No one can claim to be perfect when it comes to a sustainable, happy, healthy and low tox life. Social media would like to tell you otherwise but its just not true in reality.
Although I’m not one for making ‘new years resolutions,’ I do admit it’s a great time of year to draw a line in the sand and make some changes.
We often find ourselves slipping back to old habits or taking shortcuts now and then that eventually become habit forming. This is especially common towards the end of the year when there is alot going on and everyone is busy and tired. Maybe that’s how the term ‘new years resolution’ came into play.
So I thought I’d share some small changes I’ve been making over the last few weeks that are and will become part of the new way of doing things around here.
Soft plastic recycling
I’ve finally become serious about this and now have a dedicated recycling bin for our soft plastics. I’m amazed at how much soft plastic we ‘consume’. Admittedly, we had two childrens birthdays and Christmas but I’m shocked. I buy many of my pantry goods from the bulk section at my local organic store in brown paper bags so I can imagine what it would be like if I didn’t do this.
SO MANY THINGS are wrapped (and over wrapped) in plastic.
I take my kids for a walk pretty much every day so it’s no effort to drop this off at my local Woolworths whilst we are out….the only hiccup is my son always wanting one of those free bananas they have for kids whilst you’re shopping!
Every little bit I can do to help the planet for my children future counts. It’s amazing how our garbage waste has dropped.
Filtered water for everything
I love our filtered water. If you haven’t heard me rave about our water filter before, check out a post I did awhile back. Since we’ve had this Zazen filter, I’ve always used the water for drinking, in the kettle and in the coffee machine. But I’ve been a little ad hoc when it came to using it for cooking and rinsing food. The kitchen tap is closer and more handy when you’re in a hurry so it’s not hard to imagine why. However I’ve made a pact with myself that this isn’t happening anymore. It really only takes an extra minute or two to walk around to the other side of the bench and get the filtered water.
No more cans
I admit to using the canned variety of some foods sometimes. Tomatoes and legumes. So easy to chuck the contents into a dish you are making when you are pressed for time. And that hummus I make every week for the kids takes no time at all with canned chickpeas vs the dried variety. Yes I do recycle the cans and buy BPA free lining ones where I can but it’s still less than ideal. So no more for us. I’ve a few left in the pantry from my stockpile as I buy some stuff in bulk from an organic wholesaler. Once they are gone, I need to organise my meal planning around the non canned versions.
Stainless steel drink bottles
I really don’t like eating and drinking from plastic. But unfortunately when you have little children there isn’t many other options unless you’re prepared for spills and breakages.
One of my pet hates is plastic drink bottles. Especially when they are left in the sun and the water in them heats up. Sure, they are proudly marketed as BPA free but what about all the other materials used to make up the plastic? Are they OK for us to drinking when they leach into our drinking water with the heat. I don’t think so.
It’s really hard to get stainless steel water bottles for babies but my youngest is now of an age where she can grip and hold a drink bottle with no handles. I know because she kept drinking from her brothers! So now they both have stainless steel Thermos funtainers which they love. And yep they have plastic lids but seeing they can’t unscrew tops just yet it’s a work in progress.
Homemade cleaning products
I’ve dabbled in this before but not seriously. Its was always just easier to buy them. It case you are wondering which ones, I predominantly get the Abode range which are chemical free, with no nasty endocrine disrupters or other unidentified ‘crap’. And they smell amazing!
But upon doing a little reading and research myself, you really need very little time, money and ingredients to make a few ‘multi purpose cleaners’ that do the trick just as well. Think water, vinegar and baking soda. Add in some essential oils known to help with the antimicrobial action (eucalyptus, tea tree) and some to make it smell fresh and clean (lemon or peppermint) and you have a cheap and ‘low tox’ cleaner.
A few years back my mum went to a Norwex party and bought me a few of their multi purpose cloths. Not really knowing anything about them, I just threw them in with the rest of my cleaning cloths and didn’t think much about it. However, someone has just ‘re introduced’ me to these products and I have to say they are amazing! I’m not afflilaited in any way with them but can say I’m a convert. And I love the fact that they can be thrown in the washing machine, hung out to dry in the sun (or popped in the dryer) and can be reused. Reducing our garbage waste even more…
So far I’ve replaced my make up wipes, kitchen sponges and kitchen towels.
After a busy and overindulgent December, Christmas festivities and summer holidays it sure feels good to get back to a ‘normal’ routine with some chages and new or improved habits.
Just remember that everyone is a a different place on their journey and whatever step you make, not matter how small it may seem at the time, is a step in the right direction. What are some habit changes you’ve made to make it a happier and healthier new year for you and your family?