Skimlinks Test

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!

crete

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

 

‘Go Green!’ | 7 Eco-Friendly Active Wear Companies.

There is a lot of talk at the moment, and rightly so, about our excessive plastic use, with big companies cutting down on excess plastic and coffee shops encouraging you to take in your fancy new Chilly’s bottle in return for a discount on your soy latte. It is estimated that anywhere between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are being entangled by plastic marine debris every year, not to mention the health risk to the millions of other creatures living in the seas. However, less discussed and something you may not have thought about is the impact clothing has on the environment. As it happens, a lot of active wear companies are helping to tackle this issue and more and more sustainable brands are becoming available on the market and online.

The following 7 brands are just some of the many different companies striving for sustainability meaner they are kinder to the environment and the people involved in the production process. I should mention that these brands can be pretty expensive (I tried my best to find to most affordable but trust me, it was hard)! Active wear is not cheap at the best of times but you tend to pay a little more for sustainable fashion products. Not all of these brands are within my budget by any means but there are plenty of others if you have a look online – plus, hopefully we will begin to see sustainable clothing become more affordable and accessible as the demand increases. (EDIT: I have since seen that H&M do a very affordable ‘conscious’ line and you can get your hands on some cute gym stuff for under £10 – pretty good!)

Lululemon (££)

Instagram raves about this brand and for good reason! Not only are the leggings super flattering (I like the align pant the best) but Lululemon also work with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which means that the company is striving to ensure their products are as environmentally efficient as possible! Lululemon follows some pretty strict regulations to ensure each product in a culture of transparency and through a responsible supply chain.

If you want to find out more about this brands ethos, you can find it here. 

Patagonia (££)

If you enjoy your outdoor workouts, this brand could be for you! Not only does it have a selection of activewear suitable for your yoga class, but Patagonia also have swim wear, hiking bags and climbing equipment. Not exactly what you would see you #fitspo wearing in their latest Instagram photoshoot but this brand is hugely commitment to ethical environmental practises. This company invest millions of dollars each year (that’s right, millions!) into supporting grass root environmental groups. They also work hard to ensure that they keep their consumption of energy and water to a minimum and undergo voluntary checks by the Fair Labour Association – good stuff, right? 

Adidas X Parley (££)

Adidas have recent updated their running shoe as part of their campaign ‘Run For The Oceans’. The running shoe is now made with recycled ocean plastic that is intercepted on the beaches before it has a chance to reach the sea. The shoes will set you back on average about £150 (pretty expensive) but you can also get involved by downloading their app and running to raise money and awareness for the cause.

Image from www.adidas.co.uk

Pepper and Mayne (££)

I’ll be honest, after an incident on the ski slopes back in my youth, the ski section of this brand’s website I will be needing to use a lot. However, they do have some really pretty sports bras, shirts and even ombre leggings that I am seriously lusting over. Apart from making my bank account shiver in fear and my Instagram feed rejoice, the ombre, compression leggings are all made from sustainable materials and are manufactured in eco-friendly approved factories in Europe and Nepal.

Mum, if you’re reading this, I’ll have the blue! 

Sports Philosophy (££)

These would definitely be at the top end of my budget but, believe it or not, were some of the most affordable I found. Sport Philosophy look to have some functional and high quality active wear, whilst also striving to combat child labour (something that is very prominent on their site – take a look!). They might be a little expensive but 10% of all of their profits go to its Freedom For Children charity so might be worth the investment if you see something that takes your fancy.

Image from @SP_Active on Twitter

Teeki (££)

Without a doubt some of the brightest active wear companies I have seen, Teeki is a totally eco-friendly brand. They pride themselves on ensuring all of their products are not only fun and functional but sustainable, with their leggings been made from recycled plastic and plastic bottles collected from the beach.

If you are looking to add some colour to your gym wardrobe, I would seriously give these a shot!

Silou London (£££)

The most expensive brand on the list, even the 50% off section of this luxury, London based brand scares me a little bit. The designs are very sleek and minimal and if you are looking to seriously splash the cash then this is for you. Silou London sources non-toxic materials and manufactures them in their production house in Lithuania. Their production house exceeds European standards and ensures fair pay for employees. Might be expensive, but these guys are certainly eco-friendly.

So there you have it, 7 of the many eco-friendly active wear brands. I have to say, I am a little disappointed that I could not find anything more affordable. These are expensive and, let’s be honest, for most of us not without our budgets. However, it is certainly promising that we are seeing more and more eco-friendly brands out there! I will continue my search and fingers crossed find more affordable brands in the future. 

Jamie x 

 

Sources

http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/beauty-style/gym-wear/7277/ethical-clothing/

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/your-comprehensive-guide-to-ethically-made-athletic-wear-brands

https://www.refinery29.uk/eco-friendly-sportswear

https://pebblemag.com/magazine/living/game-on-give-your-sportswear-an-ethical-edit

https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/womens-clothing/best-sustainable-fashion-brands-women-clothing-ethical-eco-friendly-affordable-london-luxury-a7982316.html

https://info.lululemon.co.uk/sustainability?mnid=ftr;en-GB;sustainability

http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/ladies/shop-by-concept/conscious-sustainable-style.html