Six Easy Changes I Have Made To Become More Sustainable In My Everyday Life

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Sustainability is something that is littered across newspaper headlines and talked about frequently online at the moment, but it's not just a fashion trend to jump on board with or a news story that'll blow over in a few weeks. Our planet is becoming more in danger from an inescapable climate crisis, and like many others, I am incredibly aware of how many of our decisions indirectly harm the environment. Although it's easy for everyone to say that they want to help, it can sometimes seem like an impossible task to do alone and that an individual's actions won't make a difference. However, I thought I'd write this post to share some small changes that you can make in your everyday life to become more sustainable and eco-friendly, all of which are easy to implement and prove how everyone can make a difference.

Drink from a reusable water bottle
A major change that I’ve implemented in my daily routine over the past few years is using a reusable water bottle. I’ll admit, it’s a difficult habit to break simply buying plastic water bottles and using them once, especially if you’re on-the-go and thirsty with no other option. But just think about all the plastic waste caused by this, plus it ends up being a lot more expensive! For probably about 4 years now, I’ve favoured reusable water bottles and you can guarantee that I have mine with me wherever I go - uni, work, dance, you name it!

Say goodbye to makeup wipes
Some people use makeup wipes religiously, but just think about how much waste that generates in a week, let alone a lifetime! Not only are there many claims that they are bad for the skin by only removing the upper-most layer of makeup and dirt, but they aren't biodegradable and so stick around for a long time. Instead, I'd highly recommend investing in a cleansing balm or lotion to use with a flannel, which you can simply pop in the washing machine to use again and again. There is also the added bonus of giving your skin a thorough cleanse, ensuring no dirt will be left behind. This is something I've done for a long time (I've always found that makeup wipes hardly work for me, especially since I usually wear waterproof mascara) and although it requires a bit more effort, it makes a massive difference to both your skin and the environment.

Eat less meat
Many recent studies claim that the biggest change anyone can make to help our planet is to reduce their meat intake. Although the two may seem unrelated at first, you have to consider the greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry, as well as land and water used in these operations. Cutting out meat altogether seems like an impossible task (I'll admit, I'd miss the roast dinners and chicken kormas) but instead, having one vegetarian meal a week seems a lot more manageable and makes a huge difference. Since starting university, I've been experimenting with various vegetarian recipes and I've honestly enjoyed going meat-free a few days of the week, and it's a lot easier than you think once you get the hang of it. I might actually write a whole blog post about easy and affordable vegetarian meals for students if that's something you'd be interested in seeing!

Buy clothes secondhand
You honestly won't believe some of the bargains there are to find in charity shops these days! Although the stereotype is that they only contain old, musty jumpers that are 5 sizes too big and aren't in style at all, this really isn't the case. I've been in various charity shops in Manchester and there are actually some lovely items to be had in there, as long as you've got a keen eye. In fact, only a couple of weeks ago I spotted a gorgeous dress from I Saw It First that was originally £20 but was only £3 in the charity shop - and it was my size! A lot of water and chemicals, as well as manual labour and shipping, go into producing clothes, and so it definitely makes a difference to avoid fast fashion and wearing things once and investing in charity shops instead.

Use a menstrual cup
Period products are one of the leading sources of single-use plastics for women, yet they’re something that we all rely on every month. But there are many other options: I made the switch to a menstrual cup about 6 months ago and honestly haven’t looked back since. I decided to give it a go for other reasons aside from sustainability - it's a lot more comfortable and practical for exercise, plus you can get up to 12 hours of use before having to empty it. However, there are lots of environmentally friendly benefits too! The OrganiCup is made from medical-grade silicone, meaning it is vegan and not harmful to the environment. Not only that, but it lasts for years as opposed to using it once and then throwing it away, which reduces waste and also saves a lot of money!

Always have a reusable bag to hand
I'll admit that it's happened to me many times: I'm out shopping for quite a few items, and suddenly I'm at the till without a bag and no choice but to pay 5 pence for a plastic one. And although we all tell ourselves that we'll keep those plastic bags and reuse them, how often do we actually stick to that and take them out for the next shopping trip? That's why I'd highly recommend purchasing a cheap fabric tote bag to chuck all of your items in, as they can easily be compressed and kept in your handbag and will considerably reduce the plastic waste caused by frequently buying new bags. They're also much more durable and less likely to tear, so it's definitely worth the small investment.

I'd love to know some of your sustainable solutions for everyday problems, so make sure you let me know down in the comments!

1 comment

  1. Fab post Daisy, sustainability is such an important topic right now! I have made a couple of these changes already such as the re-usable bottle and taking a tote bag shopping but I will definitely be looking into how to implement your other ideas! x

    Erin // Everything Erin