Unless you’ve been living under a rock we all know we have to change our ways and soon, but it’s not just straws that are a problem. If travelling has taught me one thing it’s to appreciate just how beautiful the world is and no one wants to arrive on a paradise beach, like this one I visited a coupe years ago in Fiji, only to find it’s covered in our trash. We don’t do it on purpose, but we can purposefully avoid it. Here are 8 top tips;
- Avoid single use plastic – Drinks bottles, carrier bags, disposable coffee cups, cling film and sandwich bags are all used once then thrown away to pollute the land and oceans. Buy a filtered water bottle and drink from the tap, buy a lunch box to use everyday.
- Buy sustainable fashion. “Choose well, make it last”. The best (and cheapest) option is to buy second hand clothes from charity shops. Other brands like H&M and Addidas are leading the way by producing new fashion by recycling old clothes and ocean plastics.
- Shop local – if you have a butchers or bakers take some time out and go there. It might cost a bit more but you will buy less and value the food more. Do you really need the 2for1 product that’s going to go out of date before you use it anyway?Supermarkets are improving but always check the label, Tescos have even signed a plan to distribute it’s food waste to charities rather than just dumping it. Shops like ethical superstore can be great for other things like pantry items and Toiletries. They label the ethics of all the stock and deliver it to your door in a neat cardboard box.
- Consumerism is plugged to us everyday though TV advertising, social media and everywhere else. Stand back and think do I really need/want that? Will it end up in the bin? Would I rather spend it on experiences rather than things?
- Don’t just throw it, sell it! Make money by selling unwanted items on online auction sites like eBay or Shpock. Take stuff to a bootsale, raffle or charity shop. Remember anything that goes in the bin ends up in the land or the ocean.
- Put your money where your mouth is – the only thing businesses respond to is cash. Do a bit of research when you buy anything. What are they involved with? Do they sustainably source? Have a look at the Greenpeace website for the latest large scale offenders. If you don’t agree with them, why give them support with your money?
- Meat free Mondays – Meat is undeniably linked to forest destruction and methane pollution, that’s without any animal welfare thoughts. If like me you can’t bear the thought of going totally vegan start with one meat free day a week. Beef is a big problem, after watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s last project #beforetheflood I’ve realised giving up the cow is a realistic goal (and I can keep the bacon sarnies!). The dairy industry too is full of waste, have you ever asked yourself how they get the cows to keep producing milk?
- Use your voice – If you want to make an impact on government decisions and make sure you’re voice is heard, get involved. Signing up to a mailing list to receive petitions for green policies is an easy way to put your name to good use. Sign up with a conservation/ activist organisation or have a look on your own at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?state=open