Saturday, 24 May 2014

waste not want not!

I have been thinking a lot recently about how when I set up this blog the idea was to be as eco friendly as possible. This principle still lives on in my head, but if I am truthful, it has slipped a little. I rarely remember to take my plastic bags to the shops. I have got lazy with food shopping and so will often just pick up a pre-packaged bag of fruit. I have spent some time this morning reflecting on this and blog hopping to motivate me to waste less.

I found these sites which might be of interest to others considering reducing their waste; this is a Canadian site, which is also a shop. They have a blog with some interesting articles on why we need to reduce our reliance on plastics. the clean bin project, a competition between a husband and wife to see who can create the least waste in a  year. I haven't looked at the film, but a quick nosey around the blog makes me want to find out more. They also have a Facebook page here

The blog ecothrifty living a mum of two in the south of England, trying to reduce her spending and is running a year of eco challenges, including buying non new clothes, make do and mend, no toilet paper etc.

I am interested in trying some of the ideas that I have read on these sites this morning, not so sure about the toilet paper issue, but each to their own LOL

Although I feel that I have slipped a little, I am doing some things which are eco conscious. I have made my own little greenhouses;

I have tried these out and found that they work fantastically so I will dig out the ones I have saved all winter specifically for this job.
I have reused our milk bottle to make a start on the living wall I want to really get growing well with this year;
The actual plant pots you can see in the picture are all reused plant pots. I have been reusing them yearly sine we moved to this house. I have not bought any for a very long time. I know for sure none this year and I don't think I did last year. I even took some into school to do planting with the children there.
Obviously the best way to be eco conscious would be not to buy the products in these bottles at all. However I found when we had a milk man we often wouldn't use milk everyday, but then there would be days when we ran out. So I settled for reusing these bottles. We only buy one of these a week usually so not a huge waste but one that could be reduced further. Maybe I will look again at a milk man...

I have been recycling many of our used goods we no longer need, mainly through the medium of eBay. Clarks shoes sell really well there, and the money that I get for this goes towards us having a little camping trip during the school holidays. I have sold a few toys on the Facebook selling sites for my local area. Recently I gave a mattress away on freecycle. I tried selling it but as it was a 2foot 6, most people needed wider. So I offered it on freecycle, even giving it away was not easy. It sat in my living room for over a month. There was nothing wrong with it so I really didn't want to take it to the tip. We were only getting rid as the bedframe broke and I couldn't get another frame in the narrow size at a price I could afford. Crazily it was easier to buy  a new bed and mattress than a narrow frame!

I have been buying some eco things e.g. the new bed I bought for Stephanie I got on EBay for £50. Now I need to get sorted and get better at reducing the waste we bring into our home. Food scraps all go in the council recycling bin for the purpose. I rarely have any landfill waste. However I do put out a large bag of recycling waste each week. There has to be a better way. I am going to set a challenge for June. I am going to reduce waste that comes into the house-

  1.  no carrier bags!
  2. reduce the amount of pre-packaged food
  3. reuse the waste we do already have.  e.g. use the yoghurt pots for storage instead of washing and recycling.
  4. I am going to buy no new clothes for myself. With 2 ever growing children I can not promise the same for them, but I will only buy what is necessary. (This is not helped by Dylan's school changing the shirt colour when he goes into year 11 this summer!). I will recycle the white shirts that he will no longer use though.
  5. Stephanie has a lot of school clothes and has asked for skorts to wear for the summer. I am going to be firm mummy and say no, she has normal skirts which fit her perfectly as well as summer dresses. That is one fashion craze she will not get. There are only 8 weeks of term left anyway.
I think those 5 will be a good start. Do you have any tips on what else I can do to reclaim my eco principles without having to spend cash I don't have? I need it to be frugal as well as eco.

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