I’ve really struggled with the whole sustainability thing.
I’ve either found myself far too sucked into the debate, feeling anxious and questioning every aspect of my life and its damages to the planet - to flip 360 to full on wilful ignorance. Which I imagine is where a lot of other people lie.
Who can blame them? As a society, we do tend to have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality when it comes to positive change. When in most cases, the problem could be greatly alleviated by a small lifestyle change from everyone.
With that being said, today I’m sharing some really simple sustainability swaps that I’ve made. Because Mother Nature deserves some self-care and TLC just like the rest of us gals!
This is my number one life hack
It’s 2018. There is absolutely no reason to buy bottled water in a country where we have access to an abundance of free, perfectly clean and healthy water.
We’re lucky to have an American-style fridge with an ice/water dispenser, but even if your fridge doesn’t have a water filter, the jug-style ones are affordable to buy and quick to fill and store in your fridge ready for drinking. As much as I enjoy filtered water, I will just grab it from the sink if I ever need to.
Carry a reusable bottle with you everywhere you go. This is my number one life hack. Not only will it mean you’re always hydrated and feeling your best, it also saves you a ton of money in the long run and saves unnecessary plastic being bought.
Bobble make my favourite bottles. I love their classic bottle - another great option if you like to have a filter on the go (I don't use the carbon filter as 9/10 I have filtered water in there anyway - but it does come with one that you attach to the lid). Not only that, I feel the quality of plastic makes a difference. In the past cheaper bottles have left my water with a plasticky taste after being in there for a few hours, which is gross enough to make any well-meaning person run back to bottled water! I never get that with Bobble bottles.
However, my most used Bobble is their stainless steel. This godsend keeps water HOT or COLD for 12+ hours - a great multitasker for travel (If I bring my tea in this, I’ll bring my other Bobble with cold water!) Perfect if you’re out all day and want your water to stay cold or your tea to stay hot. Particularly now in Summer, plastic bottles can go lukewarm and gross if you leave them in the car or sat out in the sun - this baby stays cool as a cucumber.
And it’s got pineapples on - what more do you want?
Reusable Coffee Cup
You’ve probably heard this one already, as they’re discussed a lot lately. Who’d have known that coffee cups weren’t recyclable? I feel guilty for all the times I’ve got a to-go cup when I probably had the 15 minutes to just sit down and drink from a regular mug in the cafe. However, we live and learn.
As I said, if I’m leaving the house and want to take some tea, I use my Bobble. But what about impromptu coffee runs?! That’s where Stojo comes in.
This little guy is awesome and answers all my reusable coffee cup woes. Most coffee cups sit in your bag after use, taking up room, probably spilling around on your stuff. Stojo not only seals at the top for no leaks but FOLDS UP. Yes, this reusable cup folds right down into a disc that fits in my palm. You can see it going into my handbag above. It saves space and hangs out in my bag for those just in case moments.
The material is rubberised so you pull and pop it into shape - it even comes with a hard plastic holder so you can carry it without burning your hands. Genius.
My only gripe is the drinking spout (if that’s the right word) - as it’s so compact and leakproof, once you’re ready to sip your coffee it does take more of a ‘suck’ than a ‘sip’ (lol). But a small price to pay for a healthy planet.
This is the hardest one for me. And subsequently one of the worst things for the planet! Thanks to Zanna for opening my eyes to how many straws are littered across the world - mainly on beaches, but also in landfill. They never break down and litter the earth forever. It’s awful.
Like many girls, I do enjoy using a straw for my drinks. It’s easier to drink and it doesn’t ruin my lippy. I have just bought multipacks of the things in the past, without thinking. Slap on the wrist!
One day I ordered this cute pink glass one off eBay and never looked back. Again - saves money in the long run, but also feels so much better to be cutting down on such an unnecessary plastic.
For a more portable option (no one wants broken glass in their handbag!) you can also get stainless steel ones.
This is such an easy swap! If you’re using bags for life doing the food shop (hopefully you are) - We’ve found more and more we’re just packing fruit and veg loose. Especially things like bananas, it seems silly to stuff them in a plastic bag, just to bring them home and put them on the counter
If you’re buying loose and need the sticker to scan, you can just stick it onto the fruit/veg and scan it that way.
Hear it from someone who loves bacon - veggie food is awesome
Meat Free Meals
Eek, this is a big one. I’m not here to tell you to go vegan. In fact, I’ve been very vocal about going from veggie, to vegan, back to an omnivorous diet. However, we just can’t deny the fact we eat A LOT of meat. Considering how many people are on the planet, an unsustainable amount of meat.
Again it comes back to that all or nothing mentality. People feel that if they’re not vegan, then what’s the point? The cult-like message spread by many in the vegan community doesn’t exactly welcome people who just wanna cut down on meat.
So hear it from someone who loves bacon - veggie food is awesome, and if you can swap out even a handful of meals during the week with a veggie alternative, you’ll be making a huge difference. Imagine if everyone in the UK cut down on their meat consumption by just 10-20% - such a small change for an individual would have a huge impact on the carbon footprint.
Quorn is great if you struggle to get creative - simply swap it out for whatever meat you’d use. If you’re cooking at home, focus on big pan dishes that are easy to pack with flavour - chilis, curries, stews, lasagne. These dishes are easiest to enjoy without meat in my opinion, as they taste so good full of veggies, spices and a splash of oil. BONUS - you’ll probably have leftovers, which is always a winner midweek.