Eco Friendly Holiday: Visiting Will’s Mum

We took an eco friendly holiday this week!

As anyone in the UK will know, the nation went through a pretty brutal heatwave. Record temperatures were reached and the heat made it difficult to do anything active. Nevertheless, the Eco Misfits made the short journey from London down to Hampshire to visit Will’s mum, Sue.

We hadn’t seen her in person since the lockdown began in March. As such, we were excited for Matilda-Niamh to see her grandma and had high hopes for some interesting walks and visits to zero waste shops!

Day 1: Starting our Eco Friendly Holiday

We arrived around lunchtime on Monday in scorching heat from a relentless sun. Many have pointed to this record-breaking heatwave as a symptom of the climate change crisis.🌞

This is highlighted by the revelation that 2010-2019 was the hottest decade on record and the average global temperature has risen by 0.39°C compared to 10 years ago. This is extremely concerning, and Greta has been pushing to bring these latest developments to people’s attention.

Tweet from Greta Thunberg about the latest climate change revelations.

On this occasion, what the heat meant for us was a very uncomfortable job of unloading the car!

We are strong believers that eco friendly holidays can be taken with a car journey. Yes, the car has carbon emissions, but those emissions are considerably lower than the CO2 per passenger on an aeroplane. We own a fuel-efficient car but would very much like to get a hybrid or even electric car if we are ever in a financial position to do so.

For the time being, however, our little red Hyundai i20 gets us around!🚗

Matilda-Niamh’s auntie Faye arrived at around the same time as us. After having some lunch, we all headed out for a woodland walk. We’ve discussed our love for nature walks before – something we discovered when the national lockdown meant there was little else to do!

This walk took us to Hollybank Woods in Havant, and Matilda made some great discoveries in this beautiful little woodland stretch.

We also visited our favourite farm shop in Emsworth – Southbourne Farm Shop. They sell a fantastic range of unpackaged produce and they also plastic-free frozen goods and snacks. Our pick of the snacks is the yoghurt-coated banana chips! 😋

Sweltering heat aside, we had an enjoyable first day of our eco friendly holiday in Havant (though Matilda’s travel cot breaking was an unforeseen hiccup!)

Day 2: Zero Waste Shopping and Seaside Fun

We started our second day with another zero waste shopping experience! Eco Freaks Emporium is an amazing zero waste shop in Gosport, Portsmouth, that deserves its own write-up – you’ll find it here when it’s done.

This was a lovely morning out for us and we learnt that Gosport would be an excellent place to live (though a little out of our budget, unfortunately). On our way back to the house, we took in the incredible views over at Portsdown Hill – a firm reminder of the beauty of the natural world we love so much.

For the afternoon, we all journeyed down to Hayling Island Beach to see the sea!🌊

If there’s one thing to know about the Eco Misfits, it’s that we love the sea. It is calming and wondrous and the blazing sun would not stop us from taking the opportunity to see it.

Matilda went paddling in the water with her mum and dad – this was her first trip to the seaside since she started walking! She loved the sea as much as we do and we were reminded of how important it is that we all work together to save our oceans.

Day 3: Slowing Things Down

We were all quite tired on the third day. The previous days had been very busy and the heat had caused no small amount of sleep deprivation. We decided to go for a short walk in the morning before the temperature got too high. Our walk at Nore Barn Woods in Emsworth was just what we needed, and Matilda even met her very first crab!

After lunch, we decided that we’d try to take a restful afternoon to save some energy for the remaining days of our eco friendly holiday. This meant taking advantage of grandma’s lovely garden, and the result was even better than we expected. Matilda adored playing in the garden!🌱

As we watched, Matilda:

  • Explored every corner of the garden 🌿
  • Soaked herself with the hose 💦
  • Collected apples that had fallen from the tree 🍏
  • Chased poor Luna backwards and forwards 🐈

If you’ve followed us on Instagram, you’ll know that we learn so much from watching Matilda. Seeing her explore her natural surroundings, we learn how unnecessary all those hideous plastic toys really are. She is just as happy to collect sticks and stones, play with water, run on the grass and just generally make the most of the simplest things! She is helping us rediscover our own appreciation of a slower, more simplified lifestyle.

After this, we will definitely be going all out to get our garden at home shipshape for her to play in!

Day 4: A Different Side of Hayling Island

For the penultimate day of our eco friendly holiday, we found another great spot to visit. The heat persisted, flying in the face of those meteorologists who repeatedly promised thunderstorms. We set out for another morning trip, this time to Hayling Island Oyster Beds for what turned out to be the most fascinating of our nature walks.

Arriving at the shore, we found a 24-hour car park that clearly attracted campervan visitors. The unfortunate side effect of this was that there was more litter around. Plastic waste is, unfortunately, a common sight on coastlines all around the world – it’s a huge part of the reason we decided to start our sustainable living journey. The tide was out and, after letting Matilda explore the seaweed and the mud scattered with countless stones and shells, we set off along the walk.

Eventually, we reached the main attraction: the bird sanctuary. Where there once stood bountiful oyster breeding grounds, the space has been adopted by seabirds as a nesting point.

There were countless common terns singing their little hearts out, surrounded by shallow waters full of fish and other food. It was humbling to see this natural process in such abundance – a definite highlight of our eco friendly holiday. Even at low tide, the sights were quite breathtaking, and it was very encouraging to see that people appeared to be respecting the importance of this sanctuary.

There was also some memorable foliage to be discovered along the walk…

After our walk, we had lunch with Matilda’s grandma and spent another fun afternoon playing in the garden.

Day 5: Ending Our Eco Friendly Holiday

The final day was, essentially, the journey home. After returning our empty, washed glass milk bottle to the farm shop we set off back to London. We decided to deviate from the normal route and travel back through the South Downs National Park. Our enjoyment of nature was fed once again as we drove through some glorious surroundings and quaint villages. We will definitely be making a visit to the South Downs in the future – it seems there is much to discover there!

What We Took Away from Our Eco Friendly Holiday

If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading! We hope that if you are heading down towards Hampshire anytime soon, our experiences might have given you some inspiration for places to visit! We ask that you treat the nature reserves with care and respect – these are the most important places in our country!

Our eco friendly holiday taught us a number of things, but the heatwave was impossible to ignore. Our concern for the environment is growing and it is a travesty that the climate emergency remains an afterthought for so many.

This blog is aimed at ordinary people who care about climate change. If you are not the protesting type, you can still make a difference by living more sustainably and encouraging your family and friends to do the same. Follow our blog and connect with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and we’ll share our journey to help give you ideas about little changes you can make to contribute to the cause.

Here are some other lessons we’ve taken from our eco friendly trip:

  • Children will play with anything – toys aren’t always needed.
  • There are all sorts of beautiful places to discover, wherever you go.
  • When you look for zero waste shopping options, you will find them!
  • We are not ready for the UK to develop a tropical climate!😓

Again, thanks for reading. Have you made any trips lately where you tried to do everything in an eco friendly way? We’d love to hear about places you’ve visited, things you did to be more eco friendly, and lessons you learnt from the experience. Let us know in the comments below or contact us and become an Eco Misfit!

See you soon…💚

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