Have you made any new year's resolutions? Lots of us try to implement positive changes in January, and we're here to inspire you to make a few planet-friendly choices. Say hello to more sustainable living!
When we're making eco-friendly lifestyle changes, we want to make sure they stick. That's why we've made a list of 22 simple swaps and enhancements you can build into your life for a more eco-conscious approach.
As we're sustainable cat food experts, our first few tips are designed to help you become a more mindful pet owner. We've then included some more tips that you can apply more broadly to really step things up.
1. Switch to eco-friendly cat food
It’s true that pets have an environmental pawprint, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them - in fact, it’s now easier than ever to care for them sustainably. Our pets bring so much fun and love to our lives and nobody should go without them.
If you’re a cat owner, you’ll know that they are obligate carnivores. This means they need a lot of protein in their diet. Switching to eco-friendly cat food doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice that (hoorah)! Lovebug’s insect-based cat food is nutritionally complete, recommended by vets and a lovely treat for your furry companion. If you’ve not tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Order yours today and treat your cat to a bag of kibble they won’t be able to resist.
2. Recycle and repurpose household items
Here at Lovebug, we’re always getting creative and providing pet parents around the globe with inspiration when it comes to cat toys. Our resident vet Rory loves sharing his favourite homemade cat toys over on our Instagram, so make sure you’re following us. For a quick and easy homemade toy for your cat, try attaching a toilet roll tube to a piece of recycled string or twine - you’d be surprised at how many hours of fun this provides. You can also get creative with other household items that would otherwise go to waste.
3. Treat your furry friend to sustainable cat accessories
Not all cat toys and accessories are good for the planet - in fact, quite a lot of them contain plastic, but that doesn’t mean they have to go without. There are plenty of eco-friendly options when it comes to cat toys and accessories. But it can be tricky to find a sustainable alternative to essential items such as cat litter. Panic over, one of our favourite brands Natusan have created a cat litter that is 100% biodegradable so you no longer need to worry!
Now that you're clued up on everything you need to know to be a pawesome pet parent, take a look at more easy, planet-friendly lifestyle swaps.
4. Implement meat-free Mondays
We all know that reducing our meat consumption has a positive impact on the planet - but this doesn’t mean you have to switch to a totally vegetarian, vegan or plant-based diet. Even cutting out meat for one day per week, could make a huge difference. Use this calculator from Meat Free Monday to work out how much of a positive impact you could have by eating less meat and dairy. By eliminating meat from your diet for only 1 day per week, you could save a lot of water and even increase your lifespan!
5. Plan your meals
It’s so easy to pick up bits from the supermarket or order food for delivery when we feel like it. But meal planning can be extremely beneficial for your bank account and the planet. It also stops you from overspending and unnecessarily buying food on a whim. Base your meals on what you’ve already got in your cupboard or freezer and get creative! You can also make a little extra for dinner and keep a serving for lunch the next day. Read our guide about food waste to read some more meal planning tips.
6. Shop locally where possible
Shopping in supermarkets can be extremely convenient as we all know but sometimes it’s nice to explore and try new grocers. It may take a bit of investigating but there are probably lots of independent shops and local markets near you that could do with your support and also offer you delicious and nutritious fruit and veg. Locally grown food always tastes delicious and is more likely to be organic - so if you’re a real foodie, you’ll love trying this!
7. Buy fruit and veg when it’s in season
Before we could import food from overseas, we had no choice but to eat seasonal produce from local farmers. Take a look at what your local market has to offer from the fruit and vegetables currently in season. It's always fun to try new food combinations and switch things up throughout the year.
8. Try some delicious plant-based alternatives
With so many plant-based options available including alternatives to cheese, meats, chocolate, milk and so much more, you’re bound to find a few new favourites! Even if you swap out a couple of your meat and dairy products each week you could make a huge difference. Perhaps start with something as simple as milk - we love the Oatly Barista Edition in our morning coffee.
9. Compost or collect your scraps in a food waste bin
In some areas of the UK, you can easily dispose of your food waste by collecting it in a caddy in your home. You can check if you’re eligible on the GOV website - this is only available in some areas of the UK. If you’re already a gardening enthusiast you could opt for your very own composting system to keep outside. You can find out more about home-composting in this handy guide.
10. Avoid single-use plastic wherever possible
With a few simple switches, you can reduce your personal plastic footprint in no time. Ensure you’re fully equipped with a few essentials such as a metal straw, a reusable tote or shopper bag, and a reusable coffee cup. This way you’ll reduce the amount of single-use plastic items you end up purchasing last minute. Preparation is key! Being mindful when shopping can also help you reduce the amount of plastic you buy - loose fruit and veg is often readily available and a much more eco-friendly choice than food pre-wrapped in plastic.
11. Ditch the tumble dryer
We’ve all been in a hurry and needed to dry our clothes quickly for work or a last-minute event, but when you’ve got a bit more time and don’t need your clothes instantly, why not dry them on an airing rack or better still, on a washing line in the beautiful sunshine? Make the most of nature’s natural resources! This could also save you a few pounds on your next energy bill.
12. Invest in eco-friendly cleaning products
When you use regular cleaning products, there is a chance that harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere. Investing in cleaning products that are kinder to the environment is a great way to do your bit for the planet. Natural cleaning products have a lot of other benefits too. They’re usually not tested on animals and are kinder to your skin. Plus, lots of brands such as Cleancult give back a certain percentage of profits to organisations.
13. Swap to zero waste beauty and cosmetic products
Most of us use beauty products in our everyday routines. Whether that’s shampoo, toothpaste or face wash, you could opt for a more sustainable option that is easier to recycle or even better, completely zero waste like UpCircle.
14. Try out a bamboo toothbrush
Another product we each use every single day (we’d like to hope) is a toothbrush. Bamboo alternatives reduce the environmental impact and plastic waste we produce each year. Eco-friendly materials such as bamboo make great toothbrushes as they are sturdy and have antibacterial properties. Or if you’d rather opt for an electric toothbrush, be sure to invest in an eco-friendly one like this sonic toothbrush set from Ecovibe.
15. Let your grass grow
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to mow your lawn less, this is it. One of the easiest changes you can implement in your day-to-day life is to let your grass grow. It’s much kinder to the environment. Not only that but you’re probably chopping down plants in your garden that could be contributing to a better ecosystem. We’re giving you the excuse you’ve been waiting for!
16. Sign up to an eco-friendly toilet paper subscription
Zero waste alternatives to everyday household items have become much more readily available. Toilet roll is something we all purchase without really giving it too much consideration. Sign up to a sustainable loo roll subscription service like Who Gives A Crap and never worry about running out again.
17. Carry a reusable water bottle
Get into the habit of carrying a refillable water bottle every time you leave the house. There are so many benefits here, including saving plastic as well as keeping hydrated, research also shows that harmful chemicals can transfer from shop-bought plastic bottles into the water that you drink, so this is a super positive swap.
18. Get your steps in
Choosing to walk or cycle is a much more planet-friendly option than driving or taking any other mode of public transport. Soak in the sunshine and get some fresh air whilst increasing your steps for the day. You might even discover a new favourite route on your walk to work.
19. Find hidden gems in charity shops
Whether you’re in the market for an updated wardrobe or some books for your collection, head to your local charity shops and have a rummage around before purchasing brand new items from a store. Thrifting is super trendy and you might be surprised by what you find! This is also a great opportunity to get creative and alter fashion items that you find to suit your style perfectly.
20. Volunteer and take part in a beach clean
There are plenty of great worldwide charities that organise beach cleans. Million Mile Clean help to clean up beaches, streets, rivers and mountains all over the country. Get involved and join like-minded people who want to protect the places they love and keep our planet clean.
21. Get creative with homemade gifts
If you add it all up, we probably buy a lot of gifts each year for our loved ones. Of course, it’s important to show someone you care, so put your skills to the test and see what you can come up with. A homemade gift is even more thoughtful than a shop-bought one, so put your skills to the test! Bake a cake, paint a picture, crochet a top or arrange a bouquet of flowers. Try making your own cards too with scraps of wrapping paper or other crafty bits and bobs you have lying about in your home. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
22. Donate unwanted clothes and accessories
As well as shopping in charity shops, you can also donate your unwanted clothes and accessories to them. This is a much better way to find new homes for your old clothes that you no longer need without having to throw them away. They will be sold in the shop and the money raised will go to the charity - such a great thing to do. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure!