It has been a while! Since starting my new full-time job, things have been a little hectic. I’m sure at some point I’ll be able to update you fully, but for now, I just want to share with you my current strategy to #savetheworld.
The environment is a huge reason why I went vegan, knowing that animal agriculture accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gasses, more than all transportation systems combined, meant I knew that my small lifestyle change was making a huge impact. I suppose knowing facts like this made me naive and dismissive of other lifestyle changes I could be making, like recycling and reducing my plastic consumption. The people in my workplace are big on this, and so I have been inspired to follow suit. After all, I believe everybody is capable and has a responsibility to do better, even if it is challenging.
But why should we reduce our plastic consumption?
- Well, plastics are resistant to degradation. They build up, even in remote areas of the earth, littering what was once beautiful, natural island (see Facebook post below)
- Plastics destroy natural wildlife, and wildlife habitats, creating toxic environments and harming animals in entanglement. Your convenience is literally their extinction.
- For you seafood eaters, Plymouth University carried out a study which found that a third of UK caught fish contained plastic inside them. Worryingly, it is thought that when these chemical contaminants are ingested, they are attributable to causing rapid cell divisions within nearby cells which can lead to tumours and ultimately cancer.
So, how do we encourage people to participate? We make it convenient enough to become a habit. Easy, simple changes.
Start by making a pledge to make at least one of these changes:
In your next food shop, avoid plastic packaging by:
- Buying loose fruit and veg and avoid using the clear plastic bags! These foods are the ultimate fast foods and usually come in their own naturally designed wrappers, so remember that next time you start bagging bananas.
- Talk to your supermarket and favourite brands about their plastic consumption. The money is in what you, as consumers, want – and they want to meet those demands.
- Carry a fold away/cloth shopping bag. In the UK there has been an 85% drop in plastic bag use since there has been a compulsory charge. However, there’s still more that could be done. Save yourself a little money and go prepared with a non-plastic alternative.
Eating, drinking and dining out:
- Say no to plastic cutlery. The most useless of cutlery.
- Say no to plastic straws. Their average 10-minute usage is not worth the 500 years it takes to break down. Alternatively, buy your own reusable straws.
Beauty/hygiene products to avoid:
- Opt for natural clothes instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges, which can be harsh on the skin.
- Skip the plastic disposable razors. Every year in the US alone, two billion disposable razors go to landfill sites. Save some money and the environment by buying a reusable alternative: Electric shaver, safety razor, eplilator, waxing or staying ‘au natural’.
- Be more resourceful in your sanitary products. According to WEN , tampons, pads and panty liners generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, and they all contain plastic – in fact, pads are around 90% plastic – which ends up in landfill, seas and rivers. There are fantastic alternatives with many women raving about the Menstrual Cups, organic sanitary towels and tampons, and more. If you can’t fathom these ideas, use tampons that don’t have plastic applicators.
Products to save your life:
- Stop using one-use plastic bottles and buy a thermal mug/ travel bottle for all your coffee and water needs. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need something that folds away – for £4.99, this is a bargain.
- I love these 100% cotton tote bags. Saving the environment doesn’t have to be ugly.
These are only a few ways you can minimise the damage to the planet. Please let me know if you have any additional things that can be added to this list by sharing your tips below. If you’re not doing enough, let me know what one thing you’ll pledge to do.