So 'eco' seems to be the new buzz word, doesn't it? People are all a-bluster about recycling this, plastic free that and responsible living (us included!). Since joining a Facebook group dedicated to all things 'green', my eyes have been truly opened to the changes that every day people can make to cut down on landfill waste. They range from reusable wipes, beeswax wraps, repurposed duvet covers to homemade cleaning products and homegrown veg - so many easy things to do (well, apart from the sewing and the growing - I suck at both).
What strikes me is how it feels like we're winding the clock back to before plastic came along and wrapped itself around everything.
My grandma didn't use disposable nappies, clingfilm or have plastic wrapped oranges (I mean, seriously, the things already have a NATURAL wrap on them!) - so here we are, decades later, reliving the past.
Sure, there's a convenience and availability difference now but that can aid us in stopping the world turning into a stinking pile of discarded wrappers. Here's a list of what I'd say are the simplest swaps you can make, because even if you make ONE change that has an effect.
1. Ditch the Diapers
Now, as a mother of arguable the poopiest two-year-old, this is a fairly daunting task. The outlay for reusable nappies is hefty, but actually in the long term, it saves you £££. We recorded a fairly chaotic (might as well own it, right?) video about making the swap. If going the whole hog is too big a step, try reusable wipes. A few flannels, towels or micro-fibre cloths cut up and stored in a tub with water and bam! That reduces your waste by thousands of wipes. Poopy wipes go in the washing machine, where Mr Daz does his thing and out they come, all fresh and clean (and the poo is washed away with the dirty water).
2. Guns Don't Kill Planets, Wrappers Do
Sandwiches? Opened food? The usual choice for wrapping is cling film or a handy plastic bag but these one-use items are the WORST for landfill. A beeswax wrap is the perfect way to keep food fresh, is totally reusable and what's more - makes lunch funky! Again the outlay is more than a roll of film, but treated right, these will last you a very long time. You can buy them locally at Almond & Co, Spill The Beans, Cherry Garth's Beeswax Wraps plus loads more. Or if you're feeling crafty, you can make your own!
3. End Feminine Product Waste. Period
From the menstrual cup to reusable pads to blood absorbing pants, there are so many options for you so you can stop buying tampons and towels. It's a hugely personal thing, so noe judges if it's not for you, but I have only heard great things about each of these choices. Plus you get to stick two fingers up to the so-called pink tax (feminine hygiene products are charged VAT as a 'luxury item'. Sure, buying Always makes me feel like I should be riding First Class)
4. Cleaning Fluid in a Flash
Make your own all-purpose cleaner; it takes under 2 minutes and costs a fraction of the price of a shop bought alternative. You need cooled boiled water, distilled vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon oil and any other scented essential oil you like (lavender is a popular choice). Mix the water and vinegar 50/50, add 10-15 drops of oil, pour in to a spray bottle (reuse an old one), shake and there you go! The vinegar is immense on limescale, so taps, sinks, tiles and kettles are left gleaming. The tea tree and lemon oils are antiseptic, plus the lemon cuts through grease. At less than 50p for 100ml, it saves you money from the get-go.