Is anyone like me who wishes that your go-to instinct getting only what we truly need and be content with it? Please emphasize on the word 'wishes', because I am a sucker on certain aesthetics, taste and looks. Although, I have been trying to be more aware of the new purchases that I make on a regular basis. I try not to buy more clothing items unless it's to replace the ones that I can no longer wear. For fresh produce, I love to get it in a wet market/local grocers than big supermarket. Because they usually don't come with packaging and you can have what you truly need not in certain bulks.
The whole system buying in bulks can really be so tempting. Who doesn't love a good Costco bargain? who doesn't like that buy 1 get 1 thing free? When you do it smartly, yes you can save quite some coins; but with what cost... Have you experienced fruits gone bad just because you can get a good priced deal? Or that thing ends up in at the end of your pantry, where you couldn't remember when you bought it or what for or when you want to use it?
In the game of saving up, we often pay the price in another way, making more waste. Not saying that is only one way or no way at all, but giving upcycling/recycling a try can be an amazing difference in your personal life.
Some of the ways that I've been doing and easy to get going are:
- I try to have another bag within my daily bag/purse so I don't have to buy shopping bags over and over again. personally I like a calico bag because it is quite durable and easy to clean. But also we've been saving up our reusable bags from years of shopping. I guess mom's hoarding comes to good use. So we have enough shopping bags for a family of 10.
- Bring our own little bags for individual big fresh produce (eg. vegetables, fruits or small tedious items). Instead of getting more and more plastic bags that usually rip off anyways in one time use, with your own, you can fit as much as you want in it and you can clean it and reuse it. Especially during this time, you are in control of your own hygiene and cleanliness.
- MAKE A LIST! this one is still an ongoing habit that I'm trying to build. I often try to buy things that I know by heart and being in the kitchen for most of the time, I like to decide on my own of what to get. But oftentimes we will end up buying the things that we don't need or end up forgetting what we need in the first place. What I learn from this lockdown period in Victoria, having a list for groceries has been a great thing to have. Especially, me and my husband we do try to respect the rules of the lockdown and only have 1 person doing the groceries.
- Have fun with DIYs. I've been making a lot of DIYs for most of my daily needs. They are still in the process of a trial if I must say so. I want to make a more organic and sustainable approach for our household cleaning product. I'm trying out to use white vinegar to clean most of our kitchen or dining surfaces. Baking soda also a great all-around item to have as it can be used to clean and eliminate odour. If you are a busy body being stuck in the house, DIYs can be a great let out.
- Upcycling is also my new found hobby. I've been making masks with my old socks, using emptied coffee jars for my cooking ingredients/grains, empty food containers will be my new plant's pots (when the weather will warm up enough for me to hang out in my garden). The thought of something can be for multiple uses / giving a new life to something; excites me.
So those are just a few ways of how I try to leave a good footprint on the earth. I've been so ignorant in how I live my life. Just thinking how I travel in the past, how I shop, how I function in general. But knowing what I can change and do better now, all that matters. Changing one thing at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself with a long list of perfection that needs to be done, just make a manageable to-do list (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly). Letting yourself to enjoy the process as well.
I hope this can inspire to start your own journey to more recycling, upcycling or more mindful buying. All for a better place for us to live and healthier space.