At Plastic Free Home we’re often asked, “where do I start?” when people decide that they want to work towards living a greener lifestyle.
For example, whether you choose to focus on reducing your plastic consumption or the amount of waste you produce overall, knowing where to begin can be daunting or somewhat overwhelming.
Our advice is always to narrow things down in one of two easy ways:
- Select a point in your daily routine or
- Select a room in your house
Taking the former first, as an example, you may decide to concentrate on breakfast time. Imagine that your go-to breakfast is a box of big brand cereal, covered in shop-bought milk, followed by a banana from the same supermarket and a cup of tea.
After assessing the brands and products you are currently using, you might decide to swap the above for cereal in plastic free packaging or refilled at a local zero waste shop, milk delivered (in glass) by ‘the milkman’, a banana bought loose from a local greengrocer, farm shop or market and a cup of loose leaf tea, cutting out tea bags containing plastic.
If you instead decide to focus on a particular room in your house; say your bathroom, you might opt to rethink the brands and products you are using when cleaning, when bathing and showering, loo roll, and for personal hygiene and grooming purposes.
Depending on your choices, work your way through researching and assessing the changes you could make and identify potential swaps that work for you, when it comes to your needs and tastes, availability and cost. Remember to only order replacement products once you’ve used and exhausted those you already have at home, whatever they are.
Then, spend time exploring and hopefully getting used to those new products, which may in some cases take at least a few weeks. Be sure that they are right for you and products that you are happy to stick with in the longer term. If not, go back a step and consider the alternative options.
If there are barriers, for example the swaps are difficult to find, less affordable to you or you simply don’t like them as much, you may be less likely to stick to the changes you have made. So take time to get this crucial step right in order to make long-term changes that have the most impact.
Continue in that same fashion and you will find that even after making widespread changes to your lifestyle, there will still be further tweaks to consider making over time. After all, new brands and products come onto the market all of the time and some of these may be even better options than those you’ve already chosen.
Like you, we are just a normal, everyday family that cares about protecting the natural world. We believe strongly that every single one of us can have a huge individual and collective impact and we believe in the power of “voting with your feet”.
What do we mean by that? For example, imagine that a certain supermarket has five million customers. If one household stops purchasing certain items totalling say £10 per week from that major retailer, in favour of shopping locally and more sustainably, that supermarket may not notice. If 100,000 of it’s customers do the same, that’s a hit of £1 million per week and £52 million in a year. If one million customers take action, that’s an annual income reduction of half a billion pounds. Rest assured that this would be noticed!
The same is true when it comes to politics. The government is there because they were elected, by you. If you don’t like their response to climate change and protecting the environment, vote accordingly.
You can find us on Facebook by searching for Plastic Free Home or at http://www.facebook.com/plasticfreehomeuk.