3 things

I’ve realized three things I’ve done in the last week will no doubt pin point me as a stinkin’ hippy (said with all the love and pride in the world).

1. I couldn’t find my olive oil to make dinner. I then remembered it was in my ensuite, as the night before I  had used the oil to remove my make up (if you’re interested, here’s a really credible source why I don’t use make up removal wipes anymore)

2. I made a delicious gumbo and made an even nicer chicken stock out of the bones and veggie scraps. Said stock was used over the weekend in some delicious home cooked meals. 

3. I made a potion for Giggles Magoo to help him stop coughing – ginger, garlic, cinnamon and pepper; boiled together and flavored with honey and lemon juice. I was surprised too, but there was no doubt that it worked and we all got some sleep (and I didn’t need to use any of my depleted sick leave)

These three occurrences, coupled with my obsession for using modern cloth nappies (currently for Little Mate, previously for Giggles Magoo) and the fact I make our cleaning products makes me a bonafide, mountains-dwelling HIPPY.

It’s been a long time coming, but both Grimace and I are increasingly aware of the waste our household generates. Just by having young children, the amount of things you have/”need” is incredible and can be incredibly wasteful… toy is broken, it needs to be chucked. Paper drawn on, it needs to be recycled. Microwave breaks down, we need to buy a new one (which unfortunately includes all that gross polystyrene packaging). I find myself asking if something can be reused instead of directly going to landfill or even the recycling bin – for example, getting Giggles Magoo to paint the polystyrene as an art project before tossing it.

As a result of our loving family, our waste has definitely increased as has the amount of random things we have around the house. And sometimes it irks me no end – so. much. clutter.

I am proud of the small adjustments we’ve made to our way of life to help live a healthier, greener life; but I know there is ALWAYS more that can be done. If you’re looking to make a few alterations, here are a few example of some of the adjustments we’ve made:

– Donating or selling household items and toys in good condition that are just simply not used anymore. Usually I try to give/sell items where i know they will be used. I try to avoid using the charity bins if I can find someone else to use the item as I’m a little doubtful that everything going in those bins is reused.

– Buying items secondhand for the boys bday/chrissy presents or any clothing requirements.

– Clothes sharing for the boys with my beautiful sister in law’s family (they also have two young boys). Most clothes Giggles Magoo has worn across his nearly 4 years are now onto their fourth and fifth wearer.

– Buying wooden toys where possible. In saying that, there are some awesome brands that use recycled plastics to make trucks etc.

– Meal planning each week; this is effective two fold as we only buy what we need (budgeting purposes) and we only buy what we need (waste purposes). My next goal is to take containers to the butcher to take the meat home.

– Buying Australian Made, Australian owned,  Australian produce wherever possible. This is sometimes much pricier, but there are so many reasons to compensate for that (I’m also acutely aware that not everyone can afford this option).

– Using leftover/veggie off-cuts to make stock. So unbelievable easy – check out my good friends blog post on it here (point 5 in the post). The Krooked Spoon blog has been an inspiration for me for a while.

– Composting food (we have a hot compost and a cold compost) and use it in our attempts to not kill a small selection of herbs and veggies.

– Using our glass keep cups to fuel our coffee addiction. If we don’t have them on us when the caffeine urge hits then making the time to sit and drink the coffee in shop to avoid an awful take away cup.

– Buying fruit and veg from our local store or farmers markets and where possible not buying anything that’s packaged. For example, we eat A LOT of apples. Like I buy 12-14 a week a lot-of-apples (usually still isn’t enough) and instead of putting them in the convenient plastic bag, they go straight into the basket. Sure, it’s slightly painful at the checkout having to pick out each apple (mostly the sigh from the staffer who has to weigh them is the most painful part), but I’ve realised i don’t actually need the bag…the convenience of modern day shopping tells me I do.  It means there is one less plastic bag in circulation, and while i know that doesn’t achieve too much, it’s more about changing the habit and reducing the amount of plastic we “need”.

– If it’s possible, walking/riding/using public transport to get places. Our household has two cars, and for good reason. But, if it’s possible/not crazy, we’ll look at not using them to get somewhere (although this sometimes fails as on occasions, both cars get used to get us to the same destination).

– Recycling and using councils guidelines to choose what goes in the recycling bin.

Anyway, the whole point of this posting was to express to the world… I’m a hippy; and proud!  There are so many ways Theverymoodyhousehold can reduce consumption of commercialism. While all of these are only small changes, I’m hoping our habits will be changed on a long-term basis and help shape the daily consumption habits of the boys.

I’d love to hear any hot tips you have on reducing your waste or improving your ‘green’ lifestyle. Or, for laughs,  check out The Katering Show.

Happy Wednesday – it’s been a great day to dry the nappies so I’m one happy mumma xx

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6 thoughts on “3 things

  1. This is great! I would add getting rid of all your cleaning products and using vinegar and bicarb soda instead, avoiding anti-bacterial everything, and bathing the kids every second day (without soap for as long as possible).

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    • Thank you jess! We’ve had to stop using soap due to Little Mate’s eczema (they’re only shampooed if absolutely required and bathed every second day or two) on advice from a dermatologist and i love the home made cleaners! Vinegar and bi-carb are the best! Pleased to hear you’re on board, it just makes life easier ☺

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  2. Nice work sis. I remember the Black’s use their own home made washing detergent too. It’s meant to be better for the environment and nicer to our skin and cheap as chips to make! When I’m home I’ll have to ask them for you!

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    • Ooh I’m intrigued as to what they use. When we’re finished with mcns, my goal is to start making the washing detergent. Come on toilet training 🙂 at the moment we use an eco-friendly powder just as most advice indicates it is best for the life of the nappies. Did i mention i love cloth nappies?!

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  3. I’ve been using homemade laundry liquid for the last couple of months and it is working really well. We do use the eco borax, washing soda and bar soap. There are obviously a few chemicals in the soap etc…but we have heavily reduced our contribution to landfill and the recycling bin and I’m also hoping that long term less plastic bottles will be made by the manufacturer in turn less resources being used.
    PS. as always love your post, always inspiring and makes me feel normal! Big love to everyone in theverymoodyhousehold xxx

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  4. The most effective waste management strategy I’ve ever come across is alive and well here in Switzerland – make people pay for their waste.

    We have to pay for every bag of household waste we throw out and it’s the single best motivator ever (bugger the future of our planet, ha!). We have green waste, paper and card collection but everything else (milk cartons, bottles, cans, PET, big waste) has to get taken to the Okihoff (local recycling plant) or you pay massive $$$ to throw it out. Like Canberra, you have to pay for bags at the shopping centre and unlike Canberra, they are not reasonably cheap – we’re talking several CHF for a bag (nearly double it for Aussie bucks) and this dramatically reduces the number of bags one uses as well. You pay dearly for a simple forgotten shopping bag – nothing is cheap here.

    It also means lower costs for councils as we all take the recycling ourselves and it’s such a way of life that nobody thinks twice about it. It’s changed the way we manage all of our waste and I’m proud to say we only fill one bright blue bag a week of waste (smaller than usual Australian black bags) (including all our gross landfill nappies…I tried but sorry. Ugh! Also – we have our own, but many Swiss people use communal laundries and only have one day a week to do their laundry, and there are no outdoor drying facilities so MCNs can be a tad tricky. They are used though – I know several women here who brave them!).

    I know this is quite obsessive on the topic of waste but it is pretty much my main task as a Hausfrau!!

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