How Can We Be More Sustainable In Our Daily Lives?

  1. Population control — end poverty and increase access to education for all people, which will naturally lead to population control. This, of course, requires global commitment.
  2. Rewild the rainforests to restore biodiversity. Rewild more farmland.
  3. Stop eating meat. For every one carnivore in nature there are at least 100 prey animals, so for 11 billion humans to be carnivores is completely unsustainable. It’s an absolute no brainer.
  4. Abandon fossil fuel in favour of renewable energy. Everyone knows this, but with pension funds and big business still investing in fossil fuels there is a substantial way to go.
  5. Land use. Using less land in more intelligent ways to produce more food, such as vertical and urban farming.
  6. Stop Waste. Period.
  • Education
    Consider donating a small part of your income. Attenborough states that to achieve the eradication of poverty, education, particularly of women, plays a huge part. Camfed, a charity directly impacting the education of women is one such example of an organisation working towards this aim.
  • Rewilding
    Actively seek out products that are making a direct impact by rewilding using some of their sales proceeds. For example, we work with a tea supplier called Reforest Tea. For one 500g bag of breakfast tea, which costs us £12, they are able to plant 6–8 trees. They also sell tea bags direct to the consumer. Perform your own mini sustainability audit and eradicate products that are known to be products that are directly responsible for deforestation. For example, it’s now widely known that palm oil is one of the main reasons that the rainforest has been destroyed, so eradicating it in your home is one way of making an impact.
  • More Plant-based meals
    Obviously as a vegan brand we are hoping that the whole world will eventually refrain from eating meat. But even if you are not vegan, the fact that 65% of all the mammals on this planet are farm animals, their devastating carbon impact and land use cannot be overstated.
  • Using Renewable Energy
    We can all make a huge impact by simply moving to renewable only energy sources in our homes. There are a number of these now, including the most established Ecotricity and Green Energy. The government’s recent announcements of every home in the UK being powered by renewable energy within 10 years is a huge step in the right direction. You can make that switch now.
  • Land Use — weather does your produce come from?
    I was struck a few years ago when I saw Berhard Lang’s ‘Mar de Plastico’ (sea of plastic) — an aerial photograph of the 350 square km plastic greenhouse in Almeria, Andalucia, Spain. It is so big it can be seen from space. It has a huge environmental impact due to the extraction of water, the degradation of the land, the pile up of waste, and the terrible 45 degree working conditions for it’s mainly migrant workers. It had an instant impact on me and changed my purchasing decisions for good. I used to think if something was labelled grown in Spain, it was tended by a rustic farmer, in a gentle nurturing way, I literally had no idea of the reality. By contrast, I visited Amsterdam in February, in those heady days before Covid-19. There are some super exciting projects there with vertical and urban farms. The Netherlands are a big exporter of vegetables because of this. They get a greater output from a much smaller footprint in this way, and are by far more ethical than the Spanish counterpart. It’s complicated of course, but educate yourself, read about it, challenge your own beliefs. Bernhard Lang is an artist bringing awareness to man’s destruction of the planet in a whole new way. It’s powerful the role that art can play in this movement. For me, one image changed everything.
  • Waste. Probably the biggest issue of all.
  • The only truly sustainable, circular solution for packaging is to use products that are made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste, which are then endlessly recycled. So, we are no longer using single use anything.
  • Compostable is not the answer to the issue of single use, as compostable containers are widely made from virgin materials, which increase the carbon footprint of the product, and do nothing to solve the issue of mass disposability.
  • When the world is truly plastic free, then it may be that recycled packaging which is also compostable could play a part. But, whilst we have such huge amounts of post-consumer plastic waste, the most responsible thing we can do is recycle it. If demand for 100% recycled plastic were greater, demand would also increase for manufacturers to buy post-consumer waste plastic. And so it goes on.
  • Of course, responsible use of recycled plastic products requires education, and we need to invest energy into just that. It’s a big step for us all to make in our heads because plastic has been vilified for so long, but research shows it’s moving away from single use anything that has the greatest carbon impact. The leap we all need to make is to start viewing plastic (and everything else on this planet) as a valuable commodity.

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