Presence, not presents

Like many I was horrified by the plastic mass floating in our oceans and highlighted in the Blue Planet series. 

We try to our bit: we recycle, walk when we can and my husband drives an electric car but we realised we needed to do more. 

Last Christmas we had 13 for Christmas dinner with other friends and family members dropping in. We had 5 children; two of whom had birthdays. By the end of the Christmas period the mass of plastic and wrapping was horrendous. 

One of our 2017 goals was to reduce the use of plastic and the use of chemicals. According to this article the average woman puts 515 chemicals on her face each day. This horrified me and the my awareness that my children were also slathering chemicals on themselves prompted me to take action. 

I’ve gone back to the Body Shop- the shop of my youth. They’re not perfect but as far as ethical products go, they do pretty well. My friend introduced me to the Tropic skin care range recently- they have impressive ethical standards- see online shop here. There are things I’m not yet ready to give up like gel nails- this is a work in progress!

We have also gone back to milk delivery- an absolute novelty for the kids who still can’t quite believe the magic of opening the door and finding milk on the doorstep. We’ve found a veg box delivery scheme and managed to reduce our meat consumption significantly- not a problem for me but a big sell to my husband who grew up on a pig farm. I also learned from Deliciously Ella  that fishing trawlers are responsible for ocean plastic and have consequently reduced our family’s consumption of fish also. 

We’re far from perfect and still enjoy a good BBQ or fish and Chips but have definitely made progress in reducing our impact on the environment. 

In the house we’ve substituted chemical based products for Method and Ecover and I can’t say I can see a difference! We’ve managed to last out so far without a tumble dryer but with a family of five that’s not easy!

As for the plastic we’ve been warned that if we continue at this rate they’ll be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2020 so we have committed to small changes such as reusable bags and choosing to not buy products packaged in unnecessary plastic. 

Leading up to Christmas this year, we are encouraging the children to value experiences over things. Without wanting to take the joy out of Christmas we are gently encouraging family and friends to reduce the number of gifts we exchange and instead spend time together. This Christmas I’m hoping for presence, not presents. How about you? 

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