Reducing your Carbon Footprint
By Aimee on
We had a family meeting recently to discuss our impact on the environment. The things we thought we were doing well and the things we wished to improve.
Below are the things we believed we were doing well: * Going vegan * Driving the car less (riding our bikes more) * Making bentos for lunch (no plastic wrapping, all nude food) * Making some things from scratch (kimchi, stock, and soy milk).
I have also written a previous post here that discusses some of our other changes. Things like using bamboo toothbrushes, using a reusable bottle, cloth nappies for our daughter, and a few other ideas.
We then brainstormed some other ideas of what we could improve. Reducing plastics is definitely a big one for us but also reducing our consumption of electricity and finding ways to alter what we do throw away.
Here are a few of the changes we would like to make. Some of which we have already put into effect.
Bulk buying foods and using our own containers to fill.
A friend recently told me about a bulk food store in our area that sells everything. Well mostly. Traditional things like lollies chocolates, nuts and seeds. To things like spices, flours, pasta, rice, loose leaf tea, cleaning products, shampoos, conditioners and nut butters (made in store right before your eyes). The Source Bulkfoods has been a major player in our road to reducing plastics in the home. Most plastics can be recycled, sure. But if you don’t even need to purchase them in the first place, why would you?
We also found one in the Central Markets that has a few different things like TVP as well as a few regular things (like oats) but cheaper.
Making more things from scratch.
I know that I wrote above that I thought we were doing this well. But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve. Sam was gifted a Soy milk Maker for christmas from his parents. We also just found out we can use it on a cold setting to make almond milk. And like that we no longer need to buy almond milk from the shops. I’m not the biggest fan of soy milk so I’m super glad we have this alternative. Other things we want to try making ourselves is tofu, vegan butter and cheese, meusli bars just to name a few. Off topic for food but Sam also made our daughter a dress the other day!
Composting food scraps
We have a green bin that we put our food waste into. However you can purchase a kitchen compost. Here is one example of a small apartment composter that hides the smell, composts your food, and gives you fertiliser for your garden. We are yet to get this in the mail but think it would be a pretty simple way of using your food scraps in a better way. I am oddly excited to have it and to make compost for our garden.
Better cleaning products
Now we have been using earth cleaning products for a while. I think after I’ve run out I’ll refill at the source bulkfood place I mentioned above. What we haven’t changed yet though is what we use to scrub and wipe down the kitchen with. We still use plastic sponges that disintegrate and get chucked out. All those micro plastics going straight into our water system. I have just purchased some biodegradable dish cloths and a coco fibre kitchen scrubber.
Grow more edible plants
Between my mum, Sam’s parents, and ourselves we do a pretty good job of growing food but we would like a couple more things on our balcony for ourselves.
We buy all our fruit and veg from the local markets where everything is grown in our state. This means all the food is much tastier and fresher as it doesn’t have to travel as far to get to us. We also will try and save some of the run off from our shower (The water that is just wasted as we wait for it to heat up) to water our garden.
Gifts and Clothes - second hand or locally made
This one may be a difficult transition but we will do our best to move towards gifts and clothes that are second hand, locally made or ethically produced. We were also thinking of doing more experiences with our Girl instead of just buying her things. For example we all have a zoo pass which we did for Christmas and bought Nanny one too.
There are so many different simple changes you can make to create less waste. Try writing a list of all the things you throw away. Everything that goes into your household bin. Even things you recycle. What doesn’t have to be there? What could you swap out for something else? Did you need to buy it in the first place? Let me know what you think!