A to Z on Eco Living - Part 2
N is for "No thank you"
Which is what you say when someone offers you a plastic straw. Or a plastic bag. Or a plastic stirrer. Or a plastic bottle. Or a plastic lid on your takeaway coffee. Or plastic cutlery. Or plastic… (continue ad infinitum)...
It’s polite, it’s easy, and it saves the planet. Made all the easier if you have your reusable replacements to hand!
O is for Ocean conservation
The ocean takes up over half of the world’s surface, and over half of all life on earth exists under the sea. Reducing plastic waste is (obviously) something that we are massively passionate about here at Kalleco, and this is one of the things that we think is really important for maintaining all of this marine life in its current state.
It’s only a small part of it though. The ocean eco-system is vital to the rest of life on earth, and as with all eco-systems all of the sections of it are interconnected and related. National Geographic have an article on ten things you can do to help save the oceans here.
Watching programmes like Blue Planet really brings home the amazing things that are going on underneath the waves, but also how much we, as a species, have done to affect the delicate balance of marine life. In my view, if you make a mistake you should do what you can to put it right!
Being a conscious consumer is a start - looking at what you are using, what you need and what you don’t, and educating yourself on how you can make changes that make a difference!
P is for Plastic free
Plastic is cheap, easy to use, and as a result has become an ever present feature in almost everybody’s life.
Plastic is also a nuisance which does not easily degrade and is being used on an unprecedented scale globally. Thanks to the difficulty that we have with disposing of it, it’s not going anywhere quickly either! Landfills, burning, recycling, dumping… They are all problematic in one way or another.
Make a promise to yourself to try and go plastic free. The ubiquity of plastic in the modern world makes this a real challenge, but the key word here is TRY! Everyone making a reduction, everyone making a small change, means that companies will find other solutions, and the pollution of our oceans, waterways, and the earth can be slowed (and one day stopped).
Q is for Question yourself
This is how it started for me and has really helped in my aim of becoming plastic free and reducing my impact on the world.
It’s difficult at first but I promise it gets easier. Whenever I am making a decision about a purchase, or throwing something away I ask myself, “Why?”.
Why am I buying this? Why do I need it? Why is this now completely useless? Why can’t I donate this to charity?
It makes a big difference. Purely by being more aware of my actions I have reduced my impact on the planet, and once you get in the habit it becomes less of a forced question, and part of your life.
R is for Recycle
Did you know that it takes 95% less energy to recycle an aluminium can than it does to extract aluminium from its bauxite ore? Recycling helps to save energy (and therefore reduce emissions) as well as meaning that we do not further run down natural resources that are present in the world at the moment.
Although some plastic recycling can still be quite energy heavy, it’s still better than the alternative: landfills and incinerators. Stopping using plastic is the best, but recycling is certainly better than just throwing away.
Glass is endlessly recyclable and doesn’t lose any of its purity or quality. As a result, where possible, I will buy things that I cannot find package free in a glass bottle or jar. You can also either reuse (see Y) or upcycle (see U) your glass items in so many ways.
S is for Sustainable living
Conserving the earth’s natural resources by limiting the amount we consume is really important if we are going to make the most of the world we have. Environmental crises seem to be cropping up with increasing regularity, so we need to be aware now of how we live to make a difference. 50 years ago, no one would have anticipated the damage that plastic would be doing to the world. 20 years ago no one talked about it. Could it be that there is another problem coming up which we are not even aware of yet? Being mindful of our impact on the world around us is one step that we can take to try to stop this happening.
T is for Tote Bags
Fold it up, pop it in your pocket or handbag and hey presto, no need for plastic bags to carry your shopping in! They are so useful, and I’m even starting to buy in to the benefits of carrying my things around in them rather than the standard, old fashioned male, ‘shove everything in your pockets’ approach. It means I can take a book and all my plastic free alternatives as well! Check out our organic cotton offering in our shop, here.
U is for Upcycle
This requires a little creativity, but not too much! If I can do it, then I’m sure you can too!
Clothes got holes in? Or just looking tired? Make them into something new! Check out this blog for some fashion inspiration. Kat is really good at this as well, adjusting clothes that I no longer use or have worn out into something for herself. Any off-cuts can be used as reusable cloths for the kitchen and cleaning as well.
It’s not just clothes that can be upcycled though. Good Housekeeping magazine has a whole range of ideas for upcycling your household waste here.
The only limit is your creativity (and your DIY skills)!
V is for Vegetarianism and Veganism
Livestock production is estimated to account for 15% of global greenhouse emissions. In fact, according to the Guardian, giving up meat and dairy (going vegan) is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the earth.
Changing the way you eat is a huge step, and requires real commitment. A lot of people fear cutting out meat as they don’t think they will find meals without it satisfying. In our next blog I’ll give some healthy vegan recipes which are satisfying, filling and tasty!
W is for Wraps
These beeswax wraps we stock in our shop are amazing! Back in our pre-eco-aware days we used to use foil (Kat) or cling-film (me) to try to keep our food fresh. Hindsight is 20/20 but looking back we were so wasteful!
These products are great. They are handmade using organic cotton and beeswax, and they are reusable. We’ve not had to replace any since we first got them and we use them really regularly. In addition to all this, the beeswax has antibacterial properties so it helps to keep your food fresh for longer.
They are simple to revive, by just chucking them in the oven for a couple of minutes on a baking tray, and they are even easier to clean. Wipe them down with a cloth like you would wash up a plate and leave them on the side to dry.
We wouldn’t be without them now, both for storing food in the fridge and taking snacks on the go, they’re so convenient (and they look pretty cool too).
X is for Xmas
I know it doesn’t really start with an X, but have you ever done an A to Z? Xs are hard!
I did a full blog on having an eco Christmas here. Check it out and keep it in mind when the next Yule season rolls around!
Y is for “You can’t lose if you re-use!”
There’s a reason we made this our slogan! It’s so important to reuse items, whatever they are. Single use products, whether plastic or another material have an impact on our environment. Reusable wraps, bags and straws are available at our store here, but they are not the only things you should reuse.
Get yourself a reusable water bottle and a reusable cup, carry them with you and you don’t need to add to the piles of plastic waste, and don’t forget that most takeaway coffee cups have a plastic lining, so they are also not as easily disposed of as you might think.
But it doesn’t stop there. We’ve already spoken about upcycling, but you can reuse the glass jars and bottles that you buy from the shops for storage. At the moment we are using olive and pickle jars to store coffee, rice, seeds, and more!
The environment is so important. Lets do all we can to make a difference to it!
Z is for Zero waste
Back in August I looked at some of the best zero and low waste stores in the UK in my blog here.
A zero waste life aims to have no rubbish sent to landfills or incinerators. Use your own containers, buy loose vegetables, loose dry goods, refill your soaps and detergents. There is nothing that can be packed in plastic that can’t be packed in a reusable material also.
Again, it all links back to being conscious around your shopping habits and what you are doing with your waste in the home. Switch on to your environmental impact and you will naturally start making changes.