Summer in the Cotswolds…. Beautiful. Cotswold stone walls, wildflowers and rolling hills.
Trump has quit the Paris Climate deal and we’ve seen images of an uninhabited island in the Pacific with 38 million pieces of plastic waste on its beautiful shore. Locally we’ve already had a record breaking June heat wave.
I’ve been buying more ‘stuff’ and chucking out more ‘stuff’ since the arrival of baby Angus in January. I’ve increased my use of home delivery. There’s been the inevitable plastic invasion in the house. This got me thinking if there’s more we can do as a family to help the environment. Simply just trying to reduce, reuse and recycle.
We know how precious time is for Mums and we all need quick, reliable and ideally cheap solutions. Sometimes it just seems easier to go instant, buy new and get it delivered; stick with what we know. But maybe we can think again about what we can do to protect this beautiful place we live in for the future and make a Green Start for our families.
I’m sure most of you are already doing your bit for the environment. Is there one more thing you could change to make your lifestyle slightly greener this summer? Here are some ideas….
There’s loads of choice for cloth reusable nappies with some cute patterns to choose from. For more advice in general visit the aptly named ‘nappy lady’. Alternatively look at more biodegradable disposable brands such as Naty.
While we’re at the rear end, could you ditch the disposable wipes for some reusable ones? Cheeky wipes seem to have the market on this.
Smell the coffee
Coffee, that life sustaining necessity, to get us through the sleep deprived fog.
What’s the issue? Disposable coffee cups are currently a recycling problem. 7 million cups are thrown away every day in the UK! The plastic film that makes coffee cups waterproof means they can’t be recycled like normal cardboard. Some of the major chains are trying to tackle this. So what about purchasing a reusable cup to have with you on the go in the interim?
Organic, natural baby products, lower on synthetic chemicals, appeal to new Mums and are easily available e.g. Earth Friendly Baby range. But what about the products you use on yourself or in your home? These do tend to be more expensive, but for some it’s a justifiable expense when you consider the reduced environmental impact. For home, the Ecover range is readily available and its popularity is reflected in cheaper prices than its competitors. And yes, its stain remover does work on all baby stains.
Bag a Bargain
We all love a bargain and the nearly new/preloved outlets of facebook, NCT sales locally and local shops like Carousel in Montpellier are great for selling and buying. A different approach is to rent baby /toddler clothes. You may have seen the recent BBC clip about a Danish company adopting this approach. The idea is to set up a monthly subscription to rent an age appropriate bundle of baby clothes from a lovely organic clothing brand and then return and receive the next age up as your baby grows. There is a UK based company, Isla Inspired using a similar business model in Somerset.
Alternatively you could donate your children’s castoff clothes to charity. Locally, Gloucestershire Bundles aims to help and support families in crisis with children up to 11 years and will accept donations. They’re operating now from Quedgley.
Food to Go
Is there anything else we can do apart from clicking organic on the Ocado delivery, ordering a local veg box or growing a few container veg ourselves?
For taking food on the go, there’s the Cheltenham option of brightly illustrated reusable pouches and snack bags by Nom Nom Kids. Andrea from Tatty Bumpkin also collects empty food pouches (e.g. Ella’s kitchen) to make recycling these a little bit easier. For slightly older children reusable sandwich wraps are a great idea.
Maybe the best thing we can do for the next generation is to instil a love of the natural world, so they too grow to appreciate it and want to protect it. There are lots of ways we can help develop this interest. This could be exploring the countryside over the summer whilst camping, looking at bugs in our gardens, or getting involved locally with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the different events they organise like Wildlife Watch.
Whatever you do, if we just all try to reduce, reuse and recycle maybe we can make a better Green Start for our families in Gloucestershire.
A guest blog from Rose Bosnell
Rose is a doctor living in Winchcombe currently on maternity leave looking after Angus, a strapping wee man. She aims to live with the planet in mind and hopes Angus will love the Cotswold hills as much as she does.