In the light of children across the UK taking strike from school to protest climate change and call on our government to declare the climate problem as a national emergency, I thought I’d make a post that would help anyone, no matter the age, discover some simple changes they can do that will make their day-to-day routine more eco-friendly and even reduce plastic waste.
I completely understand and agree with the voices that are speaking out in these strikes. It makes me feel a lot more hopeful about the future generation – seeing how many children and teenagers are speaking out and protesting. I hope because of this schools, youth centres and youth groups will take more initiative to teach both students and staff the little changes they can make to help them feel more at ease and less helpless.
Now, I’m not personally a mother myself and I can’t imagine that happening for a couple more years as I still feel like a child myself at the age of 23. However, from being so close to my older sister who is both a mum of my two amazing nieces but also a fierce, awesome eco-activist, I have heard of a couple of ideas that can make the kitchen and lunchtime more eco-friendly for both adults, teenagers and children. Here are 3 tips you may find useful!
Switch from clingfilm to Beeswax Wraps
Now, in all honesty, I have yet to try this tip mainly because it’s very rare that I use clingfilm at the moment. I tend to put my leftovers in tupperware boxes in the fridge and my sandwich for work goes in a container where it doesn’t touch any other food so I’ve yet to feel the need for clingfilm or sandwich bags. However, as a kid for my packed lunches, my mum would always put my banana sandwiches (I was a strange child ok – that’s for another story) in a plastic sandwich bag that would be disposed of pretty much after I had eaten it. But with beeswax wraps you can wash and reuse them, they keep your food as fresh as clingfilm and if at some point you feel you really cannot reuse or re-pasturise yours anymore – you can pop it in the compost!
Encourage the use of reusable water bottles
I bloody loved cartons of Ribena as a child. Or the occasional capri-sun. Even in high school, I’d look forward to having an Innocent smoothie carton at lunchtime. The carton that I only had because I’d pester my mum to buy me a pack of them in Tescos at age 14 because they were ‘healthy’ and ‘cool’. However, there are some ways you could start encouraging either your kids or even yourself to skip the plastic bottles and cartons of drinks in your lunches and go back to refilling and reusing a water bottle. Chilly’s Bottles are beginning to become all the rage now however any BPA-free water bottle will do and they’re quite easy to find online. Eco online store FROG: Friends of Gaia do some nice stainless steel ones.
Once you’ve got yourself into the habit of using your reusable water bottle -why not spice things up by trying different water infusions? I personally love putting lemon slices in water but you could try strawberry slices and mint leaf, lime slices, cucumber and lemon or maybe even kiwi! Here are some fab ideas that even the kids might like!
Take on Meat-Free Monday… or Tuesday, Wednesday or whichever
Although it has been proven quite a few times that meat consumption and animal agriculture has a huge impact on the environment and that going vegetarian or vegan may be a good step if you want to shrink your carbon footprint; it is understandable that some people, especially families with children who are still quite picky about what they eat or may prefer eating particular meals to fit in with the other kids lunches at school, may struggle going completely cold turkey (pardon the pun) and transitioning to a plant-based household. It has been said that if ‘10 million people swapped meat to a plant-based protein for one meal‘ the impact would include reducing water usage by 13 million tonnes! (Find out more at World Meat Free Week)
So to make your kitchen time more earth-friendly, how about making one day of the week a meat free day! Quorn do sandwich fillings that are quick and easy things to put in the kids sandwiches instead of ham or turkey – such as their Vegan Chicken-Free Slices or Vegetarian Ham Slices (£1.50 Tesco) or for a snack for either you or the kids you could use the Quorn Vegetarian Cocktail Sausages or Cauldron’s Falafel Bites (£2 Sainsburys). For dinner you could make a vegetable stir fry with all the good stuff like peppers, beansprouts, spring onions, carrots and tenderstem broccoli – the more colours, the better. There’s so many meat-free options that are tasty enough for the kids and you!
So that’s my 3 tips! The fight to be more environmentally-friendly is never a competition and don’t think you have to go throwing all your food out the window and blow tons of money on new Tupperware just to food prep. The easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is to start off small and work up because that helps you build habits faster. I hope you enjoyed my tips, let me know if you’d like me to share anymore!
Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend!