One of my not-resolutions / aspirations for 2020 is to make better, more ethical, more environmentally-conscious decisions about the products that I buy and the services that I use. Just two weeks into the year and I’m already making changes and investigating options for other changes. So I thought it might be a good idea to blog about it all on a semi-regular basis, so I can share my experiences and hopefully get a few tips from other people who have been down this road.

I’ve boiled down the key things I want to achieve across these three principles:

  • Reduce waste;
  • Minimize environmentally damaging products;
  • Use ethical or sustainable companies

Among the changes I had already made prior to all of this are:

Investing in a reusable coffee cup. Perhaps contradictorily, I went through a number of different cups before I finally found one that either didn’t leak on me at random times, or didn’t burn my hands. If you’re wondering, I bought a Contigo Snapseal and it’s awesome.

Setting up a compost bin. In all honesty this was mainly to give me an easy solution for disposing of the masses of poop that my chickens produce. However, it also means my kitchen scraps don’t have to go into the bin any more, and it’s large enough for all the soiled bedding when I clean out the coop. 

Metal straws. This was an easy change; the kids still like to use straws from time to time, and the idea of having a shiny metal straw instead of a cheap plastic one is enough to sell them on the switch.

But, there are still plenty of other changes I can make. So, I’ve started a list, which I will update and add to over the year:

Toilet paperDone! Already switched to Who Gives A Crap
Kitchen rollDone! (see above)
Shower gel / body washPlanning to replace with handmade soap (and possibly make my own soap!)
Hand wash(see above)
BatteriesWill invest in rechargeable batteries (probably starting with this eneloop bundle)
Laundry powderYet to research – possibly starting with this handy comparison.
Other household cleanersYet to research. There are a number of subscription services out there, which send replacement supplies for reusable bottles, which I like the idea of.
Food choicesAim here would be to reduce my reliance on the supermarket, so I’ll look at alternatives like locally sourced fruit and veg boxes or farmers markets

In addition to the product-based changes, I need to do some work around the services I use, particularly financial ones. I want to look more closely at my banks, at my Super fund, and my mortgage, to make sure I’m not giving my money to companies that are investing in things like fossil fuels, or who are supporting other companies that finance climate change denial, or exploit workers, and so on. 

I want to close my Facebook account, as I’m increasingly uncomfortable sharing my data and supporting a platform that clearly has no social conscience. I also really want to stop using Amazon, as there’s something very wrong in continuing to make a billionaire richer and richer while the majority of his employees are made to work in the worst conditions. Being a billionaire means you can give away almost all of your money, still be outrageously rich, and make a profound difference to the world. And yet Jeff Bezos chooses not to do that.

Anyway, this post represents a checklist of sorts for the year, and hopefully the start of a process that will see me breaking old habits, and developing brand new ones that will–fingers crossed–do some good somewhere down the line.

If you’ve read this I would loooove for you to share your experiences, or any tips you ave, or let me know if there are other changes I can make that can be added to my list. I’ll be posting semi-regular updates over the year, so look out for that ‘making a difference’ tag.