An Old Year and A New One

A rather belated happy new year! Apologies for my lack of blog posts in the last few weeks – hopefully this is about to change!

I thought I’d use this post to look at what I’ve achieved since starting this blog, and what I hope to explore in 2014. Please feel free to comment with any ideas or suggestions that you might have, and let me know what you’ve been doing to go green!

I look around wherever I go, and sometimes I despair about the amount of plastic I see everywhere, the unnecessary packaging and plastic bags, and how much further I still have to go before I’ll feel that I’m really living a ‘green’ life. But anyway, I’m getting there and I thought you would be interested in a little summary of what I’ve done (and how easy it would be for you to do some of these things too!)

  • I no longer use shampoo in plastic bottles – instead, I’ve tried out three solid shampoo bars from Lush: Jumping Juniper, Trichomania and Ultimate Shine (which I’m currently using). They take a little bit of getting used to, but they come in a range of types and scents and I’m happy to know that this is one place I have reduced my plastic consumption in! I’m also planning to start using Lush’s solid conditioner bar Jungle when my current conditioner runs out. You can apply the same principle to soap too – buy it made locally, from natural ingredients and with as little packaging as possible.
  • I don’t use disposable razors or toothbrushes anymore – I have an epilator and an electric toothbrush. This cuts down on plastic waste!
  • The only items of clothing I now buy brand new are underwear (including tights). Everything else I have been buying second hand from charity shops.
  • Same with books and games – I buy them secondhand whenever possible (and they’re generally cheaper this way too!) I’m trying to borrow more books from the library too.
  • I have three stainless steel water bottles (of different sizes), which I use instead of plastic bottles and disposable plastic cups. Mine came from One Green Bottle and Klean Kanteen, but if you search around there are lots of other options too!
  • I avoid plastic bags whenever possible, using my reusable ones instead.
  • I rarely use tissues – I got some lovely hankies for Christmas to add to my hanky collection, so I use those as much as possible instead.

So that’s some of what I’ve done so far – but I’d still like to do more! This year, these are  a few of the things I want to try and focus on:

  • Food
  • Packaging
  • Minimalism
  • Experiences rather than material gifts
  • Small items I haven’t explored yet: e.g. sponges, nail varnish (and nail varnish remover), cotton wool, straws, paper etc.
  • Underwear – organic cotton or items made of recycled materials.

I’ll be trying to get back into regularly posting once a week again, and continuing to go green! What are your green plans for 2014?

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Welcome to Every Week is Green

Hi! Welcome to my new blog. I’m Joanna, and I’ve set up this going green blog due to my frustrations about the lack of any global efforts to counter the effects of climate change and help make the planet a better and safer environment to live in. Negotiations among politicians continue but no lasting agreements are reached.

My hope is that the more people there are who put in the effort to make their lifestyles more eco-friendly, the more likely it is that politicians will take more notice and realise that this is an issue we do actually care seriously about.

Like most of us, I don’t have endless money to be spending on expensive ways to cut waste or generate energy, so my focus is going to be on exploring a different area of my life each week and trying out ways to make positive changes without parting with a great deal of money. Living with my parents also means that some things in my life are currently out of my control, such as energy suppliers.

To help me on my way to doing this, I’ve decided to lay out some rules to guide myself. Here are my guidelines:

  • I will use up/keep items that I already have, even if they are not eco-friendly.
  • I will try and source items made from and packaged in eco-friendly materials wherever possible.
  • If this isn’t possible, I will buy clothes, books, DVDs and CDs and as many other things as possible from second hand and charity shops, unless an essential item (such as a uniform or a book for study) cannot be found this way. Some items of clothing I might be prepared to knit for myself. I will also borrow items from friends or libraries as much as possible.
  • I will try and make a lot of things myself – such as cleaning products – to avoid the chemicals and packaging that I will otherwise be spending money on.
  • Items I will exempt from my move to go green:
    • Gifts: including books, CDs, bath sets, clothes, gift cards or vouchers, among other things (as long as I haven’t requested them).
    • Medication.
    • Glasses.
    • Contact lenses.
    • Items that I need (e.g. uniform, as above), that I cannot get eco-friendly or second hand.
    • Items that I already have.

Obviously I’m not an expert on any of the topics I’ll be exploring. My tools will be the internet, books, and the information given to me on packaging and by businesses.  My posts will explore the issues from the point of view of me, an everyday human being, who might not necessary have access to all the information she needs, but who is prepared to explore new options for her life.

I hope you enjoy my blog as I work towards going green each week! Any helpful comments, suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.