2018 Our Impact in Review

Impact Report 2018

I did a Facebook Live on our page as a chance to reflect on all the changes we had made over the year, it was one of our Just One Thing episodes and was mainly because it’s important to me that I’m very clear I’m doing all the things I’m asking you to do. Lots of people are doing more than me, and other are doing less, but I’m being open and honest about our achievements.

I’m so proud when I look at this long list of small changes that we were able to make during 2018, in between starting a new school, homework, Cubs and making more than 365 dinners. If we can do it then your family sure can!

These are the changes we made over the whole year, and some of our hopes for 2019 – lets’ see how we get on…

  • We moved to green energy supplier (and still saved money!)
  • I wrote five sustainable living books with Lisa at www.less-stuff.co.uk. We have also created a Low Waste Week that you can access anytime online to help you start making every day changes – this followed on from our plastic free July marathon, and you can join our Low Waste Living fb group too if you like.
  • We stopped using paper towel and napkins and now use bits of a cut up old towel.
  • We started moving to a plastic free bathroom, mainly by changing to soap and solid shampoo instead of the bottles. I make my own deodorant (not convinced Mr F to follow me yet) and we have the odd bath bomb instead of bubble bath. A friend has crocheted us new shower scrubbies so when the old plastic ones are done we now have washable ones. She has also made us washable face pads so we no longer have cotton wool. We have bamboo toothbrushes, and I’ve invested in a Waterpik to replace the dental floss I need.
  • We have paid much more attention to what and how we recycle, we’ve been in touch with our local council about what exactly we can add to our curbside collection and now also send hard plastic to LUSH via their freepost address and soft plastic to the supermarket recycling service. We recycle textiles now and have made some great local contacts investigating the Terracycle points in our town.
  • We have significantly reduced the plastic in our lunch boxes by using food grade reusable food pouches from Woolla Woolla Handmade on Etsy, it’s also saved money in the long run as many things we buy in bulk and decant which is cheaper.
  • We have continued to meal plan, and got better at it reducing our weekly shop slowly but surely. It’s the sort of thing you have to do for a while to create a system that works for your family and your needs. I’ve created a 5 day e-course with all the downloads we use.
  • We’ve also given up balloons as much as possible… it’s been a bit hard but I made some bunting for birthdays. We reduced first and then on the last birthday had none and no one really noticed.
  • We no longer have plastic straws at home, or out and about if possible. We are still plagued with them on cartons etc that we can’t change, but we have taught the kids to push the straw right into the carton when they are finished so they don’t blow away.

I so enjoyed the Just One Things series, all of them were interesting and inspiring. Ones that stood out and made me change something there and then were the litter picking, textile recycling and getting out my sewing machine!

I’m also very proud to have won a #WOW award!

So, what’s next?

In 2019 we are going to be looking more seriously at whether we can move to one car.

I’m going to be researching all the options for a plastic free period, particularly as we have three girls!

I’m looking at the local options for zero waste shops to buy bulk items and we are reviewing how we shop generally.

I’m hoping to actually visit some of our local recycling centres to understand better how the process works and why Councils across the UK all have slightly different schemes.

After the success of our first assembly ’20 Ways for Kids to Save the World’ I’m looking at how to spread the word effectively across more schools. If you are linked to a school they can access the assembly and handout via www.mrsmactivity.co.uk

Lisa and I are working on more helpful books and courses, next up is Low Waste Food Week!

I’m also coordinating a Sustainable Travel Guide with experts from many areas – watch this space x

I think most of all I want to continue with the Just One Thing series, meeting and being inspired by the changemakers all around us. I am hoping to have all past episodes onto a You Tube Channel! Trying small things and encouraging other families to do the same. The biggest change I have seen is in how we are doing this all as a family, the kids and even Mr Frugal are now really involved in the question and solution sessions we have about why and how we do things, we are genuinely all working together and I don’t feel so much like the freaky hippy of the family.

We have just 12 years to make some serious changes…

How was 2018 for you?


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