By now, Londoners are all pretty clued up on eco-friendly swaps. We’ve got the most zero-waste shops of any city in the UK (by some miles); reusable cotton pads, coffee cups and water bottles have all become second nature; and our daily commute is all bikes, buses and tubes, with only a very select few taking their own car to the office. Even some of the more hardcore among us are composting every bit of food waste and using washable loo roll – respect. It’s good to feel like you’re making a difference and, while there are major systemic issues at play in the climate crisis, there are plenty of sustainable swaps individuals can make. So, whether you’re a certified eco-warrior or just want to integrate some greener habits into your day-to-day, here are the less obvious and lesser-known ways to eat, drink and travel that make an environmental difference.

Drink your wine from a can

Hear us out! Yes, wine in a can isn’t the most glamorous and has a reputation for being a bit… dodgy. But with more and more brands joining the can club, the options are getting pretty good. Waitrose recently announced that it was making the switch to cans for their 187ml, 200ml and 250ml wine sizes, news that led a lot of us to the realisation that canned wine may actually be better for the planet. This move will not only save more than 300 tonnes of glass packaging, but halve the carbon footprint per drink as cans are lighter to transport than glass bottles. Overall, 330ml cans of wine generate 2.5 times less CO2 than traditional bottles, according to a report by Gaia Consulting. So, if you wanna try some for yourself, our top recs are the ranges from Banks Brothers and Vinca, Mirabeau’s Rosé to Go, Quello Sparkling Wine and Wild Steps’ Malbec.

Refill everything – even your alt milk

We usually know what to expect from refill stores: plenty of grains, pasta, baking ingredients and other dry foods. But there are shops here in London where the options are getting more creative, we’re talking refillable alternative milk, ketchup and other sauces, nut butter and wine. So, you can keep reducing your packaging waste and the number of bottles and cartons you have to lug to the recycling bin – win-win.

Eat hyper-local

From produced foraged in Hackney to mushrooms grown in a restaurant’s basement, the era of hyper-local dining in London is definitely dawning. Restaurants sourcing their food locally isn’t new, but there’s a budding contingent that is keeping it so local that you might have passed their supplier on the bus over. Indie supper clubs such as Eleven98 and 10 Miles are leading the way with impressively imagined hyper-local sourcing techniques, while restaurants like The Culpeper have long been integrating hyper-local methods into their cooking, even using herbs grown on their rooftop.

Swap out your cheese

Going vegan is still the gold standard for sustainable eating, but if you’re not yet ready to give up cheese, there’s another option: go carbon-neutral. The Somerset-based cheesemakers behind Ivy’s Reserve were the first to create a carbon-neutral cheese, managing to make their award-winning vintage cheddar while cutting their CO₂ output per litre of milk to 20% under the national average, minimising packaging waste and using 100% green energy. Oh, and it’s delicious.

Pick up a mystery bag of food

You probably already know about Too Good To Go, but if you don’t, it’s an app that allows you to buy for from restaurants, cafes and supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste for hugely discounted prices. But it’s not all toasties from Costa, there are a bunch of really fantastic local spots getting involved, including the likes of Miel, Gaff Cafe, Pixxa, The Good Egg and Incoming Coffee. Food waste is a major environmental issue that generates 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions so, besides the personal win of saving money, grabbing a TGTG magic bag means you’re contributing to bringing that number down.

Switch to solid skincare

Skincare bars are a *solid* way of taking care of your face without contributing to the 120 billion units of packaging that gets chucked every year. The internet skincare mob may have made putting a bar of soap on your face sound like the absolute worst thing you can do, but the sustainable skincare movement is here to change that. Bar soap for your face has now become quite advanced, and it’s not even just soap, with brands like SBTRCT also making moisturiser, serum and makeup-removing bars.

Travel without flying

Flying notoriously generates huge amounts of CO2 (alone, aviation accounts for 3% of global emissions), forming a large chunk of our carbon footprint. But it’s also the quickest and most convenient way of getting around (a lot of the time), so it’s definitely a tough one to give up. Travelling sans plane may seem like it’s only for the most hardcore eco-warriors (with Greta Thunberg setting the ultimate example, as usual) but anyone can do it with a bit of spare time, particularly for shorter-haul trips. For instance, a trip from London to Edinburgh by plane generates 135.6kg of carbon emissions while a train would only generate 26kg. So, if you’re not up against it, why not explore the bus, train, bike, or car-sharing options for your trip. Or, if you’d rather someone else does the thinking for you, there are now travel companies dedicated to flightless holidays (such as Byway) you can use – and then give yourself a really big pat on the back.