Paige Eades

UK Personal and Lifestyle Blog

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An Ode To Finding My Place In Sustainability

An Ode To Finding My Place In Sustainability How I Am Becoming More Sustainable

This easing of lockdown is a funny time, wouldn't you say? As we emerge into a 'new world' I can't help think of the endless opportunities that we have to improve both ourselves and the world around us. I mean; everything is practically restarting - why shouldn't we each try to improve our lifestyles and decrease our negative impacts on our environment?

This post has taken several edits to write; perhaps it is because it's more of a round up of my thoughts instead of a dedicated advice post etc; where I use subheadings to structure my words. Upon reflection however; these are my favourite types of posts to read - the flow of thoughts often reveal more about a writer than having to be strict with structure which I think is almost a dying art within the blogging community where Pinterest stats are the leading focus. I started thinking about sustainability (again, one of my favourite topics to read about) and wanted to sum up my thoughts on how I aim to improve and develop and get your interpretations too - let's make this a running commentary. 

Sustainability tends to be a topic that everyone knows about and upon being asked suddenly feels equipped to tell you exactly how they are working towards 'saving the polar bears' and the people living on it; but how many people actually follow their own advice? I know that could do better. It becomes easy to be swept up in convenience and saving money that we fail to realise the impact on the greater commercial chain. 

Part of the reason behind writing this is the notion that I want to make myself better, I want to do my bit to decrease my impact on the environment and also support my local independents wherever possible, and live altogether a cleaner lifestyle to adopt for the rest of my life. It sounds cliche, I know, but hear me out. Studying business management has especially bought to my attention that often all well known companies do have the resources and money to make good choices and to be the best they can be, but often don't in favour of profits. 

It can be quite challenging for many reasons (a) I live with my family who have their own lifestyles and choices - some changes just aren't possible at the moment (b) I'm at university which can place financial limitations - I can't afford to do certain things and habits and (c) and my location - living where I do means that there aren't as many sustainable and progressive areas/shops/cafes in comparison to cities/well built up areas (although this is rapidly changing; which is very exciting!)

Of course; all of these 'challenges' I face are actively rather trivial and very privileged in the grand scheme of things, but I believe that adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is a gradual process. Of course there are quick fixes you can make immediately which all help that have been drilled into us from since we can remember, including effectively recycling (make sure you are recycling correctly - if something gets mixed up, all your efforts have gone to waste!) selling clothes or donating to local charities or shelters, not using as much water etc but what deeper changes can we make?

An Ode To Finding My Place In Sustainability How I Am Becoming More Sustainable

I've seen advocates for sustainability that try to sell you a bunch of different products in the efforts of helping you save the environment and reduce your wastage etc and in their best efforts; I've been swept up in wanting to buy eco-friendly and reusable products in aid to adopting a better lifestyle too. But how much of this stuff did I actually need? What products did I need a more sustainable alternative to, and which products did I buy into the hype for?

When taking into consideration airmails, carbon footprint etc I started to think 'have I inadvertently contributed to the problem rather than solved it?'. And yes, I probably have. All good intentions aside; by ordering something of the internet (no other choice whilst in lockdown) my purchase has probably had the complete opposite effect than my intentions. 

Don't beat yourself up though, although I know the feeling. The great thing is that you are actively thinking about your impact and wanting to improve - it's a lot more than others. 

So what am I doing? As much as I can, at the moment - although there is always room for improvement. I'm constantly looking for ways to further educate myself on product consumption and ways that I can make my choices better for everyone in the long term. Of course; there are going to be slip ups, there are going to be mistakes I make and times where making the best choice isn't always possible but the point is that I am trying

I am trying to shop more second hand clothing - it's not always possible but by making the deliberate, conscious effort for when I need something to look on Depop, or eBay is a great way to start. If I can't find it second hand, I look to support local independents and small retailers who need my support. By shopping local, researching into brands I am buying from and their ethics and limiting purchases to predominantly UK - I reduce my carbon footprint and negative impact as consumer. 

To highlight a previous phrase of 'when I need something'; it has become important to me to decrease my use of using purchases as a therapy. Do I actually need that new product or am I just buying into a hype? Have I already got something that will do the job? Why do I actually want this? 

Another major factor is what I eat and consume - I should mention that I still eat meat and eat animal produce such as eggs, cheese etc which I realise has it's own backlashes and but I do make sure all of the food I eat and prepare myself has been responsibly sourced. It is important to research where your meat and produce comes from and look at your personal food chain to see if you can make any changes. 

Farmers markets are a great way to get involved and gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the fresh food - I can assure you that most farmers at these markets would be more than happy to talk about their stock; it's a subject they feel extremely passionate about as farming is a heavy lifestyle, not just a job and you have to love it to stick it out. 

We eat our eggs from our pet free range chickens who I personally love and care for to make their lives the best they can possibly be, especially after some of their previous backgrounds. Having had our own eggs; I would never go back to eating any supermarket ones - without trying to be an egg snob, the comparison to our home eggs in terms of size and yolks are really telling as to how badly these chickens are treated, even if the boxes do give the opposite impression. 

Milk-wise; I tend to drink Alpro oat or soya milk and will continue to do so. I only mention the brand as it is important to research where your produce brands source their ingredients from - you don't want to be inadvertently buying from brands that contribute to deforestation etc!

An Ode To Finding My Place In Sustainability How I Am Becoming More Sustainable

My boyfriends mum also subscribed me to The Ethical Consumer magazine (if I was to learn from anyone how to shop ethically and sustainably - it would be her) which is a great bi-monthly magazine on the best shopping habits and consumer trends with great suggestions on how to do better. 

To steer this whole stream of consciousness onto blogging; I know that influencers and bloggers have a major contribution to encouraging people to buy things - clothing, skincare, homeware (the list could go on) and upon being part of this community I know I have a duty to uphold my values and what I believe in. 

I don't want to be recommending you products that you don't need; and encourage you to buy them if you won't use them and things be stuck in wardrobes or drawers for years - that isn't responsible of me and not the way I want to utilise my small (but growing) platform. Upon writing this; I realise that a couple of my previous post titles are worded in this way and have since changed them. 

Using engaging and clickable titles doesn't have to go against my ode to sustainability and living by the best practises - and I need to focus on better ways to market and promote my posts whilst still remaining true to myself. 

It will be a challenge whilst in a world where getting your blog post seen is by creating a relatable post with a mass clickable title but I feel strongly about trying to promote the best practises that I can and sharing my journey on becoming more sustainable myself, so will give it every effort that I can. 

For future references; I will also be taking these values into consideration whilst accepting collaborations and partnerships across my blog and social medias - I hasten to state that I already only accept those of whom I genuinely love the product of and support the brand; but I would like to promote and use brands who share the same ethics and morals as me in the sense that they are genuinely offering a better lifestyle alternative for my audience - not just promoting a product. 

I saw Chloe Plumstead's (The Little Plum) post on a similar topic where she mentioned that although it would be lovely; blogging (probably) won't be her (or my) main source of income or job in the future. Obviously; she is absolutely smashing it, with a much larger following and blog than this little space on the internet, but as I am planning on sticking around; I want to make PaigeEades the best it can possibly be. I don't want to 'make it' by promoting practises that are detrimental to progression towards a better world, or even to yourself - if this blog is going to take off then I want it to be organic, filled with a community of readers who can relate to my life and journey to be better. 

Have I just completely rambled on here? Who knows. I guess what I am trying to say is expect the best of me, and call me out if I make mistakes. I want this blog to be a positive space where we are all striving to become the best versions of ourselves both internally and to our environment and world. 

What are your thoughts?


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