It’s easy to avoid our responsibilities, especially when it comes to social justice. Whether it’s climate change, poverty, human trafficking or animal rights, it feels like anything you try to do gives you more problems than solutions, and nothing makes a difference anyway – what’s the point in trying?
But we’ve been put on this planet for a reason: to look after it and all its inhabitants (human or otherwise). Yes, we should be living for the life after this one, but I’m pretty sure God didn’t spend all that time and energy creating this world so that we could charge in and crap all over it. We’re called to be stewards, protectors, superheroes – and that means living differently. That means actually thinking about the choices we make and the impact they have on the rest of the world.
Still, I get it: being a World-Hugging-Hero is exhausting. You have to constantly think fairtrade, organic, environmentally-friendly. You have to ask yourself, “Who does this effect?” with every decision you make, and it feels like, whatever you do, it’s never enough. The overwhelming size and number of the world’s problems can leave you not wanting to bother with any of it in the first place. I’m very aware that no matter how much I care about these things, I am not one of life’s natural botherers – and it’s hard for a lazy girl to get out of her comfort zone and save the world.
But even lazy girls can make a difference. Even making one step, one change, can make a small but significant impact. I just read about an expedition to the South Pole where, to save weight, the trekkers cut the ends off their shoelaces. It was a marginal gain, but it made a difference nonetheless. However much you do for this big, beautiful world, it’s better than doing nothing at all. And maybe doing one thing might lead you to do another. Maybe you can level up, and even make it to World-Saving Wonder Woman Status. But, for now, let’s take a first step, one room at a time.
Eating animal products (i.e. meat and dairy) has a huge impact on the environment, and animals often aren’t treated well in the pursuit of your cheese and ham toastie. You don’t have to go full-on vegan to make a difference, though. Here’s how you can reduce animal products in your diet.
Lazy Girl – More and more people are doing “Meat-Free Mondays” as a way of cutting down on meat, at least once a week. Even if you just throw together some vegetable pasta, everyone generally has enough non-meaty goodies to last one day. And if you really need the flavour of meat on the regular, the Quorn version of Ikea meatballs are the nearest thing I’ve found to the original.
Level Up – Get on Pinterest and find some yummy vegan recipes to try. Whether you give lasagne a go or try your hand at dairy-free baking, you’ll do your bit for the planet, the animal kingdom and, bonus, your diet.
Wonder Woman – Go vegan or vegetarian at home. While eating out might present a bit of a challenge (especially if, like me, you’re allergic or intolerant to a lot of foods), a bit of preparation and practise can make plant-based home-life entirely possible. It might help to cut out meat first, and then try dairy-free when you’ve got that down. And top tip for when you’re having a Lazy Girl-day despite your best of Wonder Woman intentions: a Linda McCartney Thai Vegcake and a few chips is insanely good oven food.
Whether you’re cleaning the bathroom or yourself, these products often involve aerosols, plastic packaging or a lot of chemicals. But it’s easy to go green and stay clean.
Lazy Girl – Head to Lush! As if you needed an excuse to enter Bath Bomb Heaven, Lush don’t test on animals, will recycle your old pots of products and do many cosmetics without any packaging. My shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and deodorant all come in bar-form (and smell amazing!)
Level Up – Try scrubbing the tub with baking powder and white wine vinegar. Not only does the lack of chemicals give the planet a nice breather, it is actually the best thing I’ve ever discovered for cleaning the bathroom (and it does a cool fizzy thing when you first mix it).
Wonder Woman – Make your own face and body scrub. The microbeads used in face washes are poisonous to fish, but it’s easy and way cheaper to buff away dry skin with your own special brew. Sugar or rock salt can replace those nasty microbeads, and for the rest you can have fun experimenting with your favourite, all-natural ingredients. Again, if in doubt, Pinterest it.
Your wardrobe says a lot about who you are, but it also says something about the person who made your clothes. Fast fashion seems cheap but there’s always a price, and workers in developing countries are usually the ones who pay it. Still, it’s possible to be fashion-forward and fabulously ethical.
Lazy Girl – Have a charity shop rummage. Who says sustainable shopping has to have a hefty price tag? The rise of fast fashion means more and more people are wearing things once and throwing them out, and where does it all go? Charity shops! It’s unreal how many of things I own originally came from really cool places but I snatched them for a couple of quid in Oxfam.
Level Up – Choose fair footwear. You may not be ready to overhaul your whole wardrobe, but why not make sure you at least set off on the right foot? For every pair of TOMS shoes sold, another pair is given to a child in need. There’s also Gandy’s for flip-flops and Ethletics if you like Converse-style with a little more soul (and make sure you check out our Soles with Soul feature in the current edition of Liberti Magazine!)
Wonder Woman – Investigate your go-to shops. Get in touch with the places you shop at most, and ask what they’re doing about looking after their workers and the planet. Not all high street stores are created equal, so you may decide to switch shops once you’re in-the-know. If so, a lot of great fairtrade and eco stores can be found for every style online – all it takes is a little bit of Googling.
Whether you do one of these things or all of them, it’s better to do something than nothing. So here is something – just a little something that you can do. Just get started. Just have a go. Turn the lights off when you leave the room, try almond milk on your morning cereal or do the laundry on a lower temperature or a shorter cycle. There’s a million tiny-but-brilliant things we can do, and these are just some of them. Why not share your little top tips with us below or on Facebook? Lazy Girls, assemble!
Written by Chloe Satchell-Cobbett, Deputy Editor, Liberti Magazine