Another eco-switch and a little positivity

Another eco-switch and a little positivity

Like many people, I struggle with the project management and implementation of… well basically life. That’s a posh way of saying that thinking about everything that needs to be done and actually doing it is weighing down on me like a giant snow drift. Most of the time I’m trying to burrow myself out whilst fresh snow continues to fall, but sometimes I just take a nap.

In spite of limited capacity to think of and/ or do extra stuff, I’m taking my challenge to make 12 eco-switches by the end of 2019 seriously. Too little has been done by too many for too long, so whilst I am still doing too little, it’s a little better than it was and maybe, hopefully, I’ll inspire someone else to make eco-switches in their life.

Carbon emissions or plastic?

Carbon emissions are causing our planet to heat, melting our glaciers, causing catastrophic weather events, raising our sea levels and putting coastal cities at risk. Our consumption of plastic is polluting our air, our ocean, our water supply. So which do we try to cut?

I’m not a climate expert so I don’t know. Is it better to wrap a cucumber in plastic, or to increase food waste through shorter shelf life? I guess it makes sense that production of plastics significantly contributes to our carbon footprint (sciencedaily.com), but is it better for the emissions from the wasted cucumber or the plastic being produced?

We produce too many carbon emissions and too much plastic, so maybe for little ol’ me, this question doesn’t matter. What matters for me is reducing both wherever I can.

Strawberries and blueberries

Blueberries and strawberries. It’s the wrong time of year to be thinking of them as they’re now out of season. (If you can get hold of fresh strawberries now, they almost certainly have a high carbon footprint as there’s a good chance they’ve been grown in heated greenhouses- yikes!) But I’m going to talk about them anyway.

Strawberries and blueberries are fruits I didn’t used to buy very often. Until having a baby, that is. And I know I’m not alone in buying ‘the good fruits’ for my little one, whilst keeping with bog standard bananas and satsumas for myself. However, I’ve mostly offered blueberries in something, such as blueberry pancakes, or on these little banana oat bites I found a recipe for online. (In spite of much googling I cannot find it to link to. I thought it was from mykidslickthebowl.com, and it’s quite similar to this one but without flour and chia seeds, and with a blob of peanut butter and a blueberry on top).

As for strawberries, he loves them on their own, cut into quarters (or smaller to avoid choking). It’s generally been quite a big effort to make sure we saved these fruits for our little boy to eat whilst they are still fresh, and gobble up anything left over before it goes off. If I’m honest, we didn’t always manage it. Strawberries, in particular, went bad in the fridge almost over night in a few cases.

So I bought a bag of frozen blueberries in the summer, and a few weeks later a bag of strawberries. We’ve still got 3/4 of the bag of blueberries, but got through the whole bag of strawberries. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the texture of defrosted strawberries, but the little guy loves them. So I’ve decided to start using them more strategically to reduce food waste and plastic.

Buying a punnet of strawberries and blueberries per fortnight resulted in 2 plastic punnets, each wrapped in plastic. Buying a bag of strawberries gives 6 to 8 servings of fruit at snack time, but these servings can be spread out over as long as we like. I’m expecting one bag to last at least 4 weeks, interspersed with other (plastic free) fruit, such as bananas, kiwis, and pears. As far as the blueberries go, one bag is probably going to last us 4 to 6 months. This dramatically cuts down our plastic usage, as well as our food waste and I think it probably works out a little cheaper too 🙂

It also has the benefit of meaning I always have fruit in for him, and I’ve noticed fewer midweek trips to the shops to top up my fruit bowl.

Am I rocking it or what?

OK, so I’m still using plastic. But I’d been starting to feel pretty down with how hard this little challenge felt. And how everything was costing more; more money, more time, and more precious head space. Whereas this saves. Saves money (buying expensive fruit less often), saves time and therefore a little bit of head space back to focus on something else.

Maybe its having that head space back, or maybe it’s because I’m starting to feel good about this challenge, but I already have another 3 ideas lined up to try next. Keep watching this space!

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