Recycle Less: The Elastic Band Hack

The elastic band hack for twisty lids on jars you can’t open! 

Sometimes twisty lids are so tight on jars they won’t open with cloth or a towel over the lid for grip. I’ve no idea how this idea came to me. Maybe from ads years ago for silicone discs placed over lids for extra grip to open. Place a 5mm wide elastic band over the outside of the lid, twist, viola 9/10 the lid opens. 

Lids for beans, chickpeas etc I give the lid a tap/bang on the side of the counter. Lids like peanut butter, kombucha bottles that have more groove twists (is that the right terminology for those lids?!) an elastic band works better. It also works on under the sink plumping when you have to clean out all the gunk, shudder. The trap deposit thing can be on there tight.

Elastic bands can be free too. Save the ones that come on vegetable bundles. While I don’t eat asparagus anymore after reading how much of a water intensive crop it is, diverting water from the locals who need it (I chose avocados instead. I know just as bad for water. I decided I could only have one of the two. I don’t miss asparagus), most of the wider elastic bands I have stashed are from asparagus. I understand how elastic bands for farms to bundle lettuces, kale, more leafy vegetables together quickly and easily for sale, but I’d wish they’d find a more eco alternative. I have heaps of thin elastic bands from those kale bundles I don’t know what to do with. When you see how elastic bands are made, you think twice before throwing them out. You can’t put them in the recycling and while it’s made from a sustainable source, rubber, the plantations or new plantations contribute to tropical deforestation as it’s a quick cash crop due to the demand for rubber for tyres. For something so small and throwaway it has a huge environmental cost. Birds can mistake them for worms feeding them to their young, animals can choke on them, the bands can get wrapped around beaks, mouths, legs, paws and end up in the sea where they’re mistaken for food again.

Do you throw out elastic bands, reuse, repurpose them or just keep them in that kitchen drawer like me?

Flamingos, Calpe

I can’t believe I haven’t shared before seeing wild flamingos from a few years ago! Real life flamingos not zoo flamingos. 

This flock lives on an old Roman salt mine now a lagoon, Las Salines de Calpe a Nature Park and Reserve in Calpe, Alicante, Spain. I was surprised that weren’t as pink as I’d thought they be and by how much larger and taller they were than the ones at Barcelona Zoo. Their necks appear longer than the American and Chilean flamingos at the zoo. Sometimes I feel sad for the ones at the zoo. Their flight feathers are removed and when they try to get air I feel bad for them. It’s always different to see them free. I have spilt views on zoos here.

Please excuse the quality of the photos. They were taken a few years ago before I understood more depth of field, light etc. 

Only handful were pink. Maybe they knew the best brine shrimp, algae and larvae spots!

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Beauty Finds: Freshly Cosmetics Energy C, Emerald Clay and Cherry Blossom Facial Masks

Happy New Year!

Welcome to another Beauty Finds! Freshly Cosmetics Energy C, Emerald Clay and Cherry Blossom Facial Masks.

Scroll down 5 paragraphs for the reviews or stay to read on about why I like Freshly Cosmetics concept.

I have a few requirements when it comes to cosmetics and skin care: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid the nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products with these ingredients in I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then…. 

Freshly Cosmetics every month usually towards the end of the month and when releasing a new product have 20-25% off everything for 2 days. It’s good time to stock up! Masks are sold as a trio for €72 or €26 each. If you wait for discount days you save. With the 3 masks there’s at least one for your skin type.

I like the concept of Freshly Cosmetics. All natural, recyclable glass pots and bottles or metal bottles. In store you can refill shampoo and conditioner bottles. Some products are carton/cardboard box free. Only plastic being the lids, pumps, seals and product labels. They used to use plastic shipping bags in addition to cardboard shipping boxes however this year they started shipping just the boxes only. Filling packaging is shredded unbleached paper. While they try to eliminate all unnecessary plastic, you do get plastic stickers which you can’t opt out of. They’re usually cool stickers however for me they’re just waste if each order you receive them. After trying several of their products most don’t work for me apart from the Healthy Protection Facial Sunscreen which is my go to face sunscreen, one mask and their toothbrushes. I can’t put my finger on why they don’t work, they just don’t. I feel I can get better products for around the same price that work. Out of all the masks there was only one I like and repeat buy. 

One thing aside from the glass jars I do like about the masks are that they’re quick working for busy people masks. Five minutes is the recommended time before removing with warm water. That’s about the time to apply, quick body brush, comb hair before showering to make sure it’s tangle free post shampoo, turn the shower on, wait for hot water to come through before jumping in. 

As for the ingredient list, refer online. I have good eyesight close up, but man, the print’s so small on some they’re crazy to read as the colour bounces with the background colour like on the Energy C mask.

Energy C Facial Mask

This antioxidant facial mask provides an extraordinary luminosity to the skin, thanks to the combination of 9 natural clinical active ingredients that target dull skin, wrinkles and blemish, while also providing firmness. Among its ingredients, we find the kakadu plum, an active that counts on the highest concentration of natural vitamin C, and an innovative natural technology of chicory oligosaccharides that provides a natural lifting effect. Thanks to its natural amino acid content, the Energy C also repairs and fills wrinkles by 17%, and protects the skin from harmful blue light with the B-carotene active. This magnificent fruit cocktail is perfect to achieve smooth, luminous and revitalised skin up to 20 applications. Forget dull skin! The Energy C Facial Mask is the energy injection your skin needs.

I now have issues with ‘glow’ masks. They do give a glow. Nearly all I’ve tired afterwards my skin is on full shine. Shine. I have oily skin so now I avoid them. They also again nearly all make my skin feel weird. It’s hard to explain like my skin is dehydrated but not and agitated on attention and full on oil slick. This one was no exception. I think it’s the kakadu plum as most contain it. Wrinkles lifted? My skin did look smoother but I couldn’t deal with the shine. If you have dry skin and want a glow for the day try it. If you have oily skin, skip it. Let your oil work for you. I did like the texture: custard like gel. It’s smell is nice too. Sadly it didn’t work for me. Would I repurchase? No.

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August Corn/Fruit/Sturgeon Moon

I started this week on Netflix season 1 of The Universe. Episode 1 was the Sun. It’s kinda disturbing when you think about how the sun’s only got 5 billion years left before it red giant’s itself to a white dwarf. Bye bye Earth. The changes will started to happen before 5 billions years is up. Is that the when the Milky Way, our galaxy will reach the black hole, Sagittarius A in the centre of it or any others in it? According to this article the sun is half way through it’s stable stage. Will humans still be around? Will animals still be around. Will humans have moved planets and all wildlife as we know it too?

It’s crazy thinking like this looking around seeing all the politics, day to day drama that really doesn’t matter but it does. We forget we’re floating in space held by gravity to the largest object in our solar system the sun. Maybe it’s already happened before and Earth is the planet ‘we’ moved to but forgot when we got here and had to start over with apes. Maybe the alien theories are right. Maybe we are just a freak of nature in evolution or Earth is an anomaly in the universe. Maybe water is the alien that kickstarted everything.

Fruit Moon Rise

One thing that has been constant is the moon. August’s moon’s is the Sturgeon Moon (USA when the sturgeon arrived in the lakes), Corn Moon (UK), Lightening Moon or my favourite Fruit Moon! Full list of names in different cultures, here. August already feels lifetime ago, the warm days a far away dream as winter approaches, the layers being to be layered to keep out the cold. That’s why I like summer, easy dressing.

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City Wildlife #2

I started watching on Netflix this week a documentary film Chasing Coral. Chasing coral to witness its death. Out of sight out of mind is how the documentary describes how most people see under the oceans and seas and they want this to change. The oceans and seas are taking a massive hit from climate change by absorbing the heat trapped in our atmosphere from rising CO2 levels mostly due from burning fossil fuels. If they didn’t our surface temperature would be unbearable. The corals are the first to take the hit with bleaching as sea temperatures rise due to the heat absorption.

The bleaching occurs when the coral dies leaving only a white skeleton behind. Shortly after algae takes over leaving an underwater wispy moss like mound of shapes. If the water coral live in goes up by 2 degrees they die in mass coral bleaching. The fish which live in the coral die, people who depend on the corals are out of work. About 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food and work. I won’t lie, I cried at the corals dying in the time lapses. The magical, mysterious underwater cities gone in a few weeks or even a few days.

It’s not just corals under threat from climate change. All animals, insects, fish, crops are under threat from climate change. Even butterflies you see in the summer to birds you hear singing out. Some will adapt and thrive, others won’t survive. It’s not too late to save those we can. Little acts make a bigger impact. This winter you can set the heating not as high or the air con as low if winter is your summer. Imagine a world without polar bears who have less sea ice every year or a world without penguins, lions, elephants or parrots. It’s morbid, but it’s happening. I’m nerdy and geeky with animals. They make me smile minus the killing they do. Seeing butterflies and dragonflies make me smile, even the mice and rats who sprint across the path in front of me at night while I’m cycling make me smile.

Anyways August wildlife mostly spotted as the zoo, Parc de la Ciutadella or on holiday in Mallorca.

Mallorca sea ducks

Ducks I learnt this year sleep while floating, head tucked under a wing, are semi nocturnal and can swim in both fresh and salt water!

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