We need to talk about: Zero Waste. Again.

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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?

plastic-spoon-effort

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