The week after Earth Day is full of conscious discussions on social media surrounding environmental awareness and what we can do to increase the health - and ultimately lengthen the life - of our beautiful and resilient, yet fragile, planet. I personally have pledged to dramatically reduce my plastic usage throughout 2018, and have started to build a supply of sustainably made reusable items for my daily routine. There are a plethora of simple steps we can all take, and habits we can initiate, to decrease our waste and carbon emissions. Consciousness sounds cool, right? Here's over forty ideas to get you started...
  • Buy less 'stuff' and say no to trends, really think about whether you need something for at least a month before going ahead with a purchase (#moneysavvy)
  • Recycle properly by researching the guidelines for your local council or recycling collection service
  • Support restaurants, cafes and coffee shops that use locally sourced and ethical ingredients
  • Help to clean up your local area by picking up litter you see in the street and disposing of it properly, or take part in organised beach and park cleans
  • Reduce your single use plastic consumption including straws, cutlery, on the go/takeaway food boxes, water and soft drink bottles 
  • Buy reusable stainless steel or bamboo straws and cutlery, and keep a set with you on the go at all times
  • Buy a reusable water bottle and coffee cup, which are now incentivised in most coffee shops so your bill is cheaper if you bring your own (#moneysavvy)
  • Buy sustainable picnic ware such as coconut bowls and melamine plates instead of single use plastic or paper ones 
  • Buy stainless steel or glass food containers instead of plastic ones as these last longer, are harder to break, melt or stain, and are BPA free 
  • Refuse straws or only accept paper straws when on the go
  • Buy less food wrapped in plastic and choose glass jars instead where possible, as these can be cleaned and reused
  • Buy loose grocery items where possible and bring your own lightweight cotton or mesh produce bags to store them in
  • Bring your own shopping bags - cotton tote bags, net bags or a 'bag for life' instead of single use plastic carried bags provided by the supermarket (#moneysavvy)
  • Buy locally grown and sourced produce from markets, health food shops and local businesses where possible
  • Buy groceries and other food items from the reduced section at the supermarket, to reduce the amount of food going to landfill (#moneysavvy)
  • Buy food such as grains, flour, supplements, nuts and seeds in bulk where possible and bring your own glass jars and containers to fill up - if there isn't a bulk buy store in your area use online brands such as Nutriseed (#moneysavvy) 
  • Grown your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, use a window box if you don't have an outdoor space or garden
  • Compost your fruit and vegetable waste where possible by researching local composting schemes or community gardens/allotments if you don't have an outdoor space or garden
  • Create meal plans and grocery lists to reduce the amount of food going to waste (#moneysavvy)
  • Freeze leftovers or fresh produce that's about to go out of date so you can eat it in the future (#moneysavvy)
  • Go vegan or reduce your animal product consumption as much as possible
  • Learn how to cook to reduce your single use plastic consumption from ready meals and takeaways/takeout (#moneysavvy)
  • Drink loose leaf tea or buy plastic free teabags, such as PG tips who have pledged to be made from 100% biodegradable plant based material by the end of 2018
  • Use silicone mats instead of baking paper and aluminium foil
  • Use reusable dishcloths and multipurpose spray to clean your kitchen and household surfaces, instead of single use wipes (#moneysavvy)
  • Use washable tea towels/drying cloths instead of single use paper kitchen towels (#moneysavvy)
  • Thrift/charity shop, use a marketplace app or buy clothes on clearance as this reduces the demand for trend based fast fashion and less clothes will go to landfill (#moneysavvy)
  • Modify and update your old clothes to fit your current aesthetic (#DIYqueen)
  • Try to repair something that is broken instead of automatically repurchasing it (#moneysavingtip #DIYqueen)
  • Buy gadgets second hand including mobile phones, cameras, iPads, tablets, games consoles, laptops, computers and accessories (#moneysavvy)
  • Make your own furniture or repaint old items to fit your current aesthetic (#DIYqueen)
  • Use a menstrual cup, reusable cotton pads or period underwear (#moneysavvy)
  • Use reusable cotton pads with cleanser, instead of makeup removing wipes (#moneysavingtip)
  • Use biodegradable cotton buds with paper or bamboo stems, instead of plastic ones
  • Use a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one 
  • Use a reusable stainless steel razor with shaving cream, or use a homemade sugar wax, instead of single use plastic razors (#moneysavingtip)
  • Buy your beauty products in glass bottles, in bulk or zero waste style where possible, rather than in plastic bottles
  • Make your own beauty products using natural ingredients (such as essential oils, minerals and powders, castille soap, baking soda and apple cider vinegar) including shampoo, conditioner, hair and face masks, toners, cleansers, deodorant, toothpaste, body and lip scrubs, lip balms, 
  • Stop buying magazines or switch to a digital subscription instead (#moneysavingtip)
  • Buy less books, CD's and DVD's and switch to ebooks, audiobooks and entertainment subscriptions instead
  • Switch to online bank statements
  • Say no to leaflets and free publications when on the go
  • Unsubscribe from postal brand communication
    Remember, in one year...
    1 bamboo toothbrush = 4 plastic toothbrushes
    1 reusable water bottle = 167 plastic bottles
    1 reusable bag = 170 plastic bags
    1 reusable cup = 500 single use cups 
    1 metal/bamboo straw = 540 plastic single use cups
    1 cloth towel = 7300 paper towels





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