Welcome to this months blog post all about ‘Sustainability’ and little changes every family can make to collectively make a HUGE difference!
You may have noticed in the media recently that a number of councils in the UK (as well as places worldwide) are trying to make changes to combat the epidemic that is plastic pollution. The use of plastics straws has been banned in certain areas, Scotland is trialling a deposit scheme for plastic bottles and even the Queen has announced a ban on plastic straws and bottles at all Royal estates. As a family we have spent a fair bit of time researching the problem and thinking of ways that we can be part of the solution. The facts are absolutely astounding and we are currently at a critical point where we need to realise we can no longer turn a blind eye to what is going on. We need to take responsibility for our choices and make corporations accountable for theirs.
What is the problem with plastic?
-It is believed that more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are in the world’s oceans.
-Every year 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40% of that is single use.
-By 2050 it is believed that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
-All animal life is being threatened by plastic pollution and it is now even entering the food chain. There is believed to be over 43000 plastic particles in a regular sized fish we would eat.
-Plastic is not biodegradable. It does not rot like paper or food.
What can we do?
-Try to avoid single use plastic as much as possible.
-Be prepared and carry reusable water and coffee cups wherever you go.
-When buying products choose options in glass, tin or card packaging wherever possible and recycle after use.
-Say no to plastic straws/cutlery/condiments and confront businesses about their use and impact on the environment.
-Educate yourself and your family about the dangers of plastic pollution. BBC’s Blue Planet II is a great place to start for the whole family. You will marvel at the creatures featured (for some species it is the first time there has been technology to film them) but it also covers the threats facing our oceans.
-Follow groups that are trying to make a difference on social media @2minutebeachclean , @doitfordavid and @littlepickersclub are just a few examples.
-Next time you are out and about do your own litter collection-you will be surprised how satisfying it is to know you are helping to make a change.
-Research small businesses that are acting in an environmentally responsible way. Zero waste shops are popping up all over the place…look one up in your area, pop by and spread the word. You’ll be amazed to find that there is a sustainable option for almost everything.
Whilst researching this topic our family has decided to make some changes
1. We ensure we always have reusable bags in the car.
2. We have swapped our Oral-B toothbrushes for completely biodegradable bamboo ones. This one was a tough one for me….I’m one of those weirdos who regularly has dreams about my teeth falling out and I probably brush up to 5 times a day (yes I know it damages the enamel) and I NEVER let the kids go to bed without brushing…’Would you like the dentist to drill into your teeth?!’….but after learning that every plastic toothbrush ever made is probably out there somewhere….breaking down into smaller pieces and contaminating land and sea I decided I was ready to make the change. Our toothbrushes were purchased from f.e.t.e
3. We trialled cruelty free, plastic free and vegan friendly Beauty Kubes shampoo. I fell in love with this product long before it arrived….but deep down I was concerned that it wouldn’t work on my dry, curly hair….happy to say that after 3 weeks I cannot stop singing it’s praises! It’s completely natural, smells fab, is easy to use, takes up very little cupboard space (perfect for vanlifers), works wonders on my hair, leaves no residue or build up AND the kids love it which is what it all boils down to in the end!
4. We decided to give up plastic straws….BUT Friday night is milkshake night in the Binedell caravan….fear not @2minutebeachclean were at hand with the perfect solution-reusable stainless steel straws. They arrive in a small hessian bag which you can pop in your handbag so you are never without them.
5. We have changed to loose leaf tea and I cannot tell your what a difference it makes to the taste! We bought a couple of tea strainers at £2 each and the leaves can be popped onto your compost heap or into your food waste bin. Did you know most teabags contain plastic? I didn’t until recently.
6. We visited our local whole foods supplier @eatwholefoods in St.Albans and managed to purchase loose leaf Rooibos tea (red bush) a staple in any South African’s home. We also found out that all their products are packaged in biodegradable bags and you can pop over with your own container and refill your Ecover washing up liquid and laundry detergent….and to top it off it was wonderful to chat to the store owner, Patrick.
That about covers this week’s post….please let us know if you have been inspired to make changes to your family’s plastic habits. Have you already started? Do you have other suggestions for us? Is there a company or product you’d like to share?
Please also remember to start slowly, don’t go and throw out every plastic product you own, don’t beat yourself up because you can’t afford to swap a product for a more expensive sustainable one. Unfortunately, the sustainable option is usually the more time consuming and expensive option which brings into question how we use our time and money….but that’s a whole other blog post! For now do what you can and no matter how small the change-it IS making a difference.
P.S Be sure to follow our Instagram and look out for our giveaway featuring the products mentioned above.