How I’m Approaching Being more Eco Friendly
I joke with my friends that recently I’ve had an ‘awakening’ when it comes to being more eco-friendly, and it’s great to see so much talk about being more sustainable, both online, on TV, and from brands too. On the flip side, we are also already seeing so much back lash, that being sustainable is not always obtainable, and there’s so much guilt when you try to be sustainable in one aspect of your life, and then purchase or use a product or service which means you’re taking 5 steps forward and ten steps back, it’s impossible to win!
I’m trying my hardest at the moment to firstly educate myself on the environmental impacts of my daily habits, and more sustainable options, and I’ve found the ‘shock factor’ of watching the various documentaries and programmes about our excessive consumption and the impacts it has on our oceans, wildlife and well, pretty much the entire planet, truly scary – so much so that they really jump started my inner eco warrior!
Small changes I’ve made so far;
- Always carrying my reusable coffee cup so I don’t have to use single use cups, my favourites are these by Ecoffee – they’re made from bamboo which is naturally sterile, has no taste, and is biodegradable and sustainably grown – plus, they’re so cute!!
- Not using plastic straws (you can get such cute rose gold metal ones from Amazon!)
- Remembering reusable shopping bags when doing the supermarket / farmers market shop and carrying a small tote in my handbag for those ‘just in case’ scenarios.
- Reducing my consumption of plastic packaged products as much as possible, including buying most of our weekly food shop from a local farmers market.
- Minimising my shopping, especially fast fashion, and recycling clothes I don’t wear.
- Switching to eco friendly home cleaning products, and switching to recycled kitchen towel etc, but using cloths which I can wash when they’re used, as opposed to throwing away loads of kitchen towel where possible.
- Always carrying my reusable water bottle (I have one from Swell and others from Chillies which I love)
- Actively refusing plastic water bottles and cups when offered, such as in shops, beauty salons etc and recommending they switch to a more sustainable option.
Trying My Best
After watching the documentaries on the effects of fast fashion, and single use plastic, I went into an overdrive and vowed to make big changes in my lifestyle, but very quickly saw that it’s so much easier said than done! It’s simply not obtainable to completely cut out plastic, be 100% ethical in everything you do and live a zero waste lifestyle, but instead of either giving up totally and trying not to think about the wider impacts, or feeling hugely guilty every time you consume something that’s not sustainable, a good balance can be found. Small steps should be encouraged as we learn more about things we can do to a make a big difference, even when I look back over the past month or so of how many coffee cups I’ve avoided using, and how many times we’ve enjoyed plastic free fruit and veg from the market etc, I realise how quickly these small changes can add up to make a big difference, and I’m sharing my changes on my Instagram stories in the hope of inspiring others to make little changes too.
One thing I try to keep in mind when sharing eco tips and also reading comments when people say you’re doing one thing right, but doing something else wrong, is that the most important thing is to do what you can. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t shop at a farmers market (it’s not cheap!) or forget your reusable bag. It’s not always possible to carry your reusable coffee cup with you and that’s OK! Don’t dehydrate yourself just because only plastic water bottles are available, just make changes where you can; I try to focus on the good changes I’ve made, and encourage others with tips and guidance, instead of feeling guilty or like my changes aren’t making a difference.
Sometimes being sustainable just isn’t obtainable…
Like I mentioned with the farmers market and that being an expensive luxury, being eco-friendly is often a huge privileged. Buying from sustainable or locally grown suppliers often comes with a premium, and eco changes like cutting out plastic, meat etc are not an option for everyone. Where you live also makes a huge difference; I know how lucky we currently are living in London where a bulk food store and weekly farmers market are on our doorstep, but if you live in a village then you may not be able to shop anywhere other than your local supermarket where practically everything is wrapped in plastic. Again the important thing is not to feel guilty but do what you can; get yourself that reusable coffee cup (many cafes offer a discount when you use a reusable cup so soon you’ll actually be saving money) and keep your reusable bags somewhere near the door so you don’t get caught out at the supermarket. Opt for the fruit and veg that’s not wrapped in the supermarket (you could take something like a Carrie Bag to weigh it and carry it without the need for plastic bags) and think twice before you make an online clothes order!
Buy Less But Buy Better
As a fashion blogger, I’m extremely conscious of the impacts of fast fashion and the damage to the environment our clothing obsession causes – and yet a huge part of my job is showing new clothing and working with brands. Moving forward, I’m making a conscious effort of encouraging my audience to buy less, but buy better. Avoid pieces that you’ll wear a few times and then either discard or forget about, because it was a ‘one hit wonder’ or the quality wasn’t up to scratch. It’s so much more economical and environmentally friendly to buy fewer pieces, but spend a little more time and money investing in higher quality pieces that you’ll wear year after year. I’m switching the ‘buy buy buy’ mentality on my YouTube channel to a more educational approach, hopefully educating my audience on how to seek out those higher quality classic pieces, and encourage a more conscious approach to shopping and getting more out of your wardrobe.
The Power of your Purse
It’s no secret that when the big companies shift their mentalities toward more eco friendly options, it makes a huge impact. By choosing to spend our hard earned money with brands who are making more of an effort, we have the ability to make an impact, and encourage more brands to make a change. Already, so many of my favourite brands within the beauty space are realising that sustainability is hugely important to our generation, and they know we are switching our buying habits in order to support the brands that show that they care. One of my favourite beauty brands that’s always been incredible conscious of being as respectful and sustainable as possible is L’Occitane, and now they’ve partnered with TERRACYCLE to provide collection and recycling for beauty and skincare products in their boutiques. In order to prevent our used products from ending up in landfills, just take your used up emptied from any beauty brand into the stores, including lip balms, fragrances, deodorants, shampoos etc, and L’Occitane will give you 10% off a full sized product as a way of saying thank you! Find out more here.
Another beauty brand, REN, are using 100% recycled plastic for their new products, with some using Ocean Plastic too; again partnering with TERRACYCLE, their Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium range contains 20% Ocean Plastic as part of their packaging – I hope this continues across more of their range in the future too!
I’d love to know if you’ve made any Eco swaps lately, or if you’ve ever felt guilty about not doing enough?
Do you know of any brands doing great things for sustainability? Let me know in the comments below xoxo
What I Wore
Boots by LK Bennett
Sunglasses by Fendi
Bag by Chloe
Jumper by River Island
Coat by River Island