Happy Belly Happy Heart

A blog dedicated to nutrition, wellbeing and happiness. I believe the key to a good life begins with what you choose to put into your body. A happy belly = a happy mind = a happy heart.

4 Pledges for a Sustainable Future

on April 23, 2013

i'm-with-stupidMonday 22nd April 2013 was Earth Day, when hundreds of thousands of people from 192 countries help to spread the word about climate change, helping to protect the planet and secure a sustainable future. 

RSPB BadgesA colleague and I organised a day of celebration at work, with a British and seasonal produce themed pot luck lunch and beautiful RSPB badges featuring birds, animals and flowers for sale in aid of wildlife conservation. We also had a Pledge Tree where everyone was invited to make a pledge of what they’re going to do over the next year to reduce their impact on the planet.

We awarded eco-friendly prizes for the funniest, most ambitious and most innovative pledges and I was surprised at the effort that went into this. Whilst there were plenty of the usual ideas like turning off lights, having showers instead of baths, wasting less food and using less packaging, there were also some slightly more thoughtful pledges: partaking in car boot sales, keeping car tyres inflated to preserve fuel and giving away horse manure to use as fertiliser.

every-day-is-earth-dayThis got me thinking that there’s always more you can do, no matter how ‘green’ you think you are: things you’ve overlooked or not considered before. So I began to look with fresh eyes at my own green activities. I already recycle everything I possibly can, I don’t own a car, I use Good Energy for my electricity, I’ve switched all my halogen bulbs for LEDs, I turn off plugs & lights when not in use, I turn off the tap whilst brushing my teeth, I get an organic veg box delivered, I don’t eat meat, I use reusable tupperware for lunches and picnics, I use foldable and cloth bags instead of plastic, I only boil the water I need in the kettle, I buy recycled toilet paper and I mostly use natural, chemical-free toiletries, cosmetics & household cleaning products.

As I rent my flat, there’s little change I can make to the building in the way of insulation, solar power or heating. However, there’s definitely more I can do personally, so these are my pledges for the next 3 months:

Food Composting

Unfortunately, as good as my local council is at being green (and so they should be with the first ever green MP in tow), they don’t yet offer a food waste collection service. Not having a garden therefore means all my biodegradable waste goes into landfill.

But all is not lost! I’ve heard that Magpie, the original kerbside recycling collectors in Brighton, offer this service so I’ve contacted to them to find out and hopefully sign up.

Fruit-and-Veg-SaversFruit & Veg Savers 

As much as I hate to waste food, one of the downsides of buying fresh, organic veg is it doesn’t tend to last as long as its processed, preservative-ridden counterparts! So I do on occasion find myself chucking out rotten veg that I just haven’t got round to eating in time.

But I came across these Fruit & Veg Savers from Nigel’s Eco Store and plan to try them out to avoid any more vegetable casualties!

Eco Laundryeco-balls

I currently use Ecover laundry detergent and fabric conditioner but I plan to go one step further. I pledge to invest either in Eco Balls – reusable washing balls filled with biodegradable pellets designed to be used at lower temperatures using less water – or in Soapnut products, which are probably the greenest laundry solution out there because they grow on trees!

More research is required so watch this space…

reusable-cotton-woolReusable Cotton Wool

I have very sensitive skin on my face and have been told to avoid washing with water. I now only use gentle, organic skincare products, mainly from Green People. However, this does mean I get through a lot of cotton wool. Although I buy organic cotton wool pads, I do get a guilt complex over the amount of waste I’m producing.

But today I spotted these wonderful crocheted reusable cotton wool pads which can be made yourself or, for those less handy among us, bought online. There are other versions too, like these towelling ones in a washable bag. A little more research is needed, but I’ll definitely be investing.

What do you already do to help the environment and what other changes can you make?

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2 responses to “4 Pledges for a Sustainable Future

  1. Thanks for featuring the cotton pads from my blog! If you make them do let me know!

    • Hey Wendy, no worries! I’m rather crap at sewing to be honest so I’m not sure I’d ever be able to make them myself, but I may well buy more of them! I’m just trying out these ones plus some other cotton pads to see which I like best. Much better than throwing all that cotton away in any case! Thanks, Hannah x

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