To celebrate this year’s Earth Day, the Swansea Conservation and Ecology Society have put together a few lifestyle tips that you can follow to do your part for the environment. We’ll be focusing on food substitution ideas and reasons why thrifting for clothing is important. We hope you choose to incorporate these ideas into your everyday life!
Swap to Plant Based Foods!
One of the simplest ways you can become more eco-conscious is to swap some of your every-day food choices to plant-based, homemade items. Instead of having a takeaway, you could prepare meals with fresh ingredients. By not ordering out, you reduce plastic waste by avoiding packaging as well as reducing carbon emissions.
Here’s a small list of things you can exchange whilst prepping your meals:
- Swap cow milk for plant milk such as oat or almond milk.
According to a recent study by Ercin et al (2012), cow’s milk has three times more of a negative environmental impact than any other plant substitute milk. The best plant-based milk substitutes are almond milk and oat milk as they produce the lowest carbon emissions in comparison to cow’s milk or even soy milk. Using these instead of cow’s milk will help lower your carbon footprint massively.
- Swap beef mince for lentils.
Cows produce a mass of methane and require a lot of land to graze on. Clearing land for cattle farms causes large areas of forest to be cut down. Swapping mince for lentils in your diet is a great idea, as they not only give you a good source of protein but also reduce your impact on the environment.
- Choose plant-based snacks to eat.
A super easy way to help the environment is to substitute processed, fatty snacks for plant-based treats. Why not think about trying some dried fruits, nuts or carrot sticks with hummus? These little swaps will make a big impact in the long run.
- Choose local produce from market stalls or local suppliers.
Swapping supermarket food for locally produced and sourced goods not only supports local businesses but also reduces the amount of miles travelled to transport your food, decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
If you’d rather keep your food choices the way they are, another way you can help the environment is by fighting fast fashion. Here are a few reasons why you should thrift more:
Reasons Why Thrifting is Awesome!
- It’s good for the environment.
The UK is the fourth largest producer of textile waste in Europe, according to a new study by LABFRESH. The study found each Briton throws away approximately 3.1kg of textiles every year, and that 1.7kg of fashion waste is landfilled yearly per person! By choosing preloved items over newly produced pieces, you’re shrinking your carbon footprint. Furthermore, you are limiting the amount of natural resources it takes to create new fabric, make the clothing, and ship it hundreds or thousands of miles to the store.
- It’s good for your wallet.
The UK clothing industry is the third largest in Europe. The aforementioned study found that the average British consumer spends £980,50 a year on new clothes. Most thrift stores and charity shops offer very low prices compared to their retail counterparts.
- It can help your community.
Second-hand clothes and other goods found in our charity and vintage shops are locally sourced. Giving money to your local shops puts it right back in your local community.
Most second-hand stores in Swansea are from big charities like Cancer Research, Oxfam and the British Heart Foundation; but also more local charities like Cats Protection – Swansea.
- It can be more ethical.
The harsh reality surrounding mass production is that it often comes at the cost of human rights. Child labour is a particular issue for fashion because much of the supply chain requires low-skilled labour and some tasks are better suited to children than adults. For instance, in cotton picking, employers prefer to hire children for their small fingers which do not damage the crop.
- Helps you become more creative.
Unleash your creativity and discover your own unique style! Stand out from the crowd. You have to get creative and think outside the box when you shop secondhand. It’s an exciting challenge to style something old to look new.