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What are we doing... about our environment?

We asked this question in the October Chronicle, and invited you to get in touch with your thoughts and actions. We’ve had some brilliant responses.

Rebecca reckons she can save around £1,000 by switching to cloth nappies for her baby, untill he’s out of them at about two and a half. Disposable nappies can take over 500 years to degrade and even the ones that are marketed as biodegradable are only that if they are sent to the right environment to break down - which landfill is not. She says. “Cloth nappies are incredibly simple to use not to mention they come in amazing designs so your little one’s bottom is always super cute!”What to do with the poo? Flush it down the loo!

Whilst we get through 25,000 tons of disposable coffee cups per year in the UK, we throw away 400,000 tons of nappies. That’s 8 million disposable nappies a day in the UK alone! The problem is we still don’t think of single use nappies as plastic - most single use nappies are 50% plastic and 50% wood pulp which is far more damaging to the environment than a coffee cup!

Rebecca recommends a local company called ‘Fill Your Pants’ for products, info, and support.

Andrea wrote to say that as a family we have stopped buying plastic water bottles altogether and each have a glass bottle which we fill up with tap water now! Just as good! Just as refreshing! She says, “I’ve also stopped buying facial makeup removal wipes and bought a pack of ‘eraseyourface’ cloths which you wet with warm water and remove all traces of your make up and then just throw it in the machine and wash with your towels.”

Charlene wrote in about her start-up sewing business, ‘Candy Cat Pins’. This includes a baby range and a growing range of eco products, including

  1. reusable face wipes and pads
  2. unpaper towels (reusable kitchen towel)
  3. produce bags and washable sanitary towels (which are proving very popular).

The range is available through Number 56 coffee house, and via Facebook.

Sue has made radical changes to her shopping:

  1. no longer all at the supermarket , using the village shop for milk in returnable glass bottles
  2. cheese cut from a block and wrapped in paper
  3. loose fruit and veg from the farm shop or Market Harborough market
  4. also from the market refills of shampoo, conditioner, wash up liquid, hand soap, pasta, rice, herbs and spices, nuts, dried fruit, etc.
  5. loose tea since learning that tea bags contain plastic
  6. unsliced bread that comes in a paper bag with no plastic ‘window’.

“I think I have cut out about 80% of plastic and will keep trying,” she tells us. “I use a small metal water flask and a bamboo coffee cup for travelling, and always keep a couple of nylon shopping bags with me.”

Check out ‘Refill Revolution’ in Harborough Market, open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 9-4. Take your own containers.

Nine year old Warwick tells us they don’t buy single use plastic and have reusable plastic bags. They buy food from the zero waste shop and put it in glass jars and then go back to the shop and fill them back up. He says it’s hard because they have to make stuff - breakfast bars, bread, wraps, pizza, yogurt. He suggests that they need to make recyclable crisp packets but would rather have no nice crisps than a shorter life because of climate change. He asks, “would you rather have nice stuff and a world where animals and humans are extinct, with no life in it? I don’t.”
What are you doing differently? Please let us know on greenkibworth@gmail.com.

Issue 416
November 2019

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