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How You CAN Make A Difference To This Planet, Even If You’re Useless

Fuck my life, Blue Planet has knocked me hard. Has it done the same to you?

Whilst I sit there, gorging on a meaty Pizza, being endlessly delivered in cardboard boxes, drinking copious amounts of Diet Coke from my single-use plastic bottles with my non-energy saving lamp on, I really feel like saving the planet.

But them I remember I am bloody useless.

Sometimes I forget to recycle. Or leave the bathroom fan on too long after stinking it out with Veet. Sometimes I take plastic bags when my simple hands would suffice. Occasionally I leave my Macbook on Stand-By because shutting it down would mean I can't mindlessly scroll Twitter.

And as I do, or neglect to do these things, I wonder if changing how I operate is really worth all of the hassle. Because really - by turning the tap off mid-face wash - am I really doing all that much?

Turns out I am.

As it also turns out, no matter how useless you are, there are some small 'ethical' changes you could make to work towards saving this gorgeous planet and those abnormally cute penguins and shit.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not writing this post a-top my lofty world-changing perch, I'm writing it as someone who is truly abysmal at being ethical but as someone who really really wants to feel like they've tried.

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Rewind back to 2015. I didn't know what recycling was as I thought everything just got dumped together anyway.

There's was no such thing as food wastage as I'd either stuff myself sick or think nothing of throwing stuff away.

Leaving the TV on night after night was a necessity for sleep - regardless of my parent's energy bill.

It's safe to say that when it comes to ethical living, I was bloody useless. It's safe to say that even now I'm still a bit rubbish BUT I have recognised that I want to be less rubbish so have begun to make small changes.

I speak about this in my post on Ethical Influencing and how we can do our bit by being ethical in many ways if you fancy a read but also...

If, like me, you want to live more ethically but going full vegan seems way to hard, here are some things I do to make a change.

Carry A Canvas Bag

As a blogger, I am fortunate enough to receive tons of PR packages or goodie bags that come with canvas bags. That old cupboard in everyone's houses that stores carrier bags? Mine now stores the canvas variety.

When I go to work or out anywhere, I roll one up and stick it in my bag - I then don't ever need to use a plastic one. We've all seen Blue Planet and how those poor, defenceless Albatross regurgitate the plastic into their babies mouths - don't let it be something you've used to carry tampons and avocados.

Coffee Cup To Keep

Hands up if you're a fully formed demi-gorgon if you've neglected a morning coffee? Whereas I used to pick up a cup every morning - I now carry a permanent one that I hand over to the baristas each time. Some coffee shops even let you save money if you do this.

I would say that's more money to spend in Primark but our growing consumption of fast clothes is hardly ethical - SEE, TOLD YOU, USELESS.

Switch Out Some Meat

TRUST ME. This gal grew up on one food group and one food group only - BEIGE. If it wasn't bacon, sausage or any form of chicken it just wasn't a meal.

I've watched Cowspiracy and What The Health and whilst I would really really really love to go vegan, I do enjoy food quite a lot and a lot of that enjoyment comes from my meaty favourites.

HOWEVER I have made some changes. I don't eat meat for lunch EVER. Falafel wraps, quiches and pastas are where it's at.

For dinner I will use a Quorn alternative where possible. Because the mince is better than beef and the chicken pieces can be easily soaked in a delicious sauce.

And those Linda McCartney sausages may taste slightly fake but once they're dowsed in gravy and smushed up into a hug with their mash bae, you'd never know the difference.

Cutting Energy Usage

Anything I'm not immediately using gets turned off at the plug as soon as I am done. Again, not a huge help when the city of Las Vegas burns about 5747385 light bulbs a day but at least I feel good.

I try not to leave lamps on for ages or the TV on longer than necessary which is bloody hard when a 12 hour Netflix binge is ALWAYS NECESSARY, but y'know.

A couple of other things I could do are - cutting down my single-use plastic by not buying allll the Diet Cokes or insisting all my veg must be wrapped (there is a thing called washing). I could also buy a wooden toothbrush as those plastic bastards are a planet-killer and I could stop wasting all of my money on fast-fashion, but I'm taking it in baby-steps.

If you think you'd like to live more ethically but worry you're not making a difference if you're not going full vegan YOU ARE AND DON'T BE DISSUADED.

If anyone else is living a more ethical life in 2018, I'd love to hear your tips on how you're doing!

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11 Comments
  • Nicola Masters
    December 11, 2017

    Love this! I live by the sea and the plastic I’m forever picking up at the beach makes me sad, but then I go home and pour shampoo out of a plastic bottle and I know I’m no better than the people I’m tutting at. My aim for 2018 is to go plastic free. I have a feeling it’ll be tricky.

  • Laila
    December 12, 2017

    ????????????

  • Jay
    December 12, 2017

    Can’t put into words how much I loved this post. Blue Planet kicked me right in the feels too. The kid and I have started making changes at home. We made a lot of ethically good choices without really realising it (mostly because I’m tight and don’t want to pay for electricity and water we’re not using) but It wasn’t until I really got in to recycling that I realised how many plastics can’t be recycled ? I’m trying to take it one step at a time but it’s like when your eyes are open, they are open and I want to stop using micro beads, only use ethically sorced palm oil, save the bees … basically I want to save it all xxx

    http://www.jayxoblogs.co.uk

  • Ellie Patterson
    December 12, 2017

    If that clip in Blue Planet of the whale carrying it’s newborn calf that has died due to plastic pollution didn’t hit you in the feels.. I honestly don’t know what would.

    I definitely need to put some of these into practice. Especially turning off lights when I leave rooms and turning the tv off when I decide to watch something on my laptop.. rather than sticking it on mute. Oh.. and re-using bags! You would think I was keeping them to make a plastic bag quilt if you saw the number i have collected in the last few months.

    I’m lucky in that flat has a normal bin and a big recycling bin that you can chuck everything in and don’t need to sort through first.

  • Lisa
    December 12, 2017

    I am definitely more aware of the environment and a more ethical living than I was a few years ago. I am vegetarian and lactose-intolerant, which often results in cooking vegan dishes, anyway, although I am not actively following a vegan diet – I still use honey and eggs, for example. I’ve been carrying my own canvas bags with me for years now, which I never realised was a good step towards a better environment. I still occasionally fuck up and buy a takeaway coffee in a paper cup or only take my smallest handbag and end up buying a 5p plastic bag, but for the most part, I think I’m doing alright here – there’s always room for improvement, though!

  • Laura
    December 12, 2017

    Couldn’t agree more with this post!
    Canvas bags or just foldable ones for your bag are a must! I still have to include the cap in my routine, the only thing stopping me right now is how much stuff I need to carry with me everyday, I’ll never be the lady with a small handbag.
    As per the meat… Oh I do love meat, but now I only eat it 2-3 times per week and I’ve become more conscious about which meat I buy (bye Tesco meat…).
    I would add one more tip to this post: never buy bottled water again. Bottled water has a massive impact on the enviroment, from how it is “harvested” to the tons of pastic disposable bottles in the world. Carry a water bottel with you, nowadays there are a lot of water fountains to fill them up.

    That’s all, and this is also coming from someone pretty rubbish at all this conscious stuff, but I am trying, one step at a time…

    xXx
    Laura
    https://unspeakablethoughtsunspoken.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Lucy
    December 13, 2017

    Yes, I love this! It’s so important to just be mindful of the little things and make the changes we are able to make rather than being overwhelmed by the enormity of potential change and deciding to go for nothing rather than all. If we start off by trying to make these little bits habits, we can slowly work our way towards living a more ethical life. Buying ethical clothing is a big one too! We’re really lucky in Exeter to have an awesome shop called Sancho’s Dress which does amazing ethical fashion and gifts (you can order online too haha, cheeky plug for my fave shop!) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  • Abi Street
    December 14, 2017

    I have definitely been thinking more about my ethical choices recently and am going to start making more ethical swaps to try to somewhat help. I love your honesty in this

    Abi | abistreetx

  • Shauna
    December 14, 2017

    I absolutely adored this post Vix! I think these are amazing steps that anyone can take to help our beautiful planet out a bit more and I absolutely adore how you’re promoting it and bringing light to the topic. Thank you!!

    Shauna | http://diariesofadramatic.com

  • Steph Dring
    December 16, 2017

    I feel like I’m one of the only people who hasn’t seen Blue Planet…
    But I agree with this post and I really try but I’m just so forgetful!

  • Alice
    December 18, 2017

    As an environmental consultant this makes me happy, but it also shows how if everyone made the effort to make just a few small changes, overall the difference would be extraordinary! alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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