The environment is one of the topics that are on everybody’s minds, currently – and rightfully so. The ozone layer is melting, the temperatures are rising, the water gets more polluted and life gets from slightly more inconvenient, to exponentially more dangerous – depending on where you live.
You are probably thinking, “The corporations are ruining everything!” – and you’re completely correct.
Still, that’s not to say that small action doesn’t mean anything – it does, and one small step is better than complete apathy. But what can you do that wouldn’t inconvenience you too much, but would still count as being environmentally friendly?
Forego plastic bags and food packaging – when you can
It’s obvious that cutting plastic out completely would be, most likely, impossible, but reducing the usage is always an option.
Bring reusable bags to the grocery store – be it the plastic bags you already own, or a tote bag (which is, honestly, way more convenient). Get loose vegetables and fruits instead of the pre-packaged ones.
Same with meats – you could go to a butcher’s and bring your own Tupperware to take the meat home, instead of getting the one encased in plastic you can find in any large convenience store.
Buy a reusable cup
All of us love ourselves an occasional Frappuccino. And not to worry – you don’t have to give them up completely!
As long as you have a reusable cup, all of that becomes way simpler. Just give the cup to a barista, and they absolutely will serve you your coffee in your cup, instead.
Not only is that more environmentally friendly, but it might also dock the price a little – since a lot of the coffee shops nowadays charge a little extra for the single-use cups they provide. (Here in London, Starbucks charges you an extra 5p, for example – while Costa will cut 25p off your order.)
Try using shampoo bars
Bear with me. I know that shampoo bars sound quite non-reassuring – but believe me when I tell you they’re good. I tried them, and made several of my friends do the same. I have evidence on my side.
They might take some time to get used to – the process is a bit different from using a regular liquid shampoo – but while not only being more environmentally friendly, they can also be quite good for your hair, because they help preserve the natural oils and whatnot.
Lush sells those, of course; but so do a lot of other retailers.
Go to refill shops and markets
Refill stores might not be available in all small towns, but they definitely are in big cities like London. They are basically supermarkets that sell products by the weight – meaning that people have to come with their own containers to purchase things.
They sell anything – from cosmetics, to spices, to produce; you just have to check online for the ones in your area!
Markets are markets: non-packaged produce for cheaper – that often tastes better, too!
Fast fashion is kinda bad
Let’s face it. The issue of ethical consumption always goes together with the issue of fast fashion.
The reality is, clothes take a lot of natural resources to produce, and we are constantly polluting the Earth with it – from textiles dyeing being the second largest source of water pollution, to clothes washes releasing incredible amounts of plastic into the water.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up shopping completely – rather, be mindful about it. Instead of buying a £40 jacket in Zara that will fall apart in two years, save up a little and buy a slightly more expensive one from a non-fast fashion brand; it will last longer, and you will not be buying into the corrupt industry.
Instead of washing your clothes over and over every day (which, hey, is bad for the clothes too), realise that you don’t have to wash your jeans after a single wear – unless, you know, accidents. More environmentally friendly,
This is the simplest and most over-used piece of advice I can give, but a good one nonetheless.
It’s really not that difficult once you actually start doing it – just get a separate bag for the stuff that can be recycled and put the recyclable stuff in there. That’s literally all there is to it.