March Challenge – Plastic Free Hair Removal

This month on the Eco Living Community Group we have looking at different ways of plastic/chemical free hair removal. I didn’t realise there were so many options! Here are a few we covered and some helpful info:

  • Epilating – Quite a straightforward (although sometimes painful) way of hair removal. Relatively waste free too. An epilator looks like an electric razor but it pulls the hairs out rather than cutting them. This means hair growth slows down and is finer and softer. It can be painful, especially the first few times, but it’s short lived! A good epilator can last for 10 years or more and the most recent one I bought has the ability to change the rechargeable battery, which is the only reason I’ve ever had to change them in the past. I’m hoping that this means it will last me even longer. Obviously you have the packaging that it comes in and once it is at the end of it’s life it needs taking to a small electrical point at the tip.
  • Dermaplaning – short term, best on facial hair, expensive at a salon but can be done at home.
  • Waxing or Sugaring – When I started looking into this I didn’t realise how big a minefield it was! I spoke to the lovely lady who waxes my underarms for me and found that not ALL hot wax is full of nasties like a lot of articles would have you believe. The one she uses is beeswax and tea tree oil. Simple. Why not ask your therapist next time you have an appointment? See if there is anything they can do to make the process less wasteful and if needed, less toxic? This article has some good points but is very bias toward sugaring.
  • Shaving – It is estimated that over 2 BILLION plastic razors are thrown away every year. I cannot even imagine what that must look like. The bulk of a disposable razor is non-biodegradable, leaving mounds of waste every year. Metal, Safety Razors on the other hand are fully recyclable. The blades last longer, the razor handle tends to come with a lifetime guarantee and can also be recycled at the end of it’s life. You also save a lot of ££££. Pair a safety razor with a soap shaving bar and you are on to an absolute PLASTIC FREE SHAVING WINNER!!! We have a lovely Safety Razor available to buy on our website and a Shaving Bar too – no need to look any further!

What is your routine? Is there anything you can do to change it up so it is less wasteful or toxic? Drop us a comment below if you have any other ideas and join the group to find out about April’s Challenge.

Ideas for Surviving Isolation!

Ideas for Surviving Isolation!

As schools close and more and more of us are starting to self isolate, I thought I would share a few ideas with you regarding the different items I stock and how they may help! Here goes…..

First Up – It has to be SOAP! In 72 hours I have sold 38 soap bars and the orders are still coming in thick and fast! Many people are complaining of dry and cracked skin or not being able to get hold of liquid soap. Well….I have plenty of this stuff in and at only £2.50 a bar (which will last a good 2-3 months!), it’s a bargain. Free from plastics and chemicals and full of oils and butters to nourish your skin (as well as being naturally anti-bacterial) – these soaps are a win win. Cut in half and use a slatted soap dish to make them last even longer! Oh, they can also be used in the shower! Click here to shop now.

Second Idea – Chocolate! This might seem like a strange one but we are going to have a lot of long days (and evenings) ahead of us and we all love a sweet treat every now and again. Instead of buying processed, sugar filled, plastic wrapped, bulk made rubbish, why not try some of our delicious raw, unprocessed, vegan Chocolate. All the bars come in compostable wrappers (they are working on an alternative for the snack packs). So many different goodies to choose from – take a look.

Next Up – Pegs. Again, this might not seem an obvious one but just think….2-3 weeks at home….milder, breezy Spring days – how much washing could you get done?!? And also….if you have young children at home, like I do, you may end up with loads of art work to hang up to dry! 2 jobs in one! Plus the pegs can be used for fastening pasta/rice/cereal bags to keep food fresher for longer. Only a few bags of these left in stock so grab yours now.

Mini Pack Wax Wraps Main

Penultimate idea – Wax Wraps. Now you all know how much I LOVE these and rave about them anyway, but I think that now is a good time to invest in them. I know a lot of people are batch cooking and prepping food in advance as well as cooking for relatives etc. The wraps are perfect for keeping food covered in the fridge or wrapping to take to a neighbour (a took some orange and almond cake to a neighbour a couple of weeks ago wrapped in one!). With five different pack sizes and over 20 designs – you’re sure to find something you love!

And finally – Bath & Body Products. I know people are starting to have issues buying basic hygiene items in Supermarkets due to a lot of panic buying but, I have lots of bases covered! Toothbrushes (adults and kids), Deodorant, Denttabs toothpaste, Body Butter, Bath Salts (might need a long soak in the bath after a few days home schooling!), Shampoo & Conditioner and Cotton Buds. You can get fully stocked over on the website and have it all delivered to your door by our wonderful posties!

I could go on – but I won’t! Hope you find some of this useful and don’t mind a light hearted blog post in these uncertain times. Stay safe everyone!

Jen

Growing Your Own Herbs to Reduce Food Miles

Growing Your Own Herbs to Reduce Food Miles

We know that we can all do more to decrease our carbon footprint and reduce our reliance on single use plastics. Some of us are making some great steps with the products we buy and this has a powerful impact on the planet. One area that not everyone feels confident in is growing your own food.

So if you are not ready to be fully self-sufficient and live off the land, have you considered making a small windowsill herb garden? Nothing too ambitious but enough to provide you with fresh tasty herbs all year round.

A windowsill herb garden will allow you to choose the seeds you want to plant and using successional planting have a continuous supply. The alternative can still be British grown and may not have travelled that far to get to your nearest supermarket. However it will have a best before date due to the poor quality of the soil. Often leading to them looking like this after a few days.

A plastic bag, a plastic pot and low quality soil lead to a less than fresh, herby experience.

Importantly the pot you get with these supermarket herbs is not yet recyclable. It is also of such poor quality that you would struggle to reuse it for any new seedlings. The plastic bag is also not readily taken by all councils as part of their kerbside collection.

So what this means is that for the garnish of one meal you have create a lot of single use plastic waste.

You will find that the best solution becomes a windowsill herb garden. You do not need to have green fingers as one packet of seeds contains around 500-1000 seeds. You can grow simple herbs like parsley without any specialist propagators and all you need are some terracotta pots or why not try and make your own planter?

Fill the pots with soil to about an inch below the top. Take a pinch of the seeds and sprinkle them evenly on the soil. Cover with a quarter of an inch of soil ensuring that all the seeds are covered. Now water well. You can place in a warm spot in the house and keep moist but not water logged. Once some green shoots start to show, by about day 14, you can then transfer to the window and a sunny spot. Even in winter they will grow, a bit more slowly but surely enough. In direct sunshine you may need around 4 weeks to get the parsley to a really tasty stage. Once they are growing you can cut them as you need them.

If you buy seeds from the UK and re-purpose the pot from single use plastics then consider the impact you are having to reduce your food miles. Plus you have the bonus of truly nutritious and healthy fresh herbs daily. We find that growing our own herbs means we use far more in our cooking. The cost reduction alone is amazing and really surprising as sometimes growing your own can really add up.

You can buy kits for planters, but you can also buy seeds and make your windowsill specific to your tastes! Coriander, Dill, Basil, Mint and Parsley are all amongst our favourites. We do grow a lot of our own food but the easiest ones to get the kids involved with are herbs. We think it is because of the fast turnaround. So now we have children who want a garnish on everything!

To find out more about herbs you can grow on your windowsill come and subscribe to us at https://homegrownherbgarden.com/

Thank you so much to our Guest Blogger, Alex, from The Mini Smallholder. If you’d like to follow what they do on social media check out their Twitter or Facebook.