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Do just one BIG thing…
…to trigger the everyday small stuff
I feel like we have all been floating along the fumes of over consumption for so long and now, almost all of a sudden, everyone is saying ENOUGH! While some people have been living a pretty sustainable life, I think it’s fair to say that most of us have gone from reeling in shock about plastic pollution to actually making meaningful changes in the past couple of years. I always took recycling seriously. As in, I used my three bins as best I could. But I was still buying things wrapped in plastic; shaking my head at the shame of all the unnecessary packaging just to bring me my fruit from exotic far away places – I wasn’t even considering the carbon footprint involved. While Greta Thunberg has well and truly initiated the massive kick up the bum that we needed, and her army of angry eco-warriors in the form of our own children are watching our every move as we unpack the groceries, we all know that something bigger needs to be done before it’s simply too late.
So, I’d like to propose doing just ONE BIG THING in order to trigger an easier, everyday sustainable way of living. Here are three suggestions that are working for me:
- GET CHICKENS
We rescued 5 chickens last April from Little Hill Animal Rescue. The emaciated state they arrived in was shocking and upsetting (even more so when we learned that they had been organically fed ‘free range’ chickens). The joys of keeping hens cannot be stressed highly enough: their funny ways and personal traits are delightful and apart from the inner peace I get from giving them a better life, I also get fresh eggs every day – proper, actual free range eggs. Watching hens go about their day is mindful; they keep the slug population of my garden under control and they eat every scrap of leftover food – whatever they can’t goes into the compost. Even their poop (and by golly, there’s plenty of it) makes great compost. The girls will even de-insect your compost for you, so it’s clean and healthy when you need to use it. I smile inwardly so much of the time now because of my little chickens. I consistently seek to reuse every other thing I would otherwise throw out. And it makes me think twice when I’m shopping. It’s easier to shop at my local greengrocers too, since he gives me more non-packaged options (and he gives me treats for my chicks so he’s being sustainable too – shout out to Robbie’s Greengrocers in Drummartin!)
So keeping chickens helps me shop local, spend some time being mindful and make better eco choices, all triggering a more sustainable way of living.
- GO VEGAN
Dramatic, yes, but if you had to live with my daughter you’d do the same for a quieter life. To be honest, I’ve been vegetarian before and for the same reasons she was – because I found it difficult to eat animals. Ill health a few years ago forced me to start eating meat again, and I’ve dilly-dallied around my diet ever since. When my daughter went from vegetarian to vegan I was actually pleased, because she began experimenting with food other than pasta, and started to make quite grown up choices about nutrition. I’m probably one of the few hen keepers with an egg allergy, and I really can’t bring myself to eat chicken since the girls have come along. (I now know that ‘free range’ is not really that at all); I’ve stopped buying fish because I’m as appalled by fish farms as I am by chicken ones, and anyway, I wonder if there are enough fish in the sea to go around? Going vegan, to be honest, was just easier; a case of, if you can’t beat them, join them. Going vegan, instead of just vegetarian, means I’m looking for mushrooms instead of cheese; I’m making soup instead of a sandwich; finding it easier to say no to hot buttered toast and even (gulp) chocolate…sometimes (baby steps!)
- GET AN ALLERGY
Get yourself an allergic reaction to plastic. Tell yourself if you touch it, you’ll break out in a guilt infestation; boils of shame will bubble up on your conscience and you could well end up with feel-good constipation. It’s just not worth it. I’m talking specifically about single use plastic of course, but an aversion to all plastic is not unhealthy either. Here at ANU we consistently felt unwell about using plastic jars for our skincare – albeit recyclable ones, we couldn’t re-use them, so we made the big change to glass. We offer a return and refill option in our shop in Marlay Park, but how could we stop regurgitating shame with our online sales? The solution was to accept our plastic allergy and eliminate it from our lives. The clear complexion of a guilt free business outweighs the extra cost of shipping glass containers. It’s all good.
To celebrate the general trend towards all things natural and eco – and dash it all, it is Plastic Free July after all – we’re going to give you lot a whopper 30% off EVERYTHING in our online shop. Use the coupon code MOVEOVERPLASTIC at the checkout.
Yes. 30% off for all of July. For everyone, and every time you shop. Use it every day of July if you like. Tell your pals. Tell them to tell their pals. And if you sign up to our mailing list, you’ll get more reductions for the month of August. Why are you still reading this? I’m talking nonsense at this stage and there’s shopping to be done!
Happy Plastic Free July
One big thing does trigger small important changes. Mother Earth has been more than patient. It’s time.