Welcome to my blog, thank you for coming to find out about my next project. This new idea has evolved easily – a good sign I hope! – and has already made me think a lot about the way I live my life. I am eager to start investigating, writing and, most of all, improving some of my practices and kicking old habits. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to provide feedback (by blog or Twitter), I love the interaction!
In this project, I aim to tackle the issues of consumption and waste. I am interested in the way that many of us in the UK ‘over consume’, how we purchase and later dispose of the things we’ve acquired.
My motivation for this topic has come mainly from two sources;
1 A passionate yearning for the eradication of poverty and inequality. I cannot bear to watch the gulf grow in the UK between rich and poor – recent policy changes have led to tax breaks for the most wealthy while there is an increase in the use of foodbanks by the most vulnerable. (If you want to read some of my thoughts on this subject please see my posts Against the Welfare Reform and 10 Things I Hate About You: The Bedroom Tax in Scotland.)
Global inequality was highlighted last month when a clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing hundreds of employees who made goods to be sold in countries including, from what I can gather, the UK. Such victims were working in terrible conditions for others, like me, to be able to buy things at low cost.
Surely therefore those of us who can afford to live comfortably and sometimes stretch to luxuries need to take responsibility for how we consume and which businesses we hand over our money to?
2. An increasing feeling that I need to work on reducing the waste resulting from the things I purchase. It is a privilege to be able to live comfortably and it is important to acknowledge this and ensure that my own consuming causes the least damage possible.
In this blog I want to look at the way that I personally consume:
- Do I actually need what I am buying?
- Can I source what I need ethically?
- How do I get rid of things I have ‘consumed’ so that others may be able to use them?
- If they are of no use to others, how can I limit my contribution to landfill and pollution?
I will expand on these points as my blog goes on and hope to give you lots of colourful examples from my life of how I currently spend my cash and throw away my rubbish. Stay with me as I tidy cupboards to find out what I actually have, start composting and perhaps the biggest challenge – plan a child’s party without causing excessive waste!
If you want to whet your appetite for this topic, please take a look at my Supermarket-free Me posts – I aim to follow a similar style. Furthermore, that project gave me a real taste for ethical shopping and challenged me on many of the everyday shopping decisions that I make, almost on auto-pilot.
I aim to initially blog on this subject for three months, posting on average a couple of times a week at least (I may have spells where I post less or more frequently). My next post will tell you a bit more about me and how ‘green’ or otherwise I am. It’s fair to say there’s room for improvement…