My names Bobbie from Little Eco Lady (you can’t see me, but I’m waving). I have an eco page, where I share my eco journey and ideas I have along the way. I feel like it’s a constant journey of evolving, and that’s one of the things that I love about it. I recently opened my Little Rubbish Boutique where I sell digital greetings cards that plant a tree and DIY deodorant kits. I’m currently working on some digital Christmas cards (I know, I can’t believe I’m using the C bomb in September either!). Imagine how many trees we could save & then plant by not sending physical Christmas cards!
I originally started buying natural products for health reasons, I developed a rare form of migraine that was totally life changing and made me realise how important my body is, so I wanted to look after it more. Without a body I have nothing, I then realised the same applies to earth.
Last year I was in Australia during July and heard about Plastic Free July. I decided to go along to a film night watched documentary called ‘Blue’ which was really upsetting. I took part in PFJ and posted about it each day and it evolved from there. I had never imagined that a year later I would be talking on podcasts (like this wonderful one) and doing Instagram lives with authors! Due to my health I can’t do conventional jobs any more, so I decided to try & create my own business, but being ethical was really important to me.
When I started the journey I wanted to cut out plastic, but then after taking part in Zero Waste Week last September I realised that actually I wanted to reduce my waste. Whether its paper, water, plastic, wood – I try to consume as little as possible. I quickly realised that its actually a lot easier & cheaper to live that way. I think often people think that it’s expensive, but really often its more economical because you’re much less wasteful. I don’t use toilet paper any more, which during the toilet paper shortages was amazing!
I have discovered so many companies doing wonderful things. Elvis & Kresse is my favourite, I think they were also part of the catalyst for me embarking on this journey. I was very lucky to do a tour of their workshop & once I heard their story I was so inspired. They make all of their products from waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. Plus they donate some of the profits to charities, I love that my handbag helped a lady in Guatemala to install solar power in he village…how many bags can do that! They also repair their products for life, so I never have to buy another bag again – yay!
Periods took me a while to make the change, I think a major barrier is that initially the products are more expensive – but they actually save a lot. Over a lifetime I think reusables save about £4000 compared to disposable products…literally flushing money down the toilet! I was also put off as I thought that menstrual cups looked a bit scary. I wish I’d tried them sooner, and I most people I speak to say the same.
Something else I realised is that the beauty industry thrives on the fact of making us feel like we are not enough, to make us feel like we need to buy lots of products. In reality we don’t need loads of products. I have one thing that can be used as moisturiser, face mask, hair oil & make up remover! Before I would have had four separate products.
A great place to start living a more zero waste lifestyle is buying loose veg. I have a refill stores near me which makes reducing plastic easier, but if you don’t have that then buying larger quantities can be a good alternative. There’s a website called www.zerowastenear.me to see if you have a local store. I had one lady say she didn’t have one nearby, then when she looked there was one two miles away! My favourite zero waste solution recently has been taking a pot on walks and picking my own blackberries, berries can be really hard to find plastic free – and better still, they’re free!
I sometimes find it difficult to identify solutions as they have become habit now, which I think is a good thing – it shows how easy they are, that I don’t even think about them any more.
Three tips to get started –
Bin audit is a great place to start, as you can see what you’re dealing with & identify places to improve. I still do this now. Empty your rubbish onto the floor & put it into groups – maybe kitchen, bathroom etc. You’ll quickly be able to see where you’re creating the most waste and then look for ways to gradually reduce it. Overwhelm can be a big barrier, just start small and those little changes will quickly add up – trust me
Some easy swaps are changing to an ethical bank account bank account and renewable energy supplier. Ethical consumer website has some great resources to help you work out the best options.
Watch documentaries, they may not be easy to watch but they are a great way to give you the motivation remind why making changes. I’ve started sharing a documentary recommendation every Friday, so check out my page if you’d like some ideas.
I also have a Facebook group called the Eco Rainbow crew – it’s a fun and friendly place to support each other and ask questions
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Disclaimer: This post was kindly written by Bobbie from Little Eco Lady.