The start of a new year often finds us reflecting on ways we can make the next 12 months even better from the last. We look at what we’ve experienced and learned, and the state of the world in general to shape the future we’re going to have. Many people still make New Years Resolutions, and even those that don’t often use this time to begin new projects, initiate new ideas or change their daily habits to be more conscious of their health, life and environment.
We thought we’d look at a few ways you can take up the pledge we started last year and make 2018 a Sustainable New Year!
Grow your own fruit and vegetables
The growing, transportation, packaging, retailing and cooking of food, together with the clearing of land to grow food in the first place creates a huge carbon footprint, and making the change for even a couple of the vegetables or herbs you regularly use can go a long way to helping reduce your bills as well!
When it comes to vegetables, nothing tastes as good as something you’ve grown yourself. You don’t need a huge property or even a backyard – a little bit of space for container gardening will do nicely, and there’s various resources for having a food garden in limited space. The trick is to make the most of your resources and use the information available to think of innovative ways to use the space you do have.
Here on the Central Coast, we even have a few community gardens open to the public and produce swaps where growers (or makers) can meet to trade any produce they have in surplus, meaning there is less wastage also. If your community doesn’t yet have something like this, that could be your new eco-project for 2018!
One For the Coffee Addicts..
If you're making tea or coffee and home, one quick tip is to fill the kettle by the cup rather than filling it to the top every time, so that you’re only using the water you need.
If you're having tea or coffee to go from your local spot, try to get yourself a reusable coffee cup so you don’t have to use disposable cups. Many cafes in Australia participate in the Responsible Cafes Initiative that rewards patrons with a discount if they bring their own cup. Many other cafes are following suit across Australia.
Overseas too, the word is spreading about how much our latte addiction can potentially harm the environment. In the UK, Starbucks (thanks to campaigning by anti-waste campaigner and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) introduced the Frugalpac cup into its stores. Created by British entrepreneur Martin Myerscough, the cup is recyclable thanks to the thin plastic liner designed to easily separate itself from the paper during the recycling process.
Coffee pods, too can often be recycled, although a large majority are still ending up in landfill. If you do use a pod machine see if you can find biodegradable pods, such as those made by Australian internet startup Urban Brew.
Go Green When You Clean
There are plenty of natural alternatives to chemical cleaning products for the home made from everyday ingredients. We’ve listed a few old favourites for you to try.
Making a paste from salt, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda is great for kitchen bench tops and surfaces. For the bathroom, vinegar works well in your cistern to help clear out your basin.
Vinegar is also great for soaking cloths to wrap around tap bottoms if you are experiencing any limescale. You can also pour a cupful of bicarb soda down your drains, followed by a cup of slightly heated vinegar. This will froth and bubble and once flush, will work as a great alternative to harsher chemicals for clearing your drains.
You can even make a great wood polish from natural ingredients. Heat grated beeswax, lanolin, sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil in a pan, and then leave to cool, then use with a polishing rag to breathe new life into wooden furniture. For your floors, you can use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar.
Pass on Plastic
This one’s an old favourite, and we’ve talked a lot about reaching single-use plastic in our daily lives- but it doesn’t make it any less important!
Of course, Eco Food Wrap was started to provide a solution to the problem of single use plastic storage in the home, and our reusable, sustainable, chemical-and-cruelty-free beeswax wraps are perfect for storing food in the fridge or when you’re on the go, meaning you can pass on the Glad Wrap and sandwich bags! It’s a great time to stock up on your own Eco Food Wraps for the work year and take your snacks and lunch to work guilt-free!
Now, with new laws pushing the ban of plastic bags in supermarkets, soft-recycling bins in major stores and even the new Recycling Stations popping up across Australia, it’s easier than ever to pass on the plastic.
The Australian government has launched an initiative called Return & Earn where you can deposit Bottles, cans and containers made from plastic and glass at recycling stations, earning you 10c per container. This is great for recycling packaging and is a great way to teach children about recycling too!
Lastly, be sure to remember your trusty Eco-Shopping Kit (an old favourite from a previous blog); Shopping bags, produce bags and even jars for dry goods- and of course your trusty Eco Food Wraps! By utilising the soft plastic recycling bins at supermarkets, you can reduce the amount of rubbish you take home in the first place! If your local doesn’t have the resources yet, it may be time suggest it to your local council!
Get the Little Ones Involved.
For those of you with little ones, the time you often get to spend with them before they go back to daycare, preschool or school is a great time to get into Nature and teach them about their surrounding world. Even something as simple as a beach cleanup can be an informative and educational experience (just be sure to throw in some imaginative play as well!)
Many local schools are also participating in Waste-Free Wednesdays, teaching children about the importance of sustainable options in their school lunches rather than plastic packaging as well as the ways our waste impacts our natural environment. These are great teachable moments for young and old- I can’t tell you the number of times a fellow parent has remarked that they forgot waste-free Wednesdays AGAIN!
For those getting ready for the new School Year (Or a new year at work) we will be having a 3 day Coupon special on January 27th, 28th and 29th (Saturday through Monday). Simply enter the Coupon Code BeeGreen2018 to receive any of $10 OFF ANY ORDER OVER $50!.
Local orders still receive FREE Standard shipping and we have our flat rate standard special of AU$15 for all International Orders.
Mark Your calendars and save the coupon code and make sure you’re prepped for your Green 2018!