Leading a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle has never been more important. We are causing so much preventable damage to our planet and that’s without the whole global warming scenario. I’m not sure whether I believe man is causing global warming or whether it’s actually a natural phenomenon that was inevitable regardless of human pollution. The Oregon Petition is a petition rejecting the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and supposedly over 30000 scientists signed the petition believing:
‘There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.’
There are a lot of claims that it has thousands of fake signatures by the doubters, but still, it has to make us question whether we are causing climate change by our ways, or whether it was going to happen anyway. If the scientists can’t even agree, how can we begin to understand what’s going on. Like most things in the universe, perhaps we’ll never know the answer for sure. It is interesting to note, however, that the government make money from a man-made climate change by charging more tax to those who pollute more. Think car road tax for example.
Either way, whether climate change is happening or not and whether it’s our fault or not, I still believe greatly that we need to look after our planet Earth. Regardless of the whole CO2 debate, we are still littering and polluting our planet at an alarming rate. We have polluted our soils, air and water causing devastation not only to ourselves, but to the animals we share this planet with who have no say in the actions of humans, yet have to live with the consequences. If you want to watch something that will really show you the impact of plastic on our planet, then I recommend the Netflix documentary A Plastic Ocean.
I like to think in the UK there is no need for such plastic destruction in the sea as we surely recycle all our plastic or at least throw it into landfill. How can it possibly end up in the sea from the UK? I watched a shocking documentary on TV recently called Secrets of your Cruise with undercover filming showing staff throwing black bin liners full of rubbish straight into the sea! It was so they didn’t have to pay for the rubbish disposal when they docked! So even, unknowingly, we can be contributing to rubbish in the seas with all the plastic packaging we use and dispose of. There’s also a brook at the bottom of our road and it’s awful. It’s filled to the brim with rubbish that I can only imagine the most ignorant people throw their rubbish over the fence as they are too lazy to take it home and too selfish to worry about the consequences their littering causes.
Even if you don’t litter, it’s also so unnecessary to keep contributing to the manufacturing of single use items, disposing them, recycling them, and so on, if the waste doesn’t need to be made in the first place. There are lots of ways to reduce waste in the home to stop the constant manufacturing of more stuff, more resources, more pollution and more planet destruction.
Here are 5 simple ways you can start reducing waste in your kitchen today:
Stop using kitchen roll
Up until around six months ago we were using at least two rolls of kitchen paper towels per week. It was just something we had always used and become accustomed to using for mopping up spills and using with our kitchen spray cleaner. We’d always used kitchen roll and so never questioned it. Once I started to look into ways we can be more environmentally friendly in the home I realised the kitchen roll had to go! It is so wasteful and so unnecessary. We now use reusable bamboo towels or microfiber cloths that can be washed and reused time and time again. It’s so much friendlier than using kitchen roll that has one use and then has to be binned. It’s also saving us money as we don’t have to repeatedly buy something every week.
Order a fruit and veg box
We first ordered fruit and veg boxes with Abel and Cole, but now Ocado do one with a company called Wholegood. It’s incredible the amount of packaging that is saved when you switch to a veg box. All the veg comes in one cardboard box which can be recycled or with Abel and Cole we were able to give it back to them the following week for reuse. There is so much unnecessary packaging waste with fruit and veg. In our local Tesco there’s a pack of four pears that has a polystyrene tray to hold the pears, a plastic tray to the top and then it’s in a plastic bag. For four pears. What a waste! If I buy fruit and veg from the supermarket we immediately remove all the packaging once home and fill around a quarter of our recycling bin. It’s ridiculous and needs to stop. Not only will a veg box reduce packaging production and waste, it will also support local farmers, sustainable initiatives and ensure you eat a lot of delicious organic food which is better for both you and the environment.
Use laundry eggs
We’ve been using Ecoegg laundry products for approximately one year now and they are saving us a ton of money as well as being good for the environment. We use both laundry eggs and dryer eggs. The laundry eggs contain natural based pellets that can last for up to 320 washes, saving a small fortune on washing powder. Plus they’re good for the environment and kind to skin. They won’t make your clothes smell overpoweringly perfumey like the powder you are used to, but they are non-toxic and a little sacrifice for your health and the planet’s is definitely worth it. The dryer eggs cut down the time it takes to dry the clothes and they are reusable forever as far as I can tell. This saves buying tumble dryer sheets or whatever else you may be buying and throwing away regularly. Plus the balls soften up the clothes so you don’t need to use any fabric softener.
Filter or distil water
After reading this article and many others, and already being concerned about our drinking water, we switched to bottled mineral water. We were certain our tap water was full of nasties we didn’t want to consume. Though we felt we were drinking safer water, we were generating a huge amount of plastic bottle waste each week as we got through around 12 litres of bottled water per week. I’ve since done a lot of research into distilled water and I believe it’s the best cleanest water available. So I do disagree with some points in the article I originally read up above, but it’s still got some good information. This video really explains the benefits of distilled water and debunks a lot of the misinformation out there surrounding it. So far I’ve been drinking distilled water since the end of December and it just seems so much cleaner to me. If you saw the bottom of the distiller each time, the brown mucky dirt that’s left, I’m sure you’d want to switch too! Either way, properly filter or distil your own water at home to save buying bottled water and reduce the waste in your kitchen. Make sure you get a legitimate filter such as a Berkey Filter that explains exactly how it works and what it filters. Many filters don’t seem to want to tell you what they contain and we have found it impossible to find out sometimes.
Compost food waste
Finally, make sure you compost your food waste or at least leave it out for the food waste recycling collection service. There is no need for food scraps and waste to go into landfill as there is so much use for it. We compost as much as we can in our garden composter and the rest goes into the recycling collection bins. They either turn this into good quality soil improver and fertiliser, or they can even create electricity that can be fed back into the national grid (source). To reduce waste, try cooking smaller portions, or cook extra that can be frozen or kept for the next day. Serve up less and then only take more if you need it, otherwise save it. It can be tricky with children as they waste a lot of food, so try to reduce snacking before mealtimes so they actually eat their food and try smaller portions to start with.
Hopefully that’s given you some inspiration to start thinking of ways to reduce waste in the kitchen and lessen your footprint on the environment.
You may enjoy some of my other blog posts:
How to easily eat these 7 delicious super foods every week
Is the ‘everything in moderation’ diet a load of baloney?
Getting your 5-a-day does not make you healthy
Why I’ll never eat meat again (unless perhaps I’m stranded on a desert island)