A Life Less Plastic: Plastic Free Products

As #PlasticFreeJuly is drawing to a close for another year I thought I’d write a little update on my most recent plastic free product purchases. Single-use plastics are everywhere! Plastic is one of the most long-lasting materials in existence and there is a possibility that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 and that is a scary thought. Reducing the use of single use plastics is something that all of us can look at doing, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it certainly isn’t for me!

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Realistically I am never going to anywhere near 100% plastic free and neither is it really my aim. My aim is to reduce my plastic footprint by making wiser choices when purchasing everyday items and making more sustainable choices day to day. Most of my eco swaps and plastic free product purchases have been bathroom based. This is a great place to make a start on reducing single use plastics in the home as there is just so much scope

So here’s a list of plastic free products I’ve discovered and have been using over the past year or so.

Paper Tube Deodorant

My favourite has to the jasmine & rose deo stick by Earth Conscious. This one works really well for me and I’ve just started my 4th tube in fact. Great knowing that there is no bulky packaging going to be hanging around in landfill! Not only it it plastic free, cruelty free and vegetarian and vegan society approved but it has a lovely smooth, creamy easy to apply consistency. I like the fact that is applies st like any other deodorant, no extra effort required. It’s also made in the UK on the Isle of Wight and 10p of each purchase goes to the Marine Conservation Society. Having tried a few other natural deodorants that just didn’t cut the mustard I was pleased to find this one.

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Solid Facial Cleanser

I’ve been using the Lamazuna exotic facial cleansing bar for normal skin for around 6 weeks. Before discovering this little cloud shaped cleanser I’d been using a hot cloth cream cleanser that came packaged in plastic. I was happy with the product itself but not so much with the packaging as it was slightly excessive and meant that it wasn’t easy to use the last little bits of product. I’d also tried another solid cleansing bar just before this one but I really didn’t get on well with that one it was too ‘soapy’ for my liking and it stung my eyes.

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Reusable Wipes

It’s a fact that disposable wipes contain plastic and I’m sure you’ve all heard about the troublesome fatbergs caused by people flushing them. I use to use make up remover wipes years ago before I switched to a cream cleanser and muslin cloth, not due the plastic but for the benefit of my skin. Wipes just didn’t remove all the make up all that well even though the amount I wear has always been minimal. I used a combo of disposable cotton pads and muslin cloths before switching to the Imse Vimse cleansing pads. I’ve just treated myself to a pack of pretty ‘baby wipes’ in their garden print design. They’re light, incredibly soft and gentle feeling and made with with 100% organic cotton flannel.

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Lamazuna Vanilla and Coconut Shampoo

I’ve worked my way through many different brands and varieties of shampoo bars since I bought my first one around 2 years ago. I’ve settled on this one as it’s the one I’ve found that works best for my hair. I longer have to use conditioner at every hair wash and that says something as I use to have to condition twice before in an attempt to keep the frizz away and my hair got very knotty. You can read my review of the pine Lamazuna bar here.

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Soap Bars

I look for bars with minimal packaging, my current one came packaging free from my local health food shop. I use my soap bars with a sisal soap pouch. It’s great for helping the soap lather up and offering a light and gentle all over exfoliation as well as being able to use every last bit of the soap. Soap bags are a great alternative to plastic shower pouffes and washable too! I just need to convince my other half to get on board with this one, he’s a fan of shower gels and that means more plastic bottles

Toothpaste Tablets

I’m currently trying out Denttabs tablets that contain fluoride. A fairly recent purchase from the past month, this one is going to take some time for me to get use to. Not due to the products itself, rather down to one of my many ‘quirks’, being a bit funny with textures. I was slightly worried about how they would taste too, but all good on that front! I’d say that they leave my teeth feeling just as clean, if not slightly cleaner than my regular toothpaste. I haven’t totally given up regular toothpaste just yet as I still have some to use up. The ones that I have been using come in a bag made from corn starch bag that can be composted with food or garden waste, I’ve currently got mine stored in a small glass jar.

Mouthwash Tablets

I’ve got on really well with the Georganics spearmint tablets but I would like to find something that’s comes plastic free that does contains fluoride. Regular mouthwashes used to leave me with a slightly worrying burning sensation and with these being completely natural and non-toxic I don’t get that with these. So if you have any recommendations for any plastic free, fluoride containing mouthwash do let me know.

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EcoCoconut Scourers

AMAZING! Even my other half is on board with these, he loves them! I think that most people who have tried these become converts, I certainly am. One of the main things I like about them is that they last absolutely ages and offer really good value for money! They come in a twin pack which works out at less than £2.50 each and my 1st one lasted 8 months, pretty good going considering we don’t use a dishwasher. This one still has life left in in albeit it’s slightly tatty and tired look it’s been assigned to the tough jobs i.e when something gets burnt on…

EcoLiving Dish Soap Bar

This is my most recent swap, completely plastic free this soap bar comes with minimal packaging just a simple paper band. Super easy to use too, as I’m filling up the washing up bowl with water I rub the bar with my scourer and wash away💧and store it on a little dish by the side of the sink. This particular bar is made in the UK from vegan friendly, organic plant-based ingredients.

It’s great to see good products with minimal packaging and you know what they say…. it’s what’s inside that counts even if there isn’t too much of an outside!

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I’d love to hear about your top eco swaps and favourite plastic free products in the comments, I’m always on the lookout for more plastic free products

Banana Pancakes – Recipe

Pancake day is very nearly here so I thought I’d share this quick, simple banana pancake recipe with you. This can so easily be made vegan and they’re super tasty!

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Ingredients

  • 240ml milk (non dairy for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. The easiest method is to simply bung all the ingredients into a blender, liquids first. Blending until everything’s has been well combined and the consistency is smooth. This shouldn’t take too long.
  2. Leave the batter to rest for 10 minutes or so.
  3. Preheat your pan or griddle and lightly grease with a brush. Pour the batter on
  4. Cook until the top had started bubbling then gently flip over and cook until golden.
  5. Serve as is or with a topping of your choice!

My choice was inspired by Fairtrade Fortnights #SheDeserves campaign which is focusing on the people in particular the women working in the cocoa industry. I drizzled mine with some melted white and milk chocolate Cocoa Loco buttons. You could use the dark chocolate buttons for a vegan topping.

What would you top yours with?

My Top Eco Swaps

Plastic pollution is a hot topic at the moment, I couldn’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen recently from businesses who have stopped offering plastic straws for one. It’s great to see that eco friendly alternatives are being more widely discussed and are much more readily available these days. With it being #PlasticFreeJuly I thought I’d share some of the switches and changes that we have made. I must say that I am in no way an eco-expert and I’m not claiming to be perfectly eco, just someone trying to do a little bit to help, however small that may be!

 

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Shampoo Bars – This was probably the 1st conscious change I made to reduce my plastic usage. I tend to wash my hair more or less daily so I get through a fair amount of shampoo. The bars do take a little bit of getting used to at first because they are different to regular shampoo but once I got use to them they have just became the norm for me. Read my review on the Lamazuna pine shampoo bar here

Bamboo Toothbrushes – It is advised that we should change our toothbrushes every 3 months. This means 4 brushes per person per year going into landfill. One reason that bamboo brushes are more eco friendly than their plastic counterparts is that they are made from a sustainable, natural, plant based material. Bamboo is also biodegradable and I also really like the natural look and feel of bamboo brushes. Click here to see the one I’m currently using. They work just as well any other toothbrushes so no sacrifice made by that switch!

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Plastic Free Deodrant – This is my most recent switch in fact it only arrived last week. I’m currently using one by a brand called Ben & Anna. It’s a solid stick deodrant and the casing is made from paper and contains no plastic which means it’s fully recyclable. It’s available in 7 different scents and I went for the Pink Grapefruit. Some eco and natural deodrants can take some getting use to but so far so good with this one. I have high hopes for this one as I’ve heard really good things about it. It’s the best weather to test it in with the recent heatwave.

Muslin Cloths & Cotton Make Up Wipes – I stopped using disposable make up removing wipes about 6 years ago, mainly because I’d heard they were bad for your skin. I started using muslin cloths and a cream cleanser and my skin definitely improved because of it. Muslin cloths also feel like they give my skin a light exfoliation. I’ve also stopped using cotton wool pads and have switched to cotton make up pads for things like toner but I do sometimes also use these for make up removal with my cleanser and they are great for around the eye area as they are much softer than muslin. It’s a bonus that you never need to remember to buy wipes and in the long run it’s saving some pennies.

Beeswax Wraps – I only used cling film occasionally when leftovers needed covering etc. so thought I’d give Beeswax wraps a go. I don’t think I’d ever go back if I’m being honest, cling film is just a big ffaf most of the time. I always found it difficult to get it off the roll without it tearing and when I managed to, it would often bunch up. Beesewax wraps are already cut so need to worry about that part and they are more rigid meaning they are so much easier to work with. You simply get the right sized wrap to cover your desired container and the heat from your hand helps ‘mould’ the wrap around the edges. I have the Abeego variety pack from Babi Pur.

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Reusable Water Bottles – This is probably the change that has made the most impact on our plastic usage as a family. I used to buy water bottles often when on days out and even bought multipacks during hot weather to keep in the fridge at home so I was probably going through a fair few plastic bottles. I like to drink my water ice cold, so I like to use insulated containers. It now just feels a bit wrong to buy water in a plastic bottle when I know that’s only going to be used once. My most used bottle is actually an insulated tumbler, in the Winter months I was using it for tea but during the recent hot weather it’s been refilled multiple times a day with cold water and sometimes ice in an attempt to keep cool & hydrated. I did use to have an insulated classic bottle too but my partner ‘borrowed’ it about 3 months ago after claiming he didn’t need one!

Reusable Straws – I bought these for my 3 year old to use, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of children like drinking straws and my boy is no exception. We use the Klean Kanteen stainless steel straws. There is no need to worry about them feeling funny or damaging your teeth as they have a silicone tip. We have the mixed colour pack so my boy still gets to choose his colour. I also bought myself a  lid & straw set for my tumbler.

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Reusable Bags – Simple, simple, simple! That’s if you remember to take your reusable bags with you when you go shopping! I’ve got a bit of a reputation for forgetting things! I am much better at remembering my bags these days though and haven’t bought a plastic bag in months, I would definitely carry my shopping to the car or in my handbag if I could before buying a plastic bag. I like to have a cotton tote in my handbag at all times and like to make sure I’ve got atleast one big bag in my car boot for when I do a   food shop.

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Grow Your Own – We started growing our own fruit & veg earlier this year and although we’ve not experienced the full benefits of it yet, it will take time (and it’s a learning curve) it’s great to know exactly where your food comes from and what has been used to treat them, if anything. You can’t get more local than your own garden, no air or even road miles involved! I’m hoping the novelty of growing our own doesn’t wear off! I also hope it will be a way of educating our boy about where some of his food comes from and more importantly I hope it will encourage him to eat his greens because at the moment it seems an impossible task! Any tips on that front would be greatly appreciated! It’s also a good idea just to be more mindful when doing your weekly shop too, going for the packaging free produce is an obvious eco choice and can often work out cheaper too!

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There are many, many, many more switches that could potentially be made to be more eco, let me know about your eco swaps in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the post.
Bye for now,
Emma

 

The links in this blog post are to Babi Pur. You can get 10% off your order on their website by using the code BUDDY (some exclusions apply). They have a lovely range of eco and ethical goodies from bathroom essentials to organic children’s clothing!

Lamazuna Solid Shampoo – REVIEW

I’ve been using shampoo bars for the best part of a year now & was delighted when Babi Pur were going to be stocking a new range by Lamazuna. With all the talk about zero-waste products and single use plastics, shampoo bars seemed like a really easy way for me to cut back on my unnecessary waste. For my hair type I chose the Normal Hair – Scots Pine solid shampoo bar and I’ve been using it for around 10 weeks now. I hadn’t tried anything by Lamazuna before & had only used one other type of shampoo bar before this so I was looking forward to see how this one would work out.

The bar is a decent size and is shaped with ridges and it fits nicely in the palm of your hand. It’s simple to use & is used in a similar way as you would  regular a soap bar. Lather it up with wet hands and apply it to wet hair. I found it lathered up a fair amount for a bar but took a little more work to get the lather than with regular shampoo. The pine scent is only faint but comes out more when the bar is rubbed directly on your hair.

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The shampoo bar after nearly 2 weeks use

Comparing this one to my previous shampoo bar, my hair definitely feels more cleansed. My previous bar although I wouldn’t say it wasn’t ‘bad’ as such, would leave a slight waxy feeling residue on my hair. The Lamazuna bar feels like it leaves no residue at all. As I tend to wash my hair every other day, sometimes more and I have long curly (and unruly) hair I need a shampoo that works well and this one seems to do what it needs to. Another thing I like about the bar is that it hasn’t gone mushy and fallen apart like my previous one did, It get’s slightly annoying when you’re trying to wash your hair and mushy bits and pieces are coming off onto your hair.

Overall I’m really happy with the shampoo bar and will definitely be repurchasing. I now just need to find a conditioner bar so that I can say goodbye to more plastic bottles! With my hair I couldn’t imagine going without any conditioner, it would be more frizz central than usual!

The bar after 10 weeks of regular use

A little bit about Lamazuna – They are a French natural cosmetics brand that and use only natural and vegan ingredients. All Lamazuna products have minimum packaging and only reusable or recycled packaging is used. 2% of all their profits are donated to an Amazon rain forest afforestation project in Peru. Lamazuna’s philosophy centers around fair working conditions, eco-friendly and traditional production and the idea of zero waste.

If you’d like to try out the Lamazuna shampoo bars for yourself you can get 10% of the code BUDDY at Babi Pur

Let’s get this blog on the road!

Welcome to my little corner on the internet, World Wide Web or whatever else you prefer to call it!

I’ve thought about starting up my own blog for what seems like ‘donkeys years’ and I have actually started a couple of times but never really got into it properly,  life just seems to take over.

I’ve worked in marketing for 8 years now mainly focusing on online marketing but also getting involved with print and design. I’m used to writing copy for websites and social media posts etc. for businesses but have wanted a space that was my own  for a long time. I’ve always enjoyed writing and wanted to blog as a space to write whatever I felt like writing about. In my younger years I was an avid story writer I’m also a keen amateur hobbyist photographer and it’s not often that I don’t have my camera with me. Blogging will give me that extra excuse to get the camera out, create flatlays and also a place to maybe share some of the hundreds of photos I take.

I’m not quite sure that my blog will have a ‘niche’ and I’ll probably write about a mixture of things if I’m being honest. Life isn’t just about one thing and never sticks to one topic so why should anyone’s blog be?

Anyway thank you if you’ve stuck around to the end, I hope I didn’t ramble on too much!! If you’ve got your own blog feel free to leave your links below & I’ll pop over to say hello!

I’m also over on Instagram as @OurLittleSnippets

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Let’s get this blog on the road