7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
By Rosanna Campbell-Gray
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Want to reduce your environmental footprint but don’t know where to start? We’ve put together a few easy ways to get you started.
There are some pretty cool brands that have fully embraced the circular model and are using some high-tech recycled materials to make their products.
Inhala soulwear uses Econyl, a regenerated nylon fabric made from discarded fishing nets and other marine debris. The fabric itself can be recycled time again and Econyl have created a recovery program that facilitates it. Inhala’s mindful yogawear is silky soft and perfect for classes or relaxing at home.
For eco-conscious footwear, check-out Flabelus. Their elegant velvet slippers are inspired by Friulane, the traditional shoes worn by Venetian gondoliers. Flabelus use organic and recycled fabrics for the upper and inner parts of the shoes however, the sole is made from recycled bike tyres.
Switch to Organic or Recyclable Period Wear
Did you know that you can’t throw tampons down the toilet? Don’t worry, most people don’t, in fact, study from 2018 shows that sanitary products are the fifth most common item found on European beaches, most of which comes from our sewers.
Try switching to organic, recyclable or reusable period-wear. There are a host of safe new options out there, from menstrual cups to period panties as well as organic, chemical and fragrance-free tampons. Switching from store-bought tampons is an easy way to reduce plastic use and your ecological footprint.
Hello serena tampons use organic cotton which is naturally white and contains no chemicals whereas most sanitary products are made from synthetic fibres such as rayon or viscose and are whitened using dioxin, a dangerous bi-product of bleaching. Not only is this cocktail of chemicals harmful to the environment, but also to our bodies.
Credit: Instagram Hello Serena x @svevaclavarino
Go Plastic-Free in the Bathroom
One of the areas which we find most difficult to eradicate plastic is in our bathrooms. In the US alone, 552 million shampoo bottles go to landfill every year, so next time you’re in need of a new bottle, check-out Tautanz. Their products are plastic-free and contain no nasties, in fact, the ingredients used for their handmade soaps and shampoo bars are sourced in the heart of Portugal where they are produced. Their aromatic soap bars offer something for all skin types but our favourite has to be the cleansing Charcoal & Pine Soap Bar which gently exfoliates the skin. Their Wineleaf Shampoo Bar deeply hydrates your scalp and hair with the natural properties of wine which leaves a beautiful shine – it’s also a firm favourite!
Book a Holiday That Gives Back
Although it may be tricky to travel abroad at the moment, why not plan a staycation? Your nearest eco-hotel or nature reserve may be closer than you think. In this month’s Talia Tales, we visited Terre di Sacra, a WWF nature reserve in Capalbio, Italy.
Just because it’s good for the planet, doesn’t mean it can’t be luxury, in fact, restaurant St Hubertus in the Dolomites has gained three Michelin stars thanks to Norbert Niederkofler’s waste free ‘cook the mountain’ ethos. The restaurant’s hotel Rosa Alpina is a gorgeous alpine retreat with a breathtaking spa. If you’re looking for something in the UK, read about Amelia Windsor’s favourite eco-destinations, from rewilding projects in Norfolk and Scotland to safari’s in Sussex.
Credit: Rosa Alpina, Dolomites
Offset and Donate
Help reduce your emissions by donating to a carbon offset or conservation project. Sustainable Travel International connects people with carbon offset projects that are third-party verified and ensure that results are real and that projects provide community benefits and support biodiversity conservation. You could also adopt or gift a coral with the Coral Gardeners of French Polynesia. Coral reefs cover less than 2% of the ocean however, 25% of all marine life rely on them. Climate change, pollution and overfishing have caused 30-50% of coral reefs to die out but you can help out by adopting a coral in Mo’orea where the Coral Gardeners team are restoring the reefs.
Ditch the Plastic Bottles
Globally, we consume 1 million plastic bottles every minute.
We all know that plastic is having a harmful effect on our ecosystems and have seen the images of turtles and other sea creatures strangled and entangled in plastic, however, we rarely discuss the production side. Plastic bottles are made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) which requires a huge amount of oil to produce. To put it into perspective, you would need a quarter of a bottle of oil to produce just one. Not only is the process highly toxic and carbon intensive, PET plastic, aka plastic bottles, is said to have cancer-causing and reproductive side-effects on our bodies. Purchasing a reusable bottle is an easy way to reduce your plastic use as well as your carbon footprint.
In the UK, use the Refill app to find a water fountain or café that will refill your bottles whilst you’re out and about.
Change the Way You Eat
Did you know that one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste? When food goes into landfill and rots, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. One of the easiest and most effective ways of reducing your environmental and carbon footprint is through your diet, by reducing food waste and cutting out meat. Not only is meat production threatening the earth’s biodiversity, eating into natural habitats in order to cater for the growing demand, it is also consuming valuable natural resources. To give you an example, it takes 15,415 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef as opposed to 287 litres for the same amount of potatoes. Even if it’s just a few times a week, swap meat for veggies, grains or a meat-free alternative.
Rosanna is Content Director at Talia Collective. Having worked in a leading travel PR agency in London, she is currently heading up the editorial side of our platform whilst volunteering with the US-based NGO Sustainable Travel International, assisting with new media campaigns related to carbon offset programs.