Get with the programme and make going plastic-free in your home or childcare setting your next priority. That and putting an end to single-use plastic.
But if you’re a bit stuck on where to start, here are the first 5 changes you might think about:
#1 replace plastic cutlery with stainless steel.
Bit pricey if you’ve lots of sets to buy so how about buying just one or two sets a week? They’ll last a lifetime and provided they don’t go missing in the mud kitchen or sandpit, you will quite feasibly be using these forever and ever. Also, I’ll apologise now for all the teeth on metal scraping sounds you’ll get if that kinda thing bugs you. It also makes lunchtime that little bit [much] noisier with cutlery clanging onto the floor every 3 seconds. (Just think of the good you’re doing though).
#2 stop buying disposable aprons.
Instead (and I know it’s plastic) buy two good quality wipeable aprons each which you can spray or wipe over with disinfectant. One for cooking and washing up etc and another for the yuckier stuff that comes out of all the exit points of babies and young children. Again, perhaps buy one a week. I’ve had mine for 5 years. Imagine how many disposables I’d have put into landfill by now?
#3 avoid using nappy sacks wherever possible.
Eugh, I hear you say, but start wrapping nappies up really, really tightly with the velcro fasteners – making hard, tight, compact samosa shapes and fit as many as you can into one biodegradable bag. We can get 4 wet nappies into one bag now because we’ve got it down to a fine art. Soiled nappies we might only get 2 to a bag since they’ll have more clean-ups wrapped up inside the ‘samosa’.
#4 replace plastic food storage containers with glass jars.
I’m not saying to bin all your plastic containers and lids (if you can even find them): just don’t buy any more. Instead, wash out and sterilise empty coffee, jam, sauce jars and keep your soups, passatas and leftovers in those. We even keep salads, boiled eggs and ready-to-heat-up porridge in ours.
#5 re-use trigger spray disinfectants and detergents.
Don’t throw empty spray bottles away. Make up your own solutions and refill or fill them with water for the kids to play with outside. Our kids love the sound of jet-squirting water onto an old shower curtain pinned to the fence. Hours of fun: cost nowt.
So now what you need to do is find out whether there’s a plastic free movement going on around your neck of the woods and – if not – how about you start it?