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Little Things You Can Do To Help The Environment

More and more people are looking at doing their bit to help the environment and live a more sustainable life. No longer is the belief that one person can’t make a difference cutting it and people everywhere are ditching the plastic bags and water bottles, cutting down on meat and sharing lifts.

However, it can be a little daunting to try and make your lifestyle more sustainable… The pressure to do everything all at once can get a bit much and so many of us recoil back into our old, unsustainable habits out a fear that we’re doing ‘eco-friendly’ wrong (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience here…).

Well, I am here to tell you that helping to protect the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to mean ditching the car, never going on holiday again and waving goodbye to that Brazillian restaurant down the road. Even the smallest of changes can help, and you might not even notice you’re doing them! Here are some little things you can do to help the environment.

THINK ABOUT YOUR FASHION CHOICES

 I have already written a post about fast fashion and how I think the solution is as much down to internal changes as it is external ones. You can check it out here if you haven’t read it.

While you might not think that your fashion choices have much of an impact on the environment, the truth is that the fast fashion industry is predicted to contribute ¼ of our total impact on climate change by 2050!

Luckily, there are things that you can do that can help protect the environment, while still keeping your wardrobe on point. Recently I have become a huge charity shop fan. I’ll be honest, I used to avoid them like the plague, but once I ditched my entirely unnecessary snobbish ways, I actually found that you can get some really good bits and pieces – not to mention it’s super cheap and helping out a charity! On my last browse, I got myself a cream Zara blazer for £10! Madness I tell you.

I have also started buying second-hand clothes off of friends rather than going out and buying new stuff. I am looking towards setting up a clothes swap group as well, where unwanted clothes can be swapped for someone else’s gear – the perfect, eco-friendly way to keep your wardrobe fresh.

CHARITY SHOPS

IMAGE: The Art of Thrift Shopping in Leeds

SHOP SUSTAINABLY 

Beyond clothes shopping, there are also little ways you can become more sustainable when it comes to food shopping – a lot of which you’re probably doing already, go you!

Most supermarkets in the UK have already encouraged this, but investing in a Bag for Life or reusing old plastic bags is a great (and super easy) way to cut down on your plastic use. The same applies to foods. When you’re strolling through the fruit and veg aisle selecting your Granny Smiths, if the option is there, opt for a paper rather than a plastic bag to wrap your foods up in. 

TRAVEL WISELY 

When it comes to getting around the place just jumping in your car definitely seems like the easiest option… I mean, I can’t drive but if I could I image it would seem like the easiest option.

However, no surprises here, it is not the best for the environment. Instead, why not join the sharing economy and download ride-sharing apps or share a lift into work with your friend. If a few of you are all driving from the same place to the same place, it seems a little daft all taking a car when you could just go together!

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If you’re travelling out of the country (lucky you), using sites like Airbnb is also a great way to be a part of the sharing economy and help look after the environment. If you’re a keen bean, you could even opt for a solar-powered apartment that would still come in cheaper than a fancy hotel. This is not something I have yet to try, but I will definitely be looking into it for my next city break.

Travelling sustainably might seem like it is going to require huge changes, but that really isn’t the case. Being just a little more aware when travelling can really help to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

CUT DOWN ON ANIMAL PRODUCTS  

More and more people are adopting an entirely plant-based lifestyle, but if you’re not willing to wave goodbye to your cheese on toast – that’s fine, it’s your prerogative and it doesn’t mean that you can’t still make little changes and do your bit.

Simply cutting down on your meat intake, even if it’s only one day a week, or switching to almond milk rather than cow’s milk, can really help. You might even want to try growing your own vegetables, which can help to reduce your carbon footprint (not to mention it’s loads of fun and really satisfying!).

ALLOTMENT

IMAGE: Country Living – Companion Planting. Getty Images – Ron Evans.

LITTLE LIFE CHANGES

The above are just a few examples of things I have been thinking about or experimenting with recently, but there are loads of other little things you can do to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

As I have said, they don’t have to be massive changes – in fact, you might not even notice you’re doing them. Making your own coffee in a morning, getting a library card rather than buying books (I still haven’t quite come to terms with this one… I love a nice, new book), even just spending more time outside are all little things you can do to help!

Since attempting to make some little life changes in order to lead a more eco-friendly life, I have learnt that a sustainable lifestyle not only benefits the world but has also benefitted my own health and wellbeing. Cutting down on meat and practically ditching dairy has really helped with keeping at a healthy weight, getting outside more has helped me get fitter, and I have found that I have been able to save a lot of money by just having a little more awareness. Give it a go – it’s easier than you think. 

What are your top tips for leading a more sustainable life? Let me know in the comments down below.

Jamie x 

For more advice and tips, here are some websites and blogs I found really useful: 

50+ Simple Tips To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

http://www.lovegeorgeandhaze.co.uk/

https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2015/10/101-tips-help-you-live-more-sustainable-life/

https://www.wwf.org.uk/what-we-do/area-of-work/promoting-sustainable-living

 

My Plant Based Journey

Hey guys and welcome to the second day of Blogmas!

Today I am going to be taking about something that I’ve spoke about a lot on my YouTube channel. After doing my nutrition course, I realised my diet was far too high in animal based products – I was totally dependent on them and it was completely unnecessary. My vegan friend recommended my giving the plant based diet a try. I’d seen a lot of big YouTubers try this, with varying degrees of success, and I wanted to be sure if I was going to do it it was going to be something I did properly.

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I started, as I would recommend everyone does, with educating myself on the reasons why people choose a solely plant based diet. I watched Earthlings, What the Health? and Cowspiracy as well as what must have been 100s of videos from YouTubers. I researched everything and I decided it was something I would like to try. Myself and my friend went shopping and everything I came home with was plant based. Everything.

Over two weeks has passed now and I wanted to share with you my experience so far. I have to say, it’s been really surprising. I’ve not missed anything. I’ve had no cravings and, if I have, there has been a vegan alternative that tastes the same or better (I’m looking at you Alpro Coconut Icecream). My shops have been considerably cheaper and the food has all been pretty delicious. I find now I am having to consider everything I eat, my meals are far more balanced and generally a lot better for me.

In terms of my health, I feel pretty good. At the risk of TMI, my IBS is a lot more under control (if you know what I mean…) and, despite the initial bloating, I now feel slightly leaner. I’ve got plenty of energy and, surprisingly enough, I’ve actually seen a lot of improvements in terms of my training and general fitness. Before I was all about the protein. Protein bars, protein powder, protein pancakes. Literally put ‘protein’ in front of anything and I’m up for it. Now, don’t get me wrong, protein is important but my god the amount I was eating was not necessary. Not even just not necessary, it wasn’t healthy. I can get the amount of protein I need easily from a plant based diets without having to resort to supplements. Plus, there are some fantastic vegan protein supplements out there so it really isn’t a problem!

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So, all in all it’s been a very positive experience. But what now? Christmas is on the horizon and the turkey and cheese board is calling my name. I never started this journey planning to become vegan but I also didn’t start it planning to give up after 2 weeks. What would have been the point? I’ve learnt a lot from my journey and have made the decision that a plant based diet is the most ethical and suitable for my body. I also know that going cold turkey was a huge thing for me to do and, now I have completed my ‘trial’ period shall we call it, I am ready to make changes to my diet in a more controlled way. I’m proud of myself for making this change and I’ve made some massive steps and I have learnt so much. I am now starting the process of becoming entirely plant based and that is an extremely positive thing. I don’t expect it to happen over night. Not because it is hard because it really isn’t, just because I know I will face a lot of external pressures, however, this is not going to stop me. I am not making this change for others, I am making this change for me.

If you have ever even considered briefly trying a plant based diet or cutting down your animal product intake, I really do urge you to give it a go. Every idea I had about veganism before starting was completely wrong. I haven’t been living on nothing but salad, I’ve been able to go to restaurants, I’ve had energy and seen progress with training. I can’t really fault it to be honest! If you have any tips for my transition or recipes that I can try, let me know. 

Jamie x 

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