How I'm Saving The Earth

Saturday, January 20, 2018

OK, so the title of this post might be a little bit of an huge exaggeration. My efforts alone will not save the earth, but I am a great believer in lots of little acts making a difference, so I'm trying to do my bit.

I made a few positive changes last year, albeit small ones, that are all very easy to stick to.

I switched my usual supermarket own brand cotton buds for fairtrade ones from M&S. They have cardboard sticks, putting an end to anymore plastic sticks going to landfill from our household.

I switched to using a face wash and a face cloth instead of a cleanser and a cotton pad, which means I'm using fewer cotton pads (that come wrapped in plastic), and although the cleanser does still come in a plastic tube, it lasts much longer than a liquid cleanser, so I'm using fewer plastic items overall.

I now use cleansing balm to remove my waterproof eye makeup, which comes in a metal container instead of eye make up remover that comes in a plastic bottle. It washes off with water, so no more cotton pads required here either.

I use loose washing powder that comes in a cardboard box instead of liquitabs that come in all sorts of plastic wrappers and containers. I get a 2.6kg box and it lasts for several months. The box says 40 washes but that's ludicrous, I use half the amount they say and my clothes are always clean and fresh. It's another benefit to loose powder - you get to choose how much you use.

In the same vein I found some pasta, and some dishwasher tablets that come in cardboard boxes too. I keep my eyes peeled for more products like this.

I buy my books from the bookshop rather than the online giants. It helps the high street, and saves on packaging. I buy most of my books from charity shops, so it helps a good cause too. I don't plan to buy many books for myself this year, but still, it's something to remember for books I give as gifts.

Cooking from scratch. Trying to make as many meals as I can each week from scratch cuts down on packaging. I looked at the recipes I make most often and a lot of them are from scratch (look at my halo shine!), but there are still more things I can do. For example, I make Hummus Pasta at least once a week. The hummus, and spinach come in plastic, so I'd like to look at making my own hummus, and buying spinach unpackaged. Or perhaps I could grow my own? Could I grow enough? Only one way to find out.

I found a lot of these ideas over at Second Hand Susie, she regularly posts ideas on small changes that can be made, and recently she shared some more ideas, including some links to great eco friendly alternatives to glitter, something I feel every self respecting Aunt (aka me) should know about!

One thing I will absolutely do this year is buy myself a water bottle and use it! I like the look of these Chillys Bottles. You'd think after being on this earth for over 40 years I'd remember to take a drink out and about with me...

Do you have any other ingenious ideas I can add to this list?

Image source: Montage of Chilly's Bottles

You Might Also Like

21 comments

  1. Good for you! I am thinking about plastic a lot lately and trying to cut down on products that have a lot of packaging, I hadn't thought about the impact of the laundry capsules I use so will switch to powder now you have alerted me; Having seen a beautiful turtle on tv with a straw up his nostril, I have felt compelled to write to McDonalds and ask them to stop using plastic straws, Leon recently emailed to say they are doing this, if they can, so can everyone else? Great post, I'm all for a bit of save the planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie alerted me to the existence of metal straws, so you can have your own, wash, and reuse it. I haven't bought one as I don't use straws but it's good to know. Although when I'm out and I've forgotten to take a drink with me, again, I look for anything not in plastic and without a straw, and it's not easy to find in some places, on occasion I've ended up in a coffee shop drinking out of a mug. It's nice (who doesn't like taking time out to sit in an indy coffee shop?) but not good if you're short on time and want to grab and go.
      I'll write to McDonalds too, even though I don't go in there.

      Delete
  2. Well done Hazel! I've started writing a new post about similar ideas as it is something I've sheets felt strongly about but this year stepped up a lot. I won the Eco Teacher award st school too! There is still a lot to do though! I dud try a bamboo toothbrush but it chafed the side of my mouth. I've been trying to use bars of soap instead of Liquid soap. I've used Ecover non bio washing powder for about 15 y years now and I pretty much only buy recycled paper toiler tissue. My glass or my steel water bottles live in my bag! Plus I only buy organic milk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll look forward to reading your post Kezzie. And well done on your Eco Teacher award :) that's great.
      Have you found any bar soaps that don't dry your skin? I find even the moisturising ones really drying. I should switch my washing powder to Ecover, that would be such an easy thing to do. Most of these things are simple and easy to implement, it just takes a little thought and a minimum amount of effort. The trick is to make and change and then look for another, and just keep going.

      Delete
  3. I am much the same. I buy cotton buds from Waitrose as they have cardboard sticks too. I never use plastic bags for fruit etc I buy it loose as much as I can (which can be frustrating as I do like organic and that always comes in plastic) and, of course, use my own bags when shopping (I've done that for a very long time!).

    Another thing I do, when shopping, is to buy glass bottles rather than plastic. It's usually a bit more expensive but I would rather pay more for glass than less for plastic so I only buy things like olive oil and the few sauces we buy in glass bottles.

    I use soap nuts for washing, they're totally natural and a big bag for about £15 lasts me for a year or so. I've always been happy with them, though on occasion I use a little bit of regular powder instead (though like you, never what they recommend as I think they say far too much!) as every so often I feel Dave's sweaty capoeira whites need a harsher clean!

    If we all did theses little bits we'd make a huge difference and the message has really been getting out over the past year or so particularly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm glad you mentioned the Waitrose ones, I looked at M&S yesterday and it seems they no longer stock the ones I purchased before (good job I bought in bulk!).

      Isn't it ironic that the organic fruit comes in plastic bags? I always have a reusable carrier bag in my bag, more if I'm going on a charity shop jaunt ;)

      I'm intrigued by soap nuts. Where do you buy yours? Andy does tend to get his clothes really grubby as he spends most of his days playing in the dirt but I can try, and if they don't work on his clothes I can always use them on mine.

      I think retailers are certainly starting to realise that there is a market for more eco friendly products, and it's about time!

      Delete
    2. Just type 'soap nuts' into google and I'm sure you'll find them. I've never found them in an actual shop, I usually buy on ebay. A 1.5kg bag last us around a year as a few nuts do a couple of washes and we only do about three loads a week with just the two of us)

      These are the one I usually buy...

      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Salveo-Natural-Indian-Soap-Nuts-Washing-Detergent-Alternative-Cleaning-1kg-Bag/111946610139?epid=6011034527&hash=item1a1089b5db:g:JsoAAOSw9uFW9BDR

      They don't smell too great when you open the pack, but that smell doesn't get in the clothes when you wash with them! Probably not the best for Andy's clothes, but then perhaps if you added extra nuts to a hot wash, you never know. They're certainly fine for our everyday washing, as I said, I just use something else for the white every so often.

      I think organic fruit comes in plastic so that it's not contaminated by non-organic produce or not mixed up with the non organic, or perhaps passed of as non organic at the checkouts, which is really annoying as I find myself in a constant battle over whether pesticides etc or plastic is worse and there's no win really so I end up with a bit of both!

      Delete
    3. I forgot to add this link, which explains soap nuts...

      https://www.soapnuts.co.uk/pages/what-are-soapnuts

      Delete
    4. Thanks, I'll give them a look :)

      Delete
  4. They say every little counts, so if we all do our bit, in our own way, surely this will add up in the end. Although I am not as thorough as you, I try to avoid plastic packaging as much as I can. I've never used anything but washing powder, for instance, and if there's a cardboard packing alternative for something, I am bound to choose it. I buy 95% of my books 2nd hand, and pass them on to friends or redonate when I've read them and I don't want to keep them. And buying most of my clothes 2nd hand surely counts for something too? xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Little changes can add up to a big difference. And buying 2nd hand clothes is a huge help - the garment industry is one of the worst offenders. I can't remember the stats but remember being horrified at the impact our clothing demand puts on the environment. It spurs me on to buy more pre-loved and wear the clothes I own clothes more. I read recently that a new survey revealed that UK shoppers own £10bn worth of clothes we do not wear. Just think of the environmental impact of making all of those clothes, and that's just in the UK. It's mind boggling really.

      Delete
  5. I try my best with much the same things but it's so annoying when the fruit or veg you want to buy is packaged in plastic. I try to buy as many things loose as I can. I also try to recycle as much as I can these days, take things to charity shops, sell or give things away rather than put them in the dustbin. As you say, all these small things help, though they'd help all the more if everyone made just a small effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the key issue isn't it? Getting everyone to do a little more. It would make such a difference! Sadly, there will always be those that do, and those that don't. Almost everything can be recycled, it's such a shame people don;t bother to make the effort. The amount of rubbish I see dumped in gateways and fields make me so angry.

      Not long ago I found a Fairy Liquid bottle in one of our fields, the price on it was 6d which shows how old it was. Apart from being squashed and the print faded it was perfectly intact.

      Delete
  6. I really need to get better at being eco friendly. I love being outside, so I know how important it is, but I am quite stingy and so often go for the cheapest option which sadly usually isn't very green. I do try to buy secondhand, though, and grow some of my own food. But really that's more for my benefit, if I'm honest!

    Oxfam sell foldable water bottles. Not great as they're plastic, I suppose, but I've found having one makes it easier to fill up when I'm out as I don't like the size of most bottles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's OK if it's for your own benefit, it still benefits the environment too.

      A plastic foldable water bottle is fine, it's the amount of single use stuff that needs to be dramatically reduced. Think of number of single use bottles you would've used if you hadn't bought it?

      Delete
  7. I have to admit, I order most of my books *shame*. Although I do make sure they're second hand (very rarely buy new books!) and I put those I don't want to keep outside in a cardboard box marked "free" for the neighbours to take if they like. Charity shops aren't really a thing here and a lot of second-hand bookshops only have books in German.

    I have always bought washing powder in a cardboard box. The amount you need depends on how hard your water is, among other things. The washing powder I buy claims to be eco-friendly. My dishwasher tablets and bathroom cleaner are the same brand. For the bathroom, it means I have to scrub more but it's better than using harsh chemicals all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When it comes to books I think there is nothing sadder than a book that's only been read once and then forgotten on a shelf. That's the main reason I started to buy second hand, I liked the idea that the book has a history, which goes on after I've read it and passed it on. It's silly but the thought makes me smile.

      One thing I'd like to do is make my own cleaning products, I need to make the time to work out how I'm going to do it, it's been on my to0do list for an age. They won't be as good as harsh chemicals, so like you I'll have to scrub a little more but it's all good exercise ;)

      Delete
  8. These are all such simple and easily actionable ideas, some of which I already do, some of which I mean to do but don't, and some I hadn't thought of. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no worries, I often find the the idea of green living so over whelming, so I decided to find little ways to change just one thing at a time, and suddenly it doesn't seem like such an impossible task.

      Delete
  9. Yey, I love everything you're doing! And thank you for lovely little mention too :) I really do believe the only way we can tackle saving the earth is through lots of little actions all together, individuals, businesses and governments too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, it's your posts that made me start thinking about the small changes I could make. I totally agree that we all need to make little changes, they'll all add up to huge change.
      x

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment x

Copyright

All content © Hazel's World of Joy except where noted

Disclaimer

All products that are featured on Hazel’s World of Joy have been purchased by me unless otherwise stated. Any PR samples, items that have been sent to me for review or similar will be declared as such at the end of the post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Affiliate Programme

I am part of the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk