With my fiance and I having recently found a house, my minimalism and sustainability kick could not have come at a better time. This is the perfect opportunity to clear out my things and simplify my life before I make the move into my own home and start setting up a new life. It also gives me the chance to ensure that everything I fill my house with is carefully considered and sustainable where possible.
Last weekend, Myles and I went shopping for basic household items and appliances. Before this, I had never really noticed just how many basic household items involved unnecessary plastics. I went on a hunt for clothing pegs and could only find plastic ones. The coat hangers were either plastic or coated in plastic. Everywhere I looked: plastic. It was pretty sad, to be honest.
For some things, we had to give in; we didn’t really have the luxury of choice when it came to mops and buckets (or, unfortunately, a dustpan and brush). For others, it took a while but we found what we needed. Wooden coat hangers and pegs eventually revealed themselves, and glass food containers were there in abundance.
It is tough trying to be environmentally aware when you are starting in a new home for the first time. After you have already moved out once and have all of your required household items, it is much easier to spend your money on higher quality, sustainable replacements as the originals gradually wear out. But when you are buying everything all at once, sometimes the budget simply doesn’t spread far enough to allow every household object to be environmentally considerate.
I will be honest, I regret my choice in laundry basket and peg container and will likely return them to find better alternatives. I regret the peg container for obvious reasons: it is plastic and doesn’t need to be. The laundry basket is a more obscure regret. It was more-or-less a forced purchase due to limited choice. Although there is no plastic involved, I don’t like the look of the basket which means I will want to replace it. But a laundry basket is the type of thing that shouldn’t ever need replacing; you buy it once and it lasts forever. Since I am trying not to be wasteful, I am now on a mission to find a better laundry basket, that won’t give me regrets for the rest of my life.
As my household purchases move from basic items to more exciting things like furniture and decor, I hope I can fill this page with inspiration for anyone else seeking to build an environmentally friendly home. My goal is to fill my home with beautiful, high quality things that will last a long time, minimise waste, use natural products where possible and support independent businesses. Of course, I’m limited on funds so it will be slow going at first. But we’ll get there, I promise. Just hang in there and we’ll have some fun along the way.
~ Alice Maisie