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Sustainability is the buzzword of the last five years or so, especially with the growing concerns of climate change still prominent in its urgency for action.
Sustainability is the buzzword of the last five years or so, especially with the growing concerns of climate change still prominent in its urgency for action.
Research has revealed that more than 183 million items of kids’ clothing that are thrown into landfill annually*.
Our dwellings are heated using a variety of fuels. Electricity, wood, propane, and natural gas are the most popular choices. You should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each fuel type when selecting which is ideal for your home heating requirements.
Part three of our sustainable swaps series! When it comes to having babies, as mothers we know that you want to do your best for them and why not team that with doing your best for the planet as well? We have put together some super easy sustainable swaps when it comes to babies & children.
Switching to cloth nappies was the first sustainable swap/change we made to our lives. After months of research, we took the plunge. You know what? It has been a lot easier than we imagined. If you’re main concern is cleaning them, or dealing with poop, I promise you it’s not as bad as you think! The fact is, when you have your own baby, their poop and bodily fluids won’t gross you out as much as you think they will. You just get on with it without thinking about it. You simply pop the poop down the loo, and place the nappy in the basket ready to be washed. We run a nappy wash every evening – it’s just easier that way for us.
This has to be the most simple swap out there! Cloth wipes are amazing! You can buy kits such as Cheeky Wipes! We got our colourful cheeky wipes (AFF LINK) on Amazon over a year ago and they are still going strong! We use a Tupperware box with some water and essential oils in, and it lasts us up to 3 days. As well as a stack of dry wipes for things like mucky hands, spillages, and then an array of flannels for face wiping!
Did you know that it’s recommended to use baby wiles on car wheels as they remove all the crap and grime? Yup. So, if it can do that to a car wheel, imagine what it can do to your little ones sensitive area?! Cloth wipes are super soft, durable, will save you some pennies and (hopefully) reduce the amount of fat burgs clogging up our sewage systems and prevent them from destroying our rivers and oceans.
I have always had a special place in my heart for wooden children’s toys. I find they are more beautiful, whimsical and stimulate the imagination a lot better than plastic ones that play music, light up and do everything for the child.
This was before the use of plastic and the damage it’s having on the environment was everywhere. Now, there’s an even better reason to buy new wooden toys over plastic. The majority of plastic toys can’t be recycled, or at least not easily. A lot of plastic toys these days have many different components that need to be separated, meaning the toy needs to be pulled apart before recycling. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes this is not. Meaning the majority of plastic toys thrown away each year end up in landfill for many, many, many years. There are some companies out there trying to melt old toys to make new ones, and using recycled materials in general, making them more Eco friendly and easier to recycle – which is amazing in so many ways!
Now, It’s no lie that we are Charity shop lovers. We regularly hit the charity shops to see what bargains and gems we can find. From clothing, to books, toys for Molly to even furniture – we love it all! My very first flat was furnished with all second hand items. Even Molly first Christmas and Birthday gifts were mainly from charity shops or Facebook selling groups. There is nothing wrong with second hand items. Buying second hand can actually help the planet as you’re giving those items a new lease of life, and preventing them from going into landfill.
It’s no secret that when you have a child, you automatically become a snack bi**h. Tiny human gets fussy, snack. They won’t sit still, snack. They hurt themselves and start to cry, snack, Snacks are used in multiple situations. The only problem is that most snacks come in single use plastic wrappers, especially the multi packs. You can try and buy snacks that come in boxes as apposed to plastic, but even then, I find there’s plastic in the box which defeats the whole reason you’re buying the box in the first place! We life to make our snacks. We take fresh fruit and I buy things like raisins in bulk. I make fruit leather ( wind ups ) and treats like cookies and rice crispy treats! Minimal plastic.
When you enter the world of weaning, you are inundated with advice and suggestions on what to feed your baby. There is baby food that comes in glass jars, which is fab and so much better than the plastic pouches. However, they still cost ££. Making your own baby food can save you money and a crazy amount of plastic! You could even head down the baby lead weaning route which has you skip the purees all together.
Making your own baby food is super easy! Basically, you puree the food you eat and keep it. You can buy reusable pouches that can be washed and used over and over, or you can put the puree in ice cube trays and freeze them, taking which ever flavours you want when you need them and heat them up either in the microwave ( watching for hot spots ) or over the stove.
I have a blog post of homemade snack and baby food ideas in the works, full of recipes that you can try to make healthy ( ok some aren’t super healthy ) snacks without so much single use plastic! So keep an eye out for that!
Carrying on from reducing single use plastic and plastic in general, kids drinks bottles. Once your child moves on from breastfeeding or bottle feeding, they move onto a kids cup. Most of these cups are made out of cheap plastic that doesn’t last super long. It either brakes, or if it comes with a straw – you’ll loose that straw! There are so many Eco friendly alternatives out there now. Bamboo being one of the most popular choices of materials. However, for older toddlers/children, Klean Kanteen have a range of stainless steel bottles that are perfect alternatives! They keep drinks at the desired temperature for a long period of time. They are also easy to clean and incredibly durable.
When we made the decision to be more Eco conscious, I knew I wanted to get Molly a plate from Bamboo Bamboo. They produce beautiful bamboo plates in different animal shapes! There are elephants, Monkeys, Pandas and more! We have the Fox plate and the standard toddler plate, as well as the bowl and spoon! The fab thing with these plates is that they have a silicon suction ring on the bottom, meaning you have less of a chance of food going all over the floor.
In June My Little Eco Shop teamed up with Ocean Conservation Trust to bring you this incredible box inspired by Seaspiracy! 10% of revenue from each box sold will go towards Ocean Conservation Charity.
At the end of April, I started on a journey to self-improvement, determined to find more natural ways to boost my self-esteem. I wanted to make small, yet practical changes in the hope of embracing a more sustainable lifestyle.
Having read Jen Gale’s book on ‘The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide’, I learned that ‘you cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.’
Therefore, I became more conscious of my purchases and more conscientious about supporting both local and small businesses by buying sustainable options. Knowing that only 10% of approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic produced every year is recycled, last month, I began by purchasing less plastic items, especially in the beauty department.
When I found out about That Mama Club’s collaboration with a small eco business called ‘Ocean’, I simply knew that it would be a brilliant way to make some small swaps that would help with becoming more eco-conscious. Ocean sent me June’s care package and I was thrilled to find that every product was beautifully presented, great quality, plastic free, and a wonderful sustainable option.
And yet, for some reason, people wrongly believe that the fancier the plastic packaging, the better the product, and the best self-care that they are receiving; but in actual fact, Ocean’s shampoo bar produces a fine lather and cleanses my hair even better than my usual Shampoo bottle in its pretty plastic packaging. I struggle with dry skin and a flaky scalp, and it helped with this quite nicely.
I also loved the bamboo toothbrushes, and even my husband, who I am slightly ashamed to admit was once purchasing several plastic toothbrushes every month, has now stuck to ONE bamboo toothbrush. It is as durable as plastic and I feel happier knowing he isn’t adding to plastic waste.
What’s more, the soft reusable make-up remover discs are perfect for cleaning my face of my rather thick foundation at the end of the day. I simply hand wash them and leave them to air dry. This is much better than purchasing endless cotton pads that come in- you guessed it: plastic!
The bar of soap also came in paper packaging: the cerulean bar felt luxurious against my skin; it was the perfect treat and even Noor, who is so utterly fussy when it comes to soap products, was impressed!
The care package also included biodegradable pods and plastic free power-cleaning Eco Drops that I simply added to water to remove sticky paw prints and window ‘art’ from my home. It really boosted my confidence knowing that I was using a product that hasn’t been tested on animals, is plant based and doesn’t wreak of harsh chemicals.
Finally, I have been on the hunt for a slim, plastic free water bottle, and the metallic one is the perfect size for my teaching bag. It doesn’t leave a sickly taste in my mouth either.
So, why not order an Ocean Conservation Trust package today? Start to feel good about doing something luxurious for yourself without breaking the bank and also helping the world around you. I know I feel much better as a consequence.
The majority of us are all doing our bit to be more sustainable at home, but when it comes to running a business, it can be a minefield where to start! We are here to share 5 ways that small businesses can be more sustainable!
Be conscious of the energy you use, some of these are so simple but things that we can all be guilty of..
These won’t only help reduce your carbon footprint, they’ll reduce a businesses energy bill!
One very important part of running a small businesses is the packaging you use, it is the first thing your customer sees! Custom printed boxes UK are a great idea to really get your brand across. Paper and cardboard packaging is great but there are a lot more steps being taken to use fully compostable packaging which will result in no waste whatsoever.
A lot of things now are done digitally and having things stored on a computer/hard drive makes it much easier to things safe. Whether it is receipts, bills or orders – this is the perfect way your small businesses can be more sustainable. Such a small difference can be huge!
There are so many amazing small businesses out there that thrive on being sustainable and collaborating with them would be incredible! Not only to get your business out there to a new audience, but will also show how passionate you are about sustainability – whether it is asking for advice or exchanging support!
Do you run a small business? Are you taking small steps to be more sustainable?
Mindfulness, mental health, gratitude, contentment are all linked to sustainability. You may ask why these terms are in the same sentence so let me start by briefly telling you my journey.
I have suffered from anxiety and depression and the ongoing battle is with anxiety – always overthinking, worrying about what is happening next, what could happen, what’s on the “to do” list and struggling with just being present. After seeking professional help in 2017, engaging in some talking therapies, being on medication and with the support from family and friends, I started my journey to recovery and trying to become a more evolved version of myself.
The pandemic has been a challenging time for most of us – juggling work, children, and relationships with the absence of our usual support systems and outlets. There have been moments that I have wished for things to go “back to normal” but was the normal life that I was used to something I wanted to return to? The pressure to be at places for a certain time, the pressure of making sure the kids are socialising, learning, the pressure of ferrying children to and from after school clubs, tidying, cleaning etc. There was always something on the to-do list and it felt incessant and non-stop.
Without minimising how difficult lockdown has been, I have to admit it forced me to slow down and get off the hamster wheel of life. The chance to be introspective was staring at me in the face – with nowhere to go, and nothing to do, I had to sit and just be. In between the moments of apparent chaos with siblings squabbling, home schooling and worrying news about people affected by Covid, for some reason, I re-evaluated what was important; more and more I began to appreciate the simpler things in life and made a conscious decision to live more mindfully and sustainably, and just be grateful for what I had. Due to my ongoing struggles with anxiety, I believe that my brain is wired to think the worst of any situation. Therefore, I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy transition and needed daily practice and reinforcement.
A mindful life meant taking time for reflection and meditation and just allowing space to be aware of our mind – our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. For me, this meant making time in between the busyness of the day, whether it was 15 minutes in the morning to enjoy a hot drink, or taking an impromptu walk alone by the canal and taking in all of my surroundings. I found that this routine was just as important for my attempt to live more sustainably as much as buying plastic free shampoo bars. The more connected I was with myself, how I was feeling and my surroundings, the more connected I became with my children, my partner, and conscious of the choices I was making as a consumer.
It sounds like a cliché but since becoming a parent, I have learnt a lot from my children. I had never realised it until recently that my kids are in fact masters of mindfulness. They are the ones who stop me to look a butterfly that had landed on a flower, they are the ones who notice the colours and shapes that a cloud make, and the sounds of birds chirping. They don’t worry or care about the things that adults do – whilst I’m making a mental checklist of what has to be done in the house, I realised that I was missing the important moments, in just being present with them. Although admittedly this can be a struggle when we are rushing to take children to school and you have asked said child to put their shoes on for the 100th time!
Practising mindfulness does not mean that I have suddenly converted to being a patient parent. I’m human and my children have seen the uglier side of when I have lost my patience, shouted or simply felt at boiling point when things have gotten too much. Most often this happens when I haven’t taken the time to reconnect with how I’m feeling, and what I’m missing in that moment to ensure my “emotional cup” is filled. The ways I’ve tried to do this is basically do more that feeds the soul and connecting with myself or others – whether this is phoning a family member, going for a walk with a friend, going for a walk, or taking up a new hobby rather than clicking “buy now” to have that instant but short lived gratification. As I said, living a busy life and trying to live mindfully is something that I need to actively practice, and this is reinforced by living in a more sustainable way, and in turn leads to an improvement in my overall wellbeing.
Sustainability seems to be a buzz word around social media, but for me, it’s a choice to live more contently and being mindful of how you are living, and the impact of your actions on not just yourself, but on others and the environment. This is coming from an ex-fast fashion addict, ex skincare addict, someone who frequently sought instant gratification from receiving new goods within 12 hours, buying needless items from a certain convenience shopping outlet (ahem Amazon), and simply always looking for more – the problem was that more was never enough. Gratitude and mindful practice meant that I was constantly refocusing on what I did have, and in turn contentment naturally followed.
Starting a sustainable living Instagram page was at first a way of journaling all the small changes I have made. It has since evolved into a way for me to stay accountable for the conscious and mindful life I am choosing to live. I follow people that I can relate to that can inspire, motivate and reinforce the messages that I need to practice on a daily basis. I chose to purge myself of any accounts or email subscriptions that always made me feel something lacked in my life. I chose to rid myself of toxicity whether it be what I drank, ate, watched, bought, or indeed people who were less than positive.
It has meant an entire shift in my consciousness – an empathy towards my wellbeing, but also an understanding that my actions and choices have an impact. An impact on the worker who is being paid pennies just so that I can have a cheap deal on an outfit I’ll never wear, an impact on the carbon emissions to the environment simply because I made a choice to buy something that was made in Kenya, as opposed to locally farmed produce. I hope anyone who is reading this, does not think I am suggesting that the connection between mental health and sustainability is linear and one supersedes the other. Instead, I am saying that all the factors are interlinked and your journey will look different from everyone else’s.
Trying to live sustainably is that very thing – it is trying and is imperfect in every way. Juggling sustainability with parenting, work, relationships, and self care is a challenge so I’m not going to kick myself due to the takeaway plastic ridden meal I bought, nor am I going to focus on what I’m not doing right. Instead, I’m going to continue to be kinder to my mind and body, turn any anger or resentment into understanding, and if I can make an eco conscious choice along the way, then that is a bonus.
I have always been obsessed with clothes; yes of course I like the way they can make you look, but more importantly I love how they can make you feel. Clothes and dressing how you like without following ‘the rules’ is liberating. It’s a way of being creative, expressing yourself and can be the ultimate mood lifter.
This obsession with clothes escalated through my teen years and I went on to study fashion and styling at uni. As much fun as it was it opened my eyes to the clothing industry, the business of fast-fashion and the impact it has on the planet.
Did you know: That EVERY WEEK the UK sends 11 million items of clothing to landfill.
It would take 13 YEARS for one person to drink the water needed to make 1 t-shirt and 1 pair of jeans.
The carbon footprint of the new clothes bought into the UK EVERY MINUTE is greater than driving a car around the world 6 TIMES.
SHOCKING I KNOW! (Credit to Oxfam for the facts and figures!)
Anyway, to cut a veeeeery long story short, I had a brief career in visual merchandising and personal shopping for some big retail brands before turning my back on it all to become a charity shop manager. I’ve always dabbled in charity shopping, much to the amusement of some of my friends. The stigma around thrifting and wearing second-hand clothing has always been prominent but thankfully with more and more people becoming aware of the positive impact it can have, shopping sustainably in this way is becoming much more popular. I am now a fully fledged convert, shunning the high street in favour of Charity shops, vintage stores and online thrifting platforms such as Vinted and Depop. I’ve been shopping this way for years now, but only in the last 4 years have I made it my mission to make my wardrobe at least 95% preloved, and I’ve achieved it! It’s taken a while to get there and not every day has been a winning day. For every good item there’s a whole pile of crap to sift through (one man’s junk is another man’s treasure after all!) but the thrill of the hunt is the best bit, and it’s so, so addictive!
With that in mind I thought I’d share my top 5 Chazza thrifting tips for those of you who want to give second hand shopping a try:
Make a list of items you need, items that will pull together an outfit, items that you’ve always wanted. A thrifty wish list of sorts so that when you go in the shops you don’t get side tracked or buy unnecessarily.
I have to admit that in non-covid times I probably managed to go thrift shopping once a week. Whether in my lunch break or for a couple of hours in an afternoon. New items are constantly being put out for sale and by regularly checking different shops you’ll never miss out on that bargain you’ve spent weeks hunting for.
ALWAYS check an item over; check fastenings and check seams for holes. Then check it again…and then again for good measure.
Charity shops sell an amazing array of brands; the good, the bad and even sometimes the ugly (that’s the joy of it!) Like the high street, the sizing differs from brand to brand so check all the rails and sizing options to bag that perfect item. Remember a size is only a number, my finds have ranged from an optimistic 10 at times to a size 16. It doesn’t matter one bit. All that matters is how good you feel in it!
OK so thrifting in general means you’re sure to be bagging a bargain and OH MY! there are some amazing ones to be found. But just because you’ve found a skirt on a bargain rail for £3 doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Especially if it’s a designer brand and you don’t even like the item. If in doubt, walk away, and walk out.
So now I’m counting down the days until the charity shops open again; nothing like a bit of kid-free me time to look forward to. The charity shops are going to need our help more than ever post-covid so why not scratch that retail therapy itch and do a good deed for both the planet and a worthy cause at the same time.
I promise you it will give you that feel good buzz we all need right now!
Hello!, It’s Charlotte here from @simply.together. Can you believe that Saturday is officially the first day of Spring. However, it doesn’t really feel like it. The weather to me isn’t particularly spring like, although it’s meant to get warmer pretty soon, so keeping fingers crossed for that! We also have the joys of Covid-19, looming over all of us still, with the hope of this road map out working. I wanted to put together a few gardening ideas people can do with their toddlers over the Spring/Summer. It can also be an amazing opportunity to incorporate learning for older ones without them realising!
Sunflowers are one of the easiest flowers to grow. We used to grow them at school, and now grow them at work with the kids. This year, now Molly is older we wanted to try and grow some! We are thinking of have Ming a pot each, with our names on so we can see who’s is who’s.
Plant your seeds in containers from mid April to the end of May. If you wanted to, they can be sown straight into the ground. Just leave a good 5-10cm between each seed. Cover them with soil and water gently to ensure you don’t undo your hard work. As they get taller, you will need to support them by using bamboo canes. This will hopefully prevent the stems from snapping.
This is such a fun activity to do over the warmer months. Keeping track of who’s Sunflower is the tallest! Once you have a winner and your flower starts to die. You can harvest the seeds to either roast, or keep for next hear to use again!
Browsing Pinterest, I kept coming across these teepees made from plants. You can plant them in pots, and then arrange in a circle, or dig straight into the ground. You then use bamboo sticks, join with twine at the top and then weave twine around the poles as something for the plant to climb up easily. As it grows, it creates a teepee. I thought this would be really cool for Molly to help make and watch grow. Then enjoy when complete. Something to do every year! I need to decide what plant we’d use. Imagine having a little blanket in there in the Summer, snacking on homegrown produce, Perfect!
Now, It’s no secret that wildflowers have many benefits to the environment. Last summer I was sent some wildflower bombs and seeds, but never got the chance to plant them. Molly and I grew Corn flowers that we got in out #30dayswild but This year I want to go bigger! I am hoping/planning to have a fence around my allotment, with a gate at the front. Either side of the gate, I’m hoping to grow a mass amount of wild flowers. Little maintenance and look they beautiful. You can watch them grow and then keep a journal of what wildlife it brings to the garden!
Who doesn’t love going to a pick your own farm and strawberry picking?! With the possibility of a lock down, this may not be happening for many of us this year, however…you can grow your own!!
Strawberries are relatively simple to grow, and you can do it in pots, raised beds, even bags! Last hear Liam’s mum grew some at home, and we’d have to take molly out each day to check the plant. She’d get so excited when she spotted a bright red one, and would eat it straight away. This year I am hoping to grow more in the garden. Simple things like Potatoes, tomato’s, carrots and hopefully some beetroot!! There are so many different things you can try! It’s so much fun picking the produce at the end as well!
I wanted to make one of these last Summer when we took part in #30dayswild. However, due to lack of space and it not being our garden, I put it off. This spring, We plan to build one at the Allotment. Molly and I have already been collecting pine cones over the winter months and various sticks to use. It’s nowhere near the amount of materials we will need, but it’s a decent start. We are thinking about using the dolls house from Ikea, filling it up with the bits and bobs, and then securing chicken wire across the front to keep everything in place. Don’t know if we will do this, it’s just an idea at the moment.
Pinterest is full of ideas for bug hotels, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. The kids can decorate it and fill it however they like, and again you can keep track on what wildlife it brings.
Children, especially toddlers, like to help out. So why not let them?! Getting some warm soapy water, a sponge and some scoops and they are ready to help clean their garden toys and furniture! All whilst developing their fine and gross motor skills-as well as having fun! They can help with sweeping, weeding (don’t let them loose or you’ll loose a few flowers) and watering the plants. These are just a few of the things Molly loves to do around the garden during Spring time.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a plant pot, flowerbed, wild patch in your garden or an entire meadow. Sowing wildflowers in Spring provides vital resources to support a wide range of insects that couldn’t otherwise survive in urban or built-up areas. Throwing, breaking up or digging ‘seed bombs’ (or balls) into areas in your garden that need a little brightening up is a perfect way of spending an afternoon!
If you guys try any of the above, don’t forget to tag us @thatmamaclub over on Instagram!
Hello mamas! I’m Helen, the founder of Stork, an online marketplace for pre-loved kids and babies’ stuff. So happy to be guest posting on That Mama Club to tell you all a bit about how I got hooked on pre-loved shopping….
Last year, I was obsessed with finding a pair of yellow wellies for my daughter. They had to be completely plain, no handles, no logos, and an iconic, daffodil shade of yellow. Sound familiar? Of course they do. It’ll be no surprise to many mamas reading this that I was on the hunt for Peppa Pig’s boots. Peppa, or ‘Pe-PIG!’ as my daughter calls her, is, let’s say, an extremely influential figure in our household (Screen time limits vs Peppa addiction is a topic for another day). I was hopeful that my little girl would be so thrilled to have the same boots as her favourite TV character that there would be no fuss about wearing them on muddy puddle days.
I had no luck on the usual kids clothes sites or in high street shops, but after a lot of social media-ing and asking around, I found a second-hand pair another mum was selling that were 100% perfect. I was already thrilled when they arrived, and then I read the handwritten note that came with them.
‘These boots have jumped in puddles, splashed in the sea and walked along the Breton coast. Here’s hoping they have more adventures with their new little feet!’
And err, well there must have been something in my eye… sniff! Before that moment, I don’t think in a million years I would ever have described shopping as a beautiful experience. But to feel that connection with another proud mum and another adventurous toddler was really, really special.
I first got hooked on shopping pre-loved when I was pregnant with my first child. Classic maternity wear didn’t suit me at all, plus I didn’t fancy spending much on clothes that I’d only wear for a month or so. I got into the habit of picking up oversized shirts or loose dresses from thrift shops every so often, donating them back once I was too big for them. It was fun and easy.
But prepping for the arrival of our baby was another story altogether. Like most other parents, I felt overwhelming pressure to buy, buy, buy to make sure she had everything she needed. Everything had to be perfect, everything had to be the most expensive I could afford, everything had to be brand-new. Pram, crib, Moses basket, bouncy chair, baby clothes, car seat, breast pump, nappy bin, nightlight, bedroom furniture, activity mat… it was a small fortune.
I wish I knew then what I know now. Firstly, to ignore all those department stores ‘must-have’ lists and check with other parents what products are actually essential. So much of what’s on the market is overpriced and unnecessary, marketed to play on our fear of not being the perfect mother.
Secondly, after having my daughter, I found I actually preferred her to have clothes and toys that came packed with stories, love and memories, whether that was from friends passing on their children’s outgrown things, or buying pre-loved from other parents.
A soft blanket another baby had been wrapped in was just as cosy as a store-bought one. She would have sweet dreams (and sleepless nights) in a crib lent by an old friend, just the same as if we’d forked out for a new one. A second-hand car seat was just as safe, plus came with the trusted recommendation that it was comfortable and easy to use. All these items had been used, were in great condition, didn’t cost us a fortune and were pre-loaded with the love of other families.
From then on I was hooked – I loved chatting with other mums when I bought things, asking advice and sharing tips. I really appreciated the lower cost, especially after maternity leave pay dried up. It was important to me that my money supported other families, instead of just being poured back into the same old chain stores. And I started to feel great about wasting less, as I’d resell, donate or recycle as much as possible once we were finished with it.
Gradually I started to realise that with the amount of people out there doing the same, the pre-loved community was actually a pretty incredible movement. There was a whole network of (mostly) mamas on social media who were managing to earn extra cash, support each other and keep their kids dressed in gorgeous little outfits at the same time. In and around naptimes/mealtimes/home schooling/all the rest of it, they’d somehow managed to create this wonderful, sustainable, circular economy. I felt totally inspired!
Fast forward 14 months, I was pregnant again and determined to carry on shopping pre-loved. But I knew what I was looking for this time, and it was often hard to find exactly what I needed. I didn’t want to rush or order things I wasn’t completely happy with, nor did I want to go back to using faceless chain stores, or impersonal and complicated selling sites. So in a welcome burst of second trimester energy, I decided to launch Stork for parents in the same position as me. It’s an online marketplace just for kids’ and babies’ things, and it’s full of kind, thoughtful, supportive, eco-conscious, thrifty, positive, entrepreneurial, and generally wonderful sellers and buyers.
You don’t need a lot of stuff or a huge Instagram following to join up, and you don’t need to sell instantly because listings don’t disappear down a feed. Everything is categorised by size, colour, brand and condition, so it’s really easy for people to find what they want. Plus if you have any questions about the products, or general advice about what you need, you can always just ask someone! So if you fancy being part of a real community of Pre-lovelies, come and visit us, have a browse or set up your own store. Everyone’s welcome!
It is so important, now more than ever, that we do our bit for the planet! We are fully aware that some swaps are costly & others just don’t fit into your lifestyle, so we thought we would share 8 easy sustainable swaps | kitchen edition.
“WE DON’T NEED A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE DOING ZERO-WASTE PERFECTLY. WE NEED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DOING IT IMPERFECTLY” – ANNE MARIE BONNEAU
01. REUSABLE STRAWS; We have the stainless steel reusable straws and I love them. Most sets come with a little pouch so you can take a couple out and about with you which I found really handy when out at restaurants or pubs as I am one of those annoying people that just prefers drinking from a straw. You can pick up a set of 8 with a travel pouch AND cleaning brush for £4.99 (link).
02. ECOEGG LAUNDRY EGG; This is a swap that all of us have made on TMC and we are HUGE fans, we recommend them to everyone so it’s only right that they make it into this post! This egg replaces your need for laundry detergent & fabric softener, which dramatically reduces your plastic usage. The egg is reusable and you just need to purchase the refills! We highly recommend the starter kit as it comes with everything you need to get started (link)
03. REUSABLE COFFEE CUP; Probably the easiest switch you can make! You can pick these up from so many places including Home Bargains ect for a couple of pounds. A lot of places will offer you a small discount if you use a reusable cup for your coffee. We have started making hot chocolates for our local walks & taking them out with us in reusable cups!
04. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE; The same concept but for cold drinks. We have used ours for picnics during the warmer months & the screw tops are my personal favourites as they don’t leak! (link)
05. BEESWAX WRAPS; These are a relatively recent discovery of mine & I am a convert. Such a lovely alternative to cling film and much kinder the planet too! These food wraps are washable, reusable and biodegradable. They also look pretty cute too! (link)
06. LOOSE LEAF TEA; I feel like this is such a old school swap BUT it’s becoming a lot more popular. Did you know tea bags have tiny bits of plastic in them?! All you need is a tea strainer and some lovely teas! You can stick with classic English breakfast tea or why not try a lovely fruit blend?
07. SILICONE BAKING SHEETS; We picked these up at the beginning of lockdown #1 as we started doing lots more baking, as did the rest of the country LOL. They are non-stick and come in a range of different sizes! (link)
08. COMPOST; Another obvious swap but composting your food waste is one of the best swaps you can make! It not only enriches soil but it also reduces the need for chemical fertilizer!
We hope some of these easy sustainable swaps | kitchen ideas have helped! Have you implemented any into your home already?
Keep an eye out for more sustainable swap posts!