“What changes would make the biggest impact”
This is a question I get often.
There are so many options and so many ways to fight for the environment. It’s important to be more eco-friendly & reduce your carbon footprint but people, even myself, get overwhelmed.
This is sort of a loaded question so I sat down with the hubby and he helped me compile a list of 5 things we think would create the biggest impact.
If you get my monthly newsletters you’ll know that the June Challenge was to sort your waste without making any changes to your habits. You can do this for a week to see what your habits are, I highly suggest starting here. After doing this you can reassess what you are doing and make changes that are attainable for you.
Reducing household waste is an easy way to lower your impact and something that we control almost completely. I personally find most waste comes from food products (plastic containers, plastic produce bags, wrap and packaging from meats), If this sounds like you a few simple solutions for reducing waste from the grocery store could include reusable produce bags, buying from the deli counter in a reusable container, buy in bulk, etc.
Become a Maker
Try to make things, I type that and can imagine people thinking “yea, no thanks” but so many times it feels harder than it is. Do what YOU can handle and take this as far you want.
Going back to point #1, Think of some of the biggest areas of waste (excess packaging, etc.), and try to make those items. During our year plastic free we discovered that Cleaning supplies are a super simple switch to put into reusable containers and much better for the environment, we have also made clothing, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, dry shampoo, soy/almond/oat milk, all sorts of bread (tortilla, crackers etc). All of these things were easier than we ever would have thought, and are great ways to use less.
Buy bulk/ Go refillable
We get it, there isn’t always time to make things. We are lucky in Ottawa to have a couple of stores that sell items in bulk, and allow you to bring your own reusable container or reuse theirs. Grooming products (shampoos, conditioners, etc) can be bought at Terra 20 or NuGrocery. All sorts of unpackaged foods can be bought at NuGrocery, farmer’s markets or produce depots. Lush can be a great resource (toothy-tabs, shampoo bars, etc all can be put in your own container).
Buying used is a great way to help the environment. It saves usable items from the landfills, saves you money, and reduces the amount of packaging coming into your waste stream.
Ottawa has amazing Buy Nothing groups, which is huge for keeping items out of the landfill, passing items along among neighbours. Local thrift stores, kijiji, craigslist, facebook marketplace are also great places to find used items.
It’s easy to reduce your waste if you don’t buy it in the first place, right? I find our society tells us we need everything, everywhere we look it seems there is an ad to buy things and get the newest item even though what you have works fine.
Now, I’m not saying to never buy anything ever again instead buy only what really matters and what you really NEED.
We try to use everything until it falls apart and is no longer reparable. If it’s something new check-in with yourself and think if it’s really necessary.
As most of my readers are moms I’ll use kid’s toys as an example. I find Kids have so many toys they are overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed as an adult looking at it all it’s crazy. Does every kid need the newest coolest thing? Most of the fad toys are done sooner than 6 months or they grow out of them sooner if they are babies. To embrace the minimalistic lifestyle I would suggest buying toys that can entertain a child for a few years and are open ended. you can find some eco friendly, ethically resourced options. Hape, Grimms, Grapat, Guidecraft, Melissa & Doug, & Plan toys are a few of many brands to look for. You can source these new, used OR ( my favourite) is going to a toy lending library. There are so many in Ontario through the Early ON centres or even private centres. You borrow toys small or large and give them back in two weeks. It’s amazing! It’s like a FREE toy rotation!
Making changes is hard but in order to change our surroundings we must change ourselves.
As I said earlier, There are so many ways to “save the environment” and change our habits to create a better earth for generations to come. Please take what you want and only do what you can do. Small changes are better than none at all, so please don’t feel overwhelmed.
I’m here to help so please email me, message me on Facebook, DM me on Instagram or share in your feed or stories tagging me @simplysarahoxox and using the hashtag #BusyMomsGoEco