Five simple steps you can take to live a more sustainable life in 2019.
Shop fair trade and local.
The phrase fair-trade had been established in the public domain long before the recent headline trend of living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. The Fair trade arrangement was put in place so that producers in developing countries would be given a fair wage and social and environmental standards would improve. However, so many people and environments are still exploited for the products they produce and sell. One massive way to make sure that you are buying fair trade and sustainable is to shop locally. Meet the artists, the designers, the bakers, the growers who you are buying from and if you can't meet them make sure the owner has. Take time to understand the process and commitment that every product takes to create. Not only will you be supporting independent businesses or dreams as we like to call them, but we also believe you will be more selective and appreciative of the products you have around you.
Recycle & Up cycle
Recycle, up cycle, recycle. You know the drill and I know the drill. I am sure with most of you this will be preaching to the converted. I know personally, this is something that sits at the forefront of my mind when trying to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle. The long or short of it is anything that we don't actively try to reuse gets chucked into overflowing landfill or ends up in our beautiful oceans. So always just bear in mind what a difference every small piece of recycling makes for our planet. Now as they would say in yoga, here is the intimidate option. Try and eliminate one-use packaging altogether. Hit the fruit and veg market, this means no plastic wrapping and you can pop it straight in your bag for life. Head to specific supermarkets where you can refill your own containers. Stop putting bananas and oranges or in fact any fruit in those plastic bags, they quite literally come with their own little jackets. You catch my drift, in this category, less is always more!
Despite myself having a lifelong commitment to avocados and mangos. I am becoming increasingly aware that consistently eating these tropical delights, particularly year-round is not a sustainable way to live my life. I recently purchased a UK seasonal calendar and despite being worried that my diet would become more limited I have actually found that my range of meals and flavours has hugely increased. As a vegetarian, I am continuously looking for more interesting meals; having the challenge of cooking a meal with particular fruit or veg has made me discover a whole host of new recipes. I tend to find that the earth knows better than us what we need nutritionally, so when you start eating seasonally, your body begins to gage a real understanding of feeling nutritionally balanced.
Buying bottled water must be up there with one of the most financially and sustainably draining products for the world and your wallet. Water is important, yes but plastic is not. Nowadays there is a host of beautiful and practical bottles that you can carry around with you. Fashion conscience? Why not purchase a beautiful colourful creation? Dislike all plastic? Go for a glass or metal bottle. Many of the metal ones can also often double up as a handy thermos. Like the gym? Every brand, label and gym produce their own easy use bottles for your everyday needs. The other question used to be, what happens when it's empty and I'm thirsty? That's when the Refill app comes into play, this fab little app shows you the location of business who have agreed to fill your reusable bottle for free. They are simply doing their bit for the world and being really great humans like you will be too with your new bottle!
For the bees
Turns out our little black and yellow friends are extremely important for the planet and as key pollinators; the decline of bees also threatens our food and economy. There are many ways you can protect our important pollinators. Firstly, is not harming them. There are many people who suffer from fear of bees. However, they have no intention to hurt you. People fear what they don't understand, so the more you learn the quicker the fear disappears. Secondly, if you do happen to find an injured or tired bee, there are steps you can take to revive it. The RSPB advice is to mix two tablespoons of white granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water and place it next to the bee on a plate or spoon. Now, this may seem like a lot of effort, but I personally feel it is a small sign of gratitude that we can show them for the benefits that we receive daily from having them around. Finally, plant seeds. It doesn't matter if you have meadows or a garden or a modest window box, plant wildflower seeds and enjoy the beauty and the kindness that grows in front of you.