Ethical Living: Five Changes I’ve Made to Live More Consciously.

Ethical Living: Five Changes I’ve Made to Live More Consciously.

Ethical living – the word on everybody’s lips at the moment. Now it’s not just about reducing the amount of plastic you use, but that’s a good start.

Over recent months everybody has become more and more aware of the impact we are making on the planet. Coffee shops like Caffe Nero and Pret are rewarding you with discounts for bringing your own reusable cup when grabbing yourself a beverage. Iceland has vouched to remove the use of plastic in their own brand products by 2023.

Over the past year or so it seems everybody is cottoning on to how the little decisions we make in day to day like and the way we consume things, makes an impact on our planet.

Now nobody is expecting us all to go live off the grid, make our own shoes from hemp and live by candlelight. But there are small and achievable changes you can make to help reduce your impact on the planet. So today I’m here to share with you 5 changes I’ve made recently to try and live more consciously.

Ethical Living: Five Changes I've Made to Live More Consciously.

ONE

The first and probably the most effective decision I’ve made is to go Vegan. Now I’m not saying you have to become a Vegan if you don’t want to – I’m not one of those preachy types I promise. But even just reducing the amount of meat and dairy products you consume really can make a difference.

Many people don’t realise this but animal agriculture has a really damaging impact on the planet. Many think people choose to go Vegan because of the animals – which is true in many cases. But the effect they have on the environment is a just as important.

Meat and dairy production causes over half of the greenhouse gas emissions, that’s more than the entire transportation sector combined. Not to mention the sheer amount of crops and water that goes into feeding livestock – it takes around 2400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat. 

So even just making the effort to eat vegetarian a few days a week. Or drinking oat milk in you’re coffee when you go out can really help. If everybody just made little changes it would make a huge difference.

TWO

If you saw in my post last month, you’ll know that I’ve decided to give up fast fashion completely.  Goodbye Primark! If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I’ve always been a big fan of charity shops, eBay and buying clothes secondhand. But by making the effort to buy the majority of my clothing secondhand I’m already reducing the amount of damage I could be doing to the planet. When I do buy clothes new I’ll only be buying from more ethical brands such as Monki and Thought Clothing. Or shopping small with independent companies such as Muthahood and Lucy and Yak.

If you don’t know why avoiding shopping in fast fashion stores is a more ethical choice, I highly recommend you watch the documentary The True Cost. It really opened my eyes to how terrible the world of fast fashion really is, and the impact it is having on our planet.

THREE

Now, this is probably the one thing everybody is aware of. Reducing single-use plastic. I think plastic is the buzzword for 2018 – and everybody seems to be more aware of how much unnecessary plastic is in our lives. There are a few steps I’ve made to try and reduce my consumption of plastic – I’m nowhere near 100% plastic free but I’m trying to best to make more conscious decisions in my day to day life.

Plastic Bottles – bringing my own water bottle with me when I’m out an about. I have a 750ml Chilly’s bottle, but there are loads of cheaper alternatives on the market now. I’ve also been buying can’s of pop instead of picking up those in plastic bottles.

Takeaway coffee – When I’m out and about I’ve been making the effort to drink coffee’s inside instead of grabbing it to go. If I do have to grab it to go I have my keep cup so I can avoid using the plastic coated takeaway cups.

Loose vegetables – when doing my weekly food shop I’ve been choosing to grab loose vegetables instead of the pre-packaged options. I’ve also been choosing not to place my loose veggies in plastic bags. I do want to eventually purchase mesh produce bags, but for now, I’m fine with my courgettes rolling loose down the conveyor belt.

Shopping bags – Since the introduction of 5p carrier bag charge I’ve been carrying around spare bags in my handbag for when I’m out and about. These were usually old plastic carrier bags, but over the past year or so I’ve been packing plastic-free alternatives. My favourites being tote bags (I have quite a few) which you can pick up in lots of different designs to suit your style. But my current obsession is string shopping bags – like the ones your grandparents used to have. They come in loads of different colours, don’t take up much room and are surprisingly stretchy.

FOUR

One thing I didn’t consider when it came to plastic consumption is the beauty products I use. There’s plastic everywhere and you just don’t realise it. From makeup wipes to shampoo bottles and even the body scrub I use in the shower – plastic is everywhere.

When it comes to my skincare routine I’m trying to make it as plastic free as possible. Instead of opting for cotton pads and micellar water I’ve swapped to cleansing butter/lotions and using face cloths and muslin cloth’s to remove my make up. My toner is in a spray bottle so I can apply it directly to my face removing the need for cotton pads. And because I’ve been buying a lot of my skincare products from Lush they come in recycled plastic tubs that I can take back to the shop and recycle again.

I also recently purchased some re-usable cotton pads so on those late nights when I all I have time for is a quick wipe with some micellar water I have a less wasteful way of doing it. These can be popped in the washing machine and used time and time again.

My shampoo is now in solid bar forms, although I’m still working my way through a big bottle of conditioner, but will be switching to bar form when I finally run out. I’ve stopped buying shower gel and swapped it for good old fashion bars of soap. They do the same job, last much longer and have a lot less plastic.

FIVE

The most recent changes I’ve been making are with my cleaning products and deciding to use more eco-friendly cleaning products as much as I can. Not all of these that I’ve found at the moment are plastic free, but little steps can help make a difference and nobody is perfect straight away.

I’ve recently discovered Tesco do their own Eco range of cleaning products. There aren’t loads to choose from at the moment, but my washing up liquid, fabric softener and laundry detergent are a little kinder to the environment. 

So there are a few little steps I’ve been making to try and live ethically and be kinder to the environment. I’m not the most eco-friendly person on the planet but I can sleep a little better at night knowing I’m making a conscious effort to change how to do things.

What are your top tips for reducing your impact on the planet? And who are your friendly eco-friendly blogs to follow?

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