Hello! I’d love to share something I’ve been working on this week, ever since I started thinking about reducing our family’s environmental impact, waste-wise.
Before I start though, I think I should say, that I’m surprised at myself for not doing this sooner! I think because I’ve been vegan for almost ten years, I’ve been aware of the environmental side of the agricultural industry, and I figured that being vegan was ‘enough’ and that as long as I recycled and composted that I was doing my bit. I guess at some point it twigged that it’s not about doing a certain amount, or ‘enough’, but doing our best, or what we’re capable of, and for me, at this point in my life, I’m willing and able. Perhaps it’s also been because its been a little quieter around here this week business-wise, so I’ve felt the freedom to do some other things like Konmari-ing and some spring cleaning, gardening and all those activities, which to me, signal the end of the dark hibernation days of winter, and the start of spring. With this week’s sunny days, I had a burst of energy, and was ready to embark on a new project, and my eight year old self was ready for some DIY craft time too!
The idea of reducing our waste has been an idea I’ve kept on the back-burner for a while after seeing a video about a woman who managed to live almost completely waste-free!
Last Sunday, our family was going for a sunny walk together, and chatting about various things, when the topic of reducing waste came up. At that point, it had become clear to me that now was a good time to start this project, and the gears started rolling. I think the most important thing about making positive lifestyle changes, is choosing a time when you’re feeling capable of making that change. Changing habits requires time and energy to mull over finding alternatives to the activities or things you want to change, and then implement them. At that point, I began bringing up specific items, and finding solutions. It went something like this…
“I want to use less plastics when grocery shopping… hey, time to bust out those reusable produce bags that have been sitting in our closet! Face cream… time to find a recipe online and make my own, I could use a really cute vintage glass jar too…”
And on and on and on…
So I made a trip to the local thrift store, and picked up jars, cotton and linen hankies and cloths (for wrapping up items as an alternative to plastic bags), then stopped by the bulk section of a grocery store to give our reusable produce bags a go. While I was there, I checked out some things, like plastic-free tooth floss, essential oils etc. I also grabbed a box of borax. (I’ve since used it, and this stuff is friggin fantastic! I used it to clean our ceramic kitchen compost container, and its all sparkly clean now.)
I learned that another important step in making this change is that just giving a new method a try is good for getting new habits started, and to slowly let it sink in.
So while I began making these little tweaks to our household things, I also started to consider our business…
We ship our yarn in partly or completely recycled poly mailers, with a plastic sleeve for the shipping label. I know that in some places like in the USA, these are recyclable, but not in Western Canada. Boooo-urns! So, I went to have a look to see what our alternatives could be. The results? Recycled paper mailers, adhesive shipping labels, and natural kraft and rubber tape. Hooray! At this point, we still have hundreds of mailers we’ve been using, so it’ll be a while to work through them, but when the time comes to reorder, we’ll be switching! Yay!
I hope that the overall mood regarding this change has come through. ; ) This has been a fun and exciting experience so far, and I feel empowered, and not overwhelmed in the least. In fact, I’ve seen some unexpected changes along with this.
Reducing plastics in our home, has made it a calmer, more relaxed environment. When I open a kitchen cupboard, there aren’t a ton of loudly coloured packages there anymore, but some nice glass jars, with bulk ingredients in them, inviting me to make something lovely with them. Care for some tea?