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Everyday Enviro with Elise - It's the little things

Date: 24-Jun-20
Author: Elise Catterall

One's sustainability journey can be so encompassing that sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the small wins right in front of our eyes.

One's sustainability journey can be so encompassing that sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the small wins right in front of our eyes.

Last week I had an epiphany while in the shower. It seemed a small epiphany but it lead to a big realisation for me. While mindlessly shampooing my hair, after yet again dispensing too much product (from my gorgeous refillable shampoo/condition/bodywash pump dispensers) it hit me just how often I over-dispense.

And it’s not just in the shower; when I stopped to think about it, I realised that every time I dispense pretty much anything, I’m usually using too much. Whether it be dishwashing liquid, laundry powder, toothpaste, moisturiser, even my homemade cleaning solution, it’s poured, scooped, squeezed, and scooped carelessly and mindlessly – and most importantly, wastefully.

I am so conscious of waste and yet here I am being so wasteful in tiny, regular increments throughout the day. Does it sound like it shouldn’t matter? I can see that it might - after all we are talking millilitres or milligrams at a time – but, like the adage goes, it’s the little things that count. All those individual moments of waste all add up.

The more we mindlessly use or take out more than we need, the sooner we will need to buy more of that item, so our overall consumption goes up. Higher consumptions leads to more manufacture, more depletion of resources, more creation of waste through packaging, more transport costs and so on. It’s a spiral. All from squeezing too much toothpaste on our toothbrush. The good thing? When turned around, those individual moments of saving can also add up.   

Like all things wastefulness, the answer is mindfulness and a bit of education. For example, having more focus during my shower will mean I’ll only take that one pump of shampoo and going more slowly and being present when I’m applying my moisturiser will mean I won’t have to spread the excess (read: waste) on elbows and hands just to get rid of it.

Equally, if I take the time to education myself on just how many scoops of detergent are needed for my white wash, I won’t randomly throw in three when one is sufficient. I also now know that I only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on my toothbrush.  

It seems so blindingly simple that I can’t really believe I have wasted as much as I know I have. Better late than never.

See you next time! - Elise

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Elise                                             Catterall
Author: Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.

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