Hello again! Today I’m giving you the 5 changes that are on my personal To Do list in order to be more environmentally friendly, that I haven’t yet achieved for various reasons.
- Period supplies
I too am burdened with the struggles of continuing to be un-pregnant…and if that’s something I have to put up with every month, I may as well suffer without harming the environment too. Although this number will of course vary person to person, Organicup.com says that “an individual goes through approximately 11,000 disposable pads and/or tampons in a lifetime”. They also have an interesting infographic to represent that figure. For me, simply for the reason that I’m picky about my pads and that I’ve stockpiled enough of them to supply an army, I haven’t yet made the switch, but I’m looking into a myriad of alternatives. A menstrual cup is something I know a lot of people have switched to and I’m definitely interested in trying it. One of my friends uses one and at some point I need to ask her all the questions we’re too afraid to ask (Is it messy? Does it get… ~slippery~? How to you clean it in public toilets?) but let’s not forget it’s not the only alternative! Organic, biodegradable pads and tampons exist as well as reusable ones. I’ve also researched period underwear such as THINX, which I wasn’t sure of at first but I think that was just a conditioned response – the thought of washing out period blood seems gross due to the social stigma. The reviews are actually really good, but the company has suffered internal turmoil and I’m not sure whether it’s bad enough that I ought to give my business to a different brand…am I making sense here? That said, I’d still like to gie this product a go at some point so I will be researching in order to find the most afforadable option with the best reviews.
Either way, what I’m saying is that there are tons of different products to use that prevent any more non-biodegradable pads ending up in landfill. Additionally, there are plenty of articles (this one and this one among others) claiming that conventional menstrual products contain harmful chemicals. True or not, if saving the planet comes with the added bonus of potentially saving my body, I’m making the switch, and soon.
2. Sustainable clothing
Sustainable, recycled, ethical etc… All these clothing brands are springing onto the scene, boasting gorgeous pieces which prove that no style needs to be sacrificed in favour of sustainability! Generally speaking they’re a little on the pricier side, but it’s definitely worth the extra ££. It also means that we’re likely to buy less of them; remember sustainability isn’t just recycling, it’s also refusing what we don’t need to buy. Brands I’ve seen recommended include Bella Kinesis, Sports Philosophy, TALA, Tentree and Cinta the Label. The added bonus is that sustainable brands also tend to treat their employees more ethically, which makes me much happier about paying extra. But – remember that higher price =/= better for the world, as lots of designer brands are just as unethical as cheap ones!
The only reason I haven’t made the switch yet is simply because I haven’t bought clothes for a while, as I have plenty that I will wear until I recycle them or donate them, but when I next need something I will be definitely trying one of the above companies. I’ve got my eye on the Amalfi crop top from Sports Philosophy, but it’s definitely got a bigger price tag than I’m used to! It’s worth noting though that this in turn has a positive impact, as it encourages us to think about whether we really need something, and the items that we do buy become more of an investment that we will use for longer to get our money’s worth.
3. Disposing of clothing
It’s all well and good buying clothing from good sources, but the real problem comes when they get thrown away! I usually send my old clothes to charity shops, unless they were expensive and I didn’t get much wear out of them, in which case I’ll sell them on. Second hand sites such as Ebay and Depop are great places to both buy and sell! My dad has some rags in his garage made from our old leggings and t shirts, which is a really great idea that I’ll use whenever an item of clothing isn’t in good enough condition to be passed on. As well as that, I’m going to look into ways of recycling the clothes into new ones. I know some brands, such as swimwear company Davy J if I’m not mistaken, will accept your old suits to be upcycled and I think that’s a fab idea. Also, if your clothes don’t fit anymore or are damaged, see if you can get them altered or fixed! There’s no need to throw out something you love if you can extend its life.
4. Green energy
I won’t pretend it’s feasible or affordable to just convert my home into a fully eco-friendly one, but one way I can help is by using renewables where I can. I’m currently battling the joy that is an ageing iPhone battery, so a portable charger is a travelling essential for me. I’m looking into solar powered alternatives so I don’t have to charge it with mains power. It would be really cool to get one that will charge my laptop too. I’d especially love to be able to use solar or wind power when (if!) I have my own home…although I’d hope it will be more mainstream by then anyway.
Just a quick note on laptops. I have been guilty of putting mine into sleep mode and leaving it plugged in for days at a time. Not only is this not great for the device itself but imagine the electricity that uses! I now leave it to charge fully before unplugging it to use, and power it down every night.
5. Produce bags…?
This one I’m a bit stuck with. We have a weekly market in my town but apart from that, there’s nowhere local to buy food without all the plastic packaging. We can’t buy a week’s worth of meals for a family of four from this market, but between the fresh fruit and veg shop in town and local independent butchers, we do buy a few of products where we can control how they’re packaged. What bothers me is that lots of shops, even small local ones, prepackage their produce, and it’s also slightly more expensive – and if I make it to uni, or otherwise manage to move out, that bit extra will add up! I’ll keep searching for ways to keep plastic packaging to a minimum but I really wish companies would just offer alternatives. Just today my dad and I bought stuff for a salad; the cucumber was shrink wrapped (why???), the leaves were in a plastic bag and the paper bag that the chicken came in had a plastic window for no good reason.
6. Safety razors
Disposable razors are similar to toothbrushes in that they have a short finite lifespan, and after that they go to landfill. After the initial cost for a metal razor, safety razors are fairly inexpensive and result in much less waste. For the fashionable ones amongst us, they also come in trendy colours such as rose gold.
7. Plastic pegs
As quoted from my Instagram page, @onthefly.blog, “Plastic pegs are USELESS 🤦🏼♀️ and when they inevitably splinter and break they go to landfill…it’s better to buy wooden ones.”
8. Boiling the kettle
A great British green living tip! When you boil the kettle it takes longer and uses more energy if there’s more water. It’s not unusual to fill it up and then only make one or two cups from it. Try to only fill it with the amount of water you need to you’re not wasting unnecessary energy
So there you have it. I’m only just starting out on this journey and I’m years late to the party, but here’s hoping that enough of us join those who have been fighting the climate crisis for longer. Again, if you have any tips or recommendations, I’d love to hear them!