I consume too much. Food, sugar, plastic, cosmetics, assorted phthalates and sulphites – you name it, it’s rife in my body/house/lifestyle. And I’ve always had the odd flash of guilt here and there, and have been grateful to see that other people are attempting to reduce their heavy footprint on the world, but it’s always seemed a bit… beyond me.
Too boring. Too much hard work. Too wholesome.
I hate minimalism. The aesthetics, not the concept. My home is bursting with stuff and colour and…mess, I guess. And it’s only got worse with having children. Plastic is EVERYWHERE. I don’t seem to have the time or energy to recycle properly, and we don’t even use a food bin. We have one, we just don’t use it. Kitchen’s too small, yah-da-yah-da. I’m terribly nervous about our nappy situation. Disposable and non bio-degradable, I feel the guilt every time I change my kids nappies, which is all the bloody time. And we have too many toys. We have so much of everything, and it all seems so unnecessary when there are so many people in the world who have so little. I’m not saying that anyone’s life could possibly be improved by the presence of a bright pink plastic, musical V-Tech baby-walker, but you get my point.
As well as having too much stuff, I’m also very lazy. I have bags (possibly mountains) of things that I don’t want, but can’t be bothered to take to the charity shop or sell, or even just give away from my front gate. There’s no sentimental value, they’re just at the bottom of my list of priorities.
I’ve never been one for a ’cause’. I’ve secretly always wanted to be super passionate about something, like women’s rights or animal cruelty or starving Africans, but to perfectly honest with you, when it’s come down to it, I don’t think I cared enough. Partly because one of my coping mechanisms, when it comes to contemplating sad and difficult parts of life, is to Not Think About It. And partly because everything just seemed too big a problem for one half-hearted woman to do anything about.
But I’m realising that’s irrelevant. I want to make a better impact on the world. I make time to indulge my creative side with my writing, and I’ve committed the most selfish of selfless acts in choosing to bring two more humans into a world that desperately needs less of us. If it matters to me, I find time, energy and commitment, so it’s time to Do Some Good.
It’s going to be baby steps – like, mouses baby steps – and there will be days when I won’t feel enthused or motivated or bothered by doing any good at all, but that’s fine. As long as I’m moving my family in the right direction, then that’s at least four whole people making things a little better in our small corner of the universe.
And I’m going to try and keep blogging and ‘gramming about my experiment, not because I have any great hopes of encouraging others to follow suit (I’ve faced up to the fact I’m seriously not ‘influencer’ material – I can’t even influence my own child) but because I need a bit of accountability.
So, my goals are as follows:
- Reduce the waste our family purchases and produces
- Live with less
- Shop more sustainably
- Use kinder chemicals on, in and around our bodies.
- Not be a complete bloody bore about the whole thing. You can do good and be fun, right?
I have a lot of research to do, now. I’m hoping there’s a ‘zero waste for beginners’ checklist somewhere.