Today is World Environment Day 2018!! You say, huh?! Well, today is the widely celebrated day established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 for us to consciously take ownership of our environment and to actively take part in protecting our beautiful home, the earth. This year’s theme is especially important and relevant: Beat Plastic Pollution. I’m sorry Barbie, but life in plastic is just not fantastic! Thanks to Katie at Mummy’s Diary, we, along with thousands others are here to raise awareness of how we can reduce plastic consumption and make our world a better place for everything, not just everyone.
What’s the deal?
Plastic use and disposal has been a long standing issue and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t do anything about it. So it’s amazing to hear that just last week, the European Commission has released a press release announcing an ambitious policy to target the top 10 single use plastic products in the European Union. Especially around beach areas because of the harmful effects plastic has on marine life and in our oceans and seas.
You may think 10 products is not alot, but this constitutes to around 70% of marine litter. This is a great initiative and step forward after addressing the mountains of single use plastic bags from shops and supermarkets in 2015. You can read more about this here.
3 things I have switched
Over the years, I have gradually made changes and purposely chosen to use less plastic and single use items. Changes ranged from using eco-friendly reusable shopping bags, reusable bottles and flasks, cotton wet wipes (if absolutely necessary), otherwise, we always have a small hand towel with us for grubby little hands and glass containers.
In our bathroom
Before, I absolutely hated walking near Lush. The pungent smell would almost make me gag. But last year, my parents brought me a spa treatment at Lush. To my surprise, the smell in the actual store was not as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I would end up with a massive headache the moment I walked in (cue: melodramatic music :P). Oh, was I wrong. That single moment was when I fell in love with Lush and the love has since flourished. Not only is the majority of their products plastic free (naked), their ingredients are also fresh, ethical and vegan friendly. And did I mention, smell heavanly (even if they make me occassionally sneeze)?? This is the future for all
In our home
Making my own cleaning products with simple things like baking soda and vinegar. I do confess in buying the odd supermarket products, but using my own version means I can prolong one clean after another, I’m saving money, time AND consuming less plastic! #winwinwin
There are many recipes for Toilet Bath Bombs online, but this is my own version that I have tested many times.
1 1/2 cup baking soda (bicarbonate soda)
1/2 cup citric acid
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp washing up liquid (optional)
essential oil, I like to use a mixture of eucalyptus, citrus and tea tree. You can also use peppermint, lavender and orange to eliminate odour.
- Mix the baking soda and citric acid in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl mix the vinegar, washing up liquid.
- Add the vinegar mixture very slowly and little by little, literally drop by drop into the baking soda and citric acid. You can use a spray bottle to avoid accidentally adding too much. Make sure to stir continuously while adding. NOTE: If the dry mixture starts to fizz or expand. STOP! This means you have added too much liquid too quickly, resulting in the fizz and expansion. You want the fizzing action in the toilet and not now, so slow down.
- Add the essential oils. Again, making sure you add this slowly. I used roughly 40 drops. You can add more or less depending on your preference.
- Mix until small clumps form easily. The ideal mixture should be dry, it does not need to be moist or wet.
- Transfer the mixture into ice cube moulds and press firmly into the mould.
- Allow to air dry for 1-2 days (depending on humidity) and demould.
- If your bombs are hard to demould. Leave them in the freezer for half an hour and they should pop out more easily. Store in an airtight container until needed.
In the kitchen
When we moved into our current home, the first thing on our list was to install a water softerner and filtration system. Not only has this helped clean our pipes from limescale, but also protects our appliances, reduced our use of soaps and detergents and improved our hair and skin condition. These are all long term wins, but the most immediate change we have seen is that we are able to drink our water straight from the tap and hence means we no longer use plastic water filter cartridges.
For those using Brita cartridges, remember they are recyclable! So don’t throw them out with your normal garbage and do your bit!
More ways to Beat Plastic Pollution
- Plastic straws – do you really need a straw? Yes? Try these steel ones.
- Reusable bags – They look great and don’t fall apart.
- Chewing up – why would anyone pay to chew on some plastic? Want a minty fresh? Reach for the bamboo toothbrush or plastic free gum like Chewsy.
- Glitter – As a parent, I hate glitter. It get’s everywhere and is so darn hard to get rid of! Unfortunately, children love them and they can be very pretty, so choose the biodegradable ones if you must.
- Tea bags – I didn’t know that tea bags in the UK actually had a thin layer of polypropylene plastic. Many of you probably don’t either, so this is your wake up call to switch to tea leaves. They taste so much better anyway! Just use a tea strainer if you don’t like floaty bits in your tea.
- Avoid face wash and toothpaste that contain microbeads.
- Bring your own containers for groceries. Or shop at the local food market.
- Bulk buying (anything) reduces the amounf of plastic bags and containers. Just make sure you aren’t wasting the food or product either.
- Re-usable coffee cups. This is a double whammy, you are saving the environment and your money! Here are some of the stores in the UK that offer money off when you bring a reusbale cup.
- Pret a Manger – 50p
- Leon – 30p
- Pure – 25p
- Starbucks – 25p
- Costa – 25p
- Crussh – 25p
- Paul – 25p
- Notes – 10p
- Caffe Nero – double loyalty stamp
- Le Paun Quotidien – 10% off any hot drinks
Don’t be ignorant
Plastic is everywhere, and the majority of this cannot be recycled. Not only are they harming our oceans and damaging our natural habitat, they are also creeping into the air and into our food chain and hence our bodies. Everyone needs to do something yesterday, but today is not too late either. We have a chance to make things better and it is everyone’s responsibilty.
Share your top tips with me and how you have tackled plastic pollution. #BeatPlasticPollution. Make everyday World Environment Day, not just today.
Join Us and #BeatPlasticPollution
All games have rules. These ones are very simple…
- Take a photo of between 1-3 reusable items that you personally have switched to, in order to help tackle plastic pollution.
- Caption your photo with a short message to raise awareness.
- Also include your top tips for beating plastic pollution.
- Share your photo and caption, along with your top tip, tagging at least three other people.
- Please also link back to me in your blog post and tag me on social media, thank you!
Oh, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution and #WorldEnvironmentDay in your posts too!
Thank you for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x