Veganism and fast fashion

For many people within the vegan community, they chose to go vegan for the environment. Animal agriculture is the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gases, beaten only by the consumption of fossil fuels. Roughly a third of all of the Earth’s non-ice land is used to raise the 70 billion livestock animals needed to meet demand, and this in turn causes large amounts of deforestation to make enough space for these animals to grow. A study showed that beef consumption caused on average 1,984 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, and by swapping beef for plants, this cut C02 emissions by 96%.

But one of the other biggest drains on our environment is that of fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe fashion trends that quickly follow any new runway season. Large retailers, such as Zara, H&M and New Look are the most prominent in the fast fashion industry, as they churn out new collections at least 3 times a year. IN 2018, the fashion industry contributed 8% of all man-made greenhouse gases. While 8% may not seem like much, that is still more than both aviation and shipping combined!

The other issue that arises with fast fashion is that of sweat shops. Due to the cheap labour that can come from sweat shops, many companies will outsource their labour to places such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. The labour is cheap, so it keeps their overall costs down and means that they can turn a bigger profit. However the issue with sweat shops is that the workers are almost always in poor working conditions, with little to no health and safety protection and for very small wage. Everyone knows that sweatshops exist and that they are not appropriate working places for anyone int his modern world, but unfortunately our desire to constantly be consuming the latest fashion trends means that sweatshops remain open and in business. Sweat shops are also a cestpool for exploitation and wage theft, where people are forced to work in terrible conditions because they have no other option, and also do not have the proper employment infrastructure in place to adequately protect their interests while working for these industries.

Veganism itself is, by definition, a way of living that causes the least amount of harm. This does not exist purely for the animals. Do not get me wrong, I love fashion. I have had a subscription to Vogue since I was 14 and have spent so many hours admiring the beautiful collections that have been created over the years. I am also human, and sometimes there is no greater joy in the world than finding that perfect dress that makes you feel like a princess or a pair of jeans that fit both your hips, waist and your butt perfectly! But I cannot ignore the fact that those perfect jeans were made by exploited members of our world, and that by buying them I am undoubtedly contributing and perpetuating their exploitation.

But what can be done? In reality we cannot simply not buy clothes, because walking around naked is still illegal (or at least highly frowned upon) in almost every country in the world. And our bodies will also undoubtedly change as we go through life, from growing as children to adults, to pregnancy, to weight gain, to weight loss, to old age. Our bodies are constantly changing and therefore we will need clothes for each of these stages in our lives. The struggle is very real, because the main issue starts at the very top: Fashion designers and makers need to start creating collections that focus on sustainability and longevity, rather than items that can be worn twice and thrown away. Admittedly a lot of companies are now working towards this, with the Paris Agreement coming into force in 2015 and giving many companies, including those within the fashion industry, a good kick up the butt to get their sustainability plans in order to cut their carbon emissions to 0 by 2050.

But what can you do as a lay person?

1. Recycle

In recent years the idea of ‘thrifting’ has become a lot more mainstream, but it also serves a very important role in society. I personally, have bought almost all of my clothing second hand over the last 2-3 years, with the only exception being underwear (for obvious reasons!). Charity stores, good will and even apps such as DePop and eBay can have beautiful items of clothing, in great condition that cost more than half the price if you were to buy it in store. The money also goes to charities, so in some cases it can be like giving a donation and getting a pretty little outfit in return. And what’s not to love about that?! It can also work in your favour, as any clothes that you have outgrown (especially children’s clothes) you can always use online places or car boot sales to sell unwanted clothing, therefore giving the clothes another chance at life while putting a little bit of extra money in your pocket.

img_20200428_175049A Miss Selfridge beaded dress that would usually retail for around £100, I managed to buy for £17 from a lovely lady on eBay. It fits me like a glove and lets me live my Gatsby Fantasy! It is beautiful and I love it and will never wear any item of clothing ever again. I will be married in this dress, I will be buried in this dress, and I will carry it with me into the after life.

2. Upcycle

Sometimes, no matter how much you love an item of clothing, you just outgrow it. Or you see the ideal outfit in a charity shop only to realise that it is the completely wrong size for you. In these cases, you can do what is sometimes called a ‘thrift flip’ and you can turn an item of clothing into a whole new outfit with just some basic sewing skills. Not only does this mean that you get even more wear out of your clothing, it will also teach you a valuable skill that means that you can personalise and save your own clothes from having to go to landfill. If you need inspiration, there are hundreds of incredible talented people on YouTube who can show you some ideas and teach you some of the more basic sewing skills to get you started.

3. Quality over quantity

Now I appreciate that I am saying this from a rather privileged position, in that I can chose to shop at slightly more expensive stores because I earn enough to do so. As much as I love Primark for it’s cheap vests and t-shirts, I know that it only costs £2 because it will probably only last me about 3 months before it starts to fall apart. One of the ways I shop is that I go for a well built item of clothing, even if it is not the cheapest item out there. For example, I have a knit jumper that I bought from H&M around 10 years ago and IT IS STILL GOING STRONG. I would honestly be lost without this jumper and it has gotten me through some seriously cold English winters without fail. One of my most expensive purchases was a Ted Baker cape coat, which I purchased 7 years ago, which I still break out every single winter because it is the warmest, most snuggly coat that I have ever found. Plus it is absolutely beautiful and timeless, which means that it never goes out of style and looks amazing with everything that I wear.

4. By sale items or from outlet

Following on from my Ted Baker coat, I also bought this from an outlet store, so while I still paid a decent amount of money for it (around £120 if I remember correctly), it was way cheaper than if I had bought it directly from the store as soon as it was released. The joy of outlets and sale items is that it saves you a lot of money overall, while also preventing clothing from ending up at landfill. Recently, if I have had to buy anything new, I only shop during the sales and only buy it if it is on sale. If I can stop at least some clothes from just being sent to landfill, then I might as well save myself a few quid in the process!

5. Buy timeless items of clothing

Again, not everyone has the privilege of buying items that are timeless: Kids for example will outgrow an item of clothing as soon as you buy it. But if you are just shopping for you, buy items that you know will never go out of style or that you know you will never fall out of love with. Most fashion trends are cyclical, and will no doubt come back around in a year or two. If someone had told 5 year old me that those jelly shoes I adored would still be really cool when I was 25, I’d have laughed at you! I only buy clothing that fit my personal style and that I know that I can wear multiple times, for multiple occasions, that fit with multiple other outfits. For example, I have a Topshop blazer that is pink check (Think if Clueless and Legally Blonde had a fashion baby) that I bought about 2 years ago for £60, and to this day I still get a stupid smile on my face when I put it on. It is preppy but sophisticated and also makes me feel like an absolute dream when I wear it. And since the majority of my wardrobe is either black or pink, it goes with everything else that I own!

6. Invest in a capsule wardrobe

Now this one will take a while, and there is a lot of research and trial and error that needs to go into one. Again, you can find inspiration on YouTube and the wider web. A capsule wardrobe is essentially a wardrobe that consist of around 30 items of clothing that are interchangeable with one another, meaning that you no longer have to think about what you are wearing. If you wake up late for work, you can throw on any skirt with any top and know that it will look amazing. You can wear the same dress to a wedding one weekend, to a work do the next, to drinks with friends afterwards. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to not only take out one stress in your life (such as spending most nights planning what you’re going to wear the next day) and also cut down on your consumption of fashion: If one of your shirts is beyond saving, you know that you only need to replace one top, rather than changing up your entire wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes are also really flexible and personal, so can work for anyone. Granted they do take some time to sort out, but the process can be a fun and creative process that allows you to truly develop your own sense of personal style.

7. One in, one out

Another rule I follow is that if I buy a new item of clothing, I have to donate/sell another item. One great incentive for this is that if you see a dress that you absolute adore, and know that you will get a lot of wear out of it in the coming years, then have a look through your wardrobe to see if there is an item of clothing that you haven’t actually worn in a while. My favourite way to do this is to turn all of my hanger hooks around at the start of the year/month. I go about my life as normal, and if in 3 months, I realise that I haven’t worn a few items of clothing I take them out and reassess. Why haven’t I worn them? At the start of this year I did a massive clearout and sold/donated at least half of my wardrobe. I have now spent the past 6 months finding items of clothing for my own capsule wardrobe and don’t feel bad about having an overstuffed wardrobe because I already removed so many items that were just wasting away.

8. Look after your clothing

This one may be obvious but it does pay to learn how to properly look after your clothing. Dry clean what needs to be dry cleaned. Hand wash what needs to be hand washed. Now granted, I have been the same size since I was about 13 years old (give or take a few pounds!) but the majority of my wardrobe I have had for years: I have some tops that I have owned since sixth form that still look brand new today, and dresses that I have worn to countless social events over the years that never go out of style. I have also learnt basic clothing repair and alterations: If a dress becomes too short or no longer hangs right, I can turn it into a skirt/top combo instead and wear the pieces separately. Needless to say, the better you look after your clothing, the longer they will last you and the better for the environment this can be.

Side note: I will be the first to admit that my wardrobe is probably not 100% vegan. I’m certain a few of my jumpers contain wool and I also have a pair of leather Doc Martins that I have owned since I was about 17. But as with all things, veganism is not an all or nothing: If you do own something that contains animal products, if it something that you wear everyday and you love it, then keep wearing it. Wear it until it literally turns to dust. The worst thing to do would be to simply be wasteful with it. As I said, I have items of clothing that I have owned for years that I am certain contain some form of animal product, but the clothing is still in perfect condition, it still fits, and I still love it. I will not just bin it, because then it means that the animal was wasted. It just teaches me to be more mindful of what I am buying and to double check where my clothing is coming from.

I hope this helps and if you need any more information let me know. I can point you in the direction of some of my favourite YouTubers or tips for bidding on eBay. Also let me know if you have found any other tips that help you buy clothes in a more sustainable manner so I can implement them into my own life. Happy clothes hunting lovelies!

T xxx

 

Happy Earth Day!

In honour of today, and in honour of this gorgeous earth that we live on, step away from the computer and go outside. If you are in lock down, go for a little walk outside, or just sit by an open window (preferably one which gets some sunshine) and take a look at the sky…it is SO BLUE! Just take a little bit of time to appreciate the world in which we live and to reflect on the impact we as a species are having on it.

Screenshot 2020-04-22 at 16.46.18The park outside of my house looking like an actual green-screen movie background!

Stay safe everyone and if you want more information, see the Earth Day website here.

T xxx

Taylor Tries to free roam bunnies: A journey

We have had our two bunnies, Lola (the fluffy lionhead) and Sasha (brown and white) for just over 6 months now, and I love them more than anything else in this world. They may be small, but these little bunnies make up for their size with their sass and their silly antics. They have been a test to say the least, but they bring so much more to our lives that I wouldn’t change a thing about them.

MVIMG_20200111_222523Do not be alarmed…Sasha is flopped and asleep. Lola is leaning on her. My heart cannot take how cute they can be.

When we first got them, they obviously had a big old cage to sleep in and to get used to us. After a few weeks, we started to leave the cage open while we were home so that we could let them come in and out as they please, and start to explore their new home. It did not take them long to get very used to the area and to start binky-ing around the flat.

We still kept them closed in the cage at night, but as they got bigger and started to spend more time out of the cage, we bought a fold-able puppy crate to put around the cage and a small area to let them have a bit more space at night without having to worry about them getting into any small spaces that they shouldn’t be in. It also meant that they could have more of their toys around them to keep them busy, while still having constant access to their hay and water.

Now, we have graduated to being totally free roam through our flat. They are not allowed in our bedroom (they like to run around under the bed…at full speed…at half 2 in the morning.) or our bathroom (they chew all of our toilet paper and try to get behind our sink) but other than that they have full access to our living room/kitchen area and the hallway. They definitely seem calmer having more space to run around in. They do, however, scratch at our bedroom door if we are not awake at a time that suits them for their breakfast pellets – so lie ins are now out of the question! Honestly, we were woken up today at 7.30am and we opened the door to two very impatient bunnies staring up at us with their best ‘puppy dog eyes’. You’d think they’d never been fed!

Free roaming a bunny is definitely a learning experience: what worked for me, is not necessarily going to work for you and your bunnies. But as basics, you need to be sure that your bunny has access to the basics:

  1. Constant access to hay – their diet is mostly made up of hay, with pellets and fresh greens once a day in small portions. They therefore need constant access to fresh hay.
  2. A litter box – bunnies can be house trained, and to be honest our girls learnt after about a day where they were to go to do their business. You will also need to keep the little box filled with hay because they need to eat while they go to the toilet. Because rabbits.
  3. Water – despite what pet stores will say, bunnies do not drink well when they have one of the drip bottles. We bought our girls a fairly big bowl (similar to the one a cat may use) and fill it with fresh room temperature water twice a day – once in the morning and just before we go to bed.
  4. Toys and chews – bunnies chew. A LOT. Again, this is very much trial and error, as some toys will be super fun for about 5 minutes, while others will be their most beloved thing in the world. Our girls for example, will chew on no other toy than the carrot chews from Pets at Home. No other toys will do. But you can also try some sticks or twigs (provided you check which are rabbit friendly), some maze toys or even some treat hiding toys to make your bunnies work for their treats.
  5. Cover all cables – even if you think your rabbit cannot reach them, cover them with cord protector. Because bunnies have a special power of being able to find the ONE cable that makes your TV or playstation work, and chew through it. This is bad, not only for your electronics but also for your bunnies safety. So cover every single cable in your house…just to be safe.

While this is a very basic list, it should be enough to at least get you started, so that you can then see what works for you and your bunnies in your home. It has taken us 6 months to finally find a set up that seems to work for everyone and trust me…it was not without casualties.

IMG-20191104-WA0002My bag strap…a moment for our fallen cords, bag straps, shoe laces and skirting boards.

 

T xx

 

Plant Kitchen Salted Caramel Truffles

Another new addition for Veganuary comes in the form of Marks and Spencer’s Plant Kitchen range. It involves a whole new range of plant based food, including these little droplets of joy – The Salted Caramel chocolate truffles.

IMG_20200118_183922 (1)

I am not usually the biggest fan of salted caramel, as all I tend to taste is the salt. But these were so good! They do not have any overpowering salty taste, but are also not sickly sweet with the caramel. The only downside is that the truffle is a hard shell of chocolate, which gave me a slight shock when I bit into it. The outside is also covered in cocoa powder, so be prepared for some degree of a slight mess on your fingers. But other than that, they were very tasty and very moreish. Each one gives a nice little sugary chocolate buzz and a packet contains enough to last you a fair few servings.

IMG_20200118_183938 (1)

Overall: 7/10. A really good addition to the vegan food movement, and a nice way to treat yourself.

T xxx

Veganism: Common questions answered

 

Before I went vegan, I had a whole heap of health problems: I was constantly tired, always exhausted, my skin was terrible and I had so many issues with my stomach it became the norm to just be in pain with it. I was vegetarian for 7 years prior, but only after cutting out diary and eggs did all of my health problems more or less fix themselves. Yet despite my vast health improvements, my mental improvements and my overall happiness, I am always greeted with the same responses whenever I tell someone that I’m vegan. So I thought I would share these with you, and how I combat them.

Image result for vegan gifsIn case you didn’t know…this ^^^ is meant in sarcasm 😉

“Where do you get your protein?”

This is one of the most common questions that vegans are asked. All of a sudden, people become very concerned with the amount of protein that you are eating as there seems to be the understanding that ‘protein deficiency’ is something very common. It isn’t. In most cases, protein deficiency is not a real thing: Yes you can have low levels of protein, but the only way you can truly become protein deficient is when you are deficit in EVERYTHING else, or in other words, are seriously malnourished or starving. In modern day society, the only reason a person would be lacking protein is because they are not eating enough of the right thing: Beans, tofu, lentils, even certain types of vegetables have enough protein in them to meet your daily targets.

Image result for vegan gifs

“But our ancestors ate meat…”

Yes…meat that they hunted down and killed with their bare hands, used the skins for their clothes, and lived in caves…it’s a bit different. Your ancestors also believed that the Earth was flat, that women aren’t people and that blacks should be the slaves of white people. Your ancestors lived in times where food was scarce, where foraging for their next meal was all that they spent their time doing and would normally eat more fruit and veg than meat for the most part (mostly because berries don’t fight back when you grab them). Your ancestors didn’t let women vote until 1918, but that was only if they were over 30. Your ancestors also believed that university was for the super rich, and that the idea of premarital sex was punishable by flogging, whipping and stoning. Your ancestors didn’t think that marital rape was a crime until around the 1960s. Your ancestors, quite literally, are monkeys. When I hear this excuse I can’t help but laugh, because just as everything else in history has changed, so will our attitudes towards animals and the environment change.

Related imageOh Scott Pilgrim ❤

“But if we didn’t eat cows, they would overrule us”

I like this idea that all of the cows in the world are currently planning world domination, and are waiting for us to stop eating them to begin the uprising. It’s hilarious! I just picture cows in factory farms with little blueprints, planning Mission Impossible style. In reality, veganism is not a movement that will enact change overnight: No change has ever had effects overnight. Veganism is the gradual movement to a cruelty free lifestyle, and as such is something that will gradually over time become more normalised. Due to this, factory farms will get smaller and smaller as the demand for meat slowly declines, and as such not as many animals will be bred to keep up with these demands.

“But if you lived on a desert island, would you eat animals?”

This is another one of those unrealistic scenarios. If I am ever unfortunate enough to end up on a desert island with NOTHING to eat but a pig, yes I would eat it, as a matter of survival…as would every single other person in that situation! But how did the pig get there? Are there berries or fruits on the island that the pig has been eating that I could eat? How am i going to kill the pig? Am I supposed to wrestle it to the floor and rip it apart with my bare hands? Do I have a knife? Can I make a spear? How did I end up on this island, by myself, with no other means off of the island, with no supplies ANYWHERE to be found? This is one of those situations where context is key: Am I on a desert island now? No? Oh…well are there thousands of other alternatives to eating animal products? Oh there are…hmm…I think i’ll go the most harmless route then.

“So do you believe in complete freedom?”

Now this is a rare one, but the fact that I’ve been asked this at all baffles me. Why is this asked as though this is a bad thing?! The thing about being vegan is that it is a lifestyle choice rather than a diet: I didn’t go on this diet to lose weight (I actually think I’ve put on weight thanks to the yummy vegan chocolate and junk food I can find!) but rather to live a life that spoke to me. I went vegan so that my actions coincide with my ideology. If you want to read a bit more about this, I wrote a previous blog post about why I went vegan so feel free to have a little browse of that too! In short, you can tell a lot about a person by what they eat and as far as I have noticed, all vegans I have met are wonderfully open minded individuals who just have a lot of love to give and have a lot of care to show the world. I have also noticed them to be genuinely very happy and go-lucky people, who take everything in their life as a new experience that they are grateful for. And if that makes me a weirdo for believing in that kind of lifestyle, then I think I can live with that.

In summary…

Simply put, we are all living in a society where veganism is no longer this weird and hippy-ish ideology…it’s cheaper, it’s healthier, it’s good for your conscious and it is now SUPER easy to live a cruelty free lifestyle, without really having to think about it. No matter what your reasons though, I would like to mention that just with this, as with all things in our world, education is the KEY to success. There are hundreds of amazing resources out there to help educate you on animal agriculture, your health and your mental well being, and even if they don’t convince you to try veganism, you’ll have definitely learnt something new…which is never a bad thing!

If you have thought about going vegan or even have some questions about it, feel free to ask away! Also, I’m trying to get into the flow of writing more often so if you want to keep up to date with me, subscribe! I would like that rather a lot 🙂

T xx

How going vegan changed my life

No hyperbole intended…But it’s true. I have been vegan now for about 1 and a half years, and I am still learning new things every day. I am in no way, shape or form the ‘perfect vegan’ and I think that’s what makes this whole life style so exciting. So if you have ever thought about trying it, even for a few weeks or a month, here are some things that helped me make the decision and, most of all, stick to it!

1. My health

Anyone who really knows me will know that I have always had problems with my stomach. Countless trips to A&E, meetings with doctors and at one point I even tried alternative medicine practises to diagnose what my problems were. My stomach would cause me so many sleepless nights, from intense pain to constant discomfort for weeks at a time, but since going vegan these occurrence are few and far between. While I still do not have a definitive answer as to what the issue is (IBS? Hormone imbalance? Endometriosis? Chronns? Food allergies?) there is no doubt that switching to a plant based diet has helped lessen the symptoms dramatically!

Furthermore, my health in general is way better. I sleep better: I no longer wake up feeling tired and slugish, or wake up multiple times at night. I have more energy to do things: Recently I’ve started hitting the gym at 6am, heading to work for 9, rushing around all day until 5pm and then still having the energy to go for a long walk in the evenings before I cook my dinner and settle down for the night. I’m also a better runner, in that I feel my body is less achey after a hard gym session, my legs don’t feel as heavy when I run, and while I’m still not at my ideal level of fitness, having a stable plant based diet has undoubtedly helped me along that journey.

Furthermore, my diet is better because, quite frankly, most junk food isn’t suitable to vegans. Next time you go to a shop, pick up a bag of sweets, or a chocolate bar or even a can of soup and you will see that they almost all contain some sort of milk ingredient. Due to this, no matter how good that chocolate cake may look, when you have learnt all that I have about the diary and egg industries, the cake really doesn’t seem worth it at all. When I want to buy quick and easy food now (such as ready meals or microwavable foods), I have to really think about the food I am buying and normally, if I have to think that long about it, I don’t really want it to begin with! Plus, with all of the amazing alternatives being created every day, I am still able to enjoy all of my favourite comfort foods but in a way that causes the least amount of damage to our planet.

2. My appreciation for food

Now this may just be me, but I swear food tastes so much better now I’m vegan. Also, food just looks nicer. Every plate is bright with colours, smells amazing and tastes so much richer than any meaty meals I had in the past. Even when I was vegetarian, food didn’t look as inviting as it does now that I’m vegan. Now this may be simply because I am eating a much more varied diet of fruit, vegetables, tofu, lentils and nuts (to name but a few) but I just feel that vegan meals look so much more inviting than other diets out there.

I also have a better understanding of food. I have not always had the healthiest relationship with food, but since going vegan I feel I have gotten to understand food, nutrition and even my own body more. I am almost at the point where I can work out the exact food that it is craving, to the point I actually look forward to coming home and having a huge bowl of carrots and broccoli, or a nice cold smoothie. I now understand that calories are not necessarily all there is when it comes to food: Peanuts may be high in calories, but they are the super good fat that I need to get through a morning, and while bananas may be high calorie, they are the perfect way to stop my sore muscles from aching at the gym. Food not only looks and tastes better, but I also no understand how to nourish my body and how to eat in a balanced and healthy manner.

3. I feel like a better person

Now I am in no way saying that I am a better person when compared to others: I don’t think meat eaters are barbaric, or all a bunch of idiots, just as I don’t believe that all vegans are angelic activists. I feel that I am a better person when I look back at how I used to be as a person, which I think also shows how I no longer try to compare myself to others or try to appease other peoples desires: I am living my life in a way that is ideal for me, as an individual. I am able to live my life knowing that I am acting in a way that fulfils ME, that fulfils MY needs for MYSELF and allows ME to be the kind of person I wanted to be growing up.

I have always loved animals and the environment, and even though I went vegetarian at 16, it wasn’t until I was 21 that I finally started to understand the gap in my logic: I love animals, yet would cause them pain and suffering just by eating eggs. I am against oppressive and exploitative practices, yet still drank milk every morning with my tea. I feel as though I live a life that is now in line with all of my beliefs and that in itself is a very empowering feeling.

Now I’m not saying it isn’t tough sometimes: vegan junk food may be hard to find on a daily basis but it is not exactly impossible to find. Crisps, vegan chocolate bars and now sorbets and ice creams are all becoming more and more readily available, to the point I am probably eating more food than half of my friends! By understanding my food more, I now understand the difference between nice sugar (oranges, apples, kiwis etc) and bad sugar (vegan cakes, soy milkshakes, plant based candy) so that now when I want chocolate, I know that I really want chocolate, rather than just because it was convenient.

Still not convinced?

I am in no way saying that this should be a snap decision, as just with every lifestyle choice, it can be done wrong. The good thing about living in this day and age is that information is at the end of our fingertips no matter where we are and I believe veganism has taught me the importance of self-education. There are hundreds upon thousands of vegans in the world, and most of them are very lovely and encouraging individuals. Join a facebook group of vegans to get inspiration and motivation, follow vegan youtubers for yummy food ideas, google the animal agriculture business and learn about the industry on a deeper level than it’s advertising campaign. There is so much information out there that I know for a fact that I will NEVER know everything there is to know, but that’s what makes this entire life style so much more exciting. If in doubt, I find this little quote always gets me through:

Image result for dumbledore quotesDumbledore always came through with the nuggets of wisdom

If you guys have any questions then by all means ask away and I will be more than happy to help…or at least point in the direction of someone who knows more! 

T xxx

 

 

Easiest ways to help the planet

While this post is technically a day late, I thought it would be a good time to right a list of everything you can do on a daily basis to help protect the Earth. Whether you chose to believe in global warming or not, there is no doubt that our planet is not in a good state: Ocean temperatures are rising, coral reefs are being bleached into obscurity and the amount of pollution we are producing is not a maintainable standard of life. Therefore, in honour of Earth Day 2017 here is a list of how to be kinder to our planet.

Image result for earth quotes

Recycling

This is probably one of the easiest ways in which you can lessen your impact on the Earth. In 2015, the EU made it mandatory to separate out all recyclable waste from normal rubbish, and for the most part it is pretty easy. But why is it good for the environment? For the most part, rubbish that is not recyclable just ends up in a land fill where it can be burned, but is usually just packed into the ground. Everywhere has their own method of dealing with it, but these are the most common solutions. Obviously, land fills are bad news: They are dirty, contaminating and not to mention a complete eye sore for anyone who happens to live near one. It’s not nice to look at and it is just using our earth as a dumping ground for all of our unnecessary stuff.

Recycling on the other hand allows us to reuse the things we need to throw away: In most cases, recyclable products such as plastic bottles, paper and tin cans can all be melted down to create new tin cans, new water bottles, and in some cases even make handbags, notebooks and shoes. By doing this, we can create a maintainable resource as we do not have to continually cut down trees to make new paper, nor do we have to make room in our countryside for unnecessary landfills. It is kinder on the planet, and a more resourceful way of making our products so that we don’t have to worry about the future of our planet every time we buy a bottle of water.

For more facts about recycling and it’s benefits, have a look at this!

Reusable items

Something that links on to the above point is the use of reusable items: Water bottles, coffee cups, thermos flasks…the list can be endless and for most part of relatively cheap alternatives to buying one every day. Plastic water bottles are surprisingly expensive, especially when you can drink the tap water for free in almost every part of the world. Why spend £1 every time you need a bottle of water, when you can spend £5 and have a bottle readily available to fill up throughout the day as and when you need to. Personally, I drink a lot of water anyway but when it’s hot or I’m out and about a lot seeing friends or running errands, having a bottle of water on hand in my bag is a genuine money saver and life saver.

You can also do the same with reusable coffee cups: Most disposable ones are not recyclable, so if you buy a Starbucks or Costa coffee every morning on your way to work, then it is definitely worth investing in a nice, sturdy, washable travel mug that you can reuse each morning. You can pick up pretty good ones for about £3 or less on ebay, and they can come in so many pretty colours your main concern will be choosing your favourite!

Diet

It has long been known that red meat has been linked to climate change, but how so? Well, aside from the animals rights side of things, raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water. In a report by the Worldwatch Institute, 51% (at least!) of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Furthermore, most deforestation is caused by the demand for animal rearing land, where large areas of the rain forest are being cut down to make room for even more farmed cows to be raised and slaughtered. With less trees, more CO2 is released into the air and thus causes a rise in climate change, as trees take the CO2 and convert it into oxygen during photosynthesis.

Therefore, if you care about the environment, it is advised to leave meat, especially red meat, off of your plate. This however is also not considering the impact that even fish, chicken and pork have on your health and the overall impact it has on the environment: Chickens may not be as gaseous as cows, but they still take a huge amount of land, water and food to raise them so that they can become food themselves. Over fishing is now a problem across the world, with many ecosystems being negatively effected by the amount of fish that we are taking from the sea. Many other species of marine life are also being killed by mistake, including whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks, all because we as a species have such a high demand for fish meat.

Needless to say, cutting out meat from your diet is a huge way you can combat climate change without even trying to and in this day and age where more and more people are realising the positive impacts a vegetable diet can have on their life and their environment, there are so many new and exciting replacements out there that can make going vegetarian or vegan a very easy and straight forward process. I, for example, have been vegan for about a year and a half now, and have saved around 2,269,326 litres of water, 1,526 sq. metres of forest, 4,960 of CO2 and 545 animal lives. Even if you don’t care all that much about animals, you can’t deny that just by cutting out meat from your diet you are combating huge amounts of climate change.

Have a look at this website to see how much you can save by switching to an animal free diet.

A few extra tips

Next time you buy a kitchen appliance, get one that is Energy Star-approved, and only plug in electrical equipment when you use it often: Don’t leave them on standby, or leave your phone charging all night long.

Skip the pre-rinse when using a dishwasher and only run it when full as this can save up to 7,300 gallons of water a year!

Buy local, plant-based food to cut back on the distance it has to travel from farm to plate, as this will in turn reduce the amount of emissions caused.

Doggy bags or composting are the way forward: only order or make as much food as you can eat in one sitting to prevent waste. If you happen to have leftovers, store them in a reusable glass or stainless-steel container and compost any inedible scraps. Compost can then be used to grow your own vegetables and thus teach you how to be self-sufficient and with less chemical pollution in our soil and our air.

Organise a clothes swap with friends or work colleagues, or even donate unwanted furniture and clothing to charities. This way your trash doesn’t end up in a landfill anywhere but rather can become another person’s treasure. Most cities have clothing bins, but most charity shops are happy to take any unwanted clothing, furniture, books and china (provided they are all clean and still usable!). If there is no chance anyone else would want it, why not get creative and turn those old jeans into a storage box, or that old knitted jumper into a comfy pillow or even a throw? The possibilities are endless!

As you can see, there are many ways that you can help lessen the impact we have on the environment, and with scientific and technological advances being made every day, we as a society should be focused on moving toward a sustainable and healthy way of living so that generations after us can enjoy all of the wonders that this world has to offer.

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Do you guy have any environmental friendly tips too? I’d love to hear some other ideas!

T xxx