I want to make eco-friendly choices: where do I start?
Welcome to Tabitha Eve’s first blog!
If you’re reading this, then it’s probably safe to say you’re interested in making a few changes to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
The whole concept of making green choices can be, quite frankly, overwhelming. There’s so much information out there isn’t there? It’s even trickier when some guidance appears to be contradictory. And let’s face it, some ideas are not particularly convenient to implement either.
So we want to give you some initial ideas to set you on the right track. They’re changes that we think are pretty straightforward and will be a great way to get you started.
Ask yourself this one key question
This one takes minimal effort: it’s a question we should all ask ourselves before we decide to buy something:
“Do I really need this?”
It sounds a bit obvious, but this question alone can be very effective, it can challenge our buying habits as well as our attitudes towards owning things we don’t really need.
But why is this question so important? Well, globally we appear to be buying an increasing amount of “stuff”, much of which will end up in landfill. In 2017 worldwide material consumption reached 92.1 billion tons. When you compare this to 27 billion tons in 1970 it gives some well-needed perspective on our buying habits (the amount of “stuff” has increased more than three times, whereas the population has only approximately doubled within this period).
One of the best places to start making actual changes is around your own home. The initiatives below are some of the easiest and simplest ways to start making eco-friendly choices:
Eat seasonal produce
You don’t get much better than fresh seasonal vegetables. To start with, they haven’t travelled halfway across the world, and fewer miles travelled equals less pollution. They’ll also have a much better shelf life. It’s really easy to shop seasonally, simply find a seasonal chart to help figure out what to choose month by month.
Many of us in the UK have small food caddies for food waste, but it’s really good to know why we actually need to compost. In simple terms: if you throw unused raw food in your usual rubbish bin it will head straight to landfill. In landfill, the air isn’t able to get to it as easily, so it breaks down to create harmful greenhouse gases. Food which has been composted will decay naturally and also acts as a great fertiliser. Good to know right?
Quick swaps in the kitchen
Here are a couple of quick swaps you can make in your kitchen to get started on your eco-friendly journey.
The trouble with using foil or clingfilm to cover your bowls or wrap your food with is that you’re only using it once before throwing it away. It’s these habits we need to move away from. We might also suggest that sweaty clingfilm isn’t the best idea for keeping food fresh either. So the simple answer is to replace both of these with reusable food wraps. These will allow your food to breathe and can be used many, many times over. You can even rewax them after a time to extend their lifespan even further.
Let’s move over to the washing up. You’re probably familiar with those brightly coloured sponges with the green scourer on top? The ones that you can buy cheaply and might last you one whole week if you’re lucky? Well they’re actually made from plastic, and this ends up going down the drain and eventually into our seas and rivers.
There’s an easy sustainable alternative for this one though: purchase a natural scrubbing sponge. Our Tabitha Eve version is made from cotton and organic bamboo core which is naturally antibacterial and highly absorbent. You wash them when dirty and eventually, when they’re all used up, they can be put in your compost bin.
Don’t disregard your plastic items unnecessarily
Hands up, who’s got one of those cupboards or drawers full of plastic storage containers? You know the ones we mean, where you can never find the right lid for love nor money.
Whilst we’re trying to move away from plastic, it’s important not to just throw everything away to replace them with eco-friendly versions. Over the years we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic. So use your plastic containers until they’re no longer usable, that way you’re giving it the longest life possible which is the kindest option for the planet.
Quick swaps in the bathroom
There are plenty of simple changes you can make in the bathroom too. Here are a couple of great ones to get you started:
Let’s start with good old soap. Over the years it’s become quite trendy to have a plastic soap dispenser and hand moisturiser by the sink. But unless you refill the containers once they’re finished (which is fantastic if you do), then perhaps consider going back to a standard bar of soap. There are plenty of high-quality soaps out there made from lovely natural ingredients which won’t dry out your skin, and more importantly, don’t come packaged in plastic. Of course, it goes without saying that you should use up what you have before changing over.
It’s been estimated that 1.5 to 2 billion items of sanitary protection are flushed every year in the UK. That’s one of those facts that’s hard to comprehend isn’t it? Thankfully though, there are now a number of different products on the market that create minimal waste and can save you money in the long term too. Double thumbs up! Some of the more popular choices include the menstrual cup and menstrual pads which can be washed and used again and again.
A start to being more eco-friendly
We hope you found this guide to getting started useful. It’s easy to think that these small things won’t make much of a difference, but the key is to adjust our habits and mindsets. When large numbers of us become more mindful about what we buy and challenge our throwaway culture we’ll start to see real change.
And remember, this is very much an introduction to set you on the right track when making eco-friendly choices, there are countless ways to make many more green choices which we’ll be sharing in future blogs!