10 Things You Can Do To Help The Environment When You Can't Go Vegan

Lots of people are sharing ways to cut back on things to be kinder to the environment with the focus has been on plastic straws and reusable cups. A big thing that could be done is cutting back in animals products such as meat and dairy and obviously, in an ideal world this would be the best thing but as someone with chronic illnesses and disabilities, I see and understand that there are medical reasons why some of you cannot do this. There are all sorts of problems that arise that make it hard for everyone to become vegan and although there are a few reasons, that even meat-eaters laugh at, some can not be avoided. I hope this post gives you some comfort on how to do more for the environment.


Planning is one of the biggest things you can do, well planning and sticking to your plan of course. One thing everyone should write is a shopping list, we've all been in a shop when hunger strikes and suddenly your trolly is full of all the snacks, this also goes for picking up perishable things like fruits, vegetables and bread products. You can have the hopes of creating all these wonderful healthy meals but then at the end of the week, they're still stuck at the bottom of the fridge. If you can stick to a meal plan, you can just get the things you need for what you've planned, limiting waste and excessive buying. My family has a shared online shopping list that we pop things on when we run out of something so you don't have to buy more then you need, this also works for things like cosmetics, because I know I'm not the only one to go into Superdrug for shampoo and come out with all of the makeup and no shampoo.


Lots of people think that frozen and tinned products have has their vitamins sucked out when they're frozen or canned but its actually the complete opposite, this process actually keeps the vitamins in. Vitamins diminish over time and as they are canned/ frozen straight after picking it keeps all the goodness locked in. Frozen fruit and veg lets you use 100% of the product instead of things going off when they're fresh. Pre chopped things like onion, garlic and herbs save a ton of money, it's more assessable as well as reducing the waste. More shops are doing a meal in a bag which you warm-up so you don't have to buy all the individual items. Frozen food still does still come in plastic but as you only use what you need to its limiting the waste overall. 

Since Blue Planet was released pre-packaged things were targeted by a lot of people for excessive plastic use, from the outside, yes having a peeled orange in plastic does seem silly, but these products are made for people that physically cannot do these things. Having a prechopped fruit salad might seem 'lazy' to some but for others, this is the only way they will be able to eat this sort of thing. Keeping this in mind to remind to others if it is mentioned will help people understand that these products are necessary. 


In the perfect world, every piece of clothing would be from an ethical source, from the way the materials are made to the people that make them but in reality, this just isn't a feasible option for most people. Brand new ethical choices can be pricy and are not inclusive with the size range that they provide. 

So what can we do? 
One of the big things is to try not to throw things away in the household waste, things that are still usable should go to charity, there are bags in the UK that are collected and collections bins are also at supermarkets if you can get to them. Worn out items can go to scrap fabric places (if you can access these) or cut into rags. The rest, like worn out underwear, is ok to go into household waste. According to the Guardian, UK household binned 300,000 tonnes of clothing in 2016 and this doesn't include items donated to charity shops. Limiting the purchases at fast-fashion retailers to things that you really need like things that have worn out and need replacing. Charity shop hunting is super fun to do if you're able to and the online versions like eBay or depop. I must reiterate if you only have access to fast fashion try not to feel bad, you do what you can just be mindful on if you are going to get wear out of the things you are buying.


Since the first time I wrote this post lots of brands have cottoned on to the idea that people want things to be cruelty-free, some have made the necessary steps to actually change there testing methods but some have chosen to 'pretend' that they are ethical by using a process called greenwashing so pretending they're eco by the look of their packaging/labelling to using natural products like bamboo, cotton and hemp. Logical Harmony is an amazing website that actively finds out companies that test on animals and included the parent companies too. Knowing beforehand which brands or products are friendly to buy helps you searching in the store on your phone. It gets easier over time when you get used to who is friendly to buy from. Lots of people assume that it's illegal to test on animals products sold in the EU but this isn't correct, they use the reason of 'unless required by law' which relates to the need of products sold in china to be tested, so if a company chooses to sell there, they choose to test on animals. Cruelty-free doesn't just include makeup, it includes household products such as cleaners and things like toothpaste.
One thing to remember is that even though things may be cruelty-free they can still have animal ingredients so choosing products that are both cruelty-free and vegan will be the most help to the environment and the animals. It may seem overwhelming at first but it is easily picked up and simple to execute once you have learnt where to look for resources like blogs and youtube.


Glitter is something I never thought about in terms of something that could cause harm a few years back. It's kind of obvious once you know but the glitter is adding to the microplastics that plague the oceans already. Now I'm not saying to quickly replace every piece of glitter you own but to be cautious when looking to buy more and email your favourite companies to make them consider using biodegradable glitter, this can be in palettes, highlighters, bath bombs and things that make you glow. 

Cleaning Products 

There are two ways to go around cleaning products, there are companies like astonish that provide a huge range of vegan and cruelty-free everyday cleaning products and on the other hand, a more natural product like the ones from humble stuff, both are amazing products. The more natural products are naturally better for the environment but use what you have access to, both can be purchased online as well as in shops. There are also simple recipes to make your own so you use what is accessible to you. 

Period Products

There's been quite a rise in people switching over to a more ethical, healthier products including things like cups, reusable pads and period pants. It's estimated that 11,000 products are used and put into a landfill for just one person's whole reproductive cycle and that's a huge amount if you add up everyone around the world usage. 

The cups, reusable pads, period pants are pricey initially but the longevity of use saves you money in the long term.
Other options are disposable pads like Natracare, they are made from organic cotton, and are free of plastic, chlorine and perfume, so good the environment and your bits.

Plastic in Teabags

Tea is something that I and many other people rely on, it never occurred to me how the teabags were not going into a soggy mess until a few years back; hint, it's plastic. Buying plastic-free, biodegradable or loose leaf would help keep this everyday thing out of landfill and waterways. This is something to do only if its accessible to you, those options are more costly and not widely available to everyone, although I have seen some main brands start to bring out plastic-free and biodegradable tea bags. Let's hope that this becomes the norm soon.

Reuse, Recycle, Preserve

I was luckily brought up in an environmentally conscious household so it came to a shock to me that people still do not recycle. It should be super simple to recycle as long as you have this option available. Ways to recycle are like keeping things like trays to sow seeds in, reuse the one-use water bottles, cut up old towels to clean with. This also goes along fruit and veg, keep scraps in the freezer, boil them for a few hours in water and you have lovely stock to use in recipes like ramen or soups. For fruit going past its best, make it into jam or chuck it in a cake and pickle the vegetables, super quick and tasty. 


Around 5 or 6 years ago I switched to using brown parcel to wrap presents, embellished with string and a sprig of holly from the garden. Over the past few years, this has become a more popular way to wrap and its been so nice to see. It doesn't seem like normal wrapping paper can not be recycled as it has a film of plastic to keep it from ripping and to make it pretty. Other ways you can wrap is to save boxes and wrapping from presents you receive, wrapping gifts in scarfs that could be worn or reused. Eco does not have to mean ugly.

If we all swapped bit and reduced what we can collectively we can help on a larger scale. I hope that this post can help you help the environment. If you have any more tips feel free to post them in the comments as id love to hear them.


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