Each time I see evidence of the way we are destroying our planet my heart breaks. I feel so guilty and helpless for all the animals, their natural habitats destroyed. Whilst I think large companies have a huge responsibility, we all need to be making some lifestyle changes. I always felt like I wasn’t doing much to be very eco-friendly, until I started to list the changes I have made in the last year or so. If some changes seem too large, look at small switches you can make instead. Here a few examples of the alterations I have made to live a more sustainable life…
Cutting down on meat consumption
Cutting out meat entirely isn’t something that works for our family right now; I have however switched a few recipes up to make them ‘meat free’. For example when I make lasagne, I now make a vegetarian lasagne. I also normally choose a vegetarian sandwich option if I’m eating out. I would say that I have found some fantastic recipes, which are easy to make and just using veg – there plenty work checking out.
This one really is an easy eco-friendly switch. I sometimes like to drink using a straw, so we used to buy plastic straws in bulk. I then saw metal reusable straws which are fantastic. I ordered them online and they were cheap, do the job and also look so much nicer. I have been using them for over a year now, that’s a huge amount of plastic straws not brought. They sell them on the high street now too for a couple of pounds, I can’t recommend them enough.
Buying second hand
I’ll be honest; when Jasmine was first born I wanted everything new and wasn’t interested in buying things secondhand. For some reason I thought I had to give her ‘the best’. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I started selling her baby stuff (in immaculate condition) for a quarter of the price, I was so disappointed I hadn’t snapped up bargains like this myself. Now we frequently go to nearly new sales and get her clothes, books, toys – they are fantastic, it is not only better to reuse for eco-friendly purposes, but so cheap too.
Selling or donating toys
Having a toddler, she gets given lots of plastic toys. We try to stick to wooden gifts but people love to give her presents, which is lovely, but I feel guilty when I see the amount of plastic. Once she outgrows them I will be cleaning them up for sale or to donate. It’s always worth putting things online to see if people want to buy. If you’re having a clear out so want them gone quickly, try and see if any local charities or hospitals could take them or you can donate them to a charity shop.
Using single use plastic for crafts or paints.
I hate that large companies use so much plastic, I always try and use it again. I use old yoghurts for paints and other bits for crafts.
Bags for life
Once it becomes second nature to remember your bags for life, you never end up buying a plastic bag again! I keep my bag for life in the car now (plus extra ones too) – that way they are always there if you need them. Once your shopping is unpacked, put them in your handbag, in the car or by the front door. Once this habit is engrained in your mind, it’s so much easier.
I researched cloth nappies and I didn’t feel I could make the change which was upsetting. I switched to a reusable swim nappy and reusable wipes which I feel is a smaller and more manageable switch for us. It’s shocking how many times you would grab a nappy wipe to wipe their face, or hands. It really is such a waste.
Using one car
About four years ago we had a car each, I found I was hardly using my car so would occasionally drive it to the shops, it was such a waste. I sold it and we now share one car, which works for us. I did contemplate getting a car again but it’s not eco-friendly when I can jump on the bus if needed and reduce any extra emissions.
Sporting the ‘mum bun’ since December 2017. I am a first time mum, living in Norwich with a baby and three dogs.
I had great visions of spending my maternity leave baking, painting and completing my novel. Turns out I spend my days under a sea of babies and dogs, stopping the dogs from waking her with their barking and stopping her from eating dog food!
Originally from Bournemouth I trained as an Actress and can still be found teaching small people performing arts.
You can find Marie’s blog over at www.tummy2mummy.net
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