Since having my twin babies I’ve made a lot of swaps for sustainability – I’m going to list them all here with a few notes. This is mainly for my own benefit, so I have something to look back on, but feel free to leave comments, tips, or advice for me!
In the past 18 months;
1. Eco Deodorant
This was definitely one of the easier swaps I’ve made. I’ve tried balms, push ups, and crystals and all of them have worked well for me!
2. Bamboo toothbrushes
I actually made this swap many years ago but thought I’d note it down. The whole family use bamboo toothbrushes, but the bristles can’t be recycled which is annoying!
3. Earth Bleach
Earth bleach seems to work for lots of things – I’ve been using mine in the carpet cleaner, washing machine, to clean mugs, and in the mop bucket. I’ll have a go at using it down the loo at some point too and see if it has a notable impact!
4. Cloth nappies
Cloth nappies were so much easier to get to grips with than I’d imagined. There’s a great online community for all things cloth nappy, and we’ve definitely saved loads of waste from going to landfill.
5. Cloth wipes
These are so more more effective than disposables and I deal with them in the same way as nappies, so it was a nice easy swap for us.
I must have tried every single Lush shampoo bar going, and none of them worked for my hair, so I ended up giving up. This year I was sent a bar of EcoLiving shampoo and I’ve not looked back. I’ve now got a few new bars stocked in the cupboard for when my current one runs out. It leaves my hair feeling silky soft, and gives it a great shine. I don’t even need to use conditioner any more!
7. Body wash & face masks
I got some Beauty Kubes body wash and face mask and both my husband and I get on very well with them. They make lots of bathroom products and are brilliant for low waste. Another positive bathroom swap and I will be trying some different ones in future!
8. Period products
Pre-babies, I used a menstrual cup and tampons. Now, I still use a cup, but also have a stash of cloth sanitary pads and a pair of period pants! I’m well stocked and it’s all plastic free!
I discovered ethical brands when the twins were quite small. Since then, there has been a gradual shift in our wardrobes and now 90% of clothes for the twins and me are either second hand, or from an ethical clothing company!
Most of our toys are wooden, made out of recycled plastic, or second hand. I automatically steer clear of plastic tat these days.
It might sound a bit strange putting this one on the list, but it’s a big change for me. As a bit of a sugar addict, there’s always chocolate in my fridge. Before I had my twins I never really thought about where it came from, but now I’m strict with myself and only buy in ethical chocolate. I like Tony’s and Cocoa Loco, and when Tony’s were struck of the ethical list, I did some research into the matter, and made an informed decision to carry on buying it!
Previously, I loved the caramel chocolate from Hotel Chocolat so if anyone can offer advice on where I can get something similar that’s ethical, that’d be massively appreciated!
During Fairtrade Fortnight I learned loads and vowed to always buy fairtrade in future. We always have bananas in the house, and now I always make sure they’re fair trade! It costs me about 50p extra a week, which I am able to pay, so think it’s important to do so!
13. Dish soap
I’ve not quite got this right yet, so we’re only part time sustainable dish soap. I got a fantastic bar from EcoLiving, but we went through it quickly. I’m not sure if it’s because we have loads of washing up, or because I was going a bit wild with scrubbing. I’ve noticed a Violet’s dish soap that’s not got any nasties in, so I’m considering trying that!
14. Loo roll
Like loads of other people, I swapped to a sustainable loo roll subscription! Not a scrap for plastic in sight!
15. Laundry detergent and fabric softener
Another subscription service that saves on plastic and unnecessary waste for these.
16. Flasks & Straws
As a household, we now have quite a few great Klean Kanteens. When the world is back to normal, these will be great for making coffee on the go rather than buying one at a coffee shop!
17. Surface spray
An eco pal got me some new cleaning supplies for Christmas (you know you’re an adult when you get excited about cleaning products) and I’ve been using the surface spray. It works a treat and I’m using it along side the Method spray I still had in the cupboard.
I read that Method’s parent company have a questionable stance on animal testing so I’d like to avoid the company in future, unless they make some changes!
The twins and I eat a 90% vegetarian diet, much of which is totally plant based – this isn’t new though as I was actually a vegetarian through school… I’m constantly trying to think of delicious meat free meals that will steer my husband away from meat, but haven’t had much luck yet! We never eat fish either!
19. Virtually no carbon emissions
I owe this one to a combination of lockdown, having twins, and actually choosing to walk everywhere. I can probably count on my fingers the amount of times I’ve been in a car over the past year. As things start to reopen this will be harder to maintain, but I’m confident I can keep our household carbon emissions very low!
20. Growing things
I have very little outdoor space, so I’ve created a windowsill garden instead. I’ve got lots of herbs, leeks, and spring onions on the go as well as lots of plants. I’m hoping to add a couple of planters to my tiny back yard and utilise the outdoor space for something really useful!
21. Staying local
We’ve stayed local when it comes to food and holidays. The last year has given me the time I need to really think about sustainable travel, and to what extent it’s even possible. While lockdown has limited travels this year, I’m thinking very carefully about where I want any of our family overseas travels to take us in future. Eco tourism is something I want to find out more about, and I want to ensure the places we visit have good environmental sectors that the money from our tourism will pay back into.
That’s all for now. I hope to be able to look back on this list in future and see how my household has improved on it!