Our plastic and paper free family (attempts)
I said to a mate the other day that I’ve become “that girl”; the one I would meet when in my twenties and scoff at because she insisted she was a healthy hippy who didn’t eat much meat, rarely wore deodorant (I do draw the line at that one), took her healthy homemade lunch out in her little lunchbox, and always banged on about feminism. I’m mostly all of those things now…except I use deodorant (just a chemical free one!). Yay me, I squeal enthusiastically, crossed with a tiny splash of sarcasm. HA.
Our family has been going to great lengths over the past few years to join the plastic and paper free revolution and to follow an environmentally conscious path to stamping our little green footprint on home life. I always say that if I know that something is wrong and I consciously ignore it, then I’m guilty of willful ignorance. And I hate those kinds of people. You know the ones. Their answer to everything is “well there’s just so much to do and so many things going wrong, we can’t fix everything”. No, you miserable non-dogooders. We can’t fix everything. But if I know there are things I can do, that are within my conscious control and budget, then I have a responsibility to this planet to do my bit. For my planet, for my children’s planet, for your planet, for our collective grandchildren’s planet.
And on this little quest for a brighter, cleaner future, I’ve been sharing things I’ve learnt with friends and family as I go – and getting lots of tips and tricks back. So I decided it might be nice to share some of the ways we have been attempting to eradicate plastic and unnecessary paper from our home life, and share the companies who we have gone to in order to achieve it. It’s not an expensive path either, as one might initially think! And mostly it’s actually more convenient because I don’t have to leave the house to do it. Many of these companies send you the products ongoing, in their fanciful fully recyclable boxes.
“Each year over 300 billion single-use cups are manufactured. Due to their plastic content, 99% will never be recycled.” ecoffeecups
Why do I want you to consider it?
- It helps our planet
- It’s mostly easier than going to Tescos, Sainsburys or your other local to get the goods in person
- Pretty much 99.999999% of the disposable stuff, like a toothbrush, is biodegradable or fully recyclable
- You just feel like a good human doing good things that you know are helping with reducing our carbon footprint
- It’s cost effective too (otherwise, as a two actor household we wouldn’t be doing it!)
Oh and I have to tell you – I’m not getting paid to write a single bit of this by the way. These organisations don’t even know I’ve mentioned them (until I spam them with my social media handles later when I share it). I’m just one happy customer amongst millions of others who know about them already. I think it’s important to say that at the onset so you don’t all think I’m advertising for any of them.
Without further green-ado….
A toothbrush made from fully sustainable, panda friendly bamboo, that magically arrives at my doorstep every three months in a variety of colours. They charge in euros, not pounds, but when you work out how much a new plastic Colgate toothbrush is, this isn’t far off. And you are helping save another tree.
There’s loads on the web about bamboo toothbrush options and this article sums up a bunch of other brilliant companies who you can choose from.
These guys have this cute catchphrase – “big performance. smol price.” And their smol washing tablets come in a tiny container that fits in the post…rather than one of those gigantic boxes from the supermarket that are only ever half filled anyway. The smol laundry capsules and dishwash tablets are 100% water soluble and the packaging is robust and 100% recyclable (and made from 90% recycled materials). They are the good guys.
And interestingly I found them on Instagram originally. Just goes to show that you can put your products on there and people will find them.
DISCOUNTS: They’ll offer you a free trial first. Just go to their website and start a trial with your first 9 washes for free. Clean and winning!
Who gives a crap: uk.whogivesacrap.org/
Let your bum do wonders for the world…literally. Every time you wipe with Who Gives a Crap, another tree gets saved and more toilets are built around the world. How cool is that. They boast that their products are made without trees (yay), and that 50% of the profits go to building toilets in developing countries. It’s insane how good this all is. All you’re doing is wiping your bum!!
DISCOUNTS: They’ll offer you a free trial first which includes a bunch of different types of the products that they offer – loo roll, tissues, paper towel, all dressed up in their cute little recycled packaging. On their website, click on free trial box. Clean bum, happy trees.
Cath Kidston bag / any recycle bag: www.cathkidston.com/
I use my foldaway shopping bag almost every day. This thing gets more love from me than my recyclable cup. And I bought it when it was onsale. It’s one of those bags that folds down into a little tiny bundle that fits in its own snug purse. And the best bit is because it’s pretty I love taking it out and using it. Invest in one you love and you’ll take it everywhere.
PARENT NOTE: Particularly useful for toddlers. You constantly need an extra bag for wet stuff, dirty stuff, extra toy stuff, food stuff….all that stuff.
ecoffee cup: ecoffeecup.eco
The good old bamboo cup…”pretty and functional and built in a range of sizes”. I bet that’s how my dad would describe it. For me though – it’s about the cute colours, how it feels to hold and the practicality. Toddlers and ceramics do not work (she says speaking from experience) and loads of reusable cups are leaky. Never trust a leaky cup. ecoffee cups are sooooooo cute, and they are so practical. They feel good, and they have a rubber top that seems to spill a lot less than any of my previous cup efforts.
Also as a side note, as you’ll read on their website “Each year over 300 billion single-use cups are manufactured. Due to their plastic content, 99% will never be recycled.” I don’t know about you but that gives me massive shivers down my spine imagining my little one living around a world full of landfill sites rotting with old plastic, wet wipes and other non biodegradable items…it’s going to f our world up if we don’t fix it asap.
Cheeky wipes – www.cheekywipes.com
Back onto bums – there seems to be a lot of bum chat on today’s blog post – and here’s another goodie for the parents, or the woman who wants to be more considerate about her menstrual footprint. Cheeky wipes are a brand new discovery for our household, but boy do I feel like it’s the best bum steer ever (see what I did there!). These little bad boys mean you NEVER have to use disposable, landfill clogging, outrageously naughty wipes again. They come either as white cotton, premium cotton, bamboo or mixed varieties (and in assorted colours) and you can get a mucky box for the dirty ones and a clean box for the clean ones. Revolutionary. I mean come on, it’s just washing a bit of poo from a cloth and then using them again and again, without our family going so far as to using fabric nappies – which I just don’t think I’ll ever get my head around!
BONUS: If you use this code you can get 15% off your first order if it’s over £40 (that’s easy to do by just getting your cheeky bum first full order in). WAHOO! Code – raf-new
I bang on about these guys all the time but they really are the food box for champions. And the eggs are 0UK so they’re the happiest eggs you can buy, and the egg yolks are actually bright and yellow like happy chickens should lay when they’re reared outdoor and living their best life. Riverfood also offer recipe box options (like going to Gousto but without the silly wasteful plastic packaging) if you’re not that savvy in the kitchen and fancy a helping hand cooking up some scrummy dinners.
Every week (delivery frequency can be changed so you don’t have to get it weekly if you don’t need that much fruit or vege) the little box arrives without any plastic around the vege, along with a little postcard with a message from the farm about what’s been happening, what’s in my box, how to store it, and some yummy recipes. I can’t even tell you how many of those free recipes I’ve tried over the years (and kept using). These guys haven’t been bought out like Abel and Cole. They remain small, and they’ve recently let their employees become shareholders in their company. They’re the super good vege guys!
BONUS: You can get you a £15 credit from the wonderful Riverford team after your first box if you call them and give them my Customer ID code – 459088.
So there you have it…..our family roundup of products that we’ve introduced into our house to limit one-off paper and plastic use. Less paper, more panda happy bamboo, and lots of brownie points in helping win the waging carbon footprint war.
Need even more reason to change your ways….click this link and look at these polar bears. It’s devastating.
Yours in a clean planet!
Other places where plastic lives – Oceana: https://oceana.org/blog/plastic-everything-now-here-are-seven-places-it%E2%80%99s-turned-lately
Polar bear plastic crisis – Hakai Magazine: https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/polar-bears-plastic-diets-a-growing-problem/
Photo credits: All photos taken directly from the company sites or their Instagram pages and all are linked to the companies.