It's easy to blame the government and big corporations for things like global warming, deforestation or the slow assassination of our oceans.
It's easy to blame them because, well, they are to blame... On their shoulders rests the wellbeing of our globe and in their hands, the power to make a difference. They should know better and do better.
However, the blame can only be placed on them in part. Acting like helpless victims of society can only get us so far. If we really want to keep our planet spinning in its delicate balance, we have to start putting our money where our mouth is and take action ourselves.
Now, I'm no phoney. Hard as I try I don't seem to crack the wholesome life. However, I have started implementing some easy habits into my day-to-day that I feel, when done in conjunction with fellow mindful folks, can have a huge impact on our lovely little home planet.
Here are some easy ideas to make your life more sustainable:
This one is pretty obvious but shockingly, some people still don't 'believe' in it...
It's dead simple so there's really no excuse to not do it. Separate your plastics from your cartons and put out to collection.
2. Reduce meat intake:
I love a burger. Who doesn't? But satisfying the meat demand of the first world is causing nasty things like deforestation and alarming rates of CO2 emissions (amongst other horrid things).
Two summers ago, after a lengthy conversation with friends where we looked at the damaging and unfair state of the food industry, I decided to become a vegetarian. At first, it wasn't that hard. I love fruit and vegetables and was surprised to see how easy it was to make delicious recipes that weren't accompanied by meat.
But, as the gatherings & meals out started to pile, I realised I didn't want to be the difficult person who refuses to eat what others are offering. So, rather than a full-blown veggie, I became a reducer.
What does that mean? It means I've gone from eating some form of animal every day to having it fortnightly.
The trick is to consume less but buy better. So, I now spend £10 on well-fed, well-treated chicken but only make the investment on special occasions.
Everyone can try this out and adapt it to their own needs. Reducing and not eliminating can still have a huge impact on our welfare and that of our planet.
3. Invest in a bag for life:
Have you heard the story of the plastic whale?
Plastic bags are the devil. And, surprise surprise, you don't actually need them. They're wasteful, take an era to completely disintegrate, end up being eaten by marine life and even clutter a house. There's lots of cute and practical options for bags for life. Keep one in your car, your bag, your draw at work...
4. Live frugally:
I've seen this is starting to get some real traction on the internet and I couldn't be happier. Vloggers and Insta Queens are heralding the marvels of living with less. Find out what works for you - you don't have to burn down your house and start living out of an empty tin of tomato soup - but do start considering a lifestyle purge. What items in your home are anchoring you down? What's taking up space and producing no benefit to you? Donate or sell your unloved items and give more space to space. Soon you'll find that the less you have, the less you need.
5. Buy less:
This goes hand in hand with the above. Be conscious about what you buy. I tried to not spend any money on myself during February and it really changed the way I started thinking about the relationship I had with items. You'll be surprise how much peace you find when you consciously don't need anything.
6. Buy better:
Fast fashion is great when you're on a tight budget but it causes us to end up cluttering our wardrobe with throw-away items that are either trendy pieces we won't want to wear next season or cheap fabrics that don't last two washes.
I'm a huge culprit of this and it's a habit I need to relearn. Rather than spending your hard earned cash in shops like H&M, New Look or Primark, save it. Don't buy that seventh polyester-nylon mix white tee for £2 and instead invest in a well-made cotton option for £20 - you'll get more use out of it!
(Fat Face to the softest, most comfortable 100% cotton tees!)
7. Invest in better fabrics:
Another upside of buying better is that it's not only good for our wallets in the long run, it's also kinder on our planet. Fabrics like rayon, polyester, acrylic, acetate and nylon are chemically treated to endure tear and wear. They are also made from materials like petroleum, plastic or treated wood pulp that can be harmful for our health. On top of that, with every wash, they release tiny filaments of plastic that can end up in the sea, becoming a dangerous source of food for the fishies :(
8. Household Waste:
The UK throw away £13bn worth of food each year. Now think how much energy, land space and water goes into generating that food. Feel like we deserve to start eating from the bin yet?
Again, this is one of those habits I've had to pick up. Pay close attention to what it is that you're chucking away each week and work out if you can either do without, recalculate quantities needed or get smart about cooking in batch and freezing.
Have some fun with it too. Turn those brown bananas into a loaf, make up weird and wonderful new recipes using only leftovers or dare your household to a zero waste challenge.
Another obvious one. Do you jump in the car every time you're out of milk?
Car pool, cycle, jump on the bus, tube it, train it or use them little legs. As with the meat, if you can't commit to completely eliminating the use of your car, reduce it. Even if you get the bus to work once a week, that's a tremendous good first step.
10. Clean Cleaning:
Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredient labels on your cleaning products? Now, I'm no scientist but the upside down dead fish icon kinda tells me more than I need to know.
Thankfully, there's a bunch of cleaner alternatives you can start using. For example, natural ingredients like vinagre, tea tree oil or lemon are absolute pros at getting rid of grime without leaving behind any nasty pollutants.
If you ain't got time to make your own, look into brands like Method.
And there you have it, 10 easy steps to living more sustainably!