New Year’s Eve, and even before the old year is officially over, thoughts are turning to the shiny new year, and all our hopes and aspirations for 2015.
If you are wanting to try and make your life more sustainable, dare I say it, ‘greener’, then here are some suggestions of do-able resolutions, and awesome blogs/websites to follow to help you along the way.
OK, so maybe actual proper Zero Waste is a pretty huge goal to aim for. I’m not suggesting that you resolve to go Zero Waste on 1st Jan, or even that you attain it by this time next year. But you can make a start. You can always make a start. And then do just one more thing.
Slimming your bin is a brilliant way to lighten the impact of your lifestyle on the planet. And as with many of these things, you will eventually find that it seems to go hand in hand with buying less, buying better, buying more consciously, so before you know it, you might be achieving things you hadn’t even planned to!
If this sounds like your cup of tea, then here are three sites to help you on your way:
- The Rubbish Diet
This is a fabulous UK based site, started by the Rubbish Queen Karen Cannard, and promises to help you “learn to recycle more, shop better, and save money – effortlessly!” You can sign up here, to learn how to Love your Bin in 2015
- Zero Waste Home
A US based site, from Bea Johnson, author of the book by the same name. Bea’s goal is “to shatter pre-conceptions associated with the Zero Waste lifestyle and share what we have discovered about its incredible health, financial and time saving benefits.”
- Zero Waste Week and My Zero Waste (you get 2 for 1!)
Both bought to you by the very lovely Rachelle Strauss. Both sites are jam-packed full of tips and inspiration to help you on your Zero Waste journey. For the New Year, Rachelle has just launched the Zero Waste January Challenge, to help you Dump your Junk, without sending any of it to land-fill. Are you up for the challenge?!
Zero Waste and Plastic Free seem to go pretty much hand in hand. Once you start thinking a but more about what you are sending to landfill, you may quickly realise that a lot of what can’t be recycled or composted is plastic. And the only way to reduce the amount you send to landfill, is to use/buy less of the stuff in the 1st place.
But it can be really daunting, once you start looking around, and you realise just how much plastic you use every single day.
You could resolve to try and cut out single use plastic items, like plastic bags; or to cut out one plastic item a month-for example in January you could replace plastic water bottles with a re-usable one, in February, you could tackle those pesky plastic bags, etc etc.
For lots of help, resources and inspiration, check out:
- Plastic is Rubbish
Originally started anonymously by ‘Polythene Pam’, this UK blog is packed full of ideas, and has whole sections devoted to where to buy alternatives to plastic, and a how-to…. Plastic Free, with links, tutorials and recipes for everything from toothpaste to washing up liquid
- My Plastic Free Life from Beth Terry.
Beth is an accountant from the USA, who has started a plastic revolution, and written a brilliant book about going plastic-free. She has 100 top tips for getting you started on your very own plastic free journey
- Plastic Free July
Yes, I know it’s only (nearly) January, but this site has lots of ideas, and a whole Toolbox of tips to get you going. And if you’re doing well, you can sign up for a Plastic Free July to give yourself something to aim for
If you are resolving to turn your back on fast fashion this year, and are giving Primark the push, and H&M the heave-ho, then there is help at hand:
- Moral Fibres
Edinburgh based Wendy believes that sustainable living should be “hip, not hippie”, and makes looking stylish with a conscience look effortless!
- The Good Wardrobe
This is one of my favourite sites that describes itself as an “online style-sharing community hub mixing the best of sustainable fashion with services that prolong the life of your wardrobe” and “the antithesis of fast fashion”. As well as blog posts about the latest happenings in the slow fashion world, there is a forum where you can ask questions, and solve any ethical fashion dilemmas you may have!
- Offset Warehouse
I LOVE the Offset Warehouse-not only do they stock a whole range of gorgeous ethical and organic fabrics and haberdashery, they have a fab blog where you can find things like this zero waste t-shirt pattern
Buy Nothing New
I couldn’t really talk about sustainable resolutions without mentioning the possibility that some of you might want to try and year of Buying Nothing New!
I’ve got a whole blog post scheduled with my top tips coming up tomorrow, but there are lots of (other!) great blogs around to help you on your quest:
- Buy Nothing New
This site has a mission statement “To live a more sustainable lifestyle by consuming less, cutting back on waste and learning the difference between wants and needs in our consumer culture.” There are some great Guidelines and a whole host of further links to useful sites and blogs
- The Fearse Family
This Australian family spent 2013 Buying Nothing New, and shared their journey in 2013 and beyond on their great blog
Not so much a blog, but a very very useful site, that you will totally make use of if you decide to give Buying Nothing New a try!
Also, check out their FB page for loads of upcycling inspiration.
Make it/Mend it
If your New Year’s Resolution is to make more, or mend more, then these sites may prove helpful!
- The Restart Project and Repair Cafes
The Restart Project has really taken off in 2014, and Restart Parties have sprung up all around the country, to help us to “fix our relationship with electronics”
Check out if you have one near you, and you can take along your electronic items to see if they can be fixed. AND they show you how, so you can do it yourself next time!
Repair Cafes are a similar concept but are not just for electronics. Depending on the volunteers at your local event, you can take along electronics, textiles, and household items too.
If you don’t have either near you, why not think about starting one up..?!
- Sew Mama Sew
This site has over 400 sewing tutorials and videos, as well as a really vibrant supportive community of fellow sewistas to help you along
- Make It and Mend It
Jam-packed with projects and tutorials, to help you save money, learn new skills, and “turn your recycling into upcycling”
So there you go-no excuses….!
I’d love to know your resolutions for 2015-do leave a comment to let us all know (it’s a great way to make yourself commit….!)