Meaner Greener Me: Small steps for 2014

I like to make New Year’s Resolutions every year. Not many of them survive the full 12 months but last year’s were to start tweeting (as oppose to just read on Twitter) and to create a blog, and post on it at least once a month. These worked out pretty well and have added a whole new dimension to my life that I’d find near-impossible to give up!

So, it is with optimism at the start of 2014 that I document my New Year’s Resolutions, or rather my goals, for the next 12 months.

1. Throughout January, I am going to cut down on the amount of laundry I do. I am guilty of tossing anything that has been worn or used into the washing machine without first considering whether it is actually dirty. Plus (I’m whispering this) I don’t always fill the drum to its maximum capacity. This means that for my family of four I often run the washing machine twice a day.

I will give myself a ‘washing allowance’ of one load per day and do everything I can to put clean clothes back in the wardrobe as well as use other household items, e.g. towels, for longer. I hope that this will prevent me wasting electricity and stop excessive amounts of washing powder going into the environment. Also, I think it is enough time to retrain myself on how I think about the laundry – the hope being that I can carry any good habits I acquire through the year.

2. I am not going to buy any new clothes for myself for the whole of 2014. I have blogged about this here. In summary, I reckon I have enough in my wardrobe to see me through the year, and if I feel I need an item of clothing, I will either try to buy it second hand or borrow it.

The aim of this goal is to prevent me contributing to the environmental impact of the production, distribution and disposal of clothes; to ensure that I am not purchasing clothes made by employees working in unsatisfactory conditions; and to avoid supporting companies who use Workfare.

3. For lent this year, I will be giving up shopping in supermarkets. I am hoping to revive Supermarket-Free Me and blog about my experience. I am always sceptical of committing to projects too far in advance, with my absolute priority being to look after my young children, but let’s think positive and say I’ll be blogging as much as I can over Lent and tweeting about it too. If you’d like to join me then please do read through my archives (the first post is here) and find out why this might be a good thing to do! The more of us doing it, the more fun this could be…

4. In July my goal is to give up single-use plastics. I am currently ‘in-training’ for just now – if you scroll back a few posts on the blog, you will be able to read about my progress so far.

Plastics have a huge negative impact on the environment for a number of reasons, including their failure to decompose at the end of their ‘working lives’ and the harmful chemicals they are composed of. By giving them up for a month and by finding small ways to banish them from my life, I hope to reduce my contribution to the damage they cause our planet.

5. Throughout the year I will be trying to reduce my rubbish as much as possible. Having implemented some new green habits in 2013, including composting and taking part in Zero Waste Week, I began to see the amount of junk I put out for the weekly bin collection decrease. I found this a little bit thrilling. In the last seven months I have gone from throwing out approximately three bin bags per week to one. I think can improve though. Hopefully I’ll work out how and be able to share it on the blog.

If you have any of the same or similar goals for 2014, I’d love to hear them!

9 thoughts on “Meaner Greener Me: Small steps for 2014

  1. Really looking forward to hearing about how you get on with these over the coming months.

    Here’s a tip to help you decide if an item of clothing needs laundering or not. Remove the plug from your washing machine. I’m off grid with not enough power from our solar system to run a washing machine. Nor do I have hot running water. Believe me, that situation is great for focussing the mind on whether something really needs washing or not!

  2. Pingback: Plastic-free Me: Planning | westywrites

  3. Pingback: Day 25: Plastic Free July 2014 | westywrites

  4. Pingback: Sew-stainable fashion | westywrites

  5. Pingback: Day 2: Zero Waste Week 2014 | westywrites

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