Earth is what we all have in common.Wendell Berry
My life decisions are based on one or more of three things, brings me income, brings me joy, and keeps me healthy. I have come to realize that eating well and looking after our mind and body, increases our life quality immensely. But there is something else we need to take care of as well. We need to be mindful of our footprint we are leaving behind. It can be a legacy of clean life or one filled with plastic, junk food and garbage that stick around for hundreds of years. Before we get started, I am not here to judge and am just sharing my point of view. Also I am not perfect and have definitely purchased food that is not organic and is wrapped in plastic. What I am here to say is how changing little, absolutely teeny tiny things, made a huge difference in how much plastic waste we threw out.
Here are some of the things I did and will urge you to try to make a difference.
- I don’t buy meat. I am a vegetarian. I was raised as a vego by my parents and never ate meat at home. When I moved out of the house, I tried eating meat to increase my open up the options for me at restaurants. but never enjoyed the them. I certainly didn’t learn how to cook meat at home and am not planing to. These days, there are a lot of veggie options available everywhere, so i just stick to veggie dishes. That being said, my husband likes eating meat. It is tedious for us to buy and cook just for one person so he likes to eat meat when we go out for dinner.
- I ditched cling wrap. I was a huge consumer of cling wrap until earlier this year. Got the silicone lids from ebay, and they are a game changer. I haven’t used cling wrap since.
- No plastic grocery bags in our house – we only use reusable bags. If you are after some fun reusable grocery/library bags check out my handmade store. (handmadeovercoffee.com)
- Bye bye takeaway cups with plastic lids – I bought one keepcup about a year ago and prefer taking coffee made at home. Also my coffee machine doesn’t use plastic pods.
- Said no to fast fashion – shoes, clothes and electronics are probably what form majority of the waste. Buy things that have a purpose, and have a long term use. Reconsider if it is a temporary fix.
- More kindle books than actual books – When we were moving countries, I realized that books are the hardest to move. Kindle has become the perfect alternative and so much easier to manage my books.
- Take lunch to work – Bringing lunch to work has probably saved me a lot of money and a lot of plastic.
- No straws. I dont drink have fizzy drinks and do not need straws at all, plastic or otherwise.
Being in Australia, we are privileged to have safe potable water in the taps. If where you live doesn’t have safe water, it may be wise to invest in a filter than buying bottled water. Australia also has laws that make it very easy for people to become as eco friendly as possible. For example, take away containers are usually biodegradable. There is a cost for buying plastic bags at all stores at checkout. And people are generally very conscious of their plastic use. They support the local farmer’s markets.
As I said, I am not perfect but I am trying. Here are things I am working on to make the change to in the coming year –
- Buy from bulk stores to avoid plastic packaging
- Compost veggie waste at home
- Get milk in glass bottles and refilled every week, locally sourced. I have looked into this and the cost is not much different. Even if it is a dollar extra it will be worth it compared to the damage caused by plastic bottles everywhere. (I have a slight mental barrier in becoming vegan, which I also need to work on)
- More trips to Vinnies/goodwill to reuse and repurpose things
The three things that make up our home are our body, our mind, and our planet. We have a responsibility to look after them.
Some of these may be a big change for you or it maybe something you already do. Please do share your tips with me in the comments below so I can try them out as well.