This year as part of my own Happiness project of sorts I’m taking on a few challenges. I find that when I give myself a challenge to undertake I feel a sense of purpose. I’m still figuring out each challenge but one thing I’m focusing on is consuming more mindfully and reducing my waste. I began this last year by switching to Lush shampoo bars instead of buying shampoo in a plastic bottle.
Now more than ever, we need to consider the effects that our consumerism has on the planet. This is why I don’t partake in fast fashion anymore, something my friends and family are probably sick of me talking about at this stage. In Ireland, it seems everything in the supermarkets comes in plastic packaging. You’d expect this with certain items, such as cereals, grains, and processed food but now most fruit and veg comes pre-packaged instead of loose. This astounds me. It’s such a waste of energy and resources because when you bring the fresh produce home you’re going to wash them anyway!
As an individual, I’m gradually becoming more aware of my consumption across all areas but at the moment I’m focusing on food. It’s making me disheartened how much of a challenge it is to be zero waste in Dublin but there is a growing community and demand which is refreshing. Now when I’m buying fruit and vegetables I choose loose over packaged. Last week I was a bit lazy and did an online Tesco shop and had food delivered to my house. I bought two loose avocados and when it arrived, they came in a packet. Now, I’ll try to buy my fruit and bits locally. It’s hard when you work full time but I’ll just have to make more of an effort.
Other things I’m looking into and want to find out more about are community gardens so I can start growing my own greens. I met someone on a climate change course, facilitated by Friends of the Earth, who is part of a buying group. He and his friends have made their own co-op of sorts. It’s a way for them to collaborate in food sourcing, they pool their money together and buy in bulk, reducing waste and saving money. They even share meals together sometimes with what they’ve bought. I love, LOVE, this idea.
The same guy also told me about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which sounded amazing. It’s another collaboration, this time between a farmer and a group of members who take shares in produce. It’s a season-long commitment supporting a farmer by providing them with a wage and in turn, you get a weekly supply of fruit and vegetables.
Another thing I’ve tried this month in an effort to reduce my waste is to stop using deodorant that comes in plastic. In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think it was possible but my friend told me about Lush’s Aromaco deodorant.
It’s a solid deodorant that comes in a block form, kind of like a bar of soap, so there is no packaging. Woohoo to environmentally friendly deodorant! I simply rub it under clean, dry armpits and I’m ready to go. The shop assistant also mentioned to keep it in a reusable box to keep it fresh. At the moment I have it in an old makeup bag so I hope that works just as well. It’s made with witch hazel, not my favourite scent but I’m growing to love it. It’s vegan-friendly too so it fits into my Veganuary challenge.
If you have any tips, tricks or hacks about limiting your plastic please do let me know.