If I cannot keep my 6 year old away from alcohol, then I have to refocus on what I can do, to ensure that the world my children live in is as sustainable and healthy as possible.

So I am hitting the refresh button today, and refuse to give way to anger and loathing.

In the last 12 months I have been continually refreshing, resetting and revising our lifestyle choices.  This has mostly been reactive, as a response to a new author or blogger I have discovered.  Of course, credit where credit is due.  It was Rhonda’s blog http://down—to— which started me on this path, and her ethos is that simplifying your life is a step-by-step process.

Here are the steps I have already walked this past year:

  • cut out kitchen sponges and wipes and knitted my own dishcloths
  • cut out chemical cleaners and made my own laundry detergent
  • eliminated paper towels
  • avoided takeaway coffee
  • reduced packaging of bought goods, especially plastic bottles
  • refused plastic bags
  • reduced indiscriminate hobby spending drastically
  • reduced meat consumption, and only organic when we do eat red meat once a week
  • stopped flushing the toilet and use buckets of bath water instead
  • baked every loaf of bread since June

But looking into the next year, I am making a list of other conscious steps I want to make towards a simpler, greener, cleaner, freer life.

These include ridding our home of tupperware / plastic containers; cling wrap; canned food and petroleum-based candles.  We will eat more solely vegetarian-based meals – this on request from R1 who is starting to realise where meat comes from.  Any meat we do eat will come from animals who have lived in our valley.  We will also cut down on any non-essential travel, and particularly air travel.  I feel so guilty and flying 4000 kms for a long weekend a few weeks ago. The last time. I am also going to go one better than the home made laundry powder which has borax in it, and will buy some soap nuts, which can also double as head lice remover – school goes back next week!!

I still feel very guilty about small habits which I can’t shake, one of which is my Nespresso coffee machine with its dependency on capsules bought in a store which makes my skin crawl with its ostentatiousness, a cathedral to consumerism.  But today while stocking up my habit, I found out that I can recycle the capsules at the store and the aluminium will be melted down.

So tick, I have solved one tiny dilemma today. And also made an inroad on my first step for 2013 – I bought metal and BPA-free tupperware for the kids’ lunch boxes (yes more brand new spending, but will hopefully last a school lifetime).



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