Planet Friendly Parenting
I recently attended an inspiring event all about planet friendly parenting at the amazing farm shop Jolly Nice, half way between Cirencester and Stroud. On the panel was Raechel Kelly and Sian Conway along with Kate Starkey of Cheltenham Maman who hosted the event.
Raechel Kelly is a local Gloucestershire Mum who has appeared on BBC Radio Gloucestershire following her 2018 resolution attempt to ditch the single-use plastic. She has worked in sustainability for 10 years, helping investors and fund managers identify the most sustainable companies.
Sian Conway is the brains behind Ethical Hour, an organisation building an ethical community, facilitating positive change and growing the ethical economy. Ethical Hour connects businesses, bloggers and social enterprises that are ethically-minded and passionate about creating a better world
The panel discussed recycling, straws, single use plastic, cloth nappies vs biodrgradeable nappies, cling film and foil alternatives, the Paris agreement, kerbside recycling, air travel, fast fashion, the list goes on. But the main thing that I came away with was that if each of us can make small steps to creating less waste or using less resources it can make a much bigger difference than just a few people trying to do everything.
Sian and Raechel educated us about the earth Overshoot Day which marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year.
Each year this date is moving further forwards and for 2018 it will be August 1st. Take a look at https://www.overshootday.org/ for More details. You can find comparisons to previous years and country specific Overshoot days.
I think everyone at the event agreed that plastics were a massive problem and our awareness of this has been heightened after seeing the Blue Planet series on BBC1 but eliminating plastics completely is not really practical. It’s the single use and pointless plastics that we need to reduce.
Raechel probably surprised a few of the audience when she passionately declared that plastics are absolutely fantastic, she gave examples or medical applications and communications where plastics have transformed our lives for the better – but she also reasoned that they were just never meant to be used for 30 seconds and then thrown away which led to her most poignant point of the evening….there is no away.
There is no magical place where all our rubbish goes and disappears. It may get incinerated or buried. Shipped off elsewhere but it’s not “away” it all has an impact and we all need to do something to reduce the amount that gets thrown away.
Sian suggested that instead of getting totally overwhelmed with everything we could do (and probably not end up doing much at all) we all pick the thing that you personally care most about and do something about that. She is currently focusing on Fast Fashion, plastic free cosmetics and about to start Plastic Free July where you attempt to avoid any single use plastics.
As a family we are really good at recycling and fairly good at not wasting what we have. Our wheelie bin is always just over half full after 2 weeks with 4 of us in the house but there’s definitely a lot more that we can do and I have been inspired to take some more steps after meeting these wonderful ladies:
- Use an Eco egg for washing
- Revert to using cotton handkerchiefs instead of tissues
- Be more aware of what packaging my weekly shop is in and contact the store / brand if they are overpackaging their products.
- Make an effort to buy natural fibre clothing to avoid microfibres entering our waterways.
- check labelling on packaging more!
If you would like to know more about these issues follow Raechel and Sian on Social media.