My friends, it’s been a year. Yes, 2018 was a year. I’m trying to find something nice to say about 2018 but politically, environmentally, and humanitarian-ly ( it was a bit of a disaster. Not that great things didn’t happen, but equally mental things happened too. So when I tell you I had a productive year, it was against all odds. On the last Friday of this year I will recap and tell you about all the things I’m grateful for. However, we have some housekeeping to do before then.
If any of you have been following me since at least January of this year, you’ll know I set out to achieve sustainability goals each month of 2018, and I think I’ve largely followed them. However, as an accountability session, I’ve decided to revisit them here and really delve into what I managed to achieve in regards to it.
So we must start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
It was a simple goal, and that was basically to recycle more. My bedroom is my office and a lot of paper/recyclables go through there. I put in a second bin for ‘office’ waste and it was hugely beneficial. It was crazy to realise how much recyclable waste I went through in a month.
It could then be directly emptied into the green bin outside. It also reduced how much ‘waste’ went in my normal bin and I was really happy to notice the difference. It was only a small step but became hugely beneficial.
This was tough at the beginning but I got into a good rhythm of it. I mentioned in my half-year update that I would add meat-free meals throughout the week if I couldn’t make the whole day meat-free. I had forgotten to account for meals I eat at other people’s houses and I didn’t want to be awkward, so if I ate meat for dinner after a meat-free breakfast and lunch, I would swap out the meat in the next night’s dinner.
Make allowances for yourself, but make sure you are accountable. It was genuinely beneficial to my life and health, and I learned a few new cooking tricks that I can take with me into the new year.
Still, have my keep cup and I’m loving it. Most coffee places will give my a discount, but even without it I’m still glad I got my keep cup. I have never been refused and I get complimented on it all the time. I would recommend a glass one if you’re getting it because Le’Boo got a plastic one (BPA free) at the same time, and the coffee tastes better from the glass one. Even if this is psychological, glass is more sustainable in the long run.
Sadly I had to disband my national geographic subscription. They weren’t able to provide me with a soft copy subscription because of where I live. At the moment it’s only available to US and UK residents. Perhaps in the future, if they make it available to Republic of Ireland residents, I can sign up once more. Until then, I will need to find other places to discover new things.
I’ve done really well with this one. Clothing for me has become something to treasure not discard. I’ve reworked so many of my old pieces in different styles and combinations. You will honestly surprise yourself if you try this out. Buying second hand and from sustainable companies is totally fine, but even then I really think, “Do I need this? Will I wear it more than 10 times?” Trust me you’ll save yourself a fortune.
I have my bamboo toothbrushes now and I’m loving them. I use a subscription service called The Bam and The Boo and their website can be found here. They send you out your toothbrushes so you’ll never forget. They come in different colours, and in children sizes. They are completely biodegradable even the bristles, and packaging. I couldn’t recommend them more and they are lovely to deal with.
Plastic reduction was the game in July and boy was this tough. I drink so much water that I would almost always have a bottle of water in my bag. To combat this I simply bought a reusable metal bottle from Zero Waste Republic and their website can be found here. There are plenty of outlets that sell them, if you google them they are easy to find. It keeps liquid hot or cold for quite a long time and you can get them in your favourite colour.
Other ideas included cloth bags for when you’re buying bread/pastries. Bringing my own cutlery everywhere so I don’t have to use plastic forks. Loose tea instead of tea bags (sadly most tea bags have traces of plastic).
So this is tough because I still live at home, and I can’t expect my loved ones to change their habits because I do. We, of course, try and encourage if we can, but ultimately people should make their own decision.
For me, though I’ve made up some natural cleaning products by simply googling them, and they work just as well as the store bought ones.
This one was tricky, and I’m still working through it. I had to wash my hair with normal shampoo again. However, once I use up everything I already have I’m going to try out more shampoo and conditioner bars.
Amnesty International Ireland is my preferred charity for a number of reasons. They encompass so much of my own values including human rights, climate justice, and peaceful protesting. They have taught me some hard lessons this year in regards to so many things, and I’m sure I will learn more in the years to come.
If you are interested in their literature have a look at this.
Locally sourced gifts. This had a 50 / 50 mix of being easy and tough. Some stuff I could easily get locally. I can’t talk about most of the gifts here because I haven’t given them yet, but if I couldn’t get them here I had to get some online. However even then I really tried to buy online from Irish stores, and largely this worked out ok. Again I can’t list them here just yet, but I will update it after gift giving on Christmas day.
I will publish my 2019 sustainability goals at the start of January. If you guys have any ideas or suggestion, or even just thoughts please let me know.
Alright friends, stay sustainable! Talk soon. Jaycee. xxx
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