How to be plastic free (ish) & eco friendly – how I got on with my NY resolution

I’m not sure when it started, but I know that having a baby have definitely amplified my hippie tendencies, it made me think more about our environmental impact, and increased my sense of responsibility for OUR planet.

I came across Greenpeace’s plastic calculator earlier this year, and even though I thought I was pretty good with doing my bit for the planet, I was shocked and surprised how much plastic I actually used EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t even think that cotton buds are plastic.

Soooo, one of my New Year Resolutions, that actually lasted even evolved further was to reduce my plastic footprint. This simple calculator made me think about how everything is disposable; from fashion, to plastic spoons that I used to use at work ONCE to stir my cuppa and throw them away, to nappies and baby wipes… and to that extra cup that I was given at Starbucks the other day when I asked for some cold almond milk as my coffee was too hot. It all adds up, and this post is not about guilt tripping, but about my realisation that we all have our bit to add, and about some small changes that I made this year and some that I am hoping to introduce in the near future; money and convenience permitting – as some of the eco products and solutions are more expensive and not as easily available, which I think might be a big barrier for people.

GROCERY SHOPPING

Reuse your bags. I reckon we are all used to taking your own bags when shopping. Unless you’re me and you leave the bags in the car and you end up either taking the trolley back to the car, or leave a supermarket with pockets stuffed with the shopping, or cuddling and balancing the rest of your shopping in your arms!

I read recently here that Tesco will stop selling their 5p carrier bags and will only sell 10p ‘bags for life’, which I personally don’t like, and so I better step up my shopping cuddling act, or always remember to take my bags.

Shopping online. Shopping for grocery online, either delivered to your door or ‘click and collect’ is a game changer. You save your time, it’s likely that you don’t end up with any impulse buys in your trolley, and you can either swap your plastic bags when using Ocado, or chose not to use any when you do Click and Collect with Tesco.

Buy fruit and veg by weight and don’t use individual bags unless you don’t need them. The single most surprising thing when I moved to the UK was that all the fruit and veg is prepacked and wrapped in plastic? Why? What do you do with those bags when you get home? They are usually binned straight away, aren’t they?

I also try to buy my fruit and veg locally (30 minute walk from home), but I understand that once I’m back at work I will not have time to do that :((( However, we ARE GETTING AN ALLOTMENT, so maybe all my dreams of growing our
own veg will come true next summer?

IMG_4961 Still a bit green, but its only August…

PERSONAL CARE

Swaps this year include:

Using sugar scrubs (love these from Other stories ) rather than scrubs containing microbeads that are harmful to marine life. From next year manufacturers won’t be able to add microbeads, so better to find your favourite substitute now

I also use natural face brushes and body brushes instead of sponges.

I’m also moving towards using organic soaps, and cruelty free makeup and cosmetic brands. Although I really struggled to find brands that are affordable (as the same price, or just a little bit more expensive than let’s say Max Factor or L’Oreal), so holler at me if you have any suggestions!
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HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

Oh my! Where do I start! I love my cleaning, so I am still trying to figure it out if I will ever move away from all my lovely toxic cleaning sprays… However, I have started to (sometimes) use lemon and water, or diluted apple cider vinegar for cleaning. I’m also making a conscious effort not to use as many trees, I mean, paper towels for cleaning.

Other swaps include:

Using reusable boxes and bowls and saucers instead of cling film (I’m on my last roll ever now!)

ON THE GO – TAKE AWAY

Simple swaps while on the go, are to carry a reusable water bottle with you (I guess that’s easier up North as the water is decent and you don’t get that limescaley taste that I cannot stand), use reusable coffee cups – love my keepcup and thermos cup.

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I’m also hoping to start using reusable cutlery when I go back to work.

BABY STUFF AND TOYS

Oh…where do I start… you need to be a parent to understand how many nappies and wipes (mainly wipes once babies are bit bigger) you go through every single day.
I was all enthusiastic about using a super cute looking reusable nappies, and laundry services before I had a kid, but once the baby arrived, that was definitely the last thing on my priority list, after keeping the baby alive, sleeping and generally finding my feet.

However, the simple changes I have actually managed to introduce is to try to use a reusable cloth to wipe his face and hands after meals at home rather than wet wipes.

I’m also moving towards using more and more bamboo dishes, and wooden toys, which we often get second hand – they are much more durable than plastic toys. I personally see so many benefits of wooden toys: as well as looking nicer ( hehe), they are educational and they encourage imagination, and ultimately they are biodegradable.
I’ve just googled for the benefits of wooden toys, and this article came up, which is quite helpful if you want to have a read.
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I Bought this activity cube for £6 on facebook market place. New one is about £40.

IMG_4968 I sometimes steal his lovely bamboo dishes hehe

Although, of course, we have some plastic toys that Oliver loves to play with (he’s one, so playing means banging to toys together), and walkers, and other stuff. Thankfully we got most of that stuff second hand, and I managed to sell the stuff that he doesn’t use anymore.

Thanks for reading and give me a shout if you can suggest any other swaps and ways to keep our planet tidy x

 

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