It’s a year since I made my resolution to make positive changes for the environment in my every day life and started this blog to help record my journey and keep me on track.
So how have I done? Well in the last few months, I’ve not updated my blog, but I’ve been busy elsewhere in life. I think I made a lot of the easiest changes early on in the year and since then it’s been harder to think of things to write about, but I have kept plugging away in small ways, some of which I’ll mention in this post.
Although I will admit to becoming disheartened when I see the waste that I personally can’t control (for example the vast amounts of plastic wrapping from drinks being unloaded from a lorry at a pub), I think the general public have also become much more visibly and vocally active on behalf of the planet. Let’s celebrate the fantastic news stories we see almost every day now, such as the cancellation of this waste of hundreds of thousands of balloons for a New Years party.
Dreaming of a Green Christmas
There were definitely excesses at Christmas and I’m sure some of them could’ve been avoided if we’d tried harder, but we did make certain efforts.
One of my favourite things was making our own wrapping paper. We bought cheap recycled, recyclable brown paper which we used to wrap most of our presents in (there was a bit of “real” wrapping paper left from last year as well). Even just using this alone looks really stylish, and a few gifts we added (reused) ribbons to give a bit of flair. But I also painted a length of the paper with Jack which looked so lovely and personal when we wrapped up the presents. I’m definitely going to do it again for Birthdays and Christmas, it’s fun, easy and very unique!
I also carefully separated recyclable paper, non-recyclables such as sellotape and embossed paper and so on as we went along on Christmas Day. It was easy because Jack wanted to play with everything as he opened it! It took 3 days to get through all the presents!
I intend to do what we used to do at home when we were little and save the Christmas cards to make gift tags for next year’s presents.
… and beautiful environmentally friendly Christmas presents!
One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was something I’ve been wanting for a few months, but I’ve made sure I got every last shave I could out of my old blunt plastic razor first! Yes, that’s right, a gorgeous old-fashioned safety razor made by Bambaw and purchased by my loving husband from Unwrapped Zero-Waste shop in Crookes.
I’ve already shaved my lower legs and armpits with it and escaped intact!!
A big year ahead
A lot is going to change this year because we are expecting our second baby in April! This is definitely going to make it difficult to keep the waste down. We’ve potty trained Jack early to cut down the amount of nappies we’re using. We now only use one or two a day (although the craziness of Christmas has really caused him to regress!), but we completely failed at getting him back into reusables. Hopefully this time round we will keep the baby in reusables for longer. We mostly gave up on them before when Jack started at the childminder at 8 months old, but this time when I go back to work, the baby will go to the nursery where Jack is now, and they are completely up for using any kind of nappies, which is very encouraging.
2018: A wonderful year of small changes
Diet: I’ve not eaten meat (with the exception of finishing bits up) since Earth Day which was in about March or April. I’m still eating fish, eggs and dairy. I think I’ll probably eventually cut down on some of those things too, especially after hearing some awful statistics about by-catch in the fishing industry, but that will probably have to wait until all the big changes that come with having a newborn are out of the way!
Shopping: I’m a lot more aware of alternatives and avoid certain things that come wrapped in plastic. I’m definitely not perfect in this area yet, but better than a year ago. It is certainly made easier living in a city which now has at least four completely zero-waste shops and others that encourage zero-waste lifestyles. We still love our fruit and veg box and get very little plastic with that!
Personal hygiene: I think this is one of the easiest areas to change and I am still sticking with bars for soap, shampoo and deodorant! We have a squirty soap in the kitchen, but we refill it, along with other things like washing up liquid and fabric conditioner (note: don’t put fabric conditioner in plastic milk bottles! It is corrosive!)
The next change?
We still haven’t got round to getting our milk delivered here, although we used to at a previous address. I intend to contact the local dairy this week to sort that. They deliver in glass bottles that get reused, so that will cut down on another regular single use plastic.
I hope you all have a wonderful 2019. I’m not sure how often I’ll continue to update the blog, but I’ll certainly keep it open just in case I have any exciting ideas to share!