How to Reduce: What I've done so far
Living naturally isn’t a snap decision for me. It’s something I’ve been researching and slowly doing for quite a long time. I’ve just decided to start blogging about it properly.
So here’s what I’ve ‘done’ so far to move towards a more natural and conscious style.
- Recycling Awareness. This is something I didn’t realise was a thing until I moved into a county where recycling means to dump everything into one ‘green’ box and let it get wet in the rain for two days before the truck comes around.
Recycle Now is the best resource to help you find out where and what you can recycle near to where you live. If you want to start recycling in your home, the best advice I can give is to wash everything before you store it away. There’s nothing worse than a smell kitchen from Tuesday night’s tomato soup can.
- Travel Mug. Last year, I was in the midst of my Master’s Degree. Everyone knows that studying means coffee… And coffee (sometimes) means disposable coffee cups. The biggest misconception is that coffee cups are easily recycled. They aren’t. They contain a layer of waterproofing plastic (polyethylene) which is non-biodegradable. And even if the cups do get chucked in the recycling (most of them don’t) then the contamination with food means that they’ve got the correct technology to recycle. (source).Travel mugs are pretty easy to find and very affordable, most coffee shops sell their owns ones, as do supermarkets, etc. etc. Opt for stainless steel over plastic. And stay clear of those weird ceramic ones with the floppy plastic lids. Carry it with you and you’ll get a discount on your coffee from most of the big chains.
Starbucks: 25p discount
Costa: 25p discount
Pret: 50p discount
Cafe Nero: Double Stamps
Greggs: 20p discount
In my experience, independent coffee shops offer a discount too (and have nicer tasting coffee and more interactive staff) so seek out your best indie and go in and ask about discounts.
- New coffee. I love coffee. Like, really, a lot. I had a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee pod machine for about 3 years. And I really liked it. Until I thought about the amount of waste these little pods of joy were producing. Then it became bitter… (get it,, because coffee can be bitter, get it? get it?).Christmas came and I’ve ditched my coffee pod machine in exchange for a bean-y one. I’ve sourced coffee from Has Bean and The Coffee Factory both UK-based, ethical coffee companies. Financially it works for me too.
I was spending around £120 on coffee pods a year. And got takeaway coffee another £150 p/a.
12 months of Has Bean Coffee; £71.
A contract at The Coffee Factory; £6.95p/m (£83 p/a)
I’m cool with those numbers for some awesome, ethical coffee-lovers choose my beans for me and deliver them to my door!
- Menstrual Cup. Periods?! Am I right? They are one of the most annoying, expensive and wasteful areas of my life. I dreaded my period. I hated carrying tampons around with me. I hated the little bin I kept them in when they were used. I would buy 1 box of Tampax Pearl with plastic applicators every month. As well as some nice little hygiene baggies, you know the ones that smell like lavender? It’s about £40 a year.One menstrual cup costs around £20 and should be replaced every year or so. In regards to hygiene and clean it. It’s really alright. You should take it out and clean it every 12 hours, I just do it in the shower. The only people I’ve met who find the period blood icky or gross are men and they don’t have it, so… Yeah. It’s not icky or weird to wash periods down the drain it’s icky and weirder that we don’t…
Try it and if you hate it just go back to your regular routine. I got my cup from UK-based Earthwise Girls but you can get them anywhere online. Honestly, it’s has changed my life, I no longer dread my period or notice it at all really.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to buy any of these things that in order to simplify your life and reduce your impact! Although you should try to recycle!
I see a lot of zero waste articles that say that you should buy certain items in order to live the lifestyle and that is simply not true! Only consider buying these items if you think they will make a difference to the way you live your life. Otherwise, you’ll have wasted your money and cluttered up your life with a travel mug that you’re never going to use.
Instead, I’m suggesting that you look at the areas of your life that the most wasteful and also annoy you the most. For you, it could be driving a car every day to work? Or eating out for lunch every day? I don’t know. Evaluate your life and make the changes you think are important. Don’t spend anything unless you want/need to!
Okay! That’s all for today.
Hopefully, I said something useful!
Thanks for reading.