I am going to start with the definition of Sustainable and Ecofriendly which is: to cause little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.
So, what does that mean to my life? How could I possibly start to achieve this in my everyday life? When I think of Sustainable or Ecofriendly, I think of an off-grid homes, growing my own food, making my own yogurt, having no waste, walking instead of taking my car or not even owning a car, handmade tools, presents, mending or making clothes, nothing plastic, non-toxic living and I could go on. (This is the dream) But for many of us including myself this is just not practical. I live in a busy city, and work in the small town next to where I live. I have no way of setting up to be off-grid as we live in a flat above a shop and I am not the only one. For millions of people in the UK, we live in cities, town or even villages which don’t have the facilities to be ecofriendly or sustainable.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be.
I cannot say that I am 100% zero-waste, sustainable or ecofriendly. I am still on my journey and if I am honest I don’t think that journey ends. (That daunts me a lot) but I am still learning. The more I learn, the more it impacts on my life and my family’s life. (I have a very patient and loving husband-to-be) That journey even though it is daunting, and was hard to start has changed my life and has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life so far.
After I figured out my ‘why?’, and why I wanted to pursue this lifestyle. After many, many talks with my husband to be (Scott). He set me a challenge. His challenge was for a month if we could live this lifestyle and prove that for our budget it would be sustainable and be able to carry this on into the future. He was worried that if we pursued this lifestyle we wouldn’t have any money left to save for our future or we would have a poorer lifestyle. I love a challenge especially when I have a doubt that it can’t be done. It makes me want to prove that it can be done even more.
For a month I counted all my receipts, researched the best possible products and ways of doing things (I still do this) and where I could get these locally for the most affordable price. After this month, Scott was so impressed that we hadn’t gone over our monthly budget and with some things, they had been cheaper and would last longer. An example of this would be my conditioner bar. I have really long hair and used to go through so many bottles of shampoo and conditioner. I found the Friendly soap range in my local health shop and I brought there Tea tree conditioner for £5, I followed the instructions on the packet to melt it down into a liquid conditioner and I am still using it over a year and half later. This was my most surprising purchase. Scott was so impressed, that this pushed us on quickly to start changing things permanently within our home.
At First it was very over-whelming as I wanted to change everything all at once. So, I decided to do a room at a time. Starting with the bathroom, then the kitchen and now we are looking into and experimenting with other aspects of our life. It is a journey and I am still constantly researching as it is very confusing and I want to be as informed as I can be to make the best decisions.
My advice to anyone thinking about changing their lifestyle to be more sustainable, take your time, research and try things. If you try things and they don’t work for you and your family that’s ok, keep trying you will find something that works for you in the future. I think many people have the perception that this lifestyle is expensive and I was defiantly one of those people but if you research and shop around for the best possible prices, it doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t lose out on life.
In some way I feel my life is richer by living this lifestyle.