It always comes back to the reduce, reuse, recycle ‘rule’ (I hate the word rule so lets say ideal). The three R’s to help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and now the plastic issue is very prominent in the media and to be honest I don’t know why it’s taken so long but it has made everyone think about their lifestyle more – which is great!
Now the media has a grasp on actually how bad the problem is the more eco-friendly lifestyle isn’t going to slow down if anything it’s going to gain some serious speed. Being someone recently over the past year is trying to change my purchasing habits and lifestyle to become more ethically conscious I think it’s important to share your tips with others. What have you found easy and hard to swap, share resources, websites and other information otherwise you’ll never expand your knowledge enough to move to the next step.
As you can tell I’ve heavily avoided the word zerowaste. Why is this? Because in my head it just can’t compute that concept and I think that’s the same with a lot of people. Personally I feel there’s always going to be some form of waste whether its compostable/biodegradable or it needs to put into the three R’s ideal (recycling & reusing, still technically waste if you catch my drift).
With that being said I’d like to share with you all my suggestions for swaps, changes and modifications you can make to help you move to a more conscious way of living. These are things I’ve done in my life which I think are easy to start with and to continue throughout the year.
This is going to be the first of a four part post starting with the kitchen. I do say this is the hardest room in the house for me but there are a few things which I’ve done that has made a great difference.
1. TEA! I love a good cup of tea, I’m very British like that. In fact I probably have too many cups of tea in a day. After recently reading an article about plastic being included in the manufacturing of tea bags I was horrified so decided to go on a hunt for loose tea. As well as tasting 10 times better than tea from a tea bag it also eliminates the plastic problem. An added extra is the cup looks so cute with a tea strainer in it!
2. FRUIT AND VEG! I still don’t understand why fruit and veg is packaged in plastic, it makes no sense to me but for some reason people think it actually increased the life of it but I found that it always seems to go mouldy quicker in packaging. I do live in the Essex countryside so this one is really easy for me but I visit farm shops or markets to get mine, some supermarkets do have certain fruit and veg unpackaged (potatoes, peppers etc) but never everything.
3. MILK! My biggest plastic waste issue when reviewing the recycling (amongst other things) was milk bottles. If you’re vegan or dairy intolerant there is another super easy way to make plastic free milk. Home made almond milk is the best way it doesn’t take very long it’s cheap and you can put it in your own glass container. So you’re completely in control! I’m also getting juice delivered from them once a week as well so that also cut down on the rubbish.
4. BAGS & BASKETS! None of us need to us plastic bags anymore, I mean it’s the easiest thing to swap because so many places now sell canvas and reusable bags. I’ve recently bought myself a cute second hand wooden basket which I now take shopping with me and put all my loose bits in but before I was using canvas bags. Canvas bags work great for your big, bulky and heavy items, the basket is better for loose items and the odd jar.
5. HERBS & SPICES! There are only a few places locally to me where I know to get packaged free herbs and spices from but that’s just through research, talking to people and some serious Googling. All those glass jars which you’ve probably started to hoard in the lead up to your package free shop will come in handy yay! Even those annoying little ones which doesn’t look like you can fit anything in. Once you’ve found your supplier, I firstly suggest looking at markets especially undercover ones before branching out into online purchasing. But this can make a massive difference with regards to recycling, you could just keep your old spice containers and just refill them once you’ve run out. You’ll start to notice a difference.
I’m still learning and growing myself so any suggestions you have on what you’ve done to reduce your rubbish, I’d love to hear!