A little over 2 years ago I was ahead of the game in seeing that we needed to find a way of using & buying less stuff and making less waste. I started simply by refusing to buy any more cling film once the current roll was finished – I still have that roll of clingfilm, so I guess that was pretty successful. I covered open food with plates whilst remembering fondly the fridge of my childhood.
. I purchased expensive beeswax covers for when that wouldn’t work (which isn’t often) – with the promise of them lasting between 12 and 18 months – they are finally losing their gusto and faced with throwing them away – hello, no – I have discovered that I can either ‘gently cook’ them in the oven and they will refresh or grate over a vegan beeswax and gently cook – worked well but took some time to get off the baking trays.
I put to use all the plastic containers I already had – I figured if they had already been produced they were far better served in my kitchen than in landfill.
Taking my plastic containers to the shops for meat and fish – not so successful – remembering is the problem but I will keep at it.
Shopping at the local farm shop & organic butcher and only visiting the supermarket for what I can’t get there, which is surprisingly little. Trying not to buy anything wrapped in plastic, no matter how delicious.
Fed up with the plastic pots that yoghurt come in I have started to make my own, sometimes great results, sometimes not – I find it a very temperamental substance that can all too easily turn into a revolting hybrid of cheese/gloop.
Growing more of our own produce (ok I am lucky - I have a little space in the garden, and the garden is a huge part of maintaining my mental health in a busy work life)
I already cooked almost everything from scratch – we had more or less ditched processed anything and sugar for health reasons – supported local honey and baked with dates. I am not keen on meat so no problem there and both our digestions seem to be happier with alternative milks.
Personally I don’t want to see dairy (or any) farmers put out of business –and I am not entirely convinced that the footprint of a locally raised and kindly kept cow is less than the wrecked forest and habitat to grow almonds for milk. Despite the hideous videos shared on social media to the contrary – it is completely possible to raise animals kindly – I have farmer friends. Our eggs come from farms, where the chicks are free ranging and very local.
Lordy this makes me seem so straight!! But I drink gin and wine – and frankly have no idea of the eco footprint of that – need to find out., or best not to know?
All of this has had some lovely side effects: my skin is really good, everywhere!. Despite thyroid issues I am managing to not yo yo quite so much with my weight.
So how has the recycling thing worked out with the dance and fitness business? Surprisingly well as it turns out. I had a super comment from a parent during our show preparations that she ‘thought it was brilliant that we effectively recycle most of our costumes each year.’ I hadn’t even realised we did this. But, yes, on a two to three year cycle – costumes get used again, they may get a complete rework and be unrecognisable but they do come round again. Similarly all the art equipment we use for our creative clubs is reused and increasingly our projects are biodegradable or recyclable too. The company I use to supply us uses limited packaging so win win.
For work the aim for this coming year is to decrease the amount of ink and paper we consume – the ink to make financial savings, the paper to decrease waste. This probably means embracing some online register and invoicing technology before the end of this school year – simply terrifying – I love writing and I simply cannot get on with an electronic diary – I absolutely need to see before me what a week looks like and to be able to tinker with a pen, but never say never …………………………………………………
At home, I have to tackle my clothes………. Good at clearing out and giving away I think it might be time to see what is good enough to keep and wear again and again or get that sewing machine out and rework it into something else – this will be a massive challenge.