6 Simple & Easy Ways To Help The Environment: At Home & At Work

Many of us are looking for quick and easy ways that we can help the environment. We know the planet is precious and want to find ways to help, but also may find it easy to become overwhelmed or discouraged. That’s where these handy tips come in!

Whether you are at home or at work — wherever you spend the majority of your time — there are small ways that you can still make a big impact. If everyone makes a small change, we will experience big results.

Read the tips and suggestions below and see how many environmentally friendly changes you could make, whether at work or just around the house.


Use Greener Products
The cleaning products we use can have a profound impact on the environment and even our health. While some products have been specifically designed to be sensitive or hypoallergenic, others that achieve great results can still come with a heavy cost.

They may aggravate skin conditions, respiratory problems, or cause toxicity in the water supply and oceans. Switching to greener alternatives, such as those that are natural, recycled, or at the very least do not use additional toxins or microbeads (particles of plastic) is a better choice.

Suggested Article: 5 Things You Can Do Around the Home to Help the Environment

2. Compost

Composting can be one of the simplest and most effective ways to make food waste environmentally friendly. There are now compost bins in a range of styles and sizes, meaning that they can be kept indoors for ease of use.

They no longer have to interfere with your decor, cause a bad odour, or be kept outside and thus less likely to be used. Compost bin designs have evolved to fit a more modern eco-conscious lifestyle!

They work by breaking down your food waste in a way that means it can be used to greatly enrich soil, or be disposed of more safely. Food that goes to landfill not only increases waste but can also lead to heavy emissions. Composting is a great way we can help at home!

3. Use Leftovers

Food waste is one of the largest areas of waste in the household — and beyond. You can contribute positively to the environment by making use of your leftovers and reducing your food waste.

There is now a great range of delicious recipes that are specifically intended to use up common leftovers, as well as affordable storage solutions that keep food fresher for longer.

You can also extend this approach to other materials such as electronics and clothing, reusing, recycling, or repurposing them rather than simply throwing them away. You could share with family and friends, sell online, or transform a fabric into something new. Get creative!

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Travel ‘Greener’
The daily commute can be a significant contributor to pollution and harmful emissions worldwide. So much so, that many governments have discussed alternatives such as incentives to use electric cars, building new cycle routes and more.

But you don’t have to wait for them! You can get started straight away by assessing your own commute. Is there a way you could make it more environmentally friendly or even beneficial to your health? Perhaps walking or cycling to work is an option, even just a few times a week.

You may also consider switching to an electric car, or group travel options. Many businesses are even supporting and encouraging company-wide remote working. This is for a variety of reasons, but it also happens to be more environmentally responsible as it greatly reduces the number of people commuting.

Investigate what would be the best option for you and take action even in small ways!

2. Purchase Second-Hand Goods

If you are running your own business, you may have the option of purchasing key materials, supplies or appliances that are second hand. This reduces the number of items that go to landfill, as well as often coming at the fraction of the cost of brand-new items. It is more cost-effective — and greener — for your business!

If you do not work for yourself, you could encourage your colleagues and boss to purchase second hand where possible or switch to items such as recycled paper or reduced plastic. Where it is only possible to make small changes, even implementing a recycling system or a recycling bin can be a great way to start.

Suggested Article: How to Effectively Use Second-Hand Products in Your Business

3. Turn It Off!

When you and your colleagues are out of a room, be sure to reduce the energy expenditure by turning off light bulbs, water, electricity sources and anything else using unnecessary energy.

It may also be possible to make the switch to more energy-efficient bulbs and alternatives.

With small but effective changes and a proactive approach, you can make a positive difference to the environment whether at home or at work!

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Why English football attracts so much foreign investment

The English Premier League is by far the most popular sports league in the world. The 2018-19 season saw the global cumulative live audience rise 6% to 3.2 billion viewers.

Outside of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, the top clubs in England often attract the very top players in the game. Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Thierry Henry have all been attracted by the lure of the Premier League and being part of the Premier League winners’ list.

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Today, the Premier League is shown in a total of 188 of the world’s 193 countries recognised by the United Nations. Countries including Brazil and South Africa even have coverage on free-to-air channels. Afghanistan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Cuba are the only countries where football fans perhaps don’t know what all the fuss is about!

It’s not only football fans that are interested in the Premier League though. Over the past number of years wealthy foreign businessmen have invested in a number of teams.

Roman Abramovich shook up football as we knew it with his purchase of Chelsea in June 2003. At the time, the West London club only had one league title to their name, dating back to 1955, and three FA Cups. Today, the Blues have been champions of England six times, the FA Cup eight times and won the prestigious Champions League in 2011-12.

The Russian billionaire was not slow to splash the cash, allowing manager Claudio Ranieri to spend over £100 million during his first summer in charge. The likes of top stars including Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Damien Duff and Adrian Mutu all joined forces at Stamford Bridge.

And despite finishing a Premier League-high second place that season, the Italian manager was relieved of his duties and in came Jose Mourinho… who had just shocked the world by winning the Champions League with FC Porto.

Today, the majority of Premier League clubs are owned by billionaires. Aston Villa for example, not the most attractive part of the country, with just one league title since the war, have been owned by Chinese businessman Xia Jiantong since 2016. His company, Recon Group, are worth more than $10 billion. And yet, the purchase of the West Midlands club wasn’t considered huge Aston Villa news by any means. By 2016, several clubs also had owners with similar fortunes.

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Arsenal have owners combining for an estimated worth of over $8 billion (even if they don’t spend vast amounts of transfers), Manchester City $22 billion, Wolverhampton Wanderers $9 billion, and even Crystal Palace’s owners are worth in the region of $5 billion.

Purchasing a Premier League club these days can be a difficult job simply because many of these owners are so wealthy they have no interest in selling.

That’s when billionaires who are keen to own a club in England start looking down the divisions. The second tier, known as the Championship, also has wealthy owners. Queens Park Rangers’ owners are worth in the region of $15 billion and minnows Barnsley were purchased in 2017 by NewCity Capital and Pacific Media Group, worth more than $9 billion.

Even the teams at the bottom of the table have wealthy owners – Sheffield Wednesday’s are worth $575 million, Birmingham City €450 million and Derby County’s worth $700 million. Relegation for the latter would come as huge Football League news, and it’s looking more and more likely as Wayne Rooney’s side continue to lose week after week.

It’s not only the prestige of these clubs that attracts the foreign investment, but the money involved in the Premier League. In 2018 the UK segment of TV rights were sold for a combined £4.5 billion, whilst the overseas broadcasting rights generated a similar sum.

Increasing Student Success Through Instruction in Self-Determination

An enormous amount of research shows the importance of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) for students in elementary school through college for enhancing learning and improving important post-school outcomes.

Research by psychologists Richard Ryan, PhD, and Edward Deci, PhD, on Self-Determination Theory indicates that intrinsic motivation (doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable), and thus higher quality learning, flourishes in contexts that satisfy human needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Students experience competence when challenged and given prompt feedback. Students experience autonomy when they feel supported to explore, take initiative and develop and implement solutions for their problems. Students experience relatedness when they perceive others listening and responding to them. When these three needs are met, students are more intrinsically motivated and actively engaged in their learning.

Numerous studies have found that students who are more involved in setting educational goals are more likely to reach their goals. When students perceive that the primary focus of learning is to obtain external rewards, such as a grade on an exam, they often perform more poorly, think of themselves as less competent, and report greater anxiety than when they believe that exams are simply a way for them to monitor their own learning. Some studies have found that the use of external rewards actually decreased motivation for a task for which the student initially was motivated. In a 1999 examination of 128 studies that investigated the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivations, Drs. Deci and Ryan, along with psychologist Richard Koestner, PhD, concluded that such rewards tend to have a substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation by undermining people’s taking responsibility for motivating or regulating themselves.

Self-determination research has also identified flaws in high stakes, test focused school reforms, which despite good intentions, has led teachers and administrators to engage in precisely the types of interventions that result in poor quality learning. Dr. Ryan and colleagues found that high stakes tests tend to constrain teachers’ choices about curriculum coverage and curtail teachers’ ability to respond to students’ interests (Ryan & La Guardia, 1999). Also, psychologists Tim Urdan, PhD, and Scott Paris, PhD, found that such tests can decrease teacher enthusiasm for teaching, which has an adverse effect on students’ motivation (Urdan & Paris, 1994).

The processes described in self-determination theory may be particularly important for children with special educational needs. Researcher Michael Wehmeyer found that students with disabilities who are more self-determined are more likely to be employed and living independently in the community after completing high school than students who are less self-determined.

Research also shows that the educational benefits of self-determination principles don’t stop with high school graduation. Studies show how the orientation taken by college and medical school instructors (whether it is toward controlling students’ behavior or supporting the students’ autonomy) affects the students’ motivation and learning.

Self-determination theory has identified ways to better motivate students to learn at all educational levels, including those with disabilities.
Practical Application

Schools throughout the country are using self-determination instruction as a way to better motivate students and meet the growing need to teach children and youth ways to more fully accept responsibility for their lives by helping them to identify their needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.

Researchers have developed and evaluated instructional interventions and supports to encourage self-determination for all students, with many of these programs designed for use by students with disabilities. Many parents, researchers and policy makers have voiced concern about high rates of unemployment, under-employment and poverty experienced by students with disabilities after they complete their educational programs. Providing support for student self-determination in school settings is one way to enhance student learning and improve important post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Schools have particularly emphasized the use of self-determination curricula with students with disabilities to meet federal mandates to actively involve students with disabilities in the Individualized Education Planning process.

Programs to promote self-determination help students acquire knowledge, skills and beliefs that meet their needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness (for example, see Steps to Self-determination by educational researchers Sharon Field and Alan Hoffman). Such programs also provide instruction aimed specifically at helping students play a more active role in educational planning (for example, see The Self-directed Individualized Education Plan by Jim Martin, Laura Huber Marshall, Laurie Maxson, & Patty Jerman).

Drs. Field and Hoffman developed a model designed to guide the development of self-determination instructional interventions. According to the model, instructional activities in areas such as increasing self-awareness; improving decision-making, goal-setting and goal-attainment skills; enhancing communication and relationship skills; and developing the ability to celebrate success and learn from reflecting on experiences lead to increased student self-determination. Self-determination instructional programs help students learn how to participate more actively in educational decision-making by helping them become familiar with the educational planning process, assisting them to identify information they would like to share at educational planning meetings, and supporting students to develop skills to effectively communicate their needs and wants. Examples of activities used in self-determination instructional programs include reflecting on daydreams to help students decide what is important to them; teaching students how to set goals that are important to them and then, with the support of peers, family members and teachers, taking steps to achieve those goals. Providing contextual supports and opportunities for students, such as coaching for problem-solving and offering opportunities for choice, are also critical elements that lead to meeting needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness and thus, increasing student self-determination.