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New year, new habits; 3 simple steps to BIG environmental change

Happy new year one and all.

How exciting! A new year and a new decade.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not one to make huge lists of resolutions about how I’m going to change myself or my approach to life, work and relationships. When I’ve made a list in the past I’ve found (as I’m sure many of us have) that by March, and despite best efforts, they have generally speaking been exposed as admirably hopeful but ultimately unrealistic and unachievable.

My preference is to take a more relaxed approach and reflect on my achievements during the previous year, then consider what I can do in the new year to create habits that will make a greater difference and produce even better results. So, my focus for this new year, and indeed this new decade, is to demonstrate how easy it is to contribute to creating positive environmental change.

Everyone can make a difference.    

I don’t think any of us can ignore the catastrophic environmental events of 2019. Where one area of the world was experiencing intense flooding, another was suffering extreme wildfires, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting in a hurry the images of rafts of plastic floating in our oceans.

But, on the other hand I don’t believe it’s all doom and gloom. I’m optimistic! If we all make small changes we can create big difference.

May I present my top 3 tips of easy-to-form habits that will make a huge impact in the long run:

1)Refill, reuse, recycle – it’s not just a catchy phrase.

How about these for some scary facts:

  • 40% of the plastic we use is single use
  • 8 million metric tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year
  • Even recycled plastic can only be re used three times before it weakens and is useless

Eeek! It’s important to realise though, that with a bit of mindfulness about what we buy and a bit of thought about how to reuse plastics and packaging, we can reduce these figures considerably.

Reusable and refillable packaging was at the top of our agenda when we were developing Clean Living biological cleaning products. It was important for us to use aluminium spray dispensers because it’s 100% recyclable, and because of that choice we’ve received great feedback from customers. It seems like we’re all on the same side after all.

2) Join in and get out – the ultimate paradox!

One of the events I took part in last year really opened my eyes to the problem of microplastics along our coastline. In September I decided to sign myself and my family up to join in with one of the Marine Conservation Society’s beach clean days.

Firstly; who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Secondly; I realised that up until then I’d only had an inkling of the plastic and refuse that litters our lovely shoreline.

When you actually start looking and paying attention you see plastic bags and fishing line tangled in driftwood and beach vegetation. There’s also an apparent lack of sentimentality from beachgoers when it comes to their plastic or rubber shoes, because it looks like not many make it home with them!

The results.

In just one hour my mum and I collected:

  • 117 bits of microplastics
  • 3 plastic bottle caps
  • 18 pieces of foam packaging
  • 7 cigarette filters
  • 5 plastic straws

I can’t encourage people enough to join in with one of these days and get out to the beach. In the long run (and the short for that matter) it will make a huge difference to protecting our oceans and seas. I’ll definitely be signing myself up again this year and actively encouraging others to join me, so  say hi if you see me.  

3) Make a smart switch.

Yes, I’m going to talk about Clean Living biological cleaning products (unashamedly!).

We have developed an eco-friendly alternative to the harsh, toxin-laden cleaning products that, despite any well-intended method of disposal, make it into our waterways and the plastic packaging into landfill.

I believe that when we have choice we can make better choices. When there’s none, it’s easy to close our eyes to the effect our lifestyles we have on our environment. Clean Living’s entire ethos is based on allowing people to make a conscious choice about the products they use. From our Limescale Remover, to our Biological Bin Odour Eliminator and our much loved Glass Cleaner, we have produced a range of cleaning products that thoroughly protect your home and the environment as there’s not a drop of harsh chemicals or toxic formulation in any of them.

Oh; and the packaging is recyclable and refillable.

Plus the refills come in small lightweight sachets. Small sachets = less bulk and less weight, fewer large delivery lorries on the road, less CO2 emissions and less plastic.

I’ll stop there, I promise. But if that’s not the easiest change we can all make; I don’t know what is.   

Share the love.

Well, those are my top tips to make small changes that are easy to maintain . I’d love to know what changes you decide to make and stick to.

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy and successful 2020.

Helen Bee

CEO and Director at Clean Living International

Fish in Plastic ridden water