Having been brought up in a catholic school, I was always expected to give something up for Lent to remember the 40days Jesus spent in the desert.
The last couple of years I’ve been pretty lazy with it since it’s always something superficial that is given up (well that I hear of anyway): chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks. Things you enjoy but can live without anyway.
So instead this year I’ve been looking at giving up something that might make a difference to our world now! (Yes I know it’s late but I don’t intend on giving it up just for lent and you could try anytime too)
We live in a world of convenience and disposable products not really thinking about where the products go after it has been disposed of. And the reality is disturbing if you do a little digging.
Make a difference to your world and future, try giving up one of these things you probably take for granted and make a small step to improve our planets future:
- Plastic straws– try a metal or Bamboo one like these from Amazon. Every straw ever made still exists now sat in landfill
- Disposable nappies– speak to your local nappy library about hiring a cloth kit to try they’re surprisingly easy
- Disposable cutlery– bring this bamboo set with you. I like this one as it comes with a case.
- Take out coffee cups– bring a reusable cup (some coffee shops even offer a discount to use your own cup)
- Plastic carrier bags– get a strong cotton/jute bag which you can normally get from your local supermarket or even pound stores.
- Packaged fruit and vegetables– most stores offer loose produce, it’s usually cheaper too, or check for a farmers market or greengrocer nearby and you could always pack in these produce bags if you want to keep things separate.
- Bottled water– filters are a great option, take it in a metal sports bottle or any reusable bottle you have in your cupboard (guess what, you’ll save some money here too)
- Switch to soap bars in paper packaging rather than liquid soap. I’ve gone 1 step further and delved into the world of Cold Process soap making, but that’s another story.(shampoo is also available in bars)
- Cling film- keep hold of a few empty pasta sauce jars and put leftovers in them, it lasts longer too or use this wax wrap instead
- Ziplock/ Sandwich bags– pack sandwiches in one of these compact sandwich wraps or metal containers
- Make-up wipes– how about using these Reusable make-up wipes from Earthwise Girls. If you’re handy with a sewing machine you could make your own too.
- Dish sponges– I never liked them but my husband does. I like the look of crocheted un-sponges on etsy. Otherwise you could use a cotton cloth or a loofa slice which is compostable.
This year is the first year I realised how much of an impact our disposable lives have on the planet. And after many years superficially being concerned about the planet but lacking the knowledge/motivation to do anything about it, I have reacently been very conscious of what I buy/use/consume day to day, avoiding plastic (since every price of plastic ever made still exists and will not just disappear)and switching to natural products without chemicals. It was actually easier than I thought too.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or Pinterest worthy to look at, mine certainly isn’t. Most of my swaps have been upcycled or just ditched all together and I realised I didn’t actually need them in the first place.
It also doesn’t have to be done all at once. I’ve been gradually reducing my waste over the last 12 months, each time I run out of something I’ve replaced with something more sustainable.
I’m by no means at ‘zero waste’ and still wonder how obtainable that goal is, but what is obtainable is you making 1 change to your lifestyle which will make a big impact on our planets future.