Since the start of the year, I’ve been trying to change a few of my old habits in order to help the planet a little bit more. It started when I stopped eating meat for the month of January and I thought that there might be more I could do in order to be a better human and do my bit for the environment.
Now we’re over four months into the year and I thought I would talk about the other areas I’ve tried to change and hopefully inspire you to make some too.
1. Reduce Plastic Waste
I used to be awful for the amount of packaging I had with my food, whether it was a sandwich for lunch, a punnet of grapes or the amount of plastic bags I used. I am now trying to buy lose fruit, use my own Tupperware (which also means I tend to make my own lunch which has saved money) and bring plastic bags when I go to the shop.
2. Try To Pick Products Without Palm Oil
This all started when I bought some peanut butter a couple of months back, and when I was reading the ingredients, I noticed that it had palm oil in. I remembered hearing a couple of years ago that this was bad for the environment and has lead to deforestation and many animals being left without a home so I am now trying to pick food products that don’t use it. It is also high in saturated fat, which is another reason to chose others.
3. Eating Less Meat
For the last 5 months, I have completely cut down my meat intake and have only been eating fish. I chose to do it as a challenge for January, but I actually found it much easier than I thought I would, so even when the month was over, I decided to carry on. I’ve had a few instances where I have eaten it at people’s houses or when the vegetarian option just isn’t for me, but I also don’t want to feel guilty if that was ever the case and I did eat it again.
4. Choosing Milk Alternatives
The dairy industry isn’t one that I have ever really looked too much into, mainly because I feel as though once you start getting hooked by something, it’s hard to unsee it. Although I still have regular milk in my tea, I have started using almond milk in cooking and smoothies to try and cut down on my dairy intake: When I do buy regular cow’s milk, I opt for the organic alternative.
5. Happy Eggs
Eggs are something I eat about 3-4 times a week and cook with a lot, so I would find it hard to give them up altogether. I’ve recently started buying the free range eggs from The Happy Egg Company, which are laid by happy hens. They’re a little bit more expensive, but they taste even better than regular eggs and I feel better for making the change.
6. Drinking More Water From A Glass
Bear with me with this one. As I haven’t drunk fizzy drinks for about 4 years now (after I realised they were making my IBS worse…) I usually now only drink water, tea or peppermint tea, but for the longest time, I would buy a new bottle of water almost every week, whereas now I use a reusable glass one for the gym, and have tap water at home and work.
7. Plastic Straws
You probably will have seen in the news about a lot of bars and restaurants eliminating using plastic straws as they end up in our ocean and can be damaging to the animals that live there. If I go somewhere where they haven’t implemented this yet, I’ve tried to go for no straw or use a paper one if they have the alternative.
For the longest time I was under the impression that one person cannot change the world, and to some extent I still agree, but educating myself around these issues has really helped me to understand why these changes are important, not only for the welfare of the earth but also to give advice to people who want to make a small difference too – every little helps, no matter what it is.
9. Non-Tested Products
This one is quite a new one for me, but recently I’ve been trying to buy makeup and skincare which isn’t tested on animals. There are a lot of high-street and more upmarket brands that do not test on animals such as Urban Decay, By Terry, and Bare Minerals, and if I can, I will chose these products over the ones I would usually go for.
Have you changed anything about the way you live your life this year?