5 Simple Steps For More Conscious Consumption

If you follow my Instagram, you might have noticed my quest to reduce packaging in order to be more conscious in the way I consume and the impact that it has on the environment. Since moving to my new flat, and changing the stores that I shop in, I noticed how much less packaging and food waste I was throwing away. Combined with some interesting articles, documentaries and conversations with friends, I am trying to make a real effort to think before I buy, particularly in the run up to the holiday season when gift giving means packaging, present wrapping and shopping like no other time of year!

I don’t know about you, but I found it kind of scary and overwhelming to learn more about the depreciation of the state of the planet and I struggled to know where to start. I wanted to make huge changes that seemed unachievable and beyond my means. I began to realise that there were some really simple, smaller steps that I could make a positive step. So I wanted to share a few simple steps that I am taking personally. I really believe we all have a responsibility to be as conscious as we can, and I am by no means perfect in this at all. But I am trying, a lot, and I would love to hear any tips you guys have for reducing the negative impact of my consumption on the world.

1)    Buy local and seasonal. Not only does it support local businesses and famers, but it can also be cheaper too because you only buy what you need, reducing waste and unnecessary purchases. Plus, smaller greengrocers don’t wrap individual aubergines or bunches of bananas like the supermarkets do. 

2)    Wrap gifts in recycled paper. I’m a big fan of giving ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’, just like the song, but you could go one step further and use magazines, newspapers or even go one step further and wrap gifts in neckerchiefs/scarfs – they look pretty and act as a bonus gift too.

3)    Reusable coffee cups. It is estimated that we use 2.5 billion coffee cups every year in the UK alone. And of these, only a tiny proportion are being recycled. Last month I bought a reusable coffee cup which I absolutely love. It is made from bamboo and really easy to carry round. I leave it in my bag, so always have it with me. And if for some reason I forget it, I try to think twice before ordering my hot drink, opting to sit in or save the spend for another time. This applies to plastic cutlery too. (Yes, I now carry a fork in my bag…).

4)    Look into green energy. I am currently in the process of switching my energy provider to someone that provides sustainable energy for my home. It’s not always the simplest process, and I am yet to know for sure how that will impact my bills but I will update you when I can, and it is a step I feel really strongly about.

5)    Eat less meat. I am not telling you to ‘go vegan’ or even vegetarian. I really believe we are all within our right to eat what we want, and most importantly to listen to the needs of our body. But if we can reduce the frequency of meat consumption by even one meal a week, we can have a huge impact on pollution, water consumption and many other variables associated with the production of meat.

LifestyleAnnie Clarke