Project Green Challenge 2016: Aiming For Zero Waste

As part of Project Green Challenge by Turning Green, I have been collecting all the waste I have produced for the last 24 hours.

Zero waste, trash, rubbish, landfill, recycling
Waste produced in 24 hours

I do aim to refuse, reduce and reuse; and feel I have done quite well with this! BUT there is plenty more to be done and there are a few things this challenge has taught me…

I never thought about the cat food! I didn’t even check to see if the fish is from a sustainable source let alone consider the packaging it comes in. This is now a top priority on my to do list.

Obviously some things took more than 24 hours to become empty and therefore become waste (ie plastic film toilet paper packaging and handwash bottle), so it just so happened they fell into my waste pile during the challenge. But this led me to think what would have mounted up if the challenge had been over a week, or a month? 

Aside from the plastic film packaging around the toilet paper (I wonder if there are paper alternatives to this?) the main culprits would be household items (handwash, shampoo/ conditioner, deoderant and washing liquid containers) and plastic fruit containers, so I need to take a closer look at potential alternatives to these. With the exception of the plastic film wrap, the other plastics do all get recycled locally, but this is not ideal and is a last resort. Refusing, reducing and reusing is better if possible. 

Last but not least- crisp packet and coke cans- I really should cut out the junk food and drink! The packets end up as landfill. The coke cans are recycled and are arguably much better than getting a plastic bottle version, especially if the cans are packaged in cardboard, but cutting them out completely would be better for a multitude of reasons of course!

So, you’ve opted for reusable carrier bags, you say no to straws, you have a reusable water bottle and coffee cup, you take food in reusable containers and you refuse plastic cutlery, taking your own reusable version instead (or just do without!) You have come along way in reducing your waste, which is great! But what are the next steps in aiming for a zero waste lifestyle? Here are some more things to think about…

Look at your household items. Handwash, washing liquid, cleaning products etc… Can you find alternatives that have less packaging, or is more easily recyclable materials at least? Or buy in bulk- bigger versions mean waste less often at least! 

Check your beauty and hygiene products. Shampoo and conditioner, soap, deoderant, wipes, scrubs etc… Can you find a reusable substitute for some items, such as wipes? Are there alternatives that come with packaging, such as shampoo bars? Or could you even try making your deoderant or face scrub? I had a go at making my own coffee face scrub as part of 5gyres #beadfree campaign about banning microbeads (tiny toxic plastic beads). It worked really well! Oh and don’t forget to look out for those pesky microbeads too! 

Choose food products with less packaging. Buy fruit and vegetables loose if possible. Look out for paper or cardboard alternatives to plastic. If unavoidable, choose bigger packets so less waste overall. And remember to take reusable packaging, containers and bags with you to use whenever you can! If you have pets, remember to consider the items you buy for them too. 

No doubt there are lots of other ways to help achieve zero waste, I would love to hear your tips too!

For more information watch this video: storyofstuff.org

Also see these websites for more information:

 www.5gyres.org

 www.trashisfortossers.com

For reusable products (US) check out: www.ukonserve.com

#Blogtober 2016 – Day One: Who Are You?

​Hi everyone! 

I’m taking part in #Blogtober16 (at the 11th hour I might add!) so today is all about ME!!! For those who don’t know, blogtober 2016 is 31 days of posts with a different set theme each day, hosted by www.hexmumblog.com 

#Blogtober16

I am also doing the Project Green Challenge too this month so October is a busy month for me, and I am really just hoping to at least sort of keep up with both… eek! #PGC2016 is an inspiring (and life- changing) intiative set up by Turning Green. Each challenge starts at 6am PT (2pm here in UK) so I am hoping the time difference will work in my favour. (Of course I could also schedule some of my Blogtober posts, but I am not that organised!) 

So anyway, about me… 

My about us page probably sums me up quite well, so I will begin by cheating abit and sending you off to look there… 

livinglifeourway.com/about-us

Ok, so aside from that, here are 3 random facts about me…

1. As soon as I finished my A Levels, I moved to Tenerife to work as a club PR for a season. It was hard work 7 nights per week and I barely made enough for basic food rations but had the time of my life! I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that was almost 20 years ago now.

Playa de las Americas Tenerife PR team
Tenerife days

2. I have a scar across my forehead from an accident aged 4 years old, when I tripped over my own feet, smashing my head open on our coffee table. I also fractured my arm by falling off the top of a toddler slide when I was 10 and landing badly. These are possibly two of the most cringy-worthy ways of sustaining an injury; when people ask about my scar I would at least like a cool Harry Potter style story to tell lol! 

3. I LOVE music, absolutely love it. But sadly don’t actually have a musical note in my entire body; I can’t play an instrument and am totally tone deaf. This somewhat shattered my childhood dream of being in a band!

What else do you want to know? If you have a specific question then please post in comments and I will answer you. 

I  would also love for you to share a random fact about yourself too, leave in comments or tweet me @followourpath

I look forward to reading!

Days Out: A Trip to the Seaside (Southend On Sea, Essex) 

Southend On Sea in Essex is a popular seaside choice for many. It boasts stretches of both pebble and sand beaches, play water fountains, play areas on the sand, plus a brand new lagoon for paddling and swimming. 

Days out, things to do, places to go, family fun
Water play fountains

For those looking for a little more action, there is a Sealife Centre on the seafront, an award winning funfair, indoor play centre, pier, traditional style amusement arcades and a large selection of shops, restaurants and cafes. 

Places to go, days out, family fun, childhood unplugged, get outside
Beach, overlooking pier and funfair

For us, it is a relatively short drive away from Hertfordshire that offers us a fun and relaxed day out by the sea, so is definitely a winner! 

Seaweed, childhood unplugged, get outside, outdoors, days out, places to go, things to do, family fun
Investigating the beach

For more information about Southend, including special events, things to do and places to stay, see Visit Southend

Family fun, places to go, things to do, family fun, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged
Collecting shells

Stay Wild: Tree Climbing

Whilst exploring a local woodland, we came across the best tree for climbing we have ever seen! Squiggle loved it…

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Nomansland tree climbing

Stay Wild- Virtual Flashmob: A Rainbow of Colours

30 Days Wild by The Wildlife Trusts just announced a virtual ‘flashmob’ to help us all stay wild! Run outside right now, do something ‘wild’ and take a photo or video clip then share it online. So I grabbed my phone, went into the garden and looked for a rainbow of colours…

It didn’t take long at all; there are so many colours in our natural environment, even just in a small garden. The only struggle was blue; the british ‘summer’ let me down abit there, as there was practically all cloud and no blue sky, so I tried to get the tiny glimmer of blue there was and failed! But a fun challenge nonetheless! #StayWild

Stay Wild: Den Building (and Yellow Meadow Ants!)

Squiggle specifically asked me to write this post, as she is very proud of her first attempt at building her own den and wanted to share her excitement!


Here is a video clip of her building the den…

She also collected sticks to make her Sylvanian Families their own den in the garden…

Under the bricks she moved to support her den, she found some yellow meadow ants, which we observed…

And Squiggle (very carefully of course!) held some too…

Another great day spent outdoors!

Stay Wild: Exploring Local Woodland

Today we decided to explore a local woodland that we have not visited before…

Some paths were really wild, but Squiggle navigated her way through the nettle paths like an expert.

Squiggle used a stick to help her down the steep slopes.


She explored a den someone had already built.


It was a lovely ‘wild’ walk! 

Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire

There is plenty to do at Paradise Wildlife Park. In addition to the wide variety of animals, there are also various other areas such as soft play, paddling pool, sand pit, construction area, go carts, train, woodland walk, bouncy castles and several play areas, as well as shows, talks and feeds. There are also various ride-ons and games for additional cost. The price is reasonable in my opinion, in comparison to similar days out, especially given the amount of facilities included in the price and the high running costs of the zoo. However, there are often discounts available through groupon and similar sites, which makes it somewhat more affordable. More information about Paradise Wildlife Park can be found on their website https://www.pwpark.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay Wild: Whale Wednesday Art Activity

Creating A Whale Print:

I recently purchased nature print paper for this activity, ordered from amazon here. It was smaller than I imagined but I was impressed with the quality, I felt it was very effective and worked really well.

Final edited version of my whale art using nature print paper

 

 

Firstly, draw a simple whale or print off a (copyright free) picture to use. Cut out the outline and any details to include.
Place the picture on a sheet of print paper, out of sunlight or strong artificial lighting. Put a piece of cardboard under the paper to support it and use cling film or clear plastic to keep the picture in place (I used a reusable plastic wallet).

Place in direct sunlight for approx 2-3 minutes until the paper turns a very light blue. Move into a shaded area or indoors and carefully remove the items from the paper.

Put the paper in plain water for one minute to set the picture.

As the paper dries the picture becomes clearer.

 

Here is my finished product…

This was a fun activity- I had a whale of a time! Happy #WhaleWednesday and remember to #StayWild everybody!

Sports Challenge: Great British Tennis Weekend

Today we had a lovely time playing tennis (for free!) as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend. I found out about this event through social media and was pleased to discover that there were various opportunities to take part locally. Booking was easy via the online system and our family time session could also be easily amended if/ when needed. Equipment was also available to borrow during these sessions free of charge. This was also brilliant timing, as Squiggle was so excited to be able to include it in her #SportsChallenge

During our session at Verulamium park, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and the instructor was very understanding of Squiggle’s needs. We had a great time! For more information, check out the Lawn Tennis Association website here