Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

Read more here

Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Sustainable Sundays: Easy Eco-Friendly Changes

Hello again wonderful folk! Today I thought I'd throw together another little Sustainable Sundays post for you all as it's still something I'm stumbling through myself but, I'm feeling more and more passionate about it as time goes on. So today I thought I'd share some little changes and tips that I've been making or doing myself lately that help me feel better about my contribution to our environment.

Sustainability seems to be having its moment in the spotlight recently and seems to be a popular hot-topic. Whilst it might just be a "phase" that might eventually swim by, for the moment I'm happy to see so many people actively trying to improve their local areas, their own waste and pollution, and also making healthier choices when it comes to consumerism. My last Sustainable Sunday post discussed some ways in which you can switch out the dreaded material plastic so you can feel content and comfortable in your minimal use of it as it has such a negative impact on our planet so in-keeping with that idea, here's some small ways we can be more eco-friendly in our everyday lives.

Go paperless. Check your bills, bank, doctor, dentist... If you can switch to online reports etc. then do it. I've recently checked through and changed everything I can to be emails, texts, or phone calls. I've also made a conscious effort to go through my emails and fast fashion that I used to sign up to for regular information on their new releases etc. (such as ASOS and H&M) and revoked receiving newsletters and catalogues to just try to minimise the amount of pointless paper that comes through my letterbox.

Walk whenever you can. This next one is pretty simple too but obviously depends on accessibility, but walking everywhere not only keeps you fit and healthy but also helps you stop contributing to pollution. I don't own a car and therefore get public transport everywhere that is a little too far afield to walk to and whilst public transport can be expensive, unreliable, and crowded, it also helps me feel a little better about my contribution to pollution. Carpooling and using park and ride options are also great ways to minimise how much pollution you're pumping out of your daily commute.

Be aware of your carbon footprint. Linked of course to what I've just said, being aware of your carbon footprint can really help you make more environmentally friendly decisions in day to day life. You can use carbon footprint calculators to get a rough estimate of how big your footprint is and it includes not only pollution from transport, but also from your home (if you use gas, electric, wood etc.), and your lifestyle purchases covering everything from clothing & textiles, to sports, to food & drink. Monitoring this may seem boring to some people but I was curious to find out mine and now I'm interested to see if I can minimise it within the next 12 months. Being aware and actively trying to improve your carbon footprint means you are helping minimise your contribution to climate change. Climate change/global warming is very much a real threat to our planet and is seeing a long term shift in our weather patterns which in turn will greatly effect our environment, or ecology, and us as human society as it will have a knock-on effect on things such as farming, flooding, storms, even arguably mental health issues such as seasonal depression.

Use less aerosol sprays. This one is something I personally struggle with but I'm trying my best to change. It's a common misconception that aerosol sprays harm the Ozone layer due to the chemical gasses used in them (CFCs) however, the majority of these being used in such items were eradicated back in the 7Os. Nowadays 9O% of aerosols no longer use these gasses in their products which is a great shift in society, and they now instead use "propellants" such as nitrous-oxide to help the product propel from its canister which do not deplete the Ozone layer. Whilst we're no longer effecting the Ozone layer with our aerosols, we are still effecting the world we live in with them at ground level. The "ground level" Ozone is greatly impacted by aerosols and their compressed gasses as they are creating smog which can induce conditions such as asthma in our environment. An easy way to try and minimise your consumption of such products is to find alternatives. Instead of using a spray deodorant or moisturiser, buy a roll-on or a pump dispenser version. If you're buying a product for a specific job (such as a canned spray paint for furniture) try to estimate the amount you need instead of buying the largest available size "just in case". And air freshener? Get rid of it. Burn a candle or simply open your windows for instant freshness! Aerosol use also contributes to your carbon footprint so this one small change can do so much good.

Eat less meat. If you've been a reader of NB for some time, you may have seen me mention my diet and how I eat meat when discussing switching to cruelty free beauty. I mentioned that I am a meat eater and can't see that changing anytime soon however I did want to start making more of a conscious effort to eat less meat. Whilst I enjoy eating meat and the freedom it brings of not having to be picky about where I go out to eat etc., I know that the meat industry is extremely unpleasant and is trying to sustain a demand it cannot live up to. Not only is the meat industry itself strained, but the pressure on farming and the rigorous use of farmland to produce enough grain etc. to feed the animals in said meat industry is also a stress that cannot be maintained. We are causing more and more deforestation not just to meet our demands for goods such as paper and wood, but also to create pastured land for animals to graze who will then be turned into food themselves. That's not the mention how much the whole process of obtaining meat from the animal effects the environment. I'm not going to sit here and get preachy about it as I am still very much a carnivore so I think it would be false for me to say certain things, but I can't advocate eating less meat enough. I now typically eat it maybe once or twice a week tops and opt for veggie or faux meat options now instead. Although I know I'm still consuming dairy and that is an area I also want to improve, I'm taking it all in my stride and feel that I'm making good decisions as I go along.

Buy vegan/faux leather and suede goods. Kind of linked to my quick ramble about the meat industry, the supply & demand for leather and suede goods is as high as ever and puts a strain on our planet. There's a constant argument about whether or not vegan/faux leather goods are better than real leather when it comes down to environmental impact, and all in all? I think vegan/faux wins hands down. Both realms of leather of course have some sort of negative impact on the environment in it's production, but animal leather has many negatives attached to it which I think influences my decision to shop faux. Not only is it an animal cruelty argument, but animal leather is sometimes sought after from exotic animals and often animals are killed for the leather rather than it being a by-product of the meat industry like many people assume. As leather isn't something that needs to be kept refrigerated etc., it is of course a product which is produced readily for its convenience. The problem with that though is it has a great environmental impact when it goes through it's stages of tanning and preparation for sale. The chemical concoction often used for leather tanning has been proven to have all sorts of negative effects on humans exposed to it. The waste it produces is also often left untreated and dumped into rivers in the east (where most leather goods are mass produced) which of course also puts people's lives at risk. Of course vegan/faux leather goods production emits pollution etc. but depending on its country of origin when made, it may be produced in a factory who agree to low emissions and who are working towards more environmentally-friendly methods of production. If you're purchasing PU faux leather, you are making the best decision out of a bad lot but steer clear of PVC - it has been labelled by Greenpeace as the "single most environmentally damaging type of plastic"!

Buy local food produce! A nice simple change most people can make is buying things such as meat, fruit, and vegetables from local suppliers in your hometowns. The best thing about shopping locally is that it is not only helping local small businesses stay afloat in a world where big corporations are taking over, but you have more insight into where your food has come from. Shopping locally at a butchers or green grocers means that you're supporting that particular shop but also the suppliers who deal with them. Local produce for small independent stores is less likely to have gone through a cocktail of pesticides in it's growth and production, and also can usually has more eco-friendly packaging as most green grocers especially will sell fruit and veg loose and not packaged up in plastic, not to mention they're often incredibly affordable and easily rival big supermarket prices. A win all round.

Buy from ethical and sustainable clothing brands. I think this one is one of the most tricky to do and it's purely down to the time consuming research and cost. Fast high street fashion is so popular because it can meet the demands of the forever changing trends and the large population of consumers, but it is also mass produced, often skirting around ethical means and treatment of workers etc. Back in May I did a big ol' post talking all about why I was opting out of the fast fashion world and in that post I discussed at length the impact it all can have on our lovely planet. I get around fast fashion 99% of the time by buying secondhand online and scouring charity shops, but for those of you with a bigger budget or those of you who want to buy items that are brand new, ethical and sustainable, brands do exist and mean you are buying from brands who have good intentions from the get-go and aim to maintain those ethical promises throughout production and sale. Most fast fashion is unfortunately dumped in landfill too, so another fantastic small contribution to a good and healthy world is by donating your old unwanted items to charity shops, homeless shelters etc. By donating items, you are keeping them in circulation and use and preventing them from damaging the planet further as waste. If you are buying from the big-name fashion retailers and brands, Measure Up are a great site for seeing how all of them measure up against each other on their ethical codes, living wages, and more. Sites such as ASOS also have have "eco-edits" which means you can still shop from the online high street, but weed out any non-sustainable or organic brands and only buy into those who meet the ASOS eco-edit standards.

Follow me on Bloglovin'
Twitter & Instagram xo

No comments

© Northern Blood • Theme by Maira G.