This is a bit of a late entry for February’s swaps but better late than never! I was waiting for a bright spring day to take photo’s in the natural light but it has been quite grey and wet. Today is officially Spring though – Yay!! Lot’s of planting to do now the frost has passed.
Talking of frost – we had a good couple of days of proper snow. As it had been years since we had a snowy day this was the first time Mia was able to play in it. My talented husband, Paul, made this ‘Zero Waste’ sledge from an old pallet, some corrugated plastic that was to be thrown out and an old skipping rope. I love the traditional look of wooden sledges over plastic and this being hand-made makes it even more special. It was really fast too!
We have stopped buying disposable cotton wool and now use these washable bamboo facial wipes (they are really washable nipple pads – but shh don’t tell anyone). These go in with our normal washing and have been great for removing make-up and just freshening up. There are many talented sellers Etsy with some really cute prints.
I have given our cutlery drawer an overhaul – it was embarrassingly cluttered before; filled with duplicate items, disposable plastics and take away menus. Now almost everything left is stainless steel – the Tinkerbell cutlery is Mia’s from the Disney store in Paris so she’ll be staying a while :-). The black wallet on the left stores our chef knives. We still have the lower 2 drawers to sort which are filled with all sorts of cluttered accessories so they will be next.
Swapping plastic straws for stainless steel ones have been a great hit here! I feel ashamed to say we were buying the packs of 100 coloured straws from Ikea previously and disposing after each use. After reading about the negative impact disposable plastics have on our environment this was an obvious swap. Mia used to love pick the pink coloured ones previously but is totally on board for making better choices and not even questioned going back. These are from Amazon by a brand called Globi – available here.
We haven’t bought any gift wrap this month but have reused/ recycled the packaging that came with Amazon parcels. Mia has enjoyed designing her own wrapping paper by doodling using Honeysticks 100% pure beeswax crayons and adding a personal touch. These crayons are £19.99 which seems a lot, but they are natural and non toxic and super chunky so will last so much longer than Mia’s usual ones that snap instantly (plus they smell like honey). I was lucky enough to be sent these to try out and we love them! They can be purchased here.
At the end of January’s journal entry I mentioned we had dug out our bread maker. Well.. we haven’t purchased a loaf for the past 6 weeks. It was ‘Real Bread Week’ so that inspired us to try new flavours which was fun. Mia chose to make Strawberry bread which I actually loved but the other 2 wasn’t a huge fan of the fruit pieces so I’ll blend them next time. This has been a great swap as we constantly get fresh bread, the smell is amazing and we avoid the plastic packaging and additives in the store-bought bread. We are still experimenting to find a family favourite loaf.
We found a local farmers market called The Green Barn Farm Shop. This is in Benfleet -Essex, in case any of my readers are local, their website is http://greenbarnfarmshop.com/
We have loved visiting this shop weekly – picking up a wicker basket and filling with local produce without the unneeded plastic packaging. I have loved buying a Tiptree Jam product as a treat too as they are a local company and they come stored in glass which I plan to refill once used up.
For loose items we have been using these organic cotton produce bags available here – they work really well for fruit, veg and nuts replacing the need for the plastic or paper bags. They are great quality and even have a label on them with the tare weight – so the wight of the bag can be deducted if filling the bag before paying. I used one of the bags a laundry bag to keep our baby’s mittens together in the wash.
Overall, I am really pleased how well we have continued January’s swaps and made these changes throughout February. We have really thought about each purchase and what impact it has on our family and the environment. Reading about Zero waste has really opened our eyes and our priorities have changed in many areas.
Soon I will be writing about March’s swaps – as we are 2/3 through this month. I have lots to write about including zero waste Mothers Day gifts, baby items and filling up our own bottles of milk at a local farm.