We have come to the end of a wonderful Zero Waste Week, and if you joined in with our free e-course I really hope you enjoyed it. The Low Waste Living Facebook Group will continue so feel free to join there to hear about other projects and share ideas with like minded folk x.
One of the reasons we created the course with Lisa at www.less-stuff.co.uk is because I find the idea of Zero Waste so very stressful! I feel such a failure as it’s completely unattainable to us currently – or it certainly feels that way. So, why bother at all? Well… I wanted to focus on the idea for a week and see what I could do about it, rather than feel overwhelmed and stuck. Following on from such a successful Plastic Free July, I found creating the courses helped bring my attention to the positive moves I COULD make instead of the huge list of things I SHOULD be doing.
So, we have been tackling different things as we have been able to – some of those choices are financial, some are waiting to run out of what we are currently using rather than waste it, and some have required a new strategy that has taken time to think of! I’d like to share what we have done – not to show off (although I do feel pretty proud) but to share what a real family has managed to change. I truly believe that small everyday changes that become new habits are the things that will change the world – and if we all moved forward in those small ways the ripple would make a real difference.
Here we go:
I moved to loose leaf tea, in recyclable foil packs. This hasn’t been a whole house move – we still have some bags for visitors as we like unusual flavours. I ran out of tea, and a friend sells it so it wasn’t a difficult move, it does require a bit more washing up with the tea strainers but that’s ok as they are small and fit in the dishwasher. We compost the tea leaves so it’s virtually zero waste and plastic free. You can take a look at www.rutlandtea.co.uk x
We started a plastic free veg box, this is a local company sourcing mostly local foods with the odd things from further afield for variety – we got a mixed box with veg, fruit and salad for £15 delivered for free – which was about right for us. It’s been great to break out of a cooking rut!
We started making our own products, and included the kids to make it a real shift in our lifestyle. The girls made lip balm which isn’t especially ‘urgent’ but it was part of us moving in the right direction, they also helped me to make deodorant which so far seems to be working well. We are also looking at making our own laundry liquid or powder when our stocks run out – and creating some dryer balls with felted wool… more to come on those ideas I’m sure!
We started to move away from disposable products, this is a long term plan, but it’s been a real change to my mindset, so I now consider the end of the product before I buy it – what will happen when I don’t need it anymore… where will it go? This has been a really helpful way to think for me to make changes. A friend made me some crochet pads to use instead of cotton wool, we’re using old flannels instead of paper towels and napkins and have also stopped getting our shopping in carrier bags. We used to use the bags as our downstairs bin – but have now replaced that with a Muddy Boot Bag from the wonderful Woolla Woolla Handmade. The advantage here is that they are washable, and the long handle means the kids can now put their own rubbish away!
We’ve started working on a Low Waste Christmas book! I’ve truly found these last few months inspiring, and I think it’s good to continue while things are going well and people are enjoying what we are doing. So, as well as the four seasonal Eco Living Guides we have, there will be an additional Christmas Edition this year! More to come on this very very soon x
I still don’t believe that Zero Waste is a useful and likely outcome for me, but I do feel very positive about the emphasis and focus thinking about waste has given our family. The changes we have made and are continuing to make are long term and are also creating interesting and revealing conversations around our family, friends and community wi