*Insert comment about how quickly 2018 is going here.*
In all seriousness, I feel like October has been and gone in mere seconds, probably because it was so busy. I went to my first work conference (and felt v. grown up), had my first annual review (all good), travelled to and from my hometown several times to catch up with my friends, and sped through horror novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson for Sick Chick Lit, the Instagram book club I joined. It took me longer than normal because I’m a massive wimp and could only read it during the day, when I was surrounded by people.
I’ve also been trying to spend more time reading blog posts. Really reading them, and not just skimming through because I’ve let my Bloglovin queue build up again. I love being nosy and seeing what everyone has been up to, but I also love bookmarking new recipes to try, learning more about sustainable living, and figuring out which elements of minimalism work for me. It’s about time I shared some of my favourite reads, so here are ten blog posts I loved this October.
|Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash|
1. No, You’re Not Too Small to Make a Difference, by The Lifestyle Files
It’s easy to feel helpless about the state of the world, especially with the recent news about climate change. This post challenges the idea that our individual actions are too small to matter.
“We all have individual carbon footprints, and the very immediate first step… is to try to reduce that footprint with individual actions. After all, at least some issues are associated with consumer use. Higher consumption lifestyles have higher environmental impacts. If we chip away even just a little, it helps.
“And yes, it doesn’t solve everything. We cannot reverse climate change simply by purchasing a reusable coffee cup. But it’s not about that. It’s about starting something. Getting involved. And the more involved we are, the more we can do.”
2. What Do You Do With Your Plastic When You Go Zero Waste? by Green Indy
Going low or even zero waste is becoming more and more popular. It’s tempting to throw all your old, ‘bad’ plastic items away when you make a conscious decision to cut down, but that’s not the most sustainable action to take. Polly explains why.
“While it’s normal to have that frantic feeling of ‘I need to get rid of all my plastic NOW’ when you first start… the environmental effects of your plastic purchases are already a sunk cost, i.e. a cost that’s already happened and can’t be recovered. Getting that plastic out of your house does nothing to improve the environment.”
|Photo by Max Di Capua on Unsplash|
3. How to Put an End to Make-Up Testing On Animals, by Conservation Folks
Emily’s guide to promoting cruelty-free beauty through your shopping habits is a must-read for anyone who opposes animal testing and wants to make their voice heard.
“Because of the well-known practice of animal testing, it’s easy to assume that all products need to be tested before the public can have access to them. While it’s true that products should be tested so they are guaranteed to work the way they were designed to do, they don’t need to be tested on animals.
“Companies and major industries know they can use thousands of historically safe ingredients in their products instead of newer ingredients and harsher chemicals. The appeal to companies is that what’s less ethical is typically less expensive, but they should know that people care about what they buy and how it’s created.”
While sustainable beauty has been on my radar for a little while now, sustainable fashion is something I’ve only really started getting into over the past few months. Sophie does a wonderful job of breaking it all down in these witty, helpful, A-Z guides—they’re a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed about ditching fast fashion.
“Hold brands to account. Brands would love it —100% Kevin Keegan-style love it —if you and me and every other consumer out there took the blame for the negative impact fashion has. They’ll sit there, probably around a huge table next to a roaring fire situated within a sprawling underground bunker, rubbing their hands together saying ‘Can you believe we’re getting away with this?!’ unless we hold them to account. The small changes we can make as individuals are dwarfed by the sweeping, systemic changes brands can make to transform the landscape of the industry. Call them out and don’t let them off the hook.”
|Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash|
5. A Non-Haul, by Capsule Closet
It’s easy to slip into the habit of copying others when it comes to clothes, especially when there are so many people sharing their outfits on social media. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself, but sometimes inspiration becomes imitation and before you know it, you’re not sure of your own style anymore. So Lo’s non-haul is a list of the items she actively avoids spending money on.
“We can feel a lot of pressure to curate a perfect and holistic wardrobe, with every cool item represented. But I’m realizing personal style doesn’t require that at all. In fact, it outright rejects that idea… I can start framing my style by the things I don’t need and the things I’m not into, and be a more responsible consumer in that process. After all, isn’t this the very heart of minimalism?”
6. Seasonal Affective Disorder is On Its Way; Here’s How I Deal With It, by Vix Meldrew
The change in seasons has started to have a big impact on me—on my skin, my hair, my energy levels and, most significantly, my mental health. So I’ve bookmarked Vix’s list of ways she copes with SAD and I’m going to be trying them out throughout autumn and winter.
“The nights draw in, and where you once were staring out of the window on your commute home, and getting excited about having some dinner outside or catching a few rays, it’s now darker and colder than you’ve ever remembered it. You may find that your mood begins to drop. That getting out of bed at your alarm, when the light hasn’t been disturbed by your phone beeping, like you have, is that bit harder.
“That feeling is pretty normal in most people. However, some of us can suffer with it pretty badly… Now that I’m 32, and have experienced it for many years, I have some coping mechanisms that have helped me out… I thought I’d share em with ya so that you can get yourself ready to fight the winter blues.”
|Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash|
7. We All Raise Our Beef Humanely On Open Pasture… by The Onion
Just a warning: this (satirical) article is very graphic. But that’s the point—to showcase the ridiculousness of describing any kind of meat as humane, when the end result is still a slaughtered animal. The article is a few years old now, but since I only found it a few days ago, I’m counting it anyway.
“Our independently owned family farm is committed to one guiding principle: making sure that you, the customer, receive the best-tasting, highest quality beef from cows that are healthy, active, and eventually suspended fully conscious inside a facility thick with hot, blood-choked air and the frantic bellows of dangling, profoundly fearful animals.”
8. Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Coconut Soup, by Simply Living Vegan
I can never read Jess’s blog without feeling hungry. Her vegan foodie adventures offer you plenty of inspiration and this post has given me another delicious, seasonal soup recipe to add to my list.
“As squash is in season in autumn, it is the perfect main ingredient in soups, curries and stews. This is a simple recipe that requires minimal ingredients and includes warming spices and healing roots like turmeric and ginger to fight off the dreaded common cold. It goes perfectly with a lightly toasted sour dough roll or simply served as a big bowl on its own for lunch or dinner.”
|Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash|
9. Spark Joy, by What Josie Did Next
I’ve loved Josie’s funny, honest, diary-style posts for a long time. This one discusses the constant consumerism the blogging world often falls victim to and how personality is sometimes sacrificed in favour of selling.
“One of the major things that really turns me off about blogging/social media is the commercialisation of it. Yes gurl, get that dollar, I myself have done the odd sponsored post and also posted about products I’ve received. But oh man is it constant ‘SELL SELL SELL!’ sometimes. I like shopping as much, if not more than the next person but if even I am getting overwhelmed by it all then surely most people are.”
10. 10 Things Myself (and My Friends) Find Cringey AF On Tinder, by Mo’adore
Oh, Tinder. I’m not a fan of the way it’s looked down on by some (it’s difficult to meet people, ‘kay?), but my word, it can feel like a massive chore sometimes, rather than something fun and spontaneous. Morag has hilariously summed up why.
“Hetero boys, listen up! Girls have long cottoned on to that thing you do where you try to make yourself look more in demand than you actually are. Over it. We see a picture of you with your arm around another girl and will assume you’re with her—and should probably not be on Tinder (unless you mention that you are polyamorous in your bio).”
What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments.
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Beth, 26, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin. Always thinking about my next meal.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!