Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Whitney was right, the children are our future.

on February 16, 2019

Since mid January I’ve been attempting a weird hybrid of the Marie Kondo ‘Life changing magic of tidying’ and The amazing Organised Mumcleaning method and; spoiler alert- it actually is life changing. I have cut the criminal amount of crap in our playroom to a manageable level. We have reduced our rainforest of paperwork to a few files which is a massive relief. Mr L and I spent part of Valentine’s day at the tip – true story and, I am on first name terms with the ladies at the charity shop. I have sold lots of toys, games and clothes that the girls have grown out of and the money has gone to my marathon charity- Wellchild.

Having a cleaner, tidier, emptier house feels nice. Knowing where to find things saves me time and stress and I am a less shouty mummy which we are all happy about.

Considering which items “spark joy” has led to a serious reduction in both random clutter and kids crafting efforts but it has also made me acutely aware of the sheer volume of waste packaging which exists and, if our home is anything to go by, the insane amount of plastic and paper we use and discard on a daily basis.

People do seem to be thinking more about waste, recycling and climate change but, ironically, the pace of change is glacial and the people making the biggest noise are the kids which fills me with equal levels of hope and shame.

Our throw away generation with our demand for cheap products, disposable fashion and convenience are responsible for the global crisis we now find ourselves in. Governments have ignored the issues and it is only now, now children are literally taking to the streets to protest that we are beginning to take notice. Greta Thunberg, the 16yr old Swedish girl who speaks so passionately about the crisis and has been protesting each Friday since last August, has brought a new awareness and urgency to the situation. Her parents must be so proud. So often it is left to children to show adults how to behave, the art of what is possible and the power of words; Malala Yousafzai is another incredible example that springs to mind.

If we all commit to making some small changes the effect will be more than the sum of its parts but, we are way beyond small changes now. We need BIG changes. We need BIG companies to evaluate what they can do reduce their waste, their carbon emissions and we need to all recognise that our obsession with stuff has to stop.

We need to buy less, drive less and use less.

Companies like Jo Malone need to consider their recycling policies- offering a refill service or allowing customers to return empties doesn’t devalue a brand. It means you value your clients and recognise your corporate social responsibilities. Last week, fed up of waiting for a change in policy I took my candle jars, room diffusers, soap dispensers and boxes to the tip for recycling. 😞 it’s better than landfill but recycling still takes energy and creates waste. Reusing is better, refilling stations would be better. Waste Not Want Not in Birkenhead Market can do it. You need to step up. We all do.

As ever, Matt Haig is able to articulate this brilliantly:

I know that’s uncomfortable. I know it’s not what people want to hear and I appreciate that it requires us to make changes and it is a pain in the ass. It requires less time and less planning to jump in the car for a 2 minute trip as opposed to a 10 minute scoot but, needs must. Our children need us to step up, to pay attention to their protest and to make changes. Plus; there are so many positives that come out of doing things more slowly- we talk more, notice more and engage more.

What changes are you making in your home to make a positive difference to the planet? We’d love your top tips.

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