Steps to a more ECO me

It’s amazing how many things textiles can be used for that make us a little more eco… For example, fabric Sanitary pads that you pop in the wash or beeswax coated fabric to wrap your sandwich in. I have been trying to take a few more steps to become more ‘eco’ to reduce my impact on the world. I thought I would share them and where I am buying the products – you could also make a lot for yourself!

  1. Fabric Sanitary towels! Reusable (just pop in your washing machine) & more comfortable! ( they can, however, be quite bulky so good to have a couple of the smaller ones for tighter trousers – ie gym leggings)

    I bought mine from a local maker – Proper Pads who are based in Angus you can see their products in the image below borrowed from their Facebook page.

    Most pads and tampons contain nonbiodegradable plastic, therefore, it will take 500-800+ years for them to decompose and if burnt they produce CO2.  Over 100 million menstrual hygiene products are disposed of annually [1]. Still not convinced that you should swap? Use this calculator to work out how much waste you will personally generate… https://www.intimina.com/menstrual-calculator 

    Alongside this, you can also save yourself £8400 over your lifetime (“ menstruating costs women around £18,000 over their lifetime,”) [2]

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2. Fabric make up remover pads – again pop them in the wash and reuse! I don’t wear makeup (maybe 1 or 2 days of the year) so have not yet invested/ made these but I will get round to it.

Why should we? Apparently, wet wipes are a key part of the ‘Fat Burg’ and cause 93% of blockages in UK sewers [3]. DONT FLUSH YOUR WET WIPES – in fact, let’s just get rid of them and use textiles – always!

3. Beeswax fabric to replace clingfilm… I received a kit to make my own beeswax textiles for Christmas and I am yet to make them but I will soon and then I can wrap my lovely lunches in bee textiles!

My kit was bought from UpCycled World at  Leith Collective. 

beeswax-wraps

4. Soap – instead of buying lots of plastic coated liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream… buy it as soap! These not only get rid of the packaging but last for longer and can be bought locally. A few great independent Scottish places to get it…

Hand Soap:  Soaps 4 U (available to buy Leith Collective)
Shaving Soap: Glasgow Soap Company (also do lots of great soap etc)
Shampoo and conditioner bars: Lush ( not independent but doing great things for eco)

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5. Plastic-free cotton buds… I have actually just invested in “LastSwab’ kickstarter a reusable bud, but in lots of places, you can buy wooden cotton buds that are plastic free.

I have been using these a lot recently after getting new ear piercings, my use of so many cotton buds got me thinking about the environmental impact… according to ‘LastSwab’ ‘1.5 billion cotton swabs are produced every single day and the average American uses 415 cotton swabs every year. In the UK damage is evident: For every 100 feet of beach, there are 9 cotton swabs.’ If you need convinced more check out their Kickstarter video and think of our sea life and beaches!

5. Buy sustainable, independent and local! Check out your local Zero Waste shops when looking for furniture, borrow things like bread machines if you can and consider your fashion choices (more info on this in my last blog)

A few other favourite places to shop:

Leith Collective
East Lothian Zero Waste
Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA are great at supporting local #DundeeMade places)
Wasps Dundee Craft Fairs
Flux (Dunbar)
Why Not? (North Berwick & Now Galashiels)
DJCAD degree show (animation, jewellery and some other disciplines have items for sale)
Things still on my to do list to make my life more eco:

Dreams (within my lifetime):

  • Sustainable home – yes please!
  • Electric car – yup just let me trade my van in please!
  • Make my research and practice more sustainable – reusable computers  (rasp pi etc)

Realistic (within the year):

  • Make my own clothes – as mentioned in the last post I am attending pattern cutting classes to learn how to do just that
  • Buy a razor for life – no more venus plastic ones!
  • Make my cleaning supplies more eco…. ( We use Tescos new range of eco-active cleaners but there may be something better?)

Got top tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

[1] Dominique Mosbergen (2018). Women Spend More Than £18,000 On Having Periods In Their Lifetime, Study Reveals. Huffington Post, [online] Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/plastic-free-tampons-pads_n_5c0e88a6e4b06484c9fce988 [Accessed 7 May 2019].

[2]Rachel Moss (2015). 5 Ways To Make Your Period Better For The Environment Huffington Post, [online] Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/09/03/women-spend-thousands-on-periods-tampon-tax_n_8082526.html?guccounter=1[Accessed 7 May. 2019].

[3] BBC (2018). Wet wipes could face wipe-out in plastic clean-up. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/44034025 [Accessed 7 May 2019].

[4]  FACO CPH (2019). LastSwab – The Reusable Cotton Swab. [online] Available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/193289139/lastswab-the-reusable-cotton-swab  [Accessed 7 May 2019].

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