How to make small changes to help the environment

Hey there! So at the moment people seem to be finally waking up to the environmental problems our planet is facing.

While a lot of people are wanting to do things to make a difference, there is also now an onslaught of brands “greenwashing” their costumers, and using our crisis as an opportunity for financial gain. Buzzwords such as “sustainable” are being thrown about all over the place without thought for what that might actually mean at the end of the day. Moreover, brands like H&M are releasing more “ethical” product lines, despite some of the major problems still existing in their companies.

So, I had a little think and I thought I’d share some ideas that everyone could use to try and help our environment (even a little).

Food and Drink

The first category up is food and drink. Seeing as it’s something everyone buys into (to eat and survive and what not), I thought I should start with this one.

  1. Buy a reusable coffee cup

I know this one might be pretty obvious but I feel like it’s a big one. It doesn’t matter what you drink (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) a lot of us drink hot beverages, and there’s a fair few that are getting their lovely beverage in a disposable cup. According to The Independent we use 7 million in the UK EVERY DAY. Which is ridiculous. Therefore I thought I’d show you some alternatives you can click and buy right now:

The Keep Cup

This hugely popular one in glass will set you back 16 quid. (The link is just below)

https://uk.keepcup.com/shop/black

Ecoffee cup:

https://ecoffeecup.com/shop/yo-twitchers-16oz-475ml/

Wilko:

Last but not least is our cheapest option from wilko in at just £3. This is the one I personally have in yellow and I love it. For £3 you certainly can’t go wrong.

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-tropical-print-bamboo-travel-mug-400ml/p/0477681

2. Reusable water bottle

Still on the reusable (love) train, we next have the reusable water bottle. And let me tell you, this one is worse. According to The Guardian we use 38.5million disposable plastic bottles a day. WOAH. While a lot of us may be in a rush and needing a quick hydrating moment, possibly think about cutting down on a ridiculous amount of plastic and switch to a reusable water bottle – they’re super cute and they will save you plastic and money over time. So here we go again…

Chilly’s bottles:

Yet again we start with the most expensive with the Chilly’s metal water bottle. One good thing about these is you can store hot and cold drink in them as well as the fact they have so many different prints to choose from.

https://www.chillysbottles.com/uk/products/bottle-floral-sunflower?sku=B500FLSUN

And here we have another wilko purchase, which is almost a dupe of the chillys but at a much smaller cost!

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-500ml-double-wall-flask/p/0465725

Typo:

And for those that aren’t a fan of the metal bottle, Typo have a variety of cute plastic water bottles that you can take on the go!

https://typo.com/UK/drink-it-up-bottle/143780-02.html?dwvar_143780-02_color=143780-02&cgid=water-bottles&originalPid=143780-02#start=1

3. Don’t use those little plastic bags in the supermarket

One thing you might not even notice yourself using when you’re in the supermarket is those little clear plastic bags that you put food items into. You might put a bagel in there, maybe a pepper, but everyone has used them at least once when they’ve been shopping. However, what do we usually do with them? We just throw them away and next time we use yet another one. However, try to stop using them. Either keep items loose, or think about buying your own little bags/ pots you can put them in. (But please remember to pay for them at the checkout!). With some items they don’t even really need a bag, like a pepper, do we really need to put that guy in a bag? Try and embrace the few things not wrapped in plastic in our shops, and not waste another plastic bag without reason.

4. Bring your tote (and don’t forget it)

Another obvious one but try and remember your bags when you go shopping! Even better, buy a tote and roll it up in your bag always  ready to get out when you need it. You’ll never be caught short again. It doesn’t really matter what bag it is at the end of the day, whether its a carrier bag you already have (at least you’re reusing that plastic) or a cute lush tote. Any bag will do.

 

Clothes

Now we might have quite possibly come to the most infuriating category: clothes. In a post in 2018, The Times discussed how £12.5 billion worth of clothes was thrown away in 2017. While I’m not sure of the numbers now, I would guess its still up in those billions. As part of a privileged society its so easy for us to buy and discard clothes in what has been described as a “throwaway” culture. And while everyone does it, the influencers flooding Instagram are not helping this problem. We all need to start looking at our buying habits, as well as questioning where our clothes are from. There’s some things we can do.

1. Buy quality, not quantity.

Say you need a couple of white tshirts, and a pair of jeans, it might be tempting sometimes to just pop into Primark and buy it all for under a tenner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of it myself. I dread to think of all the clothes I have bought over the years from that shop. One thing I would say though, buy quality items that are going to last. Because at the end of the day, a £15 tshirt is probably going to last quite a few more years than that £2 one. At the end of the day, we should be wondering how they are selling a tshirt so cheap, especially their tshirts that are 100% cotton. How much water is being used to make that product? Are the people making these clothes being paid a fair wage? Every time you pick up a cheap piece of clothing: what impact is this having on the environment and other human beings for me to be able to buy it so cheaply. Just because a brand is telling you that they are working to be more “ethical” does not mean they actually are.

A list of sustainable/better brands:

  • Nobody’s Child
  • Lucy & Yak
  • Loud Bodies

One thing to remember: always think about the quality

2. Shop Secondhand

One message under all this is that Fast Fashion is just bad for our environment is so many respects. Its churning out piece after piece of clothing to suit seasonal trends, just to end up in Landfill somewhere. Brands that are part of this include, but not limited to:

  • Topshop
  • New Look
  • H&M
  • Missguided
  • Pretty Little Thing

And SO MANY MORE! Just  think about the £1 bikini that was released a little while ago! While shopping from more sustainable fashion brands helps, so does shopping secondhand. There’s a number of ways you can do this.

  • Charity shops (e.g. oxfam, shelter, barnados)

Charity shops are amazing. Little treasure troves where you can find a piece completely unique to you. I honestly love charity shops. Going through those rails and finding a new find is great. A tip for charity shopping is keep in mind the kind of things you are looking for. This could be certain brands you already like, a new autumn jumper or even a new scarf for those colder nights. Sometimes it can be daunting walking into a charity shop and being presented with rows upon rows of clothes to go through. Just keep a vague idea in mind and it’ll make the process quicker and easier.

  • Depop and Ebay

Another method is online secondhand shopping. If you have a certain brand or piece of clothing in mind, wait till it comes up on one of these sites, and give it a new home. You’ll probably save some money too! By doing this, you can still get those pieces you love, but you’re not buying into this fast fashion culture that’s impacting our environment as we speak. Again, like the charity shopping, the easiest way to navigate these sites is to have certain things in mind when you’re shopping e.g. looking for a teddy bear coat for the winter or a particular midi skirt from Topshop. Stay on trend but more sustainably.

  • Vintage

Shop Vintage! One massive perk of shopping vintage is finding a wholly unique sense of style. You’ll stand out and your wardrobe will too. Either go with a certain era or modernise the pieces by pairing them with clothes you have already. There are so many ways to go about it. Some Vintage shops include:

  • Peony Vintage
  • Strange Ray Vintage
  • Rokit Vintage
  • Waiste Vintage

Honestly I don’t have space to list them all but browse your local town, see what you can find! Or alternatively, most of these brands are on Instagram, so start clicking and you’re find some absolute gems!

3. Your wardrobe is your best friend

Instead of buying new pieces at all, always remember your wardrobe! See what pieces you already have and work with them, whether that’s uncovering old favourites that have been dumped in the corner or rewearing your items. There is no shame in wearing an item more than once! Always wear what you feel comfortable and happy in, and where else is better to look than what you already have!

 

So, I think for now that’s it – if I remember anything else I’ll update this post but for now I can’t think of much else. Let me know your thoughts and if there’s anything you would add to this list, I’m happy for any additions! Amber x

 

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