17 May 2019 ... min read Listen

Tips & tricks: it starts with you and me

Thousands of students took to the streets to shout out their climate concerns and rightfully so. Things need to change quickly. And there are a number of things that we as individuals – yes, you too – can do that would have an impact on our carbon footprint.

So, here’s a quick and easy list of tips and tricks to reduce your carbon footprint. Oh, and by the way, it might also save you some money.

1. Reuse, share and borrow

Recycling waste is something we all know about. We grew up with it. But let’s make sure we not only keep that up with the stuff we throw away but also apply it to the stuff we need. Because buying something second-hand, or not buying at all but rather borrowing it from your neighbour can make a big difference.

Just borrow that drill you need to hang two picture frames on the wall and lend them your mixer now and again. That’s two electronic appliances you didn’t have to buy. You can also sell the clothes you don’t wear anymore online. Same goes for that skateboard that’s collecting dust in your basement. You can probably get some extra festival budget out of it ;-)

There are plenty of apps that allow you to share, lend and borrow stuff:

2. Reduce your waste

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic waste reaches the oceans. That’s 8 and 6 zeros, that’s a lot of plastic trash floating around. It’s also not going anywhere, because it is made to last a lifetime. Eventually, it disintegrates into microplastics, that end up in the food we eat. So, what can we do about it?

Have you already joined #MeiPlasticvrij? Perfect! That’s a great place to start. There are plenty of simple things you can do to drastically reduce plastic waste. Here’s a quick tip list, but you can find a whole lot more on www.meiplasticvrij.be (sorry, Dutch only).

  • Don’t use plastic bags for veggies and fruit at your supermarket. Bring your own reusable bag.

  • Buying in bulk will reduce the amount of packaging you waste, and it can even save you some money.

  • Got a garden or a balcony? Start composting!

  • Avoid plastic bottles. Bring your own reusable bottle and fill it with the cheapest, most eco-friendly, home-delivered drink out there. Yes, we are talking about tap water.

3. Shop local

Buying straight from a farmer eliminates transport emissions, waste from packaging and much more CO2 emission in the retail value chain. Not to mention the fact that it’s much cheaper. Check out www.rechtvanbijdeboer.be (sorry, Dutch only) to find a farmer and the produce you need nearby.

4. Airplane mode

Setting your smartphone to airplane mode will charge your phone faster and uses less electricity. It really helps. Even if it’s only at night. How good is that?

5. Quick fixes at home

Your home is also a great place to start. By making a few smart fixes or changes you can save on energy and reduce waste. Here’s how:

  • Have you checked all your light bulbs yet? Make sure to change them to energy-saving LED lights. You are not only saving on electricity costs, you are also reducing waste because they have a much longer lifespan.

  • Got a leaking tap? Fix it. Go to FIXIT YouTube channel and find a DIY video on how to fix your leaking taps or get your handy uncle to come and fix them. It can save you lots of money and the planet’s water supply will thank you.

Yes, it starts with you and me. But what about ING?

Working at ING and contributing to a sustainable environment and economy? Yes, that’s possible. It starts with small things at work like bringing your own cup to the nearest Coffee Bar. But it doesn’t end there. We have many colleagues and teams that work on projects focused on sustainability.

Here are some examples:

Customer Journey Experts who develop sustainable financial products and services, such as the “Sustainable Improvement Loan” for corporate clients (the higher the company scores on sustainability, the cheaper the loan), favourable rates for energy-saving renovation loans or sustainable investment products. In Risk, we’re applying environmental and social risk policy to our financing activities. The aim is to protect human rights and the environment in deciding what we finance and what we don’t.

And there are many more. Interested? Find out more about ING’s Sustainability Strategy here or go directly to our Careers page.

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