Yes, we’re posting a blog about the New Year nearly 1.5 months after the New Year. Don’t worry, I see the irony too. But Hey: with two moves, a business change from in-store to online and general everyday life mayhem (in January alone), led to some stuff being pushed to the back burner. And that, I need to believe, is OK.
We’re all too familiar with the phrase “New Year, New me”. It instils a feeling of new beginnings, a 'fresh start' one might say. A possibility to wipe the slate clean and start all over. But that is not what life is all about. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first person to pre-order the latest self-help book on January 1st whilst starting a new fad diet and yoga all on the same day. But change, big meaningful change, needs to happen slowly and consistently over time.
Ask me if I’ve kept up the Yoga in 2 months and you’ll see what I mean ;).
With an ever-growing trend of environmental activism on social media we can easily find ourselves under new pressures to implement changes in our everyday habits to help fight climate change and the plastic crisis. From Meatless Mondays to Mobility Thursdays, we’re in a new era of wokeness like never before. It's overwhelming to say the least!
In some cases, trends like Veganuary have really managed to stick around and even triggered long lasting positive changes. But in most instances, resolutions on better environmental habits tend to fizzle out after being beaten by our fast paced lifestyles which pushes us more and more towards today’s worst enemy: convenience.
Then what’s the solution you might ask? Sit back and do nothing? No, on the contrary, DO something, but do it in a sustainable manner whilst keeping true to yourself and your busy schedule. The point is to focus on small realistic changes. No one needs hundreds of stressed out self-proclaimed Zero Waste queens to give up EVERY piece of plastic in their lives from yesterday to today. What we need are thousands of people implementing small changes in their everyday habits.
Whether it’s as simple as switching to a reusable coffee cup for your on-the-go double shot oat milk Mocha or turning off the water as you lather shampoo into your hair or even switching your drinking water to filtered water; as long as it works around your lifestyle with a little bit of effort, then it’s a habit that will stick … and from one good habit it can multiply and grow into many (sustainable) habits over time.
You might ask “how do I even get started though?”. Well, that’s where we can suggest a little exercise that is super simple and you can even involve your friends and family: The Infamous Home Waste Audit
*queue intimidating music*.
A home waste audit is a great way to find out where most of your plastic waste is coming from and just how much you are generating. Once you have that information in hand it’s up to you to choose one or two items and think on how you can reduce or better yet eliminate it from your household. Think of it like a waste version of Pac-man, just minus the stress inducing ghosts.
So, what do you need to do:
Firstly, collect your recycling waste i.e., the grey bags, for at least 2 weeks
Once the bags are full, find a clear surface or floor, lay down some newspapers or a dirty sheet and empty the contents of the bags
Now it’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and start sorting. Split up all the plastic, paper, and metal contents by room in your house e.g., bathroom, kitchen etc.
Once you’re ready, just take a step back and marvel at how much plastic we use as individuals in just 2 weeks
After getting over the mini shock, start identifying where the most plastic in either volume or quantity is coming from e.g., plastic water bottles tend to be a common one in Malta and Gozo
After you’ve identified your top 3 contenders what’s left to do is to decide yourself or as a household on how you plan to reduce or eliminate this item over the next weeks. And that’s it. Just from this simple exercise you can already begin identifying where your small realistic changes can start from.
We understand all too well how daunting change can be at times. Trust us, owning a small business is constantly keeping us on our toes. At the end of the day human’s work best by constantly challenging ourselves and we’re currently facing the biggest challenge that we’ve ever had to face as a species. Climate change. If we don’t start from somewhere today, then all the New Year resolutions in the world can’t save us.
Now let me get back to that Yoga class #letsdothis