You have probably seen awful images of plastic filling our oceans and scattered on beaches, straws stuck in the noses of turtles, and birds with stomachs full of bottle tops. It is utterly heartbreaking, and it's a problem that isn't likely to go away any time soon. Temperatures are rising, glaciers are melting, and CO2 emissions are in need of drastic reduction. This isn't something that has happened overnight, but it seems have reached a stage where people are finally starting to take notice. It can feel pretty bleak and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be a lost cause. If we all make some small changes, that's a good start. It certainly can't hurt to try, anyway. Here are some ideas of easy changes to start you on your eco-friendly journey:
On the go
Hair, face and body
Firstly, remember that although recycling is good, re-using is better. Even better still, is buying less in the first place! Ask yourself: 'do I really need this?' Avoiding unnecessary purchases will help your budget, and let's be honest, a lot of fast fashion gets worn a few times before languishing in the back of the wardrobe, or going in the bin.
Invest in clothes that you really love, buy second hand where you can, and give unwanted pieces to charity shops or clothes banks. If you're feeling super fancy, get on Pinterest and alter things you already have in your wardrobe. Try to use things up that you already have - makeup, skincare etc, rather than just buying more and more (I have been very guilty of this in the past in a desperate bid to cure my acne, but have settled into a routine that works and am trying my best to stick to it).
Get into the habit of rinsing and recycling food packaging, empty toiletries bottles etc. It's important to get clued up on what can be recycled in your local area - head to your local council website to find out what can go in the bin and what can't. If it's being throw away, you might as well take the extra second to make sure you put it into the right bin. Make the effort to recycle when you are out and about too. If I don't see a recycling bin I usually take things home with me.
Finally, the most important thing: do what you can, and encourage others to do the same. I am a big believer in the fact that doing something is better than doing nothing. Yes, there are some people who haven't bought high street clothing/fast fashion for 10 years, or produce only enough non-recyclable waste to fill a small jar each year, and that's great. But just because you aren't perfect, doesn't mean you aren't helping the fight against climate change. Many people making these small steps can have a big impact. If everyone reading the news thinks 'oh well, whatever I do won't make a difference', then we'll never get anywhere with global warming. Educate yourself, keep making more and more small changes and pass on your knowledge. We only have one planet, so let's start showing it that we care.