Wednesday 28 November 2018

5 easy ways to live more ethically at home (AD)

Climate change is real and scary and we are killing our planet no matter how you look at it, even if Donald Trump says it’s not true. I know you’ll have seen all over the place about not getting a plastic straw with your gin & tonic in the pub on a Friday night (even though most of the plastic in our waters is linked to the fishing industry) and stories about people going into supermarkets and tearing off plastic packaging to make a stand (even though that achieves nothing other than inconveniencing low-paid Tesco staff who are already overworked) – but I wanted to share some agonisingly simple ways you can do a little better by this planet we live on. And the best part is, you don’t even have to leave your house to do it! Thank you to Used Kitchen Exchange for partnering with me on this; they’re a company who recycle and re-sell used and ex-display kitchens so that they don’t just end up in landfill, which is really important.

live more ethically at home
An art installation in Bruges made from plastic waste
Skip meat whenever you can – meat is a leading factor when it comes to climate change, and while not everybody wants to give it up completely you can make a difference by just eating less of the stuff. Maybe opt for toast and cereal rather than a bacon butty in the morning, or have a vegetable lasagne for tea. There are some amazing alternatives to meat available now; I love Quorn Roast and genuinely prefer it to roast chicken, and Linda McCartney’s veggie sausage rolls (which are also suitable for vegans) are one of THE best foods out there. Ben & Jerry’s do a vegan ice cream now, and most supermarkets have their own meat-free range: Asda’s mac & cheese burgers and vegetable fingers are staples of my diet.

It can be so tempting to just flick the heating on when it gets cold but it’s expensive, bad for the environment and also bad for your health – I know that for me, central heating plays havoc with my eczema and it can also dehydrate your body, leading to stuff like sinusitis which is pretty gross. Make sure you have some good blankets and nice hoodies, fleecy socks and thick pyjamas, and you might not need to rely on the heating as much this winter. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to have a hot chocolate (or something stronger) right?

Have your food shop delivered, if this is something that's available to you. This can be awkward as there's often a minimum spend, but you could share with your housemate or neighbour and get around it this way. By getting your supermarket buys delivered, you're cutting down on the amount of cars that are driving to the supermarket - there's just one van doing, say, 10 deliveries rather than 10 cars going to and from the store.

live a more ethical lifestyle

Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products if you can; they can be a little bit more expensive but the amount of chemicals in conventional bleach and antibac spray from Poundland is outrageous - it's bad for your health AND the environment. Everyone is Mrs Hinch-mad at the moment, but take a step back and think about whether you really need all this stuff. Some of my favourites include the Ecoegg Laundry Egg (which I used at uni and also is fine for sensitive skin) and the Sunshine Blooms washing up liquid from Method, which comes in the most gorgeous packaging.

Batch cooking is something that is good for your bank balance, your portion control and also for the planet. Cook up a big chilli or curry, pop it in some tubs and whack it in the freezer. Make sure you label it (with what it is and when it was made) and then you're good to go. Get it out in the morning, leave it to defrost, then heat it up in the microwave when you get home. Quick and easy meals completely sorted. Using the microwave is actually much less environmentally damaging than repeatedly using a conventional oven every night, contrary to popular belief. Winner winner, batch-cooked dinner. Sorry. I'll see myself out.

There you have 5 easy-peasy ways to live more ethically without really having to leave your house. Let me know your tips in the comments, too!

Want some ethical gift ideas? CLICK HERE

This post was written in collaboration with Used Kitchen Exchange but
as always all words&thoughts are mine. Please see my disclaimer for more info.

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