Phew!!! What a month April has been so far!! We are only just over halfway through but so much has been happening. For those in the know, we have moved apartments. This has been largely a successful undertaking, but as with all moves it has also been a bit of a pain, especially with small kids who don’t understand you can’t just stop everything and play whenever they choose.
We have moved into a ground floor apartment with two nice sized court yards, all on one level (gee those stairs in the old place were inconvenient – hindsight!!), no need to use the lift as we have easy access to the street (yay, I can get the boys and the dog out for a walk easily now) and the layout makes it feel like we have more room. Isn’t it funny what you get used to? There is no way I would have considered a two bedroom apartment spacious… Nearly two years on in Sydney and I do believe we are living the best way our circumstances allow and I love our new place. Oh how things change!
To make it feel more like our Tassie home, I have plans to get the kids involved in growing some herbs in planter boxes out on the front deck. If we manage to keep some stuff alive, we’ll cook some yummy kid friendly recipes. I am thinking savoury muffins, pizza and soups, we might even try some pickling! I have to admit I am a bit cringey about this and I will have to be channeling ALL my inner zen – cooking with kids is not my forté… Unashamedly, and I say this because I am trying very hard not to apologise for who I am, but I have a very possessive streak when it comes to my kitchen. To all my friends out there who have endured this side of me, here is my public apology: Sorry. I think?! But wouldn’t you rather just drink wine and chat to me from the other side of the bench while I fluff around?
Anyway….that’s enough about my lack of patience in the kitchen, everyone has their quirks, don’t they?!
I also have a not so new, but hardened resolve to limit the amount of plastic that makes its way into our home (I am becoming more and more aware of the amount of waste our family is capable of generating – and it is horrifying). I consider myself to be quite conscious of this stuff, yet those thin plastic bags and the pesky packaging seem to be a persistent problem, and one that I am keen to bust. I have uncovered a mountain of rubbish from our move and it feels good to be starting afresh in this regard. Plastics and packaging be gone!!!
Now, take-away coffees, or more specifically the cups they’re put into. They are sooooo convenient, especially for those of us who are sleep deprived because of small children, but I recently learned some interesting facts about my addiction to caffeine on-the-go. Read more here: https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/drinks/tea-and-coffee/articles/are-takeaway-coffee-cups-recyclable
Basically, we will be buried/drowned/suffocated (too much?!) by the small, medium, large and XXL versions of this cup and this all to familiar daily ritual. What are you going to do, I hear you ask?! Well, I am going to commit too carrying my own cup (it’s called a ‘keep cup’ by many), sit down in the café to enjoy my favourite hit, or I am going to wait until I get home. I have thought long and hard about this…because lets face it, it is so convenient and enjoyable to sip on a flat white while watching your child/ren play blissfully in the local playground (especially if bought by a friend)…but I am trying to embody change not just for myself but my children too. I want this to be the norm for me and for them, not the exception to the rule. No more ‘throw away’ cups for us.
Now, over the past two months, I have given my home and cleaning style an overhaul too. This is the biggest call to action I have been able to implement and use consistently. This is my big answer to living a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life. It can be done where ever you are living (house, apartment, holiday home etc etc).
So this is what I have done: many of you know I became a Norwex sales consultant because I wanted to enjoy the consultant discount while potentially making a bit of a side hustle out of it while I finish my Teaching degree. Well, this seems to be working out so far. I have ‘Norwexed’ my home and I have been able to throw away all those toxic chemicals I used to use. I now clean my bathrooms with an Enviro Cloth and Blue Diamond (an enzyme based cleaner); my bench tops, cooking surfaces and high chair are cleaned with the Kitchen Cloth; I dust surfaces and window screens with a soft microfibre Dusting Mitt that attracts dust when statically charged; I clean my windows, tapware, mirrors and other shiny surfaces with water and the amazing Window Cloth; I wash clothes, bedding etc with the Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent (it is 100% biodegradable, contains no Sulphates or fillers and is not tested on animals); I take my makeup off with the Makeup Removal Cloths and wash the kids faces and hands a million times a day, and exfoliate myself with the Body Cloths. I find these items are good basics to have and do the brunt of all your cleaning/personal care.
Of course there has been a bit of an outlay in changing over, but I see this as an investment. The microfibre cloths that Norwex manufacture are high quality and come with a two-year guarantee; the Blue Diamond bathroom cleaner can be diluted 9:1 and the Ultra Power Plus laundry detergent is concentrated and only a small amount (10-30ml per load) depending on size and soiling, is used per load. Over a two year period I estimate these cost of all of the above items at $412.50 rrp. *
Based on our families habits, I have calculated the following cost benefit analysis, over a two-year period. This is not an exhaustive list and I err on the conservative side. I am sure with much more thought I could add a great many more items to the list. Bleach (4 = $22), bathroom cleaner (6 = $36), toilet duck (6 = $24), chux (8 = $56), windex (6 = $27), paper towel (8 = $84), regular laundry detergent (4 = $80), face cleanser (4 = $60), body scrubs (x 4 = $30) and baby wipes (8 = $160). The grand total? $579.00.
Over two years, that’s a saving of $166.50 minimum!!
The best bit, I have been able to stop walking the cleaning aisle at the supermarket and have taken great satisfaction in the fact that I can stop using all of those toxic chemicals and environmentally harmful items I used to use. I love seeing the results of cleaning with my Norwex, it really does save me time and energy and importantly it aligns with my environmental stance.
Do you have any questions, suggestions or challenges you would like to ask, make or set? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – I would really love to create a space open to conversations on sustainability and the environment. What do you do that impacts on your way of life and the environment in a beneficial way?
Oh and one final note, apparently we are starting potty training with our youngest who is nearly two. I have been reluctant to start the process as this means time and effort and the setbacks can be heartbreaking for everyone involved, but it seems the right thing to do, especially when he’s actually asking for the potty (note that he doesn’t fully understand its use yet). The upshot: we are working towards being nappy free – Yay for us, our rubbish bin, landfill and the environment. Wish us luck!! Eek….here goes!
*If you are interested in buying Norwex products, there are some really cool kits that can be purchased at discounted prices. Hit me up for more info on how to get these awesome products into your life, if you like ; ) xxx