Last month, as part of my plan to live a simpler life that reduced the harm I do to the planet as much as possible, I set myself a green goal – to start using natural household cleaners. You can read how it went here.
Goals work well for me, they help me develop good habits and that’s what I need if I’m going to make my life greener. Otherwise, I have a tendency to start off with good intentions and then fail at the first hurdle because life gets in the way.
So, with this last month being a success, I’m going continue, looking at how apps and websites can help me do my bit for the planet. I’ve been using different sites and apps for the last few weeks and these seem to be the easiest and most effective (at least for me!).
1 Searching the web with Ecosia
I have switched from Google and Bing and started using Ecosia.org, an ethical search engine that uses ad revenue to plant trees. A social business founded in 2009, Ecosia has planted over 32 million trees so far.
2 Seasonal food
I’ve actually been using this site, Eat the Seasons, for a long time and find it really useful for letting me know what food is in season, where it comes from, and how to prepare it (through links to recipes on other sites).
3 Getting rid of junk mail
When we moved into our house a few years ago, we were bombarded with junk mail for the previous home owners. It went on forever, despite us returning as much as we could to sender. Then our postman told us about the Mailing Preference Service. We registered the former owner and our own names, now we get very little, if any, unwanted mail, saving paper.
4 No more plastic bottles
While I use a reusable plastic bottle rather than buy bottles when I’m out, sometimes (especially with the weather being as hot as it has been) I’ve found the water gone and myself buying a plastic bottle filled with water instead. I felt guilty every time. Now I use the Refill App which lets me see where I can refill my own water bottle with tap water free of charge. I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be many options for me as I don’t live in a major city but, with companies like Costa Coffee signed up, there are three refill sites within a few miles of my house, which makes me very happy.
5 More natural beauty
I spend a lot of time looking at what is in my beauty products and wondering if they are good for me and good for the planet. If I’m honest, bar a few key ingredients I know I don’t want like parabens, I am lost. Think Dirty have made it their mission to help consumers understand whether their products contain harmful ingredients and suggest alternatives. They also offer a beauty box in Canada and the US, which will hopefully be in the UK soon as I’ve ended my Birchbox subscription so I can buy better.
Hopefully, over this next month, these apps will help me change my ways. I’ll let you know in August. Have you used any of the sites or can you recommend others?