Realistic changes to help reduce your environmental impact

by - August 28, 2022

Text reading small things you can do to be more eco-friendly. Plant digital graphic in the centre.

Over the last few years, I’ve found myself increasingly more conscious of the impact that I have on the planet and environment. I’ve always cared about the planet and hate to see the damage to it, but beforehand, I didn’t really give much thought to how my actions could be affecting it. One of the good things about sustainability and eco-friendliness becoming so big on social media (although it should have never been a trend and rather something we are always looking out for) was that it got me to think more deeply about what I was already doing and what more I could do. This post may seem very obvious and not particularly mind-blowing, but I am posting it more as a reminder that it matters more what you do change, no matter how small. Social media these days is bombarded with seemingly perfect sustainable lifestyles so I wanted to show a more human and realistic side.

When it comes to sustainability and being eco-friendly, I find we often miss the obvious and little things. Things that we can actually do now, without having to go and purchase anything or make any drastic changes. I hope this post can encourage you to make small changes to a more eco-friendly lifestyle that are realistic for you. 

Use what you already have

I find that sometimes everyone gets so caught up in finding a new product that’s branded sustainable that they forget that actually, it’s more eco-friendly and sustainable to use what you already have. Despite current carbon offset schemes, no product can be said to be completely neutral even if the company offsets their emissions. Organisations can only try and reduce the negative impact on the planet as much as possible. Using what you already own will always be better than accumulating more. With any product you own, whether it is sustainable or not, the damage has already been done. The best thing is to get as much use out of them as possible before disposing of them and switching. At the end of the day, the most eco-friendly way of living is trying to minimise what you buy to what you need or will use.

Focus on what you can do

I think it’s really easy to feel like you can’t make a difference because it’s impossible not to generate any waste and be 100% eco-friendly. But despite this, there are many small steps we can take to reach a point where we are having as positive of an impact on the environment as we can. For me, that’s been doing making small changes like switching from disposable makeup wipes to reusable cloths, using a reusable bottle, bringing my travel mug with me to coffee shops or ordering in instead of takeaway and using reusable cleaning cloths.

Progress not perfection 

Ultimately, trying to be more eco-friendly is a journey. It is about finding a more sustainable way of living and this takes time. Costs of more eco-friendly items are high and not everyone is in the position to be able to pay for this or always be able to afford the "greener" alternative. Some forms of single-use plastic are really difficult to eradicate and may not be possible for you to remove in your current lifestyle. But it is more about the changes we do make and always doing our best.  


I love to find a new purpose for things that would otherwise get thrown out. I have always hated throwing things away and I am more of a hoarder so I am always trying to find ways to repurpose things. There are some things that are really easy to repurpose like candle jars or jars you get from food. Or you can get more creative in repurposing other packaging. I don’t think I have actually bought a jar because I always reuse jars from candles. I have reused candle holders as pencil pots or to hold my makeup brushes. I also keep my threads for sewing in plastic packaging from fairy lights that otherwise would have ended up in landfill.

Coloured threads inside a glass jar and reused plastic packaging

Charity shops/stores selling second hand

Whilst eco-friendly and sustainable brands are often financially inaccessible to most, charity shops and second-hand stores generally offer a more affordable option. You also have the chance to support a great cause. I know not all countries have the same culture of charity shops but if you happen to live somewhere with charity shops, I’d recommend checking them out. I’ve been surprised just how many things my style I’ve found in charity shops. If not charity shops, even stores selling second-hand items can be a great place to find unique things and avoid items ending up in landfill. 

Although we may not be able to change the world and stop a lot of damage to the planet, we can control our individual actions. We can limit the negative impact we as individuals have on the environment and small change is better than no change at all. 

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