I’ve been trying to only buy things that I need as of late. When I first went vegan, I went a bit mad and bought anything cruelty free. I was like a kid in a candy shop, spreading my arms and shouting “I want ALL the things!” but I’ve learnt to cut back on that a lot in the past few months.
Nowadays, my reasons for buying vegan products are to eat (groceries), to stay clean and presentable (shampoo/deodorant) and then whatever skincare and makeup products I run out of. I recently cleared out my makeup drawers and delivered a butt-load of stuff down to the local charity shop because I realised the makeup that I actually use can fit in your average purse. I had so much that I didn’t actually need, so I figured someone else might get the use out of the things just sitting in my drawer.
In one of my earliest videos, I spent €20 on a hand lotion and thought that was totally normal. Now I look back at past me and feel like shaking myself. Why couldn’t I have spent that on something worthwhile? I could’ve donated it to an animal shelter or I could’ve sponsored a donkey at the Cork Donkey Sanctuary, or I could even have bought groceries for the week. Keeping things that are actually important to me in mind (slightly softer hands is not one of those things), I’m going to go through 2017 and try to make better choices than I did last year.
Did you know that Ireland, per head of population, is among the highest waste producers in Europe? Annually, our waste would fill Croke Park to the top of the stands. Just visualise that for a moment. That is immense. I think we can do better. There is a movement called Zero Waste which aims to minimise as much as possible the amount of waste we create.
I’m just vegan now, but I’d love to move towards a life of less excess; less waste, less paper, less plastic, less STUFF bought just because an advert told me I needed it or just because it has ‘Suitable for vegans’ on it. That’s one of my goals for 2017 and I think I’m well on my way to achieving a more minimalist approach to my life. Committing to something is half the battle.
I plan on watching Trashed (2012) this month to better educate myself on what exactly is happening in terms of worldwide landfill and pollution. Check out the trailer below:
What are your goals for this year? Will you be doing any volunteering? Any animal activism? Let me know in the comments as I’d love to hear your stories!
If you’re interested in learning about the Zero Waste Movement, check out this link.