The Sustainable Year: February 2022 Update

To keep myself accountable on the last Friday of every month I post about what I’ve been doing to reduce my consumption for the good of my mind, my savings and environment. You can read more about my commitment to a more sustainable year in 2022 here.

What have I done in February?

What’s worked?

  • Changing to biodegradable bin bags was an easy win; they’re more expensive and I had to go to a refill shop specifically to find them but I stocked up on them whilst I was there.
  • The 30 day buy nothing challenge went well. It was a great opportunity to challenge my habit of buying things on impulse. You can find out exactly what I did and how it went here.
  • I want to buy very few clothes and accessories this year, but when I had a look through my wardrobe for work clothes I had a pair of trousers, two shirts and that was it. Soon I’ll be going from working entirely at home to a couple of days in the office every week, so I needed some new bits. I deliberately broke my clothes buying ban and searched charity shops for just enough to get me by for 2 days a week, ending up with a dress, a tunic and a shirt.
  • I’m glad I got out into the garden early to prepare the veg beds for Spring, because since then the rain and wind have been vile. I enjoyed pulling up the old plants, adding a generous layer of compost from the compost bin then making a frame out if bamboo canes to divide each of the two beds into smaller squares (I’m going to try square foot gardening). I’ve planted garlic and am planning what else to plant. And how to protect it all from local cats (and probably my own) who think the veg begs are giant litter trays.

What’s been challenging?

The most challenging thing was reaching the end of my 30 day buy nothing challenge. During the challenge it was fairly easy; I had rules in place that pre-determined what I could buy (meals, drinks, travel, postage) and what I wouldn’t buy (everything else). But when I finished the challenge on 8th February I fell back into feeling tempted by little impulse buys and it was hard to resist. I didn’t go nuts, but I did buy a handful of things that I know I don’t really need.

The habit has not been broken – yet. It’s been a habit for too long, so I’ve started a second buy nothing challenge, running from 15th February to 16th March, with the same rules as before. I really want to break the cycle of endless consumption, of falling back on buying things to cheer myself up or deal with stress. I know I can do it because I’ve already done it for 30 days, I just have to stick to my promise to myself.

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