Going Green-er as a Family of Five

August 27, 2021

It’s hard not to feel helpless when we talk about the future of our planet, isn’t it?
On the one hand, so many of us are trying to make little changes in our day to day lives but then on the other, big corporations are doing the exact opposite. I mean, did you know that just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
What’s the point in me having a reusable bottle with all that going on?

We’ve made changes in our home, of course, but there is still so much more we can be doing. Off the top of my head, we have changed our laundry detergent to a more eco-friendly brand (Though I need to do more research into this to make sure we’re not being greenwashed). We’ve changed our lightbulbs to LED, we use our tumble dryer water to water the plants (but dry most of our clothes on airers), I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to grow a little bit of our own food. We use a food waste bin, we use bars of soap instead of bottles, and Liam and I have bamboo toothbrushes.

A handful (literally) of homegrown potatoes

It’s hard to know what to do next though, isn’t it? With so much talk of greenwashing, and companies using irrelevant claims to sound good, – how do we know which products are really better and which just want our money?

I recently came across RecycleNow – a website that finds local recycling places for you, depending on what it is you want to recycle.
Many of our food wrappers that aren’t suitable for home recycling, can actually be taken to a local Coop store – things like toilet roll wrapping, cat food pouches and similar items can all be saved from landfill and be recycled – so that’s one thing we’ll be making a bigger effort with from now on.

Another project we’re working on at the moment is bike storage with a green roof. I’m planning a mixture of moss and native wildflowers such as birdsfoot trefoil to grow on top. Mosses actually are really good at sequestering carbon and the native wildflowers will be beneficial for the pollinators, so for a tiny patch, it’s going to be a hard-working piece of land.

Bike storage – work in progress

So, what next?

I follow a few people on Instagram that I’ve found very inspiring and motivational.

Hollie – Rainbeau Adventures is the co-creator of #SetMePlasticFree and recently shared a video on how much of her waste went into landfill in a month. I was astonished to see she only has one black bag of waste over the entire month – She’s definitely given me some good ideas!

Emma – Emma Reed Writes is another that I’ve learned a lot from. Emma makes a lot of her own cleaning products and shares tips on how to do it. Any time I’ve had any questions she’s been more than helpful. Her little tips that pop up in my feed always give me inspiration.

Once I get a bit better at taking some of the plastics out of our main waste and getting them recycled somewhere else, I’ll be looking to do a bin audit.
This is where we’ll make a note of every item that goes into our household waste over a month and see where we can make changes.

As I come to the end of our current cleaning products I’ll also be following some of Emma’s tips to replace them with our own homemade versions or equivalents.

I know these are only small changes but they’re a step in the right direction.
I’d like to start consuming less meat as a family too but with kids as fussy as mine, that one will be harder to work on.

Do let me know what other tips you have – I’m always interested in seeing what changes others are making.

Wildflowers we currently have growing at the allotment to feed and encourage polinators


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