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8 things you can change today to use less plastic

Nov 13, 2017

We hear it and read it everywhere: if we keep feeding the plastic business, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. It’s a real possibility, one that will still affect us (not just our children) in our lifetime.

And it’s true—if this is what you’re thinking—the effort of a single person or a small community might not be enough to promote a change… but it might just as well be. On the other hand, if nobody ever starts, it’s 100% sure that the change will NEVER happen.

So let’s start it, let’s make small changes in our daily life, let’s spread the word, let’s educate our children and, who knows, maybe all together we’ll be lucky enough to be able to make our earth a better place for the future generations.

These are just some EASY ideas you can start implementing TODAY in your life and household. Please feel free to add more in the comments below.

  1. Stop buying plastic water bottles. We started by getting the Brita filtering system, but we didn’t like it much. On top of that—even though it was less plastic—it was still plastic. We then found the amazing Black and Blum Eau Good glass bottle with charcoal filters, and we absolutely love them: the filter takes away the unpleasant taste of tap water (not much else) and the bottles are simply gorgeous! You can also buy the filters separately to use in different bottles or water dispensers.
  2. Stop buying plastic bags at the supermarket. We bought three or four recycled bags and try to always have them at hand when going to the grocery store. I keep one in my backpack, one in the pram and one in the car. The more, the easier it is to create the habit.
  3. Stop putting veggies and fruit in plastic bags. We started weighing fruit and veggies, and sticking the price on them directly: if I buy pears, for example, I weigh them all and then stick the price on one of them. Some cashier might complain, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved by putting up a good fight ;-)! UPDATE: I started using reusable veggie bags.
  4. At the cafe, ask for your drinks WITHOUT a straw. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest details that make all the difference in the long term. My sister spent three months in Costa Rica studying turtles, and she had to free them daily from straws stuck in every part of their body. Let’s boycott the straw business—we don't need them!

UPDATE: I’ve been carrying around reusable straws for the kids for a while, but in general I prefer my kids not to use them, as they can drink directly from a glass.

  • You can use disposable paper glasses and plates at birthday parties or when packing for a picnic. You can use a simple piece of paper to wrap your sandwich, or get a few reusable sandwich bags (I like these ones from Roll’Eat).
  • You can (and should) avoid plastic bottles—it’s better for your baby’s health to use stainless steel or glass, and the water also tastes better for longer. The best bottle we've had so far for Oliver and Emily is this one by Thermos.
  • You can use reusable diapers for your baby. I admire my friend mums who only use cloth nappies, but to be honest, I’m not in for extra challenges on this mummy journey. What I could easily do, though, was switching to reusable swim diapers for our swimming classes (that’s already a bag of diapers a month between Oliver and Emily). It’s all about the tiny changes. UPDATE: Not long after writing this post, I did decide that switching to cloth nappies was a necessary step in my plastic-free journey. And so I did it, and it wasn't that hard: now I'm a proud mom of a cloth bum and I couldn't imagine EVER going back to disposables. If you want, read how I switched to cloth nappies after three years of disposables.
  • You can use a menstrual cup. I’ve decided that when I get my period back, I’ll say goodbye to normal pads and try a menstrual cup, maybe the OrganiCup (you can also find it on Amazon). It sounded gross at the beginning, but the more I read about it, the more I’m convinced every woman should try it or at least consider it. UPDATE: I did start using the menstrual cup, and I'm absolutely loving it! You can read about it here and here.

When it comes to the environment, any small change counts. Start and spread the word.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
Mi chiedete spessissimo quale sia la nostra routine a casa con i bimbi e in questo episodio vi svelo che noi, una routine vera e propria, non ce l'abbiamo. Abbiamo una routine minima e indispensabile, che è un concetto che mi sono totalmente inventata su due piedi mentre parlavo a briglia sciolta in questo episodio, ma che credo funzioni davvero. Almeno per noi. La routine minima e indispensabile, secondo me, risponde anche a un altro "problema": trovo che ci bombardino spesso con l'idea del...
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Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
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I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.