There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Today I turned 32 years old.In my 32 years, I've become lazy and ignorant in my ways. Taking things for granted, not taking responsibility for my own self and the impact I have on the planet. Too 'busy' to bother recycling and far too proud to be doing something… Click To Tweet
That changed a few months ago, and I’m so ashamed of the life I used to lead — and I’ve only made little changes so far in my routine. I’m nowhere near as ‘zero waste’ as I’d like to be, but I am making changes and building up new habits and routines to work towards that.
Recycling & Reusing
I’m recycling a lot more — anything that can be chucked into my recycling bags is. Even food waste which I’ve always avoided due to possible smells and the thought of something rotting in the kitchen. When it’s in the plastic caddy St Helens Council provide, you can’t really smell anything unless it’s open.. I empty ours every three days (or a little longer if it isn’t full) and then soak the caddy overnight in disinfectant.
Anything that comes in plastic packaging that I can’t avoid (I live on a tight budget — I can’t avoid every chain supermarket who pump out plastic packaging sadly) is split into two groups. One that I can reuse in the home for seedlings, food storage or for activities with BB and one that I can’t. The ones I can’t are popped into the recycling bags again, provided by St Helens Council — I have two as opposed to one so I can recycle more.
Avoiding Fast Fashion
This was a big one for me — I originally started a Year of Thrift in August 2018 but while I’ve stuck to it, I haven’t kept up to the posts due to our budget taking a hit so I can’t justify shopping for even second hand items when I have clothes at home.
Primark was always my shop of choice. Cheap, cheerful and who cares if it didn’t last? It looked good for a few washes, and after that it’d be binned and replaced with something new. It wasn’t a bother because Primark was so cheap I’d feel that I got enough wear out of something to justify the price.
Now? I shop exclusively at second hand level — whether in charity shops, on social media via bundle buys, or in some cases I get given second hand clothing. I find it’s much more satisfying living this kind of clothing life, and I appreciate the workmanship and quality of items much more than I did.
Making Ethical Switches
A huge part of my life is obviously living to a budget, so I haven’t been able to make all the swaps I want to make right away — but I have done little changes where I can. We take out water bottles and travel cups instead of buying bottles and disposable cups, and we’ve switched our plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones.
I want to switch to a shampoo bar next, slowly phasing out those horrendous plastic bottles that fill our recycling. Another change we made was switching to a bar of soap with a flannel. I throw flannels in the wash when I do a white wash, and the soap is rinsed before being stored so there isn’t the worry of slimy lumps of soap being left to disintegrate on the sink side.
Have you become more aware of your planet lately? The ‘Attenborough Effect‘ has well and truly bewitched me, and there can only be more positive changes coming in the years ahead.