There’s been a big ‘craze’ on the internet lately. I dislike using the word craze because it suggests its a fad, but there’s certainly been a lot of talk around ethical living both in the blogging world, and the real world outside of the internet.
Something I think we can agree on, is that we’re all feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to act now, on so many tasks at once. So, let’s take it little by little. Here are a few quick changes you can make that are small but significantly help the environment.
This handy little search engine plants trees in in exchange for your searches. Set it as your default search engine and start-up homepage so you don’t forget about it and use it instead of Google! (Though, I’ll admit, “Ecosia it” doesn’t have the same ring to it). With Ecosia, you even get your own little profile to keep record of how many trees you’ve planted, so it’s like Sims! Except it’s not like Sims at all. About 45 searches equates to one tree, so if you make sure to set this as your default search engine at home and work, you’ll plant a whole forest in no time.
Cutting Down on Meat & Dairy
This one’s a touchy subject. I know how fast people will jump onto their high horses out of pure frustration when you present them with the mere idea of veganism. It’s pretty ableist to assume everyone can go vegan, and away from that, human beings are stubborn as hell and often unwilling to change their ways. So, instead of suggesting everyone should be vegans tomorrow, I’m going to suggest we all simply cut down a little. I’ve recently gone vegetarian Monday-Friday and only eat meats at the weekend (I struggle to avoid meat when I’m hungover or drunk) and I think I’m making a nice contribution to the environment there. Start by making two days a week vegetarian day and cut a little more if you can.
Cut Down on Plastic
Here’s another touchy one. Before you start, I know. I know how difficult it is to avoid plastic at the best of times. As someone who dyes their hair constantly and uses a lot of beauty products, I’m constantly in possession of plastic. I’m currently trying to find naked shampoos, conditioners and shower gels but it’s hard to justify spending the price of the Lush ones, when there are 20p shampoos and conditioners sitting pretty in plastic bottles in Boots.
There are, however, ways to go plastic-less that are accessible methods for everyone. Nice and cheap and good for the environment. It’s about the little things that add up to one great result – like buying bread from independent bakeries. They’ll give you the loaf in a paper bag which you can reuse for your next loaf (and the next one – reusing materials, yo) and you’ll have benefitted the economy by helping a small business. Yay!
Furthermore, I don’t really buy many meat products (I can’t remember the last time I did) but I’m fairly sure you can take your own materials for packing in if you buy meat from some butchers or a meat counter rather than buying it from the refrigerated section in plastic trays.
Another top tip: stop asking for straws in bars. I only stopped doing this one last week. As an avid lipstick wearer, I was one of those selfish people who prioritised the neatness of my face over turtles’ lives. But I’ve got a reusable bamboo straw now, so my face is pristine and so are the turtles (well, they will be if you also stop using straws). I believe you can also get glass straws, if you’re feeling a bit fancier, or you need to use a straw more regularly.
Ah! I almost forgot. Toothbrushes. I ordered my own bamboo toothbrush from @thegivingbrush on Instagram today and you should get one too. They sometimes offer them for free on promotion days (you just have to pay the postage) and there are subscriptions available too! I’m pretty sure you can also get bamboo products like cups and toothbrushes from Flying Tiger if there’s one near to you.
Those are all the tips I’ve recently discovered and have been actioning myself. This is where you ought to follow Laila on Instagram – she will lecture you, but you will like it and find yourself looking forward to it. Laila often shouts at us about the horror of plastic use, but she very helpfully educates us with lots of different (and sometimes even fun) ways to avoid plastic, that’s accessible for all.
Which approach will you try first?