The New Year has arrived and you’re probably wondering if the New Year’s resolutions you made last night, whilst having a cheeky wee drink, are realistic.
Did you pledge to never drive again, then this morning wake up realising you’re job requires you to drive? Doh!
Don’t panic or get disheartened, the good thing is you’re reading this blog which means you’re thinking of the environment and small changes which can have a positive impact on the planet.
Often the problem with wanting to become eco-friendly is knowing where to start so we, at Sansaar, have compiled a list of five things you can do to make this year an eco-friendly year for you.
1. Take the Veganuary Pledge
Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired and supported thousands of people to try veganism for the month of January and beyond.
You may wonder what veganism has to do with being eco-friendly so it’s useful to understand that meat, and other animal products, production is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
In their study Scarborough et al. found that dietary GHG emissions in self-selected meat-eaters are approximately twice as high as those in vegans and that it is likely that reductions in meat consumption would lead to reductions in dietary GHG emissions.
If you don’t feel ready to commit to veganism for a whole month try “Meat Free Mondays“. There are loads of helpful recipe books and websites. One of our favourites is Jack Monroe because she cooks on a budget and is from Essex.
Veganism isn’t just about food. There’s also skincare products, household products and clothes to think about. But don’t get too overwhelmed, just take things one step at a time.
Sansaar has a wide range of vegan products, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to.
2. Reduce your single use plastic consumption
Last year saw a huge growth in the awareness of plastic pollution and it’s detrimental effects on the environment. Plastic stays in the environment for ages. It breaks down into micro plastics, which toxins then stick to, and enters our waterways, food chain and threatens wildlife and humans.
In addition to this, most plastic is made from fossil fuels which are not eco-friendly.
It’s not easy to cut out plastic from all areas of your life but making small changes can make a big impact.
Pick what makes the biggest impact in your life, for example, do you have a takeaway coffee every morning on the train? Could you use a reusable cup instead of a single use cup?
Could you buy your fruit and veg plastic free? Sansaar has some lovely produce bags to help you with that.
3. Avoid fast fashion
The UN enivronment programme states that: “Fast fashion” describes the process whereby clothing is created quickly to adapt to trends, often using materials that can be harmful to the environment. These clothes don’t last long and quickly end up in landfills.
20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions is produced by the fashion industry, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined (UN envrionment programme).
The alternative to fast fashion is Sustainable fashion which has a number of different names: eco fashion, slow fashion, ethical fashion, fair fashion.
Sustainable fashion is a movement that wants to change the process of the fashion industry to make it less wasteful and to stop modern day slavery. This means looking at the supply chains, ensuring materials used is cruelty free and eco-friendly as well as ensuring that tragedies like Rana Plaza never happen again.
Easy ways to avoid fast fashion are to buy second hand. There are so many choices of second hand shops now: Oxfam; British Heart Foundation; ebay; shpock, to name a few.
If you’re looking for jewellery, there are loads of jewellers using recycled materials. One of our favourites is Readorn London.
Etsy and nuMonday also have lots of makers that use recycled materials.
4. Go to an Eco Event
There are loads of eco events popping up all over the place that you can treat yourself to. Learn new skills, share eco-friendly ideas and meet like minded people!
Sansaar is often at vegan markets, in particular the ones run by Vegan Markets UK.
5. Join a local Eco Group
For help with eco-friendly ideas and to share tips and tricks, join a local eco group. There are loads on Facebook such as: Plastic Free and Friendly; War on Plastic; Plastic-free living tips; Eco Essex; Accidentally Vegan UK; Sustainable Steps.
So, there you have it. Our five simple eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions. Enjoy the journey, meet new people and make changes that at first may seem small but help to make a big impact!