I am so happy to have given up all the things it is recommended you give up while pregnant (goodbye pate, Brie, goats cheese, liver, gin, sigh….) but at the same time it does feel like I have given up a lot of my usual little pleasures.
Rather than think of one more thing to give up this Lent, we decided to look at it from a slightly different angle. Instead of giving up one thing consistently, we decided to look for bad habits in our household we could replace with better ones. There rarely seems to be enough time to slow down and think properly, and some things I end up doing in automatic pilot. So this Lent, I’ll be trying to be a bit more conscious in the choices I make for our little household.
The first one which spring easily to mind was milk, we get through a fair amount with three of us, and me a big tea drinker. All that milk comes in plastic bottles which we do recycle…but I’d like to try another way. I have signed us up for milk deliveries in glass bottles. The immediate thing I noticed was it is quite a but more expensive than buying from the supermarket. I had planned to switch to organic as well, but I don’t think my budget will easily stretch to it, so I’ll look to buy a mix. At the end of Lent I’ll need to decide if the extra cost is worth the convenience, and also reducing our plastic output.
Leading on from this, I was horrified to find that nearly all the teabags available to buy are sealed using a thermal plastic. The Co-Op is the first to announce they are phasing this out, and other manufacturers are apparently working on developing plastic free bags….but until then, next time I need to buy tea, I’ll be buying leaves. You can compost teabags, but the idea of all that plastic breaking down into tiny particles and getting into our ecosystem…well I’ll just say I wish I had known about this years ago.
Toilet roll is something else on my list, and this time it is a nice easy switch, to buying only that which is made with recycled paper.
Cling film is another thing I want to do away with. When I stop to think, I can’t believe how easily conditioned we are to use products like this. I want to have a go at making my own beeswax wraps, but I also saw some fabric sandwich wraps I want to buy. They are laminated in a kind of plastic, but they are not single use, and it is single use and non-recyclable plastic that I really have in my sights here.
I was thinking of buying some reusable straws until several people pointed out they are hard to clean. Instead, I’ll be popping a pack of paper straws into my bag for when we are out and about and we order a drink for Jessica.
So much of our power as consumers comes from how and where we spend our money, so I’ll be voting for how I want the world to be with how I spend my housekeeping. Where I can I’ll be looking to buy fair trade, and we’ll be eating less meat but better quality meat and making it go further. I’ll be using as many local and/or independent shops as I can.
I’ll be thinking about other swaps and changes we can make as we journey through Lent, and I hope we will find plenty of them stay with us after Lent has ended.