Day 69- TASK: Disposal of the Christmas Trees

NEW HABIT: Take down Christmas tree and dispose of it immediately on 1st Sunday after New Year.

This is a great example of the extent of my procrastination. The kind of things I don’t do that the majority of people wouldn’t allow to happen. This is the reason I feel so bad about myself.

Last Christmas, I got a real Christmas tree because it was the first time in ten years that I would spend the whole of Christmas week at home without having to go into work. When Christmas was over and I took the Christmas tree down, it dropped all its needles in my living room which is on the first floor of the house. I was left with thousands of sharp needles all over the carpet and down the stairs. When I started the vacuuming, the needles blew up my vacuum cleaner and I had to spend the next 4 hours sweeping the needles out of my carpet. It was a living nightmare. I put the tree into the garden. When the time came for me to take it to the tip, I could not fit it into my car without dropping even more needles. The branches were extremely painful to handle and I had no saw to reduce its size. I gave up. I then had the naked tree lying in my garden for the entire year.

This experience was so unpleasant I decided never to have a tree here again, or at least not on the first floor where I have carpet. But then my parents said they would join me for Christmas so I wouldn’t be alone and suddenly I felt positive and romantic about Christmas and impulsively ordered a tree for this Christmas. I opted for a Nordmann Fir, renowned for its softer needles and minimal drop. Having gone back on my promise not to ever have a tree again, I was adamant that I would not end up with two trees dumped in the garden. So a week ago, I bought a pruning saw from Screwfix and promised I would prune the trees and dispose of them straight away.

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When I got to the tip and saw all the Christmas trees piled up, I felt really conflicted. I feel like the right thing to do is not have one again but I don’t like fake ones. I may consider a potted one or maybe one from a sustainable organisation next time. I’m not sure what I will do next year. I want one but I don’t want one. I guess whatever happens next year, I will make a greater ethical choice than I have before, I just don’t know what that choice will be yet.

I’m really proud I got rid of the trees and I didn’t end up with them left in the garden. If I do have a tree again, I promise that when I take it down, I will dispose of it immediately and not procrastinate.

“I will take down the Christmas tree on the list Sunday after New Year and dispose of it immediately”

 

Day 68- ETHICAL HAUL: Kitchen Household Items

It has been three weeks since my last ethical haul from True Food. That was my first time and I purchased as much of our personal care items as I could. I’ve added lip balm and mouthwash to that list now and will buy it next time I need it.

This week I focused on Kitchen Household Items. IMG_3930.jpegSODASAN REGENERATING SALT– This is to replace the dishwasher salt I put in my dishwasher to stop the hard water causing stains and calcium build up

SODASAN AUTO DISH TABS– This is to replace the dishwasher tablets for cleaning. They did have powder as well but I thought an alternative tab would be a stepping stone. From my previous experiences, I’ve noted that environmentally friendly products don’t always clean as well, so more pre-rinsing may be required on my part to keep them effective and I don’t want to be put off if things fail.

BIO D DISHWASHER RINSE AIDРWhen I got to True Food I found out I needed to bring my own bottles to fill the products in. They have everything on tap from laundry detergent to shampoo. Without bottles, I chose these filled bottles instead and next time will take the bottles back to fill up.

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BIO D WASHING UP LIQUID– I had nearly run out of washing up liquid so getting this was about time. Again, with environmentally friendly washing up liquids, they don’t always cut the mustard or last as long. Using them can become frustrating and to succeed, it will involve more rinsing utensils beforehand.

LOOF CO WASHING UP PAD– I was curious with this loofah washing up pad. I do like to use a scrubber at the sink and feel bad about chucking them out when they look bad but this is meant to last for months and is a natural product to dispose of.

ECO LEAF KITCHEN ROLL– I forgot to take a photo but I thought I’d give this a go.

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BIO D LAUNDRY DETERGENT– They had bio and non bio detergent in large containers but I decided to just try this non bio small bottle because I have struggled to get results in the past with environmentally friendly alternatives. I’ll see how I get on this time.

BIO D FABRIC CONDITIONER– They actually had a juniper scent and unscented one but I went with lavender because I usually like it so much.

They have a bleaching and stain remover product too but I have my standard ones to use up first.

My next ethical haul will be in two weeks’ time and I think it will be my Vegan Storecupboard ingredients as I transition to a plant-based, vegan diet after my Microbiome Cleanse.

 

 

Day 49- NEW HABIT: Deodorant

NEW HABIT: Use deodorant every work day

I have three more habits to add to my morning routine and then I plan to leave it for a while. On March 1st, I plan to introduce walking to work as my final morning routine habit.

The two others are part of my beauty regimen. Now I will make sure I use deodorant everyday after my shower. I’m buying any old crappy spray just for convenience and saving money but I would love to use some ethical, environmentally friendly, natural product. However, after numerous failed attempts, it’s my conclusion that such products only work when you have a very healthy lifestyle and good diet. I plan to keep on using cheap deodorant until I can say I eat a healthy enough diet to not produce foul-smelling odour and then a crystal or stick might just cut it.

“I will use deodorant everyday after my shower”

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Day 48- ETHICAL HAUL: Personal Care

This post marks the start of my transition from supermarkets to alternative shopping opportunities. I have a wish to improve the sources of the things we need or enjoy. I would like to consider the ethical and environmental consequences of our purchases. I am aware of my hypocrisy however, because I’ve been unwavering about my choice to buy a new iPhone and one day, a new car but I will start where I can and see where it leads.

I wrote about The True Food Community Shop near me a week ago. I decided I would go there every 4 weeks with a stock list and start sourcing more and more of my shopping from there. What I like about this shop is, it is not just about being organic or recycled. It takes into account lots more things like fair-trade, ethical sourcing, animal testing, low carbon footprint etc… It stocks items that are the kindest to the environment and people. You just can’t depend on multi-million supermarkets to really make a difference just because they sell recycled toilet paper or an organic apple. I believe shops like True Food are the way forward to restore shopping to a sustainable pursuit.

The first category I shopped for this weekend was Personal Care. I went to see what they had and what I could use. If they had anything I needed, I bought it. The only things I didn’t was; our toothpaste, bathing items and my skincare products. That is advanced levels for me and I need to be very far down my path to perfection to qualify.

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ECOLEAF TOILET PAPER– I have no idea what this paper is like. Recycled paper from supermarkets can often feel thin or weak or powdery but it is time to stop making excuses and lower my standards for the greater good. You can even tell the paper packaging is recycled. You don’t see that in Asda.

NATRACARE TAMPONS– I do have a moon cup that I want to blog about in the future but in the meantime if I use tampons, it will be these. Tampons are a huge nightmare for the environment. I may even dispose of them in the bin to stop polluting our seas.

SIMPLY GENTLE PAPER STEM BUDS– I’ve just run out of my Waitrose pack so perfect timing. I use one a day for my ears after a shower and if applying make up. At the right time, I will consider if I can live without them altogether.

FAITH IN NATURE HAND-MADE SOAP– It’s a big step for me to move away from bottled hand-soap. Even in a recycled plastic bottle it is still unnecessary packaging. At the end of a soap bar there is no evidence it even existed. Shame this one is still in a plastic wrapper. I may level up one day to a piece of soap that is sold with zero packaging. I bought this coconut one to match the family bathroom. I still have bottles in the other bathrooms but when they run out, I will buy more of these.

DESERT ESSENCE DENTAL-TAPE– I bought this but I’m not convinced it’s a better option than the Yaweco floss I’ve been using. I can’t find out what the tape is made of whereas I know the Yaweco one is biodegradable silk and an unbleached. It maybe that in the future I will use other ethical sources to shop from than just True Food.

The one other thing I could get from True Food is Cosmetic Cotton Pads but I already have a lot and only use them to remove make up.

On my next visit to True Food I will consider shopping for laundry products I think.

 

Day 46- NEW HABIT: Tongue Scraper

NEW HABIT: Use a tongue scraper every day

My evening dental routine is pretty, darn good now. I start with flossing, then I brush my teeth for 2 minutes and finish with a mouthwash. In the morning I’ve been oil-pulling and brushing my teeth for 2 minutes. There is just one more habit to add and then, apart from an annual visit to the dentist, I’d say my dental habits are pretty much complete and not in need for levelling up for a long time. In the morning, I will now finish my routine with tongue-scraping. A common habit in the east, tongue scraping can be the solution to bad breathe. The many little suckers on the tongue hold on to food and bacteria causing bad breathe. Tongue scraping clears that, leaving the tongue nice and pink and no furry sensation.

I bought a metal tongue-scraper online with little plastic handles. You want to stay away from those disposable plastic ones in Boots. I wished I spent more time searching for a solid metal one with no plastic but I was rushing. The copper ones seem interesting. Should it ever break, that will be what I look out for.

“I was my tongue scraper everyday after brushing my teeth”

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Day 42- NEW HABIT: The True Food Community Co-operative

NEW HABIT: Shop at True food once a month & increase the shopping list every time

I am so lucky to have this co-operative supermarket near to me. A non-profit organisation focused on bringing ethical, organic and fair-trade produce to the common shopper. They use to transport all this stuff to different locations all over Reading 10 years ago but now they have a permanent shop set up. It is my wish to rely on this place more and more for my regular items. It is especially good for loose grains, nuts and seeds etc… and also has lots of things you can fill up straight into your own bottles, like olive oil and detergent etc…

I’m soon going to run out of the porridge oats I committed to start eating every morning for breakfast. I want to level up to the best presentation of porridge there is, which is steel-cut oats. I think True Food has that, so that’s what inspired me to pay a visit again. Other things I will run out soon are ear buds and floss, so I would like to start purchasing them from there too. I think I will try toilet roll also, so I’m going to create a stock list for these items and visit True Food once a month to purchase them. And then every month I’m going to add at least one more item to the stock list. The path to perfection should take me to a place one day when the majority of my non-fresh items come from True Food.

“I will shop at True Food once a month, increasing the range of products I buy with each visit”

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Day 39- LEVEL UP: iPhone

I’m a lover of the iPhone. I’ve owned a few but have always bought them second hand and I am always a couple of generations away from the most recent. I’m a general user so have never felt the need for the latest and greatest features. I’m also keen on not creating demand by buying a new one.

My iPhone 6 has been showing signs of age for a while, and for the first time I really found myself in a quandary about what choice I wanted to make next. Part of me wants to continue buying second hand phones for the ethical reasons I’ve just given, but the downside of that is I have to have ¬£250-¬£300 saved up and I’m only ever guaranteed the phone working for 2 years before I find myself in the same position again.

Now that I use my phone a lot more for work, I’ve considered a newer version but they are expensive. However, the Apple Upgrade Programme offers me the opportunity to get a new phone with Apple Care and I can spread the payments over 20 months. It’s not dissimilar to what I want to do with the car too.

I am very conflicted with the ethical and environmental impact of consuming a new product every few years but I’m going to justify it because of all the other aspects of my life I’m trying to improve. The car and phone might be the last ethical decision I ever make.

From now, I will just trust in the upgrade programme, budget for the monthly cost and decide whether to upgrade, as and when.

I chose the (Product) Red iPhone to ease my conscience just a little. It contributes to U2’s Red charity for beating AIDS.