I am not environmentally crazy. In fact, I have not even been much interested in this subject previously.
Being raised in a very small town I lived a life quite close to the nature, without actually realising it. Together with friends, often we would be going for long walks, cycle through the forests, visit the villages nearby or go to swim in the lake. We used to eat fruit and vegetables grown by my grandmother, drink the milk delivered by the cows she kept and eat the eggs from her chickens. We would not drink Coke or other frizzy drinks usually but the home-made juice, made by our mums from cooked fruits with a hint of sugar. If we had a plastic bottle, we naturally, reused it. To bring fresh milk from my grandma, or to keep the juice in it for long days spent outside with friends. I always had my lunch prepared in my backpack ready to eat during the break between classes. We would go, with friends and family, to pick wild berries, wild mushrooms or any other yummy stuff that grows in the forest. We would help my grandparents in the countryside to plant the crops and then afterwards to harvest what has grown. This is how I remember my childhood to be. It was the time of freedom and happiness, just before the reality of the adult life hit me.

Living as an adult in a big, busy and very dirty city made me think more about my life choices. Piles of plastic bottles, crisps’ bags or chewed chewing gums stuck everywhere made me feel seriously  worried . Is this a world I would like to live in? No, it is not. And so I have decided to do my bit. My small tiny, unnoticeable part in making this city, country, continent … planet a better place. A place I will like to live in.


Drinking water is good for your body, leavening tones of plastic bottles behind … not so much. According to postconsumers.com plastic bottle completely degrades in around 450 year (but some plastic can take even up to 1000 years to decompose). Think for a moment, how many sodas/water/juices in plastic bottles do you buy in a week? Now multiply that by 52 weeks in a year. This is how much you will leave behind you after just one year. Scary numbers, no? At home, we use BRITA jug filter, and if we need to take some water away with us we just re-fill our reusable water bottles. It is not just environmentally wise but also much, much cheaper than paying for bottled water in the shop (BRITA cartridges last for roughly 4 weeks and if bought in the pack cost around £4.00 per cartridge, so £4.00 per month). If I really have to buy bottled water I will go for at least 1,5 or 2L capacity: less plastic, cheaper as well as I can reuse the bottle afterwards.


Seems easy and simple, but it is not. In the UK only, people throw away 7 million tonnes of food yearly (England.lovefoodhatewaste.com). We try, in my home, as much as we can, to plan our meals in advance and  buy only the stuff we really need. We try not to overbuy more than what is on the shopping list. If we see some ingredient in the kitchen are close to the expiry date, we eat them first. We use dry bread/bread rolls to make breadcrumbs. Besides being a good practice it also helps to save some serious money (according to England.lovefoodhatewaste.com average family with children throws away around £60.00 worth of food monthly, that is £700.00 a year thrown away in food waste).


Obviously, I change my lingerie daily, and obviously I only apply this rule when it actually makes sense, for example I try to wear my sweaters or jeans for at least few days. Before I used to wash almost everything after only one day of wearing, but now I try to wear my clothes wisely. Washing  your clothes not only releases nasty detergents into the world but also shortens the life of your clothes. So, the rule is very simple, if it does not need washing it will be worn until washing is obviously needed. Clearly we do not run washing machine with one item inside only, we try to run the short cycles mostly as well as we group the clothes prior to washing to enable its fullest efficiency.


It might seem like a cliché, but it is not. Try to save money and buy stuff that will actually last for a period of time. That concerns not only clothes, but also other accessories, furniture or any other household items. It is not always easy, especially if we have no funds for more expensive//better quality item and we want to buy it now. But think about this… Do you really need this £20.00 pair of shoes that are made of plastic and will be completely destroyed after 1 month or 2 of wear, or would you prefer this good quality pair of shoes, worth £50, that will last you for over a year.   I try to be smart (read: I am not rich), so I shop in shops like TK MAXX or HOME SENSE, where you can buy good stuff that will serve you years. Charity or second hand shops are also a good idea, especially when it comes to furniture.


I recycle, as much as I can. I try not to overproduce waste. I prefer to buy loose vegetables or fruit (less packaging) and I bring my own shopping bag to the shop. I use biodegradable dog poop bags. I switched to natural cosmetics, where I could (various oils, clays for body, face and hair). I make sure I use my cosmetic products till the last drop (I cut-open tubes to dig the product out). I try to save water (shower instead of bath) and energy (switch off the lights when not needed, use energy-saving light bulbs). I try to not to buy stuff I do not need (Do I really need another pair of shoes?) and buy second-hand items, where possible. I have my own tiny vegetable/herb garden behind the house. I cycle everywhere (this one is major money-saver) I can, instead of using public transport. I do not litter. If possible I fix stuff instead of replacing it.

It might seem like a lot, but it is not. I do not do anything special, I just try to be smart. Also, many of the above points really helped me to save serious money, so it is a double positive. Obviously I commit some little sins now and there. A nice blouse that I do not really need, a new pair of jeans, when I have five more in my wardrobe, a long bath, when I need this extra bit of relaxation. Moderation is a key here: do not over exaggerate. My everyday life is like everyone else’s, there is no pressure to ‘’be green’’. It is a common sense. I meant, it is a common sense for me. 

1 comment:

  1. Very interested post. I will definitely come back for more.