In early July I talked about some of the changes I would be making over the month as part of the Honest Riders, Riders on a mission sustainability challenge. During the month, I made some changes that were not only easy but have made a difference so I thought I would share more about them here.
I chose to ditch two things – drinks in plastic bottles and fast fashion. During the month of July, I made just one clothing purchase, a long-sleeved show shirt and a casual tee from the stunning equine brand Ronner Design. Ronner design is a small female owned business based in the US. They create unique and eye catching prints, in timeless styles from high quality fabric that last.
On the plastic drink bottle front, I can confirm that I purchased a plastic bottle just once over the course of the challenge. This was down to poor planning whilst travelling on my part. In the almost month since completing the challenge I haven’t brought any either! This has helped me to cut down on my soft drink consumption as well.
I also invested in a metal straw to keep at work. It might sound silly but I actually love drinking from a straw but haven’t used one in years after seeing video’s a turtles with straws stuck in their nostrils.
I committed to at least two meat free days per week. This was made seriously easy by temporarily moving in with my brother and his girlfriend who are largely vegetarian. I learnt a heap about cooking vego meals and also how to make use of every little bit of the vegetable.
My other action for commit, online shopping for my big fortnightly shop, didn’t go quite so well. This was due to the fact that I was living with my brother and not doing much shopping at all. However, moving forward I am still planning to do this.
For the switch component of the challenge I had planned to switch to a bamboo tooth brushes and to bar shampoo and conditioners. However, the switch from a regular electric toothbrush to a bamboo version apparently is not quite so straight forward. And thanks to my crappy teeth I can’t go without an electric toothbrush, meaning that I need to do a little more research in this area.
On the hair front, I opted to try the Bar None bar shampoo and conditioner (in an aluminium bottle) and am now fully obsessed! In addition to being certified cruelty free, and having minimal waste my hair feels so much better!
Instead of switching tooth brushes I decided to try a menstrual cup. Something I previously wasn’t sure if I felt great about. Can I just say it is an absolute game changer. Aside from the fact that a tampon takes over 500 years to breakdown, they aren’t cheap, and frankly they are a bit annoying (although better than the giant pad alternative).
With the average woman spending between $100-150 per year on sanitary products, the savings you get with a menstrual cup (which come in at $20-40 and can last for up to 10 years) are huge! And we all know that just means more money for riding lessons, saddle pads, bandages…
What had me absolutely sold on the menstrual cup was just how easy it is to use. It can stay in place for up to 8-12 hours (ie upon waking up and sometime in the evening), removing the need to carry around spare tampons or pads for frequent changes during the day. There are also no annoying tampon strings to think about. Plus I have found the menstrual cup to be far more comfortable than tampons and leak proof for riding, running and day to day life.
I also have a safety razor on order. This type of razor has much less waste given that you only change the blade, rather than the whole cartridge. The handle component of the razor is meant to last a lifetime too.
For me the personal care items have been the simplest changes. I think because I use them so regularly it is easy to see the impact that they can have. Moving forward I am keen to continue making changes so that I can have as little impact on the environment as possible.