With the current ‘Extinction Rebellion’ Cambridge action taking place in Cambridge, it is hard to not have the Climate Crisis ingrained in our collective consciousness. Indeed, it is easy to feel powerless in the face of plastic pollution, extreme weather, and record breaking temperatures. As individuals, there are small actions we can take to reduce our plastic waste and carbon footprints. For those of you who do not fancy digging up college lawns, collated here are the changes I have made over the past couple of years to reduce my environmental impact. These suggestions should all be relatively easy to enact without too much disruption to your lifestyle.
1. Solid Hand Soap
Cut back your waste by swapping out liquid soap and their plastic dispensers for bars of solid soap. This is a simple change to make and solid soap is often cheaper and lasts longer.
2. Solid Face Wash
Along a similar line to my first tip, solid face washes can really help you cut back on plastic. I bought a bar from Lush last year and I am still using it now. Kiko also have a face cleansing bar called Green Me which is only £4.19 on their website.
3. Nu Wardrobe
Why buy a new dress for a May Ball which you will only wear once when you can hire one instead. Fast fashion is a real problem for the environment. The Nu Wardrobe aims to empower people to reduce the environmental impact of fashion by letting you borrow clothes that already exist in our communities. This could be your May Ball fashion lifeline.
4. Swap meat for Quorn
If you’re making a pasta sauce, why not try Quorn instead of meat? Or use tofu in a stir-fry instead of chicken? Swapping out meat for meat-free alternatives is a really good way of reducing your environmental impact and you can explore lots of exciting new recipes. Sainsbury’s has a good range of vegetarian options – their veggie shroomdogs are absolutely amazing and they have lots of frozen options that are worth a browse.
A new study has shown that a standard packet of sanitary towels contains as much plastic as five carrier bags. Tampons are bought wrapped in plastic, encased in plastic applicators (even switching to tampons with cardboard applicators could be a good step), and many even include a thin layer of plastic in the absorbent part. Mooncups are the perfect solution to all of this plastic waste. They last for years and once you get the hang of them, which can take a bit of time, they are reliable; they do not leak and you can use them overnight.
6. Ditch Cotton Pads
Cotton is a particularly water intensive crop. Instead of using cotton pads to take off your makeup, try a makeup remover cloth. You can use them with your current cleanser, or just with water, and they work very well to take off your makeup. Tala has one made from recycled materials but you can also pick one up from TKMaxx.