My Plastic Free Struggle

Somehow we’re now mid way through the month, and as promised in my previous post here is an update on how my Plastic Free July is going…

Truthfully, it’s not going very well.

I’ve had some successes…

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I’ve been shopping from my local greengrocers and taking reusable bags with me, this massively cuts down on plastic packaging and carrier bags.

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I take my stainless steel One Green Bottle everywhere with me.

I received a Lush delivery with plastic free packaging. Eco-flo chips were used to protect the product, simply run the chips under water and they biodegrade.

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I now buy baked beans in single cans, not multi packs of four which are coated in plastic.

But also some failures…

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I ran the Great North 10k the other week and it was scorching, so I ended up grabbing a plastic bottle from one of the water stations on the way round, drinking it and then tossing it to the ground.

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I’ve been on the road alot this month. Up to Durham, down to Bristol, up to Yorkshire, back to the Midlands… and unless you are very organised it is nearly impossible to not use plastic when stopping at a service station. Even with the best intentions of using my One Green Bottle I struggled to find somewhere to refill.

Dauntingly, round the corner may lie my biggest challenge yet…

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This weekend I am off to a music festival. However I am very determined to try and use as little plastic as possible.

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I will be taking my ‘pimp cup’ and asking the bar staff to serve me my pints in this instead of a disposable plastic cup. I’ve also got myself an Organic Humble toothbrush, which is made from bamboo, to take with me.

Did you know? More than 2 billion plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill sites every year.

How is your Plastic Free July going?

I’d love to hear about your struggles, and even better, your hints and tips!

World Fairtrade Day – Honeystreet Handmade

As it is World Fairtrade Day I thought I’d write about Honeystreet Handmade who make beauty products in the Wiltshire countryside using Fairtrade Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil.

A few weeks ago I ordered their Sunshine Body Scrub and Butter.

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INGREDIENTS: Shea Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Kernel Oil, Corn Silk, Orange Peel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool – 56% are Fairtrade

The body butter has a mousse like texture and at first seems really difficult to apply and rub in. But once you get used to it and realise that it is not like a normal moisturiser it’s great. Within days my skin felt hydrated. What I also like is that the butter doesn’t have an overpowering scent, once on the skin it just smells very clean and fresh.

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INGREDIENTS: Sucrose, Sodium Chloride, Dead Sea Salt, Grape Seed Oil, Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geranol, Limonene, Linalool – 47% are Fairtrade

Again, the body scrub at first is difficult to use. It is made with natural dead sea salt, as soon as the scrub hits water it begins to dissolve. I found the best way to apply this is using an exfoliating glove. Using it this way it definitely brings results. My skin is lovely and smooth after using it. Like the butter it smells fresh and clean, slightly citrusy, not overpowering.

Honeystreet have a wide variety of ‘flavours’ for their body butters and scrubs. They also make soaps, bath bombs and massage oils. All products are individually handmade in small batches. None of the products contain parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, palm oil or artificial colours and fragrances. All products or raw materials have not been tested on animals, just friends and family.

Ticking all the boxes? Hold on there’s more…

Their packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable. Their paper is handmade from recycled cotton and hand screen printed in a Fairtrade unit in India. The plastic bottles and jars are PET and are fully recyclable.

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Today is World Fairtrade Day. Why don’t you head out today and try something new that holds the Fairtrade mark (coffee, shampoo, bananas, lip balm, chocolate…) and help support the development of farmers and their working communities by giving them a fair price and better working conditions. Be an #agentforchange!

Luva Huva – Ethical Lingerie

I mostly base my underwear purchases on comfort and practicality. When I found Luva Huva, an ethical lingerie brand based in Brighton, whose website hosts pictures of beautiful and delicate items I was quite sceptical as to whether they would provide bras to my size and comfort requirements. In the past I’ve struggled to find pretty bras that support and look good under clothing. Despite my scepticism I ordered a matching bra and pant set.

On Instagram I saw my purchase being made in a story video, and they posted a picture of my item on their feed. Luva Huva (a team of just five women) makes almost all orders from scratch and keeps very few items in stock, the care put into my order was reinforced by actually seeing the item on the sewing machine just days before it landed through my letter box.

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Luva Huva develops garments from eco-friendly materials (bamboo, soy, hemp and certified organic cotton). Using natural fabrics makes their items comfortable and breathable. Vintage or end of line fabrics are also used, in doing this, material that would otherwise be waste can be recycled.

My Luva Huva bra and knickers fit perfectly, are super comfortable and if I do say so myself, look amazing. They cost maybe double what I would usually spend on a lingerie set, however the quality is very obvious. Thanks Luva Huva for making what used to be a nightmare finding bras that fit and look good, to an easy ethical online purchase.

MUD Jeans & RePack

I am always on the look out for an ethical and environmentally friendly brand, so when I stumbled across MUD Jeans I got a little excited.

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MUD Jeans are produced in fair factories from recycled, organic or BCI cotton using around 80% less water and producing around 70% less CO2 compared to other denim producers.

MUD gives you the option to either purchase the jeans outright, or lease them. In leasing the jeans you pay a monthly fee for 12 months, then at the end of the 12 months you can either return to MUD or keep them. For me this is great as I tend to get bored of clothes quite quickly.

When my MUD package arrived, it landed through the letter box in a RePack bag. RePack is returnable and can be reused up to 20 times. When you return your RePack, which is free of charge, you receive a 10% discount email that can be used with any business that uses RePack.

Today I am off to return my RePack package, wearing my MUD Jeans and I cannot wait to use my 10% discount on another sustainable purchase.

Swedish Stockings

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Swedish Stockings was one of the first clothing brands I discovered when I began researching how to ‘consume consciously‘, and their tights are now a staple part of my weekend and work wardrobe.

Each year two billion pairs of tights are produced, worn and then chucked away. I myself was guilty of this. Being quite clumsy I was always laddering my tights and popping them straight in the bin, as lets be honest nobody wants to look like Effy off Skins anymore…

Luckily the Swedish brand have found an innovative solution to this problem.

Their quality tights are manufactured from recycled yarn, in zero waste factories that use environmentally friendly dye and solar power.

Also, not only do they provide a sustainable product, they put to good use your old tights, leaving space in your drawers for nice new ones. Once you have finished with your tights, of any brand, simply send them to their recycling centre. To top it off, when they receive your tights they send you over a discount code to use on your next Swedish purchase.

From what I can see they are not yet stocked anywhere in the UK, but if you do find them stocked locally please let me know. Swedish Stockings was a great first introduction for me into the world of ethical, clean, sustainable clothing. I hope this post has done the same for you.