Recycle Less: Recent Plastic Free Finds

Welcome to another Recycle Less! For the past few years I’ve been cutting down my plastic waste, trying to buy less, reuse, repurpose and find plastic free alternatives. 

Food and cosmetics remain my number one plastic waste. Thankfully more brands are using bio degradable plastics and glass bottles. Sometimes however the price tag is still too high. Sometimes there isn’t a plastic free alternative. Sometimes you look at the label on glass bottle, realise the sticky label’s plastic. Sometimes you know the ingredients in the skin care or hair care bottle is better for you and the environment when washed or flushed down the drain, however the bottle’s plastic. One thing I am noticing is European supermarkets like Carrefour and Alcampo own brands are finding plastic free alternatives. For example going back to foil and cardboard for chocolate bars, while other main name brands are still wrapping chocolate in plastic. It’s a small step in the right direction.

Anyways, recent Recycle Less Finds

Bambaw Bamboo Bottle Brush Set

Plastic free bottle cleaners have been on my to buy list of ages however the prices were never right or they didn’t ship to Spain. Cleaning bottles I was relying on shaking soapy water in the bottle after the last bottle cleaner plastic bristles disintegrated and letting water run into the bottle until no more suds were left. I’d completely forgot about replacing them until checking Amazon basket total they were in the save for later basket. The bristles are sisal bristles are made from the agave plant with a soft cotton mop like end. They work great. I still have to let the water run rinsing out suds, however the bottles are so much cleaner. I like that they come in different sizes and lengths. Rather than use the spilt ring, I use an old keyring carabiner, hanging them on a hook next to the sieves and colanders.

BamBaw Reusable Paper Towels

Continue reading “Recycle Less: Recent Plastic Free Finds”

Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

First Hawaiian Hike! For once we got out fairly earlyish but still late as we’d been travelling the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Honolulu’s main shopping street. Although we had more fun finding Farmland Farm in Ala Moana Mall, one of Oahu’s supermarket chains in the evening, getting back late and eating late which was the theme of the whole Oahu and Northern Californian trip earlier this year.

Farmland Farm was also the best recuerdos or souvenirs. All gifts are local to Oahu or the islands, supporting small businesses. I got some great flour sack print towels I’ll never use as they’re too nice! I want to frame them instead. Sadly researching the printer they’re no longer printing. Farmland Farm also has a great organic section mixed in with non organic foods (which I like, as you get more options) and sold many Hawaiian brands. It was a little expensive factoring in most other items are shipped in however we found everything we needed. During the whole trip we only ate out 3 times, none of which were in Oahu. 2 times were great, the other a disappointment. We prefer to stay apartment hotels or airbnb to keep costs lower by making own meals. We get back late when most places have closed the kitchens so it makes more sense. Being vegans, it makes everything easier to make own meals too.

2nd Pillbox. Chinaman’s hat in the distance

Anyways, The Lanikai Pill Box hike is in Lanikai, Kailua along Kaiwa mountain range I think the posher part of the Island. All the houses looked kinda immaculate driving through the neighbourhood and looking down from the hike the lawns looked manicured. We parked near the golf course, so it’s in a posher area for sure. 

We found out about the hike from watching a few YouTube videos before and online I think Trip Advisor. The start of the hike is a blink and you’ll miss it. It’s just a road construction sign with directions. Some comments said it can be muddy and thankfully it was dry. We only took our workout trainers as who needs hiking boots in Oahu?! Maybe shoulda took them. I felt for girls in sandals, cute IG outfits for the pictures awaiting ahead struggling on the path. The trail is ranked intermediate as it gets rocky and steep in places with parts of the trial nothing to grab hold onto. Being British we find the term hiking a little weird. Even saying the word hike is weird. For us it’s a walk. Hiking is what takes you all day or a few days in remoteness in the mountains and even then we probably wouldn’t use the word hike. Anything less is a walk regardless of the terrain with trails being paths. The hike takes about an hour’s loop to the first pillbox.

As usual I’m a shit editor with photos. I cut out a lot. A lot!

Path to 2nd Pillbox
Chinaman’s Hat in the distance

The views at the top are 100% worth hiking up for. If you want no humans, Instagrammers taking all day to get the shot go early. It’s a popular trail, everybody wants a photo of them there. I did too but I gave up waiting my turn or any vista with few humans. We hiked onto the 2nd pillbox with less people and then onto the 3rd which is now just it’s base. So much quieter and got to walk through shaded wooded bit. We didn’t see anybody past the 2nd pillbox. The hike went on over the range top however as it was getting late in the afternoon, there was a beach to hit and more importantly the water. 

Continue reading “Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu”

Parc de la Ciutadella #2

Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.

When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.

Last morning lockdown ride to the park

Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.

Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Parc de la Ciutadella #2”

Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life label and My September Challenge

Fast fashion is one of the world’s number one environmental polluters from the amount of water used in crops and production, pesticides growing crops, petroleum extraction for man made fibres, water pollution from dyes used, poor working conditions and pay of those in the garment industries and unworn or barely worn clothes going straight to landfill. 

I’m no angel when it comes to clothes. I shop at Zara, H&M, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Fabletics none of which are known to be the most environmentally friendly businesses. I have a budget for clothes and always try to get the best quality I can. Over the past few years I’ve been buying less clothes. Winters are easier than summers. Normally my summer clothes only last a season, two if I’m lucky. I live in Spain so it gets hot, but I cycle everywhere, I swim (more dip in the sea), I wear a rucksack, clothes and fibres get ruined quickly with sweat, sunscreen, salt water, abrasion from cycling and my rucksack. Summer clothes aren’t meant for cycling or rucksacks however cycling’s my transport and I’m not taking a change of clothes with me. I try to choose carefully clothes I think will last more than a few washes and try to get basic colours or a few colour tops. Summer though I like colour and wear those t-shirts or bottoms out. More expensive doesn’t always mean better quality either.

I noticed last year Zara started basics in organic cotton with this year a much bigger change in Indtiex brands, such as Zara, Pull and Bear, Zara Home and Oysho to name a few. They have a Join Life label which explain how much of the item is either made with organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide, recycled cotton or water used. Garments produced under the Join Life label use better processes and more sustainable raw or recycled materials. 

All items produced under this label have to ensure suppliers achieved A or B in social audits. All wet process factories such as tanneries, laundries, printing, dying suppliers have to score A or B classifications and pass environmental assessments. In addition products manufactured using raw materials or production techniques have to be of environmental excellence. 

The Join Life label is split further into 3 categories according to their website:

Continue reading “Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life label and My September Challenge”

Summer

Long time no see! How’s your summer? 

Mine got a little busy with everyday life, holiday in Mallorca, Mac iPhoto misbehaving and something had to take back seat for a while. Sadly natjtan. It got a little frustrating, but like an old Chinese proverb I saved from an Li BingBing Instyle Magazine Interview back when I used to read it: Time is like water in a sponge. You can always find it if you squeeze hard enough. Another way of saying if you want it, you’ll make time or find a way. I always feel I can never commit myself to things 100% as there’s always something else calling me or needs doing in a house of chores. Forget the evenings. My eyes are so heavy they just want to close. 

Castelldefels

P was here for a while so I couldn’t do as much as usual (he knows that), gyms closed for a local recommneded stay at home ‘lockdown’ for a few weeks due to a raise in covid-19 cases along with the zoo, cinemas, bars and restaurants back to reduced capacity. My gym and the city council along with a few other gyms petitioned against the regional government’s decision to close the gyms under the hastag #deporteessalud: sport is health rebelling initially against the closure. The Justice court overturned the gym closure decision. I was getting more demotivated everyday to workout at home, putting off for later. After 3 months working out at home then back at the gym for a month, then at home again I really missed the gym. Even if I don’t talk to anyone there, I concentrate better, it’s air conditioned, I get out the house. The zoo petitioned to stay open, reopening 5 days later after joining both my gym, climbing gym in being rebels staying open. The zoo on its initial reopening after the end of lockdown already had a Covid-19 Global Safe Site certificate and a Safe Tourism Certified seal, yet they had to reclose again too.

Continue reading “Summer”