Going Green: Eat green for your good health and a safer environment

Latest article from Angela Terry

People urged to adopt plant-based diet (photo: Adobe)
People urged to adopt plant-based diet (photo: Adobe)

Latest article from Angela Terry

Green Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and here she explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

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Q: I want to try and eat more plant-based food. Have you any tips for cutting out meat and dairy?

A: November 1 marked World Vegan Day. So, if you are looking for a fast, simple way to combat climate change in your home, eating more plant-based food is key.

Meat and dairy production is responsible for up to 60 per cent of greenhouse gases produced from farming.

And, according to research from the University of Oxford, ditching dairy and adopting a vegan diet is the best thing you can do to help our environment.

Start off small

This is a big lifestyle change, so start slowly.

Plan your meals and try going meat-free on a Monday.

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Gradually increase this to two or more meat-free days a week.

You’ll soon realise that it’s better for your bank balance and your body.

The Vegan Society has an extensive range of tips and even an app to help you make the switch.

Keep the essentials

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Take a look at your diet and cut out any dairy or meat products that aren’t your absolute favourites.

You may be surprised at how little you miss!

Adopting a vegan lifestyle has been shown to be healthier, with one study reporting that vegans live longer than meat eaters.

Ditch the dairy

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Swapping to plant-based milk is a great way to help the planet and your diet.

Oat and soy milk produce less greenhouse gases than dairy, tasting great in coffee too.

Praise for pulses

Lentils, chickpeas and beans are a great source of protein, keeping you fuller for longer.

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They’re also simple to swap into family-friendly meals such as spaghetti bolognese and chilli.

They are less expensive than meat, with a tin of lentils costing around 50 pence from a local supermarket.

Supermarket sweep

Plant-based food is on the rise. Take a walk around any supermarket and you’ll see everything from dairy-free creme fraiche to fish-free fingers.

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Find a vegan-friendly range you like and experiment. Just because you’ve gone vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite foods.

Try Tesco’s new Wicked Kitchen range and Asda’s Plant-Based selection or Lidl’s Vemondo range which includes around 50 plant-based products.

Cheese please

With big brands such as Babybel, Pure and Violife recently launching a new range of quality cheese substitutes, it is now easier than ever to get your cheese fix. Just take your pick,

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Go organic

If quitting being a carnivore cold turkey is too difficult, make a pact to eat more white meat such as chicken, rather than beef. And, if possible, always look for organic and RSPCA-assured animal produce.

Celebrity spot

Hollywood saw singer Billie Eilish honoured at Environmental Media Association Awards for promoting sustainability and protection of Planet Earth.

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Billie Eilish honoured at the Environmental Media Association Awards (photo: Getty Images)

The 20 year-old took home EMA Missions in Music Award – alongside mum Maggie Baird – for their work launching a six-day climate conference called Overheated during the songwriter’s Happier Than Ever world tour.

Eilish walked the red carpet in a Gucci design she’d previously worn two years ago, proving that wearing the same outfit twice should not go out of fashion.

Green swap

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To make bonfire night sustainable but still go with a bang visit your local display and don’t set off fireworks at home.

Visit your local display to make Bonfire Night more sustainable (photo: Adobe)

Also, consider ditching sparklers which cannot be recycled, dazzling people with the reason behind your decision.

Keep cosy and save cash with warming throws

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With energy bills soaring, Octopus Energy is donating 10,000 electric blankets to customers who need it most.

Electric blanket cosiness (photo: Adobe)

Recent research by the energy supplier revealed that heating a home can cost around £4 a day while an electric blanket can heat a person for just 2 to 4p an hour.

This means that cosy throws – first invented more than 100 years ago – are a cost effective way to keep warm without wasting energy.

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And it seems as if Brits, who are looking for new ways to reduce their monthly payments, are snapping up this season’s latest must-have.

Research company Kantar has reported that sales of electric blankets have risen by eight per cent.

Electric dreams

From cosy electric blankets with scandi-inspired design to heated throws with dual settings, prices for an electric blanket can vary wildly.

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Pick up a blanket from Dunelm for as little as £30, Slumberdown Warm and Cosy Underblanket costing £46 from Argos to soft and stylish Fairisle-printed throw from Lakeland for £79.99.

For those of you who get chilly at your desk, there’s even the option to invest in a £99.99 heated throw with sleeves and foot pouch, also from Lakeland.

Find blankets in shops all over the high street or online from suppliers such as Dreamland and Cosi. Make sure you choose a design with different heat settings to keep your blanket more energy efficient.

Running costs

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To warm a double bed, an electric blanket will use around 100 watts of electricity with rates dropping to around 25 watts during the sleep setting, according to USwitch.

For those of you on a standard variable tariff and paying by direct debit, it’ll cost around 34p per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity, but prices will vary if you are on a fixed rate tariff or meter. So, the average cost of running an electric blanket for an hour to keep your feet warm this winter will be around three pence!

As always, do your own research. Contact your energy supplier if you are unsure about prices. And, with the Energy Price Guarantee set to end next April, it’s a good idea to keep up-to-date with the latest information.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales visit UK Government website www.gov.uk and search for the Energy Bills Support Factsheet. Things work similarly for customers in Northern Ireland – and there is a section that outlines any differences online.

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Keep safe

With more people investing in an electric blanket this year, it’s important to keep safe as well as warm. Always follow the instructions, store them safely and never buy second hand.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Fact or fiction

Solar panels don’t generate electricity on cloudy days.

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False!

They convert energy from the sun into electricity throughout the year.

That’s because solar panels respond to daylight, not heat. Even on a cold winter’s day, they produce some power.

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