No one is perfectly eco-friendly so drop the guilt and do this stuff!
So we all want to be more eco-friendly right? We want to help the planet and the future generations. We want to be altruistic and kind and save all the turtles, but guess what? Sometimes we are living life and we forget things or have a situation to contend with (like a screaming baby who needs a drink of water in a busy shopping mall on Christmas eve and you have forgotten your reusable drink bottle! Just saying…).
Near enough is good enough
I am here to tell you that near enough is good enough no matter what you see people posting all over social media. Using your reusable shopping bags 90% of the time is a great effort. Only buying bottled water on the odd occasion is magnificent. Using disposable (ahem) nappies when out and about or travelling is a lot better than using them all the time. Buying blueberries or strawberries in a recyclable plastic container is okay. To quote a very popular phrase amongst sustainability gurus, ‘the smallest of changes can make the biggest impact’. And it’s true!
Reuse and recycle
The key is to REUSE, REUSE, REUSE and then RECYCLE when you can’t REUSE anymore! Use those containers to store veggies or fruit from your own garden and pass on to friends/family. Use all the toilet roll tubes for craft or silly games with babies and children. So you had to buy a bottle of water? You can reuse that water bottle for months before you swap it out for your reusable (I can attest to this! I had the same plastic water bottle at work for about 6 months; it wasn’t pretty by the end.). There are also a lot of quirky people on Pinterest who will tell you how to make crafty things out of plastic water bottles if you are that way inclined.
It is all about developing habits and instilling them in your people.
If you do these 12 things you are already awesome (and saving money too!)
- Using eco cycles on your frontloading washing machine and your dishwasher.
- Air drying washing whenever possible (I hate dryers for their environmental impacts but I also think they wrinkle your clothes!).
- Don’t iron! I have not ironed a single thing in 5 years. For real! Hanging all washing in the sun and hanging it up or folding it as soon as it comes indoors is the way to go.
- Only washing after a few wears for more durable items e.g. jeans, jackets, bras. I have a friend who seriously washes his jeans twice a year. He hangs them inside out in the sun each week and swears this keeps them fresh and reduces fading. That may be going a bit far, particularly if you have children that drop food on you, or you drop food on yourself, but you can certainly get away with a week or two!
- Using reusable coffee cups for take- away bevvies. You can definitely get discounts at all the best cafes for this!
- Using refillable water bottles each time you leave the house. For every member of the house.
- Using my favourite ‘rinse, lather, rinse, repeat’ showering formula that means turning off the water between each step. No more standing under a hot shower to wake up each morning!
- Totally outlawing any plastic sandwich bags, cling film, and plastic shopping bags, and using reusable lunch boxes/storage boxes. Stainless steel bento boxes are super cool right now.
- Recycle every bloody thing you can! Remember REUSE, REUSE, REUSE and then RECYCLE? Yeah? That.
- Fix dripping taps.
- Turn off any unused appliances at the power point and definitely turn off when you go away on holidays.
- Got kids? Relish in secondhand toys and clothing (particularly for kids 5 and under who couldn’t care less if things are secondhand).
All of these SAVE you money! How good is that?
So, hey, all you trendy Insta-famous people! We see you there looking beautiful and cool in your upcycled clothing telling us you only produced a shoe box worth of landfill rubbish last year while making your own shampoo and soap. We commend you for it. But I really want to say good on you to the everyday people, mums and dads, kids, 9-5 grinders, students living on a shoestring budget, retirees! GOOD ON YOU for doing everything you can to make a difference; every little bit counts.