The Beechgrove Garden 2022 Episode 23 – Katrina & Peter Gelderbloem

The Beechgrove Garden 2022 Episode 23 – Katrina & Peter Gelderbloem

Katrina from Cambridgeshire, England & Peter from Cape Town, South Africa and their children are a Vegan living family of 5 living in East Ayrshire, Scotland. 3 children aged 12-15. Their eldest Clayton who is Autistic and Non verbal is Home Educated by Katrina and has developed a keen interest and eye for the garden and is most happiest when planting seeds, potting up and watering what he has grown. This year Clayton started the Grow and Learn Course with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society. They started building their garden 3 years ago in 2019 when they moved here.

From Beechgrove Episode 23 – Katrina & Peter

You can follow Katrina & Clayton on their instagram page buildingafoodforest_scotland watching them around their garden while they build up their Food Forest with Fruit, Nuts & Berries. Their Kitchen Courtyard Garden using Vertical Gardening techniques, their Vegetable Planters, Mini Food Forests on Fences & Clayton’s Flower Beds.

From Beechgrove Episode 23 – Katrina & Clayton

The family have lived in Scotland since 2013 and decided to finally make it their home in 2019 and bought a property in East Ayrshire with large enough grounds to start building a food forest approx 1/4 acre to start having fresh basic food supplies for their family.

Peter completed Permaculture Design Course online at Oregon State University (certified by the Permaculture Institute of North America) and has designed the grounds using the 12 principles of permaculture design, they started with the fruit trees and fruit & nut bushes to get them established (all under net cages for Deer protection) while they slowly but surely continue to build the area around them.

From Beechgrove Episode 23 – Riley & Eliza

Read more on: Get to know us

Update of the area: A Little About Us and Where The Food Forest Has Started From – 2022 Update

Where we started from in 2019

The Beechgrove Garden 2022 Episode 23 – Katrina & Peter Gelderbloem – Timestamp 20.25

NB: Not been working on the garden for 10 years. Only moved there in 2019, so just 3 years

Watch on iplayer: BBC Beechgrove Episode 23

Watch Beechgrove Episode 23

The Beechgrove Garden 2022 episode 23:

Carole Baxter and Kirsty Wilson are once again hard at work at Beechgrove. Kirsty designed and planted a hot border back in April that would bring vibrant color to the late summer, and she is giving it the final once-over to assess whether it delivered.

Also reviewing the summer’s performance, Carole and Kirsty check out the results of the quirky containers – how did the compost work out, and what can be planted in them next? Meanwhile, George is joined in Joppa by Carole to check on how the tomatoes and decorative planting have measured up.

BBC Beechgrove Gardens

Celebrating the great Scottish garden. Tips and advice to get the most out of your garden, with inspirational ideas from Scotland’s most beautiful green spaces. The Beechgrove Garden has been on air since 1978 and remains a firm favourite with audiences in Scotland. Beechgrove shares with its viewers the weekly challenge to work with the Scottish conditions to produce maximum yield of as many varieties as possible of fruit, flowers and vegetables.

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Bathroom Items

Month 8 – August it’s Bathroom Items

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

5 Straight Out Swaps in the Bathroom!

This month I have concentrated on what I could swap out in the bathroom that was ready to be replaced. I managed to swap out 5 items

First Bathroom Swap

FACE- Face cloths & scrubs

So many disposable items can be used for the face from make-up wipes to cotton wool to cotton pads. They are not really necessary though when you can just store reusable ones & pop them into the wash when you next do your wash, or indeed wash them out afterwards & leave them to dry out.

We have 2 alternatives we now are using in the bathroom. Good old flannels & cotton crocheted pads, ideal for removing make-up or giving your face a little facial massage/scrub.

I no longer by scrubs either, my favourite scrub to use is a little coconut oil & brown sugar mixed together, leaves your face so soft, ideal for your whole body to exfoliate also.

Second Bathroom Swap

TEETH: Floss & toothbrushes

We use floss from The Humble co. “eco-friendly and innovative everyday products that doesn’t compromise on functionality and quality”

Product Info

floss picks made entirely from plastics? old school. try the humble floss picks that use corn-starch as its main base. comes packed in a eco-friendly paper bag.

humble floss picks makes flossing a piece of cake! the double threading ensures that food debris is effectively removed whilst the shape of the pick promotes easy access to those hard to reach places. made primarily from corn-starch and packaged in eco-friendly paper packaging, humble floss picks aim to minimise the stress on our environment whilst providing a first class experience

thehumble.co

Product Features

vegan certified -no animal products
cruelty-free certified -never tested on animals
developed by dentists- professionally developed

Third Bathroom Swap

BODY: Hand & Body Wash

Check out the swap on the Shampoo & Conditioner in this range that we are using -12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 2)

Product Features

Faith In Nature Hand & Body washes in bulk refillable bottles

Faith In Nature Putting Nature First Since 1974

PLASTIC
Enough, already. Our 400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999. 
REFILL
Bulk is beautiful. We’ve been making our products in big 5 litre bottles for decades
CLOSED LOOP
We want our bottles back, by returning your bottles to us, you help us reach better solutions, faster.
ZERO WASTE
Between our plastics policy, refill availability and closed loop scheme, we like to think we’re passing on as little of the plastics problem to our customers as possible. 

faithinnature.com

UK MADE -Thinking global, acting local

Fourth Bathroom Swap

EARS: Cleaners

We swapped over our cotton buds to these bio degradable, bamboo cotton buds. We throw these straight in our food compost bins to take outside to add to our main compost heaps or just dig a hole in the soil and add in and let it degrade. These are ideal for ears as well as removing eye make up, cleaning up wounds etc… a great swap.

Product Features

  • Environment-friendly – These cotton buds are eco-friendly with plastic-free packaging. They contain 0% single use plastic and 100% recyclable. 
  • Biodegradable – These cotton buds are made of 100% pure cotton and bamboo. . 

Fifth Bathroom Swap

WOMENS HEALTH: Sanitary Pads

When the kids were babies we used washable nappies, they were so easy to use and saved us so much money having all 3 in nappies for a while as they are so close in age. We just had a soak bucket we put them into each time with water & a few drops of tea tree oil in (removing any soiled waste straight down the toilet, washing that section with the clean toilet flush when necessary) so it should be no different for sanitary towels. I’ve had my set and soak bucket for over 3yrs now and this is our youngest daughters set ready for when she will need it.

I have found that since changing over 3yrs ago my flow is lighter, shorter and there is never any smell, like there can be off the plastic ones. They soak up enough, never leave me feeling wet and simple to just fold up and pop in a wash bag that comes with the set while out. Night time ones are much longer and last the whole night through.

These are from cheeky wipes. The come in cotton or bamboo.

Cheeky Simple Reusables – Better for the planet!

140 million disposables saved from landfill!

How our cheeky reusable swaps are helping the planet.

Read here: cheekywipes.com/sustainability

Product Features

“Bamboo sanitary pads- No more ripping, rustling, or chafing! Our bamboo sanitary pads are discreet, slim and best of all, reusable! Brilliant for regular to heavy flow”

5 Straight Out Swaps!

5 Straight Out Swaps! Removing plastic from our bathroom.

There is only 1 reason this month to make some swaps

1. The whole reason is to stop extra plastic waste coming out of the household. These changes produces ZERO PLASTIC or MICROPLASTIC waste each month

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your bathroom items too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste?

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Soft Plastic Recycling

Month 7 – July it’s Soft Plastic

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

This is a bit different this “swap” this is more of a location swap of soft plastics to be recycled

This months blog I have concentrated on what is still going out of the house. Soft plastics was something I looked into last year and it became apparent there was not much going on.

There was very few places doing this, there was locations dotted here and there to collect certain items like crisp packets or coffee pods etc… but nowhere I could just bag up everything weekly and drop it off.

Until……my local Tesco started displaying a huge bin at the front of their store saying drop your soft plastics off here.

So this is what I started doing

How Did We Go About This?

I started by putting a clear bag near our recycling boxes, we already had a box where we collected bread bags to drop off but I thought I was being careful at shopping but realised there is so much soft plastic materials that I just cannot avoid…..well for now.

Our recycling area in our home

23 August 2021

Tesco completes roll out of soft plastic collection points and expects to collect and recycle 1000 tonnes of plastic a year

Soft plastics are not commonly collected by local councils for recycling and often thrown away

From today, shoppers at all of Tesco’s large stores will be able to bring back any soft plastic packaging for recycling. The supermarket expects to collect more than 1000 tonnes a year and will recycle as much of this material as possible back into products and packaging sold in Tesco stores.

The national roll-out was brought forward by Tesco in response to overwhelming customer support during the 171-store trial earlier this year in Wales and the South West, where close to a tonne of soft plastic was collected a day. In the trial stores, 85% of customers said it helped them to recycle more than they would have done otherwise. Customers also reported that they like the convenience of being able to combine recycling with their shopping.

The collection points will allow customers to return all their previously unrecycled soft plastic, such as the clear film used to wrap meat and fish, crisp packets, fruit and veg bags and sweet wrappers, rather than having to throw it away. Most councils don’t collect soft plastic from homes for recycling so it typically goes to waste.

Taken from: Tesco Soft Plastic Rollout
Our local store

What Do We Put In Here?

Here’s what normally goes in here during a week

  • Crisp bags
  • Larger multipack crisp bags
  • Top film off the vegan ham/chicken
  • Chocolate wrappers
  • Sweet wrappers
  • Microwave rice bags
  • Biscuit wrappers
  • Pasta bags
  • Rice bags
  • Salad bags
  • Ice lolly wrappers
  • Ground coffee bags
  • Insides of cereal boxes
  • Frozen vegan mince/quorn
  • Bread/roll bags
  • Pouches from various
  • Multi can wrappers
Crisp bags & multipack bags
Pouches from various items
Sweet wrappers, multipack & insides
Frozen soft packaging & microwave rice multipack bags
Bread/roll bags & pasta packaging
Films off vegan ham/chicken & ice lolly wrappers
Multipack can wrappers

What Do We Do With It When It’s Full?

Once the bag is full which is usually every 10days or so, so 3 times a month I take these full bags to Tesco and just pop it in their allocated soft plastic trolly bins.

Our local store

Why Do We Do This?

Firstly this has reduced our waste coming from our house hugely. Our general waste bin is barley 1/4 full for collection after 3 weeks. We could easily not put out this bin for collection for 3mths and I bet if we looked into whatever is in this last 1/4 of a bin we could completely remove this.

That is next on my list!

We already compost any food waste (which is very little as we are good at using up left overs the next day.

We recycle all cardboard waste into the garden either sheet mulch or shredded into the soil

We have spent this year removing as much as we can from our plastic waste, check out Jan-June blog posts if you missed them 🙂

January
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Deodorant
February
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 1)
March
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Cleaning Products
April
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Toothpaste
May
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 2)
June
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Kitchen Items

Putting Your Soft Plastics To Good Use

There is still so much recycling being done that STILL does not get recycled. I like reading what Tesco is actually doing with the softs plastics they receive.

I believe they HAVE TO be part of the solution. Ideally they will be zero soft plastics/plastics at some point, but in the mean time they need to be responsible for what they are selling. Not just Tesco (its just our local) all stores selling products need to have the global responsibility for what they are selling and the harm they are contributing to the planet

Article on making soft plastic into Bin Liners: Tesco and Berry strike soft plastics recycling deal

Tesco & Berry Partners

Article on making soft plastic: Heinz partners with Tesco on soft plastics recycling drive

Heinz & Tesco Partners

Making The Swap

There is only 1 reason this month to make some swaps

1. The whole reason is to stop soft plastic waste just going STRAIGHT to land fill. If there is a way to support and stop this all together, we are here for that!

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your kitchen items too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste?

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A Little About Us and Where The Food Forest Has Started From – 2022 Update

Katrina & Peter and their children are a Vegan living family of 5 in East Ayrshire, Scotland. 3 children aged 12-15. Their eldest Clayton who is Autistic and Non verbal is Home Educated by Katrina and has developed a keen interest and eye for the garden and is most happiest when planting seeds, potting up and watering what he has grown. This year Clayton started the Grow and Learn Course with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

“ Grow & Learn is a person-centred award, recognising individual progress and achievement in horticulture. Our awards are inclusive, individualised and offer life skills based education for all. Grow & Learn aims to address a large gap in provision in the world of horticulture by offering an alternative learning opportunity for those who find mainstream learning challenging“ The Caley

Clayton watering the vegetables in the planters

You can follow Katrina & Clayton on our instagram page buildingafoodforest_scotland watching us daily around the garden while we build up the Food Forest with Fruit, Nuts & Berries bushes & trees all from a grassed patch. The start & development of the Kitchen Courtyard Garden using Vertical Gardening techniques- planting in milk cartons, the Raised bed garden, mini food forest raised beds & Clayton’s Flower Beds.

https://linktr.ee/BuildingaFoodForestScotland

The family have lived in Scotland since 2013 and decided to finally make it their home in 2019 and bought a property in East Ayrshire with large enough grounds to start building a food forest approx 1/4 acre to start having fresh basic food supplies for their family.

Peter completed Permaculture Design Course online at Oregon State University (certified by the Permaculture Institute of North America) and has designed the grounds using the 12 principles of permaculture design, they started with the fruit trees and fruit & nut bushes to get them established (all under net cages for Deer protection) while they slowly but surely continue to build the area around them.

12 steps of permaculture design
Image Source: gethunted.com

Oakmount House when we first moved in, Feb 2019
Food Forest area. Ongoing in 2022

From a full grass area, they have split it up into difference sections:

First Section – Seating Area

First is a seating area, which will also house a greenhouse & potting shed for Clayton to continue his skills in the garden. Has an established Apple tree & black & red currant bushes, there is a slope onto the 2nd tier that is in the process of becoming a full lavender hedge for a wonderful sensory experience, all grown from seed on the window sills around the house.

When the lavender hedge was first planed
in on the slope

Check out more of our progress on these blogs:

-No Waste Wednesday-What We Did With The Empty Compost Bags

Second Section – Kids Area

There is the kids area, for play, for running, for waterslides and swinging. The slope into the 3rd tier is full of flowers to the left of this photo & netted in to stop balls flying into it – originally put up to stop the Deers eating the lupins

When the 2nd flower slope lupins were planted out

Third Section – Food Forest & Raised Bed Garden

The third and largest section has the raised bed gardening area started with 5 of the 12 planned beds up and running. And the back section prepping for a full food forest. Fruit trees went in right away, so mulching out the area around them to start planting it all out fully to create a food forest.

Mulching the Food Forest area around the fruit trees ready to plant the whole area out
Overview- From Lavender slope at the back of the food forest

Check out more of our progress on these blogs:

Building a Food Forest in Scotland. Starting with the Tree Layer (Year 1)

Starting to Build a Food Forest, Where Did We Start? (Year 1 & 2)

Sheet Mulching a Large Grass Lawn Area To Build A Food Forest

Different sections of the garden we are working on 🟨 Yellow- Top Sitting Tier
🟪 Purple- Kids Tier with Lavender Slope
🟦 Blue- Food Forest Tier Planters with Flower Slope
🟥Pinky Red- Front Mini Food Forest
⬜️Grey- Kitchen Courtyard with Vertical Garden

This whole area is very much a working progress which we are documenting our progress on instagram Katrina & Clayton – buildingafoodforest_scotland

Kitchen Courtyard – Vertical Gardening

Behind the house we have built a Kitchen Courtyard Garden growing herbs & salads. A beautiful practical vertical garden is in this area too, we made great use of this space along a black fencing that retains the heat and gives the plants an extra heat boost, 66 milk cartons kindly collected by the neighbours are attached on a curtain rail, planted out with the seasons food.

Before and now of the Kitchen Courtyard Garden
Vertical Gardening using Milk Cartons
Got another 3 rows of these to add this year
Herbs and lettuce growing in the vertical garden

You can read in more details in the following blogs:

Building a Kitchen Courtyard Herb Garden in a Small Space in Scotland (Part 1)

-No Waste Wednesday-How We Grow Food in a Vertical Garden Using Milk Cartons On A Fence

A great use of recycling, reusing & repurposing, showing no matter the space you have you can always start growing something, even if it is using toilet rolls, paper cups, cutting up plastic bottles to use the bottom to plant & the tops for mini greenhouses or EVEN old shoes!

Reusing, Repurposing, Recycling items for the garden

Front Section – Mini Food Forests

Our mini food forest on the fence is thriving
New for 2022 mini food forest in a raised bed

Check out these blogs for more details:

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Small Area. Ours is On A Fence (Year 1)

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Raised Bed

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Other related blogs from the home are:

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Kitchen Items

Month 6 – June it’s Kitchen Items

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

5 Straight Out Swaps in the Kitchen!

This month I have concentrated on what I could swap out in the kitchen that was ready to be replaced. I managed to swap out 5 items

First Kitchen Swap

Unbleached Baking Parchment Paper Roll

This roll of baking parchment is made from 100% unbleached paper, is biodegradable, compostable and landfill safe; meaning that you can bake and cook until your heart is content – safe in the knowledge that you are using a great green product! As well as this, the manufactured materials are all made from renewable resources and the packaging materials are made from recycled paper.

Size: 33cm x 19.8m roll

Product Features

  • High-quality, environmentally friendly baking parchment roll
  • Made from renewable resources
  • Unbleached, chlorine-free and compostable
  • Greaseproof
  • Freezer and microwave safe.

Second Kitchen Swap

Tesco 20 compostable caddy liners tie-top.

Certified compostable bag. Made from renewable vegetable and biodegradable materials. Suitable for home composting when filled with compostable waste. I actually use these all around the home they are ideal for the small bins, reducing plastic bags & will decompose in the normal waste bins (not that we have much nowadays!)

Product Features

  • Fits right in. For your compostable waste
  • Certified compostable bag
  • Made from renewable vegetable and biodegradable materials

Third Kitchen Swap

Zero Waste Club Biodegradable Sponges 2 Pack

Basic yellow sponges are made from polyester and nylon which are non recyclable. Every time you wash up using one, small pieces of sponge, a type of microplastic, are washed straight down the drain and into our water systems. These microplastics then stay in the ocean until they are consumed by marine life, or ingested by humans

Product Features

  • Perfect for the Kitchen and Bathroom
  • 100% Biodegradable Made from Wood Pulp
  • Super Absorbent – Holds up to 10x its Weight
  • Tree Planted for Each Pack Sold
  • Check Inside for Full Transparency & Ethics
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Plastic-Free
  • Suitable for Vegans

Fourth Kitchen Swap

Paper Bags used for Sandwich Bags

Cost-effective paper bags on a string, to allow hanging on hooks. Environmentally friendly alternative to polythene & biodegrade

Product Features

  • Ideal for packed lunches
  • Come in many different sizes & bulk buys in large quantities you don’t need to think about it all year
  • Perfect for wrapping avocados or other fruit/veg in too

Fifth Kitchen Swap

TRADITIONAL JAPANESE WOK BRUSH

A traditional bamboo wok brush makes light work of wok-cleaning. Made of split bamboo stalks that are tied at the top, this brush can be used on a still-hot wok alongside soapy water. Bamboos have antibacterial effects and resistance to bacterial propagation. Using bamboo rather than a scourer will also prevent your wok from rusting. This is because it is gentler on the surface of the wok.

Like the sponge above, stops any plastic scouring pads or plastic brushes being used in the sink to avoid microplastics being washed away with the water.

Product Features

  • Devised for washing pans and mainly used by Chinese chefs because of its strong detergency and simple maintenance.
  • Can wash pans without putting your hands in water.
  • It has strength and flexibility, and doesn’t harm the surface of pans. You can scrub hard without too much worrying.
  • Burnt oil stains can be easily removed by boiling water in the pan and then scrubing it.
  • Easy to clean, just rinse & leave to dry

5 Straight Out Swaps!

5 Straight Out Swaps! Removing plastic from our kitchen for cleaning, baking, storing food and removing waste from the home & reducing any microplastics being washed down the sink.

There is only 1 reason this month to make some swaps

1. The whole reason is to stop extra plastic waste coming out of the household. These changes produces ZERO PLASTIC or MICROPLASTIC waste each month, every item is biodegradable.

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your kitchen items too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste?

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 2)

Month 5 – May It’s Hair Care – Part 2

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into my and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding hair care- shampoo & conditioner that met my criteria and as a Hairdresser by trade and kids with mixed origin hair this is a tough call!

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Hair Care-Shampoo & Conditioner are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

3a Reduce Single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

* This the overall goal

What Did I find?

Going into this I was all like…yep zero waste, doing it, got it set.

This was harder than expected. I thought I would just grab some shampoo & conditioner bars and boom that’s my monthly swap done. However what happen was more like, couldn’t find any in the supermarket stores, certainly wasn’t any in the poundland/dollar store style shops, spent hours scrolling google & instagram and got frustrated and you certainly couldn’t pick up anything for a few quid.

Read up on -12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 1) to see what I orginally chose.

February Swap Hair Care Part 1

Here is what I tried

Faith In Nature Shampoo & Conditioner in bulk refillable bottles

Faith In Nature

Putting Nature First Since 1974

PLASTIC
Enough, already. Our 400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999.
REFILL
Bulk is beautiful. We’ve been making our products in big 5 litre bottles for decades
CLOSED LOOP
We want our bottles back, by returning your bottles to us, you help us reach better solutions, faster.
ZERO WASTE
Between our plastics policy, refill availability and closed loop scheme, we like to think we’re passing on as little of the plastics problem to our customers as possible.

UK MADE -Thinking global, acting local

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses.

Faith In Nature state: CRUELTY FREE. RECYCLED. RECYCLABLE. NATURAL. VEGAN. BIODEGRADABLE. ETHICAL.SUSTAINABLE. Is the banner they have going across their website. Not only do they have the Vegan approved Logo they are also leaping bunny approved

YES – This works for me and a Vegan and Cruelty free company!!


I got the 5ltr bottles and pumps

2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have both, all, my criteria met to make yet another swap

Faith In Nature state:

Paraben and SLS free

99% naturally derived shampoo & conditioner

100% natural fragrance & essential oils 

Vegan Society Approved and cruelty-free hair care

YES – This works for me!


3a Reduce single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

In this case I bought the smaller 300ml bottles of shampoo, conditioner and got the 5ltr bottles to fill up with. These large bottles when emptied will be returned to the company, not something I wanted to be doing, but I figured once a year isn’t really an issue, that’s if I don’t end up using them to plant in around the garden, or use them as watering cans or even filled with water to heat the soil over night when the sun heats the water in the bottle during the day. Details on their website read:

PLASTIC

Enough, already

Our 400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999. It’s why they’ve always had that funny grey tinge. Because if we’re going to use plastics (and unfortunately we do still need to), then we want to ensure that as much of that plastic as possible is already in existence. One day, we hope we’ll find a way to ditch it for good. Until then we’re doing all we can to use as little of it as we can.

REFILL

Bulk is beautiful

We’ve been making our products in big 5 litre bottles for decades — but it’s only recently that people have really started buying them from us. And we’re so glad they do because the maths is pretty simple: the bigger the bottle, the bigger the difference it makes. Our 5 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 12.5 smaller bottles. And our whopping 20 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 50 smaller ones. Yes, the bigger bottles use thicker plastic — but they still use substantially less plastic than the combined volume of the smaller bottles. So whether you refill at home or refill at one of our many refill stores, refill really does mean less landfill.

CLOSED LOOP

We want our bottles back

We tie ourselves in knots trying to close the loop on our products — and have been trying to figure out how best to do this since before ‘closed loop’ was a thing. Previous attempts have looked good, then not so good. So right now, we’re back to trialling new methods — and by returning your bottles to us, you help us reach better solutions, faster.

Our hope is that very soon all large format bottles returned to us can either be washed and refilled or ground down and remoulded. For smaller bottles, the best way to close the loop at home is by refilling them over and over again.

YES – This works for me!

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

You have to shop around to get these 5ltr bottles, I ended up getting mine from Holland & Barrett, Boots and Llyods Chemist Online when they were on discounted sales so got them even cheaper than it would cost me to buy single bottles each month. I have seen Faith in Nature do buy 1 get 1 free also, so really look around before you buy. (Pumps direct from Faith in Nature as I wanted to make sure they were they right ones). With the shampoo bars I originally got, the conditioner didn’t work for us and for my kids hair (mixed Afro hair), this they are able to do themselves again and works well keeping those curls under control.

We loved the products so much I also got the body wash and hand washes and Clayton loves going round them all each month filling them up.

YES – This works for me!

This is after 3 months use
Check out what else Clayton gets up on on our Instagram feed Katrina & Clayton

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC waste each month!!

2. Easy to refill the smaller bottles.

3. Better on the environment not using or recycling bottles each & larger bottles can be sent back

4. Cost actually works out cheaper per 100ml than buying in smaller bottles

5. Able to get body wash & hand wash in the same style saving me more money over the year

As a household of 5 we each get through our shampoo and conditioner bottles once a month that would be 24 plastic bottles eliminated per year using the bulk refilling bottles.

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your hair care too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste

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Building a Mini Food Forest in a Raised Bed

You don’t need a huge space to start growing food and you don’t need a large space to start a food forest. Just start where you are & with what you have to move forward. Using the Permaculture Design Principles you can maximise your space to get the most from it.

Source: familyfoodgarden.com

The different layers of a food forest garden show the large tree canopies, with shrubs, herbs, groundcover and root layers. You can adapt these layers to smaller spaces too.

What Did We Do?

In this area we already have large tall trees and bushes, but there was no food growing in this area even though the sun hits it early in the morning & stays all day. In the summer we have the badminton net up here & use the driveway to play so did not want to cover this whole space.

Recently the swing has been replaced with rings & has turned into an outside workout area, so this area is still being used, but we decided to use the space we had to put a long raised bed along the bushes. This one is 44cm wide, and consists of 3 separate ones making it over 32ft long (1000cm) We went as far as the area was flat, but I may add more later in the year to continue to the last bush or fill that space with some dwarf apple or plum trees. I haven’t decided yet.

Follow my daily posts on instagram buildingafoodforest_scotland

How Did We Do It?

After building and placing the raised beds in we began filling them using the Hugelkultur method. This is the process of layering organic garden waste inside the raised garden bed, before adding soil.

This saves on costs and helps attracting and preserving moisture. This method is of German origin, hugelkultur translates to “mound or hill culture.” It is especially applicable in areas where soil retention and drainage are poor, which is typical of soils found in urban areas.

Starting with the bottom you would place any large rotting logs or sticks, filling up all the space as you go.

On top of that layering with any grass clippings, coffee grounds, compost, leave mould, shredded cardboard or paper, hair clippings, or other organic matter. Then add your top soil to plant into. I try to make sure it’s at least 8” deep.

As the material breaks down, it creates a flourishing environment for beneficial fungi and microbes that mimics the natural landscape of a forest.

There are many advantages to the Hugelkultur method, including soil quality improvement, minimal maintenance, and water retention and is an ideal opportunity to use this method whenever you start a new raised bed.

Building up the layers before adding the top soil

As with all our other raised beds we have added or made (out of metal corrugated roofing sheets), they are all metal which give us the flexibility of length & height and do not cost anywhere near as much as sleepers do due to the height we wanted them at.

For more details of our other raised bed project areas look at blogs:

Making Every Bit Of Space Usable. Building A Long Planter Raised Bed

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Small Area. Ours is On A Fence (Year 1)

What Did We Plant?

First we split our 2 large rhubarbs from the previous year into 4 and planted them in the centre raised bed

Clayton & his dad Peter cutting the rhubarb crown in half. Peter using a hand-over-hand technique to support Clayton
Clayton finishing off the separation with a spade
Planting the new half crowns
The 4 half crowns growing well with Chives inbetween a few months on
Raised beds are ideal to keep things off the ground too, I find I have far little slugs, if any in these

How Did We Use Permaculture Design To Plant?

Looking at the 7 layers of a food forest, this is how we planted up our raised beds

Source: Source: familyfoodgarden.com

1. Tall Tree or Canopy Layers

These are already in this area above the raised beds. Not food, but they provide a home to a diverse array of animals and beneficial insects. There’s much more life than what you would find in an annual vegetable garden. In smaller spaces you would leave this layer out. We are lucky enough to already have this layer established.

2. Sub-Canopy or Large Shrub Layers

We have the large larrel leaf & rhodedendrums layer shrubs here, while these do not produce food, they do produce flowers to attract the bees. We will be looking at planting some dwarf Apple/Plum trees in the empty spaces behind the raised beds, there are 2 ideal slots these could be placed.

3. Shrub Layer

Planted in the Raised Bed – Raspberries & Hazelnut. There are 5 different types of Raspberry bare root canes in here, so harvesting should have a longer span from the earlies to the lates

4. Herbacious Layer

Planted in the Raised Beds – Chives, Coriander & Rhubarb, this is the layer where you’ll find most vegetables that you’d typically expect to be grown in a backyard garden.

5. Ground Cover Layer

Planted in the Raised Beds – Strawberries are in & Nasturtium seeds have be planted in here too. They will start to spread out creating the ground cover across the area.

6. Underground layer

Planted in the planters – Garlic & Spring Onions are in. Of course, these plants don’t just grow underground. So there’s often a lot of crossover here with plants in the herbaceous or groundcover layer as well.

This empty space behind the raised bed will be an ideal spot for a dwarf Apple or Plum tree

All of this biodiversity also supports the permaculture garden concept of guilds. A guild is a group of mutually beneficial species that form a larger ecosystem. A food forest really is greater than just the sum of its parts.

Each layer of a food forest plays its own important role. When designing a food forest of your own, be sure to incorporate species from each layer. That way you will end up with the most resilient and self-sustaining food forest even in the smallest of spaces!


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This blog is from the 🟥 Pinky Red Area

Other related blogs from this area are:

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Small Area. Ours is On A Fence (Year 1)

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Cleaning Products

Month 4 – April It’s Cleaning Products

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought & focus on what chemicals are going in our body now.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet.

What could you do today?


What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into mine and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream, that includes anything that is in the air that we can inhale.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding cleaning products suitable for our home.

We already stopped using bleach and bleach products in our home and switched to making our own toilet bombs, which have been working out great. Check this out here -No Waste Wednesday- How We Made Easy Toilet Bombs Using 3 Ingredients

-No Waste Wednesday- How We Made Easy Toilet Bombs Using 3 Ingredients

DID YOU KNOW…

Most Cleaning Products Are 90% Water?

Why would you pay for 90% water, when there are other ways to use and buy your products? THAT IS A WHOLE LOT OF UNNECESSARY WATER BEING SHIPPED AROUND THE WORLD AND MOSTLY IN SINGLE USE PLASTIC PACKAGING. (Source: Neatclean)

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Cleaning Products are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free. Ideally Plant Derived & Biodegradable Ingredients

2. No Aluminium, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates.

3 Remove Single Use Plastic Cleaning Bottles – no glass bottles due to the kids

4. I DO NOT want to pay for water, water in the bottles, water being shipped, water being shipped to factories to be used. All of this is a waste of resources.

5. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is around £5 a month on bathroom & kitchen cleaners. Glass cleaner every 6mths or so as I don’t use it often

What Did I find?

There are sooooo many to look into when you research this.

I was looking for non plastic bottles as to me even if they are reusable, they still have to be made! so I wanted to avoid plastic all together, the other alternative I found was glass and if I didn’t have teens running around the house I may have opted for this. I ended up exclusively looking at ALUMINIUM bottles, what I found was none of the spray tops were made from anything other than plastic, which is highly frustrating as, if anything is going to break overtime it will be the spray tops.

Here is what I tried

Neat.

Neat Clean

The 30ml refill mixes with 470ml of tap water to make 500ml of cleaner.
Once you buy our starter packs, you will only need to buy refills to make more cleaning products. No more bulky products taking up space and no more single use plastic! Your refillable spray bottle is designed to work with neat. concentrated refills. There are refills that Kills 99.9% of bacteria. 

The Bottles: designed to last and not for trash. It is aluminium, so light weight but durable. It has a silicone base that gives it extra protection where it needs it and feels great when placing on hard surfaces. This base can be removed for cleaning.

Free From:
Dyes and colourings
Parabens 
Phosphates
Ammonia
Chlorine Bleach
Sulphates
Our formulas are Made in Great Britain and are vegan and not test on animals. They perform brilliantly. 

Taken from their website neatclean.com

I selected that Anti-Bac Starter Pack Bundle: Multi-Surface, Glass & Mirror and Bathroom Cleaner with Aluminium Bottles and Plastic-Free Refills and got the 25% off this set with a friend referral which made it really affordable

Inside each box is the reusable bottle and the concentrated glass bottle refill sitting in the top of the box.

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free. Ideally Plant Derived & Biodegradable Ingredients

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses. No logos or accreditation yet which I usually go for though.

Neat. : Our formulas are Made in Great Britain and are vegan and not test on animals. They perform brilliantly. Made with Plant Derived & Biodegradable Ingredients

YES – This works for me!


Such a clean look around the home, so much so I have them on display in the bathroom & kitchen

2. No Aluminium, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates.

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have all my criteria met to make yet another swap

Neat. : Free From:

  • Dyes and colourings
  • Parabens 
  • Phosphates
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Sulphates

YES – This works for me!


3 Remove Single Use Plastic Cleaning Bottles – no glass bottles due to the kids

In this case these bottles are aluminium so sustainable. Plastic spray lid, which is annoying, but I wasn’t able to find any others with anything different in the spray version. Boxes are cardboard & refills in mini glass bottles.

Neat. : Materials

SPRAY BOTTLE: Bottle- Aluminium / Spray nozzle- Plastic / Base- Silicone

REFILLS: Bottle- Glass/ Lid- Aluminium / Box- Paper Card

SPRAY BOTTLE CARE:

Your refillable spray bottle is designed to work with neat. concentrated refills.

It is designed to last and not for trash. It is aluminium, so light weight but durable. It has a silicone base that gives it extra protection where it needs it and feels great when placing on hard surfaces. This base can be removed for cleaning.

YES – This works for me!

We use flannels for cleaning so they can be
washed & reused

4. I DO NOT want to pay for water, water in the bottles, water being shipped, water being shipped to factories to be used. All of this is a waste of resources.

No water shipped in bottles, use your own tap water and add the concentrated refills into the water. Very clear instructions on the packaging

Neat. : Instructions for use: Dilute 30ml concentrate to 500ml.

YES – This works for me!

The clean white bottles with limited writing & pastel base design attracted me to these

4. 5. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is around £5 a month on bathroom & kitchen cleaners. Glass cleaner every 6mths or so as I don’t use it often

I picked the bundle of 3 for £27, £20.50 with the 25% discount with free shipping over £20

Enjoy my 25% off friend referral discount off on the site.

You can get them separately for £9 for the bottle & a refill, or grab a trial for just a fiver! Refills are £2.50 on their website but Sainsburys & Tescos I’ve seen them on offer often. So grab those deals when you can & stock up for the year

I’m in my 10th week of using this set & really loving it. Only topped up my anti bac multi surface cleaner once. I’ve actually been using my glass & mirror spray on the shower doors instead of my usual bathroom cleaner so have only used half of each product. The smell os amazing after I’ve cleaned too!

So initial outlay has been more (4mths of my budgeted money) but in the nearly 3mths (would have spent £15) I have only purchased 1 refill at £2.50 so over the year it will start to even out & be within budget

YES – This works for me!

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC BOTTLE waste each month!!

2. Aluminium bottle is reusable & cardboard packaging & glass bottles are recyclable

3. Better on the environment, as water is not being shipped around the world

4. Can get them from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and other retailers starting to stock them so can just pick up easily instore in your normal shopping

5. Price is that of a normal cleaning item so many times swapping to eco brands means it costs more, grab those deals & stock up if you can.

As a household of 5 we each get through 1 bottle of kitchen/multi surface anti bac cleaner a month, 1 bottle of bathroom cleaner every 2 months and 1 bottle of glass cleaner every 6mth that would be 20 plastic bottles eliminated per year that we will be reducing from our household.

I had no idea that we was even using so much until I started looking into it and was shocked I was contributing so much plastic per year in just cleaning products!

Enjoy my 25% off friend referral discount off on the site.

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year?

Could you look into your cleaning products too?

What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste coming out from your household?

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-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Toothpaste

Month 3 – March It’s Toothpaste

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought & focus on what chemicals are going in our body now.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet.

What could you do today?


Did you know most Toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled! These are often made of different types of plastics, as well as containing a metal layer. In general they are not recyclable, although there are some recycling options offered by Colgate and Terracyle. Source

On average, it takes 500 years for a toothpaste tube to fully biodegrade in landfill, meaning that every tube you have used in your lifetime could still be out there in a big hole in the ground. Source I mean, this is just an utter disgrace that these are even made, let alone sold, our planet is being destroyed enough without us adding more plastic just to be thrown into a hole in the ground.

What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into mine and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding toothpaste.

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Toothpaste are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

2. No Aluminiums, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates

3 Remove Single Use Plastic Tubes

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is £3.50-£3.99 a tube so max of £8 a month for 2 tubes for us 5.

What Did I find?

Going into this I was all like…yep zero waste, doing it, got it set.

This was harder than expected, much like Februarys swap of Shampoo & Conditioner. I thought I would just grab some toothpaste tabs, (little tablets of toothpaste you pop in your mouth & crush in your teeth then start brushing) and that’s my monthly swap done. However what happen was more of……I cannot afford to swap a family of 5 onto toothpaste tabs, prices were £25 upwards per month for us all, so I had to look for a non plastic tube alternative.

BootsTheChemist came up trumps again, not only do they stock the waken range, they had them on offer from £4 down to £2.75, same as Amazon, so really shop around when you find a brand you like to find those offers. I ordered 4 peppermint toothpastes to try at that price. That was a few months worth for UNDER my monthly cost target. I will certainly stock up whenever I see it this price from now on.

Here is what I tried

Waken Toothpaste because this was the only aluminium tube of toothpaste I could find in the UK which was a normal and not overpriced

Waken

TOOTHPASTES
Our delicious toothpastes are blended with natural mint and other botanical extracts and flavours to help freshen breath. They are wonderfully effective at taking care of your teeth in either gel or tablet form and contain fluoride, which helps protect against cavities. All our toothpastes are made from sustainable materials and look beautiful in any bathroom.


Our Waken Peppermint toothpaste will provide you with the following benefits:

Freshens breath
Fluoride helps to protect against cavities
Delicious natural flavour blended with real peppermint extract
Naturally coloured gel
Sustainable packaging
Vegan friendly
SLS-free and lightly foaming
Beautiful in your bathroom

Taken from their website wakencare.com
5 Different flavours of toothpaste (and matching mouthwashes if you like them)

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses.

Waken state: Waken Peppermint toothpaste is vegan and so is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else who sees the benefits of plant-based living. Our Peppermint toothpaste gel also does not contain any artificial colours or dyes making the gel naturally coloured.

YES – This works for me!


Vegan approved logo from the vegetarian society

2. No Aluminiums, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have both, all, my criteria met to make yet another swap

YES – This works for me!


Bought 4 on offer to try for the next 2months

3 Remove single Use Plastic

In this case these tubes are aluminium so sustainable recycling/reusing loop. Plastic lid, which is annoying (made from fully recycled plastic though, but still annoying). I am going to look into saving them over the year & see about returning them to the company. Box is cardboard.

Waken state: Our sustainable toothpaste packaging includes a tube made from recycled aluminum that can be recycled endlessly when you’re done with it.

If you are interested in the mouthwash, their first product, this is certified carbon neutral. Waken was born from the desire to make a positive impact on the environment. We set ourselves the tall task of creating beautifully sustainable mouthcare as a better alternative to what the oral hygiene category is currently providing.

However, we want to grow in the right way. As a result we’ve taken our very first and most beloved products, our mouthwashes, and made them carbon neutral!

YES – This works for me! (Even though I am still producing recycling from my household, it is sustainable recycling and not plastic non recyclable tubes)

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is £3.50-£3.99 a tube so max of £8 a month for 2 tubes for us 5.

As mentioned earlier BootsTheChemist & Amazon they had them on offer from £4 down to £2.75, so it is really worth shopping around when you find a brand you like to find those offers.

I ordered 4 peppermint toothpastes to try at that price. That was a few months worth for UNDER my monthly cost target. I will certainly stock up whenever I see it this price from now on.

YES – This works for me!

After 2 weeks use, rolls down really well to get everything out of the tube

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC TUBE waste each month!!

2. Aluminium tube & cardboard packaging is recyclable

3. Better on the environment, as plastic toothpaste tubes are not recyclable

4. Can get them from BootsTheChemist so can just pick up easily instore

5. Price is that of a normal tube, so many times swapping to eco brands means it costs more, grab those deals & stock up if you can.

As a household of 5 we each get through 2 tubes of toothpaste a month that would be 24 plastic tubes eliminated per year that we will be reducing from our household

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year?

Could you look into your toothpaste too?

What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste coming out from your household?

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 1)

Month 2 – February It’s Hair Care – Part 1

Background…..

As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into my and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding hair care- shampoo & conditioner that met my criteria and as a Hairdresser by trade and kids with mixed origin hair this is a tough call!

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Hair Care-Shampoo & Conditioner are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

3a Reduce Single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

* This the overall goal, but this may not be such a cut & dry swap out like last months deodorants

What Did I find?

Going into this I was all like…yep zero waste, doing it, got it set.

This was harder than expected. I thought I would just grab some shampoo & conditioner bars and boom that’s my monthly swap done. However what happen was more like, couldn’t find any in the supermarket stores, certainly wasn’t any in the poundland/dollar store style shops, spent hours scrolling google & instagram and got frustrated and you certainly couldn’t.t pick up anything for a few quid.

Again BootsTheChemist came up trumps again, not only do they stock the wild deodorants from last month they actually had a selection of so many Brands of Shampoo Bars

Herbal Essence

Head & Shoulders Shampoo Bars

Pantene

Aussie

Eco Warrier

Faith in Nature

Ethique

John Freda

Bleach London

L’Oreal Men Expert Barber

But only Ethique & Aussie had the matching Conditioner bars

Display in BootsTheChemist

Since then I actually found Alberto Balsam Shampoo Bars & Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bars stocked in a section in tesco, but again no conditioner bars. So I am sure we will be seeing these pop up in more supermarket stores & in larger selections

I’m all for online shoping but if I can actually see, touch & smell products and save on the postage & environmental cost of delivery for a single item, then I totally will and if I can add it to my weekly/monthly grocery shopping without any extra postage or any added delivery then that’s a huge win.

Here is what I tried

Aussie Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. As they were one of the 2 that had matching conditioner bars and I was already familiar with this brand

Aussie

This moisturising solid shampoo bar, lovingly made with Australian Macadamia Nut Oil, will make your mane as soft as a baby Koala. Fur-real!

With 98% natural ingredients*

Certified PETA cruelty-free and vegan formula.

* 98% naturally derived ingredients, with the remaining 2% for a good usage experience and product stability.


Naturally derived ingredients maintain >50% of their natural origin material.

Taken from their product description
Aussie Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. I picked the volumising shampoo bar for me to try out
String is ideal for them to dry out super fast & keeps the bathroom tidy

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses.

Aussie state: As a PETA recognised cruelty free hair care brand, you can rest assured that we care deeply about our furry friends, large and small. Having doubts about what vegan hair care means? No worries! We did all the digging for you. The SOS range is Vegan and so are the Bars.

YES – This works for me!


2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have both, all, my criteria met to make yet another swap

Aussie state: No parabens or aluminium or silicons are used in this product and Sodium coco sulphate (SCS) is used to create the rich foam that cleanses hair and skin.

Made from the fatty acids of coconut oil, Sodium Coco Sulphate (SCS) it’s a good palm-free alternative to sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).

Sodium coco sulphate is a surfactant. All surfactants are partly water-soluble and partly oil-soluble, allowing oil and water to become dispersed.

Sodium coco sulphate is a much larger molecule which is too big to penetrate the skin and affect living cells under the surface like SLS can.

YES – This works for me! (but can I find a non sulphate alternative?….probably, although it does restrict the foam for cleaning hair and makes it difficult to actually clean your hair)


Makes a great fine foam very quickly by rubbing in your hands or straight into your hair or head

3a Reduce single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

In this case these bars are 3b, they eliminate plastic all together. There is just the box to recycle which is a huge step from plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles hitting my recycling bin every month

Aussie state: Recyclable box and paper packaging

YES – This works for me!

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

These cost me £9.99 each from Boots, I have yet to see these on offer. I have been using the shampoo for the the last 2mths and Aussie state it is like 2 bottles of shampoo. it foams up so well I think I will get another month out of this bar, which is great.

The Conditioner bar however, I have not been able to get on with at all. It is just like a thick bar of lard, no matter how much I warm it up it just goes on my hair clumpy, thick and leaves it greasy.

YES – This works for me! HOWEVER I need to address the Conditioner situation

I will be continuing this into a PART 2 to see how I can change up the whole families Shampoo and Conditioner situation to address and eliminate plastic from our home into our recycling bin.

This is after 2mths use
Conditioner bar I used twice and didn’t get on with it, this is after being rubbed in hot water

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC waste each month!!

2. Small box of cardboard to recycle every other month rather than plastic bottles

3. Better on the environment not shipping any water to and from

4. Take up less space in your bathroom and these had hanging string so they dried out really fast.

5. Shampoo bars are easily accessible from bootsthechemist and more bars starting to be brought out into the mainstream supermarkets

As a household of 5 we each get through our shampoo and conditioner bottles once a month that would be 24 plastic bottles eliminated per year if we all used a style shampoo and conditioner bar.

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your hair care too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste

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