For the Baby Steps series, I post recipe ideas, recommend cruelty free makeup and toiletry brands for a range of budgets, look at alternative products that have a lower environmental impact and also talk about my own journey and progress.
Almost a year ago, I decided I was going to try being pescatarian. I’d been buying only cruelty free makeup and toiletries for about six months already, and it seemed like the next step towards a more sustainable life. I decided I’d give up meat for Lent: it was a set time period, long enough to be challenging, but not so long that it would feel as though the end was never in sight. My main reason in deciding to continue to eat fish during my experiment was just that I knew I wouldn’t manage to eat all the fish in my freezer before the beginning of Lent and I didn’t want it to go to waste. It was surprisingly easy, and I think the only time I slipped up was when I forgot marshmallows weren’t vegetarian and had them in a milkshake.
Since then, I’ve been eating only pescatarian meals when I cook for myself or if I go out, though I’ve occasionally eaten meat at one of my parents’ houses while I’ve been home for the holidays, though I have now put my foot down and refused to eat meat or other non-vegetarian products aside from fish whilst I’m at home. I’m now at the point where I rarely eat fish: only if somebody else cooks it for me, or if I’m at a restaurant with particularly poor vegetarian offerings will I eat fish.
I’m also cutting down on my dairy intake, having switched from cow’s milk to oat milk, and very recently trying out coconut yoghurt rather than dairy yoghurt. I’m still very much on the cheese bandwagon, and there’s dairy and egg products in a lot of the foods I purchase that aren’t raw ingredients, so I’m not anywhere close to a plant-based diet, but I am much closer than I was. My end goal is not currently veganism, more just cutting down on animal products. I rarely bought eggs before and I rarely do now, but again, they’re in a lot of products that I buy in stores.
Another big thing I’m trying to do in 2019 as well as cut down on dairy products is cutting down on the amount of plastic waste I create. I’m going to try taking canvas tote bags to supermarkets and buy loose veg rather than packaged veg, or buy veg from local greengrocers where there’s generally less packaging. I also have a Chilly’s water bottle and a KeepCup to carry with me so I cut down on buying bottled water in stores and stop using disposable cups for take away coffees or teas. My cruelty free makeup and toiletry purchasing is going well, so I’ll be keeping on top of that and making sure to research brands before I purchase from them.