Confessions of an eco-shopper.

Confessions of an eco-shopper

I’ve just read this book, which I took out of the library near work. Written in 2008 it is a light and easy to read first hand account of a woman aiming to live greener.

I found it whilst searching the shelves for a book on how to make my own cleaning products which won’t destroy the planet. I couldn’t find one, so took this out instead.

I am so glad I did, it covers all the issues and guilts I feel on a daily basis and has really spurred me on to do more. We have stopped buying supermarket veggies- instead purchasing locally produced seasonal veg from Pea’s local veg shop near his work. Everything comes in a cardboard box and we have requested no plastic bags. It is great. (Now I Just need to tackle the plastic bags my in-laws insist on putting all their home-grows into).

I am pleased with myself having already minimised my bathroom products (I use coconut oil as a body moisturiser and green people sun cream), I rarely wear makeup and my mascara comes off with warm water so I don’t have to used any remover. (I use a flannel and water to wash with- no products). What I do with the bronzer I bought yers ago which I feel too guilty to use (mica makes it shimmer- which is mined in terrible conditions and I don’t agree with digging up the planet to make me look shiny!) Do I throw it away or use it up? I don’t want to use it, but throwing it away is so wasteful for the poor planet! Argh

I must get back into using Soap Nuts for the washing up and laundry, or my Eco Eggs which are both shamefully gathering dust. It was bolstering to hear them being spoken of highly. I boiled the reusable wipes in soap nuts and water before sticking them in the washing machine with a regular wash, saving the need to a) wash them separately which would be a tiny load or b) give them a machine rinse before joining another laundry load. The boiling worked a treat, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before!

I used the WWF carbon footprint checker, which I found somewhat horrifying, I must try harder (the veg box will be a good start) and I ought to cycle to the train station more often too instead of getting a lift. (I use 9 tonnes of carbon a year, the average is 12.

These are just small steps, but I feel if I work through what Kate Lock has done before me, I can really improve my conscience!

I would love to contact her and find out how she feels these days. Whether the planet is getting the help it needs (the book was written in 2008). I can’t seem to find her though, and not being a user of Twitter I can’t contact her direct. I’d love to talk more.

5 books will change your life

I saw this header on the internet, it is quite a challenge. Not only reading 5 books, but that they will change my life, sounds like a challenge to me!

Can I read all 5, would I actually want to?

Do I need changing? On a happiness scale I’d say I’m an 8 or 9 out of 10. Which Is great. I love my job which I do part time, I love my Pea and Sea, so do I really need to read them? I’d like a bigger garden and some chickens, but I certainly don’t *need* them.

Does anyone? Is there a hole in all of us that needs filling with a self help book, promising to make our existence even better? That seems a bit depressing to me. And it is a shame, we live once (depending on what we believe) and we have the freedom to choose our paths. I have always thought that we have the capabilities to say yes or no, no one forces us to do anything. So why are we all looking for something to make life better?

I could blame it on social media making us feel inferior to all those who post about their amazing lives,

Or the increase in atheism,

Or working too hard so there is no time for having fun and feeling content,

Or a hundred other reasons….

(I had a look at the list and have picked out those which seem like they could keep me interested, so I’ll give it a go. Who knows, they might tell me something I didn’t know..)

A bum deal?

As I put a load of Sea’s reusable wet wipes in the machine to wash, it got me thinking. Loo paper…. I’m pretty sure this is something I can reduced.

Even if the paper is recycled it has originated from a felled tree. I’ve seen a more “environmentally friendly ” roll for sale made from bamboo. This makes sense to me as it is a fast growing product, but is it really that much more environmental? Surely it is still yet another disposable product which just gets flushed down the loo after one use, and degrades into our water.

Some people use reusable nappies, for years, and are happy to wash those and put them back on their children, so why don’t adults use reusable wipes?

I don’t use wet wipes with Sea, opting for reusable cloths which are in a box of water and essential oils (I have loads of them so I do not need to put a wash on so often) and after they are used they stay in a different water and essential oil filled box – keeping them damp to reduce stains and non smelly – until washing day.. ( there’s not usually a lot to stain anyway as we do ‘EC’, but more on this another time).

If I use them on her, what is stopping me from using them on myself?

And I have been, for almost a week now I have used washable wipes whilst at home. ( I haven’t taken any to work, I need to sort out my storage options first before taking that route!)

I know this is a minor thing, but it has made me feel pretty good about myself. Saving all that paper, not only will it have a positive impact on our shopping bill but it will also have a (very small) positive impact on the environment!

I haven’t mentioned it to Pea. He wouldn’t be as willing to give it a go as I am. But I will one day, see if I can convince him. Guys don’t use as much paper as girls though, so he’s already pretty water friendly!

Hopefully I can convince Sea to use them as she gets older when she learns to use the loo on her own.

Starting from the beginning

I’ve decided to finally do this, to write about my attempts and failures to live a more environmentally friendly life. It’s a struggle and I find myself wishing I did more, could do more, would try harder.

I have a toddler and a husband, I’ll call them Sea and Pea.

Sea is too young to know the impact we have on the planet, but I am hoping that she will learn through osmosis and appreciate the efforts we make, Pea is harder to convince- the more I try, the more he opposes.

So here goes. My life as a conscious human being. One day at a time.