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My Sustainable Journey by Daisi Dawes

Updated: Oct 15

This journey to living a more sustainable life has taught me that the changes you make are easily done in small steps. When we think about living an eco-friendly life, the one thing that comes to mind is something we all love…food. When in reality there is so much more, we can do to make our planet healthier and happier. There is so much to consider and it can definitely be overwhelming but if we take things step by step, I truly believe we can positively influence others around us to make these changes too. I wanted to talk about some steps I am currently taking to live a healthier life for both me and our home planet.

1)I soon realised that I really didn’t know all that much about sustainability and the effects it is having on the earth and if I wanted to make a change then I was going to have to learn. My first step was to research and learn! This included watching documentaries, YouTube videos, listening to podcasts and reading books about the facts and figures, as well as considering other people’s opinions. To learn that humans annually produce enough trash and waste to circle the planet 3 times over is so ridiculous to me and it baffles me how we have come to rely on so much ‘stuff’. Take a minute to think about all the items you may have, lying around your home, gathering dust. This stuff is not important in our lives and we need to understand that we can be just as healthy and happy, living with the minimum. 2) Making a change in my diet has benefitted my health and wellbeing and will hopefully benefit the environment. My next step involved transitioning from being a meat-eater to becoming vegetarian and then to vegan. Honestly, this was such an easy decision to make once I had taken a step back and asked myself why I was eating meat products. I love animals and was able to make that link between us as humans and animals which showed me that we are not the superior species. We as humans do not need meat to survive. That is a fact. So why are we killing innocent animals who only want to live their lives as we do, in peace? Learning more about agriculture and how much it affects us just made me change my mind completely about consuming meat and dairy products and has made me so sad at the way we treat animals.

3) Next, I needed to try and identify what I was doing that produced the most waste. I found that it was predominantly due to packaging, whether it be for food, clothing, beauty products, etc. The majority of food and drink comes in plastic packaging and though we put it in the recycling bin; is that really what happens to it? A massive, 91% of our plastic is NOT recyclable! Our trash ends up destroying and killing the creatures in our oceans as well as taking up landfill. Our trash and plastic waste spends more time on this earth than we do in our entire lifetime because some items can take hundreds and even thousands of years to compost/degrade. It is hard to even imagine how much waste that accumulates over the years. Every single plastic toothbrush ever made since 1938, is still on this earth today. I am no mathematician to figure out just how many are on this planet as we speak, but I can tell you it’s ruining our home, and that’s just toothbrushes alone. There are so many simple ways you can help from going vegan to using a reusable water bottle. I have taken the liberty of listing a few things below to try.

- Reusable water bottle- Use produce/canvas bags when shopping- Prepare your meals and take homemade snacks out with you- Glass, tin containers for lunches, storage, etc- Try a bamboo toothbrush- Try using organic facial products- Bamboo/reusable face cloths- Reusable steel straws to stop using plastic ones- Shampoo/Conditioning bars

4) De-clutter your home. Go through all of your objects in each room and get rid of what you do not need. If the object does not have a functional or emotional purpose then is it really necessary? I believe this is down to preference on what made you buy the item and why you kept it. I guarantee there are items, clothes, out of date food and so many wasteful things hidden away in your home, that you don’t even remember are there. Clearing out your house, or even just one room can make your mind feel at ease, feel happier and feel a real sense of achievement. I like to dot plants around the house and my bedroom because it makes me feel more relaxed, grounded and helps me get better quality sleep. I am enjoying my journey so far and am still relatively new to this so I have lots to learn. I live in a small town in the midlands where nobody has been shown or told about the issues that are affecting us every day. It saddens me that the people in my area don’t seem to take an interest in sustainable living and zero-waste but I feel that if we educate them and inspire them together then our positivity and progress will rub off on them too! One day I would love smaller towns to take this on board and make changes. I am so inspired by all the remarkable people on this earth who are genuinely making a difference. I want to be that voice to show my town what amazing things we can do if we work together and live a more sustainable healthy lifestyle.

If you have enjoyed reading, please follow me on Instagram @daisidawes. I am currently debating starting up a YouTube account to post videos about sustainable brands, second-hand shopping, DIYs, etc, please let me know if you would be interested in watching these via Instagram message! I also want to say a huge thank you to @agnesldn for allowing me to share my opinion and knowledge on this important matter.

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