12 Simple Swaps to (start to) Save the world

It sounds a bit crazy right? As if its that easy?!…but it could be… Because in reality thats all it takes, enough people making small changes. And once you start..who knows where you’ll go!

You Make A Difference!

We all made a difference getting us to this point and each time someone makes a change, however small it may seem, it tips the scales a little the other way.
Tip those scales. You know you want to!

1. Eat less meat.

Studies show that the number one thing that we can all do that will have the biggest positive impact on climate change is to eat less meat.
You don’t have to cut it out entirely, but reducing by maybe having one or two veggie or vegan days a week is a great start.

2. Reuseable drinks Containers

In the UK we use 13 BILLION plastic water bottles a year, and 2.5 BILLION single use coffee cups.  By getting a reusable water bottle and coffee cup you would certainly be part of the solution. Try these

3. Avoid Single use Plastic.

We are set to be known as the plastic age. Is it just me that finds that rather depressing, when you think of all the other amazing stuff we have going on?

It can be a challenge getting out of the single use plastic habit but it is do-able. Refusing plastic straws, stirrers, buying loose fruit and veg , taking your own containers for meat, fish etc. Is a great place to start.
Seeing if you have a refill shop or zero waste shop near you and switching your shop to there, is great too!

Or you could just start here – In the UK we use 745,000 Miles of clingfilm a year, enough to go around the world 30x! A simple switch to Beeswax Wraps could save many of those miles.  You can find out more about them HERE.

4. Swap Your toiletries.

There are some great zero waste options for toiletries now available, from
shampoo bars to toothpaste jarsFriendly Soap Lavender & Geranium Shampoo Bar
And deodorants too.
The great news is that they are also *usually* made with more natural ingredients and fewer chemicals, making them better for you and the environment too.
Switching your toothbrush for a bamboo or beech wood toothbrush is another great swap for the environment.

5. Avoid Fast fashion.

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting on the planet. And is a triple threat, being damaging to the land, the air and the water. Fast fashion creates a huge extra demand on resources that is simply unsustainable, and often exploits workers too. By opting for better quality items they last longer, look better and can easily be mixed and matched to give a timeless look.

6. Litter

One man’s trash…is probably yours too, but if you see some please pick it up.

For my recent birthday, we took a trip to the coast to see the seals. This is the time of year when they are all up on the beaches to have their young.  It was lovely to see them, but it was very sad to see the litter that they were having to put up with.  And not all of it was a result of having been washed up from the sea. There were disposable coffee cups dropped by other visitors, chocolate bar wrappers and drinks cans.

If you have some spare time you could see about collecting some litter near you, or if you are already walking combine it with a litter pick.  You and I both know that it is not glamorous or even a particularly appealing prospect. But you could literally be saving a life, Keep Britain Tidy estimates that around 2.9 million small mammals die each year as a result of litter.

I don’t know why people litter, if you do, please stop, there are things id rather be doing than picking it up.

7. Make your laundry, cleaner.

We have written extensively about how changing your laundry products can have a big environmental impact, so if me just saying switch up your laundry products for more environmentally friendly ones, (you can find them HERE) isn’t enough then you can read more about it in these blogs-  Laundry1, Laundry2, Laundry3!

8. Grow your Own.

Any amount of fruit or veg you can grow at home is great. It adds some biodiversity to the lawn culture and it has been shown to improve health and happiness.

As well as giving you some great tasting and fresh food. It is educational for children and has literally zero food miles.

If you don’t have a big garden then you can grow in pots (strawberries, potatoes, beans for example) if you don’t have a garden at all then you can grow some crops in window boxes (herbs, lettuce, spinach, strawberries for example)

9. Cleaning Up.

How many cleaning products do you use around your home? How many chemicals are under your kitchen sink? With a few swaps to more eco friendly alternatives you can – Save money, cut the chemicals going into the water ways, reduce the air pollution in your home, which is often worse than outside!  Simple swaps like – white vinegar, a real wonder product. If you would like more info on this and the simple swaps you can make you can find it HERE and HERE.

10. Go Wild.

Help out wildlife in your area by setting aside some of your garden, for some wildflowers.

It can be easily done just by scattering some Seedballs, they contain seeds, compost and natural pest deterrent to help as many seeds grow as possible.  You could also set up a some wildlife homes, using some stacked logs, bird houses or bug hotels. If you dont have room in your garden, or a garden at all, then you can always spread a little wildflower love out and about!

11. Have a waste free period.

Long Panty Liners WrappedProbably safe to say that this is nobodies favourite time of the month. But should the whole world suffer for it? (Not including your other half, they should of course suffer right along with you! 😉 )

The average woman uses 11,000 sanitary products in her lifetime and many of those products end up in our oceans and on our beaches.

Mooncup Size A

They also contain a surprising amount of plastic and synthetic fibres which are not always the best for your body. There are some great alternatives from Mooncups, to reusable pads to natural pads and tampons. To find out more Click Here.

12. Single use wipes.

A source of ‘hidden plastic’ in the home. Single wipes often end up in the
environment by being flushed or blown away, and if sent to landfill will not decompose.  You can make your own reusable wipes, from old clothes or towels.

You could also use Bamboo towels which are washable and reusable up to 85x!
Or there are Biodegradable wipes like THESE from Ecozone. Although we still don’t recommend you flush them.

So there you go, whether you change one thing or 12, do all at once or one a month for 12 months, you will have made a positive difference and as cliched as it sounds, changed the world.

Sometimes it’s the simple things…

That can make a big difference.

It’s pretty safe to say that consumerism in general is a pretty selfish practice right? And it is a habit that pretty much all of us has fallen into over the last several decades.  As Ariana Grande so eloquently puts it “ I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it” and yet I don’t think of myself as particularly selfish…I mean, I might have been known to sneak the last cupcake on occasion!

But when it comes to buying things and they are just sitting there waiting to be bought it’s too easy to just buy “it”. We might give a thought to price or colour but do we really think about the social or environmental impact of our purchase?
Every purchase we make comes with one though, even the smallest.

toockiesLike a dish cloth…

So simple. But such a great product, with a wonderful human story too.

Toockies are a set of Hand-crafted 100% organic Cotton and Jute scrubbing clothes.  They –

 

  •  Contain NO microplastics
  • Are reusable
  • Machine washable
  • Bio degradable (when they are no good for washing up/cleaning any longer you can use them as potting mesh or compost them!)
  • Are really strong.
  • They don’t stain
  • They don’t scratch
  •  They last ages!
  •  Are Fairtrade

As well as all of that – Toockies are knitted by hand by ladies in Nababpur India. Its such a simple thing, but the Tookies project opens up an unimaginable door of opportunity for these women. A community centre provides them with a central location for training, knitting, picking up new yarn and dropping off finished products. They can work at the centre or at home, allowing them to work hours that suit them.  It gives them a dignified way to earn a living and take charge of their own future.

When the knitter has made a pack she signs the card sleeve, and you are able to go to the website and see the lady who made your cloths and her story.

Who would have thought so much could come from a humble wash cloth?!  Someone said to me –“ but its just a dishcloth, I’vetoockies info got hundreds!”

Can those hundreds of dishcloths claim all the same as the above? Just imagine how much good you could do buying your hundreds of dishcloths with these environmental and social impacts…

Even the smallest things we do, can have a massive positive impact on the world if we let it.

Also it helps when the products are great, we have been using these for many months now and they are.

You can get them HERE

Simple changes – Bags

Our blog posts seem to have taken on a bit of theme of late, so I have decided to call them the simple changes series, because that is what they seem to be, a series of simple changes you can make to make your home a greener and hopefully healthier place, with a lighter footprint.

So to continue this, we are going to talk bags. Yes, I appreciate this might not be the most exciting topic you have ever read about, but it is another small but important change that can have a massive impact.

We have already heard so much about plastic shopping bags and how they are/were a scourge upon the environment. Whether you love or hate the fact that you now have to take your own bags to the shops or be charged for them, there is no denying that it has had a huge positive effect.

According to government stats for 2015-16, since the plastic bag tax policy came into force in England in October 2015, the total number of carrier bags used at the UK’s biggest retailers has fallen by an estimated 85%. And in direct relation to this studies of plastic litter found in the North and Celtic Seas, they found statistically significant reductions in the amount of plastic bags in the sea from 2010 (when Ireland introduced the tax) – 2017. Plastic bags are the only form of plastic litter to have seen a reduction over this time frame. All other forms have increased.

To me this demonstrates two things; – Firstly we really can make a difference when we try! It is amazing to read about positive environmental impacts for a change!

And secondly we really need to take more personal responsibility for this stuff. It is sad that it has to take the government stepping in and penalising us for ‘us’ as a significant collective to make the changes needed.
Every time we spend money, make a choice we really are voting and contributing towards the kind of world we want to live in and we really need to start taking responsibility for that.

So why am I writing this post about bags? Has it not already been dealt with? Single use carrier bags yes. But these are not the only plastic bags we use.

If you have been following the blogs for a while then you probably know that Wikaniko started life simply selling bags. From alternatives to the single use carrier bags to all sorts of bin bags, freezer bags, sandwich bags, dog waste and nappy bags. You see, they creep in everywhere.

But there are alternatives and really as a user you will not notice any difference. They look the same the feel same and they do exactly the same job. So what’s the difference? Once you have finished using them they break down much much quicker in the environment and not only that but instead of simply becoming smaller and smaller piece of plastic, they biodegrade, just like a leaf and leave nothing behind. No toxic residues and no fragments of plastic.


They are known as Oxy-biodegradable plastics and the only difference is an additive called d2w that is added to the plastic at the manufacturing stage of production. Creating what is known as ‘controlled life’ plastic. It also does not stop the plastic from being recyclable (not particularly important for a bin bag perhaps, but useful in other areas!)

According to Symphony Environmental –

“Oxo-biodegradable plastic has been studied by scientists for many years http://www.biodeg.org/bibliography.html

Most recently at the Technical Research Institute of Sweden and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and a peer-reviewed report of the work was published in Vol 96 of the journal of Polymer Degradation & Stability (2011) at page 919-928 where they found 91% biodegradation within 24 months.

Furthermore, ten governments in the world have examined this technology very carefully and realised that Oxo-biodegradable plastic offers a solution to plastic waste that escapes into the open environment and cannot realistically be collected. They have legislated to make Oxo-biodegradable plastic mandatory, because it does not just fragment – It biodegrades.”

If you want to know more about the bags then please visit this link which has some great information

In the D2w Range of bags you will find –

D2w Value Pack SacksStandard Refuse Sacks – Great for general domestic waste and they are strong. We find them perfect for our kitchen bin and you probably will too.
Roll of 20

 

 

D2W Heavy Duty Refuse SackHeavy Duty Refuse Sacks – The kin of the above but thicker and also come with a drawstring. Roll of 10

 

 

 

D2W Draw Tape Pedal Bin LinersPedal Bin Liners – Perfect for bathrooms and smaller kitchen bins. Also with Draw string.
Roll of 30

 

 

 

D2W Draw Tape Swing Bin LinersSwing Bin Liners – Big brother of the Pedal bin liner. Also perfect for Kitchen bins.

Roll of 15

 

 

 

D2W Degradable Freezer Bags MediumMedium and Large Food/ Freezer Bags

Roll of 100/200

 

 

D2W Degradable Wheelie Bin LinersWheelie Bin Liners

 

 

 

D2W Degradable Dog Waste / Nappy Sacks (Roll of 50 Bags)Green vest general purpose bags. These are great for everything from use as dog waste bags, to nappy sacks, to collecting blackberries or anything else you can think of really (and yes we have used them for all of those!)
Roll of 50

 

Other options that are available are bags like –

Beaming Baby Fragrance Free Bio-Degradable Nappy SacksBeaming Baby Biodegradable Nappy Sacks

Available in fragranced and unfragranced. These biodegradefar quicker than regular nappy sacks allowing your nappy to start degrading more quickly too.

 

And if you still need some great bags for doing your weekly shop –

String Bags or Tote Bags are a great option.  Our strings bags have been going strong for over 10 years now! And show no signs of letting us down.
They’re super strong and also hold a surprising amount of stuff.

 

 

 

Also produce bags and grocery bags are amazing for getting your loose fruit and veg, and cereals/pastas etc. They’re made with organic cotton and are washable if needed and reusable indefinitely.

So there are great options out there that allow us to do more for the environment without putting ourselves to any great effort. Do we really need to be forced to make these changes? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we stood up as a nation and said, ‘actually no, we choose to do things differently.’
Wouldn’t it be great if we caused the change, rather than being forced to change??