Zero Waste Week has got me thinking about my passions, my inspirations and what it really was that has motivated me to not only set up a purpose-driven business but to keep fighting for the future of our planet.
They are my inspiration and their resourcefulness amazes me every day. In fact, I set out to interview them for this blog, but my dad missed the first slot as he was at the recycling centre rescuing some lights for our office. You couldn’t write it.
From a young age, my parents have instilled in me the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. For them, zero waste isn’t a lifestyle choice, its the only choice. Zero waste living is something they have always done and it seems so obvious to them. For me, this is amazing. There would be no Baba+Boo without them, from childcare, stand-in packers, nappy fixers, fleece cutters, warehouse guardians to the biggest cheerleaders I could ever ask for.
So, to celebrate this week, I wanted to sit down and speak with my two biggest inspirations (once we prised my dad away from the skip!)...
What’s your biggest waste bugbear?
Mum: Food waste! I hate throwing anything away and if it cant be used then it gets composted so the nutrients go back into the land. I also wish it was cheaper to make clothes, I used to make all the clothes for Eve and her brother because it was the cheapest option. These clothes were passed to your cousins and vice versa, this was so normal and so great, I wish this was still the case.
Dad: I can’t abide wastefulness. There is always a use for something. You can't move in my shed for stuff I have collected because there is always a use for it. You can make bird feeders from plastic bottles, dishwater helps the soil… everything is precious on the earth and everything natural has a use and we should harness whatever we can.
What’s your favourite waste-less hack?
Mum: I make my own shopping bags from fabric scraps - I love sewing but with the convenience of modern life, these skills are being lost! Also, prioritise walking if you can, It's better for you and for the planet, and saves you money. I used to tell Eve off for going on the bus when she could walk. You never know what you might miss if you walk, it gives you a chance to appreciate the beauty of this world.
Dad: Tough one. Getting every last scrap out of a ketchup bottle by balancing one on top of the other lets you get another meal out of it. My ultimate though is fixing things. People are missing out on the pleasure of fixing something. I'll have a go at fixing anything and while away afternoons on learning a new skill or trying to figure something out. There is such pleasure in that. I'd sooner that than go shopping… you wouldn't catch me in a shopping centre even before COVID!
Eve: I remember the ketchup thing so well. If you wanted ketchup in the two hours that the empty bottle was dripping into the new bottle, we had to wait until it was done!
Why do you think our society is so wasteful and whats brought about this change?
Mum: I think that convenience is what has caused the throwaway society we live in. There’s no need to teach children how to sew and fix things because it is cheaper to buy new and throw away the broken or unclean stuff. Shopping local was normal and you would walk to the greengrocers and the bakers and you could buy what you needed. There was no buying 3 for 2 then. People buy more than they need now because it is cheaper and that is just crazy when you think about it. It's more expensive to buy a spare part now than buy new. It's so wrong.
Dad: Reusing seems to be a thing of the past. We’ve lost the connection to our planet and what we throw away - out of sight out of mind. Before you put anything in the bin, stop and think, could this be used for something else? It’s a wonderful world we live in and being wasteful spoils it and spoils it for our future generations.
Eve: I still have you on my shoulder Dad when I put anything in the bin. Even in the office now, everyone knows not to put anything in the bin if we can help it, just in case you come and start inspecting the bin!
What values do you think you’ve instilled in Eve?
Mum: Eve knew not to waste things because we taught her the value of things. That to make the thing she craved required resources from our planet. It was important to us that she didn't desire 'stuff'. Happiness doesn't lie in things.
Dad: We taught Eve about resourcefulness and ensuring you get everything you can out of a product or object. We’ve made certain to teach her to be careful with waste and think about being conscious of her actions, which is always a good thing.
Eve: I didn't dare leave a light on or leave a door open. I remember 'were you born in a barn' being shouted at me through an open door because I was wasting the resources being used by heating.
What’s your best zero waste creation?
Mum: I love making blankets for care homes out of the end of the rolls from the fleece liners I make for Baba+Boo.
Dad: I once made Louisa a market stall out of pallet wood that the nappies came on. She loved it! I also made a whole fence for my garden out of used wood from pallets that I found on a skip.
I absolutely loved chatting with Mum and Dad about this topic. They are so inspirational. Resourcefulness is as natural as breathing to them and I am very grateful they instilled this in me. I am a true believer that children learn by watching and I certainly learnt so much from my parents. I love that our children are learning from us too with all the small things we do to waste as little as possible and by being kind to our planet.