I’m just a mum stood in front of the universe wondering WTAF! So, here’s my ‘Mums Guide to Saving the Universe’. I think of it not as a what you MUST do, but a basic list of things that I throw out there when Karen with her big house, astro turf and 4×4 starts ranting because I forgot my bag for life and only bought basic peanut butter at Tesco.
I don’t know about you but, since becoming a mum there are two things that seem to figure heavily on my radar.
A: The desperate need to save the universe now that I’ve started to populate it
B: People’s annoying Facebook statuses on how I need to save the universe.
Does that make me an oxy-moron? The fact is there’s only so much a mum, or anyone can do! Weighing people’s souls down with what you believe they should be doing and reprimanding them for not doing as much or the same as you is a waste of good fresh air. So, I’m not going to add to the verbal pollution!
It’s important, innit!? The problem with water is that because it’s just there we forget how much we use it.
As a mum, who breastfeeds and has two small children it’s vital I have a good supply of water where ever I go. My number one tip therefore is to get reusable bottles or flasks. They don’t need to be expensive or branded and have saved me £’s every time we’ve gone out from not having to buy bottled water on the run.
Be resourceful, in a way that helps you! In our house we have to have a dehumidifier. It helps eliminate a lot of the moisture that’s in the air which stops the house becoming damp and the family from getting sick. I use the water collected (sometimes up to 3 litres a day) to water the garden in the summer, particularly during hose pipe bans. I also boil it to mop the kitchen floor!
Shoes & Socks
Every mum knows; kids need shoes. Like literally every 5 minutes those tiny toes seem to grow.
Re-use those shoes! Especially so with little, little ones whose footwear barely gets touch or worn before it’s time to size up. I tend to buy gender neutral shoes that can be worn by anyone. That way I can hand them down amongst the kids and their cousins or take them to a charity shop for someone else to do the same.
Socks are a little different size wise they tend to last longer, but get worn out quicker. I’ve opted for spending a wee bit more on them in order to buy them less often. Look at the quality and material content of the socks you buy. Try high quality, fair trade cotton socks or even bambo socks, which are kinder to the skin and last longer. Our current favourites are from the Sock Shop.
Cleaning up after kids, especially weaning babes is a nightmare. Plastic bibs are great for wiping down, but often the food slips off them too and they are not washing machine friendly, but cloth bibs get all ratty and nasty so quickly. Enter orange bibs! Design so that food won’t stain it and made with organic cotton. This family grown company are all about using orange to make the planet green. The bibs are produced using a fully sustainable supply chain.
To go absolutely chemical free why not try soap berries or better still (because absolutely free) use conkers to make your own laundry detergent. Not that nifty? If it’s packaging you want to reduce and more specifically the use of plastic, why not try Ace for Colours Powder. It’s Tetra Pak is recycable and the perfect plastic alternative. A great tip from ACE is to also use a tea spoon to measure your powder, rather than a plastic scoop!
Arts & Crafts
Love it or hate it, you’ve got to ‘live, laugh, craft‘ when you’re a mum. There’s simply no way around it, kids just love to colour and cut up crap. But it can be both costly and a waste. Why not help reduce your recycle bin box by using the contents to make ‘stuff’! From laundry boxes to milk bottles there are lots of fun STEAM projects that you can take on to have fun, learn and get rid of the bin over flow!
I’m going to be really honest now and make a confession; I really struggle with the current straw debate. Don’t get me wrong, I know first hand how badly rubbish is polluting our waters. But a few things are nagging me:
- When all the big fast food retailers removed their plastic straws to replace them with paper ones, where did those plastic straws go?
- Why aren’t people re-using their plastic straws?
- Why is wasting trees to produce paper throw away straws (which can’t be re-used) any better?
- How did pre-historic man drink his iced latte without a straw?
Look, I personally think that straws are mostly a waste of time. But, the greatest service to the environment that you can do, if you already have plastic straws in your home, is not to throw them out! Use them and re-use them. Give them function and purpose, just don’t turn them into landfill! Drinking your favourite iced beverage with a paper straw in a plastic cup is totally redundant.
I also think that re-useable straws whether they be bamboo, metal or otherwise are a great idea however, it’s not financially possible for everyone to spend the current money it takes to arm an entire household with those kind of straws. And so, making people feel in anyway bad/evil for not being able to do so is also equally pointless!
Is closer than you think, sorry (not sorry)! The best choice we made once our old, plastic xmas tree bit the bullet, was to buy a real life Christmas tree. We have it in pot on wheels in the garden and bring it in once the decs go up. It’s brilliant as it’s our family tree, but also the more people that do the same the more trees get put back permanently. Real trees always look better but its so sad to see them chopped up and then discarded at the end of the year.
If like me you desire that champagne lifestyle but only have a lemonade budget then vintage hunting and up-cycling is a great way to revamp your home without breaking the bank. My most recent project was a mirror done up by using Bostik PVA and old, chopped up bed slats.
The universe needs your help. But the truth is that we all can do our little bit and that most of us do! Don’t kill yourself with anxiety trying to fix problems greater than you or I, simply commit to doing a little each day so, that collectively we can chip away at the issue. Not all super heroes where capes some change reusable nappies, clean bottoms with bio degradable wipes and go by the name of mum!
What’s your super power? Share your tips on what you do below! And remember every little helps.
NB: Some of the items featured in this article were kindly gifted to us. However, all opinions are our own. With thanks to the Sock Shop, Orangebibs.com and Bostik.