Hints and Tips to start your journey

Hello everyone, 😊

I am a bit later than planned with this post. Thank you for waiting <3

So, #plasticfreejuly is over, how was yours?

A quick ‘what we’ve been up to’ I’ve finished my weekly check- ins for my mentorship and ‘Im due to do final exams and case study in September, we’ve been enjoying the school holidays as a family and lastly dad has been recovering well, he is returning next week to his home ready for his next stage of recovery and therapy.

We’ve been busy planning our next few months. We’ve got back to school to get ready for, Halloween- Celebrating our first birthday at the market and of course Christmas. Becky will be leaving us in January ☹ but we will be doing all the above with her and wish her the best of luck for 2020 (luckily I’m real life friends with her so I will be still seeing her <3 )

So on to today’s blog. Tips for using less plastic

I personally don’t like to label myself as ‘plastic free’ or ‘waste free’ I do try to live a waste free life, but I am an imperfect human and I’m not always successful. I strive to do my best though, so here are my tips to help you make a little difference to your life.

1- WHY! This is the most important for me. How can you accomplish something when you don’t even know why you want to accomplish it? For me, I wanted to show my little one you could make a difference in the world, I wanted to say I was trying my best to do that and I wanted to live a simpler life, The bonus was that it happened to include eating more wholesome food. As a mum that’s a bonus 😉 for a little extra incentive you could always write your why down and place it in a place where you can see it. If you’re more interested in food waste than plastic waste, then perhaps that’s the best way for you to begin.

2- WHERE YOU ARE! My rubbish collection went out every two weeks at this point, so I did this over a two week period. I shopped as normal and kept an audit of my rubbish. This allows you to see what you bring into your home, then you can see what you bring into your home. This allows you to see where you can improve. Some may find it useful take photos or even set a list of what they can reduce.

3- EDUCATE YOURSELF- watch some documentaries, read some books, search social media, join groups on social media, have conversations with people at every part of their journey. I am quite far in my plastic free journey, but I have a lot to learn on my home cleaning solution making journey. Talking to people really helps me learn and experiment. Listen to podcasts and get some Apps on your phone….

4- REFUSE- This is the easiest thing to start with, you simply say no to the plastic straw or take the time to have that coffee inside rather than rushing around. Refuse the plastic bag at the store. It costs you nothing to say NO!

5- START WITH ONE THING! The great thing about writing a list, you have a guide of where you want to go. Choosing one thing of that list and allowing yourself to work through it at a pace that’s right for you helps you focus. Once you have picked one thing and feel that is sustainable for you (they say a new habit happens in 30 days) then you can move on to the next one.

6- CHOOSE A ROOM- Some may find it useful to categorise the list into rooms within their house. Concentrating on one room in the house allows everyone living in the house to adjust to the changes happening and to as a family discuss what they would like to try. This step is critical for engaging the younger members of the house.

7- START WITH YOURSELF- I made quite a few changes quickly and in close to each other because, as a single mum I found the transition quite easy. Little one was already engaged thanks to a school project. There was no one affected because I clean, do the washing and shopping. I did obviously have a little chat with things like toothbrushes and toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo. These are changeable, kids love the ‘squirt’ of the shower gel so refills were a great option. This changes though depending on the shampoo bar I’ve picked 😊 However, I did start with myself first. Water bottle, bees=wax wraps for my lunch, Razor (an old one from my brother so reused) make up wipes. The more educated I became the changes I made.

8- BULK BUY- This was KEY when I first started, there were no zero waste stores locally. As a single mum I had a tight budget and I’m a stickler for keeping within it. By using a little more money from one area of that budget to buy a bigger version of something else, it meant less plastic overall. EG- washing up liquid, pasta, rice. Before I shopped at the local market, I bought bread for 10p late at night from the local shop and filled my freezer and for the price of a normal loaf, I had 10… this would last longer and free up cash further in the month. When a family come in the store, some comments we receive are about the cost being higher than they would normally pay. We acknowledge this and we always recommend bulk buying. If you can get the whole family using one shampoo /conditioner and shower gel, then why not buy a 5 litre one? If you live alone, why not split the cost with a friend or two? Its also a great way to save a little money and of course and excuse to get together with friends for a refill and catch up.

9- START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE- When becoming plastic free, the excitement can often get to us and we can go all in and want to buy everything new. This is where money can get wasted (but justified). This is where zero waste and no plastic lifestyle can combine. So, you like a coffee in the morning, why not use a glass jar and pop some elastic bands around it for grip. You could use that and save the ££ from the coffee shop and reinvest that into a really nice cup further down the road, you could save a little more buy taking a coffee from home. That lunch you get from the shop every day contributes towards 11 billion tonnes of waster PER YEAR. Why not use that Chinese takeaway box you’ve got in the cupboard to take your sandwiches? Once you’ve saved the money from what you would spend on lunch, invest in a nice stainless-steel box 😊

10- BENEFITS- Our last tip of the day, get your money box out. Every time you save little bit (from coffee/lunch/from your period, if you bought reusable products) pop it in there, give yourself a time limit and then empty it. You will see the benefit. This could be because it has made you more conscious of your spending or because you’ve changed your diet to restrict packaging.

Well, it was another long one today, hope you made it through. Let me know what you think and what tips you’ve enjoyed or found useful 😊 I look forward to seeing you all instore soon and even more to showing you more hints, tips and useful info.

September sees zero waste week and National recycling week. We have lots to share with you so keep a look out.

Bye for now 😊

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