Because, not only do I work to create beautiful ceremonies, I also work to contribute to maintaining the beautiful outdoors, my celebrant workplace, clean oceans, blue skies, picture perfect.
I started writing this blog at the beginning of January, when it was raining and we couldn’t go to the beach. Then the weather got better and I’ve divided my time between work and play, and blogging didn’t fit anywhere. However its February soon and the document is still sitting open on my desktop so its time to complete and upload.
I thought I would share my sustainable 2020 journey, as last year I, like many others, made a significant progress in my journey. I think that many people were motivated by the pandemic and the restrictions, that helped us to start thinking outside the square. Further, it was motivating to see all the posts that were showing how positively the planet was responding to the smaller footprints that were being made each day when everyone was told to stay home.
I had previously shopped at bulk food stores when I was passing them by, however I was linked with a local bulk food group that did home delivery and have since then being enjoying their products. I have always used powder instead of tablets for the dishwasher and this year I have been able to purchase the dishwashing powder in bulk/in paper so I have saved approximately 4 plastic containers by doing that.
My favourite product from the Honest to Goodness bulk store is the wholemeal cake flour, both myself and my sour dough starter love it. Because yes, I joined the sourdough craze in April and have been making sourdough most weeks since. Initially I had a few troubles, and learning to make sour dough in cooler weather isn’t the best time for it. But once the weather heated and by then I had been at it regularly for months, the loaves are so delicious, and often half eaten on the night they are baked. I started buying the flour in bulk once I realised we were in it for the long run, we are on are second 12.5kg bag of flour! And I would guess that we have saved no less than 30 plastic bread bags.
At the start of the year I celebrated my 40th birthday with family and friends, the party was 40 days before my actual birthday because that was when my interstate cousin and her family were going to be in town visiting. I was lucky because so many other friends were unable to celebrate it other than via zoom. For my significant birthday I gifted myself a box of beauty products and used the opportunity to buy the items that I had heard so much about but hadn’t yet used. So in March I ditched the shampoo bottles and started using shampoo bars. I love them, they wash my hair just as well, if not better since I no longer need to use conditioner (I did buy a conditioning bar, however I rarely use it and I'm still on the same bar where as I’m on my 3 shampoo bar). They estimate that each shampoo bar saves 3 bottles of plastic, so to date I have saved around 12 bottles of plastic.
In the same online order I purchased the No Pong deodorant, an Australian natural deodorant that comes in a recyclable tin container (tin can be recycled over and over and over and is a much more planet friendly product). While I had made these purchases for my 40th, I didn’t open the package on my birthday as I was away. At the stoke of midnight when the clock ticked over I was actually enjoying the celebration of the nuptials for a long time friend whose wedding I had officiated earlier in the day. Great minds think alike and she had gifted me when a sensational sustainable gift that included many awesome products, including her homemade natural deodorant stick. So I was fully armed and ready to complete the arm detox (its recommended to do after years of chemical build up in your arm pits
Meanwhile during 2020 I continued to reduce my household waste as much as possible. I compost all food scraps, and continued to collect my soft plastic for the redcyle program and my lids for the ‘lids for kids’. Each week I have one plastic bag of rubbish, often I don’t put my bin out and I walk my rubbish to a neighbours bin. I figure that one less stop for the garbage truck is a better run for him (or her).
For my composting system I have a standard compost bin, a tumbler style that I use for all the gum leaves here that seem to take forever to breakdown and a worm farm. Tragically I lost the majority of my worms in a heat wave late 2020. I had enough to continue on, I just need to wait for those to breed up so I can get my system fully functional again. I seem to have a lot of bread crusts thanks to the kids and I keep those in a bag in the freezer then give them to friends that have chickens.
And – coincidentally on the ten year anniversary since my 2009 NY resolution to not purchase any new clothes (except for the one maxi dress that I wanted… I wrote that into the resolution since I knew I wanted it) I didn’t purchase any new clothes for myself in 2020. Mostly because I didn’t go anywhere to shop during covid and also because there was nothing that I needed that I couldn’t source at the op shops. Not being able to go to the op shops during the pandemic was probably the one thing that I missed the most.
For 2021 I want to take my journey a little further and rather than be informed by watching documentary’s I plan to undertake some formal studies…. I can’t wait!