A month ago I shared with you my ambitions to use this year to reduce our household waste, live more frugally and declutter. It turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines and since I wrote that first post I have been introduced to the Danish concept of “Lagom” which means “just the right amount” and is about being frugal and fair, creating balance in your life and living sustainably. Yup, it turns out I could have called this my year of “lagom” – except for the fact that no one would know what I was talking about!
So how are we getting on? Well six weeks into 2017 the small changes we are starting to make are already having an impact. Our household waste wheelie bin is now barely half-full and I no longer panic about missing a collection, thanks largely to the introduction of waste food composting. After resisting buying a special bin for the kitchen, I finally gave in and you can see that and the composting bin bags in the video.
Last month I made my first batch of homemade washing powder using the directions on Jen Gale’s brilliant blog. I was keen to try this not just for money saving, but because Alice has suffered from dry skin on her back since birth. I got it under control with a good moisturiser, but if I missed even a day of applying it she’d be scratching and sore, you can also hear how that went in the video.
As far as decluttering goes, I decided to focus on our linen cupboard this month. Can you believe we have one single bed in the house and ten single duvet covers? Even allowing for the fact that Alice will be in a single bed eventually that is way more than we need! So I rehomed four of them immediately.
Sticking with my philosophy to replace disposable things we own with reusable versions, I bought some silicone cupcake cases which have been really useful, not just for cakes, but for dividing up food in Theo’s yumbox.
I continued on my quest to use up things too, although I still haven’t got to the bottom of my shampoo/conditioner/shower gel mountain, so my switch to less packaging options is still a while away. In the kitchen using up has meant putting baby stock cubes in our soup (they kept getting passed by) and using a jar of compote bought for yoghurt to make a quick crumble – I’d love to tell you how that tasted, but I went out for the evening and when I came home it was all gone. So I presume it was ok!
We’ve also settled into a good routine with our weekly veg box. I had tried one before from a local growing cooperative, but it was entirely UK produce which meant a lot of kale and although we cut packaging waste, we unfortunately started creating food waste. You can see the contents of this week’s box in (yes, sorry) the video!
Thinking simply has also influenced our holiday booking this year. When Jim suggested to me that we take up a colleague’s offer to visit them in Sweden it seemed the perfect opportunity to investigate how the Scandi’s live the lifestyle I’m trying to emulate. I also have a friend who has moved from the UK to Sweden and so I’ll be fascinated to see the impact it has had on his life.
Next month in my quest for simplicity I have two specific things I’ll be trying out. The first is oil cleansing for my face. I’ve been looking around for the simplest cheapest way of cleaning my face at night and not had much success with either plain hot water or soap and water, but I tried oil cleansing for the first time last night and I’ll let you know how that’s worked out in March. Also looking at the contents of our now half-empty wheelie bin it makes you very aware of what we are still throwing out and so I’ll be trying a set of reusable baby wipes from Cheeky Wipes to see how they fit into our life and routine.
I’m also considering trying sometimes using cloth nappies. It seems crazy to start this 5 years after first having children and when Alice is nearly 16 months, but on the other hand if I can use even a few occasionally that will all help cut our waste. Any pointers in that area much appreciated!
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