Driving · Environment · Family

Why to Consider Buying Green

Why to consider buying green
Photo by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

When it comes to electric cars it’s no longer a case of if but when. The government has announced that we won’t be able to buy new petrol or diesel cars in the UK from 2030 onwards and even plug-in hybrids will be no longer from 2035, so electric looks like being your main option.

Electric car sales are on the rise already, though, with plenty of people recognising the plus-sides to EVs. They are cheaper to fuel and you can do it from home or at work in many cases, they can drive into city centres without paying charges (where they apply) and you don’t have to pay anywhere near as much tax.

That’s before you consider the fact that they are quiet to drive, often have lots of modern tech and many are good to drive.

If you are considering going green, then these cars would be a good place to start, plus you can find out how much your current car’s worth with an online valuation from market experts, Parkers.

Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen’s Beetle enabled many people to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time when it first launched – could the ID.3 do the same with electric?

It’s VW’s first purpose built electric car (VW did make electric versions of the Golf and Up, though) but there will be lots of other ‘ID’ EVs to come from the brand. It looks different to other VWs, to set it apart, but it still offers a great level of family-friendly practicality and ease of use.

There’s space for five, it feels spacious inside and it feels familiar and accessible when it comes to driving it. There is a choice of ranges, too, with an impressive 260 or 336 miles possible.

Tesla Model 3

Despite the company’s relative newness, no list of electric cars is complete without a Tesla these days. The Model 3 is the cheapest one in the brand’s range but it still comes with a load of the fancy tech that Tesla is famed for now.

The thing that will tempt many, though, is the promised 353-mile range – that should be enough for most long-distance trips. It’s really quick and fun to drive, too, so it’s little surprise that it is shooting up the sales charts [https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/] to become one of the more popular cars on sale in the UK full stop.

Polestar 2

If you thought Tesla was a newbie then compared to Polestar it is an established household name. However, there is more to it than that as this is an electric-only arm of Volvo. It’s also the company that is Tesla’s closest rival, offering some up-to-the-minute features like vegan interiors, although it doesn’t have as many gimmicks as some rivals with a minimalist cabin with very few buttons. Think the sort of living room that pops up in those Scandi dramas that are so popular. It’s smart and sophisticated rather than dripping with showy tech.

The range is impressive, although not quite at the level of the Tesla and ID.3 – it tops out at 292 officially. It’s not the most spacious of cabins compared to some, but it still has enough room to appeal to family buyers.

Citroen e-C4

One of the big benefits of electric cars is that they are less stressful to drive – there is much less noise and vibration and the lack of gears etc mean they are relaxing on the road.

The Citroen e-C4 majors on this, and makes for a really smooth driving experience with a comfy ride and seats. While it isn’t a dedicated EV (there are petrol and diesel versions too) it was designed to be an electric car from the start.

The range isn’t as headline grabbing as some of the other new electric cars, but at 217 miles it will cope with almost everything for the majority of drivers. And it is capable of a lot more than the electric cars of only a few years ago.

Kia Soul

Not everyone who buys an electric car wants to slip into the background unnoticed – you might want to make a statement with your funky new battery-powered wheels.

The Kia Soul is certainly distinctively looking, although its boxy shape means it still has a decent-sized and airy cabin, even if it isn’t the biggest or most practical out there.

It’s quick and fun to drive, too – 0-62mph comes in just 7.9 seconds and it has a claimed range of 280 miles.

Lifestyle

50 Shades Of Green

Okay, perhaps there aren’t fifty, but there are quite a few ways you can go green without even trying. If you do, you can save money for your family, make life easier and help the planet. How cool is that? It is something that all parents should be thinking about this year, so what are the options?

Upgrading Tech

If you upgrade your business tech, you will almost automatically be saving a lot of energy. New tech is almost always eco-efficient. So, if you purchase a new laptop this year, you can bet it will save you an absolute fortune in the long run. It’s worth upgrading all the tech in your home every few years. You’ll cut down your energy usage as well as your home cost.

Look For A Renewable Supply

You need to think about looking for an energy supply company that offers renewable resources. There are plenty available, and all you need to do is check out this possibility. You might find that the rates are cheaper, so again, it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Switching isn’t hard either, and the new company will typically set this up for you making the switch pain free.

Recycle It All

You should be recycling everything that you no longer use. This includes things like newspapers to electronics. When you do upgrade your tech, think about recycling it straight away. You can easily do this with things like mobile phones and tablets. Find out how in the infographic below and take one more step towards green living.


Infographic Created By My Trendy Phone

Being Green · Education · Family

Is Saving The Planet Reserved for the Middle Classes?

green-planet

The other day, I was driving out of the supermarket behind a Toyota Prius and I thought to myself “If I had more money, I’d buy a hybrid car”. It was just one lone thought that swept through my brain picking up the debris of other ideas that had been languishing in my grey matter and it all balled up into one big thought:

“Is it only well-off people who are able to do their bit for the planet?”

I know that everyone is able to recycle, that doesn’t cost anything, and there are plenty of other things that the cash-poor can do, such as upcycling furniture and homewares to prevent them from ending up in landfill, but when it comes to the bigger measures, people in a lower earnings bracket are stuffed.

1. They cannot afford to invest in new cars which offer less reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, many families will be relying on older cars with much higher emissions, just to be able to afford a car at all.

2. They cannot afford to kit their houses out with tech such as solar panels, which again reduce the dependence on energy which is derived from burning of fossil fuels.

3. They can’t afford to buy premium foods, therefore contributing towards meat and other ingredients which are not so ethically sourced, grown or cared for.

4. Many live in cheap housing, which means the actual energy efficiency of their homes is low, and energy is wasted because of the lack of insulation and energy-saving measures in place.

I’m aware that there are grants in place for certain things with many councils, such as loft insulation and such, but many families don’t fall within the bracket to receive such grants, earning slightly too much to be considered, whilst not technically having any disposable income at the end of the month.

It goes further than this too – because of the divide between what it’s possible to earn and what it’s realistic to live on, many people in this bracket will only be able to afford to buy things cheaply, furniture for instance, which is made as cheaply as possible and therefore in a not very eco-conscious way, which will wear out a lot quicker, causing a kind of disposable lifestyle that is directly responsible for the alarming rate at which landfills are filling up.

Sites like Freecycle are a great idea in principle; one mans trash is another mans treasure and all that, but is it really enough? Shouldn’t we, shouldn’t the Government, be thinking of ways in which people of lower means can contribute towards conscious living?

For one thing, I don’t think we’re doing enough in schools. More teaching should be done and from a younger age, to make it second nature to recycle and think about the life cycle of the products we’re using, as well as where food comes from and how we move it around the planet. I hate the fact that our education system starts so early here in the UK, but there are ways that we can use that to our advantage, as kids are much easier to teach habits from a younger age.

Do people think about their carbon output when they take a plane to go on holiday and is there a way that we could offset that so that foreign travel becomes carbon neutral? It’s all very well visiting beautiful Maldivian islands, but if global warming continues at it’s current rate, all of those incredible islands could be underwater within my lifetime. 

All I know is, the thought of the planet dying because we can’t do anything scares the poop out of me, but by the same token I don’t know what else I can do. If you’ve got any suggestions you can make that might help us to reduce our carbon footprint, which don’t cost £21,845 (that’s the STARTING price for a new Prius, just FYI) please let me know. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about the role of the ‘average’ family in saving the planet and whether you feel you’re able to ‘afford’ a more eco-friendly way of living.