New years often bring new resolutions and goals. For many, myself included, this is intertwined with looking for ways to reduce your impact on the planet.
From my experience, often the hardest part about making the change to a more sustainable product or practice is that there’s a change in our experience with that product. It’s going to be different because there is something fundamentally different about the product to make it better for ourselves and the planet. Once you master the challenge of the change, you’ll often find the new product is much better than what you’re used to while saving you money.
If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Solid Toothpaste. But truth be told, this wasn’t an easy switch for me. I probably bounced around them for a good 6 months, before fully committing. The product itself is great, honestly, my teeth have never felt cleaner and my dentist approves. I think there was something about toothpaste in a jar feeling so unfamiliar. Instead of squeezing a tube, something I’d done all my life, I was now dipping into a jar and it felt strange. After finally committing to it one Plastic Free July, I’ve managed to train my brain that, toothpaste comes from a jar, rather than a tube and I haven’t looked back. They also recently released a waste-free whitening gel which is epic!
This summer, I’ve experienced something similar with Seasick Sunscreen. I used it a couple of years ago and found its sun protection incredible - I burn very easily! But again something just didn’t quite click. Perhaps it was the way you only need to use a little bit was such a change from the way I was used to applying sunscreen. Or maybe it felt different on my sensitive skin. Or it could have been that I just ran out one weekend at the beach and reverted back to what I could easily find at the time. This summer, I’ve gone all in and really enjoy the feeling of Sunsick on my skin, how long the small tubs last and best of all I haven’t gotten burnt at all.
I could list countless other products that myself and members of our team have struggled with - deodorants that you rub on instead of roll on, reusable menstrual products, shampoo bars, carrying your own containers, knives & fork, eating rescued vegetables you’re not familiar with, eating less meat or simply just giving up a product altogether.
For Foodprint, that’s about looking at the app when you’re hungry and being open to trying something new before running down to your local for the same sandwich you eat every day because it’s familiar and tasty. Speaking from experience, I can assure you that there are plenty of tasty items on the app that need to be rescued and you might just find yourself a new favourite local in the process.
So if this year, you want to make a change and are finding it hard, here’s your reminder not to be too hard on yourself if you revert back to your old habits along the way. Don’t give up on it, give yourself some space to make these changes imperfectly. Be conscious of how many changes you’re trying to make at once. Usually, you’re better off fully committing to one at a time. Once you’ve mastered that one, add in another. If you try to do too much at once, you’re setting yourself up for failing at them all.
We’d love to know what changes you’re committing to this year and what you’re finding challenging in the comments below.