We know that everything has a carbon footprint. Clothes, fruit, bedding, even tea and coffee all have some kind of environmental impact. Onions with airmiles. Jeans on a journey. Are we doing enough to reduce our carbon footprint? Do we even know how?
Millions of people joined a global climate strike on the weekend, led by schoolchildren. Climate change is real and is happening right now, and impacts us all. But what can families in the UK do about it? Parents are so busy, and budgets are always tight. Enter the Green Grandma! Our superhero nan is a whiz at helping families become more eco-friendly. It takes no talent or money to reduce your carbon footprint, or your environmental impact. This lady is the go to on how to be kinder to the planet! Over to Rachael.
People around the world are joining together in protest this week for ‘Global Climate Strike’ to raise awareness of climate change. With scientific evidence supporting the claims that human-made carbon dioxide emissions are significantly contributing to the Earth’s rising temperature. We are asking global governments and fossil fuel corporations for change. Something needs to happen.
Whilst we wait for big corporations and governments to make changes, there is no need to sit back. We can all make a difference now by reducing our own individual carbon footprint.
Look for a green energy supplier, ring your own supplier and ask about their green tariff options or look on comparison sites. Reduce energy consumption by drying your clothes on a washing line or clothes horse, wash clothes at 30 degrees, and turn the thermostat on your heating down. Unplug idle electronics, use LED light bulbs and turn off the lights when you leave the room. Take short showers, look for a water saving shower head, and only boil the amount of water needed when you use the kettle. When replacing appliances look for the A+++ energy rated. Draft proof your home with draft-proofing kits and lined curtains. Keep heat in by insulating your loft.
If you have a little one, look for the Babydam. By shrinking your bath, this easy-to-fit barrier will help you run baths more quickly, use less water and reduce your heating bills. Save up to 56 litres of water per bath.
If possible reduce your air miles, think about taking staycations in your home country, visiting the sites and places that you have never been to. Walk or cycle for short journeys, shorter car journeys produce more air pollution per mile than longer journeys. Use public transport where you can or car share.
The carbon footprint from fashion is huge, buy much less, clothes swap, buy pre-loved, make your clothes last, and learn to mend. Check out my blog from last week which looks at taking on fast fashion.
Plant a Garden
If you have access to an outside space, consider planting a bee friendly garden. Encourage the bees with pots of lavender and honeysuckle. If you have enough space plant trees and shrubs, they can help clean the air by absorbing carbon emissions. Try growing your own fruits and vegetables, eliminating food miles, harmful chemicals and packaging.
Use What You Have
Embrace a new lifestyle without consumerism. Look around you and take stock. Think about the things you have, question yourself every time you want to make a new purchase ‘Do I really need it?’ ‘Can I borrow/rent it’ ‘How will I dispose of it once I am finished with it?’ These questions help us reduce what we buy, reducing our impact on the environment. More away from single use plastics. The Conscious Parent Company have a range of zero waste bamboo toothbrushes which are a great way of moving away from plastic. We throw away up to 300 plastic toothbrushes in our lifetime, by changing to bamboo, we stop the waste!
Meat Free Days
Animal agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases with deforestation, soil erosion, machine intensive farming all contributing to the emissions. Billions of animals are raised and killed each year for the meat industry. I eat a vegetarian diet, if you are not quite ready for that start with meat free days. Find vegetarian meals that suit you and your family.
No Fuss Tomato Macaroni
8 fresh tomatoes
1tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves chopped
1tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 cup of grated cheddar or vegan alternative
3/4 cup of wholemeal breadcrumbs
Cut the tomatoes in half – Place seed side down into a baking dish – Sprinkle over the garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper, and drizzle over olive oil – Bake for 30mins temp 190’ – Boil the macaroni – Remove baked tomatoes from the oven and slightly cool, then whizz with a hand blender – Drain the cooked pasta and mix with the blended tomato sauce, pour back into the baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs – Cook until crispy and golden on top.
If you would like to make a difference, you can follow Rachael on Instagram Be more like the green grandma!
How do you find parenting ? Do you worry about climate change? Have you changed your habits for the good of the planet? Maybe you have experience with having grandchildren? We would love to hear from you. Contact us with your story.