2019 has been an interesting year so far. I am finding myself to be more environmentally conscious these days, especially in the time of rising and excessive plastic consumption. Ever since I moved out of my childhood home and into a rental, I’ve been trying to become more focused on how I spend my money and I’m fixated more on having experiences over having new things. My goal is to work towards a low waste lifestyle, so I thought I would share my journey from time to time here on the blog, and this first post is looking at some small changes I’ve made in the last year and a bit,
Reusable Stainless Steel Bottle and Reusable Ceramic Tea Cup
I was never a huge fan of takeaway cups, but when I was grieving, or stressed out I often found myself opting into the convenience of a takeaway cup. I also grew up in a household with a parent who was obsessed with the idea that bottled water was better for you (it wasn’t), but again convenience was a large thing when taking care of a cancer patient. After my mother passed away in 2016, my husband and I broke free from some of her bad habits and decided enough was enough. We weren’t really people who went out to Tims or Starbucks for coffee, and we got into the habit of making a lot of things at home (more on that in a different, upcoming post).
The big and obvious thing here is that if your tap water is considered drinkable, DRINK IT. If you are afraid to drink it, boil it, store it in the fridge and then drink it. Consider getting a filter for your tap or water pitcher if that’s something you are concerned about. For me, I am content filling up my bottle wherever I am, and I keep it on me at all times in my backpack. My stainless steel bottle came from my work (I did a presentation and it was a nice gift). It’s a little beat up, but I love it just the same as it keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Also, gasp! You now know I work for a library!
My tea cup came from David’s Tea on an occasions where I needed to restock my tea pile (I had Frequent Steeper points to play with!) and it was a gift for spending over a certain amount. I used to use a cup that I got from my work, but since my husband got his full time job, that cup goes along with him some mornings, so I use my flamingo one when needed and it does the trick. Remember you don’t need to invest in something if it can already be found at home.
I used to be a heavy pop drinker. I blamed a lot of it on the where I was emotionally given I spent my entire twenties taking care of two cancer patients on and off. Although my parents were super self-sufficient, this was another item that we always had in our house because mum liked her pop. I don’t fault her, pop can be tasty, and I would go through periods of pure excess. Towards the end of 2018, after talking with two of my favourite girlfriends, I realized I already had an item in my house that would satisfy the need for carbonation — my Soda Stream!
I decided to cut out pop cold turkey in 2018 and did so. Hilarious, I don’t have a taste for pop anymore. I remember getting a Dr. Pepper a few weeks ago when I had to work extra hours at my job and didn’t have a lunch. I took a sip and realized I didn’t have the taste for it anymore. I won’t lie and say it’s perfect because once in a blue moon, I do have a ginger ale, but even so, I live almost entirely on water, soda water and tea. The Soda Stream came in handy because I was craving carbonation, not necessarily the sugar or the caffeine. You can also make your own syrups for the machine as well to add a flavour boost!
If you’re like me and just want carbonation, this is the most economical way of doing it than going out and buying bottled carbonated water or pop. It means less goes to landfill and the bottles can be reused over and over again. While mine doesn’t have a glass carafe, the PET bottles on my machine last up to three years and can be recycled once they can no longer handle the job anymore. Again, it’s not the greatest, but I am finding this change has definitely helps me consume less plastic and be more thoughtful about ways in which I was consuming.
Soda Streams do go on sale a fair bit so it’s worth shopping around, or check out second hand markets and see if anyone is willing to sell or trade for one.
There you have it! These are two changes I’ve made that have had a better impact on both my finances and the planet. I hope to share more with you all as I continue to work my way through this journey and my goals list.