Photos by Kaye Ford.

Back in December, I decided it was about time I cut out dairy milk from my diet. When it comes to it, I’ll be fairly honest and say outright that I didn’t have a hard-burning desire to completely go vegan. I’ve conducted plentiful (personal) research into the animal product industry and although I’d already happily moved to a vegetarian diet, I was still consuming dairy products like milk, eggs and cheese on a near-daily basis. I found it relatively easy to go vegetarian, and the plan is to be on a plant-based diet later this year by gradually reducing my consumption of all animal products.

Hand-in-hand with that, the poignant final episode of Blue Planet II is something that will never quite leave me. I find it so shocking to think that this is something we’ve caused within our lifetimes, whether directly or not. That being said, we’re currently at a point where everyday activism has shown its strength and it’s obvious that it’s easier than ever to help make positive contributions towards our planets. Here’s a few rules I’m going to be mindfully living by from here on out…

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Take a stainless steel straw and KeepCup out with me

This is the most extra statement I’ve ever made on Daisybutter, but hear me out. With several companies pledging to drastically reduce their number of disposables, investing in one or both of these will make waves. I am never without my KeepCup, a beautifully designed reusable coffee glass. Not only it is pretty to carry around, it also affords you a small discount at several chain coffee shops in the UK. Pret A Manger and Costa both offer discounts on their beverages if you present a reusable flask, and it’s felt really good not to visit a bin after finishing my daily dose of caffeine. The same goes for straws: of course you could choose to sip from the glass instead, but carrying this in a canvas pouch has meant I can feel less guilty about asking for a single-use plastic straw when I drink. I’m incredibly clumsy, so a straw is often a must!

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Minimising plastic in my grocery shopping

The other weekend when I was out doing my weekly shop, I was horrified at the sheer amount of plastic packaging I had in my trolley. 99.9% of the time it cannot be helped, but as a vegetarian that also rarely eats processed food, I tend to mostly shop in the fruit and veg aisles and still, there was so much plastic involved!

Right now, I’m making attempts to clean up my shopping by hand-picking my groceries and just adding them to my trolley instead of putting them in those fiddly clear baggies. I religiously wash all of my fruit and veg before cooking anyway, so this hasn’t proved to be a huge fuss, plus there’s much less waste!

I’m hoping to introduce market shopping to my weekly shop as well, not only to support local and smaller businesses but also because it’s great to choose fresh produce. Delish.

Adding canvas bags everywhere

I recall the outrage when the 5p bag rule came into effect in the UK and I honestly can’t work out why that was? Did you know that plastic bags can take between 10 and 1,000 years to decompose?! I can practically hear you rushing to pull those canvas bags out now! The 5p bag charge came into effect in Hong Kong back in 2014, just as I’d moved there, and so it had already become a habit of mine to fold up a canvas bag in my handbag for everyday use. I remember listening to the Government news pieces about the benefits the charge hoped to bring about and feeling empowered to make a difference myself. These days, I add a lightweight canvas bag in my handbags (the Becksondergaard ones even fit in the pocket of my Chanel bag!), one or two in my car boot, a spare in my gym bag and another two by the front door to encourage myself to absolutely minimise the use of plastic bags. Might I add that the ‘Eggcellent’ canvas tote from my online boutique Honey + Chai is a perfect pick? I designed it with a handy pocket inside, too! Grab 15% off with the code EDITOR15.

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Have you been similarly inspired, post-Blue Planet II, to live more mindfully? Share your thoughts and mindful living tips below!

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