Hello and Happy New Year from Alex

Hello and Happy New Year dear Simple Year readers!

I’m Alex from Bristol, UK, and it’s my great honour to take over here for Year Seven (!) and document my own Simple Year journey. Today I’ll keep it short, with a little about me, and about why and how I will achieve my goal.

I live in Bristol, UK, although I am not British. I was born in Vienna, Austria, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to the UK about five years ago. As the first Simple Year blogger from Europe, I’ll do my best to not only tell but also show you what my life looks like (Instagram is my social media of choice, so make sure to follow us there).

I am an Event Manager by training but my career in digital marketing requires that I often wear many different hats. Although I’m in an office all day, I try to stay active and cycle wherever I can, but winter in the UK is not kind to cyclists. I’m into CrossFit, weightlifting and hiking, and I’m a passionate collector of plants (although I’m still learning how to keep them all alive and happy). In my free time, I read a LOT. Mostly sci-fi, nature and fiction books. I enjoy cooking and making beauty products from scratch. And, starting today, I’ll be blogging here weekly as well, an exciting new addition to my routine.

I have a deep passion for sustainability and, I believe, there are many factors responsible for this enthusiasm. One is certainly that I grew up in a home where recycling just happened, without much thought or real effort. This is partly due to the great local waste collection facilities in Warsaw. Since moving out of the home, in the various places I’ve lived, I’ve tried to recycle as well as possible, even when the curb collection didn’t offer that option. This disparity in local government services made me realize that my rubbish output needs to change, and I shouldn’t simply rely on somebody else to deal with my trash.

So, this Simply Year, I commit to buying nothing which is not 100% recyclable. I will extend that further to choices I can influence at work, campaigning for environmentally-friendly alternatives in events, products and transport.

However, I have to make two exceptions: medication and bike parts. As this is my primary mode of transport, whenever a part of my bike needs replacing I am not prepared to jeopardize my own or other people’s safety. I will naturally do my best to recycle the retired components.

I’m effectively embarking on a journey across the recycling industry in the UK, and beyond. In order to know if, and how particular items are recycled, I will have to conduct a lot of research and will document my triumphs and failures, so that we can hopefully all learn a thing or two.

And, finally, what will your next 52 weeks look like? The rest of the Simple Year family and I want to know. Tell me in comments below (or on Instagram or Facebook) if you would like me to investigate something you were always wondering about. Like, what actually happens to that Pringles can? Or, why does your recycling differ to your neighbours’ across the state line?

I will find out for you!



11 Responses to Hello and Happy New Year from Alex

  1. Welcome! Lovely to have a local blogger joining the family. I am from the UK also, and am looking forward to following your journey.
    Regards SMW

    • Hi SMW
      Looking forward to sharing some local tips. I’m very lucky in Bristol to have loads of Zero Waste shops and old-school grocers/butchers/fish- and cheesemongers.

      How does it look around yours?

      • I am up in Scotland and am lucky to have a very good Wholefood shop only an hours drive away (that counts as near in this area!). Also there are local butchers, fish shops and Farmer’s markets, which are good but pricy options.
        What is most useful is that I am a member of a group of families which make a bulk wholefood order from one of the main wholefood suppliers every few months. This means I can buy in bulk which uses less packaging and also only one trip to pick it up. A lot cheaper than buying little packets from the supermarket or wholefood shop!

  2. I am looking forward to what I suspect will be a very interesting perspective and look forward to your photos as well, Alex. Welcome! As for my next 52 weeks, I am restarting Joshua Becker’s 12 week course Uncluttered, based on his book More of Less. I’m more excited than ever to simplify my life and I’m looking forward to hearing about how your focus on recycling alters your daily life!

    • Sounds great Amy and thank you for the welcome.

      I have recently watched the ‘Tidying up with Mari Kondo’ on Netflix and found it very inspirational, perhaps something you’ll enjoy too. 😉

  3. Welcome, Alex!

    This sounds like a great Simple Year project, especially after learning more about recycling in China during Trisha’s year. I am especially excited that you plan to discuss environmentally-friendly events. I plan events for work at a sustainability related organization, and it is shockingly difficult to make sustainable choices while planning events even when it’s a major personal and organizational goal. Very interested to see what you come up with!

    • Hi V,

      That sounds very interesting, tell me more about your work?
      It’s a neverending discovery journey, especially when it comes to finding suppliers with similar outlook so I’m curious to learn what’s your biggest challenge.


  4. look forward to reading your adventures ahead in your Simple Year. I read the Mean Queen blog from UK and enjoy her ways to decrease waste, her expeditions, and living on a limited income. I’m in USA, grandparents raising a grandson (who is 10) so very interested in what his future will look like and how we can help decrease the negative, increase the positive of his life.

  5. Actually, yes to the Pringles can – we had a stack of them in the past week, as we reunited in Sir Lanka, they became our happy hour snack of choice as my brother’s GF has a nut allergy. And the place we stayed, bless, had four wheelie bins for a 12 storey apartment block labelled: organics, plastic, glass, paper. Gosh knows what we were meant to do with anything that didn’t align to that..

  6. So excited to hear a European perspective! I’m starting small by switching most single use plastic out of my house. Bees Wax wraps, reusable feminine products, BYOC (bring your own cutlery), etc. Let’s go 2019!

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