We all know that what 'we' do directly affects the other humans, the planet, wildlife and everything in between, don't we? Then why is it that we still missing so many of the little changes that can make a big difference long term!?
My New Years resolution this year was to switch, to the best of my ability, to a more sustainable way of living. It's taken some thought and a little more effort but to be honest with you it's become a little mission of mine! I don't expect you to give up everything and live in a hemp hut in the jungle but here are some tips that you may not even think about doing that can really help.
Buying your fresh food locally from weekend markets, farms and farm shops if they're available and accessible for you. This avoids fuelling the the mass importation of stock from overseas
Likewise eat what is in season in the U.K - if possible.
Cut down on meat and dairy consumption
If you're buying meat and dairy try and buy from a sustainable source or local farmer
Don't worry if your fruit and veg are looking a bit passed it..peal it, throw it in a soup...no one would know!
Freeze stuff to stop it perishing...even cheese can be frozen...just grate it and throw it in a tup-a-wear
Give away food it you have too much and its going to go to waste or are going on holiday
Sign up to apps like 'to good to go' to list or receive food to avoid wastage
Let's get some more community fridges about, such a great idea to avoid restaurant or personal waste!
Try going to more independent cafes and restaurants instead of the big chains
Buy certified fair trade and sustainable products
Avoid plastic if you are able to.
Buy veg that’s not plastic wrapped and avoid using those little plastic bags in supermarkets to put one item in and then throwing it away as soon as your home! Grab some of the brown paper mushroom bags and use them if you really feel the need
Avoid buying disposable sandwich bags and cling film and use re-useable tupawear and zip bags (to save space in the freezer)
Opting for no plastic bags when you get your shopping delivered to your home
Buy in bulk when you can so you cut down on the packaging you are using per purchase
Visit a waste-free supermarket to see what they have to offer
Plan!- Take your own bags shopping to the shops
Keep a reusable shopping/tote bag in your bag all the time so you don’t use plastic bags every time you shop
Buy yourself a re-usable cup for your daily commuter coffee
Get yourself a proper re-usable water bottle so you don't have to be buying the single use ones, which shouldn't be re-used anyway!
Trying not to get straws in your drinks or get compostable, paper, bamboo or metal ones
Eating/drinking in somewhere to avoid excess 'to-go' items
Have a clear out, take old clothes to the charity shop- don't throw away!
Shop in the charity shops- it's for a good cause and you can find some banging bits
Use depop, ebay... Buy handmade from boutiques and independent shop rather than big brands and high streets stores
Shop vintage and buy ethical clothing* ( I need to do a whole separate post on the this as there's so much too it)
Eco glitter is a massive thing now!
Buy items/ brands that are not tested on animals- look for the rabbit sign
Own-brand items tend to not test on animals!
Make your own beauty products - I use coconut oil for everything! Cleanser, moisturiser, conditioner, mix it with grounds coffee/sugar to make a face scrub!
There are lots of plastic free beauty products available - have a little research
Buy products that are Eco friendly when possible
Or even make your own... there are some great recipes online with natural products like lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate!
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
Only fill the kettle up as much as you need
Look into getting a water meter
Take shorter showers, have less baths
Turn off appliances at the wall
Turn off lights
Put lids on pans
Are you separating your waste and recycling ?
Are you recycling properly?... make sure you know what is as isn't recyclable and wash your plastic, tins and glass before recycling.. a lot of recycling is thrown into landfill because it's contaminated
Do you really need to be driving ? Can you walk, cycle or get public transport
Can you share lifts on the school run?
These are just a few things you can do and is by no mean an exhaustive list as there are so many more things I could include. But for a starter try and think about some simple changes and swaps, do your own research and go from there. Small swaps can make such a big different in the long run and if everyone did them! I'm still learning more and more changes I can make to live a more sustainable life. So don't just feel bad about it do whatever you can to make a difference!