“There are two common misconceptions when it comes to living more sustainably. One is that we all have to be experts and two that we need to overhaul everything all at once!
If you’ve watched any of the David Attenborough documentaries and seen the news, you’ll be aware that we’re facing a climate crisis. There are multi layered reasons for this and it can feel over-whelming when you start trying to unpick it all. It can make it difficult to know where to start and what to do. Which is why I feel strongly that we don’t need to be experts in all areas of plastic pollution or climate change to understand that the world needs less plastic and more care, making it easier for us all to get stuck in and make a difference. There’s so much that we can do as individuals and collectively as communities, without having a document full of stats with us!
In my experience of starting out on a journey of eco living, I’ve found that starting small is a much better way to maintain changes. So I’m going to outline some changes that I’ve made which have made a difference to me, my finances and the planet:
Use plastic you already have in your home – we’ve all got cupboards full of plastic bags, tubs and bottles, so let’s use them, without fear of judgement, because it’s much better to use what we’ve already got than to buy shiny new stuff!
Switch to reusables where and when you need to buy new – choosing reusable options can be a real money saver, if you spend some time working out the cost of single use over a long period (say months or a year) then it almost always works out that the reusable option is cheaper even though the initial outlay might be more expensive; think about it as a long term swap. Coffee shops also often offer discounts for using reusables cups so you might even get money off your take out coffee.
Look at small areas of your home to make changes – it doesn’t need to be a whole room if you’re struggling to find time to go through everything. I like to tackle one area at a time such as the kitchen sink – switching to refillable washing up liquid or a dishwashing soap bar, using compostable cloths and sponges and plastic free brushes is much easier than you might think. Plus by tackling one area at a time you can spend the time and money needed to get it just right. Making eco changes should be sustainable over time, so starting small can really help with this.
Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. This can really keep your mindset upbeat and positive and leave you feeling great about what you’re doing.
Tell your friends and family about the changes you’re making. It really does work even if they’re reluctant to support you initially. Your words and actions will cause a ripple effect and before you know it they’ll be coming to you for eco advice.
I know that life is busy and full of demands on our time and attention. It can be easy to slip back into old habits, we all forget our reusables, and single use items are everywhere, it’s not always easy to refuse them and it can be easy to get downhearted or to feel guilty. However, I’m a firm believer in try and try again.
If we start looking at every purchase we make as something that is forever, we’ll start to think more about the lifespan of that item more than ever before. This can really help us to make better choices and to work out whether it’s worth making a swap, ensuring it gets recycled correctly and our responsibility in making sure it doesn’t end up polluting our towns, cities, countryside or oceans.
With that in mind what area would you plan to work on next
and what small changes could you make for a successful eco swap?”
Leave me a comment and together we’ll make that difference…
About The Author
“Teaching was where Dani began. Being an early years educator is something she calls ‘a privilege’ with ‘everyday different and full of joy and discovery’. Following teaching, it wasn’t long before she became interested in sustainable living. Her childhood was full of thrift and she’s held onto the notion that all things can be useful, repurposed and that throwing something away becomes the last resort if at all. That’s when she launched her successful eco shop ‘Eco- Able’. Dani is passionate about nurturing families as they take steps to live more sustainably.
She became inspired to write an eco book for children as she felt it important to bring together the two areas she cared most about; education and the environment. She writes captivating stories with purpose, helping to nurture families to live more sustainably, in the knowledge that taking care of the planet is the responsibility of us all. Her first book ‘Away’ is one of many to come as she continues to use Eco-Able as a platform to support those looking to work towards a sustainable lifestyle.”