Awareness and Accountability

This is has been in my draft box now for about two months. Way past it’s due date, let me tell you that. However, before I clicked publish, I wanted to make sure I had really studied my life and assessed areas where I can make change and move towards living more authentically. Making changes to being more aware of the foods I’m buying into. Thinking more about recycling and living in a more sustainable way. Over the past month, I have taken to watching various documentaries surrounding foods, our environment and the ways in which we can, through small changes, have an impact to towards positive change.

One such documentary I watched was a very eye opening and extremely moving documentary, called ‘The True Cost’. I urge all of you, those especially interested in sustainability, to go and watch it. The documentary can be found over on Netflix. Was not a long film, but was a touching and emotional film. Posing the question about whether we are truly aware of the true cost of our waste. The film focused mainly on the fashion industry, however, it was clear to see how well informed the filmmaker was. The film used fashion as a spring board for discussions relating to the economical and environmental issues that are currently affecting our own lives. Such as our ever-growing food consumption and food waste.

This struck a cord with me, and I began to question the way I choose to live my life. And whether my actions have had, not necessarily a direct impact but rather an indirect impact on our environment. I like to think I lead a honest and appreciative life. I try to take care of the things around me. I recycle (most of the time), I buy second hand and I try not to waste food unnecessarily. But is there more I can be doing. I’m not going to start throwing around statistics or numbers, you can go look up those yourself, and I suggest you to do so. They are very interesting. But what I will aim to do here is discuss the ways we could make small changes in our daily routines to help build a more sustainable way of living.

Over the past year, I recently acquired a new car, having a spent a year prior to that without one. I was amazed to find that life went by as usual without one. I was still able to get by without the need to drive everywhere. It struck me how much I did with my car, whether it was to just pop out to the shops, when I could have walked. Or driven into town when I could of used public transport, or better yet, walked again. Now having a job, literally a stones through away from my home, the need to drive everywhere has decreased. I want to make sure I use my car only when necessary. Like visiting friends and family, say further than London (where trains are so easily accessible). In turn I hope this lowers my own fuel emissions, resulting in lower carbon emissions.

Another way I am aiming to lower my own carbon foot print is through eating less meat. Now, I have spent many years flitting in and out of vegetarianism from about the age of 12. At the age of 12 I became vegetarian for moral reasons, after a while, the thought of eating was of no interest to me and lived that way for 8 years. Consequently after some iron tests, I realised the iron found in red meat was something my body needed. From then on I went through stages of eating meat to not eating meat for long periods of time. Mostly because my body finds it hard to digest heavy meat products. Also, having done some readings eating less meat a week actually has an impact on our environment. By eating less, we are using less resources to produce it. On another note as a species are bodies are not use to consuming so much meat as we do now. The ‘Food Matters’ doc on Netflix discusses this idea further. Being mindful of where food had come from and the journey it has taken to reach our plates, means some where along the line, natural resources have been used and depleted unnecessarily. Eating less of it means we are giving the Earth time to heal and repair itself.

Finally, I am trying to cut down on my wasteful habits, and finding new ways to save a little money in the process. Food waste is probably the number one culprit, and I think that’s the case for most people. Myself and James in a conscious effort to save food, are planning our meals on a weekly basis and try to use everything we have. I have taken to organising the fridge by the use by date, just to make sure nothing goes out of date. Also not over buying fresh fruit and vegetables, which when left to sit can rot away. It’s about knowing exactly how much you need to live happily without under or over consuming. And it’s not just food waste, I’ve stopped buying plastics bags, even to the point where I try not to even use those silly little ones for loose fruit and veg. So unnecessary in my eyes. And then finally using lunch boxes and travel cups to store food in and keeping my coffee addiction in tact. There is no need to buy paper cups anymore. Simply take your cup on the go and ask for it in there. Sometimes I get funny looks (I don’t even expect to be charged less!), but honestly why waste the paper by taking a paper one.

So, for me it’s about making those small, daily changes to my habits and routines, which in turn will hopefully create a more authentic way of living. Maybe, these ideas have arisen from practising yoga more regularly, or reading more about health and over all well-being. Or maybe I just want to ensure that the world I live in can the be most beautiful version of itself and provide us with so many wonders and treasures. I do believe if we continue to abuse mother nature, we will have nothing left!




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