Throughout the natural process of living our lives, things can just naturally become cluttered over time. We accumulate needless things, habits and even problematically toxic relationships. There is much to be said for taking a step back and asking, ‘do I really need this in my life right now?’ making it easier to declutter your head, home and life. After all, there’s no reason why living a sustainable lifestyle shouldn’t consider our mental and emotional resources, as well as our physical ones. Once decluttering is achieved, with the right tools at your disposal, it becomes much easier to manage going forward and to be mindful of bringing clutter in.
The Big Secret
The messier something is, the more overwhelming the thought of decluttering it is. Being both a parent and a carer, I know first-hand that there are limits to what you can do. It’s so easy to get stuck in the mindset that it’s impossible and you can’t do it; I’ve seen this a lot with people considering a zero-waste lifestyle after all. As I say, I understand; I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t achieve this perfectly myself. Here’s the thing though, the big secret; whether it’s waste management, ditching plastic or making any lifestyle change, it isn’t about doing it perfectly. No. The trick is to make small, achievable changes and let their impact accumulate over time. It’s not about a few people getting everything 100% right or all of the time, it’s about many people doing what they can and everyone being better for it.
The Right Tools for the Job
It’s with this in mind that I am delighted to share a fabulous bundle of sustainable lifestyle books, courtesy of Welbeck Publishing. How to Go Waste Free, How to Go Plastic Free and Sort Your Sh*t Out (all by Caroline Jones) are three excellent resources for helping you declutter, and maintaining an equilibrium going forward. Each book is packed with advice, techniques and tips that are easy to process and put into effect. What’s more is they’re designed not to overwhelm but to be taken in gradually at your own pace. I love that!
Sustainable Lifestyle Book Bundle Giveaway (×3)
I have three lots of these excellent sustainable lifestyle book bundles to giveaway to 3 lucky readers. Enter via rafflecopter below. UK only. Ends 29th March 2020. Other T&Cs apply.
How to Go Waste Free
Some readers will know that I am a zero-waste ambassador for Zero Waste Week. As mentioned, I am very much of the mindset that more is achieved by the many doing what they can than the few doing everything perfectly. Well, this book opens with some statistics and information about waste and the ecological and personal benefits of going minimal before offering its very first bit of advice:
“We all know we throw away too much waste, but in practice reducing it can be tough at first, the key is to begin gradually, sticking with a few simple changes until they become just a normal part of you day”.
Caroline Jones very much understands and encapsulates my own viewpoint that lasting positive change comes from gradual changes and realistic expectations rather than being overwhelmed and marching towards impossible standards. She does this by spreading her suggestions across 100 simple, easy to take in and put into practice steps, before concluding with literary and online resources to help the reader continue their journey.
What I like about the book is that it acts as a useful jumping on point for the beginner and a great little quick reference point for those already adopting a zero-waste lifestyle.
How to Go Plastic Free
Much like How to Go Waste Free, this is a handy jumping on point that serves as a perfect point of reference. The structure, tone and messages are the same too but this time it is specifically focused on avoiding plastic pollution and avoiding bringing unnecessary plastic clutter into your life. It has excellent advice for swapping out plastic products for more eco-friendly and reusable ones.
I feel as though How To Go Plastic Free and How To Go Waste Free are companion pieces. Together they give a more complete picture and overview; it works well flicking between the two to cover whichever scenario you need advice and guidance on. Waste works well as the higher-level introduction, with this book as the more drilled down specifics on plastic. Between them you end up learning a great deal of how to help the environment and reduce needless clutter going forward.
Sort Your Sh*t Out
The first words you might see when you open Sort Your Sh*t our are:
“A simpler, more streamlined life is not just seeing how little we can get by with, or how much we can throw out, but learning to identify and ditch the excess.”
These are strong words and the thesis of the entire book; perhaps even our entire bundle. The more we take on, the more overwhelmed and stressed we become. Not everything can be decluttered or simplified, but more can than you realise, and you feel all the better for it.
The tone is perhaps a little more no nonsense and life-coachy than the other books. Some might be a little turned off by it, and in theory I would too, but in practice that is not the case. The advice to remove the negative physical, emotional, financial and mental clutter entwined with its interactive elements are incredibly stand out and useful. I probably share more views with the author than I don’t; especially when she reminds us that it is good to remove toxicity from our lives, that less is more, and that vulnerability attracts more meaningful relationships and exposes the negative ones.
Whereas the other two books are about bite-sized changes, Sort Your Sh*t out is an all-in interactive experience. It wants you to take the advice on board and think about your memory of experiences, your goals, your needs then put a plan into effect and act on it. It’s the most substantial book in the collection and packed full of thoughtful pieces of advice and deep meaningful activities.
*I was sent the sustainable lifestyle book bundle for review and offered three bundles to giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.