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.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through one of my links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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 (just a heads up; I sell tote bags in my Etsy store if you're interested). 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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Comments

  1. These are all great ideas, thanks for sharing! We switched to taking our own bags when we do grocery instead of using the plastic bags. Better for the environment and they are easier to carry too.

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  2. These are all great ideas! I just wish my city (I live in the States) had better public transportation. Everything is so spread out that you really HAVE to have a car, which is unfortunate. I'm a big fan of tote bags and I've been trying to buy less clothing and start researching slow fashion/more eco friendly fashion. And good for your husband for ordering vegan options! I know a lot of men love their meat and are weirded out veggie options, but that's great he's keeping an open mind!

    This was a great post full of good ideas! Thanks for the eco inspo!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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  3. These are fantastic tips, Nicola! I 100% agree - walking is such a positive thing to do, for both us and our environment. I'm also getting better at remembering to pop a canvas bag in my handbag whenever I am going out shopping, hehe you'll be pleased to know I've used my Keep Calm And Blog On bag many many times, it is one of my faves! Cutting down on meat and dairy is such a good one, and helps save money too. This post has given me so many helpful ideas on where I am be more eco friendly, so thank you for the inspiration - brilliant post <3 xxx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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  4. I really love this blog post! So much good advice, 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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  5. These are all great ways to be more environmentally friendly! I love styling clothes but I don't actually buy a lot - I'd much rather challenge myself to styling the clothes I have in new ways and search for amazing vintage pieces :) x

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

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  6. I’ve recently been more environmentally conscious - every little bit helps! I usually walk everywhere, I love the exercise - anything that’s in walkable distance, I’m off with some water bottles token hydrated! I’ve been meaning to get a reusable bottle - planning to get one soon! I haven’t been getting anything from fast-fashion for a while now, I feel like once you know the truth of the conditions of workers, then it’s almost like how can you un-know.

    Not wasting food is huge for me - I always make sure to make just about what I’m planning to eat, and if I’m out order what I know I’ll be able to finish.

    In terms of plastic - I’ve switched to having metal straws and never looked back!

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  7. Good for you! Practical, actionable suggestions that will definitely help people who want to lower their waste and impact on the planet.

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  8. Great list! I love that they're all things that are actually achievable for most people too rather than huge lifestyle changes. I'm working on reducing my single use plastic and always plan my food shops around meals so there's no wastage. I've been wanting to try a cup for a while now but I'm still a little bit scared of them 😂 x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  9. Such an interesting and important post. Thanks for sharing :)

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