ZWW – my pledge

On Wednesday I told you about Zero Waste Week and it’s theme for this year. The theme is Re-use and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can use that theme in our family life. We re-use a lot of things already.

We re-use glass jars to store food in the fridge. Very handy to write the “use by” date on using a wipe off marker too. We re-use shopping bags and I always have one in handbag, plus a few in the boot of the car for bigger shops too. We re-use the backs of Christmas/birthday cards to use for notepaper and re-use printing mistakes as drawing paper for the kids.

I wanted ZWW to stretch me, like last year, but I also wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a gimmick, that it was something that would be useful in our everyday lives. After a lot of thinking we (hubby and I) came up with our pledge:

We will re-use and re-purpose items that we already have, or can get second hand, to have a handmade Christmas (as far as we can)

As many gifts as possible from us at Christmas will be handmade. This includes upcycling and repurposing as well as making from scratch. We will try not to buy anything new and either use what we can or buy second hand.

During ZWW (7-13th September) I will be offering tutorials on handmade gifts so please do come back to have a look. I won’t be able to list all planned presents as I know my sister reads this blog periodically and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. 😀 I also plan to end the week with a giveaway so be sure you don’t miss out on that.

Are you planning to take part in ZWW? What’s your pledge?

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Zero Waste Week 2015

Zero Waste Week is fast approaching and I need to start making preparations. I took part for the first time last year and loved it. I have since incorporated a lot of tips and tricks I learned through social media last time around, into our everyday lives. This year it runs from the 7th-13th September and I have the priviledge of being a Zero Waste Ambassador this year. Yay! Go and check out the names I am in with though. Talk about giving me an imposter complex lol! Big names in the Zero Waste/Sustainability category.

Last year I didn’t do very well during the week. You can read my pledge for last year here and how I got on here. On the upside, it wasn’t much after ZWW that we finally cracked the potty training and D has been an absolute star since. So proud of him and his efforts 😀

This year the theme is Re-use. There have been a lot of pledges made already and as always there are tips and resources on the website if you were looking to join in. You can find the website here. Rae, the lovely lady behind all this has even given a list of ideas to start you off. They include:

 

  • Reuse shopping bags
  • Reuse foil for zero waste lunches
  • Reuse jars for storage
  • Reuse leftovers as ingredients
  • Reuse blank paper for notes
  • Use a refillable bottle

These ideas are so simple yet so effective. Here in Wales (and Scotland now too) we already have the 5p carrier bag tax charge so reusing shopping bags is second nature to most people here now. I believe the charge is coming to England in October so what a perfect way to prepare yourself than to practice during ZWW?

 

Make Do and Mend-able Back to Basics

i have been a big fan of Jen Gale since the end of 2012 when I caught wind of her Buy Nothing New year. Since then she has been promoting the idea of Make Do And Mend everywhere she can.

Now with her own Make Do and Mend-able website and host of #makedoandmendhour on Twitter (Thursday 8-9pm if you are interested) she has also put together her own book!

  

The book is made up of 19 chapters, each one written by different contributors. The book isn’t one that is meant to be read like a novel, but more as an instruction manual, an Essential Guide to Make do and Mend, as the tag line says. Topics range from how to sew on a button 

 

To how to replace a plug

 

 

The book is a back-to-basics guide and as such the sewing chapters were a bit basic for me. However they are ideal for people who are beginners or those who are coming back to sewing after a break. It’s not just sewing though. There is something to learn for everyone. I loved reading how to unpick old woollens and re-use the yarn as I hate the wibbly-wobbly effect you are left with. 

 

 

There are a number of projects in this book and I â looking forward to having a go at some of them.

This is a fab book to have at home on your e-reader or tablet and I would definitely recommend it as a present for someone moving into their own home for the first time – think students going to uni or young adults leaving home for the first time, as well as for people like me who just want to live their lives with a smaller impact on the world.

The book is being released on the 21st of this month and is priced at £8. However you can pre-order it now for a reduced price of £5 from here

**I was lucky enough to be sent this e-book free of charge for the purposes of the review. However all opinions are my own and I would only recommend something if I would actually pay for it myself, which in this case, I would have bought the book anyway. 

Bath Mallows and Lip Gloss

I was very blessed a couple of weekends ago to be able to spend some mammy-daughter time with Little Lady. D went to my mums and us girls went to a BathMallow making workshop. A bit like a bath bomb but they look like marshmallows apparently!

A friend of mine runs these workshops and I have booked her to come to my youth group for the last 3 Mother’s Days. As the youth leader however, I haven’t participated in the workshops so it was nice to actually have a go for a change.

There were only about 10 of us at the workshop so it was a nice small group. Little Lady was quite the expert having participated in the ones I have organised through church, and was very keen to tell me what to do next! Lol!

 

While helping the younger kids at the youth club workshop I managed to snap 3 plastic spoons!! This time I tried to be a bit more careful while stirring the mixture!!

I opted to go for a purple colouring and a blueberry smell.  Little lady chose green for the colour and a lovely fresh lime smell.

We packed the mixture into little cases and decorated the top with flowers. Little lady decided that I should do each one of mine differently!! So I did and fair play they actually came out pretty good!  

They smell lush in the bath too!

Little lady’s bath mallows looked pretty good too.

 

Just to finish off we also got to make a lava lip gloss. I chose a strawberry flavour for this one and the lava effect is pretty cool!

Although I could have put a bit more of the colour in to get bigger blobs! Maybe next time.

It does feel pretty good using products that I have made myself. Little lady also enjoys using her own products and the wrappers are paper so can be recycled. Not too sure about the lip gloss bottles although I’m pretty sure if I run out I could refill it.

These obviously won’t last me forever but it’s a small step to reducing plastic waste in the bathroom.

Have you ever made your own bath products?

Lush blogger event*

I am so far behind on my blog posts. I need a proper catch up.

I was invited to my very first blogger event. I was very excited as I see so many bloggers being invited to these events and they always look very exciting. I was even more excited by the fact it was for Lush. I love Lush, but being on a tight budget means I don’t get to sample their products often enough.

I had been invited to their mummy blogger event, where they taught us a lot of handy tips and ways to use their products with your babies. To be honest I had never thought of using their products on the kiddies. Little lady does like a fizzy colourful bath bomb and there was a lot to choose from downstairs in the shop.

Lots of colour

Lots of colour

D however, isn’t really keen on anything that might float on the water so something with flowers or glitter in isn’t really suitable for him. The Ickle Baby Bot (bottom right corner of above photo) might be a bit more suitable although it does change the colour of the water which he isn’t keen on either. We were also shown Fun, which is mouldable as it has a sort of play doh texture. I’m not a lover of play doh but something that actively encourages kids to wash and associate bath time with fun? Yes please! One of these will definitely be making it’s way into our bathroom for D to play wash with. 😉

The store was full of products that looked (and smelled) good enough to eat.

 

Shower Jelly

Shower Jelly

 

Massage bars

Massage bars

 

Fresh face masks

Fresh face masks

Dip anyone???

As lovely as the products are (and they are lovely) the best bit about Lush (for me anyway) is the way they try to cut down on packaging and plastic use. A lot of their shampoos for instance, are cut off a big block

photo 4 (5)

Or come in small disks as you can see in the above photo. To reduce packaging, Lush sell little tins that can hold your shampoo, massage bar or whatever. These can be washed out and reused.

Massage bar tins

Massage bar tins

photo 5

Other products come in a plastic tub which isn’t great when like me, you are trying to reduce single use plastic. However, these tubs (and bottles) are made from recycled plastic and most have a label on them saying the plastic isn’t virgin. The tubs can be washed out and returned to the store for re-use. If you take back 5 large tubs, Lush will give you a fresh face mask free so they actively encourage you to recycle their pots.

While in the shop I treated myself to some shaving cream (in a recycled tub) meaning I can stop using the shaving cream that comes in a squirty can. I also bought some shampoo and a bath bomb for my sister who very kindly babysat D for me to go to the event. With the shampoo and shaving cream I now have less single use containers in my bathroom! Go me!!

How do you cut down on single use plastic/containers in your bathroom??

Disclaimer **I was given a goodie bag with some free products to try but all opinions in this post are my own**

Zero Waste Week – They think it’s all over

Well here it is. Zero Waste Week is over. How have we got on? What have we learnt?

Well I have to admit my pledge didn’t exactly go to plan. D chose last week to come down with “man flu” (he has a cold!) Potty training took a back seat as it is nigh on impossible to get a toddler who is feeling sorry for himself, to do anything you want them to do. So we are still using nappies. On the upside, we are using less nappies as D does enjoy siting on the toilet. Getting him to give me a bit of warning is the hard part! So we are still trying. We have given him a bit of a break and will get back to it after his nursery days this week.

So, not quite gone to plan. However, I have learnt a lot this week and there are quite a few things I have incorporated into our daily lives already. The first thing I learnt was that our local council will take TetraPak cartons in our brown (recycling) bin. I have always been told that they couldn’t be recycled. But they can. We drink quite a bit of fruit juice (I know, I should really squeeze my own) so that’s a big saving from our green (general waste) bin. Why not check out the link to see if your council will recycle them too?

I have also discovered that you can get reusable swim nappies. Now this is fab for us as D and I have just started parent and toddler swimming lessons. I hope to buy some next week to cut down on the disposable ones we currently use.

Apart from all the new things I learnt from found Zero Waste Week, there was quite a bit I realised that I do already. We have already shunned plastic carrier bags on favour of cloth ones when we go shopping and we use EcoBalls in place of washing powder in the washing machine.

Did you take part in Zero Waste Week? What one thing could you do today to reduce the waste you send to landfill?

Zero Waste Week

Zero waste week is fast approaching. Now in it’s 7th year it is running from 1-7th September. In previous years, the concept of going completely zero waste was insurmountable for me. With 2 small children and a full time job, I just couldn’t see how I would do it. This year’s theme, however, is “One More Thing” so one more thing you can save from landfill. That is something I can do. By cutting down on one thing I can make a difference. And it’s not just me. If all of us stop one thing from going to landfill then we can make a huge collective difference.

When I signed up for zero waste week I was asked to make a pledge and submit a selfie. Haha! You won’t believe how many pictures I made hubby take of me and I’m still not happy with the photo!! I am on my way to run club and standing by the kitchen door! I wonder if there are any tips online on how not to look like an idiot in a selfie?? Anyway…..here’s my pledge

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I think I look a lot like my dad in this photo!

To my shame we have always used disposable nappies with both little lady and D. It’s the main reason zero waste has been such a foreign concept to me. We probably put out a green (waste) bin that is only half to 3/4 full every fortnight so I don’t think we do too badly. But nappies are our downfall.

D is 2yrs 9months old now so is plenty old enough for potty training. Maybe a bit too old, I’m not sure. Little lady was definitely potty trained by this age but we have been concentrating so much on his speech problems that to be honest, I hadn’t realised that we should start potty training 😕

So, pants and floor cloths at the ready. We start potty training now.

Please check out the Zero Waste website for more details on zero waste week. What would your pledge be?