Less waste - more life
Maybe it is time to think about our choices and we can certainly pick & choose other areas of our life where we can choose to be nudged make little changes to reduce our impact on the world by adjusting our consumption in a more sustainable way?
We can all be part of an effort to limit our impact on resources available and find new ways & ideas to be more comfortable in our lives and our place in the world.
Well, here are the key words:
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle, Rot (Compost), Make your own
We cannot necessarily do all the above but we can attempt a few of these actions!
Refuse “free” things
Refuse to take plastic bags, choose to bring your own bags to use in the shop & to pack your groceries (and re-use). (It is also more hygienic to avoid the shopping baskets at the moment).
Refuse to collect small free “gifts” (corporate or party favours) which will end up in landfills. They are not completely free if they clutter your house with hardly any use. A good question to ask yourself is would you have purchased such a product & used it (or if is already in your life, to quote Mary Kondo “does this object bring me joy” or will it end up as clutter in my home?).
Organise alternatives (ditch the rule of 7 junk items in party bags which will inevitably be abandonned after two minutes and instead choose one proper item small book, colouring book, or food). Refuse plastic straws, anyway, it is better to let your saliva works its magic to process your drink!
Ditch single use habits.
Clothes unisex good quality jeans for kids so that they can be cast off to the younger child.
Also, you can cut an old jeans to make bermudas or shorts when they are too small or damaged.
Reduce you plastic bottle consumption for water by investing in a Soda stream sparkling water device with reusable gas cartridges.
Reduce energy consumption by cooking in smaller container (muffin tins rather than large tin - 40% reduction in cooking time).
Choose good quality products that you will re-use.
During the covid crisis, it is better to carry around your own water flask or box of snacks that you have control over.
You can choose to reuse or let other reuse unwanted belongings in charity shops, on freecycle scheme. You can also donate/sell/swap on local facebook groups. You can sell on gumtree, ebay, depop, vinted, or re-gift.
The best grocery bags is the one you have with you (carry your own small one at all times)
Re-pair - repurpose - upcycle
When you buy appliances, sometimes it is worth investing a little bit more to have an item which will last longer & can be repaired because spare parts are available.
You can buy second hand furniture for example & up-cycle by painting them.
A fun game for children is to play with large cardboard boxes. Over a period of time, collect used delivery boxes, once you have a batch of them, flatten them & make a pretend car & paint it.
Collect sticks & cut them to make a triangular shape and hang them with twine with solar powered lights (no need for a christmas tree!)
Upcycle clothes, as dress which may be too short can be converted in a top or a skirt depending on the fabric & cut. Use old sheets to make ghost costume for Halloween.
Last option, but not least. There are lots of recycling points in the street in Westminster. If you live in a Mansion Block, ask your management company or caretaker about mixed recycling bags. You can pick-up mixed recycling bags from Maida Vale library as well.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden , this is one of the best way to dispose of most kitchen food waste (No citrus which have an adverse effect on the composting process).
Make your own
Enjoy slow time by making activities with kids cooking (yes, they will make a mess with flour but this is part of the learning process & the sensory necessity to feel contact with natural products away from the screens and enjoy the end product with a sense of achievement).
You can find fun and easy recipes for bread, yoghurt, butter, jam for example.
For snacks, it is easy to bake carrot cake or brownies in muffin tins & freeze a batch for later use throughout the next few weeks.
These are just a few tips and you will find quite a few more ideas on the internet.
Sources & resources
https://zerowastehome.com/ (US - based - one of the early adopter & developer of the zero-waste movement)
https://www.thesourcebulkfoods.co.uk/ (West Hampstead)
https://libertecherie.business.site/ (Portobello road)