Hi everyone, long time no speak. I haven’t been blogging here much (read: at all) this year, as I’ve been working on another project which is taking a lot of time and a helluva lot of creative energy. It’s all very exciting, but blogging has had to take a back seat due to me having a limited jug of creative juice that is currently being poured between my day job and this new project. Did the juice/jug analogy work at all? I’m not sure it did.
Anyway, this particular topic is one that’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I thought what better way to get my thoughts in line than to write about it? I jotted it all down in my trusty notebook (one of 762 obviously. A gal can never have too many notebooks), but then I thought some of you might be thinking about the same thing, and perhaps you’d find this helpful.
If you’ve guessed from the title, big pat on the pack to you, Sherlock. If not, I’m talking about Earth Day, and more specifically, what changes I can make to reduce my carbon footprint.
It’s a hot topic in the media, and lots of people are already making changes to better look after our home, Earth. People are eating less meat, bars and restaurants are no longer offering one-use plastic straws, manufacturers are being more mindful of packaging materials, people are recycling more, and more of us are looking at ways of being more energy-efficient.
There are some things I’m already doing to help protect the environment, but there are some more changes I’d like to make.
So today, on Earth Day, I’m pledging to:
Find an alternative to kitchen roll
Some councils will let you recycle a small amount of kitchen roll in a compost bin, but for the most part, it cannot be recycled. Using a piece of kitchen roll to mop up some pasta sauce that spilled on the counter feels wasteful to me, so I’ll be researching some alternatives. If anyone has any recommendations, please hook a girl up.
Switch to reusable sanitary products
A woman will use on average over 10,000 pads or tampons throughout her reproductive life, and these will mostly end up in landfill or the ocean. I’ll be switching to a reusable silicone menstrual cup for two reasons. 1). You only need to buy one for life, which makes them much more eco-friendly. 2). Pads and tampons are full of chemicals, which aren’t good for your body. Many menstrual cups are chemical free.
Cut out face wipes
Face wipes are a modern convenience that lots of us use. They’re a quick way of removing your makeup, they’re travel friendly, and you can buy all kinds of wipes to suit all kinds of skin. But where do they end up after you’ve tossed them in the bin? Landfill. And they take a long time to break down. I actually stopped using face wipes on my skin ages ago, as the skin on my face is super sensitive and I prefer to keep harsh chemicals away from it. Nowadays, I remove my makeup and cleanse my face with baby oil or extra virgin olive oil, then I use a flannel with hot water to make sure my face is thoroughly clean. That being said, I still use face wipes to clean up my eyelids after I coat my lashes in mascara. I don’t know how I do it, but I end up getting mascara all over my eyelids, and let me tell you kids, it ain’t pretty. I’m going to find an alternative way to combat this problem, so that I can completely cut out using face wipes.
Grow more plants
Luke and I are hoping to move to our new house next month (boy is that an expensive headache), and I fully intend to make good use of the lovely new garden. Trees, flowers, plants – they all help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. I’m thinking a nice Japanese maple tree and veggie patch would be a good place to start.
P.S. If I sound like Charlie Dimmock, let me assure you – Japanese maple is one of the only trees I know the name of.
So there you have it, my pledge for Earth Day 2019. I’m not saying everything is going to happen immediately, or that I’ll never touch a piece of kitchen roll again for as long as I live, but I’m going to do my best. That’s all any of us can do. Nobody is perfect, but if everyone chooses just one way to reduce their carbon footprint, think of the difference that would make to our planet.
If you’re thinking of ways you could help the environment, here are a few other things you could do:
- Reduce (or cut out) meat consumption. This is the single best thing you can do for the environment, and it’s easier than ever to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. I’ve been vegan for three years, and I can’t recommend it enough. Even if you’re not sure you want to completely cut it out, having Meat Free Mondays will make a difference to the environment.
- Use a reusable water bottle. I buy pretty metal bottles from TKMaxx that keep the water really cold. I’ve got two that I use, and they come everywhere with me so I don’t have to buy a bottle of water while I’m out and about. The gym, the office, the shops, you name it.
- Switch to stainless steel or glass straws. I bought some stainless steel straws last year, and I love them. I use them for my smoothies in the morning, and also if I’m having a glass of something cold.
- Limit food waste by planning ahead. Each week I make a list of the meal we’ll have for the following week, which means we only get what we need when we do the weekly shop. We also freeze leftovers or pop them in the fridge for lunch the following day.
- Carry a reusable shopping bag with you when you go shopping. I’m not perfect, sometimes I forget to take it with me. Or sometimes I go into Tesco without one because I only need to get one floret of broccoli and I can carry it without a bag. But I somehow come out with oat milk, a bunch of grapes, a bar of chocolate, a box of cat food, a candle, an artichoke, and a washing machine, and I can’t carry everything to the car.
So there you have it. I hope you’ve found this to be a helpful and inspiring read. If you have any tips to help with my pledge, please do drop me a line.
Here’s a nice quote to end with:
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” – Anne-Marie Bonneau