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So, I have talked a lot recently on how we have tried to become more eco-friendly but I know that all my swaps may not be for everybody. For example, it can be tough to pay out upfront for a sufficient stash of reusable nappies, I get that I really do, so I wanted to give some ideas on how you can still make some positive changes around your home and for your family, eco changes that are easy and also cost-effective.
Reusable Water Bottle
Did you know that in the UK 38.5m plastic bottles are used every single day? And, according to research, only just over half make it to recycling! More than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into our environment and oceans each day. So, changing from your bottled mineral water to taking a reusable drinks bottle out with you could have a significant impact if enough of us made that change. I received one of these reusable water bottles for my birthday last year and I love it! It keeps the water so cold, it comes in a variety of sizes and you can choose from these fab designs! It is probably one of the easiest ways to become more eco-friendly and it will save you so much money in the long run too.
Bars of Soap
Did you know that a typical single person throws away an average of 329 plastic items a year, a couple 658 and a family of four uses on average 2,764 plastic items per year? Crazy eh?! So, why so much? Well, when I started to properly look around our home I couldn’t believe how much useless plastic we actually buy. I mean why do we feel the need to liquidise soap and put it into plastic containers which then end up in the bin? Oh, convenience, of course! That, and that issue we all seem to have with being super duper hygienic. But why would a bar of soap not be hygienic or clean? It is, it’s just that the big companies selling these products have been telling you for years it isn’t. I tell you what doesn’t clean itself and that’s the pump on the plastic container that we all touch in order to get the soap out… Bet you’re thinking about all those germs in public loos now aren’t you?! A bar of soap is not harbouring secret deadly germs, it worked perfectly well for thousands of years and it is something we have personally gone back to in the last couple of months. Jake actually asked me what it was when I first gave it to him in the bath. My son had never seen a bar of soap! What has the world come to?!
So far this swap has been such an easy one, the soap lasts really well, it has replaced shower gels too which means even less plastic waste and our skin has felt a lot better for it because I have chosen a natural soap made from honey.
And I mean for everything! You do not need baby wipes, you don’t need antibacterial wipes, you can do away with kitchen roll (although hubby isn’t letting that one go in our home just yet!), basically, any ‘disposable’ wipe is unnecessary. I have put ‘disposable’ because just like a nappy this word is completely and utterly wrong. These items should be labelled single-use. They may leave your home but they do not leave our planet. Nappies take 500-600 years to decompose (so we are told which I assume is a guess of such as they haven’t even been in use for that long!) and wipes are no different. Made with plastic fibres as nappies are, they are becoming a big problem. Our obsession with easy living has blinkered our ability to see what we are doing to the environment.
I now use reusable wipes for so many things and they do such a better job! A pooey baby bum would usually take 4 or more baby wipes to fully clean whereas my reusables ones usually take just one. Their texture enables them to cling to dirt with one swipe and they don’t move it around. Which means they are also perfect for hands, faces and even all of your surfaces around the home. Of course, I have separate ones for my kitchen tops, bathroom etc. but I use the same type of wipes because they are a great price and they work a treat!
Oh, the other bonus of using these is that there are no chemicals or fragrances. Tap water works perfectly well for cleaning babies and children and a bit of washing up liquid dabbed on the wipes for your worktops will glide over and clean in a flash. Becoming more eco-friendly can be so simple.
This is my latest swap and I am still trialling it out. I don’t even want to think about how many plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles I have thrown out over the years but it’s never too late to make a change (and that goes for all of these, you can make a small change at any stage). I won a competition over on Instagram to choose products from an eco-shop. It took me ages to make my selection because Nurtured Me has such a great range but I knew that a shampoo bar was something I needed to try. With quite a few varieties on offer, there should be a shampoo bar for everyone. I went for Lemon and Avocado and so far I’ve had mixed views but I am still in my first week and I am wondering if my hair is getting used to the change from all the ingredients you find in normal shampoo and is perhaps being stripped? It is well-known that certain brands add chemicals to give your hair that shiny look (Pantene came under fire for this a few years ago) and going natural will mean that it may need to recover. I’ve had days where it has been fluffy and soft and other where it has felt a bit heavy and greasy, so it has been a real mixed bag. If this ‘flavour’ doesn’t quite work out I will just try another to see if I can get the right result because this is a change that could have a real impact.
I can honestly say that I hadn’t even thought about those body puffs being made from plastic. So, for years I have been scrubbing my body with plastic which has probably also broken down in the water and released micro-plastics into the system too. Urgh, you see it’s all just convenience, isn’t it? My husband bought me a lovely exfoliation set for my birthday which is full of naturally made, eco-friendly items and once used, they can be put into the compost!!
I would say that all of these items are simple to swap to and are completely affordable, some may even save you more money in the long term as they last so much longer. If you want to read about more ways you can make changes I have this post on what I was committing to change from last year. The list could easily go on and on because once you actually stop and think about where the waste and plastic is, you will be left surprised and in some cases very shocked!
How have you become more eco-friendly? Let me know in the comments.
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means I will benefit if you purchase via these. It will not affect your buying experience and you will not be charged more. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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