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For the past 2 years or so, I have been making a conscious effort to minimise our families ecological footprint on the beautiful planet in which we call our home. I’ve always been passionate about doing my bit for the environment from a young age, in fact on a school trip to learn about recycling back in my primary school days, I was the only 7 year old who didn’t moan and refuse to pick up discarded litter across our breathtaking Lake District when instructed to, all in an effort to show us how waste that we contribute to every single day can ruin our planet.
In an effort to inspire you to switch to some more eco-friendly alternatives in your home, here are some small changes we have made that will make a significant difference in the long run.
1. Child, Pet & Eco-friendly cleaning products
Being subscribed to many Mummy vloggers on YouTube such as Emily Norris and Mama Reid led me to check out Method cleaning products! Emily, in particular, sold them for me in that they are both child AND pet-friendly, meaning as a Mum I’d have no more worries over harmful chemicals around the most important humans/animals in my life. Derived from natural ingredients Method is safe for your family, home and the planet! No eye-watering, breath-holding, lingering strong scents while still leaving your home smelling clean, whilst not skimping on the actual cleaning power (which many people fear when they see a product has natural ingredients). I am in LOVE with the modern and colourful designs, the size of their range and the fact many are “multi-purpose” meaning it saves me money on buying all different cleaners and room under the sink! I cannot recommend this brand enough, particularly if you have a young family.
2. Tossing the kitchen roll
We used to be a family that’d go through 3/4 thick kitchen rolls per day in our home. It was terrible really! I’m rather ashamed, the worst part is many brands have some coating in the material that makes it unrecyclable, so putting it in the cardboard bin wasn’t even an open. When I tallied up one night how much money and how many tubes of it we actually went through in a month, that’s when enough was enough. I got our first pack of Microfibre cloths from Home Bargains, but to be fair they weren’t much of a bargain for £5 for just 3 cloths. Though the purchase did enable me to see if they were just as good or even better than your traditional disposable rolls. From the moment I first swept the kitchen worktop to mop up some spilt juice, I was in LOVE! The fibres on it are much like a washcloth and pick up crumbs and spills so easily, it really makes for less time cleaning, more time enjoying better things in life. I went on to buy a 24PK of AmazonBasics Microfibre Cleaning Cloths that will last us for years to come AND because it’s such a large pack with multi-coloured clothes, you can colour coordinate it to certain parts of the house to prevent cross-contamination e.g yellow for the kitchen, blue for the bathroom.
3. Re-thinking how we stored snacks and left-overs
I don’t know about you but Tupperware drives me up the wall! When Nana comes over with her homemade potato corn beef hash, still warm in the pot, I can never find the right lid to the size of Tupperware bowl I’d need to store it in the fridge for later. It’s infuriating. There is a HUGE range of reusable food wraps made in all natural beeswax on Amazon with patterns to fit any personality and any kitchen style. As I’d never tried Beeswax Food Wraps before, I opted for this assorted sized multi pack for £11. That way I’d have the option of fitting them over any size bowl required! Beeswax wraps are such a popular eco-friendly alternative to clingfilm. Being handmade using 100% Cotton Fabric, Beeswax, Tree Resin, Jojoba Oil and NOTHING ELSE means when you no longer need them/want a new pattern, they are completely compostable. Every little helps in the war against plastic!
4. Saving the turtles and our oceans!
According to the Associated Press, although plastic straws account for about 4% of global plastic waste, they constitute a huge source of pollution of about 2,000 tons! That’s absolutely disgraceful that we’ve let ‘straws’ of all things cause such catastrophe to our planet, particular our ocean life. As a family with young children, we always had a holder full of traditional bendy plastic straws in the kitchen, me having a disability also means I rely heavily on straws being readily available. On average our family typically went through a 100 straw pack per fortnight. Cringe! Upon that realisation, I searched high and low for the right reusable, eco-friendly straw that’d meet both the needs of my young children and my physical limitations. Eventually, I stumbled across these ‘Reusable Silicone BPA Free Staws – Extra Long.’ The extra long bit was particularly important for to compensate for my muscle weakness in my arms, getting a heavy glass to my mouth is often impossible without a bendy, long straw. I chose these silicone ones as it comes with a carry pouch and with my girls not really keen on hot drinks, the silicone would be perfect for out and about for them for juice etc. They did take a bit of getting used to, I won’t lie, but just Googling how plastic straws alone kill thousands of ocean life every day is motivation enough to not go back to plastic. My next goal is to find similar but that is safe to use with a cup of tea! Any recommendations?
5. Ditch the plastic bags for cute foldable reusables
England (believe it or not) was the last part of the country to ditch single-use plastic bags in supermarkets in 2015 with a fantastic 85% drop in overall usage of staple free bags. It really has made a huge difference considering 8m tonnes of plastic makes it’s way into the world’s oceans each year. Like many families, we have a cupboard dedicated to these eyesores and constantly forgot to take bags with us to the shops for the longest time. So when I saw these foldable reusable bags that had handy clips, I thought we could give them a go to try and break our single-use bag habit. You get 6 in a pack and I love the fact I’ll never forget to take them with me again as I always have one clipped on my handbag strap or on my wheelchair, see wheelchairs come in handy in doing our bit for the planet too! We’ve used these bags multiple times and found them to work just as well, if not better an ordinary bags and slowly but surely that bag cupboard is becoming obsolete. If only I’d of discovered them sooner…
6. Changing the way I removed my make-up
Like most women, I used to reach for a pack of make-up removal wipes to take my war paint off every day. I hated it in all honesty. I felt guilty knowing the wipes wouldn’t remain moist enough to take all my foundation and eye shadow off leading to me using multiple wipes at a time, none of which are biodegradable or had recyclable packaging. Finally I scoured many Amazon reviews and found these washcloths specifically for make-up removal! Not only are they eco-friendly in that they’re washable so you can use them time and time again, but they’re hypoallergenic meaning they are kind and gentle to your skin, leaving your skin feeling cleansed and as fresh as if you’d just stepped out the shower. Something a pack of £1 face wipes doesn’t do! FABCARE Make-Up Removal Cloths are also disability-friendly with their built-in glove add on bonus! They’re a good size too for really getting every last bit of make-up and grime, unlike circular cotton pads which again I’d end up using lots of. This 4 pack is most definitely all you need to never buy a pack of face wipes again!
If you liked this post and would like to see where we progress from here with reducing our families ecological footprint on the planet, please let me know. I’m also taking suggestions so would LOVE to hear what you may have done in your household too!