The day after I wrote here about my resolutions for the year, I nipped into Boots for "a look" and came out with almost £30 of Soap & Glory products. I felt really chuffed with myself - I wanted to gradually replace my depleted beauty products with ethical, cruelty free ones and I had started already! Go me!
As I paid for them, I had a flashback to living in London and Aberdeen, where my rent and bills were almost three times what they are now and I was making less money and working more hours. I was SKINT. Pasta and margarine every night, bills in red envelopes, payday loan skint. I was paying off my council tax almost six months after I moved back in with my parents.
Having no money strips you of choice. I hated having to buy clothes from companies running sweat shops and cheap chicken that probably spent its short life in some tiny cage. So I feel very lucky that I'm now able to have choice. There was no eureka moment for me. I didn't have to do loads of reading on animal cruelty. It just made sense to me that I can afford to spend £9 on a face wash because it wasn't tested on animals, so I should. I have that choice.
In the last issue of Suitcase magazine (which I highly recommend), there was an interview with Lauren Singer. She runs a company called "The Simply Co.", which sells natural laundry detergents. She hasn't sent anything to a landfill site for over three years. As I wrestled with polystyrene packaging from my latest amazon order, I kept thinking about that fact. Everything that comes out of her house as waste is either recycled or composted. That's insane!
Honestly, the cynical bitch in me at first thought, "Ugh, that is so much effort. Does she make her own tampons too? I bet she's one of these hippies that only shops at farmers markets and eats couscous. WHAT DOES SHE DO WITH THE PACKAGING FROM THE SHIT SHE BUYS ON AMAZON?"
(She probably doesn't order from amazon because they are such bloodsuckers. New year's resolution for 2017- stop shopping on amazon.)
But I looked on Lauren's blog Trash is for Tossers and there's SO MUCH good stuff on it. And she seems really nice so I think I hate her a bit. She seems to have alternatives for everything* and I can't wait to have a thorough read to see what other changes I can make. She even seems to be pushing eco-friendly living as a way of saving money. What?! She's won me over, the big planet-hugging lovely.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you want to make a few changes, you don't have to go the whole way just yet. Have a look at Lauren's blog for ideas, or just follow me as I make the baby steps. Sod it, I'm off to buy couscous.
*Apparently menstrual cups are really good. I will perhaps push the boundaries of human decency and review one some time. Probably on the same post where I'll compare different contraceptives (that is a real thing I will be doing).