There's so much in the news, in magazines and on social media at the moment about climate change, about saving what's left of our beautiful planet for future generations and the drastic things we need to do urgently to change things for the better ... if indeed that is even possible.
The fires, the floods, the extremes of weather that are happening in all the countries of the world are enough to make anyone panic and worry that there is so much we need to do and NOW!!
We can all do our bit, and if we all do our best that is a good start.
We don't have to be perfect in what we do, we just need to carefully move in the right direction. We can cut down on our plastic use as soon as we can, keeping it only for the things that it is really useful for. We can of course most definitely try and stop most of the single use plastics where ever we can. We can cut down on car journeys, on flying abroad, on food wastage and excessive spending on clothes, shoes and household commodities.
My lovely Mum came to me the other week with a box of cotton buds ... the older sort with the plastic sticks … and asked 'What can I do with these?'. Her first thought was to get rid of them as soon as possible but we came to the conclusion that she should use them, after all whether she did or didn't they would end up in landfill. Better for them to fulfil their purpose before being disposed of than be thrown away unused. Her next box, which most likely will not even to be purchased until next year will have the cardboard middles and be of no major problem to the environment.
It's little things like this that can confuse people and make them jettison perfectly good things and then have to go out and buy more things to replace them. It's easy to have a knee jerk reaction and suddenly want all your cupboards to be full of glass jars rather than plastic tubs for instance, but you do have to stop and think.
When I first shared this photograph of one of my food cupboards on my Challenge blog last year, a reader emailed asking where I had got all my mis-matched jars from as she wanted to buy some for herself. I wrote back with the truth, here, there and everywhere. Mostly charity shops, car boot sales, jars that I had bought that had held sauces, mayonnaises, pickles etc. I told her it would be cheaper and much more satisfying to slowly accumulate her own selection as I had done, than to dash out and visit a kitchen supplies shop.
One thing I did do after thinking carefully about it in late Spring last year, was to sort out all my plastic food storage boxes. Yes I could have kept them and re-used them for years to come, but these were in good condition, I had far too many of them and the sight of all that plastic in my cupboard was getting me down. So I sold all these and a few more at a car boot sale last year.
And put the money I made towards buying these. The round ones all stack inside each other saving me space too.
Doing that made me feel better and meant that the people who bought all my plastic storage boxes would not be going to shops buying them and creating even more demand for more to be produced.
Before you start being hard on yourself, or feeling like there's nothing you can do, think of all the things you are already doing, have already done and are planning to do in the near future. It's lots of us doing little things that adds up so much more than a few of us doing everything possible.
Things I am doing my best at, at the moment:
Cutting right back on single use plastics
Reusing, re-purposing and recycling
Using my cloth shopping bags and not buying any plastic carrier bags
Eating a plant based diet
Selling unwanted items at car boot sales at low prices to people that want them more than me
Selling, and also giving things away free on Facebook Marketplace
Making sure I have NO food waste whatsoever
Simplifying my whole lifestyle
Reducing my living space
Giving up my love of speed and instead driving to maximise my fuel efficiency
Heating the house with wood from our own woodland
Using the solar energy harvested by our 45 solar panels
Outdoors only using collected rainwater collected in our water buts and 10,000 gallon underground storage tank, for watering plants, washing cars etc
Following people on social media who inspire me to make more changes, and not make me feel inadequate that I'm not doing enough already
Sharing what I do to help give others ideas about what they can do.
I'm sure there is more but that's my list for now.
What are you doing ... or does it all feel like a bit too much at the moment?