Fear not – I have not abandoned my eco challenge.
It has admittedly been more of a challenge than I had expected, however I am taking keen action to move my challenge onward from its initial food orientated focus to encompass more aspects of my lifestyle.
1. I have purchased a water bottle. Like all good things I bought it in TK Maxx kitchen section for €8.95. I think it was meant for hiking or some such but it is a wonderful idea. I fill it from my filter every day, it holds a litre, it fits nicely into my handbag and I haven’t bought a shop bottle of water since! No bottles = no need for recycling bottles! Hey presto an eco-triumph which saves me lots and lots of money and keeps me hydrated for healthy looking skin and innards.
2. I previously had experimented with Ecover washing powder with disastrous and disappointing results. The powder didn’t dissolve and I ended up with horrid white gloop all over my clothes. I was determined to persist with finding an environmental washing solution so I ventured into the environment store just on the corner of Dame street and that little street that goes towards exchequer street, not sure what it’s called). I looked at all the products within thinking I might get some ideas. After glancing at all the washing solutions I found myself completely at a loss so I asked the polite young hippy like man what he thought. I have to admit I wasn’t entirely sure if asking a hippy about matters concerning cleanliness was wise but he was extremely helpful. He explained that the Ecover washing powder was designed for older washing machines that are inefficient in their use of water. Newer machines are designed with water conservation in mind therefore do not provide enough water to dissolve the environmentally friendly Ecover powder. Ironic, is it not? Apparently Ecover do have a new powder developed for newer machines but they didn’t have it in stock. I was humming and hawing between the Ecover liquid and the Eco-balls but having lost some confidence in the Ecover brand I opted for Eco-balls. AND THEY WORK! However I was warned by Mr Hippy that they don’t leave whites completely white after awhile so I may use conventional powder for that. But my mostly black wardrobe washed at forty degrees came completely clean. Plus at fourteen euro for 150 washes and refills included in the packet it’s a total bargain! I feel more eco-friendly every day.
3. Following on this water conservation theme I have begun taking note of how much water I use in washing etc. Especially effective was the trick of putting the stopper in the sink while I washed my hands, face or teeth for a day or two to let it sink in how much water is wasted while carrying out these activities. After that I became much more conscious of water consumption and I think I have managed to reduce the amount of water I use by leaving the tap running only when I am actually using it. That is, I turn it off when rubbing the soap into my hands and brushing my teeth and only turning it on for the minimum time needed to rinse my hands or teeth. For my face I place a small amount of water in the basin with the stopper in. It doesn’t sound like it would save much water but try it and you’ll be surprised.
So these have been my three greatest successes and I am very pleased and in a way it reaffirms my ambition to go as green as I can possibly go in the next few months.