Recycle Less: International Box Day

This coming Sunday, the 19th of June is International Box Day! 

Yes, I use international holidays for post inspiration. There’s no shame in it, especially when high street (I think in American English the equivalent is something like main street shopping or mall shopping) shopping’s in decline and online shopping is becoming the number one way to shop. While I order online I’m kinda old skool shopping. I like shopping, I like looking and feeling clothes, smelling and trying cosmetics before I buy them. Clothes more so. Once I like a skincare product I’ll order it online as that’s usually only where I can get it. Vitamins, bras, birthday and Christmas presents to the UK I order online. Everything else I can get local or just go without. For food I like to look in person. Many brick and mortar retailers offer online sales and free returns in store, it’s just easier for me to shop 5 minutes down the road than wait a few days for delivery. Not to mention there’s more emissions involved with online order delivery and more waste. 

Shops have enough waste. For every piece of item on display just like when it arrives in a box ordered online is wrapped individually in plastic! I understand it’s to protect the item inside but please! I get so annoyed when I order items that still come with polystyrene packing cubes or pellets. Why?! I can’t reuse them and they just go into the recycle container to be recycled if they ever do.

Cardboard boxes, I can repurpose and reuse! Below are just few uses giving boxes an extra life. All they need sometimes is a wipe down to remove any dirt and they’re good to go. If you want to really make them feel clean, wipe down and air in the sun for a while:

Nice boxes can be cleaned and styled KonMari style into organisers for clothes, jewellery, stationery, trinkets, keepsakes, anything organisational. Shoes boxes and the jewellery box before the jewellery box are great for this. 

If I fits I sits. Cat logic for boxes! So many boxes can be cat forts, cat beds (great in the summer to help them cool and in the winter with a blanket to keep them warm), chew boxes, scratching boxes. Cats logic and imagination for boxes is endless.

Continue reading “Recycle Less: International Box Day”

Recycle Less: Zara Home 100% Cotton Shower Curtain Review and DIY Bathroom Mould/Mold Remover

When I started a few years ago reducing my plastic waste, a non plastic PVC, polyester or nylon shower curtain has been low key on my radar list for a while. 

I usually opt for PVC shower curtains as they’re easier to keep clean against mould. Urgh. No matter how hard I try it forms. Anti Mould Tip! Not an environmentally friendly way to remove mould in bathrooms around the shower or bath seals. I use eco/bio, environmentally friendly, cruelty free bathroom cleaners however sometimes I need something a little more stronger. I read that soaking cotton wool in a bleach solution placed over night over the mouldy areas can remove it. I was skeptical at first, not thinking it would work well as the mould was in the silicone. Long story short, it worked. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! Almost pearly white grouting back! 

Researching plastic free shower curtains, hemp and cotton were the 2 main fibres that came up. Hemp’s the best as repelling water and keeping mould away, however my budget isn’t hemp shower curtains. As the curtain didn’t need replacing per say, I kept an eye out every now and then shopping. Zara Home last year has gone almost to the consumer plastic free. To the consumer. I’m sure the packaging products arrive in store is plastic. The only plastic seems to be tags holding together napkins and tea towels, security tag stickers or elastic ribbons holding product info tags on say linen. They’ve even replaced plastic protective wrap post sale with the only way I can explain it stretchy paper cut similar to cotton string bags. They also do now 100% cotton shower curtains

Plastic free minus the elastic ribbons
Made with 50% ecologically grown cotton

100% cotton shower curtain with something else on it. You can tell by touching, it has a protective water repellent layer on it. This is also apparent when it wet. Only the bottom part in the bath get wet both sides. The higher up bit doesn’t on the decorative side. The label and neither does zarahome online say what the coating is. I’ve read that some water repellent coating on waterproof clothing is actually harmful to the environment as it runs off. I could ask, but haven’t. 

Repurpose-ful packaging

No flooding has occurred bar from the bathroom design. The previous PVC shower curtain which was easyish to remove mould by wiping with bathroom cleaner and sponge, I washed and left to dry in the sun then vac packed to be repurposed for say painting or replacing the cotton shower curtain you could easily shape around the bath taps and wall not to cause a flood. The cotton one doesn’t stick the wall as good, so I place say a shampoo bottle and bath duck like below so it doesn’t flood the bathroom floor. 

Continue reading “Recycle Less: Zara Home 100% Cotton Shower Curtain Review and DIY Bathroom Mould/Mold Remover”

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?

Recycle Less Finds/Update #5

I’ve been on a using less plastic and recycling less in general journey for nearly 2 years and it’s still not getting easier! Much of the time thinking outside the box is needed or just saying no to plastic is general is easier. Many non plastic alternatives might at time seem more expensive but in the longer run are more cost effective as you’re not replacing them as often. Sometimes I ask myself is it worth it when I see the amount of disposable plastic that’s used, how many people don’t bat an eyelid using it. When I read about turtles and whales being found with plastic straws lodged up their noises or stomachs full of plastic bags mistaken for jelly fish it is.

I’m gradually fazing out items for plastic free items. Rather than go all out changing everything, when something needs replacing I opt for the plastic free or less free option. I’m not throwing out (she says) good items if there’s no need yet. It’s not easy. Sometimes I find the item I’m after only for it to arrive covering in plastic! Smh. Here are some plastic free alternatives I’ve found the past couple of months.

Bamboo/Wood Toothbrush and Toothpaste Holder

I wanted to replace my existing toothbrush holder Continue reading “Recycle Less Finds/Update #5”

Recycle Less Update #4

Earlier this year after watching zero waste videos on YouTube I decided to start reducing my ‘waste’ by recycling less. Notably my plastic waste, having less items in general and start shopping more consciously. I know I’ll never be 100% zero waste and after making good strides for a few months, I’ve kinda hit a stand still. And it’s a little disheartening. I was doing so well!

Pugs Fetching GIF by Cheezburger - Find & Share on GIPHY

Plastic seems unavoidable no matter how much I try to avoid it. Namely packaging. Food, cosmetics, internet shopping, even razor blades for my safety razor that are meant to reduce the plastic, the cats medicine comes packed in plastic. At times it’s money based. Do I order online cheaper Continue reading “Recycle Less Update #4”