I live with my family in a picture-postcard village in the Yorkshire Dales and feel so lucky to live somewhere that other people come on holiday. Along with the holidaymakers we love to spend sunny days down by the river with our children – picnicking, paddling and BBQing on long lazy days. It’s beautiful, but sometimes the aftermath isn’t. Plastic bottles, coffee cups, sandwich wrappers and plastic straws wash downstream, a reminder of the everyday single-use plastics that we use and discard on a daily basis. Seeing the impact these have on our beautiful area got me thinking – how could I use my 10 years of manufacturing experience to make being green that little bit easier?
So I came up with a simple mission – to create a convenient alternative to single-use plastic straws. Our products are beautifully simple in design and made using the highest quality food-grade silicone here in the UK. We also try to live a little greener in the home too by making simple swaps to reusable products and also to plastic-free alternatives. As a busy mum of three I know it’s not always easy to even get the headspace to think about being eco-friendly. So here are my top tips to help you live a little greener while at home or out and about…
1. Let’s start with snacks! I think all mums feel they run a small snack bar with long opening hours. Snacks are great and having a readily available snack has helped me alleviate many a potential toddler meltdown. Snack packaging however is not so great for the environment. I find that buying in bulk (rather than multipacks) is a great way to reduce our packaging waste. Also, buying fruit and veg loose at the supermarket is another way to reduce your plastic waste (and don’t be fooled by the so called string bags which oranges can come in… these are in fact plastic!).
2. You always take a sippy cup for the kids… but do you always remember a water bottle for yourself? Taking your own reusable water bottle everywhere will stop you reaching for a plastic one when you’re out and about – and will keep you healthy and hydrated too.
3. Meal times can be messy! It’s so tempting to reach for the baby wipes but they contain plastic fibres so can actually take up to 100 years to biodegrade. So ditch the disposables and choose reusable products to dramatically cut your plastic waste. A cleaning cloth with hot soapy water is actually amazing for wiping sticky hands and faces and you can simply toss them into the washer at the end of the day ready for the next.
4. In the kitchen there are so many ways to live greener. We’ve switched to traditional glass bottles from the milkman and reduce food waste by popping leftovers in lunch boxes (or cover it with plates) instead of using cling film or foil. When it comes to washing up – did you know that those little green and yellow sponges are actually made from plastic and we use millions of them in the UK each year? Swapping yours for a cleaning brush is much better for the environment and great for scrubbing!
5. The bathroom is also a place where simple switches can make a big difference. Swapping to bars of soap instead of shower gel and going for traditional razors rather than disposables are the easiest places to start. It’s these small changes that’ll make the world of difference to the amount of plastic waste you see in the home.
How many of these do you do already? Which ones are you tempted to try? Simply making a couple of these tiny changes can make a real difference, rather than trying to change the world all at once.
You might know that single-use plastic straws are being banned this October to reduce marine pollution. It’s great news for the environment… but let’s be honest, it’s not just the kids who love a straw. This is where our clever, cleanable, snippable, flexible and chewable reusable silicone straws come in. We hope you and your brood are enjoying your pack in this month’s Oh Mumma box and are having fun with being green.
Find out more about Charlotte's brand at www.thesiliconestrawcompany.co.uk