5 Weird or Unusual Things I Do To Be More Eco Friendly

in Natural Medicine2 months ago

Hey Bees! I'm back with another post following a trend I've seen on YouTube among green/minimalism people, and that's a list of a few things I do that may be a bit more unusual in my culture, in the name of eco-friendliness. Please let me know in the comments what are some of the things you do that make the average people in your life look at you funny, lol, but you know it's less damaging, so you do it anyway. :)

#1 Reuse calendars

If you google, you can figure out what years the calendar dates align with the current year, and reuse your old wall calendars! I've been doing this for years actually. 2020 was the first time I had to buy a calendar in ages because it was a leap year so it didn't align with any of the calendars I already had, and I hadn't received any as gifts or from nonprofits (which often happens, too). 2021 aligns with 2010 and 1999, so I am reusing my pretty Lunaria 2010 calendar (even though the moon phases won't align because the lunar calendar is on a 19 year cycle; the dates/days of week will align). Here is the site I use showing what years line up with 2021.

Here is my ginormous stash of calendars that I keep on a bookshelf. I organized them to be in order as I was searching for a calendar to reuse.

#2 Use trash as trash bags

Buying plastic bags for the sole purpose of putting trash in them and throwing them away strikes me as one of the most wasteful things, both in terms of plastic and money. Just, why?? You have all these other bags that would go in the trash anyway, right? That's what I use.

"I use cloth bags to do my shopping," I hear you say. Yeah, me too. I'm talking cereal bags, kitty kibble bags, the bags toilet paper can come in, the plastic bags parcels sent to you in the mail come packaged in, and yeah - the occasional plastic bag from a shop that either somebody gave to you with things in it, or you got delivery, or somehow you still end up with a few in your life even if you bring cloth bags to the store. You can tie some of them shut, or I bet you also probably have a stash of twisty ties or bread bag clips or rubber bands or something you can close them with, right? Yup! Use it up.

#3 Bring your own containers to the grocery & for restaurant leftovers

OK so this is somewhat less relevant currently due to covid, since my local shop where I can buy some things in bulk has pre-packaged all the bulk stuff into plastic bags now (argh), but in normal times I was always the weirdo bringing my own jars or cloth flour sacks to the store to scoop my bulk bin buys into, rather than taking the plastic produce type bags the store provides. I don't use those produce bags for produce, either - I usually just take it loose, and put it in my cloth shopping bags with the rest of my groceries. Yeah, even if it's wet. I pack it separately from anything that would soak through like cardboard boxes, but otherwise, who cares? It's going to get the cloth bag wet? Yeah, that's okay, it's cloth. ;)

I was apparently one of the only customers that did that at the store I went to, because I regularly confounded cashiers who didn't know how to subtract the weight of my jar from the weight of the bulk food. I was doing tares years ago when I worked as a cashier at a health food store, so I wonder if it has become more rare for people to try and reduce waste this way?

Also, when you eat out, bring a Tupperware type dish for your "doggie bag" leftovers! I've even brought my little reuseable chopsticks in a case I got from the Sanrio store in order to avoid the disposables at my favorite Japanese food restaurant. You can stash these things in your backpack/purse/bring a cloth shopping bag, and then put your leftovers in it when you're done eating.

flour sack.jpg
My oldest and largest flour sack; I bought it with 25 lbs. of flour in it years ago.

#4 Compost, compost everywhere

I regularly have wide, flat lids or plates sitting out on my counter with coffee grounds drying out in them that I dumped out of my French press. I have eggshells sitting in a mortar and pestle, waiting for me to crunch them up. And when it's deep into the winter and the compost buckets on the balcony are full, I have containers in my freezer full of food scraps awaiting their turn to start a new batch when it warms back up and begins to break down again. These are resources not to be wasted. :)

#5 Choose the greenest option for the things you use

People recycle a lot, but they often don't make the effort to choose the things they buy based on its recycled content. If we don't make a demand for the recycled product made from that waste stream, then where do you think it goes? In the landfill or the ocean or the incinerator, that's where. In order to close the loop, we need to buy products we use anyway from recycled materials.

I buy recycled toilet paper and any other paper products I use (which my mother thinks is totally weird, can I just say). I buy rechargeable batteries (AA and AAA, anyway, as that's what fits in my charger), which not only reduces battery waste, but saves me tons of money. I once bought a door mat made of recycled tires. I buy recycled aluminum foil (and I do not buy plastic wrap at all). All of these things are available if you look!

recycled aluminum.jpg
It takes me a while to get through a roll of this, but I do use it for some things!

So there's my list. Do you do any of these things? Do you do different things? Let's learn from each other! :) And if you'd like to know what recycled toilet paper I use, I just switched to Who Gives A Crap (referral code: https://www.talkable.com/x/OHi5LR ...which should get you $10 off!). I had been buying either Seventh Generation brown recycled, which I still love, but it's only available at a store I very rarely go to; or Reel bamboo paper, which I used to love, but the last box I bought, they had obviously lessened the quality of it. I don't know if that's a permanent change or just because they had some manufacturing issues when the world went mad for toilet paper at the start of the pandemic (which still baffles me), but I decided to change it up. WGAC offers both recycled and bamboo options, and donates 50% of their profits to building toilets in places that don't have them. :)

bee good.jpg
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Just signed up to Who Gives a Crap! Awesome. They actually ran out during lockdown, lol - how ridiculous. I want Jamie to connect our Asian bidet hose thingie so I can do away with toilet paper altogether.

My mind is utterly blown by the calender thing. Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt. What a revelation.

I want a bidet, too. I don't expect it would completely remove the need for tp - I mean, you'd need to dry off unless you have some fancy-schmancy thing that blow dries your butt, lol - but you'd be using a lot less!

EVERYONE ran out of tp at the beginning of the pandemic. It was the WEIRDEST thing. Like, the 'rona doesn't give you the sh*ts. So, why??? I never understood. 😂 When I went to the grocery store, it looked like this:

zombie apocalypse 1.jpg
...that's the aisle where all the paper products go: toilet roll, paper towels, paper tissues. BARE.

Some things are still hard to come by, and it doesn't always makes sense to me, either. I can find cream at health food stores but not the regular grocery anymore - and it's been that way since March. You can forget it if you like to use those Clorox wipes or Lysol, those have both been gone, too. Like I understand that one at least - they're about disinfecting surfaces. I don't use either of them, but I understand why they're selling out. But by the same token, after hand sanitizer had a run on it, nowadays you see hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE and ten thousand different brands that didn't exist before for it, too. But that hasn't happened for the wipes or the sprays. It's very strange.

It's good practice though for what to be prepared for when disruptions to supply chains happen. Learning to do things in different ways, make your own, and substitutions you can make is always good knowledge!

yeah, the TP was so bizarre! I think some shops were even refusing refunds under lockdown here when people tried to bring it back haha!

I definitely rethought my whole preparedness. I mean, I was more prepped at home in Australia and had a huge summer harvest coming and chickens etc, and lots of bulk rice, milk etc, tins - I always have bought in bulk. But then of course I was locked down in England haha - the irony!

I swear I'll never be unprepared again!

Shops here were refusing returns, too. Like, sorry, you were selfish and either wanted to price gouge people during a panic or just plain selfish because you thought the apocalypse was happening, you are stuck with your selfish decision now! I was for it as far as refusing returns. People were ridiculous.

I think it's fantastic. What asshats. Apparently we had buses coming down from melbourne to raid the rural supermarkets, so the local supermarket was asking for ID to make sure you were a local. I missed all of that because I was in the UK tryng to find bread yeast :P

I think it's fantastic. What asshats. Apparently we had buses coming down from melbourne to raid the rural supermarkets, so the local supermarket was asking for ID to make sure you were a local. I missed all of that because I was in the UK tryng to find bread yeast :P

Your post has been featured in the Lotus Garden newlsetter, which will be published tomorrow.

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Thank you! :)

Interesting ways to be more eco-friendly. I simply use digital calendars and never really have any paper calendar since 6 years or more. The simplest composting I do is with the coffee grounds. I learned about bio-composting from household waste but it requires quite a space and it's not feasible for me. But yes, I do what I can.

I dont really bother with paper calenders either, but my mother in law or father in law sends them to us at Christmas lol. The current one is all Defenders that my father in law took photos of around the world (because we have a defender and like landrovers). I always forget to turn it over haha...

Fwiw, I do the compost in two cat litter buckets on my balcony, and some people make worm bins inside, so it is possible in small spaces, but of course everyone's circumstance is different.
Thanks for stopping by! :)

compost 1.jpg

I used to print out my calendars because I liked seeing my whole month's to do at one glance - of course, I also colour code them, so each kid has a colour.
But this year, I decided done. I just key everything into my phone. I do miss the colours but I will get used to it :D

I admire that you can do it on your phone. Electronic calendars just don't do it for me. Does not compute. LOL

I totally get it cause that was me for the longest time
This is a 2021 thing... we are still in January hahaha

Excellent post! I don't these are weird ideas, and in my country at least, they're not unusual at all. We reuse a lot of things here out of necessity, and it's become a part of our idiosyncrasy. Thank you for offering your view and your tips on the matter!


You've been curated by @drrune for Natural Medicine's curation project aimed at supporting a spiritual life, including gratitude and kindness practices, yoga & all kinds of meditation, shadow work and living a life of meaning.

Yeah, I think a lot of my reuse ethic is part "green" and part "poverty," and so it's the richer people who just buy everything that find me strange, lol.

Very useful your publication, I recycle the containers to make pots for my plants, other containers to store food.

Another is the packaging of rice, flour or sugar as a container to carry arepa, cachapas, empanadas.

I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but they are excellent alternatives.

I have in mind soon to recycle the tubes of toilet paper and leaves, let's see how it goes :D

Yes! I have a whole stash of glass jars from food and yogurt containers that I reuse. :)

Thanks for the great eco friendly tips! I think I need to practice the "trash as trash bags" a bit more. My compost game is strong though - we compost everything here too, including a lot of paper waste. Toilet rolls, egg cartons, and even the non-shiny junk mail get shredded and added to the compost bin. My mortar and pestle is also continually accompanied by drying eggshells waiting to be ground up for the garden or the worm farm.

I do that, too, with the paper waste! Since I'm an apartment dweller, my "browns" in the compost is houseplant/balcony garden pruning, match and incense stick stubs, bamboo toothbrush handles, and paper waste. I don't put big shipping boxes into it, but like, the little trays that hold the cases (and cases... ) of wet cat food, as long as they're not shiny, I cut them up too.

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