Good morning everyone 😊
So, this is my second blog post. I have got to confess I didn’t plan to ever blog. I am finding it a little more difficult than I imagined because I just see how one thing affects another and a catalyst effect happens. This makes it so hard for me to stay on track and just talk about the ONE subject!
I have a whole list of things to write about and really wanted to take a moment to say thank you to you all for letting me know what you would like to hear about. Writing to you all allows me to spread the message in a different way and the beauty of it is that I can do this anywhere and obviously I must be online to publish it, but I don’t to write it 😊
So, When I decided to start the blog, I decided to be determined to stick to one subject per week to educate on. Before I start today, I wanted to share my plans for the week……
I am going to be speaking about sustainability and plastic free periods at a local charity event. I’m nervous. I mean, I’ve spoken in public before, but this somehow seems more ‘official’ I will of course be posting about it on social media so be sure to follow and let me know your thoughts.
I will also be attending a talk by Will McCallum, the head of the Oceans Campaign at Greenpeace UK. He will be talking about how to give up plastic and I can not wait to learn more. I will be sharing anything and everything I learn with you guys, obviously! So, make sure you check out next week’s blog.
On to today’s subject. 😊
You guys wanted some tips on what to cut out and alternatives to use. I’m going to share some with you and hopefully show you it’s not about being perfect or having to change the world.
Before I do that here are some key things I have learnt over my journey;
Becoming plastic free is the same as losing weight, stopping smoking, any life change!
Every change takes time! So often we are in such a rush, are so excited to be the change we want to see that we rush in and make all these changes to realise that the change isn’t sustainable for us (perhaps you cant make shopping at the market every week or your not a fan of the bamboo in your toothbrush)
Affordability- maybe you want to change your fruit juice to the glass bottle but at over £2 per bottle its not the right choice for your family! Not every change has to be right now.
Priorities – If you want to create a life change (which lets be honest this is, just the same as changing the way you eat or the way you move your body) you have to think about what is the most important part of the puzzle for you and get used to that before you move on. This way you have more chance of sustaining it long enough that it becomes something you don’t even think about.
Consciousness- When we are in a rush, were just not thinking! Its that simple! If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’ve watched the programs, read the books and possibly even started reducing your plastic consumption. So, you’re already on the path. Now, just look a little more at what you buy, how/if it can be recycled.
Remember: It’s not waste until you waste it!
TIP 1: Stock control! Look at the packaging in your house, what goes in the bin? What gets recycled? How can you start to improve something if you don’t know your starting point? (would you go on a diet without knowing what you were eating that wasn’t good for you?
Tip 2: Look after yourself! Yes, You. While you’re all excited and want to change the world and everyone around you, its is not your responsibility or choice what others do. Start with yourself and share your journey and perhaps, if you’re lucky you may inspire someone else to make a change. While We stopped using straws as a family, I chose to then change to a shampoo bar and cotton buds then make up wipes, reusable period products. Once conversations started happening within our little family of 2, we looked at what changes to make together. Were all in it together but judging other people’s choices won’t make you any better than them!
Tip 3: Choose a room! Once you have looked at yourself and made changes there that you’re comfortable with choose ONE room and start in there. How can you reduce that? I personally started with the bathroom and it was a lot easier than I imagined. It is a lot easier now there are refill stores popping up everywhere 😊
Reduce- Do you really need it? Can you get an alternative without packaging? Simply by reducing your consumption
Refuse- This may be a plastic bag, a straw or pack of biscuits. Saying NO is an art we all need to learn.
Reuse- Did you buy bread in a plastic bag? Okay, you can recycle it in the supermarkets soft plastics recycling OR you could use it as a bin bag ( I started doing this quite early on instead of buying bin bags, I would empty it and reuse it until it split or smelt) That old plastic toothbrush you have will make an awesome cleaning brush.
Tote-bag. These can cost anything from £5 upwards so a reasonable cost but if you have a lot of plastic bags in your cupboard there is nothing to stop you reusing these repeatedly.
Coffee cup- Again these are so available now that they’re often as low in cost as £3 and lets be honest- if you’re going out and buying coffee every working day at (min) £2.75 then buy taking a cup of your own you will have saved (roughly) £5 a month…over a year that’s £60 I think that’s a great reason to make just that one change. we throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups every year – and less than 1 in 400 are recycled. This means almost 5,000 a minute are getting dumped in our environment.
Reusable water bottle- 500 billion plastic bottles are used around the world annually! The average bottle in the UK contains around 15% recycled content! Highland spring became the first brand to introduce a 100% recycled water bottle in January 2019 (not inc the sleeve and the cap) In the UK that’s 16 million bottles per day that are going into our environment. Bottled water costs 2000 times MORE than tap water. Invest in a good water filter (I personally drink straight from the tap)
Refuse the straw- Well done to businesses for actually making this change and getting more sustainable options. I take a glass one out with me for cocktails. Have you seen the video of the turtle? Click the link to be educated! This was a catalyst or us!
Take your own lunch- Reusable containers/ even take cutlery from home! You don’t HAVE to spend money to make a change! You may even find this makes you look at the things you do eat and helps you to make healthier choices for your body and your wallet.
Get a milkman 😊 (This may be something you build up to, we will talk about this another time 😊
Shop in a market/local butchers or even change your supermarket. If those options aren’t viable to you then do what I did to start. Stick to your supermarket, look for the veggies that aren’t wrapped. Use a box to store all lose fruit/veg in. Leave the wrapping with the supermarket! I’m personally more a believer in making more of an impact by changing how I do things completely. I think if we all did this, the supermarkets would magically start refill stations.
Bulk buy (have a friend trying to do the same thing as you? Can you buy bigger and split the cost?)
Send your plastic back to companies asking them to seek alternatives out.
It is easier now than when I first began because there is more awareness and more shops to help make the change. There are always alternatives to things and it’s a constant learning process. Always ask people, share your ideas and be open to trying new things.
I’m someone that needs a goal and something to focus on and work for. I personally made a list of my priorities and then I made a jar. I worked out how much the disposable items cost and how much the reusable items were. Then I worked out how long it would take me to ‘repay’ the reusable items and then once that time had past id put the money each month into a jar.
E.g.- reusable period cup £15 (just over 5 months of reusables) by then end of the year id saved £20 just on that change, now add the coffee cup, make up pads, shampoo bars.
We are going to talk about the impact on our wallets another time. This is such a big conversation and so unique to everyone that it really does deserve its own post.
This journey for me brings about whole new conversations- Cost and worth being one of them! In such a disposable society I ask you, are you conscious of the amount you buy and waste? Or is life one of those things that slips by with everything rushed and you not knowing where the time went? I know it did for me!
Affordability is another- we often find that we say things like ‘I can’t afford that’ when looking at changing our lives,
Priorities is another great conversation. Be mindful of what your buying and what value that has in your life.
Plastic free July is coming up in a few weeks so we will be looking to support you. Get you educated and started in your journey! We’d love to hear from you about your journey and any hints and tips you may want to share.
Why not join our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/733800850312778/
Or follow us on Instagram @lifeunwrapped1
There is just a few hints and tips/advice. Thank you for making it to the end 😊