For years I have been working towards a waste free - or as close to it as possible - existence. But firstly, yes, there are areas that I majorly fall down on -- nappies for one, alas, finding the small fortune for the reusable ones with babies with very sensitive rashy skin was just not do-able for us. However, I would like to share some inspiration and ideas from where I have not fallen down.
These ideas are not complex, nor costly, in fact the will most likely save you money, but the end game is that they are making a difference to our planet.
1. For the kitchen find yourself; glass, wood, steel or ceramic alternatives to plastic. Avoid plastic, pretend it does not exist. So this means no more glad wrap - hello glassware containers or steel containers, goodbye ziplock bags, hello paper bags (or aforementioned glass/steel ware), goodbye plastic utensils, hello wooden. Good bye plastic.
That one is probably one of the biggest ones. And its totally doable, I make school lunches, store left overs, go on picnics and get by just fine without plastic.
2. Drink water from reusable bottles, simple, easy and back pocket friendly. Drink coffee (or other hot beverages) from a glass travel mug - I have one, it was a gift, and I LOVE it more than one should love a coffee mug!
3. Buy organic, buy local. We have been near 100% organic for the past few months and the reduction in packaging is h u m u n g o u s. Going into the little country organic shop where they lovingly wrap my broccoli in paper sheets and lay out all my fruits and vegetables in a large cardboard box brings me to a very, very happy place everytime. What I can't buy there I don't, unless its an essential and then I make the most package free / environmentally friendly / healthiest / most best choice available. Phew.
4. Grow your own. This is cool - we don't have a massive amount of produce from the garden, nor a large space (1 x 2.5m plot) I just don't have the time for more; but herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, chilli, leafy greens, peas and strawberries all kind of look after themselves and require little assistance. Its pretty fun too. We have a compost for food scraps, a worm farm for 'worm friendly' scraps and in return have fertilizer and beautiful dark soil to feed our veggies. How wonderful is that?
5. Look under your bathroom sink. Recently my 1 year old daughter pulled a packet of tampons from my bag and walked around absentmindedly waving the packet above her head whilst we were in public and in company. People (erm friends) started laughing at me for having organic tampons. I was completely confused, it seemed pretty reasonable not to want bleached synthetic material in 'that' area, however they thought I was a lunatic! But seriously have you thought about that, putting a bleached, fake material into your womanly places day and night for however long, every month! Erm. Come on!
And this goes for face products, body products, hair products and any other beautifying balms you purchase. Have a look at the ingredients - What are you washing into the oceans? What is absorbing into your skin? And what packaging are you then digging into landfill? Try out some organic, sustainable, even locally made products and not only look beautiful but feel good on the inside! Yay.
6. And lastly. When you next make a purchase, whatever it may be, ask yourself, what impact am I having on the world around me. Is it worth it? Can I make a better choice?
I don't want to put any guilt, blame or fear out into the world, really, these changes are about making a difference (and smiling and feeling joyful), and even if you only do one or all of them, it all adds up.
I'd love to hear any of your tips or tricks, brands you love or things you make, up-cycle or reuse, email me or comment here.
Love, J x