Baby Steps: Next Steps

Next Steps? | BABY STEPS

In my last post, I wrote about a few of the things I’m already doing to try to be more sustainable, and I touched on the things I want to start doing. In this post, I’m going to break it down into categories and list a couple of goals for 2020.

Groceries
I’m already doing a fair amount to buy products with the minimal amount of packaging. This year, however, I’d like to start looking into more zero waste food products and start to buy from the local zero waste shop. Zero waste shops sell products with no packaging, often locally sourced, and allow you to bring your own containers to buy things like pasta, spices, and oils. Prices are done by weight, and most places allow you to weigh your empty container before you fill it so you don’t pay for the weight of the container as well as the product.
Another step I’m wanting to take is looking into buying more locally. While I think zero waste food swaps for certain products like pasta and spices seems pretty viable for me, I don’t think I can necessarily afford to move away from supermarkets towards things like farm shops selling locally grown vegetables. When I can, I will try to use these kinds of shops, but otherwise I’ll be checking packets in the supermarket to see what comes from the UK.
The final thing I’m putting into this category links to my last point about buying locally: buying seasonally. Buying fruit and veggies in season means the plants aren’t being forced to produce fruit/veg out of season, and also means that they’re more likely to be grown in the UK.

Health and Beauty
Again, this is something I touched on quite a lot in my last post. I buy only cruelty free makeup, and I’ve already swapped my toothpaste. My next swap is going to be my deodorant, and I’m going to be looking at all my health/beauty purchases to check they’re cruelty free, and if not, find an alternative. This can be very affordable, as in the UK, own brands like Superdrug and Boots are cruelty free. Makeup can be slightly trickier to source cheaply on the UK high street than hygiene products, but brands like Barry M, Kiko, Lush and Body Shop tend to be fairly reasonably priced and easy to locate. Boots’ own brand No. 7, is also cruelty free. Some of these companies, however, are owned by parent companies that do test on animals, so research them before you buy if that’s something you also want to avoid.
I’m also thinking about investing in some reusable period products. I’m not a fan of the idea of the cups, but I’d be interested to try out period underwear for lighter days, and maybe the reusable pads as well. The issue with these is the upfront investment, as they’re more expensive than the cups would be to get enough products to last your whole period. I might start out investing in 2-3 pairs of period underwear to use on lighter days, and build up to buying reusable pads as and when I can afford to invest.

Travel
Most of my travel is already done either on foot, trains or buses, as I’m a university student and I don’t have a car. When I’m at university, almost all my travel is by foot or train (with the very occasional taxi). At home, I use buses a little, but I do also go in my parents’ cars. I really don’t do much travel by car, though, and I don’t think it’s particularly sensible or practical for me to try to cut down on that any further. Most of the car journeys I make are ones that would happen whether or not I went in the car – for example grocery shopping with parents or trips to see family.
The one thing I am doing this year that I’m not too happy about is flying. I’m doing four short flights, two return trips to Europe. My plan for this is to look into carbon offsetting the flight and donating the appropriate amount to offset my flights to a suitable organisation. I’m not entirely sure yet how much this will cost, so it may end being something I can’t afford, but I’ve heard that it’s actually surprisingly affordable when you take into account the amount of passengers on a plane, the cost to offset one passengers carbon contribution is fairly low.

Habits
I didn’t want to have a whole category for fashion, because I don’t have that much to say, so I’m incorporating it into habits. My aim for everything, including clothing and makeup is to limit purchases. I seem to go through phases of updating my wardrobe, but at the minute I’m fairly happy with the range of clothes I have. As I’ve got pretty much everything I think I want in my wardrobe, my main focus will be on trying to replace worn out items rather than buying extra ones. When I do buy, I’ll be looking to charity shops and eBay before I look to buying from ethical brands. Buying second hand is better than buying new in my opinion, regardless of how ethical the company is that you might want to buy new from. Plus, second hand can be incredibly cheap!
I also need to get better at remembering to take my keepcup out with me, and taking packed lunches rather than buying food. I’m good at taking a water bottle along with me, but for some reason the keepcup just doesn’t make it out with me as often as I’d like, and I end up buying hot drinks in disposable cups. I also need to figure out a way to clean my keepcup on the go, because I often spend full days on campus and want to buy more than one drink.

I think these are generally achievable goals for my 2020! Eventually I want to be taking more, and better steps, but I’m limited by what I can afford and what’s possible in my area. Are you thinking of making lifestyle changes to be more sustainable this year? Let me know!

7 thoughts on “Next Steps? | BABY STEPS

  1. Great post! I have invested in a few of the reusable pads and they’re pretty good, sometimes you get a little staining, but in the information book I got with mine, it suggests soaking them in lemon juice if they get stained, and then thoroughly cleaning them again afterwards. They’re also a lot more comfortable than disposable pads, because they are softer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Welcome back to my Baby Steps series! Today, I’m going to be talking about what I’m doing for Lent to try to be more sustainable. I know Lent is already underway, but I took a bit of a break while I got caught up on university work. Still, I’m back now, and we’re only a few days into Lent. If you want to check out my broader goals for the year, you can find my most recent post in the series here. […]

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