January Rundown

Hi Simple Year family!

January has been and gone already, can you believe it? For me it was full of tidying, decluttering and sniffling.

I find being ill doubly frustrating these days, not only because I am somewhat incapacitated, but I am also producing more waste than I would otherwise. The medicine and vast amounts of tissues all come packaged in plastic or printed card (or both) and, although I have a good selection of handkerchiefs, those don’t even last half a day. And, although there is much to be said for prevention, rather than cure, some viruses can’t be avoided or beaten quickly enough without modern, proven medicine.

This illness feels like the first failure of my simple year. However, while I was sneezing and coughing, the world has been busy talking about recycling and the importance of tackling litter, as well as re-discovering the magic of tidying up.

In this post, I will share with you some of the news stories that caught my eye, and that I’m sure you too will find interesting.

  1. KonMari is sparking joy on Netflix

Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up first published in 2014, is the host of the new eight-episode show called Tidying Up and might be directly contributing to the rise of the ‘slow fashion’ movement.

I remember reading her book for the first time, around the same time I discovered (and devoured) The Simple Year, as well as the zero waste movement. Her tidying up method inspired me to pare down all of my belongings, and to become more mindful about what I buy.

If you haven’t come across the KonMari method before, but you’re on your own simplification journey, I wholeheartedly recommend watching the show, and reading or listening to the book. There are also hundreds of hours of YouTube videos of people from around the world documenting their own tidying up journeys, which are probably the best testament for how inspiring people are finding KonMari.

In this short article, the author talks about the ‘Kondo effect’ and the shifting of trends towards slow fashion. This is something the Simple Year family has been practicing for years now – through ‘Project 333’, and repairing, rather than replacing, and decluttering. It makes me very happy to know that this movement is spreading!

  1. Supermarkets can (and need to) make a difference.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company recently published an article and a video piece about the slow, and inadequate way in which the national major grocery chains are tackling the plastic waste problem.

Although images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are often on the news, I found the footage of the illegal plastic dump in Malaysia absolutely shocking. Good news is: the big supermarket brands have the absolute power over what they stock, and how their products should be packaged. And, in my view, any producer who would say ‘no’ to changing their packaging to more sustainable options, doesn’t deserve to stay in business.

  1. The Big Brands and the Holy Grail of packaging

I saved my favourite piece of news for last.

A number of big manufacturers and brands, such as PepsiCo, P&G and Nestlé have announced they will be joining the ‘Loop’ project, delivered by TerraCycle. The idea is to do away with single use, disposable containers, and some of the products include shampoo, laundry detergent, diapers, cooking oil and icecream (good news for the Simple Year 5 family! ;).

Customers will be able to do their shopping as usual, online or in store and, once they have used the contents, they will be able to return the containers to Loop, who will clean and pass those on for refilling.

Is this zero waste, circular economy heaven, or what?


Tell me about your January; what goals have you set for yourself and how are you getting on?