Attempting to Be Eco Friendly When You Have OCD

A Selection of My Eco-Friendly BIts and Pieces

I won’t lie, I feel as though my OCD is the sole reason why I don’t engage in as many environmentally friendly behaviours. Before anyone comes at me and tells me I’m using it as an excuse, I’d like to shut that right down and say that I’m trying. I wasn’t sure whether or not to post this given I know this an area that everyone is passionate about at the moment, but I want my content to be honest and upfront, and if I sit and publish post after post on being eco friendly, I’d be lying. So, today I’m going to be honest and say that as a result of my OCD, I don’t do as much as I could when it comes to doing my bit for the environment. I’m going to talk about  the particular things I struggle with the most, but I’m also going to tell you about the changes I have made. 

The point of this post? I’m not sure, but I’m aware that there are people out there who shame others for using make-up wipes, plastic bottles and so on. There’s no denying that we need to make as many changes as we can to do our bit for the planet, but at the same time, there’s no need to be a dick about it. I know I might sound a bit naive, and I’m well aware that a lot of the time, it’s just pure laziness when it comes to people doing these things. However, I think it’s important to note that there is a very small portion of us that refrain from making these changes for deeper reasons, which is what I wanted to look at today.

There are no affiliate links in this post – any products mentioned have been purchased with my own money and all views are my own.

Attempting to Be Eco Friendly When You Have OCD

Reusable Cups

I’m all for reusable cups. Travel mugs are great if you want a coffee on your morning commute – although the one thing I don’t particularly agree with is taking them into coffee shops to use. I completely get the logic of not using cardboard cups, but my concerns about hygiene outweigh that logic. I get the majority of people are going to be bringing in a clean cup, but what about those who don’t? In my mind it’s another way to spread germs about (at the time of writing my anxiety is peaking due to all the coronavirus stuff). I very rarely buy takeaway coffees anymore, however on the days I fancy a drink to keep me warm on the way to work, I’ll make use of my Pingu travel mug. My point is – if you’re going to use a reusable cup, make your coffee at home – it’s so much cheaper!

Knives & Forks

Before you @ me, I’m fully aware I can bring my own cutlery to work, and I do. However, on the occasions when I forget and I buy myself a pasta salad for lunch, I’m torn between the choice of a wooden fork that’s in a communal holder (prongs up so touched by probably EVERYONE), or using the filthy cutlery in my office that I don’t particularly trust to be clean. By all means, wooden forks are fine and much better for the planet, but shops and cafés need to at least think of how they display them. Having a free for all basket for everyone to dip their hand in doesn’t exactly keep things hygienic.

Help Yourself Food Displays

Again, it’s great that supermarkets are taking steps to reduce their packaging, but I’m not going to lie, having self serve displays for loose foods genuinely gives me heart palpitations. I can’t bear the thought of getting pick and mix sweets through the amount of kids that stick their hands in there, and the amount of times you see the scoops being dropped on the floor, so the idea of having to do that on my food shop fills me with dread. It’s not just kids – the amount of people I see at bakery counters picking up bread rolls with their hands when there’s a pair of tongs right there! Just no. Looking at the overall big picture, I’m not slagging it off, it’s a really good idea to reduce packaging, I’m just saying they need to really think about how they’re going to keep things hygienic if it’s going to take off.

Reusable Sanitary Products

Reusable sanitary products are vast becoming a popular part of an eco friendly lifestyle, but I’m sorry to say that it’s not for me. Please note that I’m not slating anyone that uses them, again, it’s a really effective way to reduce waste, however, I’m not comfortable with it. I’ve looked into the idea of reusable sanitary towels, but I don’t think I’m quite there with it, and I’m not sure I ever will be. In addition, I’ve heard so many good things about menstrual cups, and if I didn’t have OCD I probably would consider them, but I’m not particularly sure I could cope with the washing them out and such. Again, please don’t think I’m slating them, they’re a great option – they’re just not for me.

Small Changes

I know people can get quite intense when it comes to this sort of thing, so before you thrash out an angry comment, let me tell you that I’m trying. I’m trying my best to make small changes to do my bit, which I’m going to tell you about. I would love to do more, but the bully in my brain makes it more difficult than you could ever imagine. Doing the small changes I’ve already done have meant that I’ve been challenging this twat of an illness, and I’m doing my best.

A Selection of My Eco-Friendly BIts and Pieces

Reusable Water Bottle

With my resolution of aiming to drink more water, I made sure to invest in a reusable water bottle. One person made the incredibly helpful comment of “but think of the germs that could mount up in that,” which filled me with doubt, but for some reason, I managed to gradually phase it out of my mind. At the end of the day, I wash it every day, and it’s only me that drinks from it. This one I picked up on Amazon for £10.99, and it comes in loads of different colours, plus you get a cleaning brush included. 

Lunch Boxes

I used to be terrible when it came to taking a packed lunch into work. Sandwiches would be wrapped in cling-film, apples would be in plastic sandwich bags, basically anything to stop germs getting on my food. However, we’ve gradually swapped out the cling film for Tupperware, a shit ton of the stuff. I have these cute Pusheen snack boxes which I found on Truffle Shuffle for £7.99 – they’re perfect for pretty much all small-ish snacks, and I have a larger Tupperware box for larger things. Considering the fact I take a packed lunch to work every day, it really has reduced the amount of plastic wrap that we use. For Christmas I also treated Liam to these adorable Toy Story ones too, again which I found on Truffle Shuffle for £9.99. 

Recycling

Okay so most of us have been doing this for ages now, but I feel in recent months I’ve really stepped up my recycling game. Making more of a conscious effort to separate recyclables along with bringing my rubbish home with me (there aren’t really any recycling bins at my work) are two of the main things I’ve been doing, and more than anything I’ve noticed how much longer it takes our bin to fill up!

Carrier Bags

I was always reluctant to have a reusable carrier bag in my handbag – again, you guessed it – mainly down to germs. However, it’s yet another thing I’ve been working on and I’ve gotten so much better at it. The same goes when it comes to remembering to take the carrier bags when we go food shopping too. I used to have real issues when it came to lingering germs in the bags after I once read an article about bacteria growth in them, however I later found out this is more of an issue if you pack your raw meat in the same bag as fruit and such. So we made the simple compromise of having a dedicated bag for life which we use for raw meat, and the rest for everything else. Plus, the great thing about being reusable is that you can give them a good clean every now and again too.

Cruelty Free

I was never the kind of person to not buy a product because they tested on animals, however I’m now working on changing that, as in this day and age there are far too many brands that still do so. Of course it’s not going to be a straight switch, but I’m working on phasing out the make up and beauty products I have that aren’t cruelty free and replacing them with products that are. I’m currently using a few different Barry M cosmetics, along with a Revolution Concealer, and I’ve switched to using skincare products from Superdrug and The Body Shop. If anyone else can recommend any cruelty free brands feel free to let me know as I’d love to try some new ones!

Reusable Cotton Pads

This is the most recent change I’ve made when it comes to my attempts to be more eco friendly, and I’ll be honest with you, I’m super proud of myself for doing it. I bought these Bamboo Cleansing Pads on Amazon for £8.99 and so far I’m really pleased with them. I’ve been using them combined with The Body Shop’s Camomile Cleansing Balm, which I’m totally in love with. It removes every single scrap of make up. These two things combined have worked incredibly well and even after a week I feel as though my skin is looking better. My reservations were again down to germs. Mainly worries that they’d pick up bacteria from the washing machine and I’d then be transferring it to my face, but I’m trying not to let my mind go beyond that. After all, we wash pretty much everything else in the washing machine that touches our faces! Towels, bed sheets, clothes – it’s all the same!

As you may be able to tell from reading this, my OCD has very specific rules on what is and isn’t acceptable. I’d love to be able to go into further detail around my logic for each one, but I’m afraid I’d keep you here for much longer than I already have. I hope you can at the very least understand my reasons for why I’m not particularly keen on certain changes being made – in a nutshell, pretty much anything and everything involving either the general public or bodily fluids. I’d like to think that in the future I can make the transition and make even more changes towards a more eco friendly lifestyle, but for now, I’m quite pleased with the small changes that I’ve managed to make.

19 thoughts on “Attempting to Be Eco Friendly When You Have OCD

  1. This makes so much sense. For me, I’m angsty about paper straws in restaurants now. I get that plastic ones are bad, but there has to be a better, cheap to manufacture, solution than droopy paper straws. lol

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  2. This is a very interesting take on going zero waste. I’m right there with you when it comes to germs, especially in the office and in cafes! I wouldn’t be comfortable using our cutlery at work either for the same reason. But I do use our water cooler with my own reusable water bottle. I think it’s great that your doing something – if everyone did a little something I think we’d be in a much better placr, right? P.S. I love (LOVE!) your Pingu cup – where did you get it?

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    1. Glad it’s not just me! I’m fed up of feeling guilty over it 😂 I’m the same, I use the taps at work to fill up my water bottle and I have my own mug which I clean with my own sponge 😂 totally agree, if we all did a little bit we’d start to make more of a difference! And thank you, it’s from TruffleShuffle.com! Thanks for reading 😊 x

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  3. I don’t like it when people knock others down for not being eco-friendly enough because there are people who need to use plastic straws & forcing them to use metal straw just seems wrong. But I’m glad to hear you are doing what you can to be eco-friendly & it’s great that you’ve been able to make small changes! I do need to look into getting some reusable cotton pads to remove my makeup & for my skincare routine!

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    1. It’s not fair is it? Like you say there’s people that genuinely need to use single use items and it’s horrible they get shamed for it. I would definitely recommend the reusable pads, they really scrub every bit of makeup off and where they’re bigger you can pretty much do your whole face with just one! X

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  4. Honestly, you’re doing far more than me. You’ve actually given me a few wee ideas for coming up with new, eco friendly ways. I plan on getting rid of all my old tubberware and getting durable ones thatboth act as storage and lunch boxes. I also want to replace my re-useable cup and make more of an effort with sanitary products. I get they aren’t for everyone, but I want to give them a go away 🙂

    Keep doing what you’re doing, pet! You’re getting on so well!

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    1. Thanks Nyxie, glad it’s given you some inspiration 😊 I’ve seen a few sites that do tampons/sanitary towels made with organic cotton and less chemicals, so I’m going to look into these at some point as a compromise! X

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  5. I love this post! It’s so important that we all try to do our bit but it’s also helpful to remember our limitations 🤷🏼‍♀️

    I want to try and get better with a reusable cup but my emetophobia stops me. I have this association as when I was ill I was suppose to be going out for a coffee and now I hate planning going out for a drink. I see taking a reusable cup with me as a plan 🤷🏼‍♀️ I try in other ways to be eco friendly though and have made many other changes.

    It’s important to remember that we all have our own problems and they influence every area of our lives. I wish people would be kinder as there’s so much judgement within the eco movement.

    Well done for what you’re doing, it’s amazing! ☺️xx

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 I totally agree, there’s so much judgement within this movement and I think if people were a little bit kinder it would make such a difference. I get what you mean about the reusable cup though – last time I actually used mine was the day all this stomach stuff started so I have a few associations with it that I’m not too good with! Thank you for reading 🙂 x

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  6. Thank you for posting this! I have the exact same issue and I am doing lots of research to find ways I can be eco-friendly while accommodating my OCD. Fortunately there are so many good tips out there. I use Pinterest a lot for ideas – I’m currently trying to sew cutlery/napkin carriers for work, and if they turn out cute, I plan to gift them as well! I also bought Viori bar shampoo/conditioner recently. At first I was having a hard time imagining the grossness of bar soap just sitting on the shower shelves, but they also sell bamboo holders, so I’m gonna give it a go! Anyway, thanks again for letting us know we are not alone 🙂

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    1. I’m so glad you found it useful! I was exactly the same with the bar of soap thing and to be honest it’s still something I struggle with when it comes to hand soaps especially, but I’m much better with having them in the shower now – as long as you’ve got a decent holder it’s fine! I love the idea of cutlery and napkin carriers too, you’ll have to let me know how you get on with them! Thank you so much for reading 🙂 x

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