I have a bit of a thing for our planet.
The more informed I become the more shocked I am and the more effort I put into making every day changes because its scary, isn’t it? It’s terrifying to think that every single piece of plastic every created still exists. Its unsettling to know that every year Australians alone throw 1 billion coffee cups into landfill. 1 billion!
The biggest threat to our planet is thinking that someone else is going to save it so this year I decided I was going to take a bit of action. I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to learn but I thought I would share some of the changes I’ve made and products im using in order to become better friends with the environment.
1. TROLLEY BAGS
The first change I made in my household last year was to stop using plastic bags so much. I purchased a set of trolley bags and the lovely folks at packing sorted gave me a set to giveaway. I still use my trolley bags nearly every day. Obviously I use the set if im going to the supermarket but I will use them individually when im nipping into the fruit shop or butcher too. I take them on picnics and really anywhere that requires the transport of anything food related. They can take a bit of getting used too with unloading and loading the trolley but you figure it out within a couple of trips and the checkout staff are always really helpful and fascinated by them. I have had to learn however to keep them IN MY CAR to avoid them being forgotten.
2. REUSABLE PADS & LINERS
Please don’t freak out, is not gross. Hear me out. While I haven’t quite moved onto a moon cup yet, the reusable pads from WooHoo Nana are a really great option to avoid the use of single use plastic pads. WooHoo NANA liners and pads are 100% cotton, with the exception of the waterproofing layer which is PUL. Bamboo fleece is 70% bamboo with 30% cotton mixed in. Bamboo fleece has antibacterial properties and is super absorbent. They come in a range of sizes and widths depending on your flow and can be used as liners, overnight pads and I’d dare say there’s even capacity as maternity pads. A friend of mine who just had her baby used the maxis – she ran them under the tap, rung them out and chucked them in the freezer for you know, post birth relief (all you mums out there are nodding your heads)Another bonus with these is that because of the fabrics they’re quite breathable and you dont end up feeling “damp”.
They clip together to hold them in place and to wash you just rinse, soak, wash and they’re good as new. I’m a big big fan.
3. TOILET TRAINING UNDIES
By the time I got these Abel was managing to get to the toilet through the day but was still wetting through the night on occasion. Putting an overnight nappy on him just incase seemed like such a waste when he woke up dry (and would remove his nappy and throw it in the bin like a well trained little champ). Theyre not cheap and he hated it any way because “im a big boy now! No nappy!”- not to mention the environmental impact.
So, these little trainers from WooHoo Nana were perfect. He would usually wake himself up while he was wetting through and they held back just enough that your child could feel it but there was no need to change the sheets. Flannelette is 100% cotton and soft to touch. Bamboo fleece used inside for absorbing. For the boys there is one large layer of fleece to match the flannelette and two extra shaped bamboo fleece to fit in front. For the girls the is one large layer of fleece to match the flannelette and two extra strips underneath. The inserts are stitched together at different points to ensure no rolling and slipping of fabrics.
4. SOAP NUTS
Yes. Nuts that make soap. Apprehensive at first, I only ordered a small bag from Go Green At Home. I really didn’t think they were gonna cut the mustard (or the grease). I made a general purpose cleaning spray just by boiling a few in some water, straining and putting the liquid into an old spray bottle. It works really well. Amazingly well, and so far has proven safe to use on wood and stainless steel. They come in a reuseable muslin bag that you can throw in the washing machine to act as your laundry detergent too. I havent tried it on any tough stains yet but my towels come out pretty fresh! You can always add a few drops of essential oil to the mix if you miss the smell as they’re pretty well odourless.
I bought 250gm for $16 and I made 2L of cleaning spray from 6 nuts which less than 1/4 of the bag.
5. BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH
Oh how I love this guy – purchased from Go Green At Home. When I first got it I thought it was too small. The bristle head is probably 2/3 the size of my Colgate one so i was a bit concerned it just wasnt going to clean as well. But the beauty of the smaller head is that its way more maneuverable so getting behind my teeth and things is 500% easier and the charcoal bristles just make me feel like im doing all good things for the planet. My teeth havent felt this clean in a long long time. I’ll never go back to using a plastic tooth-brush. Ever and conveniently you can purchase these in singles, packs of 12, with soft or medium bristles and kid sizes too.
6. TOILET PAPER
Once upon a time I heard the term “recycled toilet paper” and was like “what the actual fuck” because I literally thought it was old toilet paper that had somehow been recycled and was being used again *bleh*. I was probably 9. I’ve grown a lot since then. So Who Gives A Crap caught my eye because of their clever name and awesome packaging. Toilet paper is something everyone has to have so I don’t know why they advertise it because im not sure who isn’t using it – but anyway i digress.
Who gives a crap donate 50% of their profits to fund hygiene and sanitation projects in developing countries. How GOOD is that? Their toilet rolls are double length too which means changing less often because you know the kids wont. The rolls are all wrapped individually for hygiene reasons but there is no plastic and they offer a list of uses for the wrappers. I use mine for shopping lists and even occasionally, sandwich wrap. ALSO on their boxes it says “you’ve got a nice bum” so when my husbands away i always just leave that lying around the house for a while for a self-esteem boost.
My last order costs me $42 including shipping for 24 double rolls and not only am I getting toilet paper, a self-esteem boost, some lunch wrap and some colourful decoration in the house but im contributing to such an important cause because “poor sanitation causes diarrhoea related diseases that fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under 5 every day.” To date these guys have donated $428,500 so far. Ka Pai team!
These aren’t difficult things to implement into every day life and while it might not seem like much, it’s a start. I have learnt to commit to changing just one thing at a time. Once that change becomes habit, it opens the door for further change and progress.
Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.