Week 15 – Eco-friendly household swaps

Hello again everyone! And welcome to the Week 15 of our Giving Tuesday campaign.

This week, we’re looking at simple ways to make our households more eco-friendly. The news is full of reports of the climate crisis, and although it sometimes seems that any efforts we make are so tiny they can’t possibly have any impact, the thing to remember is that if we ALL make a little effort, the effect will be immense.

In keeping with the theme this week, we are lucky to have two wonderful women offer their expertise in making their lives, households and parenting more eco-friendly.

Family-friendly eco-parenting solutions

First up is Clare Coningsby, who lives locally. Clare runs the excellent Sling Me Clarefully, a service which helps you to find the best sling options for carrying your small person. She also runs the Royston Cloth Nappy Library, amongst other things. Clare is very happy to talk about the ins and outs of washable nappies and any other eco-parenting options. So if you have any questions, drop her a message via her Facebook Page.

Here she is with a guide to easy parenting swaps to make life a little greener:

And secondly, we have Lauren Cressey, who is turning her life eco-friendly, but looking at the most cost-effective way of doing it. Going green doesn’t need to break the bank! You can follow Lauren’s journey via her Instagram feed.

Here she is with her 5 easy parenting swaps:

Easy swap ideas for an eco-friendly home

We know how important looking after the environment is, and there are plenty of small steps you can take within the home to help towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Here are just a few changes you can make:

Silicon Food Bags/Beeswax Food Wraps – replace your plastic sandwich bags or clingfilm with reusable silicone food bags or natural beeswax food wraps (or you could reuse the waxed wrapping that comes with your sliced bread).

Natural Cleaning Products – use natural cleaning products instead of shop-bought chemical ones; such as baking soda, lemons, white vinegar, etc. Here are some natural cleaning recipes to get you started.

Washable Cloths – replace your disposable cloths and sponges with one’s you can wash in a washing machine.

Steel Straws – with new Choose reusable steel straws instead of disposable plastic ones.

Wooden/Bamboo Toothbrushes – these are a nice move from using plastic toothbrushes, and they look great too!

Compostable Bin Bags – not many of us have thought about changing from plastic bin bags to compostable ones. But, you need to make sure they are 100% biodegradable before making the change.

Wooden/Bamboo Utensils – how many plastic spatulas, spoons, ladles, etc. do you have in your kitchen? When you need to replace these items, why not go with bamboo or wood next time?

Fabric Shopping Bags – most of us probably already use this type of shopping bag, and there are also recycled options available – a nice easy swap for this one!

Zero-Waste Shopping – this is a wonderful and fun way to buy your pasta, flour, coffee, etc. and there are so many local businesses offering this type of shopping experience (see below for places to shop).

Reusable Cotton Buds – you can find lots of reusable alternatives on the market these days, simply wash them with warm soapy water after each use. Or if you prefer, you could purchase 100% biodegradable ones which are made with natural products and degrade naturally.

Of course, this list is not exhaustible, and whichever swaps you choose to make in your home – remember, even the smallest of changes will help.

Choosing a zero-waste lifestyle

What exactly is zero-waste? Simply put, it’s finding ways to reduce the amount you consume and throw away. In choosing this lifestyle, you can help the environment by reducing the number of materials sent to landfill and reducing pollution created by the production, transportation and disposal of materials.

There are lots of ways you can adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, things like composting or buying second-hand items. You could also make use of the many zero-waste businesses that are popping up all over the place (a good way to save money too!).

Here are just some of the local businesses that offer zero-waste shopping:

Bamboo Turtle in Letchworth offers an excellent click-and-collect service, and their shop in the Arcade in Letchworth is well worth a visit.

Alternatively, there’s Full Circle in Cambridge, which offers a large selection of environmentally friendly products as well as innovative vegan snacks.

You could also try the Wholesome Weigh-in Hitchin, they also do refills on cleaning liquids and toiletries, eco-friendly personal care products as well as food items.

If these are not in your local area, check out Zero Waste Near Me, which aims to list all zero-waste and eco-friendly shops by region. Who knows what treasures you might find?

We’d love to hear your own zero-waste and eco-friendly parenting hacks. Why not share your ideas with our supporters… you can do this via our Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.

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