Thursday, 9 April 2015

Sustainability Game Plan - Setting some goals

To try and stop myself from being pulled in a million different directions at once I have decided to set some goals (or more specifically, eleven goals) for myself. I am hoping that it will help me to start and then continue to work on projects, make some changes and try some new things that I have been wanting to do for awhile. I will share my experiences each time I tick off a goal. I will also share any entertaining events that may occur while I am attempting to achieve one of these things.

1. Organise our family schedule

We have just started to make a huge effort with goal number 1. We were kindly given a family organiser calendar for Christmas. I got it out at the end of March, which shows just how organised things have been in our house so far this year! Not only have we planned out jobs, appointments and commitments but we have also planned meals through the week too. This is a huge change for us. So far it has helped me to set firm boundaries for what I need to do each day. This is helping me to find time to relax and we are fitting in some more family activities too.

2. Try a moon cup

This is something that I have been thinking of trying for a couple of years now. It is amazing how much negativity surrounds women trying alternative menstrual products. They are definitely not something that is discussed openly. I recently read this fantastic account of a mum trying a moon cup for the first time.  It has provided me with some additional, and probably much needed!, motivation to buy one and give it a try.

3. Phase out plastic in the kitchen

Since I am increasingly worried about the environmental and health impacts of having so much plastic surrounding us I try to minimise the plastic I use, particularly single-use items. I am a proud participant of Plastic Free July and I have found it easy to apply these ideas to many areas of my life. I have decreased my use of cling wrap to practically zero. I have also stopped buying water in plastic bottles. I use a glass re-usable bottle that I carry most places with me. My next step is to reduce plastic storage in the cupboards by using glass jars and any suitable up-cycled containers that I can find.

4. Decluttering the house

This is an ongoing job since we live in a small house.  However, with the change of season I am particularly focused on clearing out Turtle's and my own clothes. I will gift items to friends if they need them, sell things on Gumtree or donate them to charity. There is no plan for things to be thrown in the bin unless they are really worn out. Even then there might be a use for them as rags.

5. Increase my yoga practice

I am currently doing 1 to 2 yoga practices a week unless there is a big disruption, such as Easter long weekend! Since I am considering doing a yoga instructing course in a year I would like to increase my practice to 2-3 yoga session a week. The idea will be to keep increasing in frequency until I am practicing daily (gasp!).

6. Make homemade muesli bars

I have had one try at this already and, although it tasted delicious, the mixture didn't stick together. We ended up with a kind of trail mix of muesli bar, which was (luckily!) very well received. My main motivation to make homemade muesli bars is to provide nutritious snacks for the family without the packaging of bought muesli bars. I am aiming to create a yummy treat that isn't too sweet.

7. Make my own bread

I am keen to make my own bread. We don't have space for a bread maker so I don't want to buy one. I  want to bake a traditional loaf that is simple so that I could realistically do it regularly. If I set my mind to this goal I am sure I can easily achieve it. I was even given a recipe by a friend awhile ago that is apparently quick and simple. Baking bread has just not been at the forefront of my mind. Clearly it did not make the top of this list either but since it here I am feeling confident I will get to it soon(ish)!

8. Continue to increase the garden's productivity

This is something that Mr Fix It and I are very committed to but we are limited by time. We have recently scheduled a gardening day a month to try and help with this problem. At the moment the vegetable garden is in transition.

There is some basil that still needs to be harvested (I feel a batch of pesto coming on). The corn crop we planted in late summer didn't yield any corn unfortunately. However, the late zucchini crop is going well. We harvested our first zucchini a week or so ago and they are producing a lot of zucchini (big delicious zucchini!). I have just planted some snow peas since Turtle was getting quite upset that there was nothing for her to eat regularly from the garden. The eggplant is still producing baby eggplants and she gets upset every time I take them away while she tries to eat them raw. We are still getting some strawberries too, all of which Turtle is eating immediately after they are harvested.

The kale and celery in the back bed are infested with aphids so we are planning to rip them out and refill that whole bed since the soil has sunk. So there is definitely some work to do here.

9. Make a toadstool stool and other up-cycled toys, mending and crafts

I recently saw a post about making a toadstool stool and I am inspired to make one. The other ideas in that post on how to up-cycle kitchens and toys are brilliant too. Goal number 9 also includes crafts to make gifts and mending things to extend their life (including dog beds!). This is such a broad and fun area, I hope that I find some quality time to make some things (which will rely on goal 1 going smoothly!).

10. Reduce our water use at home

Occasionally our toilet pipe makes funny sounds that we think could mean it has a leak. I have been meaning to properly check out this problem and, while I am at it, check to see if there are any other opportunities to save water. Our water use has gone up a lot since we put in the garden and again since we had Turtle. It's time to see if we can change that.

11. Stop buying products that contain palm oil

I recently changed peanut butter brand since I found out the popular name brand that I was buying contains palm oil. Palm oil production requires huge areas of important forests to be cleared. This has significant environmental impacts, especially removing habitat for many endangered species. To find out more about this issue follow this link to Say No to Palm Oil.

Can you join me on one or more of these goals? I would love to know if you are working towards anything similar or different.

Lizzing Lightly


  1. This is a great list of goals, especially the yoga one! I hope you can pursue your teacher training. I've become much more conscious about the plastic use and palm oil too. I'm ok growing herbs and salad leaves in the garden, but we haven't managed much more than that I'm afraid.

    1. Hi Kathy, thank you. I would really like to do the yoga training but I am glad I am taking time to really think about it and make sure that I am ready to commit myself. Herbs and salad leaves are a fantastic start since they save you quite a lot of money and they tend to suck up pesticides.