All parents at some point have had a shock when looking at the amount of waste that children create. Perhaps especially as babies, with nappies and scented nappy bags, wipes, individually-wrapped snacks, clothes now too-small, and many, many more items that seem to be obligatory with raising a child. If you have found yourself wondering what can be done about this, you are not alone and there are some changes you can make to cut down the sheer amount of waste that we all produce constantly and almost unconsciously.
Whether you agree that the consumer should have to take matters into their own hands is worthy of a post of its own, but if you do want to make some changes, take a look at these suggestions and see what you might like to do to reduce your and your family’s carbon footprint.
Try greener companies
Everyone uses things everyday that they have done repeatedly for so long that they probably don’t even think about them anymore. Take a good, hard look at what you buy and the items around your home that you regularly buy to see where you could make some easy swaps. There seem to be companies sprouting everywhere promising more sustainable approaches to everyday purchases or activities, for example, you might want to replace your regular toilet roll brand with one that is made with recycled paper, or one that comes in cardboard/paper packaging. You can even make your deliveries environmentally-friendly; Shiply.com is an online marketplace that provides a green alternative to deliveries by attempting to fill empty spaces in vehicles already making journeys in a similar direction. Filling space in this way keeps from adding additional vehicles to the road and they are therefore able to offer customers much lower delivery prices as a result.
Look around your spending habits: what could you change?
Cut down on wipes
You may have read about the ‘fatbergs’ lining our sewer systems caused by people flushing wet wipes that aren’t supposed to be flushed. If you think you might be guilty of this, take a look at the packaging of your wipes to see if they’re flushable. If they are, great! If not, make sure you put these in the bin from now on and perhaps buy alternative wipes that CAN be flushed, or use something else entirely that is reusable instead. The same goes for nappies – take a look at non-disposable options to see if they can work for you (and it’s ok if they can’t!).
If you haven’t heard about the mountains of plastic in the ocean that’s been well-documented following Blue Planet II on the TV, you must have been living under a rock! Following the programme, there have been so many stories and images circulating online of fish swimming through floating plastic bags and bottles. Many people as a result have felt inspired to rethink their attitudes towards plastic consumption and have made small changes that you can easily make, too. Reject single-use plastics where you can, like buying bottled water (investing in a reusable drinks container will soon pay for itself and can get you discounts in coffee shops!), and using plastic straws (do you even need it?)
I hope this has given you some ideas, but for even more inspiration for reducing the amount of waste, google Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer, advocates of the zero-waste movement. Their websites have countless ways for you to reduce your family’s waste consumption. Good luck!