A year ago Juliet Dale had the realisation that she couldn’t keep living the disposable lifestyle that she had; using something once, throwing it away, wheeling the rubbish bin out to the curbside once a week and promptly forgetting about it.
The mum of three and former teacher started making some changes, just one at a time. The first step was using reusable shopping bags, and once she'd had that mastered, she looked for something else.
"I quickly discovered that not only was it easy, but I was also really enjoying myself and saving money. Most of all though, the very small changes that I was making were really adding up. Within three months we had halved the amount of waste that we were producing in our house," Dale says.
She has gone on to create The Great Eco Challenge – 52 Challenges in 52 weeks that are easy, fun, can save you money and most importantly, help you to live more sustainably.
"It’s not about going Zero-Waste or being Plastic-Free (I think those terms can be quite overwhelming, and even a bit intimidating), it’s just about doing something," says Dale. "Progress, not perfection."
Here are her first 10 actions:
Week One: Reusable Shopping Bags
Week Two: DIY MultiPurpose Cleaner
Week Three: Eco-Friendly Smile - choose a non-plastic toothbrush like bamboo or cornstarch
Week Four: Ditch the Disposable Cup
Week Five: Cull the Cling Film
Week Six: Clean Shave - ditch diposable razors and invest in a safety razor that is fully recyclable
Week Seven: Minimal Mailbox (avoiding junkmail and going paperless with bills etc)
Week Eight: Old is the new New (second hand shopping)
Week Nine: BYO Bottle (water of course)
Week Ten: Soft Plastic Recycling
You can follow Dale and join the Challenge here: https://julietdalenz.wixsite.com/greatecochallenge and sign up to have the challenges sent to you too each Sunday.