The week after next I want to run a week-long series of Eco recommendations.
Not really stuff we all know about already eg. stop buying clothes, stop flying in airplanes and buy a Keep Cup, but more like those household schemes – like that loo roll Who Gives a Crap – anyone do that? – any of my Stateside readers use Loop? Wax food wrap is getting a mention.
Any brilliant suggestions, please leave them in the handy box below or email me – email@example.com
Becca Krug says
A good tip would be to find your local version of this business: https://containyourselftw.com/ – recently came across this refill station at our local farmer’s market. You can take our own bottles to be refilled with eco-friendly home and body products or buy refillable glass bottles from them to fill up with products and re-use.
I’ve just started subscribing to Ohne who sell tampons made without all the crap no-one really wants near their bits…bleach, fragrance(??!?). All the packaging is biodegradable and they deliver customisable packs to suit your cycle. Oh and the packaging looks incredibly sleek in your bathroom too, as an added bonus.
*Biodegradable or recyclable, sorry
I use that loo paper.
It’s great, first it’s deeply efficient to get it delivered.
Secondly it makes you feel very smug.
It isn’t as nice as andrex, but… ITS GOOD ENOUGH! It does make you think that when you go to others peoples houses and go to the loo the normal stuff feels very very nice.
I know that’s not exciting but it’s loo paper ffs.
Lucy Newman says
I recently came across this and thought it was a great idea. Hard to recycle waste schemes sponsored by big household brands https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades As mum of a weaning baby I always feel guilty throwing the pouches in the bin once done, I know there are reusable pouches but for days when convenience is key its nice to know they can still be recycled!
OK, OK, so ignore it if you want but disposable coffee cups are very rarely if ever recycled and still we all merrily trip into Starbucks and buy overpriced coffees in unrecyclable single-use coffee cups… Rabot 1745 is the beauty arm of Hotel Chocolat and they do three body scrubs in reusable coffee cups…so a sort of two gifts in one idea http://www.rabot1745beauty.com
Stop buying cling wrap – completely unrecyclable. I’ve started been buying brown paper bags for sandwiches from the same aisle in Waitrose and they can obviously then be recycled in the paper box. Same aisle in Waitrose you’ll find these funny looking things that look like shower caps which I now use over bowls of leftovers etc. They can be rinsed clean afterwards. https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/if-you-care-paper-snack-sandwich-bags/736706-675947-675948 and https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/covermate-food-covers/818302-462426-462427
A game changer for me was finding out I can recycle my daily contact lenses and their packaging- Boots Opticians collect in store or you can find out where else you can drop them off on the terracycle website.
Recommendations for solid shampoo and conditioner please and how to store them so they don’t go to mush.
Emma van Straaten says
Lush Seanik bar (the blue one) is delicious and my hair has never felt so squeaky clean! Lush also have those quite good little tins but agree there is a degree of mushiness towards the end…
ODDBOX! Veg delivery boxes of beautiful vegetables that have been rejected by supermarkets because they are wonky, or too big or too small. It’s all wonderful and helps at tiny bit to tackle the hideous issue of food waste we have here. I think there are various codes which mean you can get a half price first box!
I’m really enjoying getting my milk delivered in glass bottles by Milk & More’s electric milk float 🙂 I have little kids so we get through about 10 pints a week and that used to be my biggest plastic waste. I love how Milk & More let you adjust your order until 9pm the night before, and you can add all sorts of delicious things like almond croissants and bread to your doorstep order – feels like room service!
P.S. obviously your empty glass bottles are collected, washed and reused!
We have Milk & More too – LOVE it!! Such s fab service
Another fan of Milk and More! I love getting milk bottles delivered on a float like it’s the 1980s. We’ve used them for years and must have saved loads of plastic by having glass bottles taken away and reused by the milkman instead.
I’ve just started using a beeswax bread wrap and I love it. Keeps the bread nice and fresh and is washable if you need to – so far I’ve not needed to wash mine and I’ve had it about 3 weeks. They come in all different sizes as I’m sure you all know – my bread one is a largish square about 19′ by 19′ which is plenty big enough to wrap my homemade sourdough loaf. Will probably invest in more sizes once I get my head around what will wrap well and what won’t – for example they don’t recommend wrapping raw meat – but otherwise pretty much anything is worth a try.
Buy all birds? Im quite good around the house with kitchen and cleaning stuff but struggle in the bathroom where I am embarrassed and horrified by of all the plastic but to be fair I live with 3 teenagers so dont buy it all. Ive switched shower gel to soap which I actually prefer but any shampoo/conditioner tips would be great. My whole family have very thick hair so those soap bars just dont work. I am going to look up a refill place. I live in Kingston Upon Thames which is a proper town and weirdly haven’t seen any. There are some really good cleaning hacks on Hughs War on Plastic which Ive been enjoying and I am pleased (smug) I already did a few. There is also a very shocking bit about face wipes etc which Im also now ditching. They are basically plastic as are baby wipes. Even more shocking is where a lot of our recycled plastic goes. This is a great idea Im really looking forward to it. Thank you!
Beauty Kubes are way better than soap bars IMHO. Not cheap but I reckon they’re as good as the best shampoo – and I don’t use conditioner with them. They don’t leave a residue like soap bars can. Hair is squeaky clean and shiny but nourished. When I revert to normal shampoo it feels super chemically by comparison. Made in the UK. Worth a shot? http://www.beautykubes.co.uk (Rats I’ve just noticed they’ve put their prices up!) PS I don’t work for them or write blurbs for shampoo bottles for a living.
Sarah – I live near you and have seen advertised a plastic refill place in Teddington. I haven’t been myself but now I’m going to!
Thanks Caroline I will try and find this. Problem is I cant walk there whereas I can walk to Kingston so maybe we should open one in Kingston!
Lush take back their black tubs for reusing and Body shop have started doing the same with their bottles. Neither use micro beads in their scrubs too
I asked my hairdresser to order me the enormous back-wash bottles of shampoo and conditioner that they use in salons and then decant them into old smaller ones that we can resuse. I know it’s still plastic but with all our hair the bars just can’t cut it. Also – coffee pods (which drive me mental) can be recycled as aluminium if you cut the front off and rinse them out.
Make your own cleaning products. I haven’t found a decent replacement for bleach for the toilets used by my disgusting sons, but grapefruit seed oil, tea tree and whatever nice smell you like mixed in a glass spray bottle with water is great and replaces loads of bottles of multipurpose cleaning spray.
Bicarb and a magic eraser cleans just about anything off just about anything
Bar soap not pump (Dr Bronner for me)
Joseph Joseph stacking Tupperware and the glass version. Tidy, good quality and no need for cling film or wrap
I just bought the mail order loo roll from who gives a crap. It is a lot when it arrives so you need storage, but the quality is good. Will probably buy again.
I’ve just bought some reusable fruit and veg bags so I don’t have to use the supermarket plastic bags when shopping for greengroceries.
Kathleen Rear says
Been eyeing these as well! How do you like them? Are they easy to wash? Do they fall apart after washing?
Hi , I washed one of my turtle bags as I’d put unwashed potatoes in it – it shrunk when washed at 30! Other than that they’re really useful.
I have started using soap instead of shower gel. I put soap in a little crochet bag. ( i made it very quickly via YouTube tutorial) it stops it getting mushy and lathers up well. Coffee company Halo does pods that are made from cardboard so goes in the compost. Lovely coffee as well . Nepresso recycles their pods (I hope !) Amazingly in our small town we have a zero waste shop so you can refill almost everything from washing powder to white vinegar. Its the way to go I think
Steph Briggs says
Stop using cling and use waxed cloth instead:
Much kinder to the environment – and jazzy too!
Absolutely love my ‘Thinx’ pants for periods. Loads of options in UK now, and wouldn’t go back to sanitary wear.
Yes! I have modi bodi period pants and they’re fab! They’re super comfy and flattering, they absorb loads without ever feeling yucky. And I never have to buy sanitary products again!
Waitrose sell those reusable clear food covers as alternative to cling film. I tried the bee wrap but kept forgetting what was in the pots/wrap and leaving it to moulder…
Hanna Childs says
I use faith of nature shampoo and conditioner, it is bottles made of recycled plastic. I refill them at a local refill shop in Cheltenham. Refilling bottles is soooo satisfying!
Has anyone tried Splosh?
We do the Who Gives a Crap loo roll. It’s fine. Not as nice as double velvet or whatnot but perfectly fine lol roll.
I also heartily recommend reusable cotton pads for makeup removal etc. They work great and you just bung them in the wash and use again and again. I actually prefer them to the disposable ones for cleaning my face because they’re slightly more abrasive and I feel more “scrubbed”.
Reusable cotton pads are a great idea! Thanks
I’ve shifted to Method for cleaning products where I need an actual product (eg kitchen spray) and their wooden floor cleaner smells like marzipan mmmmm. I’ve also switched to bicarb and vinegar for most other cleaning, including the toilet. I’m not convinced it’s less plastic (a large plastic bag of bicarb and a very large plastic bottle of vinegar), but i like not using chemicals and the fizz is very satisfying. My loo smells no more like dripped wee than usual.
I am particularly incensed by food packaging and refuse to buy bananas in my Ocado order because they are unavoidably packaged. I then have to physically go to a shop 3 times a week to buy them.
Anyone got tips on how to minimise packaging in the deliveries from the major supermarkets? I’m not in a phase of life where I can face getting regular odd box or Riverford deliveries (i don’t eat potatoes).
Have you checked whether you can order specific things in a veg box? We get one in Wales (Watson & Pratt’s and they’re awesome). I can just choose what I’d like specifically or otherwise just choose a box size. Worth investigating?
Riverford do boxes without potatoes. I love how little packaging you get with a Riverford delivery, plus they recycle their boxes. We had a delivery from them for over ten years, but sadly we can’t afford it anymore. I’d go back in a heartbeat; it felt so good to know you were buying organic with very little plastic packaging.
Peabody bites says
Reusable nappies (I use Wonderoos) and baby/face/general kid wipes (I use Cheeky Wipes). Lots of people think reusable nappies are either very time consuming, or a bit grim; they definitely aren’t the former, and while they can be the latter, no more so than the other things about small children. Plus, great value, particularly if you have >1 child, £50 vouchers easily available from most councils to help with the start up costs and a massive improvement from a landfill perspective.
I’m a big fan of the wax wraps and the silicone hats that you can buy to cover food and haven’t used cling film in about a month. This, along with the use of my millions of pieces of tupperware (that my husband used to mock me for) has been a really simple eco switch. I used to use tons of cling film and those little plastic storage bags – no more!
The sodastream is a big winner if you drink fizzy water when you are trying not to drink wine.
I am finding other things more difficult. For example when I looked at the plastic that my fruit & veg & meat comes in, I resolved go to the green grocer and to take containers to the butcher instead. This basically means we now never have food in the house as I can’t quite get my planning and timing right. It’s a work in progress for sure.
I use Nom nom pouches for my children’s snacks and drinks when out and about , they can be put in the dishwasher and are great as not as bulky as Tupperware and plastic reusable bottles etc
Who Gives A Crap has a higher carbon footprint than Tescos own recycled in a plastic wrapper because its shipped from China and individually wrapped. This blog talks about why plastic free isn’t always better for the environment https://moralfibres.co.uk/why-plastic-free-isnt-always-better-for-the-environment/. We have a moral dilemma in many cases – carbon emmissions or packaging – I think at the moment (because of the IPCC report from October) we have to choose low carbon and get the companies to change their packaging….
I read about this too. Also China don’t seem to give. F*** about recycling and when I lived in Hong Kong everything was thrown away and put into land fill in reclaimed land. When you think of how much we try and help in the UK and what China does it’s a joke…
China actually have the same co2 emissions per capita as we do and have recently stopped accepting our waste, which we were shipping to them because we couldn’t be bothered to work out how to deal with it ourselves. Most of it is plastic we bought off them in the first place. I think it’s important to face up to our own culpability in the ‘system’ we have created before we cast aspersions on others.
I third the covermate food covers, plus silicone lids (though they are often too big for my bowls, and take up too much room in fridge). An upside-down plate works well on many things too.
I do use ziploc bags, but I find the ones from Tesco (own brand) are tougher plastic and therefore last a long time in the freezer, with things like bread rolls/sausages/egg whites/younameits in them.
If you make stock, freeze that half onion, fag end of celery, manky carrot (peel and cut out slimy bits) and throw them in with the bones.
Milk delivery – very satisfying, also has massively cut down the number of ‘shit, must pop out in car for milk’ journeys.
Heating – get new curtains and blinds lined with fleecy bump interlining, especially if you have single glazed draughty windows. I cannot TELL you how much difference this makes. Lined blind plus lined curtains on sash window is incredibly much warmer (excitable grammar there). Local curtain exchange or ebay for well-made second-hand curtains; blinds are harder as they do need to fit.
Here endeth the essay.
We got a quote for double glazing – which made me cry but ended up having the windows (massive old sash ones) insulated for about a tenth of the price – I swear to god the house is warmer by about 10 degrees. They rehung and balanced them, and put fuzzy strips in all the beading.
We wash ourselves and our clothes too much! I wash myself every 2-3 days and try to get more use of out clothes before washing them!
Acuvue Contact Lens Recycle Programme. Drop off points at Boots and other large opticians and independents, In partnership with Terracycle. The scheme recycles lenses from any brand – boxes, foils, plastic cup and the lenses too. I’m a fan, I work for the company – I’ve worn daily disposables for years so its great to be able to recycle them https://www.acuvue.co.uk/recycle
I follow (and use suggestions from) Kathryn Kellogg’s https://instagram.com/going.zero.waste?igshid=c8z9vwyhrh6u – she’s got a book out too, also Going Zero Waste, which I inflicted on my 24 year old son, who has actually implemented some of the zero waste strategies.
I’ve been using solid washing up bars for a few months and after the initial settling in period I have to say that I’m converted. I’ve had one from America ( sort of defeats the purpose…) but I found a great one from Scotland, available on Etsy- little Fox Soapery. They have sooo many really good soaps. We are switching all of our holiday let’s over to plastic free so actually I have quite a list of these types of things. Zuggo reusable silicon sandwich bags are another really good product. In terms of the loo roll delivery thing- most of it is made in China.. a good old recycled brand from a UK shop may actually be better for the environment.
Look up My January Baby on Instagram, she makes the most beautiful reusable face wipes that you just pop into the wash. They come in a personalised bag and she’s uses off it’s of fabric that might otherwise have not been used. She even has a liberty print range which are fabulous! She also does washable baby wipes as well. Disposable wipes are something like 84% plastic which just seems ridiculous when there are alternatives!
Hi, there really is very little to be gained from slightly ‘greening’ your consumption. It’s like giving a drop of water to someone who is dying from dehydration. It’s quite misleading because it gives people the impression that they are “doing their bit for the planet” when the exact opposite is true. The science is clear, we need to cut down meat eating by 80 percent. Stop flying. Drive only when completely necessary and go back to 1970’s levels of consumption. Difficult to sell this to the “because your worth it” generation.
I agree – it’s about cutting out meat, dairy, and flights. Use a green energy company for your electricity. I can and do fool myself withthese little bits of eco-luxury and I fear it’s Marie Antoinette stuff.
I agree and disagree. Yes, these are the culprits and switching to a bamboo toothbrush seems consequential. Yet.. a strong public message that the environment is important and that consumers will spend money protecting it encourages industry to invest in alternative forms of power/flight etc and gives the government security that they will have public support for environmental initiatives. Plus, some changes are so obvious and some small steps do help. Why drink water in a plastic bottle when it’s unnecessary? Why use soap out of a plastic container when you can buy a bar? Should we just give up and NOT do these things? Further, trying to use less plastic makes you more aware of overall consumption – my approach to “plastic free” quite quickly became “would we have bought or done this when I was a child?” (in the seventies). I love your comment that we should go back to 1970s consumption. Flying is really tricky though. I don’t know ANYONE who curbs their flying habit out of consideration for the environment. All my vegan friends fly. I’m not being snide, I’m impressed they’re vegan (I live on cheese and double cream). But it shows how hard it is to stop.
Maura O'Brien says
I have been following the science on this for about 10 years now and I am astounded by the lack of information that is made available to the public. At the moment, the average carbon footprint of someone in the UK is about 10 tons per year. This needs to be reduced to 3 tons per person if we have any chance of having a habitable planet to live in. To give you an example of the scale of the change in attitude we need, the manufacture of a four wheel drive takes 30 tons of carbon. That means that the owner has used up all of their carbon for the next 10 years just by buying a car, before they drive a single mile. Those are the last 10 years that we have left to avert catastrophic climate change. We have a simple decision to make. Do we want a safe planet for our children or do we want our stuff? By all means, let’s buy a wooden toothbrush but first let us start by doing the really crucial things first.
Hello, I’m contemplating going vegan…. I’m already vegetarian and have been for about 25 years (eek, I now feel ancient!) but I can’t work out if it is better to eat dairy and so on which is free range and local compared to drinking almond milk etc from almonds grown wherever almonds grow (Florida?) and then being shipped here. Likewise with tofu, is it sustainable or am I cutting down more rainforest to grow soya. Appreciate this is probably a huge and potentially thorny issue….
Also, low/no waste appears a lot to be encouraging us to buy more bloody stuff – fancy bamboo forks in cute little pouches instead of just grabbing a normal fork from the cutlery drawer and taking it with you, or chucking all your ugly tupperware in favour of insta friendly glass or tin containers. Is it better to just muddle on with the stuff you already have rather than buying more??
I would be super keen to find out the merits of the cup things instead of tampons – literally the ins and outs of them 😂 and the practicalities of bulk buying pasta and so on – how do you carry it home? Does it last OK or will I attract ships weavils?
My advice to everyone (and I work for an organic farm organization) is just to look up EAT-LANCET and do what they tell you to, minus the bits of meat/milk if you want to be vegan. The almonds are from California or Spain/Italy but don’t worry too much about it, almonds don’t burp methane.
As someone who’s also worked close to several carbon offset schemes there are some very legitimate ones – I don’t have good UK recommendations because the landscape is very different in the US. I give friends carbon offsets along with their birthday presents and last I checked they are all still speaking to me. In the US the projects usually fund wetland restoration or a project to put roofs on our shockingly huge lagoons of pig poo…
When my youngest had the most appalling nappy rash, I turned my back on wipes and bought some fleece by the metre (pretty pattern, dark colour), which I cut up in to wipe-sized pieces. I used these with warm water, and then chucked them in the nappy bucket and washed separately. I wish I’d done it much sooner as it would have worked out way cheaper than wipes or cotton wool. If I’d really been thinking green, rather than thinking about a sore bum, I suppose I could have found a fleece that was made from recycled plastic, but then isn’t that what all fleece is made from?
Does anybody know where to buy small brown paper bags without handles for snacks and sandwiches?
I bought some the other day for gifts in Paperchase
I have been keeping one or two of the supermarket flimsy plastic bags in my shopping bag which I reuse over & over, and decant the contents into my vast brown paper bag collection sourced over time from farm shop purchases. But now Waitrose have compostable fruit & veg bags so another use for when they get worn out. Am also a big fan of Milk & More, have always had a doorstep delivery and like the wide variety of other grocery they deliver. Not so happy though about the dearth of loose leaf tea in cardboard boxes these days.
This may be a little off topic, but I started holding my baby over the loo/potty at 8 weeks old and she soon stopped pooing in her nappies, doing it into the potty instead. It’s meant that I don’t need any baby wipes, I can just wipe her with loo roll. I still use disposable nappies but she doesn’t need changing as often and should be potty trained at a younger age than other children. Parents used to potty train their children much younger before the convenience of disposable nappies.
Dental hygienist here😷 I noticed your pic of bamboo tooth brushes- they’re becoming more widely available (and a little cheaper too, thankfully) A company called ‘pikster’ are also making bamboo handled interdental brushes too which are great. There are some companies now making natural fibre floss/tape products and ‘chewable’ toothpaste tablets to eliminate packaging as well . Lots of my patients very conscious of eco issues are asking questions about products than can reduce plastic and general waste- it’s definitely something that dental product manufacturers are sitting up and taking notice of.
Another vote for milk delivery in glass bottles. I live in the North and use acorn dairy who produce organic milk and even feed the cows seaweed to reduce the amount of methane the cows use.
Sorry, i mean the amount of methane the cows produce!
Victoria Bell says
peacewiththewild.co.uk sells loads of natural bathroom products, all environmentally friendly. Rush organic sell amazing shampoo and conditioner bars. I make my own soap and moisturisers.
Lesley Somerville says
I use a fantastic cleaner called Koh. It replaces pretty much everything bar bleach, is efficient, ecologically sound and good value. It does floors, windows, fabric stains, ovens…you get it via their website where they have all the details of how it works and the Eco credentials. It comes in like a wine box so you refil the same bottle. Can highly recommend
Our local council has started a community compost bin. I keep scraps in a countertop bin with a sealed lid and then drop it off at the council one every week. I know if I tried a compost bin or worm farm it would get forgotten and smelly so this suits me perfectly. If I do forget I can start again the next week.
I love charity shops and hardly buy anything new now. I wash clothes a lot less to extend their life and save water. I sew as a hobby and recently I’ve been buying thick t shirts from charity shops and making cosy knit pjs for the kids – they are much nicer than I’d normally buy and it’s very satisfying to see them wear them 😊
Offset earth! For £4.50 a month they offset your carbon footprint for you and plant trees, their website is really cute too and you can track the trees you’re growing x
There’s a big push now to make your own cleaning products or at the very least cut down on shop bought but products, dust with only water etc. And if you must buy then be mindful about the brands you use – splosh & dew are doing great things
A lot of repetition with people above, but we have beeswax wraps, bamboo toothbrushes, resusable cotton pads for make up, who gives a crap loo roll. I loved Cheeky Wipes when my children were still young enough to need wipes. I am a big user of charity shops, eBay and the school second hand sales too. None of it feels like enough though.
Planting trees is one of the best things we can do for people, wildlife and the planet! TreeSisters is a brilliant organisation who are supporting reforestation projects around the world, with a particular focus on women-led projects. You can make a one-off or a monthly donation to support their work – £10 a month is enough to plant 33 trees a month. Loads more info on their website https://www.treesisters.org/ (I don’t work for them, I just really love what they are doing and would like more people to know about it) x
Yeah. Especially important if you’re going to be swimming in the sea near 🌊 Buy chemical free zinc or titanium dioxide based sun protection to be ocean conscious and they are also the two sunscreens that are considered safe to use by experts most recently. Better for those with sensitive skin issues too. This one comes out top for children but cat find a high street store selling it in the UK. It is on Amazon but comes in at a hefty price considering it’s got to be reapplied every 1-2 hours. https://www.neutrogena.com/sun/sun-baby/pure-and-free-baby-sunscreen-lotion-broad-spectrum-spf-50/6811082.html
BBC Radio 4 podcast ‘Costing the Earth’ handy for keeping up with key eco topics.
Bathroom waste reduction: washable sanitary pads and moon cups – I think the mooncups are hard to use and a bit unhygienic washing them out in a sink -what do you do in a public loo? But my sister swears by them. I use unbleached organic cotton tampons with card applicator.
Lush for packaging free chemical free body and hair soaps.
Don’t buy reusable razors buy a good old fashioned lifer and shaving pot.
Use eco friendly refillable cleaning products – lots of places let you refill now, but there is limited choice on scent etc atm.
Trying to do plastic free weekly shop at markets, butcher, baker etc but it is time consuming, often much more expensive and again with less choice. 😬
Buy natural fibre clothing and don’t ever buy new denim! Or new clothes/furniture generally unless you know they have been ethically and sustainably made.
Pebble Magazine. I follow their Twitter feed for links.
‘Read the change. Whether it’s sustainable design, ethical fashion, slow food or eco-travel, pebble is about how we want to live, the world we want in the future, our dreams and desires.’
I also follow ethnobotanist James Wong on Twitter for fact based food farming information as he often offers up insightful counterpoints to environmental food issues that have been misinterpreted and rehashed then posted out onto social media to scare the tits off us all!
Love love love this thread. I believe we can all make small changes that make a difference to help support nature and our beautiful environmnt. It’s inspiring to see all the comments and how much people are doing to help play a positive part in reducing their carbon footprint.
– We recently reviewed our energy providers and switched to a green provider – you can do this easily via moneysupermarket.com.
– We are also looking to replace our car and are going to switch to a hybrid or electric engine
– I’m buying food locally. Some of our local stores sell cheese, ice cream, and eggs sourced locally, as well as meat – this reduces the miles food has to travel and you know its provenance. In particular, I’m shocked by how difficult it is to source British honey from supermarkets – New Zealand and South American honey is half the price of British honey, FFS! Again, local stores stock locally produced honey and there’s the added benefit that it can help hayfever sufferers because they are consuming pollen from the area and that *can* help alleviate symptoms
– We compost like crazy. Vegetable peelings etc, as well as shredded paper are briliant for compost bins and it helps to stop it going into landfill. Your plants will love the nutrient-rich compost you can give them and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful flowers
– We have a small vegetable patch with beans, potatoes, leeks, sweetcorn and strawberries. The difficult bit is planting and taking care of them at the beginning, but once they’re in the ground it’s just a case of watering the soil when it’s hot and keeping the weeds down. My God it’s rewarding when you pick all the beautiful tasty goods that you’ve grown. I feel properly smug and feel I’m channeling Barbara from The Good Life
– Don’t use coffee makers with the coffee pods as there is so much plastic waste. I take coffee grinds home from the machine ay work and use it on my garden – it’s a fantastic fertiliser and your plants will love you for it. Put the grinds in a watering can and water onto your lawn, roses, etc. In San Francisco there are big barrels of grinds outside coffee stores to encourage shoppers to use it on their plants – I’d love to see Costa et al do that here.
Would love to hear more ideas and things that I can do more of. Have a lovely weekend.
Waitrose has coffee grounds available for free outside their stores!
We have made loads of changes at home like the loo roll and we have 2 zero waste shops nearby so our waste is very little now, and cycling more and not flying and not buying new clothes. But honestly, it seems to me that the thing that makes the most sense to do is to use your time and energy getting people with more power to take on the massive changes we need.
So go and see your MP, hassle your local councillors, your MEP (while you have one), write to the global marketing director of the top 100 brands even. Join Extinction Rebellion and go to their events as there is strength in numbers. Send cash to organisations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Find local organisations and get stuck in.
Switching your toothbrush while the world burns just seems like a tiny gesture in the face of a massive crisis. It is important we make individual changes too, of course it is – but we need to think about what this is going to take to fix – global leaders acting with the urgency of a war, together – and we must do all we can to make that happen.
Oh and beeswax wraps are lovely but you probably have a tupperware box already that would do the job just as well! If only you could find the lid… 🙂
Dare I say mooncup? I love mine and not for the eco friendliness! It’s fuck tons better than tampons and the lack of waste is a bonus
I’m experimenting with Splosh for household cleaning stuff – so far so good
Method do refills for their hand soap too.
Completely agree, my Diva cup is the best thing ever to happen to me.
Eco friendly kids party ideas!! Is there an alternative to balloons? What about party bag stuff which isn’t plastic crap or costs the earth? Any ideas to this would be welcome and timely!!
Alison for party bags I do socks that match the theme (paw patrol etc) and one wee chocolate. Kids always go “socks?!!!” but parents are happy!
We don’t do balloons any more – I have bunting and some large tissue paper decorations that get reused every year.
My kids have packed lunches and I put their sandwich in eco wraps that I got from Caitilins. She’s got some really lovely patterned ones. I’ve used them every day since Feb and they’re still fine. Saved me UNTOLD ROLLS of foil. The shop is etsy.com/uk/shop/caitilins
Anna S says
Reusable cotton wool pads for applying toner/removing eye make up etc. I have these ones and they are sooooo good, come with a nifty little net bag so that you can sling them in the washing machine without losing any: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reusable-Remover-Washable-Eco-Friendly-Bambaw/dp/B07MSHTTXY/
I use washable cotton cloth sanitary pads instead of the usual Always etc and think they are much comfier as well as better for the environment etc. You can get them from amazon but loads of other websites do them too. However I do find they don’t stay in place eg during any exercise other than yoga so I do have a packet of the Ohne tampons handy. Been toying with the idea of arranging milk deliveries (McQueens in Glasgow are the best I hear) and reading these comments has inspired me to get on with it. I look forward to reading your posts Esther!
Philippa Hutchinson says
Currently trying Smol detergent and dishwashing tablets – concentrated so less packaging, on subscription system and comes through the letterbox.
My local Waitrose is the Oxford one doing the ‘unpacked’ trial, and I find it really interesting. On a bad day I feel it’s just doing lip service to the idea (that fruit and veg was already unpacked), but on a good day there are some great little things they’ve brought in like the cardboard punnets which are easy wins. But therein lies the problem. They’re all easy wins. I completely agree with the commenter above that even if it’s not going to change the world we should still have a go, but ultimately I feel very doom and gloom about everything. I’m also really intrigued about what is the ‘greener’ choice, like the commenter above choosing between local organic milk and Californian almonds. Wittering here but will be reading with great interest!
I agree, it’s so hard to choose between all the issues which bother me. Food miles versus waste production versus energy use making the thing versus destruction of the environment to grow the crop I want to eat versus human welfare standards versus supporting local workers in far flung places. So difficult to make an informed decision. More often than not I either don’t buy the thing at all and struggle without it or chuck it in the trolley in a lather of guilt.
Financial limits also come into play making you feel that you have to make a choice between buying one eco thing compared with buying three non-eco things. Difficult when you need to feed and look after people other than just yourself.