The Big Green Swap: Everyday changes to make your life more sustainable

The climate crisis cannot be solved within today’s systems,’ writes Greta Thunberg in The Climate Book (Allen Lane, £25.00). ‘But that must not stop us from taking whatever action we can, right now.’

It remains to be seen whether those currently gathered at COP27 in Egypt get anywhere near to introducing the structural changes and binding carbon budgets that the Swedish activist calls for.

However, both Thunberg and some of the 100-plus experts from meteorologists to engineers to indigenous leaders who contribute to The Climate Book share changes we can make, too. Professor of environmental physics Gidon Eshel, for example, states that ‘The most impactful dietary change, unquestionably and peerlessly, is eliminating or drastically reducing our consumption of the most resource-intensive food item: beef.’

Moving away from beef is also straightforward given the range of alternatives. Here are three winners from animal rights group PETA’s Vegan Food Awards.

Here are some suggested switches:

When you’re craving a pie

Try B Corp Higgidy’s Roasted Chickpea and Masala Pie (250g). The vegan shortcrust pastry is filled with coconut, lentil and spinach daal and chickpea and tomato masala; the topping is sweet mango chutney and a roasted chickpea crumb.

Buy for £4.45-£4.50 at Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose

When you need a pizza

Domino’s offers a range of vegetarian and vegan pizzas, but the PETA award went to its plant-based, and pun-tastic, PepperoNAY. It features vegan dough and vegan cheese with Domino’s usual tomato sauce and meat-free salami created by The Vegetarian Butcher.

Buy a large pizza for £19.99 from Domino’s

Want more low-cost ways to live more sustainably?

Read on below for more recommendations that ease pressure on the planet and on your pocket…

Substitute chicken for corn cobs

Meat isn’t the only vehicle for piri piri sauce. This recipe uses corn cobs instead, baked in one pan alongside jacket potato wedges. Less cost, less carbon and less washing up.

Buy for £1.19 from Aldi

Switch mince for aubergine

Garlicky roasted aubergine ragu sounds delicious and is incredibly versatile, going well with spaghetti, jacket potatoes, rice, quinoa, orzo or barley.

Mills promises that it’s ideal for batch cooking and also provides a recipe for a nut-based cheese alternative to sprinkle over it.

Buy for 75p from Aldi

Swap bacon for mushrooms

For vegetarians and vegans who miss bacon, Mills has a plant-based dupe: mushrooms.

The B in her BLT stands for balsamic mushrooms, cooked with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and garlic to make them rich and sticky.

Buy for £1.30 from Aldi

Save carbon, save cash

Digital platform Giki Zero offers a wide range of challenges that help to reduce your carbon footprint, and in many cases your bills. Cook with saucepan lids on, and you’ll use ten per cent less energy than without.

Free to join and to use at

Make it last

Get the most out of whatever you buy by extending its lifespan as much as possible: think double-checking washing instructions and freezing that extra milk.

Even scraps of soap can be used up if you stick them in a Soap Saver hemp bag.

Buy for £2.75 from Friendly Soap

Pick the imperfect

Buying produce that doesn’t meet the usual standards of appearance saves you money and keeps perfectly good food from going to waste.

Look for a wonky fruit and veg range at the supermarket and try the wonky bread boxes from Earth And Wheat.

Buy from £5.99 at Earth And Wheat

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