Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who signed the petition that we started last August. Life changed shortly after signing it, with news of my sister's brain tumour, and my passion for plastic and activism took a back seat as we looked at how best to support her, the specialists in the complementary, holistic medical world who would work best with her. Huge, huge gratitude to people who helped and supported all of us through that time.
So whilst the petition was less of a focus, it also caught the attention of many. 19, 224 people in total. And, more importantly in my house, it made us think. We are still perhaps, well, we are still, not doing enough towards it, though after going somewhat crazy about it all early last year - the plastic, the state of the planet, our attitude towards migration - I did and do resolve, not to go back to that place. So we still do have plastic in our house. But if I can choose an option that is unwrapped, minimally packaged, or no packaging, I will go for that one.
We have cut down our waste quite significantly since that time, we probably have less than half the waste we used to. I thought I'd share a few things that we do that may help others who are looking to reduce their waste.
I take my refillable Bodum cup out with me and ask coffee shops for a cuppa in there, instead of in a disposable cup. This doubles as making me happy twice as if I'm staying away the mugs or cups are almost always too small for my tea thirst so I get to have a decent sized mug with me to make me smile. I have re-usable cutlery (which I've dragged around with me and not yet used - so not sure quite how much of a top tip that is - though the picnic set in the car has often come into its own several times). We frequently turn down plastic cutlery offers. We have a nice collection of wooden forks acquired from I'm not entirely sure where, but likely from eco type take aways that then been washed on return home - I'll often take one of them out with me if we're picnicking or have a lunch to take to a meeting.
I take my Sigg water bottle out and about with me and use that instead of buying bottled water. We've loads of shopping bags from the supermarket and a few I made myself, so no excuses for supermarket shopping - and if there's no bag then generally my rule is we get what we can carry in our hands. I created bags to put my veg in, from an old pillowcase and with some binding I'd had since my GCSE in Needlework (A* student here), and planned to make more, and perhaps sell them, but will refer you back to the brain tumour excuse then add to it with work being busy and the rest of life interesting alongside it all. I still only have three bags from my pillowcase, and others from some linen I got to make tote bags.
I stopped washing my hair for 11 months and only used water, as the plastic bottles wasted were doing my head in (all puns intended) and whilst I did OK - kind of, I never quite felt to break through 'that barrier' and when I found unpackaged shampoo bars, I got three in June, and am still working my way through the second. I have a lot less hair now though, and you never know - perhaps could try it again ;-)
The big thing I've probably noticed is that we consider it more. I consider it more. But I'm definitely not sure I have all the answers. I recently bought vegan boots for myself and my daughter. Which aren't pineapple 'leather' - yet. Maybe next time. But I don't want cows bred and killed for my feet either. So I'm not perfect. We're not getting it 'right' all the time, just trying a step at a time.
The petition is closed now and was delivered to the major supermarkets, without an answer in response. However I had written to several in the early days of it and they advised me, by large, that they were doing all they could and moving towards less waste. Several were mentioning that the carbon footprint of creating paper packaging was higher than the plastic. The whole thing isn't as easy as I initially, and perhaps naively thought.
The simplest changes that I've made though have been ones I can do myself. To choose the unpackaged option. To take my own bags along for veg, still for shopping. To reject the plastic bag in shops - even when they are incredulous 'you don't have to pay for it though?' and we tell them it's not about the money.. To take the mug, the flask, cutlery along. To use from food bins where possible and buy in bigger quantities, topping up smaller bottles from the large.
So whilst zero waste may still be largely an ideal rather than an instant reality, with Yoda's words of 'there is no try, there is only do, or not do.' we're doing a bit at a time.
Thank you for your help, support and for reading,
Em and now 10 year old Isla who wanted this petition starting in the first place. We are both grateful for all you're doing around this issue and would love to hear if you've other things you do that help reduce waste.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley Homeopath
Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition