Monday, 5 November 2018

My Journey to Less Waste #3 - Feeling Overwhelmed

Hi there everyone πŸ˜ƒ

I tell you what ...

My enthusiasm for less waste seems to be running away with me. I am seeing ways to reduce our own everywhere I look and I can hear myself turning into a bit of a less waste bore.
Photo by Bas Emmen on Unsplash
I really didn’t know just quite how much I didn’t know. Once you start looking for stuff about using less waste it is very easy to become more than a little overwhelmed and I have this over riding desire to share what I am learning ... just in case you didn’t know either.

There is so much I have been ignorant of ... I thought the stuff that went into my recycling bin all turned miraculously into something wonderful and could be recycled time and time again. I was proud of how full my recycling bin was each week and I wore it as a kind of badge of honour. I have been so naive ... and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Photo by PaweΕ‚ CzerwiΕ„ski on Unsplash

From watching programmes like Blue Planet, Drowning in Plastic and The secret Life of Landfill I have had my eyes well and truly opened. From following internet blogs and Facebook groups I have learned so much and I want to know more.
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Where does the waste I put into my blue, green and black bins really go? What happens to it? Is my recycling really recycled ... or is it shipped off to a third world country to be dumped on a river bank and sit there until it flows into the sea? Does my general waste got to landfill? Will it still be there in another fifty years? 
I really want to know the answers to these questions.

I need to take responsibility ... we all need to take responsibility ... we all need to be more aware and we can all make a difference.

Some resources I have found really useful are a new blog I’ve come across called Treading my own Path and the Journey to Zero Waste in the UK and Ecobricks UK Facebook groups. All are really inspirational and full of ideas that I want to try and things that I hadn’t really thought of.

It has become really clear, really quickly ... in fact just after analysing a couple of days worth of rubbish, that there is loads we could all do as individuals to improve things.
Over the course of just a few days I decided I wanted to buy some reusable food bags for buying loose fruit and veg, lobby the council to allow us to put raw fruit and veg waste in our green bin, set up a local Facebook group of neighbours to share ideas and unwanted stuff, make some reusable face wipes, register with Terracycle for recycling some of the things that can’t go in our kerbside recycling bin, make full use of the supermarket plastic bag recycling scheme, build a wormery and start making Ecobricks .. and that’s just for starters. I know, completely bonkers.
Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash
I am in danger of becoming a bit swamped with things I want to do and think I need to just stop for a minute, take a breath and try and plan a bit more of a methodical approach, rather than going at things half cock. For me I want this to be a permanent lifestyle change and not just a fad, which makes me think I really need to give proper consideration to the changes I want to make and not do it all in one go.

As well as not wanting to run off at breakneck speed to try to change my (and, as a consequence, Martin’s) life overnight I don’t want to procrastinate and do nothing.

So I think I am starting to formulate a plan.
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Firstly I need to decide what my overall goal is. Do I want to recycle more? Do I want to reduce my use of plastic? Do I want to produce less waste in general? Do I want to make more use of what I already have? Do I want to influence others to change their habits too, or is it all of the above?

Once I have really thought about and decided this I think I will plan to make at least one permanent change a month, maybe there will be more than one, but I think I would rather take my time and concentrate on making one thing a permanent and sustainable change than just trying lots of random different things.

I will definitely be blogging about the changes, which will heighten my accountability and be a chance to share what I’ve done, how I did it and if it’s something I think I can continue with.
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

I’m sure some changes will be small and will be things that other people have been doing for years. I I do feel like I have been slow to pick up on the importance of this issue, but I will be making a real effort and real changes, however small.

I won’t achieve my objectives overnight but I am hoping that by starting with small things then momentum will increase over time. I hope in a year’s time I will be able to share a real tangible list of changes I have made that will have started to move me towards my overall goals.

I know this topic is a million miles away from what I normally write about but it is something that is really important to me so I do hope you will all give me the opportunity to share this journey with you and perhaps even support me along the way.
Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash
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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.