Living a more sustainable lifestyle: where do we start?

We’re all told that it’s imperative that we start living a more sustainable lifestyle. That we need to protect the planet and ensure that it’s still here for our children. But where do we start?

The news is full of stories about plastic pollution, air pollution, the impact of global warming and deforestation. Not to mention the stories about how we should eat less meat, eat no meat, avoid palm oil or avoid soy alternatives. It’s just all so overwhelming!

Like many people, I lead a busy life. I have two children, I run a business and have lots of other commitments too. Spare time is not something that I have a lot of. I admit, I’m guilty of using things because they are convenient. This includes buying pre-packed food, using plastic bags because I’ve forgotten the shopping bags (again!), using single use items and not recycling everything that I could. I have a car that I use most days. Most of the journeys that I do are out of necessity, not just because I can’t be bothered to walk or use public transport. I feel guilty because I feel like I’m not doing enough to change. I admire those who live a zero waste lifestyle. However, the huge transition to a zero waste lifestyle gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach.

Is zero waste the only alternative?

Ideally, yes it would be great if everyone lived a zero waste lifestyle. But this is the real world. Most of us have become accustomed to things that are designed to make our lives easier, not things that create even more work for us! There is good news though! If millions of people make small changes, it will have a greater impact than just a few people living a zero waste life.

With the reams of advice out there at the moment, it can feel like it’s hard to know where to start! When I first looked at what I could do to start to make changes in our family life, without creating huge amounts of extra work for myself, I looked at the things that we use every day. Things like shampoo, shower gel, water bottles, clingfilm, pre-packed food and cleaning products. Even the fact that I never seemed to drink more than the first few mouthfuls of a cup of tea before it went cold. I was constantly re-boiling the kettle or sticking a half drunk cup of tea in the microwave to warm up!

Thankfully, because a lot of people are looking at the changes they can make to their lives at the moment there are now some great alternatives out there. When I looked into it, I realised that there are lots of changes that I could make that wouldn’t actually create more work at all. So we started with the ones that were easiest for us. So far we’ve swapped shampoo for shampoo bars, shower gel for soap bars, and I have a travel mug so drinks don’t go cold!

The changes so far…

As a family, we’re still quite early in the process and changes are fairly slow. With two teenagers in the house, one of whom needs routines that don’t change, it really is one step at a time!

One of the questions I’m often asked about shampoo bars is “do they really work?” Obviously I can’t answer on behalf of everyone, but I think they’re amazing! I’ve always had to wash my hair every day, but now I think I just do it out of habit as it isn’t actually that greasy any more. The ones that I use smell gorgeous too!

I was really dubious about soap bars! My memory of using soap bars is of ones that just dried out my skin, and whilst I can’t speak about all soap bars the ones I have used have been fantastic and I actually prefer them to shower gel now. The shampoo and soap bars are all available to order through the website.

The travel mug issue was actually one of the first ones I solved. I wanted something that wasn’t just going to work but was also eco friendly and looked good too. There have been so many reports of how bamboo cups aren’t as good as they first seem because the hot water can cause chemicals to leach into your drink. I was introduced to rice husk cups and haven’t looked back since!

Lessons learned!

I’m in the fortunate position of being able to try different eco friendly products so we can be living a more sustainable lifestyle. I will be trying some other new ones soon! As always, I don’t sell anything that I wouldn’t be happy to use myself. One of the things I’ve discovered whilst researching is that not only is not all plastic bad. I’ve also discovered that things that are advertised as being eco friendly aren’t always that eco friendly. Look out for next week’s post about whether plastic is as bad as it is made out to be!

Are there eco friendly alternatives that you’ve been looking for but don’t see on the site yet? Please send me a message and I’ll do my best to find them for you!