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.

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Earth Day 2022. Invest In Our Planet

This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet and I might get a little soap boxy. Just warning ya.

Earth Day has been celebrated globally since 1970 and is held on the 22nd April each year to promote awareness and demonstrate support for environmental protection. To be honest I think this message has been lost with the rise of influencers posing in fields of flowers, backdrops of mountains, beaches saying oh how we should protect this earth with using my discount code for xyz sponsor. Earth Day isn’t about the influencer, the main focus of those photo. It’s about the fields of flowers being the focus, tall majestic mountain ranges, the blue oceans and seas. They’re the focus. They’re the ones paying the price for human consumerism. I’m guilty of it, the buying into items! I’m not perfect. However every 22nd of April I roll my eyes at the wanna be influencers, made it influencers, brands with never gave a crap to start with suddenly caring about the environment. Honestly I check out of it. The message has been lost. 

But it’s not all lost. According to Earth Day many Gen Z’s purchase with ethics and have stopped buying from brands that don’t promote sustainability or help the environment. Hence this year’s Earth Day’s theme: Invest in Our Planet.

Materials courtesy from nature so humans can have fun parasailing!

So many of us can’t fight corporations, the big money, however we can with the choices we make with our money. I know it’s not easy. Goods still need to be transported and that requires lorries, trucks, shipping both by air and sea. That I don’t think will change. The type of fuel for them maybe. Sometimes I don’t think this is taken into account purchasing items. Sometimes look local before buying online. The shipping will have been less in terms of destination. Items still need to be shipped and people needs jobs. I always think if I really need the item before ordering online. Could I get it locally, do I really needed it, what’s my mood today? Is it a quick fix to feel good? I think this way regardless of it’s from a sustainable brand or not. A sustainable brand still wants you to buy its item, they still need to market it attractively, it still needs to be shipped, it’s still part of consumerism. Just because it’s sustainable, doesn’t mean you need it.

I might be jaded from watching Climate Town on YouTube! Carbon offsets aren’t always the answer or carbon footprint! Carbon footprint was made up by the petroleum industry to pass the ‘blame’ on! Scam!

I think you get the idea of Invest In Our Planet with money. Do research on brands that line with your ethics. I love beauty products. They are often my most used plastic consummation. I’m always trying to reduct the amount of plastic I use which I share here on natjtan with Recycle Less finds. Food and beauty items being the top plastic consumption.

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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. 

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