So, my first post. Better make this interesting then…. No pressure!
I’m really looking forward to posting help and advice on here and yet, for my first blog entry, I’ve changed my mind a dozen times at least on what to write and what would be the best first tip to give to someone trying to live a greener life.
I’ve come to the conclusion that having a tidy up of your home is a good way to start. I know for a fact that I buy things that get flung into the backs of cupboards never to be seen again. Impulse buys that have not only wasted my money but also resources and (in my small house) valuable cupboard space!
Last month I had a good spring clean, top to bottom including all the cupboards, and found so many things that I could use, re-use , donate or sell. One of the best ways to be greener is to make do with what you have, so knowing what you have in the first place is important.
One mistake people make when they decide to be greener is to go through the cupboards and throw away everything they think is environmentally unsound. DON’T! Far better is to use what you have and then when that runs out buy a greener choice. Sending more things to landfill by throwing away perfectly useful products or household items doesn’t help the environment and it also makes a big dent in your pocket.
Re-use, Recycle, Sell
If you have household items such a furniture, electricals or clothes that you no longer want you could look to sell them on ebay or through a local ad page. If you don’t want to sell but they are good enough to re-use your local charity shop or Freecycle group are a good place to start to find new homes for your unwanted stuff.
With your food cupboards and fridges/freezers make a list of what you have in. Wasted food is a huge problem in the UK. Two-for-one offers as well as other supermarket ploys to get you through the shop door lead to impulsive purchases that often go to waste. Knowing what you have in and planning meals and shopping lists based on that helps you to keep waste low as well as keeping budgets in line.
A good place to start for a greener home is your cleaning cupboard. First, use what you have. When you are running out of products, such as washing powder for example, look to greener choices such as soap nuts or ecover when you restock. It’s not just the cleaning cupboard that can be made greener and less chemically laden. As your toiletries and cosmetics run low look for greener brands, avoid harsh chemicals and treat your body as well from the outside as you would from within with your food.
Once you have tidied and noted what you have plan what you need or want. A “disposable culture” especially with clothes and toiletries means people often buy far more than they need. I for one am guilty of having a few items of clothing still with tags or multiple products in the bathroom that all do the same job. Knowing what I have in saves me money and saves the earth’s resources.
For me being green isn’t so much about huge life changes, but instead is about small changes as and when they become obvious. Swapping household products, re-using or exchanging clothes with friends or starting my own veg patch. Over time my life has become more sustainable and the monthly outgoings have reduced as a result – win-win in my opinion.