November 1, 2021

The UK’s Most Eco-Conscious Cities [Study]

Ensuring we all play our part in protecting the planet is a major focus, now, more than ever. To slow down the effects of climate change, more eco-friendly ways of living are being implemented daily around the world, for example; switching to electric vehicles, reducing the amount of household waste we are producing and avoiding plastic packaging where possible, and we all must adhere to these methods if we intend to make an impact as consumers.

At Absolutely Bear, we are strong advocates of protecting the environment and want to help everyone take those small steps to living a more sustainable life, which is why we work hard to manufacture men's sustainable clothing. So, looking close to home, here in the UK, we decided to find out which city/town is the best to live in for eco-conscious consumers, and has the biggest positive impact on the environment.

To calculate our eco-conscious index, we analysed, measured and ranked UK towns and cities against several different factors including; the number of electric vehicle charging stations, the number of national parks, the number of charity shops, and the amount of household waste that is being recycled locally. We combined the results for each to rank and now reveal… the UK’s most eco-conscious cities!

 
 

Leeds is crowned most eco-conscious!

 

If you aim to have the most eco-friendly lifestyle possible, Leeds is apparently the place to be. Leeds recycles almost 115,000 tonnes of waste each year, has 28 EV charging points that are available for public use, as well as plenty of greenery and nature to enjoy with an impressive 18 national parks to visit.

The city also has plenty of charity shops for you to purchase and donate clothes to, 118 to be exact! Shopping second hand is a great way to contribute to a slower fashion cycle and a great way to save some money too. You can also come across some great vintage gems that could make a great addition to your wardrobe!

 

Why charity shops, and who cares about household recycling waste?

 

Nick Fletcher our founder has commented on the findings and provided tips on being more environmentally-friendly in everyday life:

“It is great to see how well Leeds continue to do at encouraging residents to be more eco-conscious by implementing factors necessary to do so, and a high quantity of these. Regardless of where you’re located around the UK, there are many things you can do to be more eco-conscious, that will have very little impact on your day-to-day activities, but a big impact on the planet:

Shopping ethically and sustainably - ethical clothing companies have grown in popularity and these brands not only offer great clothing items but also tackle issues such as pollution and toxic materials, climate change and wildlife habitats. So purchasing from these brands is a win-win situation. The reason we care about charity shops too is because we hate seeing old clothes go into landfill! A good tip for every new garment you ever buy (at a steady pace), to recycle an old piece.”

Reducing plastic waste - many everyday items can be swapped for plastic-free alternatives that help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste being offloaded at landfill sites. Switch your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo version, invest in some metal straws as opposed to regular plastic ones that are thrown away after one use and remember to take your bag for life on shopping trips to avoid using plastic carrier bags, which as we know take years to decompose in landfill sites. We took into account for this study the tonnes of recyclable household waste, as it’s much better to be filling wastage with this than general household waste that just gets dumped. Towns that scored highly were big contributors to recyclable, compostable and reusable goods in their waste.”

Get outdoors more yourself - where possible, ditch the car. Consider hybrid or electric; with such a growing government incentive and mission to make electric charging more easily available in England, have a close look into whether either option could work for you. But really, just walking as much as you can is best. National parks can be found even in the city chaos of central London! Spending time in these is enough to remind you of the bigger world and ecosystem we are part of, as time in nature can be hugely rewarding, positive, and humbling - just enough to remind you to be kind to the planet.”

 

How does each of the top towns and cities fare?

 

Curious as to how your hometown matches up? Or thinking of relocating to a more eco-conscious location. Check out the full findings here:

 

 

Methodology

 

We pulled household recycling data, electric vehicle charge points, number of charity shops, and the number of national parks for 50+ UK cities and towns with the highest population. We ranked each data set and combined them to work out the most eco-conscious city in the UK, in order.

Data sources:

Public EV charge points: https://charge.pod-point.com/

National park data: https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/

Charity shop data: https://www.yell.com/

Household waste data:

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