Five good things: March 2019


It's been over a month since my last monthly positives post and we have a lot on today, so it feels like the right time to sneak my next one in.

Although March has been a crazy month full of curve-balls at every turn, I feel like things are starting to settle now (touch wood) so I'm in a good place to write this post today, and I'll be interested to see what I come up with because I've got a lot of positive things on my mind.

In no particular order...

We've done the room change

I'm sure I've mentioned before that we've been planning to move the kids upstairs and me downstairs for ages because it's quieter downstairs and I'm the one with sleeping problems - it's just that we haven't been able to do it until now because we haven't wanted my son upstairs when it's summer (it gets very hot up there and he can't put the air conditioner on by himself).

It's not summer anymore, and while we've left my daughter downstairs until we renovate, we've now moved my son upstairs and I've taken the old nursery, which is the smallest room in the house but it's also the quietest, and I don't need much space so I'm fine with that.

Happily it has made a difference to my sleep and I'm less bothered by noise during the night, and my son is sleeping beautifully in my old room. Huzzah! All that's left to do now is double-glaze my window, and that's happening this week so we're almost there. Yay.

We're getting solar panels

This has been on the agenda for years, it's just that we've had two little kids and very little money, so we had to wait for a time when our finances didn't look quite so bad as they have before now.

My husband recently got a pay rise, and while we can't afford to just buy the panels outright because they're expensive, what we can do is draw down on the mortgage to fund them - so that's what we're going to do.

While we do plan to renovate the house eventually, we're not financially prepared for that yet (plus the kids are still so young) and we've agreed that the solar power has to come first. It beats a nicer bathroom or kitchen, it beats any holiday we might have wanted to take, and it beats having the financial freedom to eg go out for dinner more often. We plan to have them up by June. Can't wait.

We're looking at a grey water toilet system too

While we can't afford to renovate the whole downstairs bathroom right now, what we may be able to do is switch out our very old-looking toilet and sink for a new system that has a sink over the toilet, which will use grey water from that sink to flush the toilet.

I've been having a look at a few designs and I think it's something we could do relatively cheaply now, before we come back and change the bathroom later on. Same goes for the toilet upstairs: once we work out how the bathroom will look when we renovate it, we'll know whether it's feasible to change the existing toilet for a grey water system before we renovate (it just depends on whether we'll need to move the plumbing, since there's no point in changing it now if we're going to spend money on moving it later on).

In any event, we could be looking at one grey water system by June, and I for one am super excited about that. We've already got a rainwater tank, but we need to do more.

Our plastic use has dropped dramatically

Over the past few years, I've looked at ways to reduce our usage of water, gas and electricity, and this has meant that our bills have been dropping before our very eyes - not to mention our impact on the environment.

Now that's done, I'm focusing on plastics. Thankfully the big supermarkets have finally stopped handing out single-use plastic bags, and we're starting to see that filter across to other outlets (eg the big chemists). So much is still wrapped in plastic, though, so it's a matter of reusing whatever plastic shows up in the house and not just randomly throwing things out.

Eg, you can use the plastic bags that hold things like carrots, cereal and bread in place of glad wrap, and you can also use such things to throw dirty nappies into. My aim now is to cut things down even further, so my husband and I have agreed to avoid buying anything wrapped in plastic wherever possible.

I'm looking forward to writing a post or two on plastic reduction in future, so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

My spending bans are going well

As with last year, my spending bans for makeup and skincare have so far felt relatively easy, and I haven't felt like I'm missing out on anything. Yay to that.

This is also good because of course buying less stuff is better for the environment, and I've been looking at alternatives to traditionally packaged haircare and body care at the same time. Eg bars of shampoo and body wash (in soap form) are making a comeback, and it's becoming easier to buy such things in paper packaging.

The other benefit of my spending bans is that I've got my updated makeup and skincare inventories coming up at the end of March, and I can't wait to see how much my numbers have reduced because I know I've gotten through plenty of stuff. We'll know exactly how much very soon!

In sum

That's all from me. It's been something of an environmentally focused post and that's definitely where my head is at these days. I mean, if everyone on the planet reduced their use of plastic by at least fifty per cent this year, we'd start to get somewhere, wouldn't we?!

In any event, it feels good to be thinking about these things, putting words and thoughts into action, and starting to see the changes filtering through at home. By the end of this year, I'm hoping to get us to the point where our carbon footprint is very low and our recycling bin looks even emptier than it does now because we're using less packaging as the days pass.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

* All images courtesy of

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