'; Liv Unni Sødem | Christmas cCHALLENGE
I’m vegan for the animals, but also for the environment and health. Love nature, animals, photography, adventures, food, meditation, essential oils and lots more. I believe in small changes every day
My challenge
Less plastic - more sustainable grocery shopping

Day 30: We can make a difference…And it’s just the beginning

Yay! 30 days of small changes…and it’s certainly not the end, it’s a beginning. I choose this picture because it was how it started for me. With refusing plastic straws and working towards refusing single use plastic. Now it’s more than this thanks to this challenge. I’ve definitively had the most conscious December!! I’ve never thought so much about my habits before, but I know from being a pedagog that what we give focus to, often leads to a change. It just matters what kind of focus we have. I’ve also experienced being frustrated, angry and sad at “the system”, but quickly moved away from it cos I needed to shift my focus on to the smaller systems and the belief that we all can do something and that it matters. 

I’ve explored the practical sides of change in finding better solutions and making it more easy to change habits. I get inspired by others change and I think I’ve learned from others too that I know have done these small steps and suddenly it became a big change. I’ve decided to share more, talk (listen even more….) about change. About habits. About plastic. About solutions. Sharing stories.

From knowing comes caring and from caring comes change. I think this is really important.

Watch those documentaries even if they make you feel sad, or they are showing a bit of “the ugly truth”, read and research better options. Share knowledge and inspiration with others. And showing there are other options…And believe that we can make a difference💫🙏🏻

 

Day 29: Swaps for less plastic

Look at these swaps better for environment than plastic waste! None of these products came in plastic….Before ALL of these things I use came in plastic or where made of plastic!I  

All in a glass yars and metal lid. Toothpaste, scrub (face and body no plastic beadlets), coconut oil (I use for removing makeup), cotton pads in plastic is swapped with reusable ones, plastic toothbrush with bamboo and Biodegradable. Spoons made of wood, bamboo. Floss in plastic swapped with biodegradable ones in glass. Plastic q-tip with wood ones. Shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles for bars in a paper box. Why didn’t I do this before? Awareness…

 

Day 28: A better choice – recycled instead of plastic

Tomorrow I’ll be a tour leader for the travel company I work for, and this time I prepared a folder for the guests with information in recycled wood pulp. Last time I choose a plastic folder because I didn’t even think about looking for more environmental friendly options. It was just a habit, convenient and cheap. I’m happy I can make better choices…Thank you cChallenge team for this challenge🙏🏻💚🌍PS. I’ll tell them about the challenge and if they dont want to take the folder back home, I can use it again….Like the text on the folder «once again»…

Day 27: Empathy & Meraki

Loved the video shared by the cChallenge team. I think it should be shared here too. «The power of outrospective». How empathy…and the lack of empathy collectively has changed history.

Made me think of this word; Meraki – a greek word for doing something with love, passion and soul. So for me it’s about putting energy into a change…to try to do it with love and enthusiasm. And looking out – the outrospective. The goal of the work/the project/the challenge is bigger than me, it’s an empathy for the other living beings we share this place with, and the future too for those who come after. 

Made me also think about the core of veganism…Where it is about outrospective. I think empathy is the driving force. It is for me. It’s not about myself and what’s convenient for me, it’s not about how much I loved certain foods, or traditions (I just change them) culture, or other people’s opinons. It’s about love and empathy.

Anyway…here’s the questions from cChallenge;

– Think about the assumptions and opinions you had when you started your challenge. Are they still there or have they changed?

When I look back I see I’ve changed my opinion on zero waste. I thought it was such a big challenge that I didn’t even look into it…before this challenge. Well, I did start using less plastic before this challenge, but it was just a little here and a little there. Now I’m trying to implement quite a few things from being inspired by the zero waste question.

I still have the same opinion about change, and taking those small steps…and how they add up towards a big change. But I’ve change a little bit… I see how we need that extra «push» like this challenge has been for me.

– What makes your change easier or better? Humour? Compassion? Friends? Collaboration?

I think finding solutions locally has made the change easier. I also took it as a challenge of doing it every day. I set my alarm every night at 11pm to think, research find better ways and write these posts. When you do something at night, you think about it during the night, and I thought about the challenge during the day. For the days I knew I couldn’t make it, I did it earlier. Humour, compassion, family and friends is of course important. Collaborations too. For me this challenge doesn’t end after 31 days. It will grow…and maybe into something I don’t know exactly right now. Just have a feeling. And it always starts with a feeling;) 

Day 26: Some good news on our plastic pollution

After watching a couple of documentaries about our plastic pollution, I decided to look for some good news to share❤️🌱💚🌍 

Here’s some news from National Geographic (link at the end): 

EU PARLIAMENT APPROVES SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAN

Citing a need to protect the ocean from a deluge of plastic pollution, the bill calls for a European ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers, and balloon sticks, as well as reductions in other types of single-use plastics like food and beverage containers.

CONSUMER COMPANIES INVEST IN WASTE COLLECTION

To keep plastic pollution from entering waterways, manufacturers either have to stop making it or make sure it’s collected at the end of its life. 

REDIRECTING PLASTIC STREAMS AWAY FROM THE SEA

collects discarded plastic within 30 miles of waterways to prevent it from making its way to the sea. 

250 GROUPS LAUNCH MASSIVE GLOBAL PLASTIC PARTNERSHIP

Two hundred and fifty organizations responsible for 20 percent of the plastic packaging produced around the world have committed to reducing waste and pollution.

AMERICAN AIRLINES CUTS PLASTIC FROM LOUNGES

CARLSBERG BEER DUMPS PLASTIC CAN RINGS

FOODSERVICE COMPANIES PHASE OUT SINGLE-USE PLASTIC

EU, UK, AND INDIA PROPOSE PLASTIC BANS

CALIFORNIA HAS BECOME THE FIRST STATE TO IMPLEMENT A PARTIAL BAN ON PLASTIC STRAWS 

GIANT TRASH COLLECTOR HEADS TO PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH

CHILE’S BAN ON RETAIL PLASTIC BAGS STANDS

From; https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/ocean-plastic-pollution-solutions/

Day 25: On my way…glass instead of plastic

A few months ago I swapped out plastic tooth brushes for bamboo ones, but then during this challenge I’ve looked at my plastic toothpaste tube and plastic floss…so I finally met up with a friend who started an online eco friendly shop and I stocked up a bit..and with products that has refill options.My goal is to buy as little plastic as possible. On my way in other words…🌱💚

Day 24: Just a quick Merry green Xmas to you all

Wish you Merry Christmas❤️🎄💫Make it a green one;) Delicious Vegan Christmas burger for lunch today😊All green…just made with plants from the little local vegan cafe nearby💚

Day 23: Stand up for what you believe in

The message from cChallenge team today spoke to my heart. This challenge is just a beginning for me. The email got me thinking of how important it is to stand up for something you believe in, even if it means standing alone…in the beginning. And this quote; 

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

From the cchallenge team; “Christmas cCHALLENGE is almost over, but for you, this change project might just be the beginning?

COLLECTIVE EFFORT

If we can change one thing, we can change a lot of things. But it requires a collective effort. That’s why social movements have such a big impact.

– Have you ever stood up for something you believe in?

– Did anyone join you?

– Have you experienced wanting to stand up for something, but failed to do so? What stopped you? “

I’ve stood up against the fur industry, and joined marching against it, petitions ect.  I’m standing up against animal cruelty, I’m vegan for the animals and our planet. I sign petitions, write letters, joined a vegan group that will promote veganism here (for animals, for the environment and for health), I started a vegan holistic yoga retreat with a friend, I write reviews promoting vegan options, I write a blog, post on social media about veganism (about change, speciesism, environmental impacts of animal agriculture – deforestation, water usage, pollution ect, about our belief system we’ve grown up with/socialised into, vegan food, tips on eating healthy plant foods, try to inspire people to change, sharing stories, answer questions about what foods to eat, recipes, ideas and so on). I try to get people to eat more plants (which quite a few has started implementing. People join with small steps…some has taken a big step) and to choose kinder options🌱❤️🐰🐷🐮🐣🐟🌍

Day 22: Goodbye cotton pads?

No more cotton pads (which also comes in a plastic bag). I’ve never used those make up wipes…not because I thought much about the environment, but I’ve never liked the nasty things in them that made my eyes go red and sore. And they are really bad for the environment too. Usually makeup wipes are made from a combination of things such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, and rayon fibers, many of which are not biodegradable. There are few biodegradable wipes, but they might end up in a plastic bag which are not…Anyways…

Today I got this really nice gift from a friend who’s been following what I’ve been doing a little bit💚🌱 knitted soft makeup pads handmade by her mom😍How sweet is that?❤️

The funny thing is that this was the next thing on «my list of finding more sustainable/eco-friendly ways»….I’ve been thinking about finding reusable ones. It has to be something that stays soft….and small ones, like cloths, only smaller….it has to be small and easy to clean. Can’t wait to give these a go. 

Day 21: Q & A

  1. Some questions from the cChallenge team💚🌍

1. What have been the best moments of your challenge so far? Look back and find the highlights.

 My best moments so far; experiencing that once you start to focus on something, change happens. I’ve read more, seen more environmental documentaries and take more steps towards less plastic, sustainable grocery shopping and less waste, than I thought I would. And without this challenge I probably wouldnt have done it so quickly. Highlights; reusable produce bags and increased awareness✌🏼

2. What has been the most challenging or difficult? Pay attention to the larger context that influences you as well as your own assumptions.

 The most challenging was overcoming blaming the bigger system and feeling «What difference does it make with these small acts?». The larger context I’ve started to see clearer…especially when looking to swap out plastic, but then make sure we dont swap out for something that causes more harm (ref cats in Borneo). It can be challenging to dive deep into this waste culture…all the harm it does to all the animals and our planet. But even if it seems hopeless at times, it’s a lot happening and I see changes everywhere. I also see that Sometimes it only takes one to start ripples. 

3. Have you learned anything from the other participants? Maybe you’ve been inspired to take on their challenge as well?

Yes, I think I’ve pick up a few good tips and watched a good video, thought about random acts of kindness and giving gifts. Yoga and meditation is always inspiring to read about and so important for us to do…even if it’s just 10 minutes. Breathing. Being in nature!! Taking care of both our homes; our body and where we live. I’ve been inspired to take on towards zero waste…which I thought was too big. It still is, but moving towards it.

4. How can you stretch and take your challenge to new heights? Is there anything you haven’t tried yet?

I can send emails to restaurants with single use plastic for take away, I can ask/suggest ect. Businesses, I can share even more with people I meet and talk to. I can share more on social media, blog…To take it to new heights? Continue and with focus comes more change. I can be more active, join groups that work for the environment (other than the vegan group)… hmmm…going to look into that😍💚🌍🌱✌🏼

 

Day 20: Inspiration tips less waste

I was actually going to post something else, but then I found this brilliant video with so many great tips, that I have to share it❤️ In the beginning the cChallenge team suggested “zero waste” as a challenge for me, and I thought it was just too big! It might still be that, but it’s not as big as it was…It’s still something I think is hard completely zero waste😳, but I’m taking some small steps…..when I saw this video…I realised that I’m slowly implementing most of these tips towards zero waste…Or less waste…when I say less waste it’s more tangible in a way…Anyway I hope you watch it😊💚🌍✌🏼

Day 19: Less plastic use…Changing a very small system

I wonder how many plastic produce bags I’ve refused already…and even a more interesting number would be throughout a year! It’s crazy when you become aware of your habits and that you haven’t given it that much thought before. A couple of days a week, every week, month, year…we use enormous amounts of plastic! But it’s become so normal we dont think much about it….until you start to change your habits. Today hubby and I went grocery shopping and he used the produce bags for the first time. He was about to grab a plastic one, but I managed to jump in and stop him in the last moment..phew! Hahaha😂 Gotta make some fun of it too😉Like the plastic box of tomatoes that almost ended up in our shopping trolley✋🏼😜I think I’m going to do a rough estimate just on how many plastic produce bags and plastic shopping bags, we would have spent a year if we didn’t start with the reusable ones💚🌍I write «we» cos this change is not only about me, but us in this little family…this little system. 

Roughly…..just roughly…And this is just grocery shopping; about 20 produce bags a week…that would mean I’ve used over (a lot more probably) 1040 plastic produce bags a year! And this is JUST produce bags! Then it’s the shopping bags (which I no longer use either). And all the unnecessary plastic wrapping (some are necessary). And everything else…so it might not look like a big number…

But….this is JUST at the supermarket for food.  

So now I know some numbers of this little change…..It’s depressing cos we all know the numbers are a lot bigger (for most of us), but at the same time it gives me more motivation!!! I’m not polluting landfills and oceans with these over 1000 bags plus plus….anymore!! Less plastic waste. Thank you cChallenge for inspiring me to this change. If I didn’t do this challenge who knows how long it would have taken me to change these habits. Imagine if we all could do such a small thing? Or in our systems around us?

It’s only the beginning….

Day 18: Can I change a system?

Can I change a system? 

Yes, I can. And yes, you can too. It might take time, but we can change systems. 

First I’ll refer to the email received from the cChallenge team; 

«A family is a system, a School is a system, a workplace is a system, a city is a system».

 «When we become aware of the system we belong to, we can find smart ways to influence them». 

How can I change a small system? What role do I play?

I can inspire others to make small changes. My family. My friends. The people I meet through work and travel. The vegan community where debates around the environmental impact of our choices come up. Where awareness is being spread, and where it’s about creating change for the better, both for animals and for people. The small businesses where I live. Letters I write to supermarkets requiring about products. The reviews I write about vegan options right here in this town. And also the people I reach through social media. I can share my actions and thoughts. I can try to influence by my actions.

Last year my whole family decided to do a vegan Christmas dinner for all of us. My friends do vegan dinners for me, and themselves of course, with a focus on more ecofriendly options too. We go to vegan places. They send me pictures of vegan food they’ve tried. And of changes they have made. And now, I’ve been sharing some of what I’m doing and they have shared their thoughts and how some have been thinking more about ecofriendly gifts, and reducing plastic. 

I’ve been focusing on the small changes every day. Which have been adding up, like I knew they would. It’s always worth doing something, instead of nothing. But of course that something needs to be thought thru…that’s why I read about various options before jumping on something (not that it’ll be like the «Cats in Borneo» story, but it’s a good point). For example replacing something that you think might be better, but end up being worse.

I’ve thought about Recycling. It’s of course important, but after reading and watching various documentaries, it’s even more important to start reducing. Using less plastic. I know environmental issues like plastic, requires a change in larger systems, organizations, and governments, but I also think both history and the present has and is showing us that change can be started, and change can be made on a micro level, that spreads out and up in organizations, and towards a macro level – governments/countries.

Change starts with us. With you and me.  I realized that I am that someone, and I will do something. No matter if someone says I’m only one. We are never just one. We’re connected. We influence each other. Small systems. Bigger systems together. You’d have to live in a cave and not have any contact with others to believe that you are just one. You matter. What you do matters. 

Day 17: Eco-friendly and not too bad looking gifts

So this is my attempt of wrapping Christmas gifts more eco-friendly✌🏼💚🌍I’ve wrapped gifts like this before, but I’ve always also used xmas gift paper (the non-recyclable ones and those plastic wrapping ribbons too). First year with non of that. Anyways..I think they look pretty lovely❤️ I used tape on the first one…then I tried without…easy peasy without!!! Every year for many years I’ve had this tradition…. I would set a side one day (or an evening) for gift wrapping. I put on Christmas music, light candles, have a glass of mulled wine (or julegløgg) and wrap and decorate Christmas gifts. I love it. And some years I’ve collected gifts throughout the year. No matter how many plans we’ve had, I’ve always had this day/evening …It makes me really happy to put a little personal touch to the gifts. The best gifts I still think is to give experiences❤️ But you can be creative and wrap them up both eco-friendly and nice😉💚🌍🎄

Day 16: A gift

Today I was doing a little bit of de-cluttering, and I found this bag that I forgot about! It was a gift from some of the lovely people I was a tour leader for here in Cyprus❤️They gave it to me cos they thought it suited me🌱✌🏼💚🌍How kind is that? Anyways…I’m going to use this as a beach bag and around so people see the message😉🙏🏻To Save the planet we can all do something❤️

Day 15: Motivation and thoughts around cChallenge questions

I’ve been thinking about the questions from the cChallenge team. I choose option 3 of course; to do something!

To come back to the motivation behind joining this challenge is something I think is absolutely necessary especially when we’re blaming the system. This is the “easy” way out, or what can I say…justifies not doing so much…when we blame we give up our control/our responsibility. We do less. I think this is so important to be aware of, as people including myself find excuses for not doing something because of the system…small or big. Like “what’s the point? What can I do? I’m just one person. What about….? (Fill in anything…..Whataboutism) I find myself thinking a lot about this challenge, and I’m coming back to the motivation when I for example look at all the plastic everywhere, the shops, consumers, the trash bins filled with waste mix (plastic, glass, general waste, food waste ect) very little recycling.

The “WHY” is bigger than the frustration. I believe in small changes and that they lead to a big change, small steps, ripples, influencing others…I do this out of LOVE for nature and animals….so many of them….Like these little baby sea turtles in the photo. Loggerhead and Green sea turtle, two endangered species (I took the photo at a turtle conservation project here). 

Thing is I believe we can make a change. And I think it starts with ourselves. I do it to be aligned with my values. It might be a clichè; “Be the change you wish to see”, but it’s true. 

What ripple effects have you created so far? I know I’ve created a few ripples. A couple that I know have gotten reusable produce bags to start more sustainable grocery shopping. They’ve asked questions. Curiosity, which I think is good…questions means someone has thought about it. Hopefully my husband will come after too. I’ve been sharing some on social media. Even though it is not so easy to know how many you have reached, I always think; If I can inspire one person to make a change I’m happy….now it’s more like; If I can inspire a few people, then they inspire a few people and so on.

– What relationships have changed as a result of your challenge?

My relationship with plastic has changed! Haha that’s the one thing that popped into my mind. I see plastic everywhere! I think about it and I try to find other solutions. My relationship to grocery shopping has changed! Not only do I see dead animals everywhere, but now plastic too…😱🙈 (The six sense kind of way😂)

– What historical or current social movement or cause would you like to be part of/ do you find inspiring?

The vegan movement is one that I am a part of, and also find inspiring….especially the changes in the last two years!! And I find the environmental part of it really inspiring…as I started mainly because of the animals.

Always be a voice for the voiceless❤️

 

Day 14: Inspiring documentaries

Watching this now! I’d like to share something with you. A love for documentaries. Nature. Animals. Our beautiful planet. The environment and our impact on it. Our food industry.  

Here’s some suggestions;

~ Planet Earth

~ Blue Planet

~ Tales by light (beautiful fragile areas seen through various photographers)

~ Life 

~ Frozen Planet

~ Africa 

All about our beautiful planet! 

The next ones are about food industries….the “truths” in these I think always needs a critical eye, as in every doco. We learn new ways, and we discover new “truths”.

~ Food. Inc

~ Forks over knives 

~ What the health

~ Cowspiracy (it’s been a few years since I saw this one, but it made me look more into the destruction cause by the mass scale factory farming/the meat industry)

~ Rotten 

These ones I’d like to see soon; 

~ True cost (fashion industry)

~ Before the flood

~ Chasing ice, chasing coral 

~ Minimalism 

It’s good to read, but why not watch a documentary too? 

Day 13: Looking into some eco-friendly options

I’ve been thinking about looking more into swapping out more of my plastic use, with better alternatives. So never buying plastic toothbrushes, as I have already swrapped to bamboo. And metal straws. And shampoo bottles. Reusable produce bags and shopping bags. It’s definitively a start of something. I began to look into Biodegradable bags for trash, but found that they are not so good after all? Made me a bit frustrated actually…Don’t really know what’s right or wrong? Found out it’s “debatable”….what to do?

This is from Plasticplace.com ;

1. A high percentage of biodegradable plastic ends up in landfills, where nothing biodegrades.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires landfills to block out air, moisture and sunlight – the crucial elements for proper biodegradation.

That means that if your bag is like most “biodegradable” bags, it will just sit there, unable to decompose.

And while some companies tout having a biodegradable additive (a special film) on their biodegradable bags that lets them decompose completely, that claim has been challenged in court and still lacks consensus.

2. Biodegradable plastic bags typically can’t be recycled with other plastic items.

It all has to do with those little numbers you see on plastic bottles.

A No. 1 and a No. 2 can be recycled together, but throw in a biodegradable bag – a No. 7 plastic – and you’ll contaminate the whole “recyclable” load.

“If a No. 7 plastic is mixed in and melted down with plastics labeled No. 1 or No. 2, it would contaminate the entire load because the chemical make-up of [biodegradable bags] are so different.”

It’s like what happened when I was eight years old and my mother washed my white baseball pants with the colors. They came out a nauseating purple. I have the photos to prove it.

3. Biodegradable bags can harm the environment.

Yes, you read that right. When biodegradable trash bags wind up in landfills, decomposition happens at a much slower rate than if the trash were exposed to air, light and moisture.

As a result, methane gas gets released into the atmosphere. In fact, pound for pound, methane contributes 20 times more to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

So, what’s the eco-minded person to do?

Simple: Buy compostable trash bags. While the terms biodegradable and compostable are often used interchangeably. 

So okay…Don’t really know what to do….I’m sleeping on this…Cyprus is just in the beginning when it comes to recycling and plastic use…and compostable? Hmmm. It can be frustrating when the system is in the beginning. 

Day 12: Sharing is caring

I really liked the coaching message today! “Our actions influence people all the time”. I think our actions always speaks louder than words. I love how people respond to stories…that’s how I’d like to influence, but I’ve also fallen into a trap where I find myself trying to change people by convincing them….just like the coaching message said; with facts and arguments. It doesn’t work very well, and I know it so well. First step of changing it is awareness. I share some of what I do on social media, and with friends of course….and sometimes the occasional random people that I meet…like the girl at the supermarket asking about my reusable produce bags…..and it’s so much fun to get a message from a friend or someone you don’t know all that well, but they tell you that they have been inspired to make some changes, and when they ask questions. For this challenge I’ve had people asking mostly about the reusable bags, and a lot about eco-friendly gifts;) I know our actions influence other people…it causes ripples…I’ve been reading some of the posts from the others in the group, well a most of them I think. I’ve commented on one of the others posts and put a heart on some of the posts. There’s some good reflections around here. Especially I’ve noticed the ones about plastic, zero waste, paper reduce, meditation…I loved the reflections around how meditation makes a difference. Cause it does. It’s part of increasing the collective awareness and by working on yourself, you’re making the world around you better. And sharing your journey. All about ripples. 

Day 11: Vegan pizza treat

Taking the suggestion from Cchallenge Team;) A treat today…vegan pizza! At least it came in a paper box, no plastic right haha😂🙈 It’s a little bit better isn’t it🤔 It’s actually the best pizza I’ve had here…a local little place, not Pizza Hut or any of the chains…

Day 10: Change is hard or change is easy?

Hmmm…Thinking about change, and expectations. Probably the biggest change I’ve made has been going vegan nearly two years ago. And probably the one change that a lot of people has an opinion about. But, I’ve been lucky to almost just been met with curiousity, support and kind attitude from most of my friends and family. Even though no one in my circle were vegan. I think why I want to inspire people to change by taking those small steps, is because that’s how I began…I know that if we feel we have to do everything at once, it’s too challenging….that’s why this pic is here…small steps; It’s vegan Shepherds pie take away, but I know the owners so they let me take away (or my husband)their food in ceramic bowls like this one! How cool is that? Take away a little more eco-friendly;) Small changes everywhere…. I think for me if I expect something to be hard, it’s hard. But, when I expect it to be easy, it’s easy…It’s of course not as black and white as this…but I really believe that when we change how we look at things, things change…So I think change is easy when we make those small changes, cos eventually they will add up and become a big change….and we’ll think “that was easy”;) hehe…Just my thoughts;)

Day 9: Using glass jars – no more plastic cling wrap

I’ve started to put my leftovers in glass jars instead of using plastic cling wrap. Excuse the bad photo, but it’s not really important how it looks…once you get aware of all the things (well some of them) you do without thinking of other solutions….it’s easy to change them…We had vegan taco on Friday and usually I put the leftovers in a bowl or more with cling wrap over….without thinking that it is as easy to put a plate on top, or in a glass jar. Luckily I have quite a few of these glass jars, so it’s an easy swap:) Ps. It’s not taco in that one haha…it’s pumkin soup;) 

Day 8: New ideas for gifts

I found this graphic to be quite inspiring. It made me think more about how I can give more sustainable gifts..not just for Xmas. My all time favorite is the one on the top. To give and receive experiences that leads to memories. I’m thinking about the challenge and how I can change what I give. I think this hierarchy of gift purchasing is helping me do that. The few things I will be buying will be to support a local small ethical business…the rest further up in the hierarchy:) And I’ll be more creative when it come to gift wrapping, (no plastic or paper that ends up as waste)…it doesn’t have to look boring to be eco-friendly;) 

Day 7: Swapping out shampoo bottles

Today I tried a Jasmine shampoo bar for the first time, and I loved it!! So this might just be the beginning of the end of shampoo bottles…It’s from a local shop, handmade, organic and of course vegan, which is important to me:) If I can swap shampoo bottles for this little eco-friendly bar, I think I’ll cut my plastic use quite a bit:) oh, and my hair smells nice and natural😊

Day 6: Self awareness and homemade butternut soup

When I read the message from the cchallenge about self awareness I decided to read a bit in a book that challenges me. The power of now – how we can also step out of auto pilot, become more aware of our thoughts and be in the present. I found that the tip of observing to be one of the best tips. Observing ourselves without any judgement (which can be challenging, but good). I find myself curious of why I do certain things, and “why” is the interesting part. If we have a good why for doing something, then it’s easier to change I think. Anyway….I made a delicious vegan butternut soup and read a little bit in this book. And I’ve left reusable shopping bags in the car, so it’s easy, and my husband actually for the first time used them and not plastic!! 

Day 5: Reusable bags and local produce

Today I did my first sustainable grocery shopping! Well, at least for fruit and veggies, that’s probably the area where a lot of my plastic use has been since I don’t buy that much processed foods. Small steps right? Sparked a conversation about plastic use when I said I’m trying to reduce plastic for the environment, and the girl behind the counter asked where I got my reusable produce bags and thought it was such a good thing to do! I see change coming;)From researching reusable bags to buying them from a small local eco-business, sparking a conversation about less plastic and done my first sustainable grocery shopping. No plastic and only local produced food! Everything on this table grows here. A big eco-friendly bag of watermelon, oranges, pomegranates, bananas, mint, avocados, butternut squash, celery, potatoes, leak, fresh corn, carrots, onions, broccoli and beetroots. The bags are washable, good quality with high durability. Feels really good! Now that I have them I can say good bye to the plastic produce bags for good:)

Day 4: Sustainable grocery shopping

First I stumbled across a local supermarket that has these boxes filled lentils, beans, nuts ect, but only plastic bags for the produce! So I found a place close to where I live that sells reusable produce bags for grocery shopping! (Local is better). For someone like me who buys a lot of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts this is perfect! I can’t believe I’ve used so much plastic for so long! So I will be buying less in bags, plastic, boxes, cans ect. Never thought I’d be excited about reusable produce bags, but here I am;)This is definitively an area I can improve! 

Day 3: Creating new habits

I’ve been thinking of how I can define the challenge/narrow it down…And I was challenge by the cCHANGE team to specify my challenge, so I wrote a list of small changes I want to do…small steps every day. I think it’s those small steps, the focus (with knowledge/ know better – do better), and a shift in perspective I think, that adds up to a big change that lasts. The shift in perspective I think is probably the most important. When you shift it from yourself to the other, then it becomes easy. So the other in this case is our planet, nature, the animals, all living beings who we share this earth with. So I think the suggestion of zero waste is very good, or sustainable grocery shopping….But, I think maybe the challenge of living waste free is a bit big for me, I think I need to do small changes first…which is towards zero waste…like using glass, and stainless steal containers, mason jars (for left-overs and storage), avoiding plastic bags and minimize plastic use/packaging, not doing take away coffee – sitting down instead, continue to spark conversations about plastic straws when I bring my metall straw to cafes, small clean-up actions (bringing bag in my backpack for picking up trash on the beach, forest/nature), finding other solutions to wrapping paper for gifts, making a few of my own cleaning products….ect…And more sustainable grocery shopping. All these small changes will become habits, and soon be the new normal….like being vegan is for me😊Never underestimate the small changes like saying no to plastic straws and bringing your own reusable metal one😉

Day 2: Making juices and smoothies in glass bottles to take with me

I’ve decided to make smoothies and juices at home to bring with me in reusable glass bottles instead of falling into the temptation to buy juice and smoothies for take away or those in plastic bottles. With a little lemon they store nicely for a few days too. Unless the juice comes in a glass bottle then I might buy it;) Feels like a small step….less plastic especially here where the recycling is not optimal, but we all need to use less. I wonder how far this challenge will take me…new ideas are popping up all the time…which is interesting. Sometimes just a little focus makes a difference in our behaviour…

Day 1: Taking care of both of my homes

First day of the challenge and I’ve been grocery shopping only for local produce, farm fresh and organic healthy food…took a little bit longer and a bit more effort since it’s a mix of produce from various countries, but feels better:) I find it challenging that everything is either wrapped in plastic or plastic bags for the weight. Hm. I bring my own bags for the groceries, but the fruit and veggies…I’ve decided to buy those reusable ones. Yay! One step towards less plastic. Picture by @neha•doodles