At uni I studied geography and environmental management, so I probably understand a little more than most about looking after our environment, and the impacts of abusing it. With this in mind, we’ve always tried our best to recycle and do our bit for the environment where we can, using fabric tote bags instead of plastic carrier bags and using reusable water bottles etc. I get pretty angry when I see people littering, especially some of the kids near where I live being so disrespectful about it!
I’ve been aware of the dangers that plastics face to our environment for quite a while, but with the media ramping up about plastics in the last few months and with having more time on my hands whilst being on maternity leave waiting for our little madam to arrive, I’ve researched ways we can reduce our plastic footprint further and have become much more passionate about protecting our environment and being more eco friendly. With this in mind, I decided to start this series of posts about ‘Being More Eco’. We have made a few lifestyle changes in the last couple of months, so to start the series I thought I’d share them with you to encourage you to do the same!
Beach cleans / litter picking
We live a 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk to the beach, and owning a energetic dog, we often frequent the beach on lovely walks. Although it is enjoyable, I am pained by how much litter, the majority of which is plastic, I see every time! A few months ago I decided to start helping to change this and make a small but important difference!
Each time I walk the dog down on the beach I take a carrier bag and some gloves with me and I collect any litter I find. There’s no excuse… I was still litter picking on the beach whilst almost 2 weeks overdue when our little one was being stubborn and didn’t want to make her entrance into the world! We also have a #2minutebeachclean board on the seafront with litter pickers you can borrow and use. Check out #2minutebeachclean on Twitter to find out more, they are fab – I love following them and they have there boards all over the place!
I have also recently discovered there is a local beach cleaning group that do monthly cleans that anyone can get involved in for a more social event. Litter pickers and bags are provided as is good company, although unfortunately good weather isn’t guaranteed! I intend to join them on their next cleaning event so watch this space, and my Twitter for updates! Check out Litter Free Somerset for updates on the Burnham on Sea litter picks. Don’t live in Somerset? I urge you all to see if you have a local group that do the same. If not, why not set one up?
Cleaning and laundry products – Ecoegg
I recently discovered this company and they do fab eco friendly products! I will be posting reviews of some of these products in the near future so keep your eyes peeled, but for now will give you an insight into why I’ve started using them!
The biggest saving both in reducing our plastic footprint and on the purse strings is the purchase of the Ecoegg itself. I grabbed myself a bargain in their half price sale on Small Business Saturday at the beginning of December – just £10 for the huge 720 wash egg! That works out at 1.5p per wash and will keep us going for years! No more buying washing detergent and softener! Even better is it’s kind to skin and better than using non bio washing detergent, perfect for our new arrival! Even at its normal price of £20 it is a bargain and will save you tonnes of money from not having to buy washing detergent.
Their other products are also super eco friendly with no harsh chemicals. So far I’ve tried out their stain remover and hard surface cleaner and have had fab results! Take a look at all their products on their website www.ecoegg.com they have videos showing you how things work and what you will get.
Toothbrushes – Bristle
Towards the end of last year we were needing new toothbrushes, so I took the opportunity to look at wooden handle brushes instead and stumbled across this up and coming company called Bristle, they produce biodegradable, bamboo handles toothbrushes. This sounded great so I decided to go for it and give them a go.
The brushes arrived quickly and we started to use them… they are soft brushes and that took a little getting used to compared to our previous brushes which were harder, but now I’m used to it I love it! They take a bit more care to look after to ensure their longevity – you want to dry them so they don’t sit in a puddle of water which would cause them to deteriorate. You also need to not be too heavy handed with your brushing or the bristles will get damaged leading to you needing to replace them more often. Overall the reason behind choosing these brushes mean you are trying to take more care in what you do, so the extra care they require are part and parcel of the whole experience!
You can even order them as a subscription so new ones get sent to you every 3 months – you don’t need to worry about remembering to change your brush – a new one will appear through your letterbox (in recyclable, non plastic packaging) when it’s time. Perfect! Check out www.wearebristle.com for more info!
Don’t forget to recycle/repurpose your old toothbrushes too! My old plastic one I’ve kept and use for cleaning those awkward bits of my bathroom! Really useful for scrubbing those nooks and crannies where stubborn dirt can build up! With the bristle toothbrushes you just pull out the bristles and can recycle the wooden handle! I intend to use them to label my plants in the spring!
Loose leaf tea
My latest discovery is the existence of polypropylene plastic in teabags, mainly in the sealing of the bags to stop them leaking in the box or your cup! This does however mean that they are not fully compostable and is leaving micro plastics in the soil, which obviously isn’t good for the environment. We have recently seen the banning of micro plastics in cosmetic products due to the damage they cause to the ocean ecosystems, hopefully the tea industry will follow suit to save our soil ecosystems! I intend to investigate this further so keep your eyes peeled for another post in this series in the near future, but for now I am using up my teabags and then switching to loose leaf tea or teabags with no plastics wherever possible!
I got a cute loose leaf tea pot and cups for Christmas – so much nicer drinking proper tea out of a cup and saucer!
I get my loose leaf tea from the Brew Tea Company, they taste delicious and you can get a variety of different teas both in loose leaf and plastic free tea bags! Similar to Bristle, you can sign up to a subscription to receive your tea every 4-8 weeks so you never run out! Check out their website of more information – www.brewteacompany.co.uk
Use the link below to get £5 off when you spend £20 on your fist purchase. Note: I like to be honest – I will gain brew points if you use this link, but why not get your money off and sign up to receive your own free 5 brew points and refer your friends too to collect further bonus brew points to use against your future purchases!
So there we have it, 4 ways we have changed our lifestyle to reduce our plastic footprint. I urge you to try and follow our lead and make some simple but effective changes to your lifestyle too, every little helps and if everyone does it we can make a huge difference!
Thanks for reading!