Olivia Crighton, mama to Sadie and founder of eco-friendly hair salon Glasshouse in East London, shares her five top tips for clean living : living a sustainable lifestyle while raising kids.
Having one extra person in the household is obviously going to increase your environmental output, but I find there are lots of ways to try and minimise this impact. There are some great alternatives for basic baby items such as reusable, washable and biodegradable nappies and baby wipes. Traditional nappies can take up to 400 years to decompose and commonly contain ingredients like chlorine bleach, optical whiteners and other harsh chemicals which are bad for baby and the environment too. I also try to be considered when buying items such as toys, making sure they are made from materials that last and won’t have to be thrown out.
I find it a real test to resist buying all the sweet children’s outfits I come across for my daughter Sadie, but the fast fashion industry’s carbon footprint is now one of the largest, contributing around 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. When they’re going to grow out of each outfit in next to no time, I try to minimise the number of new clothes I buy. I opt for secondhand or sustainably made options where possible, making sure to donate old outfits to friends or charity shops. I also look for toys and other items in the charity shops while I’m there. When I do buy a new piece, I’ve found that higher quality items made from more sustainable and natural materials last longer and are more hardwearing too, helping me to buy less overall.
When it comes to beauty, I obviously use all the products we stock at Glasshouse Shop. Each of our brands are handpicked based on what I love and use at home. They are all non-toxic for our own health and for the health of the environment too, cutting back on the amount of potentially harmful chemicals that could seep into our waterways. When I was expecting Sadie, we launched the beautiful hand-blended products by Dani Kenney as they are safe during pregnancy and designed with little ones in mind. We also recently took on an incredible moisturising balm called Skin Salvation by Purepotions, which is 100% natural and amazing for soothing eczema. I try my hardest to maintain a ‘toxic free’ home where possible too and am very careful with things like household cleaning products and detergents. What’s safer and gentler for Sadie and I often happens to be a more sustainable option too.
Eat a Varied and Low Carbon diet
Sadie and I follow a vegan diet when we eat our meals together – I like to cook whole foods and avoid processed meals. This not only lowers our carbon footprint, but I can avoid extra packaging whilst getting maximum fruits and vegetables into our diets. I also love that Sadie gets to explore lots of interesting tastes that she might not otherwise (she loves seaweed!). Although perhaps not everyone will be following a strictly vegan diet, I think it’s important to generally consider the environmental output of the foods you eat, choosing to opt for locally grown and organic produce where possible.
Again, a part of clean living is reducing the impact of mass-production, I try to shop at local or small businesses that are putting time and effort into creating sustainable products. Some of my favourites include Cissy Wears for her range of stunning high-quality wooden toys and Yoli & Otis for sustainable linen childrenswear. It means that with each item I buy I can support some of my favourite small businesses across the globe.
Shop clean, natural, organic and highly effective products on GLASSHOUSESHOP.co.uk
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