For those of us who haven’t fully embraced the vegan lifestyle it is very easy to feel inferior to those very committed and admirable friends who are dedicated to living as a vegan. While some of us may not feel like we are fully ready to have a totally meat free diet, never mind animal produce free life, we are eager to incorporate little steps into our daily routine to increase sustainability and engage in environmental stewardship one small action at a time. Here are five simple things that can be done to reduce your impact on the globe, and save you some money in the process!

Reduce Single Use Plastic

The first thing is the most obvious, yet arguably one of the most important; reduce single use plastics. What are single use plastics? Disposable straws, cutlery, packaging, coffee cup lids, plastic bottles are all considered single use plastics. Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950’s, and that 60% of this plastic ends up in the natural environment. If we continue to use plastic at the rate we are doing it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

Single Use Plastic Bottle (Brian Lynch) - Flickr
Single Use Plastic Bottle (Brian Lynch) – Flickr

What can you do? Instead of purchasing a disposable cup, buy a reusable coffee mug and get your coffee in this. Many coffee shops give a discount now to encourage you to do this, so you save money in the process. Similarly, buy a reusable water bottle, again you will cut costs and reduce your plastic use.

Have a Vegetarian Day

While many people are committing to a meat free diet, you may not be ready to give up all your favorite meals. Instead why not choose one day each week where you substitute a plant based product for your meat. For example; use lentils which are high in protein as a substitute for meat in shepherd’s pie or taco’s. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef so by introducing one meat free day into your week you are making a huge impact on protecting the earth.

Vegetarian Pasta Dish (Ross Gunderson) -  Flickr
Vegetarian Pasta Dish (Ross Gunderson) – Flickr

Use Cruise Control

Most new cars today have a cruise control feature which when used can give you up to 15% more on your mileage and reduce emissions into the environment. Cruise control helps adjust the speed of your car and provides a constant feed of fuel to your car compared to supplying gas by simply pressing the gas pedal. The consistent flow of gas, rather than the pressure and release on the pedal, increases your efficiency and also saves you money.

Go Online

Today most banks, companies, charities and organisations give you the option of receiving your post and bills online. Not only does this cut down on the amount of paper being used but it also increases the efficiency of your post as everything is up to date and traceable.

Paper Bills (Phil Moyse) - Flickr
Paper Bills (Phil Moyse) – Flickr

There are many things that can be done every day that will reduce our impact on the earth. By incorporating some of the simple tips above, not only will you save money and time, you will reduce your global footprint and be proud to be playing your part in sustaining our planet, without feeling the pressure to go vegan!