Tag Archives: environment



So way on back in November 2016 I decided to embark upon a little environmental safe guarding by trying to cut down the amount of rubbish I send to landfill.

Ever since, I’ve tried to write an update but my shameful lack of progress has called me out and sent me running back to hide behind my good intentions. But, I'm learning to embrace imperfection (progress is progress) and so, here’s what has been working well:

  • A stainless-steel water bottle instead of a plastic one.
  • Reusable cotton pads instead of disposable cotton wool pads for makeup removal.
  • Handkerchiefs. I’ll be real, every time I get a handkerchief out I judge myself. This is a battle - judge not as ye be judged, right?
  • Bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones (may or may not have gifted these to my family for the past two Christmases).
  • Tote bags instead of plastic carrier bags (shout out to my fellow cheapskates who will precariously balance an entire weekly food shop somewhere upon their person to avoid the dreaded 5p charge).
  • Mooncup instead of tampons. Not for the faint of heart. (Cannot believe I’m putting this on the world wide interwebs. Good thing my Grandmother isn’t alive to read it).
  • Cloth food bags instead of plastic ones (again, makes a great gift, just ask my sister).
  • Recycling. It’s so easy it’s a crime not to.
  • Creative/whatever-I-can-find-in-the-house wrapping paper:
Newspaper and old maps = wrapping paper win. Extra points if you manage to use ribbon instead of sellotape.
Newspaper and old maps = wrapping paper gold. Extra points if you manage to use ribbon instead of sellotape.

To be honest, most of this stuff was super easy – it took some minor adjustments that I barely even noticed. But what I do notice is joy every time I use my water bottle or find some creative wrapping paper.

Things that I haven't even attempted/could go better/were an absolute disaster from which I'm still recovering and taking prescribed medication:

  • Making my own toothpaste – I’ve never had a filling; no way am I letting any homemade toothpaste stand a chance of ruining my cavity free life.
  • Making my own hair products – having finally made peace with the untameable beast that is my hair and found a way to manage it. Not even for the environment can I bring myself to break this truce and place a bet on homemade products.
  • Just making stuff in general.
  • Not using disposable coffee cups - especially in mulled wine/cider season.
  • Buying food with no/recyclable packaging. This is almost impossible when you need to buy snacks/lunch (although totes inspired by my colleague who buys a croissant sans plastic bag – he just walks it up to the till and eats it on the way to work).
  • Not using plastic straws or cutlery. Note to self: buy a bamboo spork.

This second list is where I completely fail in practising what I preach – this requires a level of organisation I abandoned over a year ago. It also makes life a little inconvenient - who can be bothered to carry around a coffee cup just in case they need it? And yet, if I think this is important I need to invest some energy in figuring this out because once the habit is built, you don't need to consider the alternative.

Want in on the fun? It's simple just start making some simple changes. What could you do first?


You see this jar


This is all the waste one student in America sent to Landfill in two years - this one jar was everything she binned over 730 days.

I bin more than that in just one week.

But apparently there are a growing number of people out there committed to sending as little to landfill as possible. It's called a zero waste lifestyle. I’m thinking of joining them.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about Lent. She mentioned a former colleague who had given up sending anything to landfill during Lent. She shopped in places where fruit and veg didn’t come packaged. She kept the teabags she used at work so she could take them home and recycle them. When she ran out of shampoo she just stopped washing her hair.

A nice idea, thought I. She was clearly crazy, but good for her.

And then this weekend I stumbled came across this:

She actually lives without sending binfuls of waste to landfill every year. You can read more about it here.

I generally don’t think much about waste. I empty my bin. The binmen take it away and I never see it again. Out of sight, out of mind. But really, those facewipes and yoghurt pots sit somewhere leeching chemicals into the ground for decades.

Mind blown. I know that God calls us to steward the earth, which I’m pretty sure includes not filling it with our rubbish, so I recycle what I can at home and up until now thought that was about it. I had never realised a zero waste lifestyle was a thing.

Not convinced waste is a problem? You might want to watch this quick film clip about the Trashed documentary:

So, here we go. I am embarking on a zero waste journey. In reality I don’t know if I have the discipline for a total zero waste lifestyle. But I figure even if I never get to zero waste atleast less waste is better.

So Level One, I’ma start with the basics:

  • Find out what can be recycled. Recycle it.
  • Look at what I throw away – what could I actually just not use in the first place?
  • Stop using disposable cups - managed to get through two at church today. Note to self, take one of those coffee cups to church.
  • No plastic bags. Fortunately, the 5p tax has almost kicked this habit. I don’t know why the extra 5p hurts so much but it really does. Canvas tote bags all the way.
  • Start using bamboo tooth brushes. Bamboo ones biodegrade. Plastic ones don’t. Christmas presents for everyone sorted.
  • No more bottled water. Hello Klean Kanteen water bottle.


And then there’s the next level up:

  • No paper towels. But what about toilets with no hand dryers?!
  • Switch to using a Mooncup – less tampons floating through the ocean finding Nemo and all that. Also, no tampon tax to pay – double win.
  • Pretend I live in the 1800s and use handkerchiefs – for years I have derided my parents for using handkerchiefs. But now they’re top of my Christmas list - further evidence that I am turning into my parents more and more every day.
  • Make my own toothpaste! This is terrifying but apparently toothpaste tubes can’t be recycled. Maybe I could just store them up and make art from them instead. There must be a market for empty toothpaste tube art right?

At Level Three it gets serious:

  • Buy food with no packaging/recyclable packaging/BYOP (Bring Your Own Packaging).
  • Instead of buying products like moisturiser and shampoo that come in unrecyclable packaging, start making my own – or get rich and buy everything from Lush, where you can recycle the pots, the products are great, and you get a free face mask if you take 5 pots back to them. Triple win.
  • Instead of recycling see what I can make or go without.

Level One seems simple enough.

Level Two will require some planning/lack of shame using handkerchiefs in public.

Level Three look like a lot of hard work. I’m hoping that gradually working towards these things will make it much easier. And I'm quite concerned about hair maintenance - after 5 years of not using chemicals or heat to beat it into submission I have only just figured out how to tame it, and one of my many must have essentials for taming the fro probably isn't in recyclable packaging and I def can't make it myself.

As ever, I'll post updates and let you know how its going.

Why not pick one thing and come join the fun?