Monday, 30 May 2011

Following on from the no-plastic bag challenge...

Image from here
I can't believe how easy it has been to change my plastic bag habit. I was already half-way there admittedly, but by being a bit more aware, and a bit more organised, I have only let six bags of plastic enter the household. I am pretty happy with myself.

I have learnt a lot along the way. Things like, you actually don't need to line your bins with plastic bags. And you don't even need to use plastic wrap because there are better ways to wrap sandwiches and store food (you can even make your own if you are so inclined). And you can even move through life without a ziplock bag (although I haven't conquered that habit yet).

And because this challenge helped me with my decluttering uber-challenge, I thought I would follow up with another eco-friendly, space saving one.

This one comes from the G-Magazine Online blog and it is all about going paperless. Not entirely paperless but reducing disposable paper.

I start this challenge with the following habits in place:
  • About half of my bills are emailed (not posted)
  • We only use recycled toilet paper
  • We only use recycled printing paper
  • We only use recycled paper towel
  • We use the kid's paintings as gift wrap
  • I rarely buy magazines or newspapers - I tend to read online or at other people's places!
I am starting (as suggested) with:
  1. Changing as many of our bills to online
  2. Getting a 'no junk mail' sticker for our mailbox (have you noticed how much junk mail we get these days? My boys love the toy catalogues, but I figure I can subscribe to those online and just not get the rest of the stuff that gets loaded into our mailbox)
  3. Finding alternatives to using paper towels in the kitchen
  4. Ditching tissues in favour of handkerchiefs (once our current stash is finished)
  5. Cancelling the yellow pages directory and using online directories instead (I didn't know you could cancel them? Apparently you phone 1800 008 292).
So June is all about reducing the amount of paper that comes into the house. Are you ready to join me?


Anonymous said...

We seriously need to go paperless with our bills and bank statements. This is such a timely post for me! Thanks MM. :)

Mama of 2 boys said...

Good on you! And thanks for the tip about the Yellow Pages, must cancel them, they always go straight in our recycling bin, so I guess at least they're not a total waste.
Most of our bills are online also.
And the 'no junk mail' sticker was already up when we moved in here... I love that one!
As a rule, I kind of like to keep this place clear of paper too... only read magazines given to me and we don't buy newspapers. The one that's a little hard to control is the pretty artwork Angus creates... and I don't really want to stop that :o)
Good luck with your next challenge!

Miss Pink said...

You know what, it's been eating at me all year about using so much cling wrap on sandwiches. We usually use those tupperware sandwich cases, but sending one of those to school with Bluey who can't remember his stuff? Yah, not on. Too many klepto mothers around. But i love the idea in the link. Like i REALLY love it!
I try not to be too hard on myself with plastic. We have ziplocks around the house, and cling wrap, but i try to reuse as much as possible and use sparingly.
Same with tissues. We have them, but i have a stack of deliciously soft OBV wipes and hankies which we tend to reach for first.

Still i applaude you. You are doing fantastic with this!

Salamander said...

You have inspired me no end!!!! Thanks for the link too, honey - the school lunch box and it's wasteful cling wrap has bothered me for some time xxxx

Anonymous said...

It is really easy to make your own sandwich wrappers. I make them to fit single sangers for my daughter and bigger to hold two for my hubby. Just google it and you will find an easy to follow pattern!

Great post!


Alice Becomes said...

This is a fantastically useful post, can't wait to see how you go with it. I'd be interested to hear about finding a replacement for the paper towel. We churn through the stuff here, and I have gone through periods of trying not to buy it, but I always give in. Love that Link to G-Magazine online blog - thanks

Gill xo

Tat said...

I am about to buy an ebook reader. I know you are doing a no-buying challenge and I've resisted, too, for as long as I could. But I've found myself buying books and printing quite a bit lately, because if I don't take it with me wherever I go, I don't end up reading it.

Diminishing Lucy said...

Brilliant work!

(Thanks so much for the Yellow Pages cancellation # - off to do that right now!)

The paper towel thing - we have never really used it. it is not as commonly used in England as it is here - I grew up without its use, so don't bother with it in my kitchen.

Similar to tissues/hankies, I just have a lot of washable dishcloths. We probably use 4 a day? On spills, wiping up etc? Rinse and re-use through the day and then the whole lot go into the wash with the grubby tea towel at the end of the day...

Would that work?


Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Excellent plans! Look forward to seeing how it goes.

Petra said...

Thank you for the Yellow Pages number!

I haven't grown up with paper towels either and we use a stack of face cloths or old cloth nappies for spills, kids faces, sticky hands, messy eating etc and they go off into the washing machine after a days use.

Anonymous said...

There was already a 'no junk mail' sign on The Shoebox Letterbox when we moved in two and a half years ago. I've never once received any junkmail - amazing! I actually read the catalogues on line - I still love knowing what's on special at the supermarket! :)

Kymmie said...

You're so environmentally conscious, and I'm so proud of you. And now I know I can cancel Yellow Pages, I'll be doing that tomorrow!

Thanks for being our conscious. xx

Maxabella said...

What will I do about the toilet paper and tissue issue??? x

Suzi said...

Thats awesome! You are very inspiring :)
I am TRYING to reduce my plastic baggage and I only use Enjo cleaning stuff now and love it! As for the clingwrap - I hate it but everytime I send the 3 kids to school with tupperware containers I only get 1 container back again.

Naomi said...

We've had a no rubbish policy on lunch boxes here, and it has ben great. Sometime we use paper bags, when containers are scarce, but the paper goes into the compost at the kid's school. The kids have sturdy lunch boxes and thermoses for their lunches and snacks.
We do still use plastic bin bags... I tried, but possums find it too easy to get into the bin. I am working on finding a solution though!

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