26 Things I'm doing
So this really has nothing to do with your menstrual cycle......but it kinda does - because your body is nature - and this is a post about nature. Just connecting the do
I'm really late to the party.
Apparently the rest of the world has known for ages that China has it's doors closed to all our plastic crap - it's old news.
But its not old news to me.
For ages I've felt really good. Proud actually, of how full my recycling bin is every week. Now I just feel sick.
All my effort of rinsing out my plastic and cans, and not putting things into the rubbish bin in the kitchen - but actually walking a few extra steps to the laundry where I keep the recycling box - ohhh the effort, has been wasted.
But seriously - at this point recycling plastic seems like a dead end - Tell me where I'm wrong??
We were all up and arms about the turtle with the straw up it's nose......To the point where I've read that Count Down supermarkets are not going to be stocking single use plastic straws anymore!
And this is a good start - but have you noticed all the other plastic we use?
Sadly that same turtle will likely die from a belly full of plastic....or it will be the seabird who's eaten her weight in plastic, or the whale who's completely tangled up in a fishing net.
Almost everything I buy comes in plastic.
My beans, my sprouts, my blueberries, my yoghurt, my ham, my salami, my cheese, my milk, my cream, my protein powder, my LSA, my nuts, my dried seaweed, my rice crackers, my favourite jam, my bread, my water, my brown rice and quinoa, my kale, my spinach, my rocket, my lettuce, my magnesium, my moringa powder, my vitamin C, my chicken, my mince, my salmon, my sausages........
I'm not trying to show off and say look at all the fancy shit I buy - I'm terrified. I ADORE All these things, and I really don't want to go without them......but I'm starting to wonder if the cost of having them is really worth it?
I just heard a scientist say....
"If we carry on exactly as we are - by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish"
Do you remember when "The year 2000" seemed really far way? And now it's 2018?
2050 is only 32 years away.
By the time my son is the same age as me there will be no point going fishing.....
I've felt this way before. Sick, and sad, and hopeless, and scared, since I was a little girl actually, but it struck me hard after I watched Leonardo DipCaro's Doco After The Flood.
And whenever I watch these things I can't help but feel totally helpless, like I want to curl up in a ball and die. I mean I want to help - but what can I do? Seriously what's the point? Is me taking a shorter shower / planting a garden / not using shampoo or buying plastic water bottles really going to help?
And then this weird thing happens - as bad as I feel (and it's pretty bad) I just start ignoring it. I hope it will get sorted out, or not really be as bad as what they're saying. I go out for lunch, watch Netflix, and carry on with life as normal.
It's like when I buy strawberries, and it's easy to buy them from the supermarket, especially when I've got three tired kids, and friends coming for dinner, and I really want to make them all Pav with strawberries on top. I tell myself it's not a big deal - it's just strawberries.
I tell myself I'm doing enough - I use beeswax lunchwrap, and EcoStore detergent for goodness sake - the strawberries aren't a big deal.
But they kinda are.
And plastic waste isn't like the starving kids in Africa.
How many times have you heard someone say "well what about the homeless people we have here in NZ, lets help them first". This isn't a case of "I don't really know where my money's going if I sponsor a child". We are totally, completely, one hundred percent, able to do loads of things, in our homes, with our kids, and in our communities, that will help, and make a difference. We will see and feel the benefits of our efforts - and we don't even need to donate money or join a group or buy a t-shirt.
There really aren't any good reasons not to change - are there?
Changes don't have to cost loads of money.
You don't have to be rich to support the environment or cut out plastics.
You don't have to travel to Africa, or become a wild and outrageous hippy.
You don't have to go out and buy stainless-steel lunchboxes (for $80??? - seriously WTF??) and straws and drink bottles......though these are awesome alternatives to plastic - you don't NEED them, to be helping the environment.
But they're pretty and I still want them.
So, today I thought I would write about a few of the things I do, that I know help - and a few things I'm aiming for, or in the process of, that I know will help more.
I guess the point of all this is give you some ideas about what you could do at home - and obviously I would LOVE to know what you're doing already - so I can implement your genius ideas too!
AND, to be totally honest, I want to keep myself accountable - telling you what I'm doing, makes me keep going, rather than giving up - or slouching back into my old ways.
You might not think any of these things will help - but I know I feel better when I do them - and I also feel excited to think that other people might do more too.
Habits, and products I'm changing or creating.......
- Making produce bags from my old baby muslin cloths to put nuts / seeds etc in - from bulk bins.
- I needed a new drink bottle (my old one had mould in places I couldn't clean). So instead of buying something fancy from Kmart (my usual - I NEED something NOW) or getting ANOTHER camelback bottle, I dug out an old apple cider vinegar bottle I had in the cupboard - and it's awesome.
- Buying chicken direct from butcher - and putting it into a big ceramic pot - not plastic. I can ring the store on a Monday to buy a a whole chicken - that's never been in plastic - and I pick it up on Tuesday.
- Mince goes straight into glass direct from butcher (Bethlehem butcher is amazing and really on board with helping us be plastic free). The mince has never been in plastic either.
- I FINALLY bought cloth nappies formy last child - he's only in night nappies - but still a shift for the better.....have you ever put a nappy through the washing machine by accident? I did that a couple of weeks ago and it really made me think about how this would look in the ocean.....Kate Meads runs waste free parenting evenings - next one is 7th August in Tauranga - but they're nation wide...she also runs other workshops that support you in becoming waste free - AND she gives away great goodie bags! I still haven't been to a workshop - but I've got my eye on her upcoming Waste Free Living events
- I went to my friends garden and stocked up on herb seedlings she had grown, she really is a master gardener, and filled our garden with them. Thank you Hannah xx
- I'm experimenting again with not washing my hair - no chemicals in the water and no plastic bottles - also I only wash the kids hair about once a month. Currently I'm using a regular bar of soap from Huckleberries (I didn't want to have to buy expensive shampoo bars if I don't need them) - I'll let you know how it goes.
- Making my own "spray 'n wipe" cleaner with citrus peel and vinegar
- Buying dental floss thats not wrapped in plastic
- Carpooling with a friend and going to the bulk store together for our dry goods
- Do I need to buy new clothes? I already love op-shopping.....what about a capsule wardrobe? I'm trying to work this one out!
- Noticing the purchases I want to make - for example pots for plants - and instead of rushing out to the garden centre to buy them, slowing down and checking out trade-me, op-shops, asking friends, garage sales - just another way to reduce the waste of others, and reduce the demand I'm putting on the shops to heavily stock everything.
- Hmmm can I make bread?
- What about tealeaves instead of teabags? I've noticed that my fancy herbal tea bags have some kind of plastic-ish lining on the inside, and it doesn't break down in my worm farm or compost.
Things I was already doing......
I'm really only writing this to make myself feel better - but also to highlight other things you might not have thought of....?
- We only buy bars of soap that are wrapped in cardboard or paper for all our house-hold use, we don't have pump bottles. I see a lot of websites suggesting Castile soap and I've used this in the past, but I find it really expensive - also plastic bottle.
- We only use unscented EcoStore washing powder - with no nasty chemicals.
- I use a Mooncup + Thinx underwear - no pads or tampons going into the landfill or the ocean......
- My husband has started buying bamboo underwear.
- Cast Iron frypans - no more teflon. I've had them for about 4 years and they're amazing.
- Recycled toilet paper - as in most toilet paper has been made out of trees - not recycled paper. Nope its not soft like purex or some other plush brands, but it still works.
I'm currently looking for Toilet paper that's wrapped in paper....any ideas?
- Composting in our garden - I compost a lot of our food scraps - though not any meat / dairy......I'm currently looking into chickens to help me solve this problem - though I have a friend with chooks and I might be able to keep my scraps (like left over porridge, and offcuts of meat) in a container for the week and then give it to her at the end of the week.
- Growing a garden (I'm not that great at gardening - but we have tried and I feel more committed now than ever.....It's almost August so it's the perfect time.
- Eating the fruit in our garden - instead of thinking I need to buy mangos and bananas!
- We choose the glass option if things like peanut butter, or jam, or coconut / olive oil, have package options.
- We quit coffee for the year - its amazing how we just don't have disposable coffee cups in the rubbish anymore
- Use EcoStore products to clean the toilet / shower / kitchen.
It's funny, as I do a lot of these things, I'm reminded of my grandmother - and I feel really proud of myself, and connected to her. She made things last. Her automatic thought wasn't to go out and buy a new one, she mended her clothes, and she made do with what she had.
I like feeling close to my grandmother through the actions I'm taking.
So what are you doing that I haven't thought of?
Do you feel inspired or overwhelmed?
I would honestly love to hear your thoughts / ideas / plans......we can't do it all by ourselves - lets discuss!