On the road to environmental living: ideas for reducing packaging in our daily lives

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I often think about the values that I would like to instil in my son. There is quite a list and caring for the environment is among them. I am not an expert in eco-friendly living but I am learning about it and the more I read and the more I investigate the topic the more I understand how serious and pressing the environmental issues are.

When I came to the UK, the front pages were full of discussion on the topics related to the environment. I must admit I didn’t read many of them but the messages trickled and filled my conscience.

I am trying to find ways and means of reducing unnecessary waste. We pay a strong attention to sorting our rubbish for recycling but I think I still would like to reduce the weight that the rubbish lorry takes away every week. I thought that first of all I’ll try to reduce the packaging that comes into our house. Here are some ideas that I am or will be implementing which you might also like to look into.

Plastic containers for milk – Solution: check if there’s a milkman in your area, order milk in reusable glass bottles from them. If you are based in the UK, you can check who delivers milk in your local area by using this website: http://www.findmeamilkman.net

Washing up liquid – There are some eco-friendly brands that offer washing-up liquid refills. All that you need to do is to take your old and empty washing-up liquid bottle and ask for a refill. Local independent eco shops may do it for other home-care products too.

Soap containers – Consider the following options: try to use the refill systems for liquid soaps or buy soap in blocks or chunks without packaging

Yoghurt and ice-cream pots –  There’s a plethora of recipes online for how to make your own yoghurt and ice-cream. Making it on your own is much healthier as you can avoid glycerine, excessive sugar and other additives. It’s so much fun to do it too! And so yummy!

Other food packaging – Is there a shop that specialises in eggs near you? They are always very appreciative if you come with your own egg box. On average we buy one or two boxes of eggs per week, that’s maybe up to around 100 egg boxes per year. This can be easily reduced to say 10 (assuming a box will last 10 trips).

Plastic dispensers from cleaning products – for the cooker: use bicarbonate of soda with lemon; for windows: my mum gave me a special cleaning cloth that does not require a detergent to be used, in the past I also used water and old newspapers – worked pretty well; as a shower cleaner: use bicarbonate of soda with lemon and vinegar.

There are still some items that I haven’t found good solutions for, for instance, how to avoid plastic shampoo bottles or summer fruit containers (I wish there was a returnable container system somewhere near me)? Any ideas?

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2 thoughts on “On the road to environmental living: ideas for reducing packaging in our daily lives

  1. Great post. I agree about making conscious choices with the environment in mind, but I haven’t thought too much about packaging. Clearly I should. Thanks!

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    • I didn’t think too much about these things in the past… something has changed in me ever since my son was born… I stay at home more and I observe how much packaging we use on a daily basis… maybe it’s also related to motherhood… and the need to care and protect. Glad that you like this post, Sparrow and thank you for sharing your thoughts – always appreciated.

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