Ten Ways I'm Trying to Be More Environmentally Friendly (and You Can, Too)

There's no denying that the earth isn't doing so great right now - and we humans are the reason for that. It's more important than ever to try and do what we can to look after it. 

While I realise that my small efforts alone aren't going to save the planet or combat global warming, I feel like I at least shouldn't be adding to the problem. I try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and if everyone did whatever they could, it would help the earth massively.

I wanted to share ten ways we can all contribute to making the world we live in a little bit healthier. I know that a post such as this one could sound a little preachy if I was just telling you what to do, so instead I'm going to let you know what I personally do and hope it gives you a few ideas for ways you can also help.

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1. Walk instead of drive 
If my destination is within walking distance, I won't take the car. Living in a city is convenient because everything is so close together that I can either walk or catch the Tube for a few stops to wherever I need to go. Walking has the added benefit of being great for your health and saves you money on petrol. 

2. Cut down on single use plastic
I drink a lot of water so now I carry a reusable water bottle wherever I go so I don't need to buy bottled water. I take my own reusable bags shopping with me and keep one in my handbag so I'll always have one handy if I buy anything. I also bought these silicone food bags from Amazon which are useful for storing food in the fridge or freezer and taking lunch to work. And I don't use straws anymore - since I don't need them, it's pointless for me to use one. 

3. Don't buy fast fashion 
I don't buy many new clothes so when I do, I can afford to invest in slightly more expensive pieces that last a lot longer and go with anything. I don't buy something just because it's in fashion; if anything, I avoid high fashion clothing because I know it'll go out of style quickly. I opt for more timeless pieces and when I do get rid of an item I always donate it rather than throw it away. 

4. Re-use and recycle
Anything that can be recycled goes in the recycling bin rather than the rubbish and if something can be repurposed and used in another way, I'll do that. I think most people recycle nowadays which is great because it helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  

5. Don't waste food
Food never gets thrown away in our house because: 1) I only buy what I know will get eaten, and: 2) if we make a meal and have leftovers, it goes in the fridge for the next day. You can also put most things in the freezer if you don't think you'll be able to eat them before they go bad. 

6. Cut out meat and dairy
Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and, since I never really ate that much meat, this year I decided to cut it out altogether. Dairy was easy to give up seeing as I hate the stuff and don't drink cow's milk anyway. Now my diet is about 99% plant based and I've even got my husband eating the same way. Although he does still eat meat occasionally, it's so surreal seeing him order the vegan option in a restaurant because I never thought that would happen!

7. Cook with what's in season 
I try to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables that have been locally grown, meaning they haven't been flown halfway across the world to get here. I also enjoy picking my own fruits - I have a cherry tree and a blackcurrant bush in my mum's garden, as well as an apple tree I planted from a seed with my grandad when I was about six years old. There are also a few places in the area where you can go to pick blackberries and plums. Autumn is my favourite time of year for cooking because so many amazing things are in season and I love making soups and crumbles when it's cold outside. 

8. Use non-toxic cleaning supplies
Squirting a load of chemicals down your toilet isn't great for the environment so I've switched to more natural cleaners in my home. I've also tried making my own - most things can be cleaned with bicarb (baking soda) and/or white vinegar but I've decided I prefer to buy cleaning sprays rather than make them, simply because they have a much more pleasant scent than vinegar (which does make your house smell like a chip shop during cleaning and for about 15 minutes afterwards).

9. Switch to paperless billing
I never get my bank statements or bills through the post as I've switched them all to email. This saves paper as well as space in my house because I don't have to deal with the clutter of bills everywhere. Most companies prefer it this way too because it saves them money. 

10. Use a menstrual cup
About a year and a half ago I was sent a couple of menstrual cups to review on the blog (you can read my review here) and I've used them quite a lot since. They're better for the environment than tampons and pads and have saved me money as well as the hassle of having to buy supplies every month.

I'm always looking for more ways to reduce my carbon footprint and help the planet so I'd love to know what things you do to be more environmentally friendly - let me know in the comments!

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