This month has been up and down with my plastic challenge, some fails and some great new discoveries. First up is a fantastic find:
I have been wanting to find Swedish Stockings here in England and discovered they are stocked at The Pantry Underwear in Liberty as well as their own shop in Islington. They do cost more than my usual Marks & Spencer opaque tights, but proved to be so lovely to wear and the plus is they are made from recycled and sustainable fibres, in a factory that is solar-powered. You can also send them your laddered tights and join their recycling club, this will give you a 10% discount on new purchases. Ms T bought some fish net ankle socks and loves those. So next time you are about to throw out laddered tights, stop and post them off.
I am still using Mangle & Wringer, the laundry powder is wonderful and there is no need to add any fabric softener. Made with just 100% coconut oil soap. Our 100% natural formula is free from synthetic detergents, phosphates, optical brighteners, enzymes, fragrances and preservatives. The bleach is perfect for whites, cleaning the loo & lots more.
My final find from As Nature Intended, biodegradable swing bin liners and refuse sacks. They also have some packaging free items, Ecover refils - only in Ecover packaging, drygoods and a few oils. It's around the corner from The Source bulk foods in Chiswick, W4 are so lucky! The is a Borough Wines, great butcher (will wrap in paper only) and greengrocer stall on the High Road. We use about 2 swing bin liners a week - not full as my kitchen has a small built-in bin.
I am having problems recycling foil as my local council & 'recycling centre' - the dump - don't have a collection point. I've found one but it is a difficult place to get to and they can refuse entry as I don't live in the catchment area. The cat is a tricky customer when it comes to food and although he is now weened off plastic pouches, still have a problem finding a tinned food he likes. Any ideas on good tinned cat food in sauce or gravy needed.
This is not a sponsored post and all views are my own. I only recommend items I have bought and tried myself.
I was appalled to hear yesterday about Sainsbury's adding even more plastic packaging, you can read more about it here and here. Has no one ever told Sainsbury's that may be they should consider giving advice on washing hands after touching raw meat instead of adding to the #plasticpollution problem?
Did you watch the One Show last night, about #plasticpollution? I do hope that the Sainsbuy's board and share holders were watching (as well as all the supermarkets and shops)! Ok, rant over. This month i have got into more of a routine and helped enormously with the discovery of Source Bulk Foods, Odd Box and a couple of amazing butchers, groucery shopping has become easier. Source have risotto rice, popcorn, baking powder, organic sugar, sweets and so much more, if you're in London it is so worth a visit. This month I switched to their shampoo and conditioner refill, so delighted to have found it there. Also trialed a facial cleanser bar and found it too drying for my face, a friend suggested Neals Yard - so will head there for ideas. Any suggestions? I liked the Made for Life balm, although prefer a facial cream wash - Liz Earle's cleanse and polish is my all time go to and sadly that's in double plastic and not refillable.
Georganics on Etsy, they have toothpaste, mouthwash & natural floss as well as bamboo toothbrushes. As soon as my toothpaste is finished will try, they also have coconut oil pulling, has anyone tried this? Sounds intriguing.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP5Fa6A5lFM?rel=0] Finally, while pottering around my favorite garden centre with my youngest nephew, we kept seeing plastic pots and decided to try growing things from seeds. I recently bought a fabulous new magazine called The Flower Patch, in there they show how to make origami seed pots. Fun to make and great at recycling old newspapers, my garden in super small and I don't need loads - the loo roll and egg box ideas in the clip above are great too.
I thought I'd round-up on January's plastic detox and what I've found easiest to do and what I am planning to keep doing.
Plastic in tea bags was a major shock, always thinking they were biodegradable and finding out we had been drinking tea infused with PVC was shocking. I have been trying various loose teas including herbal and will keep on with this, Brew Tea is delicious. At home the charcoal filter is working well and I'm going to continue using these. Finding plastic free fruit and vegetables at a good price was trickier in a supermarket, OddBox has been brilliant and also seen our meals change as we use the different vegetables that arrive. Switching to a milkman was the quickest and easiest swap of all, we now have milk and juice delivered in glass bottles. Milk & More is online and so easy to use. I've also been baking our own bread on Sunday's and find it relaxing kneading/bashing the dough, also have no plastic waste - so win all round. In the kitchen I've also started using a compost bin (luckily our council has a curbside collection) and this has cut down the amount I place in the general rubbish, also noticed our recycling bin is a lot less - so gradually making headway there. I have to use bin bags and have switched to a biodegradable version from Baldwins.
Flora, Poppy & Lurpak have all had their food changed and they don't seem to mind, Lurpak took the change from pouches to tin's trickier. And I guess like most pet owners we are nothing but slaves to their total happiness. The dogs love the Lily's Kitchen and even though I thought the cost was high, have worked out that buying direct with a huge bag, makes the cost the same if not a little less than their original food - just this is plastic free and compostable. As a result of the changes with pet food I have been shopping in Asda, the tinned cat food is so much cheaper there. Noticed they have quite a few loose vegetables and herbs, more than Waitrose & Sainsbury's. If I buy something that does have plastic wrapping I fold it up and send it back to the chief executive with a polite letter asking them to consider using biodegradable packaging. Not had a reply as yet. Find this method easier than dumping the plastic bags at the till and may have more of an impact with the decision makers rather than the poor cashier who doesn't have any say on how things are run.
Plastic free cleaning has been a curve, not keen on the vinegar & water smell. I have switched to Bio D and plan to use refills of the washing up liquid and the laundry powder works really well, as with all the Bio D, they contain no harmful ingredients and are Cruelty Free. In terms of bathroom cleaning I haven't swapped anything as my regular cleaner lasts a long time (bathroom Method), have stopped buying bleach for the loo and planning on experimenting with loo bombs. Think the box of Who gives a crap loo roll will keep us going for months and definitely recommend it.
Bathroom cupboard wise things have been changing slowly, after my cleanser ran out last week switched from a plastic pump to a glass pot with metal lid and its lovely. Different as it's a balm not a wash, I use home-made muslin cloths to remove and definitely recommend this. Also switched my moisturizer close to the beginning of January from plastic pot to glass pot, although it does have a plastic lid. If only Waitrose would consider putting the baby bottom butter in a glass pot! Using an amazing bamboo toothbrush with compostable bristles and it is doing really well, I found this at Hetu. Finally switched from a plastic razor to Edwin Jagger British made metal razor that uses old-fashioned razor blades, looking into the recycling of the blades. Switching from liquid soap has not happened as yet, I use large bottles and the solid soap I've tried from lush hasn't been all that great. Will start switching and experimenting, Dr Bronner liquid soap was recommended to me, although this again comes in plastic bottles. Shampoo & conditioner has been an ongoing challenge, one suggestion from Kate Arnell from Eco-Boost was to buy a bottle of shampoo from her hairdresser and they then refill there on - great idea if your hairdresser will do that. Will keep on the search, so far all none plastic options from Lush have failed on my hair.
If you have any tips at all, or products you've found that work for you, do get in touch! Anyone found an eco pair of tights?
If you'd like to try Who gives a crap plastic free loo roll - here's a code to get £5 off https://www.talkable.com/x/jeecau
This post was not sponsered and all views my own.
This week has been a little easier, getting in to the swing of things. A lovely friend gave me a stainless steel straw she found at Lakeland, planning on making a little pouch for it so I can take it around in my handbag. I managed to find a bamboo toothbrush at Hetu, has nylon4 bristles that do biodegrade. It's proved to be a better toothbrush than the bamboo version I had from Waitrose last year.
I am lucky not to live very far from Borough Market, the butcher and fish monger there both wrapped my purchases in paper - happy not to use plastic. I also found Borough Wines, they have a great selection of wines, including sulphate free natural wines and have a refillable bottle. I'm no wine connoisseur and enjoyed the rose, another great place for sulphate free wines is The Organic Wine Club and they have a brilliant selection, including some excerlent prosecco and one amazing sparkling red. My local farmer's market was another good source of plastic free foods, the olive seller was happy for me to take my own pots. The Old Post Office bakery also have a stall there and their sourdough bread is great, again wrapped in paper, although I have been making bread every week now for quite some time. Started off ok ish with the odd heavy disaster and now the bread works out well, so no need to buy bread wrapped in plastic.
I discovered an interesting shop called Baldwins in Elephant & Castle, I managed to find Bio-D laundry powder (plastic free) and Laundry Bleech (plastic free). A friend also discovered a place in East Dulwich that sells BioD refills, if your interested in trying it and not in SE London their website has a map of places to buy and also refill. Speaking of refills, if you carry a bottle of water and want to stop and top up, there is now an app to help you find a place.
Last week I ordered a dozen mens white handkerchiefs, so I could always have 1 or 2 in my bag and no need for plastic wrapped 'pocket tissues'. Mens handkerchiefs are larger and much more useful than the dainty ladies versions, although do search ebay for super cute vintage children handkies!
Finally, hair care. Lush have a solid shampoo, it works although can be rather harsh as it does contain sodium lauryl sulfate, still searching for a good hydrating conditioned. The lush solid I tried was terrible in terms or ease of use and it just didn't work for my hair or on my dog (she is a cavalier king charles with long ears that need conditioning). Next I tried a conditioning treatment and that also failed, if anyone has any good recommendations for conditioner do please let me know. As a disclaimer, my hair is highlighted and does need a good conditioner to stop it looking and feeling like straw.