You can read about saving the planet and living sustainable everywhere and anywhere. And quite frankly I am a bit annoyed by it. It often looks like propaganda. Many companies try to instrumentalize it for their purpose. But still it is something we all should be aware of and not discard so easily.
I always thought we (as in Mr. ♡ and I) are not doing much to keep the planet healthy. However I recently realized I/we do quite a bit without giving ourselves credit for it as it has become habits by now. Following I’ll share a list with all of things we already do and maybe it serves as an inspiration to you as well:
Recycling trash is ingrained so it’s really a no brainer for us. I even walk the extra step to put the paper wrapper from my tea bag in the trash can at the desk. I was quite annoyed when I realised our cleaning lady dumped everything I carefully separated in its separated bins in one when taking out trash. Seriously, why?! It’s such an easy way.
Invest in good appliances
Mr. ♡ and I have always invest a bit more money into our appliances. We’ve often heard that we only wanted the most fancy version of the newest oven or dishwasher, that it needed to look cool. And while we are not prone to those things and they do play a big part in the decision process one of the key elements is always the efficiency. Does it run on the lowest energy and meets the state-of-the-art specs? Does it have latest technology built in and is not out-dated right away. Because those appliances stay with you a while and in 5-10 years they are energy suckers for sure… Also they often live longer and don’t need repairs.
Switch to LED lights
This is something Mr. ♡ has been investing lots of time to in the last years. And it paid off. For the first time we have gotten money back in our electricity bill because we saved up. Of course those LED lamps are an investment at first but in the long run it will hopefully save money. And time because I can’t remember when I had to switch a light bulb the last time. Also I hate having lights on when I leave a room. Switching of lights and not having “castle lighting” on as I like to call it saves up too.
Use totes & bags for shopping
This is another no brainer but I’ll write it down anyways. No more plastic bags. For the last 3,5 years we have been using fabric totes and shopping bags. I usually cary a bag in my purse so every time I buy something I have something to put it in. We always have a shopping bag in the car. Storing totes in places you might need them is an easy way to reduce using plastic ones. Also I have stopped using those small flimsy plastic bags at the fruit & vegetable stand. I just dump it in my bag as is because why do we need to separate by bags?! Doesn’t really make any sense it’s just a habit. Also I just read that Tansania banned the import, export and selling of plastic bags all together as of June 1. So much for third world countries…
Batteries don’t belong to regular garbage. Most stores offer a little bin where you can drop them off. I have a zip-bag where I collect them and then sooner or later I remember and drop them off. However we try to use rechargeable ones as much as possible. Unfortunately coin cells don’t come as rechargeable and we need those for the kitchen scale and all smoke detectors.
Re-use old stuff
I am a big fan of re-using stuff and making something out of it. I collect burned down candles and make new ones. Or I save up avocado pits to turn into body scrub as well as coffee grinds. I use food containers for the next birthday gift or a hostess gift. I use packaging material for gift wrapping and used up vanilla beans to make tea or orange peels for decoration. Or I turn fabric scraps into jewelry. There are just so many ideas. Check out my recycling tag to find more ideas.
Also I always re-use printed papers that have one blank side. I write my to-do lists on there. Or just last weekend I printed a sewing pattern on there. And still I produce more scrap paper than I can use in a lifetime.
Strawberries in December, pumpkins in April, asperagus in August… While all those things are yummy all year round for sure but I am not buying them. They are only staples when in season.
Take trains instead of flights
When traveling for my freelance work I prefer traveling by train rather then plane (right now it’s only within Germany.) This might has to do with being more productive on a train to be quite honest. However it is not always the fastest way. And by taking this route it is defiantly the greener choice. When being out and about in the city I most likely use my bike or if further away public transport. And even on foot I get places.
Of course there is always more to be done. In the course of the last weeks I have observed our behavior and have identified areas I would like to improve:
We do have a lot of laundry and I’d really like to reduce the loads but this will not happen. So I need to find other ways. The packaging of the detergent produces really does annoy me. Not to mention the water consumption or dryer. Here I am on the lookout for improvement.
I want to find a little reusable bag for my pastries. I’ll buy them weekly for the weekend and every time they come in paper/plastic bags. When I was a child we always went to the bakers with a burlap tote. I think I need to sew one. Also I want to check out one of those stores where goods are displayed in unpackaged units and you come in with your own containers. It’s a bit of effort. A friend of mine started to leave all her packaging in the stores so they realize how much they produce and start thinking about it. This might be a good way to force change. She also told me that she never buys rubber bands but keeps them from asparagus and flowers. How smart.
I need to look into digitalizing even more. Like how does it work to sign a paper on my computer and not print and scan. Stuff like that. I know my devices are capable. I am not – yet. I have made the effort to call my insurance company to stop sending me analog bills. Unfortunately they are not capable. Thats four sheets of paper I am forced to receive and store.
I want to look more into using environmentally friendly products that are free of micro plastic and mean chemicals. I have started to look more closely in what I buy for cosmetics, cleaning products and such. However I am not throwing out all current products but start by slowing easing out of it. If you have any recommendations let me know. Specially for detergent as I am allergic to most smells.
On Instagram I read this interesting quote that said something like even if you do only one thing to save the planet it’s better than not doing anything at all. We are not perfect. We can not ignore what’s going on. And we definitely can not do it all. So I decided to the things that come easy to this household and someone else probably does the things I struggle with. It’s a start. Now if would share your tips or want to write a post like this please do and leave a link in the comments so we can build a huge list and inspire each other. Wouldn’t that be great?
Happy day to you