Let's talk.. Reducing your carbon footprint


Today's post is a little different...I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart at the moment.. As a plant based vegan, I truly care about the environment, it's not 100% about the animals or my health for me, although that's where it stemmed from.

After watching a few documentaries (something Harry and I love to do) I began to think more about my carbon footprint and the waste I create on a daily basis. One main thing is PLASTIC. We don't even think about how much plastic we use and dispose of in a day. As I carried on with my life as normal I tried to remember to document everything I do on a daily basis that includes plastic. Here's what I found:

- FOOD SHOPPING: As a vegan I purchase mainly fruit and vegetables in the supermarket on my weekly shop and I buy a lot. The plastic produce bags are of course something that get used once and then thrown away. Something I still don't understand, food and fresh produce all wrapped in plastic and lots of free plastic produce bags available but yet they charge you for a plastic bag at the checkout.
- RESTAURANTS: Straws.. Are hugely damaging for the environment. Take out containers are another one that a lot of people don't think about.
-PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES: This one speaks for itself. I was buying plastic bottle after plastic bottle, for the beach, for the gym, at work. I must have had 15 plastic water bottles in my car at one time, even some restaurants serve water in plastic bottles.
- BINS: Another thing dawned on me.. Even if I recycle, the "organic food waste" is wrapped in plastic bin bags..
- CLEANING PRODUCTS: This is one I was amazed at. Everything we flush down our sinks, washing machines, toilets (not human excrement that is), showers. Is toxic for our oceans and our surrounding environment.
- DIET: This is a touchy subject but there are a few documentaries that touch on this subject and how eating a plant based diet not only does wonders for your health but also helps the environment. 

So, I started looking into ways I could reduce all this waste..

For plastic produce bags, I purchased off Amazon some reusable mesh produce bags from earthwise. There are several different types but these are just the ones I have. Also making sure to have reusable bags with you for the checkout. Also, trying to avoid any fruit and vegetables pre-wrapped in plastic, maybe try shopping at the local farmers market!

For straws, first off, we aren't children, we don't need straws, but yes, I myself enjoy drinking through straws and I am also aware of the fact that lots of bars and restaurants use things like mason jars to serve their drinks. So I purchased these reusable stainless steel straws from amazon, you can buy reusable plastic ones, silicone ones, different coloured ones, so either purchase some of these and carry them around in your handbag or simply just say "no straw please" when ordering your drinks! When it comes to eating out or getting food delivery, either carry a tupperware with you to take home any leftovers or try reusing your take away containers as much as possible, or just simply stop ordering take out.

Plastic water bottles, is a simple thing. Buy a reusable one. I know here in Spain the tap water isn't really drinkable so a lot of us purchase large bottles of water, this is ok, I still do it myself, but maybe we can look into water filtration systems for our homes. Also, before ordering water in a restaurant, ask if they are glass bottles or plastic, not only is plastic bad for the environment but it's bad for our health too!

Obviously recycling is a must but if you want to go that little extra mile, I purchase 10L compostable bin bags that I use to put my rubbish in, just to try reduce as much plastic produced and thrown away, why on earth do we use plastic bin bags in the first place?!

Cleaning products are a funny one, I never realised how damaging cleaning products were on the environment. They advertise all day long on the tv, all these fantastic products but of course don't tell us the effects they have on our planet. There are a few brands out there that do biodegradable cleaning products that I've come across and that are accessible to me here in Spain. At first I purchased Dr. Bronners 18 in-one magic soap it claims you can use it for everything, cleaning, mopping, dishes, clothes washing, even washing your body and hair, I tried it for all of these and whilst it does the job it's not hugely enjoyable, it didn't "foam up" so to speak.. another down side was the price, it was pretty expensive too. The second brand I tried was a brand called Ecover, and I cannot fault them, I've only used their liquid dish soap and their liquid washing detergent. You can order off their products off amazon, their website and I also found them in my local health food shop. They're affordable, the dish soap is extra soapy and they have great scents!

Overall I can say that I'm trying to take conscious decisions daily to try reduce my carbon footprint, and this is something that should be talked about more and something everyone should try do daily. 

If you're interested in learning more the documentaries I can recommend include; Cowspiracy, Before The Flood, Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice, Food Choices, A Plastic Ocean, What The Health, Forks Over Knives, are just a few that I would highly recommend. 

Are there things you do to reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact? 
Let me know!

-Darcy Victoria

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