Eco Mum

Christmas gifts for the eco friendly

Eeeeek…… do you know your friend drops all the #plasticfree tags, or your cousin is super eco friendly???? Believe it or not they’re not super hard to buy for…… heres my top eco must haves for the super greens.

  • Make something

Sounds cheesy; but loads of thought goes into handmade. Think homemade granola, brownie mix, bath boards or a super retro mix tape! Here’s a great blog with some fabulous ideas Homemade gift blog

  • Cup it- secret whispers

Now you’d prob have to know her quite well for that I’m to be an idea; but it truly is a life changer! If your sister/bestie/workmate- is keen on being plastic free or reducing waste, then she’ll thank you for this (probably after giving you a weird look first). I started using period cups about two years ago- and I’m annoyed I didn’t try it sooner! Saves you loads of dosh(spend on gin), no nasty chemicals or risk of tss (so healthier) and no more whiffy bins to empty (hoorah!) honestly – game changer

  • Nothing new by Ruthie ru

I’m slightly obsessed by the cute upcycled jewellery from Nothing new by Ruthie Ru loads of awesome quirky pieces made from recycled vinyl or cds. Check them out.

  • Klean kanteen mug/cup or straws

From stocking filler straws, to secret Santa coffee cups, you could even make up a box of eco dreams for your son/daughter at uni. We find Klean Kanteen products to be great value, last well and love the fab colours too- definitely something for all the family here.

  • Tropic products

I love Tropic products! Made with all natural, cruelty free ingredients, some are even refillable! Speak to Charlie at Charlie Ball Tropic for recommendations and to order. I’d recommend an awesomely scented body pebble for your secret Santa, and the amazing personalised make up palette for you bestie ( oooh and treat yourself to the super greens serum and feel fresh deo whilst your there)

  • Refill rev voucher

Everyone loves a voucher (as does the giver, when you just don’t know what to buy). So if you’re buying for an eco warrior a Refill revolution voucher is the one- means they can get anything; from a spork, jar or sweets, coffee cup, period pants or even some lentils!

  • Planet picnic

One for outdoorsy families; we love our planet picnic reusables- they come out every weekend! Our egg sarnies are always in our wrap- opens up to a nice little knee blanket, Dot always has her snacks ready for the car in a snack pack, and our bamboo cutlery is ready to go. Planet Picnic fabric options are always funky, easy to wash and handmade too.

  • Soda stream

I bought my hubby a soda stream for his birthday and we love it!!! As you may know we like a gin or five, so it must save us tonnes of plastic mixer bottles. They even have a discounted gas recycle/refill scheme! Use this link for 10% off Soda stream

  • Vouchers for preloved fashion

Another (healthy) obsession of mine; I just love preloved fashion, and your eco friendly friend will to. If you’re local to Market Harborough grab a voucher for The Attic or Ginger Kate – you can grab wonderfully quirky blouses, a bargain designer piece, or (if you’re like me) just one more leopard print item!

  • Zen garden

Check out Zen garden for stunning zero waste beauty products. One product is perfect for a secret Santa- or make up a luxurious hamper for your best friend.

There we have it- buy them AND try them yourself- make sure you drop me a comment with what you think.

Eco Mum

Being Eco – one step at a time

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly. – Anne Marie Bonneau aka The Zero Waste Chef

This is one of my favourite quotes when it comes to trying to be eco-friendly. Its small steps, done one at a time; eco-friendly living can be intimidating, and think a lot of people can be put off by that, so don’t make the effort. I think it’s really important just to realise that every step you do make, is a step forward.

I’m writing this blog to help others understand simple and cost effective ways to help you ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. I think people think plastic is ‘the enemy, and long term it’s one of the enemies, but a plastic item you will reuse time after time is a keeper- so many people seem to be ‘disposing’ of plastic, to buy a ‘plastic free alternative’ without realising that’s the problem – stop wasting, and stop buying stuff you don’t need.

I’m not perfect, I’m far from it- this blog isn’t coming from a righteous position! I can’t afford to, have time to, or truly want to do all things that being an true ‘eco-warrior’ involves. I drive a diesel- although I’d love a hybrid or electric car, we still use disposable nappies (although I hate the waste we produce) as I cannot find any time in my life to do more washing, and I’m a pescatarian not vegan, nor do I want to be. Oh and I best say; otherwise they’ll be a comment from my husband, my worst habit is leaving the lights on!

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

Here’s some simple, cost saving or cost effective ways of reducing your impact on the earth.

Reduce:

• Do you really need this??? Don’t need it don’t buy it.

  • Reduce waste by using reusables instead! My faves are below
  • Make your own cleaning products, or buy refillable/eco options

• Buy in bulk. Even if you buy items in plastic buy the bigger bottle/bags etc. it’ll be less plastic in the long run. I buy the giant packs of dishwasher tabs, washing capsules etc.

• Avoid tiny, travel sized bottles- more plastic, more waste. If you travel, then get reusable travel size kits and fill up with you at home products.

• Don’t waste food; buy less (don’t buy multipack plastic wrapped veg, buy loose instead), freeze left overs or use the Olio app to giveaway unwanted food insert link

Reuse:

• Reuse your plastic bottles and get refills where possible, lots of products have refills which you can get in supermarkets- hand wash and washing up liquid are common; and means less plastic waste overall.

• Hand down, sell on or do swaps. Clothes, kids toys and household appliances generally get disposed of before their life is over; donate to charity shops, friends, use random acts of kindness groups on facebook, use *Thrift to sell on your clothes, sell your kids stuff at preloved sales or have swap parties with your friends.

• Fix fix fix; fix it don’t chuck it. Not skilled to fix it yourself, do a quick search and you’ll probably find local fixer cafes.

• Hoard what you’d normally waste if it can be reused; I wash and keep any glass or plastic jars and zippy bags. And use it to organise my food cupboards, craft cupboards and take to refill revolution at *Harborough Eco Village

• Hoard what you’d normally waste if it can be used for craft activities; (great if you have kids or can be donated to childminders/nurseries)loo roll inserts, packaging from parcels (shredded paper/bubble wrap/ polystyrene.

*links below

Recycle:

Do your research and find out what you can recycle locally. Think beyond your refuse collection or local tip (but obviously use these too)

• Some opticians can recycle you contact lens packaging

• Some shops offer recycling for crisp packets, squeezy pouch packaging, plastic bags.

• Use your local free-cycle page- you’ll find allsorts

‘Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution.’ – Unknown
When to buy???
When there are good plastic free or reusable items you will actually use.
    Everyone needs a nice water bottle I like klean canteen, chillys and life factory again Harborough eco village have a great range .
    If you buy a lot of coffee/tea then grab a reusable hot drinks cup – I find starbucks have the best leak proof ones.
    Stop buying kitchen roll and get reusable washable ones instead from Avocado handmade
    I do use disposable baby wipes, but only when out the house- in home we have two sets of cheeky wipes one for bums and one for hands/faces
    Make packed lunches or like picnics; grab some reusable sandwich wraps, snack bags etc. my faves are planet picnic and keep leaf available from Harborough eco village
    Period products- yes I’m going there! I love my organicup, I’ve also used a moon cup before (but lost it- somewhere in the house), honestly give them a couple of months and you won’t look back. Don’t fancy it? Why not try reusable/washable period pant or pads.
  • If it’s preloved or ethically/eco-friendly made:

    • I feel at my most smug when I’ve picked up some great clothes from a charity shop, Facebook marketplace or preloved shop. If you’re local to Market Harborough you’ve gotta try The attic, little raine or a good mooch of the charity shops
      I love Thrift + to sell and buy- when selling on thrift you can either use your credit to buy preloved clothes and accessories OR for John Lewis vouchers. You also get to choose a charity to donate some of the taking too.
      Buy eco friendly toys: my favourite are tender leaf or le toy van from The growing tree shop (use ‘ivfninja’ for discount) , Lanka kade from westlodge farm shop, plan toys or petit collage from Kidly.
      Buy well, buy once- don’t go for cheap trends. I try to buy investment buys; I’d rather buy one item that will last for years at £100 than 6 items for the same price that won’t last.
      Mooch a car boot; I hate buying plastic toys for Dorothea, but shes a toddler and loves them- I’ve bought pretty much all our Duplo from the car boot and love a mooch when the weather is good

    We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. – Howard Zinn

    Last but not least; shop local, shop small, support local businesses/individuals and organisations that are making eco efforts. Join in on that local litter pic, buy from your local farm or green grocer, support your local eco-village or refill shop- mine is Harborough eco village and its wonderful.