It’s World Environment Day on 5th June, and the theme for this year is biodiversity.
It can seem overwhelming to think about helping the planet, after all, what difference can we make as mums? Actually, if we all make small changes to our lifestyle and our household, they will add up to some big, significant shifts for the environment.
So what can we do to help? Here are nine actions that you can start to implement today at home, that will positively impact upon the biodiversity of our planet…
- Stop buying bottled water
If you love to keep hydrated while working out or running (which is a good idea!), then stop buying bottled water immediately and invest in a good quality water bottle that you can refill from the tap. To make it extra yummy, add in some slices of lemon and lime, or some cucumber and mint leaves, and chill in the fridge overnight. Much better than using single-use plastic, which pollutes our oceans and threatens marine life.
- Make the most of your outdoor spaces
If you have a big garden, a balcony or just a small yard, there are small things that you can do to attract bees and promote a healthy environment. A simple way is to buy wildflower seed mixes and scatter them in the garden, or even in a window box or planter. Water them well in summer, stop using any harsh chemical sprays on weeds, and watch the bees buzz!
- Reduce your meat and dairy intake
It’s now common knowledge that a plant-based diet is much more eco-friendly that eating meat, because the greenhouse gases created by raising livestock are contributing to climate change. If you don’t fancy going full vegan or even veggie, just make a few small changes and have one or two meat-free days a week for the family.
If you can, switch your milk to an oat-based one (Oatly Barista is a fabulous choice and works so well in coffee and tea!), even if it’s just for the grown ups.
Flexitarianism has really taken off over the past year or two, and there are loads of excellent resources online so you can find out how to tweak a few family favourites to make them meat free.
- Consider a plastic toy ban
Most parents lament at the sheer amount of cheap plastic tat that ends up in the family home, thanks to birthday gifts, comics and pester power! If your children are old enough, chat to them about the environmental benefits of switching to wooden or alternative toys and ban the cheaper plastic bits and bobs forever.
If your child has a birthday party, you could consider asking for vouchers or books instead of toys from their friends, so you can control what they end up with. Of course, kids are always going to want certain new toys made of plastic, and that’s fine – having a realistic approach is probably best, but if you make a few changes, the environment will thank you in the long run.
- Use reusable wraps and bags
Nowadays, there are plenty of products on offer that can help us to reduce or stop using things like cling film and single use bags. There are loads of fab reusable sandwich and food wraps available, like these beeswax ones, and if you buy a fold up shopper to pop into your handbag, you’ll never be caught out at the supermarket without a bag again!
- Ban the wipes!
Baby wipes and similar products are absolutely terrible for the environment, so if you make one change today, ban these products from your home forever. There are loads of reusable baby wipes available that will save you money in the long term (we love Cheeky Wipes!) and investing in a make-up remover cloth such as a Face Halo that can shift your slap with just water are simple yet excellent choices to make.
- Minimise household chemicals
If you’re a slave to the Zoflora and bleach, research ways that you can keep your home safe and clean by using more traditional cleaning methods. Lemons, baking soda and vinegar can all be used to make your own cleaning sprays, that will considerably reduce the amount of harsh chemicals in your home. Check out this handy guide…
- Start composting!
If you have the room outside, why not start composting your food waste? A huge amount of food waste ends up in landfill every year, and because it doesn’t break down as easily in this situation, it can release harmful gases such as methane into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming.
What’s more, the compost itself will make a great fertiliser for your plants and flowers! Check out this great guide in Good Housekeeping here, and get started.
- Choose sustainable fish and seafood
The Marine Conservation Society believes that we are taking too much out of our oceans and seas by overfishing, and putting too much in by polluting and littering – both of which are having a potentially devastating effect on the environment and the future of our seas. Ensuring that you choose sustainable fish and seafood for your family is one thing you can do today to help the cause – you can find a list of fish to eat and avoid here.
What are your top tips for saving the environment and promoting biodiversity?