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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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?

Detergent Free, Eco Friendly Laundry: Eco Egg vs Magnesium Pellets

Having eczema sensitive skin I always opt for environmentally friendly laundry detergent that’s fragrance free. Eco friendly as I care about nature, fragrance free and harsh toxic, chemical free as I never know when I have a bad flare up usually once a year what caused it. 

Ecoegg

I used the laundry Ecoegg for about a year and as promised an update on its use. It was fine for the first few months, then I started not to be happy with it. It’s cheap. I only paid about €15-20 inc shipping for refills throughout the year which is great. I for sure noticed I wasn’t buying laundry detergent every month and the pennies saved. The white balls are mystery however they are harmful chemical free, biodegradable and vegan which react with the water. The black tourmaline pellets to lift stains by energising the water. Ecoegg state what the tourmaline pellets do, but I find it shady they don’t mention what the white pellets are made of. I did find one site that listed the ingredients but as it’s not Ecoegg themselves I can’t be sure it’s the complete list of ingredients. They recommend disposing of the used white pellets in the bin as they haven’t been tested on wildlife or plants (so how eco friendly? The ingredients separately are? Together are? They contradict themselves here by saying not harmful to aquatic life). I think for light washes it’s okay and at low temperatures. However it’s not great on whites, leaving them grey. It also washes out colours from clothes. This could be the dye, cheap clothes but after one wash, lighter colours such as pinks, greens they started to fade noticeably after just one wash (see photo below). It could also have been that my washing machine died this year and wasn’t washing as good as previous.

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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

Continue reading “Recycle Less Find and Update”

Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2

Welcome to another Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2! As some you may know I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption. I’ve always said beauty products after food are the the hardest plastic area for me to reduce. Thankfully with hair care, it’s getting easier to go plastic free with solid shampoo and conditioner bars! However just like their liquid counterparts it takes many frogs to find the right ones.

I’ve found some bars might contain too much sulphate that make my fine hair go crazy frizzy. Nobody wants that! I also feel sometimes the ingredients are a little more concentrated being in a bar. Just like with all my beauty products I always go for cruelty free products, vegan a bonus. I prefer natural clean products and try to avoid nasty ingredients such as parabens, petrochemical ingredients and its derivatives, SLS etc. I avoid palm oil if I can as I prefer orangutangs. I’m not perfect, some nasty ingredients slip through as I sped read the label, or it’s a derivatives or an alias I’m not familiar with. With make up I opt for cruelty free, clean as possible ingredients however it’s harder with make up than skincare to avoid the crap free ingredients. My skin type is oily, combo, sensitive, acne and needs all the help it can get with anti aging. My hair type is fine, gets greasy quickly and is prone to damage even though I don’t colour it or use any heat treatments on it. I often get OWay rebuilding treatment

One thing I have noticed with solid shampoo and conditioners is the price. It’s a lot kinder to the bank balance. Depending on the size they also last longer. This I find interesting as many natural liquid shampoos and conditioners cost almost 3-5 times or more the price of a bar.

Solito Herbal Solid Shampoo. Neutral For All Hair Types 

This did what it said, neutral for all hair types. I was sad when it had it’s last lather. It kept my hair happy and shiny in 3 countries with 3 different climates. It left it feeing clean, happy, a little shiny. It’s scent didn’t really smell, it lathered nicely, it was a great everyday shampoo. I would repeat buy however:

It contains propylene glycol, petrochemical derived. I’ll admit I over looked it at the time as the previous solid shampoo bars made my hair a little crazy Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2”