Eat more seasonal foods and less meat.
Veganism is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your environmental impact on earth. You can begin by taking small steps like meat free days, swapping dairy milk for oat milk with your cereal, attempting a new vegan recipe or you could even have a go at making a vegan version of your favourite dinner. It’s also important to try and eat seasonally and shop sustainable local and organic produce where possible. You could even try growing your own veggies in your garden if you’re able to!
Swap out single-use.
In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day, that’s 2.5 billion every year. An easy swap to reduce this waste is to buy yourself a reusable coffee cup or just use a mug you already have. At most cafes you even get a discount for bringing your own so you save money too as an extra bonus! The same goes for plastic bottles, 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year. Having a reusable bottle you can refill always with you is a small change that will make a big impact.
Those are just two examples but there are lots of other ways to eliminate single-use items in your daily life, even just simple things like remembering to take a reusable shopping bag with you to the supermarket help. Or next time you need to replace your toothbrush replace it with a bamboo one instead. Say no to plastic straws and opt for a reusable one. Choose a plastic-free soap bar or you could even try a shampoo bar!
Remember the 7 R’s.
REFUSE – If you don’t need it, refuse it. Kindly say no to plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, flyers, etc.
REDUCE – Is it something you really need? There are lots of little ways to reduce what you are consuming.
REUSE – Instead of throwing things away, try and reuse or repurpose them for something else e.g. glass jars are great for food storage!
REPAIR – If it’s broken try and fix it instead of heading straight for the bin. Patch up old jeans or sew that button back on your jacket.
ROT – An easy way to cut down your food waste especially is to compost! It’s super sustainable and great for the planet.
RECYCLE – One of the most commonly talked about R’s. Recycling isn’t the best solution but it’s still better than doing nothing.
RETHINK – If none of the above are possible then rethink if it’s worth it or look for a sustainable alternative.
Speak up, get involved.
Use your voice to create change. You could send an email to your MP urging them to adopt policies to tackle the climate crisis. Ask your school or college to start serving more plant-based meals. Sign petitions. Call out greenwashing when you see it. Donate to environmental charities if you can. Take part in beach cleans or just pick up litter as you see it when you’re out and about. Collectively we can make a difference!
Remember, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead.
Keep yourself informed.
Watch documentaries, stay up to date with news about the environment, get to know the facts, there are so many free and accessible resources out there! This will help you to have those conversations with people around you and influence them to make a difference too.