So we’ve been home for a few days now after our camping adventure at Rise Up Singing. I was expecting our first camp with a toddler to be hard work and I wasn’t wrong (sometimes it’s good to prepare for the worst, right?) Nappy changes in a tent with a wriggling, protesting, octopus-like toddler are a challenge and my post-pregnancy body definitely needs a better camping bed solution. It feels unfair to be more exhausted at the end of a “holiday” than at the start. Not to mention the fact that I managed approximately two thirds of one singing workshop, and a handful of fragmented conversations with friends. Some acceptance still needed as to how different this camp was, in comparison to all those years attending as a child-free person, learning five new songs a day and jamming with great singers until the small hours by the fire.
BUT the small one loved it – lots of free range rampaging, chucking 4987 stones into the stream and being allowed to eat Mini Cheddars and raisins for most meals (this is not a child who likes kale, yet). And we had some awesome walks in the woods, small one on the Daddy Donkey.
So anyway. Being in the amazingly beautiful Dartmoor countryside brings it all home in a really intense way (no camping puns here) what’s at stake, as we progress on our journey to protect Mother Earth from destruction. And I have to admit that amidst the mountain of washing, an intense post-camp stomach bug which at one point I thought might be Lyme disease from an infected tick bite (TBC by blood tests next week but I think unlikely as I’m now almost better), I almost felt like giving up.
It’s so hard. Aeroplanes fly over our house almost every minute in London and there’s next to nothing we can do about it. The supermarkets are full to the brim of plastic and it’s so much effort and expense to do plastic-free food shopping. The internet is still full of people arguing about how to save the world in the best way, while being quite rude to each other. We have a new PM and cabinet who don’t care about anything except hard Brexit. McDonalds paper straws aren’t recyclable. Or they are. Or it doesn’t matter. People leave litter in the park and put the wrong stuff in the plastic bag recycling at Sainsbury’s – which might not matter if it all ends up in an eastern European landfill or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
But – this, guys. This.
(The rest of my photos were rubbish so these are stolen images of Hembury woods, but this is where we were, and it’s magnificent).
So onwards with the changes, onwards with the small steps – and gathering courage and strength for the big ones.
While away I did chemical deodorant detox (thanks, hippy friends, for tolerating this) and I’ve started using the new plastic-free natural one this week (as per The Great Deodorant Experiment). I’ve also ditched shower gel, shampoo and conditioner in favour of this conditioning shampoo soap bar which can be used on hair and body. And, sort of without thinking about it I’ve ditched face wash for this really gorgeous tea tree and peppermint face soap. My skin is feeling great, I don’t think I smell too awful and my hair is… taking some getting used to… but I’m persevering. Everything from The Good Soap Company came packaged in paper and card too, absolutely no plastic, and very good service. Highly recommended.
This really useful article suggests how to go about making the switch to a shampoo bar if you’re considering it. My hair is still feeling a bit waxy so I’m researching other methods e.g. lathering the soap first rather than applying the bar straight to your hair, doing extra rinses etc. I will keep you posted. I think a plastic-free bathroom is likely to be achieved sooner in our house than a plastic-free kitchen.
So. August continues and I have a bunch of cat sitting jobs coming up (yes, I am a multi-talented beast indeed), plus you’re all on holiday anyway, so blog posts may be less frequent for a few weeks. I’ve got some ideas for a bit of a relaunch in September, so I will be nagging for likes and shares and all that stuff. Back soon. Ish.
Is it stupid that I felt a big sigh of relief whilst reading your post? I wrote a little post about my eco-anxiety (though when I started it, I always thought of it as ‘Green Guilt’) and it used to really frustrate me how little everyone else seemed to care, how hard it was to do something and how futile it all seemed. So I love that getting out and about in the greenery proved an antidote for a lot of the hardships you experienced.
Taking a toddler camping I feel means you deserve some kind of badge of honour or at least an extra-special Brownie one surely?!
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My husband baked two banana cakes at the weekend (to prevent food waste 😂😂) so I feel pretty well rewarded! It’s very hard when you feel the magnitude of the task and the apathy around it, but we gotta just keep on truckin’! Thanks for reading 🙌
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