10 Top tips for an eco-friendly family

We all want to do our bit to save the world, but we already know that we need to turn the water off while we brush or teeth and that showers use less water than baths. So, here are my top ten tips that perhaps you don’t know!

 

1 - Swap plastic cotton buds for bamboo buds

Even in the UK alone, millions of cotton buds are being flushed down our toilets and ending up in our rivers and waterways, which is why they make up over 60% of all sewage related beach litter (Marine Conservation Society). By 2021 the EU has banned plastic buds, but you can make the swap now! To help persuade big brands to act now, go ahead and sign the campaign www.switchthestick.org. This has the backing of over 150,000 people and has been recognised by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Lidl, Boots and Superdrug.  Lets see which other big brands we can get to act now!

View our bamboo buds.

 

2 - Making your own cleaning products

Did you know that the chemicals in household cleaning products are toxic, not only to humans but to animals and aquatic life too?  And they put it right in front of our eyes on the packaging! "Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects". But most of us don’t bother reading the small print, do we? So, my advice is making your own cleaning products. There are loads of recipes on Google for you to try and it but be a bit trial and error to begin with but once you've found the ones that work well, more often than not, you'll love them more than your typical purchased cleaners.  You might also reap the benefits in your purse too! And you'll be saving the plastic bottle ending up in either land fill or our oceans.  So, it’s a win win, what are you waiting for? Get googling!

 

3 - Face wipe swap

As part of my daily routine, I used to use cleansing wipes on my face in the morning and in the evening to rid my skin of all the makeup and grime that has accumulated throughout the day.  But then I wondered where all these wipes are ending up and it’s no surprise that they end up in landfill or clogging up or drainage systems. An outstanding 11 million wipes are used in the UK every year, from face wipes, baby wipes, to cleaning wipes for surfaces and I want to reduce this.  You can do your bit too, swap to washable bamboo pads.  They're softer than cotton wool and my old brand of face wipes and they're just as convenient. It may seem like a small change but if we all make a small change, it can make a big difference.

View all our bamboo pads.

 

4 - Stop contributing to throw away fashion

Unfortunately, we live in a society now where we don’t mend things anymore, we just throw them away. According to WWF about half of all our textiles are made from cotton, but unfortunately producing cotton is incredibly unsustainable. It takes 20,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of cotton, which is the equivalent to a pair of jeans and 1 t-shirt. This unsustainability is having devastating effects on our environment. Aral Sea was once the 4th largest lake in the world but because of cotton cultivation its virtually gone. 

Furthermore, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture. So instead of popping down the high street to buy something new for the weekend, try looking in charity shops or upcycling your old rags into something new and sparkly. If your not very good with a sewing machine, find a good seamstress, they can fix almost anything!

 

5 - Bamboo Toothbrush vs plastic toothbrush

This is one of the of the simplest swaps you can make. Every year the number of toothbrushes thrown away and ending up in landfill in the UK alone is 264 million. That is if you follow the advice of dentists and change your toothbrush every 3 months. The handle of bamboo toothbrushes can be thrown in your compost bin and will have degraded in 6 months’ time. You can also reuse your old toothbrush’s for cleaning those hard to reach areas, like around a tap and the oven rings! Get your bamboo toothbrush.

 

6 - Eat less meat

Livestock farming accounts for around 14.5% of our global greenhouse gas emissions which is more than the global transport sector. Trees are being destroyed to make room for livestock and in turn this causes pollution of our streams, rivers and our oceans.

It was easy for me to make this swap because I have one child who will eat absolutely anything I put in front of her, but the other one, she won’t eat anything, especially meat! So, we decided that we’d start buying meat alternatives and cooking more vegetarian dishes. Now there are fewer melt downs at the table, I’m doing my bit for the planet, and I’m saving some money too!

 

7 - Natural Deodorants

So, I only found out recently that there’s a difference between anti-perspirant and deodorant! Anti-perspirant protects against odour and sweat, whilst deodorant only protects against odour. There has been some talk about deodorants that contain aluminium may be linked to breast cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. This horrified me, as I’m already a bit paranoid about these things and like to check my breasts regularly, when I remember! So, I decided to eliminate the risk of aluminium in either deodorant or anti-perspirant and make the switch to natural deodorant. I was a bit skeptic at first, but it worked for me. I have spoken to a few people who say they have had to try a few to get the one that works for them but after trying and testing several products they have found one suitable for them too. Get your natural deodorant.

 

8 - Reusable water bottles

Now we all know that plastic, especially single use plastic, is one of the biggest threats on our environment. But so many of us are still buying a drink in a plastic bottle in our meal deal at lunch time. The number of plastic bottles bought around the world every minute is 1,000,000. That number is catastrophic, even with all the news articles telling us what this is doing to our planet. Even if you need to buy a drink at lunch to enable to lunch time deal, think about buying a can instead of a bottle. Even better still, you can buy a reusable bottle. I fill mine up before work at the same time I fill the children’s bottles for school. Some of the reusable water bottles are still made from plastic but I’d suggest buying one made from steel. I don’t think this is proven, but it tends to keep the water cooler too!

 

9 - Ditch the cling film swap for wax wraps

Cling film, along with plastic bags and straws have been known as “the nastiest plastics hurting our planet. In households across Britain every year enough cling film is used to go around the world more than 30 times, which equates to 745,000 miles. Due to most types on cling film being unrecyclable, the majority of it ends up in landfill and takes hundreds of years to degrade. Cling film that makes its way to the sea is often mistaken for jelly fish and swallowed by marine life who feed on them. This in turn, ends up in the stomach of marine animals and ends up in the food chain.  So, to try and combat this I have ditched the cling film and swapped to wax wraps. These are easy to use, reusable have a variety of other uses, including covering fresh tattoos! Get yours here.

 

10 - Bar of soap rather than liquid soap

A study in 2009 found that liquid soaps have a 25% larger carbon footprint than bars of soap. This was one of our first swaps as a family. It’s cheaper than liquid, you’re not contributing to plastic pollution, AND you can tell if you’re children have actually washed their hands like they said they have! There are lots of different soaps you can try but these soaps are my favourite.

I brought these amazing soap dishes too which are made from coconut shells.   

 

I hope this has given you some inspiration to try and do your bit for our planet. If we all do something small in can add up to something monumental!

 

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