So about three years ago we discovered Aldi for the first time. We had heard about the award winning nappies and thought we would give them a try – one weekly shop later we were hooked and didn’t look back. I loved that I could fill one of the enormous trollies to the top and it would come to £100 (where as in Waitrose you can easily dangle £40 worth of shopping from your wrist). Aldi began to shape our lives. During the Summer we bought the gardening things, in the Winter we bought the logs. I bought Cbeebies magazines, colouring books, biscuits, bottled water, pocket sized packets of tissues and all kinds of other things that had never bought before in my life because they were luxuries that I quite frankly couldn’t afford. But then two things slowly dawned on me… firstly by shopping at Aldi we weren’t actually saving money because we were just buying more stuff and secondly, all the things we were buying came in packaging. So much packaging that it was a relief when we moved to a bigger house and could order a second wheelie bin from the council just to keep up with the recycling. I don’t know exactly what made me put the breaks on this consumption but I have finally woken up to the fact that our habits have to change in a big way – for the planet and for my soul.
Just to be clear, we still shop at Aldi and I still love browsing the mystery middle isle but one by one I’m looking for sustainable alternatives to the things in my trolly. I’m also discovering alternative places to shop (like my local re-fill store) and have been overjoyed to find so many amazing brands creating sustainable, ethical and plastic free alternatives to every-day products. This is something that I care deeply about and (after a quick Instagram poll) it looks like some of you might be interested in hearing more about my sustainable swaps (I’ve borrowing this catchy phrase from Bryony Willis) occasionally too. When I asked my beloved followers on Instagram whether they would rather see this type of content in Instagram stories or in a blog post it was roughly a 60/40 split in favour of Instagram stories. My poll also told me that this is not everyones cup of tea though so, after giving it some thought, I’m going to try a periodic ‘haul’ style video on Insta stories where I can show you my plastic free/sustainable/ethical discoveries and anyone who isn’t interested can just skip on past with no bad feelings. It’s interesting (and to be honest quite heartening) to see that plenty of people do still read blog posts so I’ll round up my best, tried-and-tested discoveries here every now and then too.
The picture above generated some interesting discussion on Instagram last month – it seems like there are lots of us on this journey together. If so come and say hi either here or on Instagram – I would love to hear about your experience of reducing waste, banishing plastic or seeking more ethical alternatives to every-day products.