Sustainability and recycling have been in the news for many years now and I, like many people, have tried to cut down on plastic waste and look at what I am buying with a different mind-set.
I've never been a person who generates much waste. When my two boys were babies I used terry cloth nappies instead of disposable. I used disposable nappies if we were going on a long car journey. I was lucky that my mum looked after them when they were tiny babies and so it wasn't a problem for her to change a terry nappy. It may have been different if they were in a nursery. Subsequent child minders were ok with changing a terry nappy too. I never used baby wipes, I used cotton wool and a bowl of warm water to clean their little bottoms. When it came to weaning they had exactly what me and my husband had for dinner, it was just put through a blender and blended to a consistency suitable for their age. Luckily neither of them were fussy eaters.
For a family of four we only generated one bag of rubbish per week, sometimes two at Christmas time. I've never wasted food, I always find a use for food that is going out of date. I suppose my biggest waste is plastic bottles of coke and lemonade but even that we don't drink much of anymore. I now have two jugs of tap water in the fridge, as I have to have cold water not lukewarm from the tap, and I either put a splash of cordial or squash in it or a slice of lemon or lime to give it a bit of flavour. I have recently bought a butter dish so that I am not buying plastic tubs of butter, that has saved at least 3 plastic tubs a month going for recycling.
For the bathroom I used to get through at least 3 body washes and numerous body puffs a month. Now I use soap with a flannel or with a body sponge made from recycled milk bottles from the Body Shop. For my face I have been using Liz Earle cleanse and polish for over 20 years. It comes with a reusable muslin cloth that can be washed in the washing machine and when they need replacing I use them as cleaning cloths, so no need for face wipes. For my hair I use Aveda's Shampure shampoo which you can buy in 1litre bottles.
For cleaning I use Method, I don't use wipes at all. I have a number of spontex cloths and also my used Liz Earle cloths that I use. Some are for wiping the dirty surfaces and others are used for drying. My glass shower door always looks sparkling after cleaning with Method and the cloths. I have just started using Ecover washing powder. It is an absolute delight, it smells delicious and cleans divinely. I really don't know why I have only just bought it, it has been around for years.
Finally, I have found the most wonderful butchers. They sell local meat and veg and also have a delicatessen which sells local made wine. I go there every two to three weeks and stock up. They will make up packs of what I want, the size and amount I want so there is no waste.
I am constantly looking at ways to reduce my recycling and to live more sustainably. But unless we all do our bit it could all be in vain.