In just a few short months the number of positive environmental changes across the world is nothing short of astounding. Birds are filling the air with their songs, nature is welcoming the return of wildlife and pollution has diminished beyond belief, with incredible scenes being captured across the globe.
Northern India has clear views of the Himalayas for the first time in decades, canals in Venice run clear, carbon emissions are down and we are experiencing clean air for the first time in forever!
Therefore, as awareness increases, more people are becoming conscious of their actions and would like to make the change to sustainable living. But if you’re new to sustainable living or you’re not sure what you can do to switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle then let us help with a few simple suggestions that will have you going green without even realising it.
What Is Sustainability?
As sustainable living gathers momentum, the modern world is changing for the good of the environment, but when it comes to understanding sustainability, what does it actually mean? Well, the definition of sustainability is the ability to maintain at a certain level, which environmentally speaking means to avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
In a previous blog Why Buy Organic Children's Clothing? we highlighted some of the fundamental issues that face the fashion industry in terms of sustainability for our clothing, so by choosing sustainable living, however big or small, it all counts towards a better future for the planet.
While we appreciate there’s still a long way to go, it’s great that so many are now taking a vested interest in the future, so if switching to an eco-friendly life has always seemed overwhelming, then take a look at these small swaps for a big difference.
For the Grown-Ups
Reusable water bottles
If ever there was an accessory that has taken the world by storm, it’s the reusable water bottle. Lightweight, ergonomic and made from stainless steel, what's not to love about H2O’s new best friend?! So ditch the plastic bottles at the gym, office or home and opt for a reusable water bottle instead. You can even benefit by increasing your step count as you walk to the kitchen to refill, and last but not least, did we mention the array of amazing designs on offer? You’re welcome!
Make A List (And Stick To It)
Only buying what you need at your weekly food shop goes a long way to sustainability. The UK is responsible for almost £10 billion of food wastage each year, with many consumers admittingly buying more than they need, which of course is then thrown away. This is why charities like WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) are working tirelessly to reduce food waste across many food sectors including retailers, producers, manufacturers and supermarket giants such as Asda, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, M&S and Iceland in order to reduce wastage as part of their target, measure, act programme.
Try An Online Food Shop
If you've never tried an online shop then now is the time. There are so many benefits such as cutting down on carbon emissions, maintaining safety in the current climate, not to mention being able to do it from the comfort of your own home, plus you’re less likely to be tempted by those end of aisle offers which also keeps you on track with your list! Plus, you can also choose “no bags” on delivery, which is another eco-friendly step.
Waste Not, Want Not
Before you throw the last of your dinner away or that little bit left in the pan, stop and think if it could be used at a later date. If so either freeze it or fridge it to be used at another mealtime, this saves billions of tonnes going to landfill each year, plus you have a quick and easy meal ready to go, genius!
You may have switched to electronic statements for the majority of your household bills, but why not go that one step further and unsubscribe from magazines, catalogues or anything else that you just don’t get a chance to read, with the added bonus of decluttering your home too, because filing paperwork is no fun for anyone.
Cleaning, beauty or baby, no matter what you need there is usually an eco-friendly alternative if you take a little time to read the labels or carry out a bit of research before you stock up on the essentials. So whether it’s bubble bath, straws or mascara, there’s a sustainable option just waiting to be purchased.
For The Tots
Made from eco-friendly materials and non-toxic paints, brands such as Lanka Kade are leading the way in sustainable play with their educational wooden toys. Skipping ropes, shape sorters, playsets and more, there are hours of fun with no plastic in sight.
Not only are second-hand toys an eco-friendly option, but they save you money too as there are plenty of bargains to be had when it comes to toys. They're a fantastic option for birthdays and Christmas as your little ones will love the fact they can play straight away without having to wait for you to decipher all that packaging, plus it’s one less thing to recycle being package free!
Nappies - Disposable vs Reusable
A hot topic for debate, but cloth nappies do have a lot to offer in terms of sustainability, comfort and cost. A disposable nappy can take around 500 years to decompose*. Did you know that a child can use in excess of 5000 disposable nappies in their early years as opposed to just a handful of cloth nappies. On average, you could save around £1475 when opting for reusables*. Cloth nappies will last for years making them cheaper in the long run and of course, they can be reused on younger siblings, another saving all round, but don’t just take it from us, take a look at the Baba and Boo collection to see for yourself if the facts don’t get you, the designs will.
It’s easy to reach for a multipack of plastic bowls for ease when out shopping but with a little research, bamboo bowls are a great alternative to plastic as each item is made from a single piece of bamboo so no need for glue or adhesives. Also, when it comes to leftovers, you can reduce the need for plastic Tupperware by using reusable food wraps that will keep your food fresh until snack time.
It’s no surprise that we love organic clothing, it’s what we do, but with so many benefits why not take advantage of organic cotton as there’s nothing quite like it against your little one’s skin. Soft, snuggly and free from harmful chemicals, it’s a great place to start.
Let them help with recycling, show them how to conserve energy by turning lights, electronics and TV’s off when not using them and teach them how to care for things so they last. By explaining the how and why of what we do at a younger age, they are more likely to adopt these values later in life. It’s no secret that children love to be involved and are fantastic at soaking up information, so you never know they might even teach you a few tricks too!
It’s easy to get carried away with the idea that children want the biggest and best of everything in terms of toys, gadgets and days out, but sometimes you just need to get back to basics and take advantage of what’s around you. Children (and adults) love nothing more than splashing in puddles, collecting leaves and exploring what's on their doorstep so next time it’s raining bring out the wellies and have some outdoor fun, and what's even better, it’s completely free!
Disposable Is Out, Reusable Is In
So there we have it, food for thought on your journey to becoming more sustainable. If these last few months have taught us anything it’s that the natural world benefits without the buzz of modern life, so by making little swaps from disposable to reusable, we are working towards a better future for ourselves, our planet and our children.