My aim to write a blog post per week has failed! Not really a surprise - since the beginning of January both starting a new job and trying to move house is using up so much mental energy I've nothing left. But yesterday I went to the Eastleigh Climate Champions event and am feeling invigorated and full of ideas. At the event I saw the film "The Race is on" (Climateracefilm.org) and heard speakers from the Sustainability Centre (near Petersfield), The Treasured Trash Network, Eco Warriors Boyatt Wood, the Hampshire Refillery, and so many others. An inspiring group of people indeed!
To get back into this blog, I'm going to give a run-down of where my household started in this search for sustainability. We've been doing Plastic Free July for a couple of years, and here is a list of changes we made during those months (the changes that have stuck!):
- Toothpaste - I've swapped to an organic, no plastic packaging one made by Georganics
- Dental floss - I've bought silk floss instead of plastic (however we have several packs of plastic floss to get through first)
- Hand-wash - swapped for soap
- Shower gel - swapped for soap for me (sometimes bottled gels for Stewart)
- Shampoo - swapped for shampoo bars
- Pegs - bought wooden pegs to replace the plastic ones as they break
- Non-disposable cutlery/napkins/cups
During July 2019 I kept a week's worth of plastic. Rather shocking!
We have 2 cars and 1.5 motorbikes. We don't work where we live. We jet off on holiday. We leave lights on. Throw out food (as little as possible). Buy plastic wrapped veggies and other goods. Buy clothes in Primark. We have gas-central heating and good loft insulation. We have a tumble dryer for wet days. We are pretty normal. We want to do better.
I'd say as a family we are fairly aware of the environmental effects of First World lifestyles. We've watched David Attenborough on TV as well as other documentaries about the climate and environmental crisis. But sustainability isn't just about plastics. And our lifestyle studies are covering every aspect. Again - "everything" is such a large concept - way to go making me feel over-whelmed. Someone told me recently that the stages of change are:
1 - think about it
2 - make the first step
3 - falter once the initial excitement has passed
4 - either give up (no more steps) or push through (go to Step 5)
5 - as the change beds in wonder what all the fuss was about
Step 1 - I've completed a full Konmari festival, and read seminal books by the environmental emergency poster icons: "Zero Waste Home" by Bea Johnson, "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan, "There is no Planet B" by Mike Berners-Lee. We've definitely thought about it.
Step 2 - We made a pact and publicly announced an environmental emergency on 1st January 2020. We've started to examine our lifestyles.
Step 3 - This is where I think we are - but we will push though.
Step 4 - We will examine our lifestyles because frankly there is no choice. Or in modern parlance - There is no Plan B.
Please support us in our quest for sustainable lifestyles by following this blog or sending me a comment. Next week normal blog posts will resume.