I recently had an interview with Henrietta Mackenzie of My EcoHouse Network, and I’m thrilled to be able to share some excerpts of the interview with you.
My EcoHouse Network an eco-lifestyle blog providing tips and advice on how to make your house eco-friendly and live a more sustainable life. Henri’s blog includes eco swaps, top tips, product reviews, interviews with eco brands and influencers, renewable energy stories and more.
Here’s some of the interview with Henri.
When did you start your sustainable journey?
I became a vegetarian really young, aged around 5, when I realised that the ‘lamb’ on my plate was the same as the farmyard animals I loved so much! It was probably tricky for my mum having to cook for a fussy veggie as one of 3 children, but she made it work.
My eco journey widened out when I was trying to have a baby. My idea for Plastic Free Baby started when I was when struggling to conceive my son (Finn, who turns 3 the week before Christmas); I began to read up on the possible reasons for this difficulty. I read that some plastics contain toxic chemicals that can have a direct and scientifically proven impact on fertility in men and in women. This was a shocking revelation to me.
Prior to my pregnancy, also, I produced a painting on behalf of the World Cetacean Alliance (a wonderful organisation that protects the world’s aquatic mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises). The painting was created in part by plastic waste. Washed up on Brighton’s beaches, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the plastic pollution in the oceans that entangles wildlife. The painting I created went on to be endorsed by none other than living legend Sir David Attenborough!
So the two paths met... a prior interest and passion for using art to help raise awareness of plastic waste impacting our seas and natural environment, together with a personal journey investigating the impact of plastics on fertility, babies and children.
What changes did you make to live more sustainably?
Every New Year I give myself the target of achieving one small and consistent sustainable resolution that I can keep with me for life, in order to make realistic adaptations for long term impact. Making small changes over a long period is key. I really do believe this is the best way to make a difference. Don’t go with fads that don’t last, make a commitment to life changes that will go the distance. I’m no eco mum superhero, I’m just doing my small bit for my child and for the world as best I can.
When I was trying to conceive and when I was subsequently pregnant with my son, as I got bigger (and bigger and bigger!) and less mobile during pregnancy, I had more time to research further, and to become worried about what I was reading. It was clear to me that some plastics can have a potentially devastating and worryingly unquantifiable impact on the health of our unborn children, our babies, children and families. So I removed all plastics that I possibly could from our everyday life, starting with those in the kitchen and bathroom. And then I started Plastic Free Baby; I realised that there was not one single place where you could buy plastic free baby and child products; I also found that some plastic free baby products simply don’t YET exist and are no longer mass manufactured in this plastic world that we live in today. I considered that this was not good enough, and so at 7 months pregnant embarked upon setting up a business plan for Plastic Free Baby!... I launched during #plasticfreejuly in 2019.
What are your favourite eco products for babies?
My favourite products are those that make ethical and sustainable use of natural resources, to provide toxin free, plastic free products that are safe and fun to use. The choices I make for my plastic free shop and blog are the same as those that I make for my own child.
A great example of this is the plastic free biodegradable potty which I sell on Plastic Free Baby. The eKoala biodegradable potty, for which I’m the only supplier in the UK, is made of renewable raw materials such as corn, beetroot and switchgrass. It is biodegradable; at the end of its lifetime, will fall back into their basic components, not releasing toxins and polluting substances into our environment. These components will return to nature to nourish the crops from which the process originates.
You can read the full blog on Henri’s My EcoHouse Network website.