Switch Off for the World | Day 6 | Welfare Fortnight

2020 has certainly been a strange year. Whether you’ve found yourself spending more time ‘switched on’, be this staying tuned in to the news, social media and million other digital outlets of information, or you’ve taken the time to actively step back from the technological world. The climate crisis continues.

Local councils and communities continue to do incredible work in helping us all to reduce our waste. But what about energy waste? What small life hacks are there to help us reduce everyday energy? For this day, as part of our Welfare Fortnight, we’re asking you to ‘switch off’ for the world.


Whether you use this time to just add an extra check into your daily routine of turning that socket off, or you want to take some time evaluating what small commitments you can make to save energy. We have an opportunity to change. In the words of Zero Waste Leeds, we want to 'build back better'.

Unplug

Simple, yet effective. Switching off plug sockets when not in use, unplugging chargers and turning off lights when you’re not in the room are all super, straightforward things you can do to reduce energy waste. Remembering to turn off standby and the bedroom light will save yourself some pennies too!

Image of email notification on smartphone with 2 emails unread.

Digital declutter

Hands up if you’re a stickler for subscribing to the occasional newsletter or … 5? We’ve all got such good intentions in wanting to stay informed and in the know but it’s time to declutter those inboxes. It’s surprising how much having a digital clear out can improve your stress levels too. According to an OVO study in 2019, us Brits send an unnecessary 64 million emails every day, including ‘thank you’ and ‘thanks’.


Before hitting send why not consider if this email is really necessary? Save yourself time, an extra job and a boat load of carbon – 16,433 tonnes or 81,152 flights from the UK to Madrid every year to be exact – winner.


Community Calling

Our friends at Hubbub have launched their Community Calling campaign in collaboration with O2. If, like most of us, you’ve got an old phone or two kicking around in that ‘assorted goods’ drawer, you can now gift your pre-loved tech to help tackle digital exclusion.


Our digital worlds have grown exponentially due to the covid-19 pandemic. For the vulnerable, this has meant that many people are unable to educate children, talk to carers or their loved ones because of a lack of a device. Send your unwanted smartphone to vulnerable people in the London borough of Southwark, and help one of the hardest hit communities in the UK.


Take control

Being clued up about your energy bills and utilities is probably the most effective way for you to reduce your everyday energy waste. There are a number of things we can do. Whether this is making sure you’re on the best deal, switching to a greener energy provider, to turning down your thermostat by just one degree – you’ll save cash and energy in no time.


To find out more about how you can take control, we recommend taking a look at Energy Saving Trust quick saving tips.

Pug dog wrapped in a tartan throw

Draughty business

Tis the season for chillier weather and cranking that heating up. But, before you go do, it’s definitely worth checking your home for any possible draughts.


Draught proofing is simple. You just need to block or cover any unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out – the bottom of the door is a common culprit.


Trapping in that warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, saving money and reducing waste. What more could you want? Fancy a craft? Why not make your own door draught excluder.


Switch off for you

Your screen-free time can also be a welcomed time to practice some self-care.

Social media is always a place of information and opinions but if you feel that it's becoming a negative space, unfollow people who are adding to this or mute things for the time being and take a break. Unplugging from technology doesn’t always have to be about electronics either. It can include taking a step away from work or any stressful environment. This is a stress-free zone!


For more of our fav tips to switch off for self-care, check out tomorrow’s blog post; Switch off from the World.


Tag @leedsartsunion in all your Welfare Fortnight activities! Check out the What's On calendar for even more events here: https://www.leedsartsunion.org.uk/whats-on