I like September, in spite of the chaos that comes with having a family with school-age children: going back to school, new books, a change of wardrobe, returning to routines... We might think that getting back to normality after the summer holidays is overwhelming, but if we try to look at it another way, we'll see that September is a new opportunity to start over, to make plans and write new resolution lists, to meet up with colleagues at work, school or our sewing course again. Above all, we shouldn’t let ourselves get overwhelmed with endless lists. It’s best to set priorities and start with small changes that are achievable.
Because September is a month of change, I believe that it is the best month to undertake new projects. Beyond the return to routines, it’s important to find new motivation and new challenges that, no matter how small, are sure to make you feel good. I also have a list of new resolutions. Like most important things in life, we've done it as a family. The four of us sat down and decided that it was time for us to do something to take better care of our planet: What could we do to be a more eco-friendly family?
At the start we came up with some very ambitious proposals, too ambitious in fact, and we had to lower our expectations and start with things that would be a little easier to attain, for example: turning off the lights when we leave a room (why do all children leave the lights on?). As our daughter is vegan, eating seasonal and local fruit and vegetables is also a particularly important measure in our household, and, frankly, eating a seasonal peach is not the same as eating it in the month of March.
Another of the proposals we put on the table was to reduce the use of plastic in our daily lives and, as we are determined to minimise our negative impact on the environment, we have made some decisions with regards to this last proposal:
- Use reusable coffee capsules: if you are anything like me, the day doesn't start until you've had your first coffee, I think this is a great idea to implement. We've started using them. You buy ground coffee and put it in the capsule. It is ecological and also maintains a bit of the romanticism of preparing the coffee yourself.
- Avoid buying things in plastic containers when doing the shopping. It may seem difficult to avoid packaged trays, but it can be achieved. There are more and more greengrocer's who provide paper bags to be able to buy in bulk. In addition, there are also supermarkets or hypermarkets such as Carrefour where you can go with your own packaging or load your shopping into cardboard boxes. And if you go to a supermarket where you still can't do this, I encourage you to suggest it to them. I'm sure that little by little we'll keep improving.
- Keep your bread in a cloth bag like your grandmother did. Bread keeps is kept for longer in a cloth bag. If you don't have one, you can get bread in a paper bag which, as well as being recyclable, preserves the bread much better than a plastic one. And if you feel like it, you could even make your own bag, as sewing is also back in fashion (and this way you also fulfil two resolutions at once!).
- Always carry a cloth bag: it's good to have one to hand in case you want to buy something.
- Take a shopping trolley bag or basket from home: Whenever possible, let's try to bring back customs that perhaps should have never been lost, such as shopping locally, and using our own ways of carrying things home instead of relying on the shop’s plastic bags.
As you can see, our feet are firmly on the ground. We have thought of small affordable changes that will make all of us acquire new habits and be more respectful to the environment. Until now, at the end of each day we had accumulated a lot of waste, some of which is still not recyclable. We started the experiment a few days ago and we are already very satisfied with the results. The four of us are learning a lot because, although our children have already had the good fortune to grow up knowing the importance of recycling and protecting the environment ingrained in them, we are all now playing a very important role in this adventure.
At Kids&Us we are also concerned about the legacy that we will leave to future generations and our commitment to the environment forces us to work on reducing our use of non-reusable materials. That’s why, this year we have reduced the use of plastic in the material packs for the Kids stage courses by half, and the material packs for the students of the Babies stage courses by 95%. Additionally, each of our backpacks is made from 4 recycled plastic bottles.
In short, September is an extraordinary month, and may also be the best time to start taking care of our planet a little more. Have you made a list of resolutions? Tell me what you're doing to reduce the use of plastics at home.