For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past 12 months you may have missed all the noise surrounding the environment and the problem with recycling waste.
The average person throws away their body weight in waste every 7 weeks! Thats a huge amount! Some of that waste is sent to landfills while some is sent for recycling.
The problem with waste has been known for a while. Some boroughs of London have strict recycling programs, which is amazing. It makes being eco that much easier when the bin men are on your side.
The problems we are seeing now with recycling is that a massive chunk of our waste set for recycling is sent to China or Hong Kong. And sadly when it arrives at its destination it is being poorly stored, which means it can not longer be recycled or just not being recycled at all! Much ending up in the oceans and seas during transport. I
f you have totally missed the footage of the damage this is causing click!
This in turn skews results the government release to us, making it appear we are doing our bit when actually a lot more needs doing if we are not going to see our beautiful planet consumed by our waste.
I have always thought I was conscious of my footprint on the planet, I recycle!
But if I am honest it has been with this sudden rise in public awareness that I am really seeing what choices I make as having a direct contribution to the problem.
Because I am a doing sort of person I have been looking really closely at some of the small things I can do at home. This is more problematic when you have a child/children. They make a lot of waste!
As soon as baby is born the waste starts piling up with the mass of disposable nappies they steadily get through until finally toilet trained. Then there is all the stuff they need! Toys! It is endless.
With Seb I did make a conscious decision to try and avoid buying plastic toys for him. That was my bit I thought! There came a point though and the plastic toys came. Mostly bought by other people I might add but still I allowed them to start piling up.
Now as a second time mum and my conscience in overdrive I decided to give cloth nappies a go seeing as that is a huge contribution to the problem. 4,500 nappies per baby, that is a lot.
If I am honest the thought of cloth nappies horrified me but Phoenix’ dad felt quite strongly about using them so I decided I needed to at least try them. Then I could see for myself since I was only basing my horror on what my mother had told me about the old fashioned Terry towelling nappies.
A couple of weeks after Phoenix was born and I had to admit they were pretty good. 3 months into using them and I decided if I am washing nappies I may as well use washable cloth wipes too. I have taken them on holiday and changed her on the beach. And I still can’t complain about them.
I find it really satisfying to have no waste and yes maybe I need to be a bit more organised but I think it is worth a little more time and effort. A nappy takes 100 years to decompose, that is a ridiculously long time!!
Other things I have tried to do to minimise waste from my family include;
Making sure to carry refillable water bottles.
Looking at packaging and material of products I use, like buying a bar of soap instead of a bottle of hand wash.
Using my cloth bags when I shop.
Asking people who buy presents for my children to look at what it is made from.
Leaving any pointless packaging at the supermarket checkout. They need to take a hint and reduce pointless packaging of foods!
Seb has joined me to. He is starting to understand the damage plastic is doing and has made the choice to not use straws anymore. That is a big thing for him. He loves a straw so I bought him his own metal straw. He has got quite upset on occasions I have forgotten it but has still not reached for the plastic. He enjoys telling waiters in restaurants “No straw please I am saving the planet”
We are also making regular trips to the charity shop with toys he no longer plays with and are planning a boot sale stall where Seb can understand the value of money and save the profits toward something he really wants. In this case its Lego. And I know it is plastic but Lego is timeless and can always be enjoyed and reused by other children.
Along with all the bits I am doing in my household I feel compelled to share my positive experience with other mums in a bid to get others to at least try the cloth nappy route.
It does have more then just ecological positives, your wallet will be fuller too.
I was given nappies from a friend who’s baby had outsized the nappies and have found other cloth nappy mums who I can share sizes with. So to date other then a few packs of wipes and a bucket to store soiled nappies in, I haven’t spent more the £50. That means more money to spend on the fun things.
Last week was real nappy week and although I found a few more cloth nappy mummies on my facebook timeline, it would be amazing to see more positive stories shared and the movement of real nappies build some momentum, as possibly one the the single largest items we waste that we can in fact can have a huge hand in.
We can not control where our recycling heads after it leaves our bin but we can help to reduce the sheer volume of waste currently festering in landfill by choosing to try the cloth!
My name is Sally and I am a complete convert to cloth nappies! Do you dare to give it a go?
If you are not quite ready yet to try cloth out but you have your own eco mum hacks please share. After all sharing is caring.