Recycle Less Find and Update

Earlier this year we had holiday vacay in the USA. Hawaii and Northern California. I was so excited to see what Wholefoods Market had in the way of plastic free kitchen cleaning utensils, cosmetics. Okay, I was excited for the whole shop. Here Europe we hear a lot about how good it is. The London one a few years ago I was impressed by so I was hoping the range would have grown. Just before going I had found an online plastic free shop, stalking a few items I thought I could get in America cheaper. I’ve come to the conclusion I have to stop thinking that organic shops are onto plastic free alternatives unless they started catering for plastic free alternatives demand. 

To be honest, Wholefoods was a little dissapointing. Not from the kale point of view. So many varieties and a large stock of it. Here it goes quickly. The Wholefoods near Sand City the cleaning isle I walked down a few times without noticing. I wasn’t looking for products I was looking cleaning and kitchen utensils and they were just added bits hanging of the shelfs. The Wholefoods near Redwood Shores was better. The time we got there after out exploring we had just enough time to race around the produce sections. 

Our last morning before returning we stopped by Half Moon Bay and oh my. New Leaf is like Wholefoods on speed. The best vegan BLT sandwich and huge cosmetic section. Again the cleaning utensils still not as plastic free as I’d hoped however I had to put things back as the suitcases were already full. A long winded way of saying the best place to buy plastic free utensils is still online. Edit: while editing I’ve found a few plastic free stores in Barcelona. You bet in phase 2 I’m dropping by. I’ve already checked their online shops and this girl’s excited.

What I did find:

Patch Natural Bamboo Strip Bandages. Light Bamboo Hypoallergenic Breathable Bandages

I’ve yet to use these, but I’d been stalking them online. I think I did a happy dance inside finding them! Everything, packaging to the plaster itself is biodegradable.  New Leaf  Plastic Free Shop

Down To Earth Basics Veggie Brush Small

I’ve been using this for cleaning veggies and I love it! The bristles are rough enough to remove dirt but not remove any of the veggies skin. The only thing I have been worried about is drying it so it doesn’t start to smell or get nasty. I’ve been drying it over the kitchen sink with a heavy glass holding down the hanging thread from the cupboard above so the water can drip out. It dries very quickly too. New Leaf.

Smart The Amazing Reusable Scour Sponge Made From Natural Tree Fibres

I’m not sure what I was thinking buying these. I was swayed by reusable. I’m not sure about you, but I reuse my dish sponge for about a month before it’s urgh, time to go. I usually buy EcoDoo Vegetable Sponges which are biodegrade as is the packaging. The way I see it it is reusable as I use it daily if you get me. These you can throw in the washing machine when needed. In my eyes they’re only reusable for the time you use them. The scouring bit wasn’t tough enough and wore away quickly revealing the sponge underneath. Both sides pilled and it wasn’t flexible to get in all the places. They lasted about a month each. If you can’t find a biodegarable kitchen/dish sponge alternative these would be great, but I personally wouldn’t buy them again. They reminded more of pin cushion than a dish sponge. Wholefoods

Twist Loofah Sponges Natural Cellulose With Loofah Sponge

I’ve been trying to find an plastic sponge alternative bathroom cleaning sponge for a while. I’ve been using using a small loofah cut in half. An idea picked up from the plasticfreeshop bathroom section and from Marta, Marta lives in China. It’s okay, but even when it’s wet it’s not flexible to get around the taps, in the corners around the taps. While these are marketed for being kitchen sponge I purchased them for the bathroom. 

They’re still not as flexible as a normal bathroom sponge due the loofah, but they clean a lot better. The loofah doesn’t scratch and the sponge is made from 100% renewable plant materials. Which plant? Doesn’t say. There’s no glue involved or dye. They can be sterilised in boiling water or in the top dishwasher rack. I leave them drying outside in the sunshine on the laundry rack and they’re fine.

I’ve been enjoying using them as a bathroom sponge. They just about get behind the taps and remove the soap scum from the shower. I know TMI, but that’s what you get when using soap bars. Not all soap bars leave scum as I’m discovering switch from shower gel. The only issue I have is that the loofah bit starts to come away before time’s up on use and the packaging is plastic. I feel the cotton name tab isn’t needed as it’s just more production waste. I still have to use an old toothbrush for the heavier cleaning in awkward places. Would I recommend? Yes! Wholefoods

Plastic free Update

The covid-19 lockdown has been a wake up call for many when it comes to how much unnecessary sh*t we buy. Myself included and I’ve cut down on what I buy in the last few years. 

99% of my wardrobe has been untouched for about 3 months. Make up? I’ve cut down to just a little eyeshadow out, BB cream, concealer, mascara, lip balm. No eyeliner. I’m happy at home sans make up letting my skin breathe. It’s happier too sans make up. I’m happier out with make up. This girl needs it. My hair, top knot daily. Not being tempted out to buy stuff, aside from skincare online shopping, I haven’t purchased any unnecessary crap and my bank balance is happier. That said I can’t wait to wear eyeliner, dress up a little going places other than the supermarket. I also can’t wait to finally get kale again and get the good peanut butter. It’s making sure I know I can go without, make do, repurpose that’s the trick.

The supermarket has been my number one plastic recycle bag filler. I use when possible my cotton produce bags, however not being about to get to the organic shop or bin shop, due to travel restrictions, so much more food has been in plastic packaging. Reflecting as writing this my plastic waste has been less despite the increase in plastic food packaging. When reality of some sort returns it’ll be interesting to see if I’ve learnt not to buy the unnecessary crap, figured out what I thought was once necessary crap is actually unnecessary crap and is the plastic recycling increasing. Thankfully my local supermarket has an organic section (Not everything I buy is organic. I buy non organic vegetables too! I prefer organic as I feel it’s better for the earth with less pesticides.) more produce is coming biodegradable plastic packaging. None of the organic food is loose but I think this is more for security reasons and the supermarket’s accounts. No sneaky purchasing bio when it’s non bio as is the case with most non bio produce being packaging free.

Can you find plastic free alternative easily or hunt online? Have noticed changes in spending habits while under lockdown? Please comment below!

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