Baby Steps: A Reintroduction

A Reintroduction | BABY STEPS

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.

I made the first post in the Baby Steps series over a year ago, and then promptly never made a second post. Consider this a second introduction. As I explained in my first post, I decided to try being pescatarian (eating fish, but not meat or anything else that requires an animal to die) for Lent, and never really stopped. Since then I’ve stopped eating fish, and I’ve found the whole transition very easy for the most part. Occasionally there’s been push back from my family, but as a university student I don’t spend all that much time at home, so it’s not too much of a problem. The thing I’m finding harder is cutting down on my dairy intake. I have PCOS, which I might go into more in another post, but it means that in order to not gain weight, I need a diet higher in protein and lower in carbs. A lot of vegan sources of protein are also high in carbs, and are generally accompanied by carbs. I’m a big fan of soy products like tofu, and more processed options like vegan sausages or burgers, but I struggle to get a good diversity of meals relying on these. I have several different stir fry based tofu recipes, but I want to branch out more with tofu and try doing something other than a stir fry in it, because sometimes it reaches the point where I eat two stir fries a week. Dairy products really do help to boost my protein intake, but I am trying to limit my consumption. My current strategy for this is to still buy cheese and yoghurt, but try to keep the rest of my supermarket shop vegan, so I’m trying to fully cut out eggs, and not buy things that contain dairy. I’m certainly not perfect at this, partly because the supermarket I go to doesn’t have the best range of options.

In other areas, I’m still only buying cruelty free makeup, and I’m also at a point where I don’t really need to buy any more makeup, so I’m now just replacing items when they run out. I still have a couple of old lipsticks that aren’t from cruelty free companies, but I don’t see any benefit in throwing them away and buying a cruelty free replacement, because even more important than buying ethically is reducing consumption. Not really buying new makeup is also doing my bank account a big favour, because a lot of drug store companies test on animals, so I tend to look more to department stores to find makeup brands to purchase from. I tend to stick to the same products and brands because I have a set of brands I know and like, and I’m generally too lazy to go out and look at alternatives when a product I already have is cruelty free and works well for me. The change I made most recently to my toiletries was to start buying cruelty free toothpaste. It’s not something that even crossed my mind that it might not be cruelty free, but I found out a lot of it is from companies that test on animals. Obviously, oral hygiene is not something I’m willing to compromise on, so I made sure that the replacement I’ve started to buy is from a brand I trust. The next thing I’m going to replace when it runs out is my deodorant, which I’ll just be replacing with an own brand from either Superdrug or Boots.

The final area I’m trying to make changes in at the minute is my clothes habits. I’ve started to do more shopping on eBay, and I keep looking in charity shops. Charity shops are pretty hit and miss, and mostly miss. I don’t really find things that match my style in local charity shops, and the selection is obviously more limited than eBay. When I do buy new items, I’m trying to only buy things that I will keep for a long time, and I’m trying to invest in better quality items. The main issue I’m finding with trying to shop with more ethical clothing brands is the price tag that comes attached. I have a part time job, but I don’t have regular hours, so my pay is unreliable, and I don’t tend to get many hours, which means smaller pay packets. I’ve used the trick of asking for more expensive items as Christmas or birthday gifts from family, and checking out sales, but it’s still difficult on a smaller budget. Buying less, and buying things that will stay in fashion rather than investing in fashion fads is my current main strategy, and if there’s an item I particularly want, I look to eBay and local charity shops before I buy new.

I really hope I don’t abandon this series like I did last year, because I have a few ideas I really want to write up. It also holds me accountable to the changes I say I’m going to make in my lifestyle. The next post I have planned is a series of 2020 goals to be more sustainable, though some I’ve already touched on.

See you next time!

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