Planning for Sustainabilty
In the wise words of Kermit the Frog - 'It ain't easy being green'. Whilst he was referring to his colour, the same can be true for making more sustainable and eco friendly choices and adopting these as a lifestyle practice.
I was brought up in a family where being aware of the environment and being self sufficient was the norm. This is one of the biggest reasons for my starting Eco Patch and furthering my sustainable lifestyle. I feel lucky that I had this close connection to the outdoors and have been involved in growing my own food from a young age, as it has helped me to see that everything we do has an impact on our environment.
I appreciate that living an eco friendly lifestyle and being sustainable is not as intrinsic for many people and it can be overwhelming. This is why I suggest people plan for sustainability. By this I mean that putting some plans in place will make the transition and habit changes a whole lot easier. Like with all behaviour changes, planning really does help to make things happen!
One simple place to start is to write a shopping list. Not just for food or grocery shopping, but for all shopping. I like to create a list in my phone of things that I need to get - this can be things like new socks for the kids as I noticed that they all had holes the last time that I folded the washing, to a light globe for a lamp as the globe had blown. I also like to do this for birthday presents and at the moment for Christmas presents too. Keeping track of this sort of thing has saved me so much time and money in recent years as I would often buy things ahead of time and forget that I had them - then buy more things for the same recipient.
Shopping with a list and with intention is not only a great way to stay in charge of your budget - it also helps to help you make better choices about the purchases that you do make. The savings on unnecessary things can be put towards purchasing reusable or slightly more pricey compostable items to replace your common use household items.
When shopping with a list for groceries you will save yourself time and money if you review what you have on hand and create a meal plan for the week or fortnight or month (however long you shop for) as you will have the things you need and you are much less likely to throw away food if you have a plan set. Food waste accounts for about 40% of the waste that goes to landfill and costs between $2,000 and $4,000 per household per year. That is a lot of money that could be used for other things. It also means we are paying more for council bin services as we are sending a half a bin of organic waste to landfill each week, which could go to compost, or better still be avoided at the outset.
I have previously created a printable menu plan and shopping list that can be found here. Give planning for sustainability a go and see what you can achieve with your planned shopping.