February 2016: how did we do?

New Year's resolutions February 2016 update

Back at the end of last year I shared our zero waste based 2016 resolutions and last month I update you on our progress after 1 month

So, after two months, how am we doing?

star Limit packaging waste star

I am still buying all our fruits, vegetables, meat and fish from our little local market and bread, cheese, butter and oil either package free or in glass bottles at our Booths supermarket. Our local dairy has started delivering milk to our doorstep in returnable glass bottles for Small Boy banana milkshakes and for me to use to make cheese and butter at home (or at least try…). Sweets and chocolates are bought package-free by weight in my cotton bags from our village sweet shop.

Our shampoo and conditioner bottles have run out and I’ve replaced them with a divine jasmine shampoo & conditioner bar from Lush. Soap now only comes into the house in bars rather than pump bottles and I wash my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush and homemade whitening toothpaste (though Small Boy still uses his last electric toothbrush head and the remains of his tube of bubblegum flavoured Lightening McQueen toothpaste). I have still to run out of any makeup so haven’t faced that dilemma, but I have found that the charcoal powder I use for my toothpaste mixed with a drop of water makes a great emergency eyeliner ;)

I now have a full set of Ecover refillable bottles for household cleaning products and I buy large glass jars of vinegar from Booths and boxes of baking soda from Amazon for all other cleaning jobs.

Problem areas are still pasta, rice and cream, all of which are impossible to find here in non plastic (though thankfully recyclable) packaging…though I’m still looking…

Oh and I still miss peas and cucumber ;(

star Not throw away unused food waste star

I am still throwing food scraps in my compost heaps but we don’t have food waste as such. I still shop with my flowery shopping trolley every couple of days.

star Make all the compost our little garden needs star

My compost heaps do not seem to be composting as yet but it is still early in the year! I did attend a composting & food waste course as part of my role as a waste reduction volunteer so after changing a couple of things (and maybe buying a composting bin) I’ll hopefully start to be more successful…

star Grow all the cut flowers for our home star

I have bought ranunculus and lily of the valley tubers to plant in my newly designated cut flower bed once it gets warmer and I need to shop soon for dahlias and other additions. My tulip bulbs are coming up alongside my daffodils and snowdrops and I’m hopeful that my bluebells will send up buds soon.

star Use up what we have before buying anything else star

I am down now to 4 tubes of handcream and 2 of body lotion…I don’t think I’ll be having to make my own anytime soon ;)

Also, with my phone contract coming to an end this summer, I have been torn between upgrading to a new iPhone and keeping the now unreliable iPhone I have had for 2 years. I use my phone a lot for my blog, emails, social media marketing (and chatting), as my main camera and, of course, as or only phone.

Last week though my darling Little Sister presented me with her old (though almost new) sunny yellow iPhone as an early birthday pressie…so I now have a reliable phone, Small Boy has my former one to play minecraft on and his old one (my original one from almost 6 years ago with no speaker, a smashed screen and dodgy battery) will be donated to someone who can mend and reuse it.

I did buy a new case for my “new” phone, one that is made locally and was delivered in a cardboard envelope without any other packaging…I wanted to keep it working and pristine for as long as possible (the sticker is an old one I already had and stuck on to hide the ever so slightly wonky home button which kept drawing my obsessive asperger eyes and driving me demented!!)

star Return to our usual eating habits star

We are doing better on this front. A sickness bug at the very start of Lent did mean that this year it has been downplayed to just giving up biscuits (oooo choccy digestives, how I miss you so). But I am eating mainly vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and dairy whilst Small Boy supplements with pasta and rice. We both still eat too much bread though, especially as I am allergic to wheat and have to take antihistamines far too regularly *sigh*

star Buy all of our clothes secondhand star

I didn’t buy any clothes in February for either of us…so still no new clothes in 2016.

star Mend clothes that we still wear star

This month I’ve mended a couple of dresses and darned some socks…including the Christmas reindeer socks that Small Boy seems to have had permanently attached to is toes for the last 2 months.

star Reline my beloved vintage mohair coat star

I still have yet to reline my beloved winter coat. Now its spring I’d love to get it done before next winter draws in in a few months time. I’m thinking pink stripes…

star Start an online shop to sell my beloved vintage dresses star

Nope. Still not done this *ashamed*

star Go out to write or design at a coffee shop in the village at least twice a week star

I’ve barely left my house in the last few weeks, a flare up of arthritis following a sickness bug has left me with a right arm and hips that I can’t straighten…so I’ve not really thought about working anywhere but my warm blankey covered sofa. Must get out more in March…as its spring ;)

star Save up enough to take Small Boy on his first holiday abroad this Spring star

Done…just need to send off the passport forms…yay!!

star Pass my driving test star

I’m still trying to ignore this one to be honest…I’m still questioning my decision to start driving entirely…

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  • Reply March 12, 2016

    Emma Farrow

    Dear Ouissi,

    I recently discovered your blog and I am really enjoying exploring it! I think your passion for reusing and avoiding waste is really admirable and I would love it if my son grows up as eager to avoid materialism as your son is. Thank you for inspiring me (I am trying to use cloth nappies and reusable baby wipes on my baby recently having never been very ‘green’ before!)

    Keep up the great posts.

    Emma, Teapots and Twine

    • Reply March 13, 2016


      Thank you so much Emma ;)

      SB & I do talk about the waste and packaging but it’s a step by step process…I think it’s by doing and what they see you do that children really learn things. I am by no means perfect (in waste or life!) but we all start somewhere! Cloth nappies and reusable wipes are a great start…and you are doing so much better than I did when SB was a baby ;) Feel free to ask me or email if you have any questions

      Ouissi xx

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