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A STARTER GUIDE TO REDUCING HOUSEHOLD WASTE WITH A FEW SMALL CHANGES.

One of our lovely Eco Living Team Members has written a little blog piece about her journey to zero waste and the top tips she has learnt along the way…

As a family where both parents are working full time, it is an ongoing battle to minimise plastic coming in, to not drown in STUFF and to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Big wins are hard to come by with two under five and barely any time to explore new ideas or choose options which aren’t completely fast and convenient. But, as someone wiser than me once said, it’s more important that everyone makes a few little changes to how they live, than a few superheroes living completely renewable lifestyles. So, with that in mind, I wanted to reflect on my top 5 “little changes” which have made me feel a tiny bit better about our diplodocus-sized carbon footprint…

1. Reusable wet wipes: we made this switch when I was working part time after Baby #1 was born and (unlike the reusable nappies which went along with them) they really stuck. They are SO much more efficient at clearing up poonamis, sticky greasy hands after dinner and just general spillages. Along with our bum stash, we also keep them in a basket in the kitchen and just wet before use. They take the place of kitchen roll and are way softer and more effective.

2. Real soap: this was such a revelation for me after years of buying squirty handwash in every ‘big shop’. Real soap lasts longer, smells just as nice and my hands actually feel cleaner for using it. It’s cheaper too!

3. Beeswax wraps: with two little ones in full time school / childcare and two of us working, we make A LOT of sandwiches. That previously equated to A LOT of clingfilm, but beeswax wraps are one of my happiest swaps. They smell lush, look so pretty in lunchboxes and are dead easy to use and clean. They’re also handy for little leftovers, like half a lemon or onion, or for covering a bowl in the fridge. We’ve had a go at making our own, which while it’s never quite as good as the bought ones, are a lovely activity and discussion point for the kids.

4. Reusable cups and bottles: this one seems so obvious to me, but I’m always surprised at how many people you still see carrying disposable plastic bottles or coffee shop cups. As a teacher, I frequently find myself moaning at my classes for not having a reusable bottle…especially for kids, it’s really important to stay hydrated and lots of places now offer free refills (or discounts for a coffee in your travel mug: bonus!) Being available in pretty designs does appeal to my girly side too.

5. Food composting: we waste a truly embarrassing amount of food in our house. Our littlest is not long past weaning and a lot of her food still ends up on the floor. The bigger kid is not the best at assessing and managing her appetite (do you really have a four year old if you don’t frequently find half eaten apples under your sofa?). And our best intentions for healthy, veg-laden meals often end in mushy disappointment at the bottom of the fridge. Feeling like this food isn’t completely wasted and is rotting to serve some greater garden purpose, really helps reduce our waste and makes me feel a tiny bit better.

We’ve a long way to go I’m sure: don’t get me started on our electric bills (mainly for laundry!) or the plastic toys which I swear make their own way into our house, uninvited, but I genuinely think that small achievable changes are the way forward.

If you’d like to know more and follow our journey follow me on Insta – @tiredteachingmum

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