Our Year of Environmental Changes – A 6 Month Progress Report

Some of the environmental changes we have made.

So far this year, I’ve posted a monthly update on our attempts to live more environmental lives. Each post has had a theme, all about changes we’ve been making in the household, and our daily lives.

I thought as we are now an unbelievable six months into the year, I would write an overall report, but most importantly, I would like to discuss where I feel we still have room to improve.

I feel like the changes we have implemented have just slotted into our lives perfectly. The likes of the cloth washing up sponge, and the cloth kitchen roll is brilliant, and it’s made me realize just how much we don’t need paper kitchen roll, I can’t imagine what I really used it for before!

We’re in the process of doing a HUGE house cull. As in trying to clear out all of our rubbish, things we just don’t need, and even some highly loved items that we feel can now go onto to a different home. We are reusing what we can, i.e I’ve turned an old Halloween dress that couldn’t possible be sold on into a duster… simply by picking it up and dusting with it. I didn’t even cut it up!

Our cloth nappy game has improved with a few new nappy purchases, and I’ve made up a little bag of cloth wipes, and portable wipe spray for in the changing bag, so even that reduces the amount of throw away wipes I’m using.

I’ve been using my Diva Cup for about three months, and it’s been life changing, so look out for an update on that coming soon!

All in all, I’m loving the changes we’ve made. There are more, but I do want to make sure I’m saving some of those for my monthly blog updates!

Now its time to own up to some of the things I think we still really need to change, and some things that I’m not entirely proud of…

  1. Food shopping – We need to make a conscious effort to buy loose items, rather than items packaged in plastic. We are better than we used to be, but there are still so many of our fruit and veg that are coming home in unnecessary plastics. To remedy this, we really need to be looking at local green grocers, however there isn’t one in our village, so it’s about finding one that we can get the time to visit. Supermarkets do have loose veg options, but not for everything. I would love it if a weigh-shop opened near by too, I buy a lot of flour, lentils, seeds, etc but I keep having to buy packets of them, and again that is more plastic. I also find that I waste a lot of say nuts or dried fruit because I can’t buy the exact amount I need and won’t use them other recipes. So I’ve made a plan to only buy what I’m going to use, if it call for pine nuts, I need recipes to use up the whole packet! I’d like to eventually switch to loose leaf tea as well, although I do already buy a lot of biodegradable tea bags. We’ve cut way back on our meat consumption, but when we do buy it, we should be buying it from somewhere we can take our own containers. A lot of meat comes in black plastic packaging, which can’t be recycled. Which brings me onto…
  2. Meat & Animal Products – We try. We really do try. We are not vegan, or vegetarian. We try to be flexitarian – which I realize sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t name it! – which is essentially being a part time vegetarian. We only eat meat once a week, if that, and its usually chicken. I opt to make a lot of veggie dishes, and we only buy veggie burgers etc for the freezer. We do eat meat if we are in restaurants, and my son eats a lot of bolognaise, but he doesn’t eat much, and he’s only 17 months old, so I think that’s okay! We do keep saying we need to shop at a butcher and try to buy locally sourced meat, so that is on the list. And I do sometimes opt for oatly barista instead of milk. So yes, we do try. I know it’s not really enough. I know going vegan is a great way to help in the fight against climate change. But we just aren’t there yet. I love to make as many of our meals from scratch as possible, so we rarely buy processed food, and we are cutting back on our food waste and our meat consumption, but we just aren’t at a point in our lives where we are ready to go vegan. I’m aware that probably sounds ridiculous, but we have cut out a lot of things that are bad for the environment. I know I’m just making excuses now, clearly I feel guilty about it!
  3. Cleaning products – This sounds horrible, but we do make our cleaning products last. We are clean, I promise, I just use them sparingly! But I still buy the ones that come in the plastic spray bottles, ones that are probably quite toxic to the environment and I’m conscious about that. I do recycle the containers, but I know that I could do better. I would like to either buy homemade products, or even make my own. I’ve started using Zaflora a lot, which I feel is marginally better than some of the other products you can buy. The packaging is the bare minimum and you don’t need to use a lot of it. I’ve seen a couple of more environmental brands on the supermarket shelves, so I’ll be investigating these. I’m going to stop buying bench wipes for in the kitchen. I’ve started using violets mineral bleach and this stuff is life changing, I wouldn’t go back now!
  4. Hygiene Products – Essentially, I mean bathroom products. I’ve switched to a safety razor, a wooden toothbrush, paper cotton buds and reusable face pads, as well as a menstrual cup, and cloth pads. I still use shaving foam, shower gel, shampoo and my cabinets are full of plastics that I just don’t need. I until recently still used Impulse body spray, but I have swapped this for a Body shop mist – less packaging, glass bottles, cruelty free and better smells – and I am in the process of think of a none-spray deodorant, and will most likely swap to shower bars instead of gel at some point. I do use natural sauce which comes in a recyclable bottle, and is vegan. I have tried shampoo bars in the past, and can’t get away with them. I have exceptionally thick hair, and I find it difficult. So that’s something I’m going to work towards, but for now I’m afraid I’m sticking to my normal shampoo. I did try the body shop shampoo though and I liked that a lot! Toothpaste is a big bug-bare of mine. I need to have clean teeth, but a lot of the brands out there are terrible for the environment, so I’m in the process of finding out which one to switch to for the best, considering those tooth brushing capsules if I’m completely honest.

So that’s just a few of the things that I feel we really need to work at. I’m going to endeavor to research the best ways to correct the above, and live a more ethical, environmental life going forward. In 6 months time, I hope to be writing a similar blog, only about all of the changes I’ve made, and how we have rectified the above points!

To achieve my current mission in becoming more environmental, I have realized I need to do more than just change things in the house. It’s the big companies that are STILL producing and wasting resources. They are STILL polluting the earth. They bring in billions ever year, and they just keep harming our planet.

COCA-COLA. PEPSI. COLGATE. NESTLE. PROCTOR AND GAMBLE. DANONE, MARS INC. AND MANY MORE. I’M COMING FOR YOU.

To find out how you can join me in the fight against climate change, like my page, and follow my Instagram and Facebook. Updates are coming soon on an exciting project which you can all get involved in.



Categories: Eco Friendly, Family, sustainable living, Uncategorized

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