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5 Simple Switches to Save the Environment

Reading about the environment and the impact that we’re having on it can be a depressing read. Like most people with children, I’d like to see my son grow up in a sustainable world that’s not been completely massacred by our destructive ways. At the same time, I have to juggle so many balls. I have a budget, I’m limited on time, my life is already filled with things I need to do and the last thing I feel like I can cope with is more complexity. I want to save the environment, but that seems like a daunting and monumental task. What can I do by myself?

Saving the environment doesn’t have to be complicated. These are five simple switches that any family can do without breaking the budget. Whilst each seems small, if everyone on the planet did them it would make an absolutely massive difference. I do believe that every single person can make a difference and every little counts. So here’s what you can do to help your family save the environment.

5 Simple Switches that any family can make to cut down on plastic usage and save the environment.

Save the Environment by switching to Shopping Bags

With the 5p bag charge introduced across the UK, plastic bag usage dropped 83% in the first year. That’s absolutely crazy! The plastic bags that were sold raised £66 million for charity. There are still a lot of plastic bags in circulation though, including bags for life which despite the name, do break and need to be replaced and are still seen as disposable even though they cost 10p. The best solution is to switch to fabric shopping bags, or at the very least, the big 50p shopping bags. They’re strong and last for years and carry a ton of shopping in them so if you invest a couple of quid on them you really won’t regret it.

Save the Environment by switching to Bamboo Toothbrushes

Save the environment by cutting down on plastic usage and switching to bamboo toothbrushes.

Toothbrushes have to be regularly thrown out and they’re made of plastic which isn’t recyclable or biodegradable. There is a simple solution. You can buy bamboo toothbrushes with natural bristles that are entirely recyclable! How cool is that? If you buy them in a bulk pack they’re really not much any more expensive than a plastic toothbrush from the supermarket whilst saving the environment. They come in cardboard packaging too which helps as plastic toothbrushes usually have plastic packaging to boot.

If you use an electric toothbrush you can’t make this switch, but at least you’re already moving away from the disposable plastic handles, so well done!

Save the Environment by switching to Re-usable Straws

Save the environment and cut down on plastic usage by switching to re-usable straws, such as these bamboo straws or glass straws.

Straws have been in the news recently because millions of them are thrown into landfill year after year after year. Pubs and restaurants have been trying to cut down but these are still used in their masses. I do love to drink from a straw for a slow sip and so does my son, but you can buy a re-usable straw and carry it around with you. It sounds a little weird, but odds are if you’re out with the family you already have a changing bag or a hand bag of some sort with you – so is it really any more trouble to pop a pack of 100% organic, eco friendly and reusable bamboo straws in it that you can use time and time again? If you don’t fancy bamboo, glass straws are another alternative. Of course, even hard plastic or silicone straws are more environmentally friendly than using multiple plastic throwaways, as long as you keep them and re-use them.

The alternative of course is to say no thank you if you’re offered a straw and just go without. Saving the planet one straw at a time!

Save the Environment by switching to Re-usable Water Bottles & Flasks

Drink water from a plastic bottle? Stop!

Drink coffee or tea from a cup that you pop in the bin when you’re done? Oh no!

You might think your coffee cup was made of cardboard, but in fact most of the disposable cups out there are not recyclable due to the lining they use and most large venues don’t offer specific recycling facilities and only a general trash bin. Some are, but these are usually well advertised and labelled.

There are a ridiculous amount of re-usable bottles and flasks on the market now. Whether you’re a gym bunny, at the office all day, out with the kids, or working a late shift outside on a cold night, there is a re-usable product for you. Some coffee shops have even started giving discounts if you bring your own container, and can make your coffee or tea directly into a flask. Just ask them!

Save the environment to switching to Glass Bottles of Milk & Juice

Save the environment and cut down on plastic usage by switching to glass bottled milk from the milkman.

I’ve talked before about the family milkman making a comeback and this is true more than ever. You can find a local delivery service that offers glass bottled milk and juices that are collected and re-used time and time again. These are both re-used and made of recyclable glass for when they reach the end of their life. Glass is one of the purest forms of recycling. If you think about how many cartons of milk you buy in a year, this simple switch can really make a big difference to your plastic use.

Little Actions can make a Big Difference

There are many other ways that you can help save the environment and every little way does make a big difference. If you look at your rubbish at the end of the week, have a think whether anything’s been thrown away that could be replaced by a re-usable product or something more recyclable. It used to be hard to get hold of eco-friendly alternative products and they really stretched the family budget, but as awareness raises, ethical companies are now breaking into the mainstream and can compete on convenience and price. You might be pleasantly surprised at what alternatives are available. By living in as sustainable a way as we can, we set the future up for our children. If you make a point of explaining to your kids why we do things the way we do, they can grow up where this is natural and in future our landfills can diminish and our oceans be free from plastic.

On the topic of plastic, it becomes essential also to take a look at our wallets. Plastic is essentially what most wallets contain: your credit card and banknotes (made out of polymer or thin plastic). While money does not end in landfills, reducing plastic money could also reduce our environmental impact. You might want to research digital money, such as PayPal payments, or find out where to buy Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency. Digital payments are likely to pave the way for a green economy in the future. So why not start today with little gestures that make a big difference for both the planet and our finances? 

Let me know if you’ve managed to make any switches!

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  • Reply Bethany March 25, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I love the toothbrushes, what simple ways to help the environment and ultimately is so helpful, and saves you a bunch of money in the long run. Definitely going to try stick by this.

  • Reply Deborah Nicholas March 25, 2018 at 11:12 am

    We already use paper straws but never thought about reusable ones – will look into that and also the milkman too!

  • Reply WhatLydDid March 25, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I’m so glad that coffee shops are lowering their prices for reusable cups and giving people an incentive to use them! I do wish bamboo toothbrushes were cheaper, but I guess the higher demand for them, the cheaper they can go.


  • Reply Jessica Powell April 1, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    My partner has just switched to a bamboo toothbrush for this reason – I’m not ready to give up my Braun though. 😉 Seriously though, I think it is about many small actions that add up to something really special. I’ve always recycled but having the bin capacity lowered made me realise how lazy I still was about some things. Eg. a tin would be particularly grotty and I’d just bin it rather than clean it out. It seems like nothing, that, but then you think if you chucked one tin every single week it would soon add up to a lot of tins! #KCACOLS

    • Reply Christy - WelshMum April 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      I love knowing that small actions do make big differences. If you think about how much an entire family uses over the course of a year, recycling really mounts up! Thanks for commenting.

  • Reply Tubbs April 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve switched to KeepCups for takeaway coffee, washable cotton pads for removing makeup and a few other things. As a family we’re trying to recycle more. It’s a start! Thank you for reminding me about bamboo straws. I need some of those. #KCACOLS

    • Reply Christy - WelshMum April 1, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      That’s a really great start! Washable cotton pads are a good mention, I think we all use way too many wet wipes. I know they’re super useful, but a cloth will do the job just as well as so much better for the environment.

  • Reply Madeline (This Glorious Life) April 2, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I’m so used to taking my own bags shopping now, it feels really weird if I ever do forget and have to buy one with my shopping! I also bought an aluminium drinks bottle a month or so ago and really love it. I’ll have to look into those toothbrushes though, I’ve not seen them before. x #KCACOLS

  • Reply Luisa Kearney April 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I loved this post. I’m a professional fashion stylist and blogger and I decided to give up shopping for 1 year (starting May 2017). I wanted to see how easy it would be to minimise waste and revamp the clothing I already owned. It has been a really enjoyable experience and has opened my eyes to how we can all live a more eco-conscious life! 🙂

  • Reply Carol Cameleon April 8, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I agree, little things make such a difference. I never knew about bamboo toothbrushes! #kcacols

  • Reply Dani April 9, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    I enjoyed reading this post as I try to lead a green and eco lifestyle. Admittedly the only switch I have yet to make are buying bottled water. Our household has an aversion to drinking tap water so purchase bottled water from the supermarket but knowing the damage it is having on our oceans and planet I’ll be making that switch in the very near future as well as using reusable sandwich bags. Thank you for sharing with the #KCACOLS community x

  • Reply Schilly Construction Inc April 11, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Wow, such simple solutions. I plan on getting the straws for sure, and maybe the toothbrushes in the future. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Reply Tracy Albiero April 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    My biggest pet peeve is plastic shopping bags!! Bring your own.

  • Reply Veronica Mitchell April 19, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Love the idea of milk bottles, so nostalgic! 🙂 I think women should try switching to menstrual cups too instead of napkins of tampons. Happy user here for more than a year! 🙂

  • Reply jo liddement April 21, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I have switched to eco toothbrushes recently. I remember having the milk delivered in glass bottles and also buying fizzy drinks in glass bottles which we returned and got 10p back. I wish we could go back to this again.

  • Reply Elaine Skye Clark April 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Some great ideas her.?

  • Reply jakki reynolds April 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I am going to get wooden Toothbrushes and Straws for my Granddaughters

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