A little while ago I wrote about 5 changes I was planning on making to be more eco-friendly; do away with clingfilm, buy a compost bin, grow our own, switch to reusable nappies and reusable sanitary towels. At the time I had the idea but I must admit that what with being a parent of two now, being tired most of the time and being quite stuck in my ways, I felt a little hesitant and apprehensive. It’s daft how we all get so tangled up in our little world of disposable convenience, isn’t it? I mean, what was the apprehension about? A little more washing? Trying something new? Thinking it may be extra work?… Well, yeah, I guess all of those.
We’ve all become lazy, haven’t we? Super lazy I would go as far as saying. Plastics have taken over and we can’t seem to see a way out, rubbish is taking over our planet and yet many of us turn a blind eye, making our lives easier has been more important than looking after our environment.
So, I took a leap and as it’s me, I did it with both feet straight in because if I’m gonna do something and I need to do it full-on.
If you have been following my blog or my social media sites you will know that I have made the full switch from disposable nappies to reusable ones, I have ditched the wet wipes for washable cloths and I am loving it! Eight weeks on and I have a great collection of cloth nappies from several brands, I have ones just for night-time, I have ones I love, ones that aren’t quite so pretty, ones that are just so funky that they make me want to go and buy more!! My most recent purchase was a reusable swim nappy too. I’m going to do a post solely on cloth nappies because it’s a huge topic but if you want to learn about all in ones, I have a post right here.
The main point I can make on the cloth nappy change is that all you really need to do is get your head around doing some extra washing. Instead of lobbing everything in the bin, you simply pop it in a bucket or straight in the washing machine and you can choose whether you do a wash every day or every other day– this will depend on how many nappies you are getting through, how many you have purchased and how much washing you usually have to do each day but I don’t find a wash a day is causing me too much extra work as there is no pre-soaking to consider and they’ve been drying pretty quickly in this summer weather.
The poo is always the biggest talking point but let me say right here, no one is touching poo using cloth nappies anymore than you are using disposables. At some point we all get a bit on our hands, don’t we?! That comes with the territory, but it’s your baby, it’s no big deal. With a cloth nappy you can use a liner which pops inside to catch the poo and this can then be tipped down the toilet. If you don’t use one, the poo can be put down the toilet straight from the nappy. Yes, teething poos are a bit more tricky and liners are brilliant for these but honestly, it’s all easy, it is helping to save the planet, it is saving me money and I just wish I’d made this change much sooner.
How else have we got on?…
We have also purchased beeswax cloths to cover most of our food (it states that it isn’t suitable for meat) and have reduced our clingfilm use. The problem is until somebody comes up with with a complete alternative I think clingfilm is going to be one to stay in most households. The beeswax cloths are so easy to use though. They stick to themselves as you wrap them around, they can be simply washed in water and stored in a drawer. Most have a year expiry on them but as they are biodegradable it isn’t an issue when it comes to throwing them out.
I haven’t as yet managed to get around to getting a compost bin. It is definitely still on my list to do and I need to work out how to make this work with the waste inside of the house, i.e. deciding whether to buy another bin for the kitchen to keep the leftovers in to then transfer outside and so on. But I’ll get there, I will make the changes needed.
We have managed to grow strawberries this year and have had a really good batch. They didn’t take so well last year but it turns out that strawberry plants grow like crazy! So where we grew green beans, peppers and sunflowers last year, I haven’t been able to this year as the strawberry plant has taken over! Again, another thing I need to look at to find a solution but we do still grow our own Thyme (lemon thyme is lush!), Rosemary and Mint. Plus the in-laws have grown their own for many years so we are lucky that we can be given their amazing veg quite often.
I have written in the past about how important gardening is to me and how much I enjoy seeing bees and other insects in the garden. It is a hobby I really enjoy and even though I have 2 kiddies now, I still try my best to maintain it all. If you fancy making your own bug house or perhaps a garden for the kids to play in or want to know more on gardening I have posts on all of these for you to browse.
As for sanitary products, I am still breastfeeding so those aren’t needed just yet but I am already planning which reusable pads I am going to buy and I may give a Mooncup a try too. I have also swapped to reusable breast pads plus reusable wipes for my face and have even found going back to basics with a flannel and water has done wonders for my skin rather than putting lots of different products on it.
I am also using my tote bags much more and keeping plenty of supermarket bags in the boot of my car so I am never caught out. I have switched to washable cloths to wipe down my kitchen surfaces in order to reduce the amount of kitchen roll we are using and I am keeping tabs on everyone in the home and being a bit of a nag if I think they are being a bit wasteful. My husband has been a little reluctant to some of my changes and even questioned what difference he would actually be making, I responded with but if every single person made at least one change we would see a huge change over time. I recently saw this on a photo on social media:
“But it’s only one straw… said 8 billion people”
That to me speaks volumes.
We have always recycled our bits from the kitchen but I must admit that I haven’t ever looked into what our local council definitely takes and what other recycle points are available nearby. Each area is different but if your local authority doesn’t take items in your normal bin, they will provide drop off points in the town/city. Since I’ve checked all our packagings and what I can pop in the bin, my recycling has significantly increased, so much so that one week we ran out of space! Our regular bin has hardly been filled at all (of course the nappies and wipes have helped with this too) so all in all I am sending far less to landfill which is making me very happy.
Of course, there are plenty of other things I could be doing too.
- Changing to metal straws
- Switch to Bamboo toothbrushes
- Use more reusable drinks bottles (remembering to fill them before I go out is a biggie!)
- Take my own bags to the supermarket for the fruit and veg. We don’t need those little plastic bags and I am thinking about purchasing netted bags instead.
On the whole, we could all be walking more, using less water, only using the dishwasher when it is full, helping with fuel consumption on the car by keeping our cars maintained e.g. tyres pumped up… honestly the list is so long and so much of it is so simple.
I will keep finding new things and new ways of becoming more eco-friendly because at the end of the day it may not affect us too much right now (she says as we sit in a worldwide heatwave!) but it will be a problem for our children’s future and that is something I don’t want.
Is there anything you do that I could also try? Let me know about your eco-friendly changes in the comments.
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