I’d been feeling increasingly guilty about the disposable plastics we used at home.
We’d started drinking bottled water when we lived in London after being spooked by stories of lead and stomach-churning gunk in the centuries-old water pipes (was it true? No idea, but we decided at the time not to chance it). But then awareness began to grow about single-use plastics, and the horrific damage they were causing to our environment – particularly our oceans and the animals that existed in them.
It was that documentary that really moved me to make some changes – the one where they cut open the dead whale and found 30 plastic shopping bags tangled inside its stomach and intestines. I was so shocked by what I’d seen that I knew I had to do SOMETHING.
The obvious choice was to stop buying bottled water. I’d always religiously recycled the empties, but that didn’t seem enough anymore.
The first thing I did was buy the girls new reusable drink bottles for school. Their old ones had started leaking a few weeks earlier, so I’d fallen into the habit of popping a small bottled water in their lunchbox instead. The truth was, it was easier to grab a bottle from the cupboard than rinse and refill the reusable bottle. I know, pure laziness.
But, I was still concerned about all those unwanted extras in tap water (fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, etc).
Then I discovered the perfect compromise: the ZeroWater pitcher. This is a traditional water jug that you fill with tap water that uses a sophisticated ion-exchange filtration system to remove the nasties – 99.6 percent of them, to be exact. The jug even comes with its own gauge that you dip to test the water quality before and after it’s been filtrated. When the levels rise, you simply replace the filter.
I keep the pitcher topped up and the girls help themselves during the day, and when they return to school this week they can use it to fill their own school water bottles in the morning. If you’re worried about small hands lifting the jug, there’s a tap at the base that you can press down to use it like a water cooler.
Since we’ve started using the ZeroWater we’ve massively reduced the amount of plastic we recycle every week, and when we do use plastic bottles we make sure to refill them so we get more than one use out of them.
The problem of plastic waste can seem overwhelming, but little changes can make a big difference (just think, if every person on the planet reduced their waste by one single plastic bottle, that’s 7.5 BILLION less bottles polluting our landfills and waterways).
But we’ve decided not to stop at bottled water – I’ve chosen to go paperless for all our household bills and now only buy paper straws (who else was shocked by the photos of the turtle with the plastic straw wedged in its nostril?). I’m also making more effort to remember and use my reusable shopping bags.
We religiously separate our household waste and make the most of our council kerbside recycling. We take bulky packaging to our nearest recycling centre and regularly pass down old clothes and toys, or donate them to the charity store.
They’re small things, but small things build up to become big things. We all have to play our part to reduce plastic waste, and ensure a better future for generations to come.
Find out more about how you can support ZERO WASTE WEEK.
Read about our battle with baby eczema in ‘What’s Irritating Your Little One‘.
• our ZeroWater 12-cup pitcher was provided for review