Mindfully Sustainable.

In the last week I’ve read two great Instagram posts. The first was from Emma Ross Aka Mamalina. If you don’t follow her you should she is doing some great things. The post was based around the convenience of living a Zero Waste lifestyle or more to the point the sometimes real lack of convenience we are faced with but how that was actually ok with her for now because she has created a live she enjoys around that and it actually makes her live more “slowly”.

The second was from Naturally Moderns Instagram account, Lacey spoke about the idea of a 4 day week being the answer to climate change. “We would drive less, be on-the-run less, and probably be more productive”. She again mentions the idea that making things makes us slow down and appreciate the small things. If we had more time we would reach for convenience less and in turn massively reduce our waste.

It’s also not the first time I’ve heard that less working hours creates more productivity within those hours. I’m sure most of you can relate to sitting at a computer and seemingly doing not a lot between the hours of 3 and 5pm.

Sweden recently finished an experiment with employers only working a 6 hours day for the same amount of pay.

“During the first 18 months of the trial the nurses working shorter hours logged less sick leave, reported better perceived health and boosted their productivity by organising 85% more activities for their patients, from nature walks to sing-a-longs.”

All of this got me thinking about just how busy we all are and our need for convenience. Is it time we re-thought it all? Would that help the mental health of the country and the impending climate crisis?

It made me assess my own habits and the things I have changed over the last 2 years but also the things I haven’t...

Come to my house and use the bathroom, you’ll think I’m a pretty good zero waster. Go into the kitchen however and it’s far from perfect. I do dream of being a wonderful baker, making cakes when friends pop over for coffee mornings and play dates, and making my own garlic pizza bread to go with our dinner. Having time to knead dough in the morning and letting it raise while I potter around the house. In reality the reason I’m cooking a quick pasta and adding some garlic bread is because we want a quick and easy dinner, therefore making that bread really is a pipe dream. One day perhaps I’ll have time to listen to the radio and knead the dough.

However, there are also lots of things we do do, that sure take lots more time but we enjoy doing. Take the food shop for example. Mat and I love food and cooking so last Saturday morning we spent the best part of 4 hours doing the food shop. That may seem like most people’s hell but what we actually did was an extended walk around the neighbourhood. We walk to the butchers (took our own containers) and got what we needed for the week whilst having a nice chat with the staff in there. We then walked on to the Veg shop stocked up, and then popped into Co-op as we like their bread counter. On the way home we stopped at a friends, had a cuppa and some cake, the kids played together and then we walked on our merry way. This may seem like a slightly boring slow morning to some but to us this was perfect. And that’s the point. It was slow. We weren’t in a rush for anything. We caught up, we stopped and chatted to people and managed our weekly shop with very little plastic.

The Garden is my other favourite. For Mat a run in the morning clears his head, gets his energy out and gets some fresh air in this lungs but for me a little bit of gardening does that. It’s quiet in our garden and I can potter around as I please. I may not get much produce wise out of it but the little bit of lettuce, the few tomatoes and lots of herbs are big wins for me.

I also think that what made me “slow down” the most was having a baby. You would think you become far busier with a baby, which yes in many ways I am but on the other hand you have to slow down. Those early cluster feeding days, when they fall asleep on you and your stuck from moving an inch, now walking ever so slowly while she investigates everything, walking everywhere because it’s so much easier than loading and unloading the car all the time. Children notice the small things more too. When the boys were younger I wouldn’t even notice the blossoms had come out until they pointed them out to me.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with all this other than the thought that if we weren’t so busy we would have more time to walk places, to make our own bread, to grow more plants and maybe help stop the climate and plastic pollution crisis. My other thought is maybe we’re not too busy to do all of this, maybe we just need to change our mindset, make those mundane tasks fun and relaxing, get the kids involved with it and do it as a family and maybe just maybe it could be good for us all.…. it’s just a thought…..

Hannah xx