Low Impact, Zero Waste, Plastic Free? Do these title's confuse you? Yeah me too!
A couple years back during my Challenge Me phase I joined in for Plastic Free July and my eye's were truly opened to the damage that single use plastic was doing to our Earth. It's two years since I took that challenge and I have to say after the intial impact wore off so did my motivation. I'd made some pretty big steps towards becoming more sustainable though such as:
- Giving up the big four: Plastic bottles, Coffee Cups, Plastic Bags and Straws.
- Switching all soaps to a bar of soap in paper packaging. My personal favourite is Dr Bronner's.
- Making my own toner.
- Switching from standard moisturizers to coconut oil which has a range of uses.
- Quitting clingfilm or plastic food bags.
- Using Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar to clean my house, which in turn stops nasty chemicals entering your home.
- Switching to Soap Nuts to wash my clothes instead of regular detergant.
However, after watching both A Plastic Ocean & The True Cost I discovered that burning desire to do more again. I realised that my previous efforts had been easy to implement and stick to. Now with a new sense of faith and determination I could try again to save the planet and do my part in contributing to as least amount of waste as possible.
In my new quest I decided to begin with food, as this is where I see the majority of my plastic waste generated from. It almosts feels impossible to avoid some kind of plastic when we head to the supermarket, they cover everything in it! So this was my key focus during Plastic Free July.
I went in search of more sustainable food options and I found that I am lucky enough to have a local farmers co-op who have produce for sale at weekly markets, although sometimes it can be tricky to purchase all items without plastic it can be done if you are willing to spend a little extra time researching. Within one weekend I had discovered that I had an Organic Fruit and Veg market that operated on weekends, my health food shop sold grains, nuts, seeds etc in compostable packaging and that there was another store which allowed me to refill my items. These shops were all within a 15 minute drive from my home.
I also made another considerable waste saving switch by opting for a menstrual cup, and reusable pads. I personally prefer using these over the reusables in fact, since everything is soft and kinder to sensitive skin. Plus it means you save money in the long run and quit contributing to the hundreds of pounds of waste that ends in landfill every year.
Nina Shen Rastogi writes:
"According to the new book Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation, the average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of “pads, plugs, and applicators” in her lifetime. That sounds like a lot. But how much is 300 pounds in the grand scheme of things? Consider that the average American woman menstruates for 38 years—a period during which she can be expected to produce a grand total of 62,415 pounds of garbage (PDF)."
It is truly shocking the amount of waste we produce and anything we can do to limit our footprint is key. During the past month I have slowly been working my way through all of my current products with a view to update those to eco-friendly versions that do not create as much waste. If you are curious what products I have been opting for check out my current favourites here. Also by switching some of the must haves in my life to lower waste options such as rechargable batteries instead of single use ones, or discovering where to recycle my light bulbs has also made a huge impact in the long run and these are simple changes to make.
Further to watching The True Cost I have also committed to quiting fast fashion. I typically live more simply these days anyway, and rarely shop however sometimes it is necessary, so when I do I plan to purchase it will be from sustainable, eco-friendly brands only.
Since this issue is so important to me, I have teamed up with my lovely sister Ghislaine and going forward she is going to be sharing with us how we can live more sustainabily. Stay tuned for her awesome articles coming soon!
And of course, I will keep you posted on how my journey to sustainable living continues.
With love & gratitude,