about being green, they are actually doing things to push for change.

“It’s easier and cheaper than you think.”

Ahead of Earth Day tomorrow – and as PM Boris Johnson outlines his new green ambitions – Catriona Graffius asks Pro Green to share the small, no-nonsense and affordable tips that can make a big difference to our planet.

First steps

TO help tackle climate change, you have to understand things first.

It’s shocking to think that 5.5billion plastic bottles are thrown away each year around the world – and that each one takes 450 years to decompose.

More than one million animal species are currently at risk of extinction thanks to the effects of climate change.

Once you understand the impact your choices can make on the environment, it is easier to encourage others to make changes in their lives as well.

Try to find a podcast or documentary on sustainable living that you can share with your friends and family or on social media.

The Green Dreamer podcast dives into some of the deeper issues around climate change, while the Wardrobe Crisis unveils what exactly goes into making your clothes. And Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet looks at the impact on wildlife.

The more you learn, the more you’ll want to help.

Food waste

ONE of the first things I changed to make my life greener was my attitude to food.

I used to start the week with the best of intentions, taking my own bags to the shops on a Sunday and doing my shop for the week.

By Wednesday or Thursday, none of the food had been used because I would get home too late to cook. But wasting that food didn’t sit well with me.

Now I plan my meals more carefully and use up what I have before buying more.

I make sure I freeze leftovers to keep for another day and put any fruit or veg I’ve failed to use into food waste – rather than the main bin – so it can be used for compost.

Another simple change can be buying more responsibly, such as meat and fish from local areas in the UK.

Look out for stamps that confirm your food has been caught or farmed sustainably, such as the Red Tractor on meat, the Soil Association logo on veg and the RSPCA Assured mark.

Pick up rubbish

GROWING up on a council estate, my nan always taught me to look after your own doorstep.

I’ve never liked littering – you don’t have to look too far to find a documentary which will show you what happens when these plastics make their way to the oceans and the damage they can do to animals.

If I ever dropped anything on the floor as a kid, even by accident, I’d get a clip round the ear. So I learnt very early on not to.

I now pick up litter when I see it on the streets.

If you see a piece of litter on the streets, pick it up and find the nearest bin to dispose of it properly.

Rewear and sell

THERE have been points in my life when I’ve been incredibly excessive, often just to keep up appearances.

In the end, it was fashion designer Stella McCartney who pointed out to me the amount of emissions and water that goes into making clothes.

The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to emissions.

Now I make a point of wearing everything over and over again. I’ve worked for the money that bought those clothes, why shouldn’t I wear them lots of times?

When it comes to fashion, try to think about quality, not quantity.

Ask yourself if you can imagine wearing the item at least 30 times and try to invest in clothing that will last, so you will revisit it again and again.

Once you are done with an item, try to sell or donate it – it will give your clothes a new lease of life.

Charity shops such as Traid will take clothes donations in person while new apps like Thrift are a speedy way to sell clothes from your mobile.

Ask questions

IT takes a little effort to be more green and that starts with asking yourself why you are doing something – and if you could do it in a way that has less impact on the world.

If we really think about our choices, it is more likely that we will make good ones.

These are some of the questions I like to ask myself:

By finding and celebrating the small things in your life that can help the planet, we can all have a much more positive effect on the environment.

Join The Sun's 'Green Team' & save the planet

MAKING simple everyday changes can add up to a BIG difference to the planet.

And we want you and your family to join The Sun's Green Team - our eco revolution. 

It can feel overwhelming to know how to play a part in reducing greenhouse gasses, but we will be showing you the practical steps we can take to curb climate change - with the help of the global ‘Count Us In’ initiative.

And our easy measures will even help you SAVE money so your household budget goes further.

We'll help you to reduce food waste, insulate your home, create tasty planet-friendly meals and take simple steps to trim your carbon footprint.

We want you to go online to sign-up to as many of our special Green Team pledges as you can manage and a special calculator will show you how much carbon you will personally save.

It won’t cost you a penny but the total you and your family will save will be added to the global ‘Count Us In’ total and the platform will support you every step of the way. 

So tap here to pledge.

Kimberly Hart-Simpson on the importance of upcycling clothes

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