As a teen, my commitment to sustainability was pretty limited: I was aware of the kind of food I ate (I’ve nearly always been a vegetarian), would sort out the recycling at home and refused plastic bags in shops, but I’d never really considered the shocking impact of my own habits as a consumer. Although I was always a big fan of charity shops, diligently doing the rounds of the local ones at the weekend, I also enthusiastically shopped at places like Primark, spending my hard-earned cash from my weekend job on the latest (and in hindsight eye-wateringly gaudy) dresses and shoes and not really thinking about where they came from or how they could possibly be so cheap. I think a little voice in the back of my mind was always questioning it, but the rest of me didn’t want to pay attention – having new clothes for pretty much every party was the norm for me and my friends at that time and I didn’t want to miss out on that.
Over the past few years, my awareness of the urgent state our planet is in has been gradually increasing (thanks, Blue Planet II) and I am slowly, but surely, changing my habits and becoming more sustainable: swapping my plastic toothbrush for bamboo, cutting down on my dairy consumption (goodbye cheese **sob**), using shampoo bars and a konjac sponge instead of plastic encased alternatives, always taking public transport (okay, I may have never passed my driving test, but it does still count). The list stretches on, however, there are still plenty more areas left in which I need to improve.