ad // In the time I’ve been blogging – over 9 years – the focus towards more sustainable practices has increased TENFOLD. When I started blogging *back in the day*, the topic of sustainability didn’t really crop up and huge fashion hauls were the complete norm as soon as you went on YouTube. Since then, we’ve all got a little older and a little wiser and realized that we need to do more within this industry and even consumer behavior is changing thanks to the pandemic, too!

Environmentally Friendly Blogger

However, every now and again, I’ll feel a pang of guilt over something or another. Throwing something away. Too much packaging in a parcel I receive. Not using a product I was sent months ago. It’s always something. Although I do tend to feel guilty about almost everything – all the time. Including my job in general.

Today I want to talk about being an environmentally friendly blogger. Because it’s safe to say, our industry isn’t particularly environmentally friendly. Fast fashion hauls and excessive buying to name just a few things that impact our environment which are common practice in the influencer industry.

Of course I’m very aware that we can’t ALL do everything. I’m a realist. But I believe that if we all do our bit, it would make a huge impact in the greater scheme of things. As bloggers however, I do believe we have some sort of responsibility to at least TRY and be adopt some environmentally friendly practices.

This may be easier for some than others, depending on your niche and lifestyle factors. Being a Vegan food blogger, it’s quite easy to see how they’re helping the environment. But someone like me, who isn’t Vegan and who blogs about a lil of everything sometimes, it’s much harder to see what I’m doing in order to be an environmentally friendly blogger.

This certainly isn’t me trying to convince you I’m doing the world so much good. I know I could be doing more but these are all actions I’m taking or at least planning to take going forward with my blog.

If you feel like you’re in a similar position to me and need to refine your practices to become a more environmentally friendly blogger, here are some realistic suggestions for you!

Recycle all of your packaging from PR packages

This is a super obvious one and I’m sure you’re all doing this anyway *side eye*. But one of the easiest things we can do is ensuring that we recycle everything we possibly can from the packages we’re sent. Some bloggers – especially big influencers with a lot of followers – are sent a LOT of stuff (I’m not one of them). Stuff = packaging. So the least we can do is dispose of that packaging sensibly.

Voice your concerns to brands who aren’t environmentally friendly

It’s always worth making a point if some brands aren’t being particularly environmentally friendly with their packaging too. Not blogging related, I tweeted Tesco once when our shopping was delivered with an unnecessary amount of bags and they did reply to me and look into the issue. So as long as you’re clear and explain your concerns respectfully, there’s nothing wrong with speaking out!

Consider using an environmentally friendly web host

Making sustainable changes to your blog life doesn’t always mean something physical, like clutter or products that test on animals. Did you know, with over 2% of greenhouse emissions attributable to datacenters, websites have more of an impact on our environment that we might think.

Green web hosting is a great option for you, if you’re serious about blogging and want to go self hosted but also want to do your bit to help the planet, too. At Net Weaver, they put a ton of incredible practices in place to ensure they are as sustainable as possible, including:

  • Only using renewable energy for their servers
  • Operating using paper free systems
  • Using low energy equipment and LED lighting
  • Work from home options for employees as well as car sharing schemes to help reduce travel pollution
  • Planting trees every month, to help offset carbon emissions
  • Allowing staff to wear what they like, with no fixed dress code, encouraging less use of heating or cooling

I think these examples are a FANTASTIC way of showing how a business can go down a more eco-friendly route yet still operate effectively and have high standards for their products and services. So using a green web host is another excellent way to become a more eco-friendly blogger!

Donate anything you don’t use or won’t use

As I said, influencers are sent a LOT of stuff. I’ve watched YouTubers in the past do P.O Box hauls and I’m just flabbergasted at the amount of things that they’re sent. They only have one face, how on EARTH are they going to use all those products?

If you’re sent a fair few things from brands, there’s no doubt that they’ll start piling up after a while. Instead of throwing anything you haven’t used, donate it instead. To friends, family or worthy causes.

Only accept gifted opportunities you’re really interested in

This is something I’ve really honed in on doing and I’d urge you to do the same. When we first start getting sent things to review or start getting noticed by brands, it can be SO EASY to say yes to everything. I’ve certainly said yes to gifted products in the past that looking back have me thinking, “what the heck?”. Just because something is offered to you, doesn’t mean you HAVE to say yes.

Consider only promoting cruelty-free and/or Vegan products

One thing I’ve tried to really focus on doing is only use and promote cruelty free and/or Vegan products. My main priority is cruelty free. But if they’re Vegan too? Great! Shopping for cruelty free and/or Vegan skincare, make up, hair care and body care is always a good move to make. I currently only shop at Superdrug for my skincare because they do such an incredible range of cruelty free and Vegan products.

Have no-buy months

I think everyone should do this anyway. Blogger or not. But within the blogging industry in particular, I can see why it’s a problem. HAULS. Wanting to grab a new outfit for every Instagram photo. Wanting to be seen with the latest products and latest clothing. Perhaps try creating content around what you already own? It’ll also help you save a ton of money!

Support environmentally friendly businesses

We promote a LOT OF BRANDS on our blogs and social media channels. Not all of them the most environmentally friendly. I know I’ve promoted a fair few in the past which are the furthest from environmentally friendly you can possibly get. Instead, try and use your platform to promote brands which ARE actively sustainably and/or environmentally friendly.

Turn off your electronics as much as you can

Us bloggers… we use a lot of electricity. Laptops, phone chargers, camera chargers, camera equipment – the list goes on. It’s easy to rack up that electricity usage, especially if you’re a part-time or full-time blogger and on your devices for a large majority of the day. This is one I’m going to work on. But make a point of turning off your devices – especially over night! This will also give you a nice break from the screen!

The wonderful thing about blogging is that there’s so much help and advice out there from bloggers who are extremely environmental friendly in their everyday lives. So for people like me, who are just starting to adopt more sustainable practices into their lives, I have places to turn for tips and tricks everywhere I look!

What actions are you taking to be a more environmentally friendly blogger? Do you have any tips to add to this post? Let us know in the comments!

151 Comments

  1. This is such a great topic. Sustanability as a blogger is not talked about. Especially since we do receive tons of PR (as you mentioned). I learned a lot from this post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brilliant and insightful post. I know that Lyrical Host do a lot on the environment front — super pleased that I switched to them from Bluehost.

    I used to buy fast fashion all the time. Now, I’m all about quality purchases only. Also, I don’t have the wardrobe space these days for multiple clothing buys, so there’s that! xx

  3. I’m LOVING this post! I’m constantly working towards becoming more environmentally friendly so this post I appreciate massively. I will defiantly be taking this tips and making good use of them. Thank you so much for sharing this with us lovely Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  4. I’m trying to be more conscious by unsubscribing from email lists, which I found out from the earth hero app do take up power. I’m also trying to purchase less and more meaningful things!
    In the coming months I’m going to try to read more on my kindle and also make more trips to the old book shop to try and not buy brand new books all the time!

    1. Oh wow it’s amazing how such little things impact the earth. I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of things lately too but I’ll be consciously doing it more now I know that x

  5. These are all amazing tips and honestly something taht we should speak more about! I have been considering more what we accept and in case of gifted items mostly, to avoid anything we wouldn’t use, even if at times, mostly at the beginning as you said, it’s so easy to say yes. We try top work only with companies that are more eco friendly and conscious about sustainability, it’s a work in progress x

  6. This is a question that I have been tossing around in my brain for awhile now. After a lot of experimenting in the blogging sphere, I have started my current and newest blog, with a lot more intentionality than my blogs in the past. As I think about how I hope to partner with brands and affiliate programs down the line, i am really questioning what is the mission of my blog and how sustainable and ethical are the paths i pursue. Being environmentally friendly is truly such a journey.

  7. Great post Jenny, you’ve really gotten my thinking. I’ve actually been thinking about going cruelty free in my makeup/skincare for a while, but it’s been hard for me to figure out how to start. Do I throw out all the stuff I have that isn’t cruelty free for instance? But I am going to look more into it. Thanks Jenny!!

  8. There are so many great tips in here that I will be adopting. Since lockdown hit, I’ve been really good with not buying things just because I can, I hope I can keep it up when things calm down a little!
    Rosie

  9. This is definitely something we need to focus on as bloggers and we can help lead others by example. I’ve found that recycling packaging from collab to use for my own giveaways is one great way to cut down waste, plus as you’ve said only take on the collaborations you really want.

  10. Thank you for sharing on such an important topic Jenny. I do my bit by trying donating all of the clothes I don’t wear any more to charity at least a couple of times a year, and always try to source my products ethically, but I know there’s still a lot more I can do too.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

  11. Great post Jenny!
    I have always recycled packaging & products in the past & will continue to do so.
    I also shop at Superdrug because of their vegan skincare!
    There is so much we can do but we all have to start somewhere! Xo

  12. This is such a great post!! Such useful tips and ideas! I host with lyrical host and they plant a tree every year that you’re with them, so that’s a little way you can be a bit kinder to the planet <3
    http://www.lovemaisie.com

  13. Such good tips! I’m guilty of leaving my electronics on all the time. I need to become better at turning off my laptop when it’s not in use!

  14. Great tips, the packaging on some PR items can be ridiculous. I guess the whole vegan thing is helping me be more environmentally friendly. And only accepting products of genuine interest is better for the planet in terms of wastage and your brand! x

    Sophie

  15. I think generally eating less meat and dairy can help massively too as it’s the most environmentally damaging industry and I have been donating more items to friends and family too x

  16. These are some great tips Jenny, I do try and do what I can but there is so much more I can do and change to try and be more sustainable and environmentally minded! I definitely want to try and start shopping more sustainable brands! X

  17. I definitely am not the most environmentally friendly person in the world but it’s something I am actively working on! I also think you’re bang on that bloggers/influencers have a huge responsibility in making sure they do their bit. I think you’re so right to encourage people to only accept gifted items they’ll actually use. I know of a few bloggers who seem to accept any and everything, and I’ve definitely been guilty of it too! But that’s so much transport for something that’ll end up in a bin so I definitely wouldn’t do it again x

  18. Loved this !!
    I always try to be extremely conscious about being environmentally friendly but there’s a lot I never thought about that’s on this list such as recycling PR package material and having no-buy months. But this was great to read and I will definitely be making changes.
    Thank you 😊😊😊

  19. Fantastic tips! I always donate anything I don’t want or need rather than throw them away. Any boxes etc are recycled, and currently a massive PR box is being used by my kitten to play and eat in (so she doesn’t mess the floor!). There are always ways we can find to be more sustainable and I know for one we’re definitely making more of an effort.

  20. I absolutely love this post! I am all here for anything which makes me more environmentally friendly. This year I have been trying to purchase things to reduce waste like reusable make up pads and sanitary towels. Thank you so much for sharing Jenny.

    Love Casey xx
    http://www.casestreetx.com

  21. I make sure I recycle all cardboard boxes and packaging whether it’s from pr or things I have bought. It’s amazing how much you can recycle!

  22. This is such a great post. So many great ideas for how to be a more environmentally friendly blogger. I definitely agree that you should just accept collaborations that you are truly interested in and will actually use and love. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Great tips! I really love the idea of bloggers and influencers using their power to help brands change their ways. And I love doing a no-buy month, even in my non-blogging life!

  24. I didnt know superdrug had cruelty free and vegan products, I’ll have to check them out. I don’t really think too much about what I buy at the moment, but I do really want to change that.

    I am so bad for leaving electronics on all the time 🙄 I can’t even remember the last time I turned my phone off! I’m definitely going to have to work on that one, and it’ll make them last a bit longer too!

  25. I love your ideas on recycling packaging; one of my little pet peeves is I never know how something I buy will be packaged, so I tend to like to find a brand that packages only as needed instead of using too big boxes or too much plastic wrap and stick with them.

    I also love the idea of regifting unwanted items that are sent via brands! There are so many outlets for unneeded things if people opened their eyes bigger to find them. Thanks so much for sharing this and, hopefully, opening some eyes!

  26. Totally agree with you. We are all responsible and need to take actions to protect the environment. well done for talking about it!

  27. Great suggestions! Gifting what we do not need and buying less of what we do not ‘need’ is a good start. Less really is more in so many ways…less to worry about, less to store, less hauled off the the dumps. That leaves us with our favorite things and more time to enjoy our friends and family. 🙂

  28. I don’t think I intentionally started to be more environmentally friendly but I do notice I’ve started to adopt those habits.

    You made a pretty good point about our level of waste as bloggers. Many of us are so excited about getting pr that we don’t realize how wasteful packaging can be. Especially the huge bloggers and influencers. So I think these were some really great tips that I can use to make more of an effort in being more environmentally friendly.

    1. Oh I know! Like I watch some YouTuber’s do PR hauls and things and it’s INSANE the amount of products they get sent. Which they obviously can’t use all of it and I just think of all that unnecessary waste on packaging!

  29. These are really helpful tips. I always try and focus on eco-friendly over on my blog but it is easy to slip up and you can’t be perfect 100% of the time. I think some things get packaged up so unnecessarily or with tape that can’t be recycled. I sell on eBay and I use recycled brown paper or old amazon boxes to ship things out and I use natural tape from a company called Naturally wrapt who I love! I think it is so easy to treat the planet badly, but just a few changes like these can make a big difference!

    Em x

    http://www.loveemblog.com

    1. Oh I totally agree, we can’t be perfect 100% of the time but as long as we’re consciously making some changes, then we’re doing alright. I love the sound of Naturally Wrapt. I’ll definitely be checking those out!

  30. These are some fab tips Jenny. I’ve started making a conscious effort to live more sustainably lately. And, like you, I’m still on my journey. It definitely helps to have no spend months if you can and I certainly agree about saying ‘no’ to gifted work if it doesn’t fit with your blog.

  31. I try to be more aware of beauty products I buy (less bad chemicals, cruelty free and so on) and I try to share ideas on cutting down on meat, and things like that. But I’m always on the lookout for new ways 😊

  32. Great tips at being more environmentally friendly as a blogger, it defintely does make you think about your impact. I don’t get sent a lot of stuff, but anything I do get sent, I always try to recycle. Some packaging isn’t recyclable, so deffo a great idea on mentioning this to the brands!

    Thanks for sharing, and making me think a bit more about being more environmentally friendly!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  33. Superb post about raising the awareness of waste and the effect it can have on the environment. I love to reuse packaging and have no issue calling companies out if they don’t use environmentally friendly packaging. We are living aboard our yacht in the Mediterranean and we see so much rubbish it is heartbreaking. Anything we can do to reduce this waste is paramount to the Earth’s survival.

  34. This one is certainly good for thought! Whilst I am as environmentally friendly as possible in my day to day life, I don’t think of it much whilst blogging! It’s important to recycle everything you can & some PR packages contain a lot of unnecessary packaging.. it’s kind of annoying right?! I’ve been trying to stay away from fast fashion for about a year now, though I’ve never mentioned that on my blog! Perhaps I should talk more about these things when they’re relevant. Loved this post so much. Also you’re right, no buy months are a must!

    Jazmin

  35. I’ve been trying to have a couple of no buy months whilst we’re on lockdown, need to save some money! I love donating products to my friends as well, such a nice way to brighten up their day xx

  36. Love all these tips. I think I’ve been fairly good during lockdown in terms of not buying as much as I normally would, especially not engaging really in fast fashion buying. I also agree with with turning devices off and think it’s so important for mental health as well as being environmentally friendly, just wish I’d do it more! We become so dependent, I feel like my screen time has rocketed in lockdown! Xx

  37. Amazing post!!! 💕 thanks for sharing these tips!!. Personally, I am trying my best to have a more sustainable lifestyle, in everything, food fashion and beauty. I already follow most of these tips but there are others I don’t and that I will asap!!!

  38. I read this because I could not actually think of ONE thing bloggers do to hurt the environment. Ah! Electricity. And blogging about the real life ways to be more environmentally aware. Good job.

  39. LOVE this post! Just being aware of what we consume and how we can reduce our waste is a HUGE step in being more environmentally friendly. I’ve been a bit of a stickler in my house as of late about what we can recycle and reuse – I know I’m only one person, but each small effort helps!

  40. I love this! Recycling packaging is so important, some packages come with so cardboard packaging it’s unreal, but recyclable at least, so we should all be doing our part that way. Donating is a must too, there’s no point hoarding things when other people need it. Great post xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

  41. Fab tips and plenty of food for thought! I’ve been really trying this year to make the point of buying cruelty free makeup and skincare products (100% agree that Superdrug is the way to go – I love their skincare!) and I’m much more conscious about recycling and electronic usage. Thanks for sharing xxx

  42. I’m glad someone finally said it! People with a platform like bloggers and influencers really have a lot of power in *influencing* their audience. It’s important that we hold ourselves accountable.

    Another great tip would be to do a closet swap with friends in the industry, whether it’s just for the content or to switch up your wardrobe.

  43. I am not good at this at all to be honest – thank you for this article to help get me on the road to being more environmentally friendly!

  44. I love the no-buy month! I definitely feel like this has happened whilst in lockdown because I have not really spent a penny! The only money I have spent is on small businesses, food and bills- so great cause I am saving those penny’s and benefiting the environment win win! Also I have been trying to look into ways to be more sustainable and help the environment. I love the fact the mentioned about packaging and stuff because if I ever do buy something I always check for how much packaging they have used and think “do they need to use this much” or “could they do it differently” etc. xx

  45. Totally agree with all of these! I’m really conscious now to only accept gifted products from brands I truly want to work with and if I know it’s something I’m going to use and enjoy. In the beginning it was very easy to just say yes because it felt like ‘wow I’ve been noticed!’ then so much stuff would just end up sitting on my desk, never been touched again! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. Yes I totally agree I used to say yes to EVERY gifted opp that was offered to me and then I’d sit back and think, “do I really want this?” but that’s definitely something we learn as we go along!

    1. Wow, really? We still use them because they’re the only shop in our area that have implicated REALLY GOOD social distancing measures. But my Mum often goes to the store herself to buy the shop now, so she rarely uses unnecessary bags.

      1. We complained about it a few times and were still given bags even when we selected “bagless”. Admittedly we have also used them during the lockdown because you’re right, they have implicated really good social distancing measures.

  46. As someone who is quite naturally environmentally conscious, I genuinely forget that other people aren’t! I’ve always recycled or reused all of my PR packaging, even down to bubble wrap and packing puffs. If I’ve got a product that’s partially used or unopened and it’s been sat around for more than a month without me using it – I will pass it on to friends, family etc as products have a shelf life and I don’t want it to go to waste! I won’t lie, fast fashion is still something I struggle with. It’s something I’ve improved massively on over the past year or two and I think if I was in a better financial position where I could buy more expensive items that last me longer, things would be different. But alas, that is currently not the case! I will continue to do what I can, though 🙂
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

  47. Donating your items – I did a massive donation at Christmas (soooo long ago) of all my unused beauty products to a women’s refuge. And we always recycle our packaging (Flora turns it into horse barns mainly atm). Totally agree with you about only accepting gifted opps if they’re really lovely or aligned with my blog, but I hadn’t thought about a no-buy month, that’s a great idea. Great post, Jenny! xxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  48. These are some great ways to watch your carbon footprint and that you are helping the environment where you can. I recycle as much as I can, it’s great brands are sending a lot more eco-friendly packages which helps! Thank you for sharing these other tips!

  49. My daughter idolises Greta Thunberg and my son has obsession with recycling plastic, so I’m doing my bit whether I like it or not. I would like to do a post or 2 on the subject at some point.

  50. Great post! I’m also trying to do my bit to help the environment and these are some really good tips! I always donate to charity shops and try to limit how many clothes I buy. It definitely helps!

    Coralle / justcoralle.com

  51. Wow, this is a really great list! Blogging is definitely an aspect of my life I’d like to make more environmentally friendly. It’s tricky sometimes to know where to begin but your list has definitely left me inspired. I’m guilty of doing quite a few hauls on my blog but I’m definitely trying to be more conscious of spending less on things I don’t necessarily need.

  52. Having no-buy months is a brilliant idea! At the end of the day a month goes by pretty fast and within that month you do realize that actually you didn’t NEED to shop anything in the first place. And that’s what we all need to realize.
    Also, being more selective about collaborations and what items you accept as gifted. This can be a tricky one because so many just want the easy way, and saying yes to everything free is definitely that. But how reliable can a product review be if a person tries another moisturizer every week? I wish people would think about their integrity more, that would already lead to at least some more ecological habits. xx

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  53. Great post! I am conscious of what I accept and won’t for this reason, I hate waste and am starting find more environmentally friendly brands especially emerging brands who are conscious of their carbon foot print and environment impact. Some great tips I will definitely be doing, especially electronics and turning them off!
    Sarah

  54. These are some really great ways to be more environmentally friendly. I am trying a lot more now to be more conscious of what I’m doing and making sure I’m helping the environment. I always recycle as much as I can especially things that I’ve been gifted and I turn off all my electronics when they aren’t being used! X

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