It's finally 2022! Happy New Year everyone.
With every New Year that comes round, a new set of seemingly unachievable resolutions comes with it! Gah!
This year, I'm trying to take it easy on myself... it's been a hard few months for everyone. Eco anxiety is a real thing, and we don't need to beat ourselves hard with that stick as soon as the New Year comes round. Yikes!
What we COULD do instead, is write a list of POSSIBLE plastic-free changes that you could tweak to make our lifestyle more sustainable and a little greener, for the benefit of our family and the planet.
I then suggest you choose ONE of those on the "could do" list, and just do that this year. Choose that TINY resolution, and do it REALLY well! Make the goal achievable!
Here's my list of tiny plastic-free changes that you COULD DO this year, but obviously feel free to draft your own list!
"Could Do" Plastic Free Changes:
1) Swap for shampoo & conditioner bars - so many shampoos and conditioners on the market not only have very obvious plastic packaging which can really easily be avoided by using bars instead, but also have hideous microplastics in the actual product itself! I'm particularly worried about the plastic microbeads, as they have a well documented negative effect on human health. To be avoided!
Try alternatives, such as this beautiful vegan shampoo & conditioner bars from the Solid Bar Company, which are suitable for all the family, from baby, to siblings, to parents!
2) Plastic-free teething to avoid microplastics - When my son was teething, he wanted to chew EVERYTHING! We are so lucky these days to be able to give our little ones alternatives to plastic teethers. The plastic teethers are mass produced, cheap and cheerful, for sure, and come in all sorts of appealing characters and shapes. However! Be vigilant... some plastics, including the plastics in teethers, can contain all kinds of nasty toxins such as phthalates, which really are no good for humans, and particularly babies and children whose little systems are still in development.
"Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments."
Why not source a brilliant alternative to plastic teethers, by offering your baby a plastic-free natural rubber teether when they are teething. All natural, and therefore biodegradable too - so they are as safe for your baby as they are for the planet.
3) Recycle soft plastics at your local superstore - this is my small change this year! (which I actually started in about November, to get a good run in!) I now religiously save up all of the soft plastics from grocery shopping and take them for recycling at my local Co-op. Soft plastics are so so hard to avoid, even if (like me) you try really really hard! So many supermarkets are now offering this service, so it feels really good to avoid sending them to landfill. It is really easy peasy too... I just shove the bag in when I am going shopping! Easy.
4) Invest in an essential set of plastic-free reusables, and reuse them every single day! - You don't need to rush and buy these all at once, but having a go-to set of plastic-free reusables for your baby and family will richly benefit you and the planet in the long term. As long as you use them!
The plastic-free items that my son (aged 4) and I use and reuse daily at the moment are:
- stainless steel water bottles
- tote bag
- plastic free bath none sponge
- plastic-free biodegradable potty
And when my son was a baby, the reusable plastic-free items that were absolutely essential for everyday use were:
- natural rubber teether and dummy
I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.
Founder of Plastic Free Baby