Another reason why I prefer to shop local

I love shopping with local stores, and love supporting small business.  At least in theory.  I’m actually reasonably bad at doing it, because, like most people, the lure of cheap prices and the familiarity of nationwide chains means I just keep going to those stores.

My daughter has grown out of her swim nappy, and doesn’t need a swim nappy anymore, so I figured I would buy a new pair of swimming togs (swimmers, swimming costume, bathers, or whatever non-Queenslanders call the clothes you wear in the pool!). Which is all well and good, except that it is coming into ‘winter’, and that means that all the stores that have their stocking and ordering done at a central office have ‘winter’ clothes.

It’s 27 degrees celsius today where I live, and it is mid-May. So while the southern states are all rugging up in their ugg boots and jackets and beanies, we’re chilling back in thongs and t-shirts, and still going swimming. But, of course, the shops are full of boots and jackets and woollen jumpers and warm hats and raincoats and gumboots.  Not swimwear.

It seems to me to be a lovely idea that the clothing shops in the towns they are situated would predominantly sell the type of clothes that the people living in that town would require.  (it is, of course, useful to be able to buy warm clothes for travelling to cold climates).  It seems to me that a locally owned and operated business would be able to tailor their stock to the needs of their customers better than a business that is run from a central location.  I’m not really an expert in business, actually, I don’t really know much at all. But I’m putting it out there that it makes more sense in this regard that a local business would better stock products that locals are looking for.  I am sure there are managerial decisions made at many chain stores, but they still will have a limited range of stock to choose from.

Now, if only I could find a locally owned children’s clothing store…

Living intentionally: reading

So…. my exciting new blog that I was going to be updating at least weekly fell apart after five or so posts.

But – hey! – I’m back.

Back on living simply, intentionally and beautifully.

I’ve set some goals this year. I’m not much of a goal setter. I tend to lose my way, get bored with my goals, find more exciting things I’d rather do, or realise I’m nowhere near achieving the goal and give up.

This year I have printed them out and stuck them on my wardrobe where I will see them.

I’m 8 weeks into the year and none of my goals are looking great. But I do have 10 months to go!

One of my goals is to read and review 50 books this year. This is part of my living intentionally. I do love to read, and I’m definitely a sucker for social history or social commentary. I’m hoping to review a stack of books this year, including some from ’50 books you must read before you die’ type lists, some I pick up randomly from the library because they look interesting, and some that have been lurking on my bookshelf for years waiting for me to read them so I can get rid of them!

It’s all part of living intentionally: I love to read. I want to read. I will read actual books as much as I read random internet articles.

(I’m totally an actual book person. Personal preference. I forget I’ve got any ebooks sitting on my phone, whereas the book that keeps getting shifted from dining table to kitchen bench to bedside table to coffee table serves as a physical reminder that, you know, I want to get that book read.)

What are you doing this year to live more intentionally?

The problem of packaging

How full is your bin each week?

I put mine out last night, almost one-third full of household rubbish. This is a 240L wheelie bin, so that’s about 0.8 cubic metres heading to landfill. We have about that much each week, which means we send 4 cubic metres every year to landfill, and this is not counting the garden waste that we top up the bin with each week.

But, given that technically my bin is full every single week because we fill it up with dead palm fronds, grass clippings, and other garden waste, I’m actually sending 12 cubic metres of waste to landfill each year. That’s my bathroom crammed full of rubbish and spilling out the door. 

And we are just one house.

All that rubbish has to go somewhere, and the more waste we create, the more rubbish we have to find space for out of town.  And, all of that rubbish has come from somewhere: natural resources have been employed in the production and transportation of the original products. 

I think I can do a lot better in reducing our household waste. Here’s some thoughts:

1. Less packaging. The problem of packaging is that it is paper and plastic used for no other purpose than to contain a product for sale. Sometimes this is great! I love buying my milk in a bottle! My eggs come home un-cracked much easier if they are in their cardboard crate than if I’d bought them loose. The plastic bag inside the carton keeps the Weet-bix fresher for longer. But, I need to be more conscious of not buying over-packaged goods. Individually wrapped biscuits, rather than a large packet that is then kept in an airtight container after it is opened, for example.  Loose apples instead of pre packed apples. The largest appropriate size packet. 

2. Less disposable items. I have one child still in nappies, ¾ of which are cloth, and one child who wears a disposable nappy-pant to bed each night. We could use non-disposable options here, but have chosen not to. I’ve given cloth menstrual pads a go, but have chosen not to continue those. We also use toilet paper.  All other disposable items we keep to a minimum: plates, cups, paper towel, serviettes, cleaning cloths, baking paper, plastic food wrap, alfoil.  If it is a disposable item, and I can possibly get a second use out of it then I will. (Obviously, not toilet paper.)

3. Less food waste. I remember reading somewhere that 20% of food gets thrown away. Seriously? I get annoyed if my kids only eat half their meal and I have to put the rest in the bin, let alone food that hasn’t even been used. I try to only give my kids as much food as I know they will eat, and I find ways to use up all the bits of leftover foods in my fridge before they go off: soups, stews, bizarre combos of bits and pieces for my lunch. I also try to only buy as much as will get used before it goes off. The one area I could really improve in here is composting my peelings etc. 

4. Less garden waste. We do have a bin that gets collected by a private firm and the contents recycled into new garden products. I’ve looked into ways of reusing garden waste as mulch, but haven’t found anything that will work yet. A compost bin would make a small difference.  We don’t have a lot of lawn, but we do have a lot of trees that drops things and plants that need pruning.

5. Buying household goods that will last a long time. Cheap and nasty things that break easily are not good economy, and not good for the environment. I do okay at this.

6. Recycling as much as your local council will let me. All of our milk bottles, cardboard boxes, soft drink cans, paper and glass jars go into the recycling bin. It gets collected every two weeks, and ours is usually ¾ full.  Again, this has a lot to do with too much packaging! The less that needs to be recycled in the first place, the better. 

Any other ideas on reducing household waste? 

A brand new blog

This is Wild Lily.

My brand new blog.

Since I was a teenager, I have wanted to be a writer. I’m in my thirties now, and determined to make it happen. Let’s call this my place to practice writing.

Since before I was a teenager, I have also been a hoarder, and generally an untidy person. In my thirties, I have now embraced minimalism, simplicity and order.  I’ll write a lot about this.

Bookmark me. I’m excited about writing for you.