Happy Monday friends! I’m feeling determined and am lining up several posts for this week, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are 5 things that have caught my eye…
Sainsbury’s is leading a really exciting initiative to encourage shoppers to eat less meat! This involves improved visibility for vegetarian and vegan products alongside meat options and other plans. Companies are cottoning on to the environmental importance of eating less meat! If you are ever in doubt as to whether veganism makes a difference, consider this one of the many reasons why it does!
Sometimes taking steps for the environment seem like massive sacrifices. Sometimes we think it’s only worth it we make a big impact. Today I thought I’d share a few things I’m trying that still count towards my effort, however small they may be.
The window sill shenanigans are starting again! I know it doesn’t really make a major difference to the amount of food I have in, but re-growing veg in water is the first step in what I hope will be the beginning of growing food. It’s pretty amazing watching things grow! In a week my spring onions went from an inch long to a foot long and I chopped them up to use in a curry (below); now the roots are back in water again! Next week I’ll find a use for my regrown leek, and I also want to get a lettuce growing. See here for all the veg you can regrow in water.
I was eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch today when I noticed the peanut butter has palm oil in it. It’s so annoying! Ever since I watched Before the Flood (see my review here) I’ve been super motivated not to endorse that industry, but I haven’t been too successful. It’s in so many things! However, the next time I buy peanut butter I’m hunting down one without palm oil.
In general I’m alright at avoiding printing. My train/plane/coach tickets are always on my phone, and other than that I have very few reasons to actually print anything… eeeexcept for uni. We get a lot of handouts, which there isn’t a lot I can do about, but I also have to do a lot of reading from online books. I used to print out the readings every week so that no matter where I was, I could get to them. A week ago, I decided to just try and read off the screen and take notes instead, then print if I really felt the need. I have yet to feel that need. I think I used to tell myself ‘it’s all very well trying to be better to the environment, but I NEED to print this stuff for my degree!‘ when actually it turned out not to be such a massive thing. Hoping to keep this not-printing thing up as much as possible going forward!
Every Wednesday I go to the cinema on my own to watch a foreign film. It’s my me-time. Part of this mid-week treat is buying myself some popcorn. I could make it myself, but I don’t have that much time on a Wednesday, plus it’s nice to give back to the uni cinema whose prices are insanely cheap and staff are lovely. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been bringing back the same box that I bought popcorn in for the first film. They refill it and at the end of the film I pop it back in my bag for next week. The cardboard has softened a little but it works just fine, and I must’ve saved a good dozen other boxes from going in the recycling. It’s super simple and easy, but it all helps!
I got a worm bin back in the Autumn, and whilst that has helped to absorb a bit of my food waste, they don’t eat quite fast enough at the moment to deal with everything I create (and then there’s the odd thing they can’t eat like onions and citrus). I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to chuck that stuff in the general bin in the kitchen until it hit me recently that I could take it into uni where they have food waste bins. About once a week, when I have a decent amount of scraps, I’ll take them onto campus and put them in one of their bins. Landfill diverted again, woo!
Hullo. So, for about a year now, I’ve been using water only on my face. If you told me a few years ago that I would now be leaving my face completely alone to do WHATEVER IT WANTS (!) I would’ve been very sceptical to say the least. My skin, from pretty much the day of my 13th birthday was spotty. More than averagely spotty. It did get a bit better as I got older but I still suffered into my late teens. I tried all the face washes and creams and even got prescribed this horrible roll-on thing from my doctor which admittedly did sort out the problem, but made my face so dry that I decided I’d rather go back!
I didn’t notice a significant change until I went vegan. A few months into my new, healthy diet (I decided whilst cutting out animal products, to actually pay attention to what I put in my body and up the wholefoods) I noticed that the problem areas I still had left were clearing up. Nowadays I would say my face is manageable. I still get the occasional one or two, but it’s no longer a concern. My skin feels on the whole quite healthy.
I don’t have a routine as such for washing my face. I’ll normally wet it when I’m in the shower (so around 4 times a week) then any other time if it feels too oily I use cold water. If I notice dryness or dead skin, I give my face a brush in small circular motions either whilst dry followed by a water wash, or I rub the wet brush over a bar of soap and apply to my face then water wash.
Unlike some branded face washes, this method doesn’t in itself hold the answers. In other words, it won’t sort out your face if it isn’t already healthy. Here are some tips for going water-only…
Eat well– lots of fresh produce, less refined sugars and oily foods. Basically eat healthily. I really notice a difference in the oiliness of my skin and usually break out after I’ve eaten badly. If you are eating well and you still have a significant problem, it’d be worth seeking advice from an expert in nutrition because certain foods affect people differently.
Drink water– same as above; water has a dramatic effect on the clearness of skin. Drinking water helps expel what your body no longer wants and fuels it to function like it’s supposed to.
Exercise– if your diet is half of the picture, exercise is the other. It all comes together and helps all the processes in your body run smoothly. You’d be surprised how getting a sweat on helps you look brighter and healthier!
phase out soaps– This stage will differ from person to person depending on what your skin has become used to. I would advise transitioning gradually though, because that way you won’t have to go through a period where your skin has to adapt to an extreme change, which could make it unpredictable. Find something a more natural version of what you usually buy in the supermarket. When that’s finished, switch to a soap bar. Then start cutting down on the number of days a week you wash your face with soap and use just water instead.
Avoid touching skin– This one is a struggle for me, especially when I’m stressed, but the less you touch your face the better. Every time you touch it you are making it dirty, so try to refrain as much as possible. Then when you do want to touch it, wash your hands first. I’ve noticed a change in my skin since I’ve been making an effort to leave it alone.
Learn what is normal for you– now that I have no products on my skin, I can feel what state it’s in, I know how my food affects it, and I have the instinct to know what it needs and when. Pay attention to what it’s doing and try and find out why. The better you know you’re skin, the better you’ll be able to give it what it wants.
As you can see from the above picture, I am not spot-free. Ditching soaps and creams was not a magical solution to all my skin problems, but if I’m honest with myself, that’s not all I wanted. It would’ve been too simple for everything to clear up just like that.
Saying that, I don’t experience anywhere near the same amount of oiliness or angry spots that I used to get. When I do break out nowadays, the spots are less aggravated, they clear up more quickly, and I can often attribute them to being in a dirty environment or not eating very well. All the tips above, have been reinforced over the last few months as incredibly important to the well-being of my skin, even if I don’t adhere to them all the time (WHY DO CHIPS TASTE SO GOOD?!)
What suits me about water-only, aside from being the healthiest option for my skin, is the simplicity. Instead of applying things to my skin for it to adapt to, I leave it and then react when my skin gets oily or dry or I break out (which is pretty rare). This passive approach to the whole thing is perfect for someone who would much rather snooze for another 10 minutes a day than faff about with my skin! #toohonest?
Jamie Oliver has some great video tutorials for vegan meals! This one for sweet potato + white bean chilli looks simple enough but also ridiculously yummy. I’m in.
Zero Waste Memoirs shares some tips on eating down the pantry and starting fresh. When you keep duplicates of tins and packets, it normally ends up being a waste of money and/or food because you can lose track. Keeping less + being creative with your food stock is the key. I found this a great read!
This super short, beautifully filmed video shows Jamie Kate Adoc’s zero waste travel kit. It’s just a collection of basic items to bring on a trip and avoid picking up disposable waste. I normally carry a canvas bag on my travels, but now I’m super inspired to put together my very own kit!
LEGO have recently announced that they are investing 1 billion DKK into the ‘research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture LEGO® elements as well as packaging materials’. YOU HEARD RIGHT! Possibly the greatest toy manufacturers ever are jumping on the eco bandwagon- there is hope for everything else too 🙂
I’m still working out what an ideal amount of toiletries is for me, so by no means consider this the final edit. However, there are a few things I’ve learned when narrowing down my collection which you might find useful. The following tips are things that I do to keep my bathroom products to a minimum…
Water for face + hair washing:
Yep, you heard me- no shampoo or face wash! Apart from my skin and hair completely thriving on water alone (after a transition period. I will be writing separate posts on these soon!) the best thing about it is that I don’t have to pack anything up to go away. Water is everywhere! More bag space and less expense and complication, WOO!
If you have an eyeliner pencil, you can use it normally for a soft line, or to make your lashes look thicker, hold a lighter 1-2cm from the tip for a few seconds, it softens the consistency and it makes more of a gel or liquid liner. The black gets bolder too. If you’re an eyeliner fan, trust me, this will blow ya mind 🙂 Now you only need one!
Be it coconut oil, olive oil or argan oil, (to name but a few) they all make great make-up removers. Just rub a few drops over the area then wipe away with a cloth. Now that my skin is natural, it tends to regulate itself in terms of moisture, but occasionally it gets dry. This is where the oil comes into its own again. Rubbing a teeny bit of oil (sometimes diluted with water for a lighter effect) is all I need to revive a dry patch. Having one product that serves many purposes is the best way of saving space and simplifying.
Remove items from collection and store somewhere else. If you don’t miss them after a few months, get rid (donate, give to friend, chuck). It’s easy to keep products that you think you might need for an occasion, but it’s very eye-opening to discover that you only actually tend to use a fraction of the things you have.
No duplicates, this is not the apocalypse:
You don’t need to stock up. There isn’t going to suddenly be a shortage. Also, if you decide you no longer want to use a certain brand/product, you can easily change because you don’t have 10 duplicates in your drawer waiting to be used up. Replace when you are really close to running out/have already run out. Vow that you’re not going to buy another shampoo until you’ve used up what you have, or if you do fancy starting fresh immediately, donate the unused stock.
Hello friends! Some things that inspired me this week…
Imy from Sustainably Vegan shares how to buy from bulk shops using your own bags and jars. Her style is so laid back and inviting! I have been meaning to try out Wholefoods when I’m in London but I have to admit I’ve been scared to just rock up with my containers when I don’t know their systems. Now I know I was just being silly, and I can’t wait to walk into that room choc full of everything you could ever want package-free! Check out the video, it looks great!
When I read this homage to bar soap, I got that feeling. You know when you read something that is so you that you have to do a double take?! (tell me I’m not the only one!) I guess what I mean is, I kind wish I’d written this! I am the world’s biggest convert to bar soap, there’s nothing getting between us, and it totally deserves a massive article just to sing its praises. If you’re not yet convinced, give it a read. I dare ya.
Forbes online tells us 9 things we can do about climate change. What I like about these suggestions is that they’re nice and simple. I’m planning on focusing on a few at a time and becoming more conscious when I’m shopping and travelling etc.
This article dissects the craziness of our society which has taken disposables to a ridiculous level of superiority. Let’s be honest, when did we ever really need the invention of disposable plates or kitchen roll anyway? Some of the things we no longer even notice, actually have reusable alternatives, and it doesn’t mean a reduction in comfort or convenience.
And finally, this post had me at its title: DIY chocolate tooth powder! CHOCOLATE GUYS! When I run out of my bicarb and coconut oil toothpaste, I’m switching over to this for the spring 🙂
Minimalism has slowly been creeping into my consciousness for a while now, but I just thought I’d warn you that I’m well and truly hooked and that you’re about to see a whole lot more from me on this subject!
Without further ado, I watched this documentary on Netflix and it really has inspired me. It starts off with this quote:
‘At a time when people in the West are experiencing the best standard of living in history, why is it that at the same time there is such a longing for more?’ Rick Hanson
And it’s true. I don’t think it’s just my friends and family that are sharing my enthusiasm for making a difference, it’s sweeping across the country and the world. In the aftermath of the crazy consumerism that’s exploded over the last 50 odd years, people have come to realise that it is lacking as a means of making you feel good in the long run.
In the fashion industry it’s gone from having 4 or maybe even 2 seasons a year (Autumn-Winter/Spring-Summer) to 52! That’s every week! You’re supposed to feel like you’re not ‘on trend’ so that you buy more. The abuse of garment workers means that the value of clothing is through the floor; you no longer need to wait for clothing to be unusable; it simply has to be unfashionable to deserve throwing away. And who even cares when it only cost £3, right?
Advertising has polluted every area of our lives. Bathrooms, films, taxis, doctor’s surgery… Advertising for children’s products has changed; it used to target mothers, but now it goes around the parents and straight to the kids. A large number of children have access to technology from as young as under a year old.
HOWEVER! People are beginning to realise that they might be being tricked, and that they have more options than they are lead to believe. And that’s where minimalism steps in. This documentary features The Minimalists, No Impact Man, and news reporter Dan Harris, among others, who share their personal stories of coming to the decision to live with less. I love how varied their stories are, how different their problems were, and yet they found an alternative way to live and now their motivation is essentially the same: to simplify the stuff that doesn’t matter and live more intentionally. It looks different for all of them, but it works.
I don’t want to go into a load of detail and ruin it for you! I would highly recommend seeing this documentary, even if you aren’t already thinking of being minimalist. It is a great insight into how some people live and encourages you to be more intentional in life in general. I did write down some quotes that I liked from the film though… Enjoy! Also let me know what you thought of it if you do give it a watch 🙂
‘As human beings we have strong attachment -initially in our lives- to people who are caring for us; sometimes it feels like those attachments spill over to objects, as if they were as important as people’ Gail Steketee
‘You can never get enough of what you don’t want’ Rick Hanson
‘I wish everyone could become rich and famous so they could realise it’s not the answer’ Jim Carey
‘Minimalism is not a radical lifestyle’ Non-hairy minimalists
‘We are not going to reach the environmental goals we are seeking whilst maintaining our current lifestyles. We’re going to have to give up a lot’ Unknown
‘The beauty of not being prepared for everything is that you are forced to call on others and they on you for favours/borrowing etc. You end up in community.’ Unknown
‘Because you can do anything you want you can potentially do everything you want, but to do everything you want you have to sacrifice things that really are important’ Unknown
‘You can’t force people around you to be as minimalist as you, or at all. You have to respect their choice.’ Unknown