By Beatrice Tridimas
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to climate action. It’s overwhelming thinking about the extremity of the action needed to save the planet.
You don’t have to give up flying (worth a try though), but making small changes to your lifestyle can still have a huge impact. So, whilst you’re not out protesting with Extinction Rebellion, here’s a few tips to get you taking action in the home.
Ditch the plastic!
Yup, that’s right, just get rid. It’s one more negative energy which you don’t need to carry into 2020.
Going 100% plastic free isn’t going to happen over-night, but why not making a start by cutting out plastic packaging?
It’s easier than you think, and it really is one of the most unnecessary plastics in your life.
Go to your local greengrocer for fresh fruit, veg, spices and herbs. You can individually pick out the juiciest tomatoes, gorgeously wrapped in a paper bag and top up your spice rack with package-free refills.
Go full Quorn schnitzel
So, how did Veganuary go for you? Not that well?
But, it’s not too late to try! Fine, so you don’t want to go full cold turkey (or full Quorn schnitzel) but cutting down the meat and dairy you consume can have a huge impact on the environment.
I’ve already said you don’t have to go full Quorn schnitzel (although sit tight because that’s the goal), but small steps can be pretty useless if they’re too small.
Find the right balance. Let meat be a treat (if it must be) for three special meals. (Notice I say MEALS not days.) And you never know, you might find yourself not needing it at all…
Clean up your act
Whilst a toilet that stinks of bleach is sure to be deliciously white and deadly-clean, it’s also contaminating our water systems.
Make a switch to natural and eco-friendly cleaning products. They do just as good a job at cleaning and are actually cleaner themselves (they also smell sooo much better).
Try out products from Method, which use non-toxic and biodegradable materials.
I’ll take care of you
When it comes to cleaning your clothes, well, don’t do it…
Don’t ‘not do it’ but do it with more care. Taking proper care of your clothes means they’ll last longer, and you won’t have to replace them so often.
Take jeans. They just don’t need a wash. If they’re starting to get a little baggy, stick them in the freezer over-night and, in the morning, they’ll be snug as a bug!
Reuse don’t abuse!
Try and remove waste from your beauty routine. Again, it’s easier than you think.
First step: get rid of make-up wipes.
They’re not only clogging up landfill, but they’re also not good for your skin. Same goes for disposable cotton pads. Cotton production has a huge carbon footprint, which isn’t helped when the tiny soft rounds end up in the bin…
These bamboo cotton Panda Pads are a gorgeously soft, zero-waste alternative to your end of the day pamper. Give them a try!
Water for life
With the epidemic of Chilly’s bottles over the past year, the sleek stainless steel flask that keeps water cold for 24 hours or hot for 12, it might seem totally old fashioned to buy a plastic water bottle.
Fine, so every now and then we’re on the go and we’ve left our flask at home. But the use of millions of plastic bottles a year can be dramatically reduced by:
1) Buying a reusable bottle
2) Installing a water filter at home
3) If you must buy bottled water (if you’re a sparkling water aficionado, for example), buying glassed bottles.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
Periods cause a lot of waste but they don’t need to!
Try out a moon cup, a reusable sanitary pad or period pants to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that’s part of your monthly care.
Free yourself from itchy pads and tampons and embrace the freedom of the period pant. It’s a freedom that extends to the earth, and what can be more liberating than that?
Vintage is the one true answer to sustainable shopping.
It’s not smelly, it’s not musty and tatty (unless that’s the look you’re going for). It’s totally sustainable and you can get super unique pieces for amazing prices.
What more is there to say?
If you’re unsure, take a look here for some more insights into the world of vintage!
Zoom zoom zoom
This is tricky depending on where you live and where you work. But I truly believe there can be SOME way to have a more environmentally friendly commute.
Even if it’s only possible once a week, it’s so worth taking public transport, cycling or walking to work – and you’ll find the fresh air does you DELIGHTS.
If you can manage it, cut down on the amount you fly, too.
Holiday via train? Yes please – gorgeous views and you can bring endless amounts of your own snacks and liquids – win.
And if you fly often for work, see if your company has implemented a policy of how many air miles each employee can fly – it’s good to keep track of and can make a huge difference to your overall carbon footprint.
Finally, the biggest tip I can give you is simply THINK.
Being more aware of what you buy, and for what ends, is a sure way to put a stop to bad habits. It only takes a second thought to put down your third fur coat or that £5 top that already looks like it’s falling apart.
Find inspiration in your wardrobe, your friends’ wardrobes, your mum’s wardrobe! There are PLENTY of clothes in your life, and you don’t need to start making new acquaintances now.
Give credit to the ones that stuck by you in 2019 – they’ll be even better to you in 2020.