10 Less Waste And Eco-Friendly Swaps

Why is reducing waste important?

Not only does it cost a lot of money, energy and natural resources to manufacture and transport new products, it also costs a great deal to process these products as waste once we’re done with them. The more rubbish we put in the ground, the more our landfills release toxic gases and substances that contribute to climate change, can kill plants and animals and contaminate our water supplies.

Making small changes in our everyday lifestyle choices can make a powerful difference to the health of all living things and our planet.
Below I share a few environmentally friendly swaps that help me to reduce my household waste. My family consists of two adults and three young children so even eliminating just the shampoo and shower gel bottles from our bathrooms made a considerable difference in the amount of waste we create.

My 10 less waste swaps

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  1. A good selection of cloth shopping bags is always handy. I currently have three in my handbag one of which I use as a wash bag for all my bits and bobs (which doubles as an extra bag if I need it). It is so easy to swap between handbags as I only have to throw in my cloth bags and go!20180301_144614
  2. Swap plastic straws with reusable ones that you can also carry in your handbag for when you are out and about. Also, I carry with me a set of cutlery for every member of the family so that I won’t have to use the plastic ones.ED_fruits
  3. I try to shop for unpackaged fruit and veg (and adjust my cooking to whatever produce I can source each time). I have now subscribed to receive a 100% UK organic vegetable box which includes seasonal (unpackaged most of the times) & locally sourced produce.
    Local markets and farm shops are also an alternative option.
    Bulk produce shops where you can shop using your own containers.
    Another great home box subscription company (if you live in London) is the oddbox.co.uk. They deliver all the wonky vegetables and fruits that producers throw away because they don’t look perfect for the grocery shops.
    Bulk buy packaged items such as pasta, rice and flour (I make my own bread). Obviously, when I can’t avoid packaging I look for items in recyclable/reusable containers.
    Use the supermarkets’ fresh produce counter instead of buying the packaged food in the fridge isles (try asking them to use your own containers).
    cafe-range_espresso_8oz
  4. Say no to one use plastic coffee cups and use your own travel mug instead. I love my KeepCup cork edition and I use it all the time. Also, I don’t buy bottled water, fizzy drinks, squash or any other drinks in plastic bottles.20180301_114139
  5. Replace the liquid hand soap, shampoo & body wash for a soap bar. There are plenty of choices for soaps with natural ingredients that are good for our skin and the environment. This is a big one as the plastic containers in which these products come in are mostly non-recyclable! A couple of websites for soap bars, noplasticshop etsy.20180301_114610
  6. Empty glass jars can be used to store your food instead of using plastic containers. Also, Tiffin stainless steel containers are ideal for pack lunches and snacks. I now use my plastic containers only to store non-food items.20180301_141710
  7. I have replaced my water bottle (and my children’s) with a stainless steel one. It keeps my water cool and healthy. I prefer to use this instead of any other type of plastic bottle even if it is BPA free. You may not be aware but BPA can also be found in canned goods, receipts and tickets printed on thermal paper, dental sealants, plastic wrap (cling film), one use paper cups, plastic food containers and some kitchen utensils.20180301_131105
  8. Also, I do not use cling film anymore but instead I use glass containers with lids or cloth dish covers (have a look on etsy for some great cotton options).
    I avoid foil by cooking in ovenproof dishes.
    Another great swap is making kitchen cloths out of old cotton shirts or towels and use them instead of kitchen paper.20180301_114856
  9. I no longer use kitchen scourer sponges but I replaced them with wooden or bamboo pot scrubbing brushes. For cleaning the surfaces I do not buy kitchen cleaning products but I make my own. This is an easy one to make: mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for an all-purpose spray cleaner (with the addition of a few drops of essential oils to tackle the strong vinegar smell).
  10. Finally, I always try to find second-hand items before I buy new. A few website suggestions: ebay, FaceBook, freecycle,
    nextdoor, secondhand.org.uk, vestiairecollective  (designer fashion) , ThredUp (clothing/accessories), oxfam.org.uk/shop/,  preloved.co.uk.

However difficult the less waste/plastic free lifestyle may be for our fast pacing lives,  every little step really counts towards maintaining the integrity of our planet.  It is all about resetting our mindset to think before we consume.
I still buy products that are in plastic containers (vegan yogurts and most of the vegan cheese) and I am still working on cutting down waste and buy less, in so many other aspects of my life.

Nevertheless, considering the whole point of zero waste living is to consume less, make more of your own, use what you already have and repair what is broken – I am happy to give it a try.

What are your thoughts about the less waste movement? What are you struggling with to cut down the most?


(Please note that affiliate links are marked with *)

Zero waste produce shops

TheZeroWasteShop 101 High Street, Devon TQ9 5PF
Hetu  201 St. Johns Hill, London SW11 1TH
Wholefoods Market Different locations

Products mentioned in the blog

Cloth Tote Bags*
Reusable Straws*
KeepCup*
Tiffin*
KleenKanteen*
Pot scrub brush*

 

 

 

 

 

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Revitalise Your Wardrobe In 5 Steps

  1. Take out of your wardrobe anything that is non-clothing and put it in a different storage space. Remove all the out-of-season clothes and pack them away in storage bags.
  2. Now the difficult part: Remove any clothing/ shoe or accessory items  that:
  • you have not worn in the last 12 months
  • do not fit you
  • are not comfortable
  • look old and tired
  • are old-fashioned
  • not flattering
  • not the right colour
  • clothes you can’t wear for 3 different occasions, with 3 other outfits in your wardrobe and over 2-3 seasons

3. Manage your wardrobe: Put your clothes together into different garment types: hang all your tops together, skirts, trousers, dresses and jackets. Organise your knitwear, accessories and shoes in clear boxes and baskets.

4. Time to have fun! Create your own outfits by mixing key pieces (skirts and trousers/leggings) with different combinations of tops/ blouses/shirts, jackets, knitwear and accessories/ handbags and shoes. Hang them together as outfits – you can even use clear zipped dress covers to put the complete outfit together with the accessories and perhaps the shoes included! Do this for your work-wear and casual/smart casual.

5. Finally: write down a list of clothing, accessories and shoe items that perhaps are missing from your wardrobe or need replacing. This will be your wish list when you go shopping next.

This is everything you need to do to have an uncluttered and organised space for your clothes.

Good luck and enjoy your revitalised wardrobe!

Top 10 Tips To Help You Make The Most Out Of your Clothes

Here are my top 10 tips to help you make the most out of your clothes and feel much more organised this season. If you only wear 20% of the clothes in your wardrobe, this one’s for you!

  1. Arrange your clothes per lifestyle first (workwear, casualwear, weekend, going out, sportswear, beachwear etc) – and then per items of clothing (bottoms together, shirts/blouses, dresses etc.) – keep in your wardrobe only the clothes you wear a lot.
  2. Look after your clothes: knitwear always folded, hang the trousers and skirts in soft grip trouser and skirt hangers.
  3. Accessories need to be accessible! Have them on display so you can see what you have. If they are in a box you will forget about them.
  4. Shoes & Handbags: place them neatly on bookshelves or take photos of them (if they need to be kept in boxes) and save them in your phone for easy access.
  5. Make sure that your clothes fit you. Well-fitting clothes will complement your body, whereas ill-fitting garments will draw attention to your problem areas.
  6. Book a professional bra fitting every 9 months or so, it can help you drop a dress size!
  7. If you feel comfortable and confident in a specific outfit, then it is the right style for you. Look for similar items when shopping.
  8. Make a wish list before you go shopping and stick to it!
  9. Invest in quality basics.
  10. It is a fact that 70% of the world wears second-hand clothing. So next time you want to go shopping, try checking out a second-hand store or look for a clothes swap event near you! (Check out my Walk In Wardrobe™ events here)

Less Is More

Being frugal and savvy means carefully choose what to buy based on your practical needs and create a freedom that you never thought existed.

Having less IS more and here is how it works:

Less clothes to choose from – more time to put yourself together in the mornings

Less accessories – more versatile pieces that go with everything and make a statement

Less objects around your house – opens up space, frees your mind from worries, helps you slow down your life and embrace practicality and technology over consumerism.

Less is more means that your earnings can go further hence you can feel more fulfilled by the successes in your life and your business – big or small.

Less is more means that you CAN put yourself in the centre of your world as family, friends and work can be the surrounding circle that cherish you and gives you positive encouragement to thrive.

Less is more at work means that you dismiss the small distractions and work on one project at a time. Since you are in charge of your workload, going one step at a time will help you focus and succeed faster and with fewer mistakes.

By forcing ourselves to consider our purchases seriously, we are more likely to buy clothes we genuinely like and appreciate, rather than accumulating low-cost impulse buys.

The ideal consequence of this way of shopping, if you give it a try, isn’t just to buy less, but also to buy better.  It’s a philosophy that has something in common with the guiding principle of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has developed a near-religious following. It dictates that only items that spark joy should have a place in your wardrobe!

Amazing how that clarity makes us shift our lives and give it a forum for expressing our dreams.