When it comes to trying to live more sustainably it can be the small changes that are most effective. Yes, getting solar panels would be great but I don’t have that kind of money and also I rent.
One of my small changes relates to my food waste. It would be great to have no food waste but it is part of life. I do use some of my scraps for vegetable stock but there are still the bits after the stock as well as things that go off when you aren’t looking. Shopping for six means that sometimes bits can get hidden away and lost. In other houses we have had compost bins or heaps but currently we are in the city in a rented house with no real garden so composting isn’t really an option but the city does have food waste collection so we do that.
We can fill up our compost pot in the house and then empty it into a bigger green bucket we keep outside. The green bin holds about 5-6 full pots and is collected weekly. This is in itself a great thing to do to keep your food waste out of landfill but only if you use it.
That is where it got troublesome and we were not always using it. It was on the floor so I would have my hands full of food scraps and have to bend over and get the lid off. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but it is a hassle. Hassles often mean cheating. We would sometimes just use the trash bin as it has a sensor to open and no bending required. Bad, I know.
So how did we solve this problem? This is a change of habit situation so I used a strategy I learned from reading Atomic Habits. I made it easier.
The compost pot just rose up off the floor and onto a little corner counter. I would like it to be right by my cutting board in a way but it also just feels less clean so I keep it a little way off.
Being at counter height means no bending and for me the was an issue. I would often drop bits while messing with the bin and get annoyed but this one change made a difference.
We have made several other small changes over the years. Some have been to be less wasteful like not using plastic cutlery or paper plates (I was shocked when living in the US for 5 years that most everyone around me used disposable tableware to avoid dishes). While other changes have been more to save money….oh yeah, that is the disposable tableware as well. Funny how that often happens.
What over changes could we make?
- Our next car will be hybrid or electric and small
- Recycling bins in bathrooms
- Walk more
- Make my own dish detergent or find plastic free
- Make my own plant milk
- Move to refill shampoos and conditioner
- Plastic free deodorant and toothpastes
- Find alternatives to plastic wrapped items
- Buy better quality clothing and mend when needed
- Reduce my belongings as well as consumption overall
I am sure there are many more things I need to change and some will feel big and scary. Some will require multiple small changes to make the big change happen. Every small change does make a difference when added to the next and the small changes of everyone around you. Maybe your small change will be moving your compost pot to make it easier to get to. Maybe your small change will be looking at a political candidate and considering if there record / manifesto shows they will help the environment or hurt it. Maybe your small change is changing your diet or getting rid of your car to walk or cycle.
What changes have you made or would you like to make? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like and share.