It’s 2019 and if you ain’t making efforts to reduce your plastic consumption, or live a little more ethically, then what are you doing with your life?
I know not everyone has the access to being 100% zero waste, or eating vegan, or not buying from fast fashion chains – but there’s still so much you can do to even make a little change in your day-to-day life.
This year I decided to make the move to being vegan, partially for the animal welfare but also for the betterment of our planet. I don’t think people realise quite how badly the meat industry affects our environment. Of course, not everyone is able to completely cut meat and dairy out of their diet, and that’s ok. But by incorporating more vegetarian and vegan meals into your diet, you’re going to make a huge difference. Why not try meatless Mondays, or try to eat at least one veggie or vegan meal a day. I promise the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Plus think of the money you can save!
There are tons of recipes out there, but my biggest recommendation is the BOSH cookbook. Best vegan food I’ve ever tried, and their YouTube channel is full of options if you don’t fancy forking out the £8.
Seriously, girl bye! If you’re still using single use plastic, why? Not only will buying a reusable coffee cup save you up to 50p per drink, but it’s going to save our oceans and the sea-life in them. Sure it can be a bit annoying having to then wash out your mug instead of just chucking it in the nearest bin, but what’s two minutes out of your day spent at the sink when you’re saving those turtles? Plus, you could challenge yourself to not buy a coffee unless you have your mug on you. That way you might also save some extra spare change. There’s tons of reusable water bottles and coffee mugs out there, so you can pick the best designs that you love to make you feel extra cool. My friend also bought me some pocket-sized cutlery which has its own silicone packaging, and I use it daily. It’s the perfect size for my handbag and it saves me picking up any nasty plastic cutlery whenever I get take away lunch.
Another easy difference you can make in this area is investing in some tote bags. I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought a tote bag, after working for three different universities you kind of just collect them, but there are plenty you can buy online. Keep them on you at all times, so when you make that mad dash in your Tesco local for some much needed Ben & Jerrys, you can carry it home save in the knowledge that your bag isn’t about to endanger about 50 species of fish.
Another hard one, I know, but shopping fast fashion has a seriously damaging effect on our planet. Think of the gas emissions, the toxic waste thrown into our oceans and local rivers. But what’s even worse, is that many fast fashion brands are still trading in modern slavery. Workers, often female, are paid little to nothing for their hard work, and are left to work in seriously dangerous conditions. It’s just not worth it.
Now don’t get me wrong, the majority of sustainable fashion brands are incredibly expensive, and rightly so due to the work that goes in, but there are options. Instead of hitting up your local sweaty Primark on a busy Saturday afternoon, why not try your local charity shops. It does take some rummaging but you’ll find some great secondhand pieces. Or if online shopping is more your thing, then get acquainted with Depop and Ebay more often. I’m not saying you have to drastically change your habits, god knows I’m still trying, but making this slight shift in your shopping habits will help. But the best thing you can do, is just to cut down on your spending in general. Trust me, you do not need 10 new bikini’s for those 5 days in Ibiza, and nor do you need another 3 pairs of blue jeans all varying ever so slightly in shade. Look at what you already own and find the love for those pieces again.
These are my three key areas to make a few changes in your daily life. I think they’re some of the best ones that you can begin with where you will honestly see the biggest differences. I’m not saying you have to change your entire lifestyle, you can if you want, but why not think about the bigger picture every so often and see where you can make a difference. Some of my favourite people to follow for inspiration and motivation are Zanna van Dijk and Venetia Falconer – true sustainability queens who show the fun side of leading a more ethical lifestyle.