A greener alternative is coming…

I started this blog to provide information to families either visiting or living in the French Riviera of places they could go and take their baby buggy/stroller without worrying about stairs, inaccessible narrow pathways etc. It is also beneficial for wheelchair bound travellers who also encounter some of the same difficulties.

Sometimes however, I like to include random warblings in my blog about my feelings, my opinions or my experiences on things totally unrelated to travel and/or tourism. Today, it is one of those days.

A greener alternative is coming…

I have decided from 01 August I will be trying to reduce, reuse and recycle much more than I currently do and make more eco-friendly and sustainable choices about the way I live and the things I buy.

OK, I am not professing to suddenly want to become a vegan/hippy/eco-warrior but instead to make small changes to my lifestyle to impact less on the environment, our finances and our health.

Why choose to live more sustainably

What bought all this on you may be thinking? Surely I already know about taking a reusable bag to the supermarket and separating the recycling for the bins at home! BUT, is that really enough???

I was cleaning our oven yesterday and sprayed the (store bought) oven cleaner into our oven – it’s that type that you spray and your eyes immediately water, your nose runs and you run out of the kitchen for the fumes.

It was so toxic and horrible I realised this was the type of product we use regularly and expose our son to.

I looked in our kitchen cupboard and SHOCK! we have 14 different bottles of cleaning products – yes, 14! – for cleaning the oven, floors, windows, kitchen, bathroom, toilet etc.

A lot of marketing that I clearly have been sucked in by over the years, a lot of money spent on various products for ‘specialised’ jobs, and unfortunately a lot of toxins and chemicals.

August is ‘green’ month

So, 01 August begins my ‘green’ month.

I have already test-drived a homemade cleaner (1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup distilled water, 2 drops lemon oil) and it worked brilliantly on bathroom and toilet surfaces and surprisingly didn’t leave a vinegar smell 🙂

There are already small ‘green’ things I have been doing for years which I haven’t realised:

– Recycling giftwrap for presents
– Homemade muesli instead of store-bought cereals
– White vinegar and newspaper is the best window cleaner you will ever find. Why we have store-bought window cleaner I don’t know!
– Homemade face mask: 1 tablespoon of rolled oats, 1 teaspoon honey and half a mashed avocado, mix and put onto face. It looks like an alien’s breakfast but your dry skin will love it. Leave for 10 minutes then rinse with warm water.
– Homemade hair mask (dry hair): 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon milk. Mix together and apply to hair, then wrap head in a warm towel for at least 15 minutes. Rinse until hair doesn’t feel ‘oily’.
– Cold sore remedy: Rub cold sore or tingle on lips with a cut clove of garlic. It stings a bit but you won’t buy a cold sore cream again from the pharmacy.
– Sore throat: Gargle salt mixed into warm water.
– Buying second-hand goods where possible at boot sales, charity shops
– Get crafty with your kids rather than buy new toys in plastic packaging – it’s amazing what you can make with toilet rolls, used boxes, empty milk bottles etc and the internet has so many great ideas.

I will be making a big effort on the following from 01 August:

– No more bottled water. My son drinks out of his sippy bottle, so I may as well reuse mine too.
– More home baking. We bake regularly now, however I would like to eliminate buying snack items that are separately packaged (e.g. biscuits, cereal bars, fruit compotes)
– Keep putting lunches/snacks in lunch boxes. Can’t remember the last time I used plastic wrap.

There are lots of resources on the internet to give guidance on how to live a more sustainable life – I found www.diynatural.com and greenlivingideas.com were great sources of inspiration.

Wish me luck! It won’t be easy but small steps lead to big changes.

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