Perfume: What do you use or like? I have been searching for an ethical provider of gorgeous scent for quite sometime. My other half works for a company that produces its own perfumes and I have fallen for one of theirs over the years (at employee prices!), however, I have now been introduced to a British company, based in Somerset, that makes small amounts of ‘seasonal, artisanal’ perfumes using natural ingredients and all zero waste packaging. Ffern is a subscription organic, unisex perfume company, and you join their wait list. Once a slot is available and you join up, you are sent your seasonal perfume. However, if this sounds a little risky as perfume is very personal, no worries, within the box is a small trial bottle. If you do not like this, you just send back the unopened main bottle and returns are free! I have just begun with them and the Winter 21 is really gorgeous. It’s spicy and warm, lots of juniper and pine, a ‘fresh’ smell to please my fussy nose! I was really impressed with the packaging too (I didn’t photograph it – sorry, will do in Spring 21) and have only had positive comments on the scent from my family so far!
Bloomtown.co.uk is a website that has just come to my radar. I have been looking for various oils that are not in plastic, in particular hand sanitiser at this time, and hair oil. Bloomtown do gorgeously scented hand sanitiser that smells really herby and fresh, not with that chemical linger that some have or the really strong smell of alcohol. It claims to be 70% alcohol but you really wouldn’t know (or maybe I’ve become nose-blind). It’s not cheap at £12 for 100ml but it states that there are over 750 squirts per bottle and, if we’re going to be using it for sometime to come, I’d rather have one that doesn’t make me gag each time I use it, leave my hands sticky or dry them out. So far I’ve found this one to be really gentle.
I am also using their Body Oil which I love and, even more exciting, they are now doing a refill bottle without the pump so you can either reuse the pump you already have, or just pour a bit on your hand – do you even NEED a pump?
The other store I’d like to raise awareness to is Leafology. I discovered this brand when I was at a vegan fair in Oxford last year. I really struggle with shampoo – by that I mean, all the brands I have been using are in plastic or, if I use the one from my refill shop, it just doesn’t cut the mustard with long hair. I have tried soap bars but they just give me dreadlocks. Leafology has a dry product in an aluminium bottle (no rusting or breaking in the shower) and you can just send off for the refills which arrive in a paper bag! Ok, so I won’t deny, it was weird at first. This stuff (smells gorgeous though) is poured into your hand and you then wetten it, rub it slightly in your hand to make a kind of paste and then apply to your hair, as you rub, it lathers up. It has cleaned my hair really well and appears to have reduced the dry scalp I have had in the past (or that could also be the weather!). How much you use each time is dependent on your hair but I find two small handfuls work just fine. I bought it back in maybe October and I have just got my first refill!!! I also find I’m not needing to wash my hair as much (and no this is not stinky or greasy hair alert), it stays clean and soft for around 4 days over my original 2 – 3 with regular shampoos. I think I might be a convert!!
Some more web retailers you might like to look at:
I’ve just stumbled upon this website: Bathing Beauty.
It appears to have a pretty good range of products that are reasonably priced and everything is zero waste packaging. I’ve not bought anything from here, but will update if I do. Reading the blurb on the owner, it appears she’s done her research so I might head her way when I run out of something next.
Boobalou – Really good range of everything from baby stuff to kitchen and office supplies. Slightly slower delivery time to me, but as everyone compares life by the speed of Amazon, it’s nice for a bit of normality. Delivery is really good value at only £2.95 and then free over £50. I am pretty sure they sent their products to me in cardboard and compostable packing peanuts as we had a lot of fun watching them dissolve in water, but I could be wrong, it was a while ago that I ordered (I’m happy to be corrected). http://www.boobalou.co.uk/
Peace with the Wild – another great range, especially with make up and bathroom things. Delivery is £3.49 under £50. They also say that Mon-Fri orders placed before 13.00, will be shipped the same day. I can’t comment as I placed after this time just before a weekend. Packaging, I’ll update. *Update: This came in a box with completely compostable packaging.
One Little Company have a good range, including a couple of things such as the sisal bag, that weren’t on other sites. Delivery is a little more expensive at £3.95, but free over £40 and first deliveries are free with the code 1STFD. Their pledge with packaging states they aim to use recycled packaging and compostable wherever possible without detriment to your order. I’ll let you know! * update on the packaging: Unfortunately my postie didn’t put it through my door meaning it was sitting at the sorting office for a couple of extra days. It did come in a padda bag (reused?), but I have re-purposed that, otherwise, it was in compostable packing.
One thing it is worth remembering when you are buying this stuff online, these are generally SMALL companies run by families, people with a keen desire to help reduce waste in our world, therefore there won’t be the same speed with delivery as Amazon and they won’t necessarily have the same range, you may have to shop at a couple of retailers to get all you need. However, if there is a problem, you will get a real person (possibly even the owner) on the other end of your enquiry or issue, genuinely dealing with this because they care. I think this is also part of making our world a better place.
Christmas waste reduction
One of the hardest things about trying to reduce your waste is that no sooner do you lose one thing than another things appears, so completely embedded are we all with a life with plastic (in particular) and packaging.
I am constantly trying to find ways to reduce my waste, but am also aware that I am a mum of three and a wife, all of whom have their own ideas and don’t need mine thrust upon them, I am also a busy, working person who needs speed and convenience sometimes. This means I find myself wishing I had time to go to the market and buy my veg loose, but have to cope with trying to get what I can loose at the supermarket in one go and often I’m so busy, it’s a delivery where it’s out of my control. We have tried to eliminate things we can, tea bags, plastic straws, carrier bags etc, but I can’t drive an hour each week to my nearest bulk storage place as I just don’t have the time and I can’t beat myself up about that either. We do what we can.
I’m just going to show you what I’m looking at step by step:
As Christmas is nearly upon us, I am sharing what I’m doing to try to limit the bin loads of wrapping paper that we will throw out. Most wrapping paper is non-recyclable even though it gets thrown into the recycling each year. It tends to be coated with some kind of plastic or the design is plastic. Some areas won’t take it if there is any sellotape on it either. My mum would recycle her paper, year after year which we always used to take the rip out of her for as kids, she was SO forward thinking in many ways like this. Sadly I tried it a few times, but with toddlers, there was no way they were going to slow down sufficiently to be careful with opening enough for the paper to be reusable the following year. So I started to gather together and make lots of little cloth bags.
They are the simplest design ever and I just tie them closed with ribbons. You could even just wrap with a flat piece of material in the Japanese form of tying, I think it’s called Furoshiki ? If you google it or look it up on Pinterest, you’ll see simple but beautiful gifts wrapped in cloth with just knots to hold them shut.
For the gifts I have bought this year that are too large for my bags, I’ve bought plain brown kraft paper which I’ve tied with ribbon for decoration. I have still used some sellotape, but figure I can cut that off before I recycle or reuse.
I’m currently experimenting with these products from Happy Holistics. They are packaged in cardboard, are organic and not tested on animals. They smell divine, so I’ll let you know how I get on.