As it’s Real Nappy Week, I would have liked to have written about our cloth nappy journey. However, I wanted to have beautiful photos of said nappies, fresh from the wash and hanging on the line in glorious sunshine, with a stunning blue sky in the background.
It’s not quite the time of year for that – despite the somewhat unsettlingly hot weather we had over Easter weekend – so that one is going to have to wait till later in the year.
Instead, I thought I’d write about how we’ve managed to stay relatively environmental over the Easter period.
It’s important to constantly be aware, and mindful of the choices we make and how the effect the environment. Changes, no matter how big or small, made by each person will have a huge effect on our beautiful home.
That being said, there are certain times of year when this can pose more of a challenge, but not impossible. Anything that is an occasion, a holiday, a celebration, can cause us to use and consume more of everything. So how can we be more conscious of this? Here are just a few simple things to consider…
A lot of chocolate is consumed over the Easter period. And sadly, a lot of it contains palm oil. The use of palm oil has a terrible effect on the environment, and results in a terrifying amount of deforestation, to name a few. Sadly, it’s not just in chocolate, but many other every day products, so it’s a hard one to battle. There are many ways we can help to fight against this, including being more aware of the products you’re buying and if they contain palm oil. now use sustainable palm oil, but if you can buy products that doesn’t use it at all, that’s even better.
At Christmas, almost all of the chocolate I bought my husband was palm oil free. We also chose not to have advent calendars, because between the palm oil and the packaging, it just didn’t seem worth it. So this Easter, we were determined where possible to have palm oil free chocolate eggs. It wasn’t even that hard. We do our weekly shop at Aldi, and they stock a brand of chocolate called Moser Roth. Their chocolate is palm oil free! So far I had been buying chocolate brands online – for special occasions, and hoping to then source it for regular chocolate eating needs – and I never realized that my local supermarket stocked a brand! And not only are they ethical, but it’s delicious chocolate! There are other brands of chocolate that are palm oil free, it seems that there are a lot of companies that are becoming more conscious.
Sadly, it’s the bigger commercial companies that don’t appear to be making the effort. Palm oil aside, Easter eggs have been notorious in the past for having a lot of excess, wasteful packaging. Granted, they have gotten better. But it’s good to be aware if what you’re buying has all of this unnecessary bumf. The Moser Roth eggs just came in a simple clear plastic, and card box, with no foil and no extra bits inside. We did have a cadbury’s one that didn’t even have the plastic, although they were wrapped in foil. We try to buy eggs that don’t come with gifts in them as well, just to minimize any waste.
If you decorate for Easter – which we don’t, not at the moment, but I do plan to in the future – buy decorations that are hand/home made, or make them yourself if you can! It’s also good to buy/create things you can use year after year. Avoid glittery things, because I’m very sorry to say but glitter is HORRENDOUS for the environment. It’s also worth, if you’re doing the likes of Easter egg hunts, to do the same and buy cloth baskets and other such things that can be used again. Essentially, in any situation think “can I use this again and again?” and if the answer is yes, go for it!
If you’re buying Easter gifts, try to reuse old gift bags or use cloth to do wrapping up, and really always consider if what you’re buying can be bought second hand, from a better source i.e a local business, and if it’s really needed or wanted.
Whilst this is just how we tried to be environmental over Easter, theses are the sorts of decisions we should be making year round. It might seem like it can be more expensive, or a bit of faff, or a bit like I’m a being a spoil sport – especially with the no glitter rule – but we should be working hard to reduce our waste, our use of single-use plastics, anything that’s harmful to the environment. As I’ve said in previous blogs, if we all made one change – on top of recycle, because sadly just standard recycling doesn’t seem to be enough – it would make difference.