Reducing Waste

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On the 31st of October, I decided to take the plunge and change my standard, typical fashion blog into a slow fashion blog. You can read more about that decision here.

Like most people, I have been horrified by the devasting impact we, as humans, have on the environment and I have come to the sobering realisation that I am not doing nearly as much as I can to help the planet. For a few months, I have been researching what I can do to reduce the waste I create and today I finally took action. Eventually, I want to be a ‘zero-waster’ and produce next to no waste. When I say ‘eventually’, I mean in the next few weeks/months because I feel a huge sense of urgency to change my habits.

Earlier, I went on an adventure to The Source Bulk Foods in Chiswick. The primary reason was to get more soap for our apartment (thrilling, I know). While I was there, I also managed to pick up a few supplies that will help me reduce my waste in the long-run. In total everything came to a fairly pricey £43 but I choose to think of this as a heavy initial investment that will save me money in the future. Anyway, it wouldn’t be completely far-fetched to say that I am so driven by guilt for being ignorant about our collective damage to the planet that I would have paid substantially more if I had to.

I didn’t spend too long in the store but I will try to provide a quick overview for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a bulk food store. A bulk food store is a concept focused on reducing unnecessary packaging. You bring your own containers or buy them there, weigh them, fill them and weigh them again. I know the idea of carrying several containers across London sounds like a nightmare but at least from my perspective, it really makes you consider whether or not you really need the food that you bring into your home. I haven’t bought anything there yet but I am going to have to go in a week or so as I am desperately low on tea.

Alas, I am going to briefly share with you the products I bought and why they are a better alternative to their plastic counterpart. To clarify, this is still a fashion blog, however, given how important this waste reduction is to me, I have decided to share it here.

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Water bottle – £22.95

First, I want to start with the most expensive item – the water bottle. I am going to be honest: I buy plastic bottles almost every day. I cannot get on the tube without buying a bottle of Coca-cola and I never have the foresight to plan ahead and fill a water bottle. I am also one of those people who carries as little as possible on their person so I greatly dislike carrying anything in bulky in my hands or bag. That, however, is due to habit and I am deeply committed to change my behaviour.

Not only is this water bottle equipped with an easy-to-carry handle but it can hold both hot and cold liquids. It claims to keep liquids warm for 12 hours and cool for 24. It’s also BPA free. Even though this was my most expensive purchase, I know I will use it multiple times a day.

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Toothbrush £3.95

My friend Miranda recently picked up a bamboo toothbrush while she was in Portland and accidentally left it in my bathroom. I knew roughly what it was and the idea behind it but I had never really given much thought towards purchasing one myself. Then, like many people eventually do, I realised just how truly awful plastic is and I became disgusted at the thought of bringing any more of it into my home. The handle is biodegradable and even though I am not entirely sure about the bristles, this option is definitely less harmful than buying another plastic brush. Admittedly, I am slightly cautious to use it as I read online that the bristles are sometimes made out of pig hairs, so until I find out for sure, I am going to keep it in its box.

I recently read a list of suggestions of what do with old plastic toothbrushes and my favourite by far is repurposing them to help remove stains. This definitely the best option if you spill coffee and tea as prolifically as I do.

I also picked up a travel case. Most of the time when I fly, I chuck my toothbrush in a plastic ziplock bag. This is another incredibly wasteful habit I have to stop.

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Hand soap £1.75 (each)

Plastic bottles of soap haunt me. Even when I wasn’t actively trying to reduce my waste, I used to buy the large refills instead of the tiny ones. This wasn’t meant to be a preachy post but if you take one thing from this, please don’t buy the little bottles of plastic soap. They last like two weeks at most and they will be left on this planet for centuries after you.

These peppermint & poppyseed soap bars were just as affordable as plastic soap and came with zero packaging! I know a lot of people may not have access to bulk buy stores but you can always try going to a local craft or farmers market in search of package free bars. I am not entirely sure but I am pretty certain LUSH carry soap bars as well as shampoo and body wash bars.

I am not sure what I am going to use my empty container for as of yet but I am sure I will find a way to repurpose them.

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Not pictured: 2 metal straws and 1 straw cleaner. I am not a massive straw user but I figured it would be a good idea to keep a straw in my handbag should I ever find myself somewhere where it would be more comfortable to drink from one. I bought a second one in case we have a guest over who prefers drinking from straws.

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I’ll end on this photo. Since moving into my apartment a month ago, I have gone through two bottles of handsoap in my ensuite alone. It will probably take 450 years or more for that plastic to decompose. On the right, you can see one of the bars of soap I bought today. It came as you see it – in zero packaging and I am happy that I will actually outlive it.

Final bill:

Water bottle – £22.95

Toothbrush – £3.95

Toothbrush travel case – £5.50

Peppermint & poppyseed soap – £1.75 each (£2.50 together)

Stainless steel straws – £1.95 each (£3.90 together)

Straw cleaner – £1.30

Grand total – £43.10

 

This post was a little different than normal but I hope it was compelling nonetheless. I never want to come across like I am preaching or telling people what to do. I really recommend reading my about me page here. I recently updated it to explain what this blog will become. This is still primarily a fashion blog but I want to include environmentally conscious posts where I can as it is an issue that is very important to me.

Thank you for reading!

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