Final thoughts on our year

We can’t quite believe it but our year of living sustainably has come to an end so we thought we would share some of our thoughts with you about our journey.

There is no black or white:

When we started this year we thought it would be fairly obvious what to do but how wrong we were! For almost every decision there is a debate and shades of grey – for example using a plastic single use bag many times could actually be more environmentally friendly than using a cotton bag which is hard to recycle – link to the debate – Reuse this bag

There are heroes everywhere:

As you can imagine we have had a massive number of conversations about sustainability this year and we have enjoyed meeting so many amazing people who are all doing their bit to care for the environment. Most people are just getting on and doing it without making a fuss – we just want to thank all the brilliant people we have met and who have helped us along the way by encouraging and caring about our planet. A few mentions – Keveral Farm especially Bill Knight, Gribbles – Craig and Maria, Kate Tayler, Claire Ainsworth to name a few!

Consumerism is the biggest battle:

The difference between wanting and needing something is a constant tension is our lives. We already have so much and we are grateful for this but we regularly look around and think we need more or something different. We have definitely tried to either buy second hand or do without through the year but without realising it we slip and submit to the lure of the shops and buying a brand new shiny thing. the important thing is not to beat ourselves up over this.

Plastic isn’t evil:

Throughout the year many people have asked us if we have gone plastic free and have thought living sustainably means not getting any plastic. We have consciously reduced the amount of plastic we use / buy, especially single use plastic, however it is very difficult to live in our modern society without it. For us sustainability is about looking where things come from, how they are made and what impact does it have on the planet. Big companies are now realising the tide is turning for their products wrapped in plastic and that consumers are demanding different packaging. This is a good thing however putting strawberries flown from South Africa in a cardboard box doesn’t make them sustainable.

Also the use of plastic in healthcare has revolutionised our society – for example single use plastic syringes and plastic tubing has gone a long way to reduce simple infections that killed people.

Rubbish is everywhere:

Since starting doing local litter picks we notice the amount of litter that is around the streets in Plymouth. You very rarely see anyone drop anything so where does it all come from – it seems to appear overnight. We try to pick up a piece of litter a day now – so at least we are doing one positive thing about it. It would be great if every person in Plymouth would pick up one piece of litter a day – imagine how clean the City would be in a year’s time.

We are not stopping now:

We get asked if we are going back to how we were and our answer is an emphatic NO! We could never go back knowing what we do now – we are now true sustainability warriors, this is a different culture change to our lives and will keep on being sustainable and looking at new and improved solutions, however it will mean much less on the blog front, sorry all, we know you will miss us and, however we are still here and if you want to know more just ask and keep your eyes peeled for our next adventure!

Published by ouryearoflivingsustainably

We live in Plymouth in Devon and this Christmas 2017-8 our family has been watching Blue Planet II endlessly! Our New Year's resolution for 2018 is to take better care of our environment and to live more sustainably. We are using a blog to remember our journey and maybe share with others what we have learnt along the way.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: