5 Amazing Books On The Environment/Sustainability

I’ve always been a massive bookworm and pretty happy to read books on any subject, but as I’ve become more interested in environmental issues & the outdoor world I’ve been reading more on those kinds of topics. Varying from books about wildlife & plants, to sustainable cities and ethical businesses – here are 5 books I’ve read (some a few times) and that I would totally recommend reading.

DISCLAIMER:

*The following links are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase anything from them I do get commission. But considering I’d promote these anyway I think it’s fair for me to do that! It means I can keep my blog up and running if anyone clicks & buys!*

1. Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

This book really astounded me, as oblivious as I was to how important bees were for the planet I really didn’t know whether this was going to be an interesting read or not. As a matter of fact I couldn’t actually put this book down, it’s really engaging throughout and the author doesn’t go into too much detail about actual bee species so it’s literally suitable for anybody.

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3 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Household Waste

If you’re looking into a zero-waste lifestyle but you don’t know where to start then I have some really easy tips for you! Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to go zero-waste, it’s an amazing thing to do and you’re definitely on the right path by even considering it. I’m not fully zero-waste but I do try my best. So here are 5 ways you can start out with and I hope these are helpful to you!

1. Find a minimal packaging shop near you!

A shop such as wholefoods, bin inn or little independent farm shops often have zero-waste areas where we can fill up our containers with certain kinds of food such as

  • Porridge oats
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Raisins/other dried fruit

The list actually goes on! Just give a wee google for shops like this in your surrounding area, then find some old jars or plastic containers in your house and start using these instead of buying new boxes of food all the time! This really reduces your household waste, can be cheaper and is way better for the environment.

2. Use reusable face pads instead of single use face wipes!

We can’t flush facial wipes down the toilet – which I know a lot of people still do – but this is so bad for the planet, since it probably goes straight to the sea. It’s also not great to throw face wipes in the bin since they aren’t even recyclable.

Instead, you can use reusable face-pads or a muslin cloth. You can easily buy these off of Amazon or other zero-waste websites. Just use hot water and soap to take off your make-up, or you can buy a natural cleanser as well to help get your skin really clean.

3. Grow your own herbs!

I’ve started to grow my own herbs in the garden. The plastic packaging on herbs in the supermarket isn’t actually necessary when you can just buy seeds from your local garden centre in a paper package instead. It’s usually cheaper or around the same price anyway, but you’ll get more for your money since you can keep growing them outside. It’s an amazing thing to start doing because you can dry the herbs or keep them fresh depending on what you’d like to do with them. I really recommend growing your favourite herbs, you can even do it inside as long as you put them near a window so they’re getting enough sunlight. Also when you buy herbs in plastic packaging I find you end up not using all of it up before it goes off!

So there you have 3 simple ways you can get started with reducing your food waste! Let me know if you do any of these or if you plan to start!

Eco-Friendly Period Products in the UK!

**I was gifted these products but am reviewing them because I genuinely love them and know that some of my readers would too

The idea of having an environmentally friendly period sounds a little bit strange, but if you’re an avid user of the leading brand tampons & pads then it’s likely you’re going to use over 10,000 single use period products in your life-time!!

Tampons are made of plastic!

Did you also realise that these leading brands of sanitary products are mostly made of plastic & other synthetic products? The plastic that we know is so damaging to the environment & takes years and years to degrade, but we are continuing to put that in or near one of the most fragile parts of our body? Doesn’t make much sense does it!

The Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups are one of the best things to solve this problem, there are so many brands out there to try that it can be a bit confusing which to choose!

Also, lots of people haven’t yet transitioned onto a menstrual cup. If you have a heavier period it can be a bit scary trying to use one of these! So another way to change to an eco-friendly alternative is a new brand of premium hygiene sustainable period products in the UK called grace & green.

Grace & Green

Grace & Green is a company based in the UK and is focused on giving women premium period products which are:

  • Organic
  • Very sustainable
  • Ethically made
  • Biodegradable

Here are the products which arrive in a box, to your door! You can order on a one off or monthly/quarterly subscription service. The packaging is gorgeous and discrete making it perfect for carrying around in your bag & travelling with.

Some facts about grace & green

If you look on her website, you can find loads of information about the company & their values. Here are some of the main points which I LOVE about this company:

What I personally like about the products

  1. They are literally as good as other brands which don’t produce environmentally friendly products
  2. The pads & liners are comfy & absorb really well!
  3. Just less waste involved – no plastic applicators and minimal packaging!

So if you’re looking for a new alternative to period products – check out this brand & if you do try it let me know what you think in the comments/if you’re aiming to have a more environmentally friendly period 😁😁 xxx

Veganism – Is It As Sustainable As We Think?

First of all I’d like to clarify I’m not an expert on this topic, however I have been doing a lot of research on this lately and so just want to put my views across – this is my personal opinion and feel free to comment on this if you feel differently! I also don’t want this to make anyone feel bad, it’s just to add a new angle on current issues!

 

 

The Increasing Trend of Veganism

In recent years, veganism has taken off and is pretty much on an exponential increase in the UK. In my opinion overall this is an amazing thing to be happening – why? Because it raises awareness of the environmental, ethical & health issues arising from eating factory farmed meat and dairy products in people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested. More and more people are transitioning to plant-based milks, cheese and meat instead of the real thing because they now realise the damage these huge industrial farms are causing. However, after being vegan for quite a while myself (I’m not anymore) I started to notice things that personally I wasn’t happy with.

Processed Vegan Products

I noticed that being so dedicated to veganism was actually making me eat more processed food than I would have prior to going vegan. A lot of the meat substitutes in supermarkets have a lot of added stabilisers & flavourings, and although it is possible to just go for dried or tinned legumes & tofu – can we thrive off of these whilst getting everything we need in? Obviously this is on a case by case basis, whilst veganism might work for one person, it might not work for another. I think it would just be unrealistic to say that everybody should be vegan though. For example, women who suffer from anaemia around the time of their period?

Haem & Non-Haem Iron

The iron in plants (non-haem) is said to not be as easily absorbed as the iron in meat products (haem). So women who are suffering from this health problem might actually benefit from eating red meat – maybe grass fed beef – around this time. Now I’m not saying that we should all be eating red meat, but I think it’s important to put your health first & foremost and then your beliefs second. How are we going to make a difference if we can’t function physically & mentally as human beings?

Documentaries

Another thing I realised is that a lot of the amazing documentaries out there sort of apply mostly to the USA and Australia. I’m from Scotland, and actually if you’re buying organic meat and produce from here, chances are the animals have been treated as well as they possibly could before they are sent for slaughter (in a lot of cases). There is absolutely no excuse for animal abuse and I feel sick at the thought of any animals being treated badly. At the same time – how is this any different to the human beings who work on the soy farms in Asia working long days in the heat, to go home with almost zero cash in their pockets? However I am completely aware of the issues the fishing industry is having on the environment, and the huge amounts of by-catch that happens as a result of the fishing industry. But it’s impossible to cover everything in this one post so I’ll talk about that another time…

Can we win?

My point here is we have to pick our battles, as consumers we have a lot of power. By only demanding ethical (as possible) products then the big businesses need to supply us with that. Already we are seeing big changes with a lot of powerful companies promising to stop animal testing and bring out vegan ranges/products. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and I think we should all just go on our own journeys. One person might want to reduce their plastic waste and not be vegan whilst the other might start growing their own vegetables & herbs in the garden and eat organic meat. This is all okay! Don’t follow something because you feel like you have to, instead do your own research and find out what works best for your lifestyle. I can guarantee it’s making a positive difference and you’re winning with these small changes.

Is it sustainable to be vegan?

It completely depends on what your take on sustainability is… as I said before, if you don’t feel it’s sustainable for you and you’re not functioning properly on a vegan diet then don’t feel you have to do it. If it isn’t sustainable for you, then that’s the first thing you need to take into consideration. In terms of environmental sustainability, it probably is one of the better options but the Mediterranean diet has also been proven to be quite healthy & sustainable. To sum up – going vegan isn’t the ONLY option to becoming more sustainable, if you can’t do it then find other ways that do work for you & your family! Put you first!