It all started a long long time ago, long before zero waste was a thing. Assisted by not having a lot of money, and being brought up by parents that didn't put much stock in material things. My Dad especially who was a ferengi of the highest calibre.
I have always thought in needs and wants. Its nice to have things but we don't really need lots of things. My needs have always been simple, pay the bills, feed the bellies and clothe the bodies. That doesn't mean to say I don't occasionally buy things I want, its a lovely treat and usually involves saving up a pound a week for it. The items mean so much more than those that have been achieved instantly. My kids though one was a bit of a battle initially both know the reward of waiting for something and that lots of stuff doesn't mean happiness either.
My Eco clothing
I don't buy lots of clothes, I wear my clothes until they are past wearing, long past wearing in some cases. My eldest child is almost 17 and I have a few bits older than him!! I buy what I need when I need it and have a level of clothing that I feel is acceptable. Usually 2 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of leggings, 1 pair of black trousers, 3 skirts, 5 tshirts, 4 tunics. I won't count dresses as I have a fair few, though all brought second hand and get lots of use over the summer months. I usually treat myself to one 'new' one a year and there is possibly a good few that don't fit that might fit at some point!!
Shoes and bags? Not a fan of shoes at all, probably only own 2 pairs, a pair of trainers and some boots. Same with bags I have a 'going out' bag, my leather satchel which is a total work horse of a bag and a couple of others.
Most of it goes together but a lot of it doesn't. A lot of the time my style can be described as got dressed in the dark, or had £2 to spend at a jumble and blew the lot. 90% of my stuff is charity shops or Ebay. I always buy quality over fast fashion as its usually worth the extra cost for the amount of time it lasts.
I share clothes with people, and have a communal pile at home of things that no one really wears enough to warrant having loads. We are the keepers of the family black tie and the family black 'going out' shoes.
When the kids where growing what we couldn't buy in charity shops they had new, we would buy next usually in the sales. Buy a size larger than needed so it would last another year, we would buy on rotation summer stuff one year and winter stuff the following year. Jessica often had Ben's out grown stuff.
My eco home
We also don't buy new furniture, most of our furniture is from family members, charity shops or gifts from the lane. Apart from one piece we brought from auction, most of it is dark wood and none of it matches and I love that fact.
I don't use cleaning chemicals, there is nothing a bit of white vinegar, some bicarb and a little tiny bit of effort can't solve. I have used several eco washing detergents, soap nuts, eco eggs, smol and splosh over the years, currently using Blooming eco.
We also don't decorate often, I have a rule of one room per year or none if I can get away with it. If we do decorate it either matches our furniture or it doesn't. Mostly doesn't but its not the end of the world.
Both of our children where Cloth nappied and most of those where brought second hand and sold on. The only new ones where our terry towels, many of which are still going strong and it weekly use all this time later. We didn't buy specific baby foods unless we where out an about, we didn't use wet wipes.
I've never been a fan of liquid soap, you can't beat a good bar. I do use liquid shampoo but I do try shampoo bars but have yet to find one that really suits my hair. I have used cloth san pro for almost 17 years and would never swap back. I use a natural deodorant, no hair products, no make up, no wipes and no chemicals here for cleaning.
I try to cook from scratch where possible, I am a conscious buyer at the supermarket and ensure I buy foods in packaging that can be recycled or reused in some way. I often don't peel veg to save the waste of the skins.
The only issue I can't solve is the cat and his food, he won't eat more than the first meal off the top of a can so he is on sachets, and all that plastic doesn't sit well with me.
Eco everything else,
I try to walk as much as possible, use public transport where possible. I also reuse repair and repurpose before getting rid of anything. I charity shop items we don't need and will always check the charity shops before buying new or see if someone has one I can borrow. Our recycling probably goes out once a fortnight and out bin goes out 3 weekly with room for at least a couple of bags.
So this is my journey, I do the best I can I hope this proves you don't have to spend lots of money to be eco, and you don't really have to have much more than a change of mind set and a few little swaps to make a lot of difference.
And this is me and my crew