Don't Take My Coffee!

I love coffee! Let me say it again - I LOVE coffee! Startup life is hectic and busy. I’m often dealing with things I know close to nothing about, or everything I might think I know is turned upside down and shaken all about. There is no real comfort zone, although I keep trying to create one, usually just before I’m thrown out into the wild again. But there is always coffee! That familiar but oh so unique smell. A taste that is bitter and sweet at the same time.….coffee!

But there is one cup of coffee that is more special than any other. That first coffee in the morning, when everyone else is still asleep. Sitting on the sofa and drinking a warm cup of amazing coffee, made from quality light roast fair trade best-of-the-best coffee beans, with foamy, warm almond milk. This special moment I take with my coffee to read the news and simply enjoy that tranquility before another crazy day beckons.

But then, there it was - the most disturbing article that pierced my bubble of pure bliss.

‘Climate crisis to hit Europe’s coffee and chocolate supplies’:

https://www.theguardian.com/en...

What!? Why?! No! The climate crisis is finally hitting too close to home. I need to save my coffee! (and occasional chocolate, but if giving up chocolate means I can keep my coffee - I will take it!). Anyhow, it’s obvious that things need to change.

There are so many articles and studies about being more environmentally friendly, that even when trying your best, they make you feel slightly overwhelmed. Most people have no idea what steps to take . Being a parent makes everything even more confusing. During a moment of personal confusion, I came across an interesting study entitled ‘The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child’ (followed by selling your car, avoiding long flights and eating a vegetarian diet.). To my engineering brain this made no sense, and my mum brain (the same one that can’t even remember where I put the keys to the car I should be selling) was feeling very sad about this! Children in countries where education for girls is easily accessible, are not our biggest issue, they are our biggest hope!

Nappies, oral care and hand soap! These three are part of everyday life for parents with young children. Let’s delve in each one and discover that eco-friendly alternative. 

Nappies:

Excellent eco-friendly option:

In England and Wales alone, we use around 3 billion nappies per year . Reusable nappies are an excellent option to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill, however, they add to the pressure of parenthood as you need to find time and space to wash the nappies.

Some examples of brands: Bambinomio, Little Lamb Nappies, Charlie Banana.

Good alternative:

If dealing with soiled nappies, and adding extra loads to your already busy washing machine is not something you can bear, there are some good alternatives to the traditional single-use nappies.

For example, Beaming Baby has single-use nappies that biodegrade within four years, instead of 400 years that standard nappies take. Mama Bamboo is also good alternative that offer nappies that are free from harsh chemicals and have an inner lining, pulp core and packaging that’s 100% biodegradable.

Oral Care:

Toothbrush design has almost not changed at all from its earliest form. The biggest difference is that the material is now mostly made of plastic and contributes to the plastic waste crisis. For the toothpaste, most of the product packaging is made of plastic and is not easily recyclable.

Excellent eco-friendly option:

100% compostable or biodegradable toothbrush alternatives are now available and are ideal for those growing milk teeth. For the toothpaste, tablets offer a plastic-free alternative. They are small and your child only needs to chew on it and start brushing. Kids love them!

Some examples of brands: wild and stone , JackandJill, denttabs

Good alternative:

The main constraint to using an eco-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste is time. Most of the brands I mentioned are not sold on the high street and you have to search them out online, mostly from niche websites. Some of the main brands have eco-friendlier alternatives for their traditional toothpaste such as Colgate for good , but little effort has been done to address the packaging problem.

Unfortunately, I have not come across any main brand that provides an alternative to the plastic toothbrush. Please ping me if you know of any!

Hand soap:

Who does not need a good hand soap these days? With kids washing their hands more than seven times a day at school, an effective soap for sensitive skin is a must.

Excellent eco-friendly option:

Soap bars with no plastic packaging and containing no artificial chemicals are now easy to find in most supermarkets or online. My favourite brand is The Proper Soap with their soap made in the UK, from ingredients that are 100% natural in origin and antibacterial.

Good alternative:

Soap bars can be a bit difficult to transport when you are on the go. A good alternative is to use liquid hand washes, which are refillable. Bio-D or Faith in Nature both sell their products in refillable packages and are sulphate and paraben free, which is ideal for sensitive little hands.

Take a look also at this organic peppermint hand hygiene spray from Dr Bronners (Best Organic Skincare Product Bronze Award at the 2020 Green Beauty Awards).

So, there you go - three easy eco-swaps! Now, please, help me save my coffee, so that I can keep on growing this company and continue to provide you with a more sustainable option of dressing your baby in clothes that are both beautiful and ethical to boot!

Hele / Co-founder

This blog post is written by Hele, the co-founder & CEO of 9plus1. A true believer in the climate crisis and the power of coffee.