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Going green, or being greener, or trying to live a lifestyle that has slightly less impact on the environment then you probably have or are considering changing up some things you use, in your life to help with that.
To be honest, going greener can be costly, if you are looking to replace things in your life that might make less impact. Some things are easy and fairly cheap to replace, and some things can need budgeting for. I am not entirely convinced in a cynical way, that the whole green market and items that are better for the planet hasn’t been hijacked by companies who know people will pay for things and “greenwashing” is a thing that many companies try to sneak past us particularly in the food industry, so it is hard sometimes to decide what really is making a positive impact on your efforts to be greener and what is just falling for marketing ploys.
I tend to prefer the method of only replacing things as needed, and trying to reduce what we use by process of elimination and replacing when they wear out. I can’t afford to replace every single thing that might be better replaced by something greener, all in one go and neither can most people.
There are few things we have worked on replacing.
I try to not buy paper or disposable coffee cups if I can avoid it. Sometimes that can’t be helped but I carry a “Keep cup” in my bag, for grabbing coffee when it’s not planned.
I use a Bodum coffee mug for travel and for when I need to leave the house with coffee planned to go. It’s great for travel, and really sturdy and really keeps stuff warm so it’s worth investing in.
These sandwich wrappers are from ReWrapper are super handy for lunchboxes and packed lunches, to try and cut down on using plastic wrap or tin foil.
They wipe clean and keep your sandwiches from going stale or soggy. We also recently discovered that they are handy for using when we have a spontaneous need to buy pastries for last-minute breakfasts and the supermarkets only provide plastic bags to carry those. They can be weighed and not upset the self-service machines and make it easier to not have to use plastic wrap or bags.
Plastic straws are not good for the planet. They don’t decompose, they lie around for years and years, and are part of the plastic disaster that is so bad for the environment. Millions of plastic straws are used every day. I do believe our government is trying to ban single-use plastic straws and I am fully behind that.
We do use straws but we either buy paper ones that can be composted, for parties or events, and I have also bought metal straws that can be reused and cleaned.
I do find that metal straws don’t work so well for smoothies that I make for breakfast for us, so these glass straws are great for using, and although they are glass, they are sturdy and don’t break easily, and clean easily too.
I also hate using plastic cutlery, and try to circumnavigate that by having a set of reusable cutlery to hand if I can. This kit is handy for travel and if you want to avoid plastic knives, forks and spoons.
I think I have bought a plastic throw-away water bottle only three times since January this year. I made a resolution to try and avoid buying them if I could and we are doing ok-ish with that. We have slowly increased our stash of reusable water bottles at home, and my children are now well programmed to fill their bottles and pack them for the day, or for sports classes or school. I tend to pick water bottles for us when I see them on sale, or at very reasonable prices and these ones from Wilko are our current go-to.
You can read some going green travel essentials I use, that I have swapped in to make a difference, and what works for us. It’s all a learning curve and a process and it’s very much doing what works for you. I am all for going green but not for adding extra stress to life, so if this post has been helpful, we would love to hear from you, and if you have any going green life swaps you would like to share, please do comment.
I fear you are all too right about companies hijacking the green movement for their own financial gain and I have seen some ridiculous prices for green products (and some with very dubious green credentials, too). Like you, I replace things only when needed and always try to do a bit of research before buying. But I have made plenty of bad decisions whilst trying to shop green and will be writing about not so green bamboo knickers one day soon. #GoingGreen