Welcome to 2020. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. One of my new year resolutions is to be more eco-conscious for 2020. I believe we can continue to live a comfortable life while being eco-friendly. It is about being conscious of our impact on the planet because most of us do not even realise it. We live in a capitalist society therefore unfortunately our purchases are our votes. I know it is easy to feel hopeless, but every little effort helps. Therefore, I wanted to share different ways to be more eco-conscious this new year.
SHOP THE LOOK
A plant-based diet
A new study published in the Science journal shows that a vegan diet is the single best way to reduce your impact on the planet. Keeping that in mind, it is important to be conscious of what we eat. Even if you do not turn vegan overnight, knowing how much impact meat has on the planet and reducing it as much as possible is a positive change. I am personally a vegetarian and I am leaning towards becoming a vegan but I am not there yet. Like I said, every bit helps.
Second hand clothing
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. Since fast fashion has become so affordable, the trend has become to buy more clothes and change them more often however that leaves devastating chemicals in the water. Shopping at second hand stores can be a way to still change out your style while being eco-conscious.
You can cut down your waste size tremendously with recycling. Switzerland has already encouraged recycling by putting a tax on bin bags and making recycling bins very accessible. I know it is not as easy to recycle in every country, for example London is harder even though they are starting to slowly implement plastic recycling bin bags. Buying small recycling bins that are foldable makes it easy for you to recycle and does not take a lot of space.
Reusable grocery bag
I feel like this has become somewhat the norm now. In most grocery stores you now have to pay for single use plastic bags. However, a lot of plastic is still use in the wrapping of fruits and vegetables. You can pack reusable produce bags in your reusable grocery bag and cut down even more your plastic use. Produce bags are also great to store in your fridge to keep things organised and can be washed if needed. You can also use jars for nuts and seeds.
I know this is not an option for everyone depending on where you live. If you live in a place that has accessible public transport or good bike lanes, you can make a conscious effort to take those transportions just a little bit more frequently when appropriate.
Single use plastic and coffee cups
A lot of single use plastic is used for water bottles. This is terrible as it is not biodegradable and breaks down in tiny pieces of plastic known as micro plastics. The noxious chemicals used to produce plastic gets transmitted to animal tissue, and finally, enter the human food chain, the WWF claims. An estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s, about 60% of which has ended up either in a landfill or the natural environment .It is so easy and less costly to use a glass water bottle that you take around with you, wash and reuse. If you are an avid coffee drinker, buying a reusable coffee cup can also be more eco-conscious. All the coffee shops will take your cup and fill it up with your choice of coffee.
Cotton pads and cotton buds
I know I use cotton pads everyday to apply my toner, imagine how many cotton pads that is in a month, and in a year. I have now started using reusable cotton pads which are just as great and much more cost efficient. You stick them in your washing machine along your towels and they come out brand new. There are also silicon reusable cotton buds which can be cleaned and reused many times.
Tampons and pads
Obviously, this is indispensable as it is definitely not a choice to get a period every month. However, there are new ways that are more eco-friendly and healthier. Pads and tampons are not only incredibly wasteful but they are filled with preservatives and chemicals that come in contact with our reproductive system every month. I started using a reusable cup which is just like a tampon. Once you get the hang of it, it is so convenient because you only have to change once a day and can keep it on during the whole night. You can wash it at the end of your cycle by boiling it in some hot water. If you do not like tampons and prefer pads there are some reusable pads that can also be washed in your washing machine.
We do not realise how harmful cleaning products are to us and the environment. A lot of brands are now coming out with cleaner and more eco-conscious products but there also tones of DIY cleaning products with soap like Doctor Bronner or white vinegar that works great and can put stored in glass cleaning bottles.
A lot of beauty products are single use plastic. This is unfortunately very hard to avoid as not a lot of brands offer refills. However, some beauty products are more eco-friendly with their ingredients. It has become trendy for beauty brands to be cleaner and eco-conscious such as Tata Harper, Pai, The Ordinary, Herbivore and Dr Hauschka . You can also pick products in glass jars and opposed to plastic containers and then recycle the glass along with your other bottles.