I never really cared about the environment that much growing up but the more I learn, I can no longer be ignorant. Although ignorance is bliss, climate change isn’t.
A vegan diet is absolute key to save the planet but there are also plenty of other ways to help out mother nature. I try my absolute best to do everything I can to save the environment but as always progress not perfection. These 5 things are only a few ways to have a positive contribution, you can always do more! But doing something is better than nothing!
So, here goes.
1. THRIFT SHOPPING
Not only is thrift shopping super cheap, it does wonders for the environment. Instead of buying new clothes, buy secondhand to reduce waste. You can pick up some really cool things from op shops and not only will you be donating to charity, you’ll be guaranteed to be buying pieces guilt free.
I have no hesitation buying from an unethical brand when it comes from an op shop. Why? Well you are in no way supporting their business by buying it from an op shop. I guess through advertising yes but you are revitalising a piece of clothing that may have just been thrown out anyway.
Some vegans will also buy animal byproducts such as leather and wool from op shops for the same reasons, not contributing to the industry. However I’m happy enough with faux.
Image credit: Oranges and Apples via Pinterest
There are plenty of amazing op shops around, particularly in Melbourne. I can’t go past the op shops in Chapel Street Windsor, the Brunswick area and any Savers Opportunity Shops.
2. TOTE BAGS OVER PLASTIC BAGS
The time of the dreaded plastic bag needs to end. Plastic bags impact on so many aspects of our planet and not in a good way! To start, plastic bags are not biodegradable which means they will only decompose after 20 to 1000 years and the remnants seep into the earth, damaging the soil. Plastic bags also tend to make their way into waterways due to their ability to float in air and water. This litter is not only unappealing to the eye but endangers wildlife
According to Clean Up Australia about 50 million plastic bags enter the litter stream in Australia every year!
The solution is simple. Stop using plastic bags.
I use a tote bag when I’m out shopping, they are cheap and reliable. Even supermarkets these offer cooler bags or ‘green bags’ for shopping. If you are using recyclable plastic bags, make sure you actually recycle them or it becomes counter productive.
I actually have my own ‘EAT ALL THE PLANTS’ tote bag as pictured… if you’re interested in one, let me know.
3. BIODEGRADABLE TOOTHBRUSHES
Now this is something that didn’t cross my mind until I saw an Instagram post a little while back. Tooth Brushes are something we use a lot of. They are plastic and we replace our tooth brushes (well, meant to) every few months. Considering this, how many toothbrushes do you think are thrown out every year in Australia? Try 30 million
“In Australia, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of by Australians each year, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year. The plastic they’re made of won’t break down in our lifetime. Nor within the lifetime of our children. Imagine that on a global scale.” – The Environmental Tooth Brush
As soon as I realised this, I went searching for my new toothbrush and came across the Environmental Toothbrush. They are 100% biodegradable, vegan friendly and BPA free. They are even compostable and are made from sustainably sourced bamboo. I’m not sure if smelling good is a feature but the bamboo smells absolutely amazing and so fresh! The best part is that they break down after two years! Not to mention super affordable as well! You can get 12 brushes for $36 with free shipping from within Australia. It works out to be $3 a tooth-brush which is below the average price from one in the supermarket!
There are plenty of other brands out there which work all the same but click here to check out the Environmental Toothbrushes’ Website. Again you’ll be saving money but also saving the planet
4. BUYING IN BULK TO REDUCE PACKAGING
These days so many products are absolutely covered in packaging. It’s just simply thrown away and either infects the ecosystem or is buried on the ground to decompose in a 100 years. Other than buying whole foods that don’t need packaging (fruit and veg), buying in bulk is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic bought. Unless the good is packaged individually as well as holistically of course.
Costco is a great place to get your bulk shop on as well as The Source. The Source is top-notch when it comes to reducing waste as they allow you to bring your own containers to buy nuts, seeds, dried fruit, flours and much more.
Even if you make the tiniest change to the amount of packaging that you are using, it is a start and it is something to build upon. It’s definitely something you should be considering and if you’re someone who doesn’t want products in bulk, support brands that provide sustainable packaging!
5. USING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY RE-USEABLE DRINK BOTTLES AND COFFEE CUPS
This is a super common and super simple thing to do yet even I still struggle to make this a habit.
The average person has 2 coffees day. Lets say they do this every single day give or take a few. That is 730 coffee cups wasted in a whole year for just one person. How ridiculous?! Don’t even get me started on water! We spend $5 on a plastic bottle of water that we shortly throw out after when instead we could be using our own drink bottles and fill them up for practically nothing?
What a joke!
Its time to start bringing in your own coffee cups and water bottles! Save not only your wallet but your impact on the earth. There is some super groovy water bottles and coffee cups out there and my favourite when it comes to water is the memo bottle! Check it out here. It can literally slide into any bag due to it’s slim body and you can get them in paper sizes! An A5 size is perfect!
If you can manage to even adopt one of this strategies, then good on you! Although the best way to reduce major damage to the environment is veganism, these are small changes which can help you being your journey on becoming the best version of yourself for not only this planet but simply just for you.
Let me know what you think!
Be the best version of yourself and eat all the plants,
*I am not sponsored or being paid by any of the brands or business’ mentioned*