Sometimes making the smallest changes can be enough.
When it feels like the world is going to Hell in a handbasket, it can feel like nothing but big, dramatic efforts will do in the fight against climate change, pollution, rare species extinction, etc. etc. etc.
But as individuals, we can't always manage the big, dramatic efforts. Firstly, they can be quite expensive. And then there's the effort... Sometimes it's hard enough just to get out of bed, and sometimes it's enough to feel like we're trying. A little bit here and there that, if employed by absolutely everyone, actually could become a big, dramatic effort.
If you're looking for some small ways to make a difference on a daily basis, you've come to the right place.
Scroll on to learn more.
A quick rundown of easy swaps
Rather than changing your lifestyle, your job, or your personality, let's take a look at ten quick and easy swaps that you could make to reduce your impact and relieve the guilt that you're scrolling on your phone rather than off saving the penguins (no shade - us too!).
1. Swap your liquid soap for a bar
Shipping water is pretty unnecessary, costly, and wasteful. Liquid soaps feel more convenient and classy, and the FLC HQ has been guilty of succumbing to its temptations, but they contain around 80% water, in comparison to around 15% in a bar of soap. The liquids also often contain parabens and sodium laurel sulphate - it's worth a Google.
Loads of handmade soaps are SLS free, vegan, cold pressed and full of natural scents and moisturising properties. On top of that, you'll be able to find local makers to reduce the transit miles, and the packaging won't include all the plastic bottles and pumps that come with liquid soaps.
Our local favourites are Winter Washes and The Blissful Soap Company.
2. Swap your cling film for wax wrap
Or silicone covers. Or tupperware. Or a simple plate on top of a bowl...or keep your takeaway tubs, wash them out and use them again. Plenty of alternatives to buying more single use plastic - and most of them free (and less annoying than fiddly cling film!).
3. Tumble dry less
It's a pain for sure, and as the weather gets chillier and wetter it's much harder to dry clothes, but popping every second wash on the line, on a drying frame or on your radiators saves energy, money and fills the house with lovely clean laundry smells.
4. Make recycling easier for yourself
If you've got a spare bin or basket lying around, leave it handy in your bathroom to pop in all your recyclables and you'll be less likely to just chuck them in the bin for an easy life.
5. Reusable cups
They've been around a while now and, where we are in Stirling at least, are accepted (and encouraged) as much (if not more) in small independent coffee shops as in the big name cafés. It takes a slight shift in planning to bring a cup with you than to be given a paper one, but another bonus is you tend to get money off as well!
6. Reusable bottles
While we're at it, no-one should really have to buy bottled water in this day and age, particularly in Scotland where our "council juice" is delicious. Save money and plastic by taking yours with you in a refillable bottle.
7. Wash less!
As a naturally lazy person I love this one! There's a huge contrast between the people who wash their bath towels after every use (madness - you're clean!) and those that wash them once a year (as discovered by a recent study). I'm sure we can find a way to meet in the middle on that one, but have a think about other things you chuck in the wash routinely without actually thinking if it needs it - jeans, jumpers, shirts that have only been worn for that hour-long Teams call, your hair...
8. Plants instead of flowers
Whether you're giving a gift or treating yourself, plants last longer and often cost less (if not the same) as a bunch of flowers.
Why not buy something that's still alive and will keep cleaning the air around you?
9. Go vintage
While I'm not a regular thrifter, and totally agree that some clothes should definitely be bought new (see also: thongs), last year I discovered the joy of sifting through the racks at Frida and Coco in Glasgow and would recommend it to anyone looking for that new outfit for a big event. The best bit? You can pop it on Vinted to sell afterwards and get some money back to find your next outfit (they've got some great designer stuff on there). No bulging wardrobe!
10. Cloths are better
There's a bit of a movement just now to ban disposable wipes, and I'm down with that. I'm sure when changing a baby there's definitely a need to bin after each wipe (ugh), but when cleaning off make-up or wiping down kitchen surfaces, a washable cloth is just better.
What about keeping the soap you only use a couple of times in hotel rooms? I always wonder if all of them really do just get binned afterwards. And they're free! Sort of.
FLC at home
There's a battle in our house when it comes to disposable Dettol wipes and the notoriously hard to recycle Pringles tubes, but we're getting there in other areas!
What about you?
So, do you have any other tips to share? Any easy swaps, cost-saving options or things to avoid? Comment below, or send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could feature in our next issue!
Thanks for reading :)
Founder, Falling Leaf Clothing