At the start of 2016 I decided that our family needed to make greener choices. There were some aspects which we were very environmentally friendly with, but others were a real struggle. We have come a long way on our journey to green living, but we have a long way to go before we are anywhere near where we could be.
Green Living = Small Changes
We started off by choosing products with minimal or no packaging. I wanted to reduce the waste we put into bins. Initially we focused on recycling as much as we could. This quickly became avoid the packaging to avoid any waste. Our bins are usually less than half full when they get emptied now, this is a huge change from when we began and we often struggled with bins overflowing. We really do take time to think before we buy, and it has made a huge difference to our plastic consumption.
I have discovered I adore Method cleaning products! Favourite products are the laundry liquid (which has only a very faint scent and washes brilliantly) and the Lavender multi-surface spray works well to clean even quite grubby surfaces. I still use ecloths too. While I could make cleaning products, sometimes I just want the ease of buying a product from the shelf.
Making green beauty choices has been challenging. I’ve had mixed results with some products. I really like Green People products, and I swear by their sun creams every year. Green People tooth paste was not popular with the boys – I think they are so used to the foaming from “big brands” and I need to either try it again, or find an alternative. I have discovered I love some of the Green People body washes and face cream though! I’ll write more on that another day.
Sophie la girafe is still my go to for the children, the products are just lovely! I adore the Hair and Body wash, and the SOS cream is a winter skin essential. I’ve also started to buy solid soaps from Lush for hand washing, the children like them as they’re brightly coloured, and there’s no packaging waste! I need to try out Lush solid shampoos, but I’ve not been brave enough to yet.
This has been an area I’ve learnt a huge amount about over the last 12 months. I’ve been astounded at how bad the fashion industry is to the environment, and it’s really made me open my eyes and look at what I’m buying. I had worked on the basis that if I wore it lots then that was OK.. but actually garment waste is just half the problem. There’s plenty of blog posts to come on this topic too.
This year I’m making a huge effort to actually maintain and care for my clothes carefully. Oh, and learn to use my sewing machine a little better! I’ll be shopping for clothes carefully, or should that say MORE carefully?