It was Earth Day last Friday. Did you mark it?
I didn’t, but I did see a number of people on social media using the wee logo or discussing
sustainability as it related to their business. I didn’t see any individuals talking about it or doing anything in particular to make it a special day. This might be because I follow so many soap makers / businesses and have too few friends, but it could also be because being ‘eco-friendly’ is becoming more about branding than it is about actual people’s lives. It could also be that social media doesn’t always truly reflect what’s going on in the real world.
I like to think that everyone, in some way, is trying to live in way that is ‘greener’, or more thoughtful of the damage our choices can do to our environment, even though they aren’t doing it all over Facebook. And I truly believe that if each of us just does a small thing one thing, makes just a single change, the impact will be huge.
I must admit that many of the changes I’ve made have been driven by social media – my own need to post and be present in the virtual world and develop an ‘eco conscious’ brand has resulted in me having to be that way. Or at least, try to be more that way. It has made me read more and ask more questions, especially about where things come from – and where they end up after I’m finished with them.
I can’t pretend to be perfect, but I do try, and I do actually do all of the things I talk about in my newsletter. (If you don’t subscribe yet, I recommend it.) Here’s a list of the small things I changed, or tried, to make our lifestyle more planet friendly this year. My success? Eliminating plastic from our kitchen – this is an ongoing project, but it’s working. My failure? So far, I just can’t stop using take away coffee cups. Writing it down feels silly, as you’d think this would be easy. It hasn’t been.
Ideas for change: to make every day Earth Day.
1. If you have children, or not, use biodegradable glitter.
2. Use fabric scraps (or make fabric gift bags) as an alternative to wrapping paper. This saves on tape, single use wrapping paper (much of which can’t be recycled), and plastic ribbon. Yes, it takes some thought, preparation and creativity, but isn’t that what Christmas is about? You could buy them, like these ones from Fabric, Reusable, Recyclable and Eco Christmas Gift Wrap & Gift Bags | UK (wragwrap.com), or see if a small business in your area makes them, or follow the many instruction videos online to make your own.
3. Start with a simple refusal. When someone offers you a plastic bag, straw, or bottle, say no.
Ask for an alternative or do without. Doing this really made me think about how I use plastic
and when I can use an alternative – definitely a learning curve. My biggest take away? It
pays to be prepared!
4. I’m trying to get used to reusing the plastic that comes into our house, rather than just
throwing it away. I was dubious at first, but in a desperate attempt to figure out how to
freeze things without freezer bags and after a little research, I’ve been using the plastic bags
cereal comes in. A wee rinse when I’m doing the dishes - they’ll take a few washes and can
be reused a couple of times - and these sturdy bags are a game changer.
5. This is my plastic free swap challenge for 2022: to change to loose-leaf tea or choose a
compostable alternative to my regular teabags.
Make one small change, and make it your own.