Going green is defined as making more environmentally friendly decisions to conserve natural resources, sustain the planet and protect the environment.
But why is so important that we make better choices?
Just a few benefits of living more sustainably:
Reduces the population of endangered animals.
Prevents further deforestation, global warming and landfill growth which are all having a detrimental effect on our planet.
Preserves the earth and its non-renewable resources instead of destroying them.
Limits the use of dangerous pesticides and helps us to live a healthier lifestyle.
I know what you're thinking..."where do I start?!"
Changing aspects of your lifestyle in an attempt to live more sustainably can be confusing and pretty overwhelming.
Here are some easy ways in which you can start to live a little greener:
Go vegan or reduce meat consumption - Now I know most people struggle to go cold turkey (no pun intended) overnight and completely stop eating meat. However, even reducing your meat consumption or having "meat-free" days can help a lot.
Animal agriculture uses 33% of the available drinking water on the planet. Every day you eat a vegan diet you save 1,000 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, 20 pounds of CO2 emissions and 1 animals life. The grain that is used to feed live stock for meat production could feed 1.3 billion people.
Reduce - Don't over-buy or bulk-buy, try to only purchase what you need.
Be mindful of how much water and electric you are using at home - turn off and unplug appliances when they're not in use, take showers and reduce the amount of baths you take, run a shallow sink of water for washing up, brushing teeth, washing your face and shaving.
Re-use - If you can save it and re-use it - then do! You can re-use pretty much anything: glass jars, spray bottles, tubs and pots from beauty products and make-up...the list goes on and they all come in handy for something!
You can even re-use old clothes that aren't worthy of being donated as rags and cloths for cleaning and mopping up around the house.
Recycle - Where you can, recycle at home and also on-the-go. If you're out and about, use the allocated bins for recycling. If there isn't one available, take your rubbish with you and recycle it when you get home.
Don't litter! - Now this one just reminds me of being a kid and seeing someone littering in the playground... "don't be a litter bug!". That has stayed with me til this day.
If you see someone littering, pull them up on it. If you see litter on the floor, even if its not yours, pick it up and bin it! Lastly, PUT YOUR OWN LITTER IN THE BIN! Thanks.
Carry re-usable bags at all times - We all know that feeling when you turn up at the supermarket and you forget your re-usable bags! It's so easily done but it's also so easily avoided. Keep at least one or two with you at all times if you tend to carry a handbag/backpack around. If you have a car, keep a hefty collection in your boot so you never get caught short!
Buy unpackaged items - Buying from a green grocer is a great way to reduce plastic use as most of their products are displayed without packaging. Remember to bring your own produce bags as well as shopping bags, as a lot of places still provide plastic bags for fruit and veg.
Be mindful when online shopping - A lot of companies package their products in tons of unnecessary plastic!
Make DIY products - You can easily and affordably make beauty, body care, household products and more yourself and store them in recycled jars/bottles with ingredients you probably already have at home!
There are tons of recipes and tutorials online and YouTube videos are especially helpful for this, not to mention it's super fun!
Bamboo tools - Bamboo is a great sustainable material that you can substitute plastic tools for such as straws, soap dishes, hair combs and brushes, make-up brushes and more.
Glass straws are also a great alternative to plastic, too!
Use up what you already have - Save food scraps and use them to make soups and stews. Use up skincare, body care and make-up (thats still in date) before you buy new products.
Re-gift things you know you wont use - This one is a little controversial, but I honestly don't see anything wrong with re-gifting a gift if you know it's genuinely just going to sit and collect dust. 1. It's saving you money and 2. It's saving you from purchasing unnecessary items.
Donate old clothes and buy from thrift/charity shops - This is probably one of my favourite new hobbies...I LOVE charity and thrift shopping and I find it so satisfying when I get a bargain - plus its guilt free.
I also make sure I regularly donate clothes that I'm no longer wearing, which is great for someone like me who very quickly gets bored of their wardrobe. You're constantly getting new clothes but you're actually just recycling - genius!
Over the last few months I've slowly been educating myself on how to live more sustainably and finding ways I can make better choices going forward.
I've really been enjoying making my own DIY beauty products...I've made everything from toothpaste, hair masks, face masks, toners and more. It's been soooo fun and rewarding, and the results have surprised me too!
I have even written some blog posts about my DIY escapades: '8 beauty-hacks using coconut oil' and 'how to grow your hair with rice'...deffo worth a read if you're interested in starting to make your own products at home. I will be sure to post some more soon as I'm always experimenting.
Off the back of trying to save on waste and plastic, I started looking into making my own soap as I noticed I was constantly buying bottles of bubble bath (plastic) and shower gel (more plastic).
I was excited and ready to get my Dexter's Laboratory on....but after I realised it's not as straight forward as just chucking some things together in a blender and hoping for the best, I soon aborted the idea.
I instead started searching for plastic-free bars of soap that were both vegan and cruelty free and came across this brand in Holland and Barrett.
The Faith In Nature soap caught my eye as it wasn't wrapped in plastic (as most bars of soap are), however they do also do a liquid soap which come in plastic bottles...boo!
I of course opted for the bar soap which comes packaged in cardboard, and I was really pleased with the product!
I use the bar soap in the shower, and if I do have a bath i will cut chunks off and let it dissolve in the water rather than using bubble bath (I usually also add some epsom salt, coconut oil and lavender oil to my bath too...it's lush!)
I love lavender hence my choice of scent, however they also have lots of others - coconut, aloe vera with ylang ylang, tea tree, orange, seaweed, grapefruit, rosemary, hemp with green tea and dragonfruit.
They also have a range of shampoo bars which come packaged in cardboard too - hooray!
Remember, we can all make a difference...one small change at a time!
Before I go...I'm looking for some recommendations for plastic-free deodorant and a good safety razor...help a girl out?!