Vegan Banana Bread // Plastic Free July

Banana bread is one of those great cakes that you can make with ingredients from your cupboard and now I can bulk buy vegan chocolate chips, the recipe is zero waste too. It’s also a great way to use up any bananas that are too ripe too eat so you don’t end up with food waste.

I made this cake last night and as you can see from the photo I’ve already eaten about a third of it which can only be a sign that it tastes good. It’s really quick and easy to make and you don’t need any fancy food processors or equipment.

 

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My Zero Waste Bathroom // Plastic Free July

Happy Plastic Free July!

I hope that you’re all enjoying the challenge of trying to cut ditch single-use plastics and look for zero waste alternatives.

Of all the rooms in my flat, my bathroom is definitely the most zero waste. It was the first area of my life that I really tackled, and I’m proud that it’s a plastic free zone. So I thought I would share the products I use to inspire you to make some plastic free swaps this month.

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Where To Bulk Buy in Edinburgh | The New Leaf Co-op

Want to know where to bulk buy in Edinburgh?

Well The New Leaf Co-op has all your zero waste needs.

I discovered this shop last year, and these days I can often be found there scooping chickpeas into jars and looking at all the shelves of spices.

The store is open from Monday to Saturday and is the best place in Edinburgh to buy in bulk. The shop sells loose fruit and veg, bread without packaging, and lots of bulk foods including grains, pulses, pasta, spices, herbs, dried fruit, cleaning products, and they have a nut butter machine!!

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Zero Waste Mascara

My makeup bag is probably one of the areas of my life that isn’t very zero waste. If you know me well then you’ll know I don’t wear much makeup anyway, but one of my must-have items is mascara. I was previously using drugstore mascara which came in a plastic bottle, but since it ran out a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to find a zero waste alternative.

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Zero Waste Shaving – Safety Razor First Impressions

I’ve been waiting for a couple of months now to use my last remaining disposable safety razors before I could order myself a safety razor. A few weeks ago, I finally finished my last plastic razor so I took the plunge and bought myself a safety razor.

I did a little bit of research and decided to go for the Edwin Jagger DE89L which you can purchase from Amazon here and enough razors to last me a lifetime from Astra here. The best bit about Astra is that the blades come in a cardboard box with the blades wrapped in paper. It might have been more expensive that disposable razors, but that’s the last time I will need to purchase any hair removal products for the rest of my life.

I’m still getting used to using the razor d taking it slow, but so far it’s been a success!

Watch the video below for my first impressions and I’ll be sure to update you as I carry on using it.

Have you tried a safety razor yet? I’d love to know what zero waste hair removal products you use in the comments below.

Zero Waste Beginner’s Tips

Say hello to my new venture into the world of social media!

I’ve dabbled with YouTube before, but I’ve never really committed to it properly. I’ve made a few videos over the past few years, but nothing that great and I guess I never stuck with it as much as I should have. So I decided to change my channel name from my nickname Moyesy to ZeroWaste30 and start again. If you would like to subscribe to my channel then you can do so here.

I thought I’d start things with a really simple video with my top 5 zero waste tips to get you started.

1. Reusable bottle

There really isn’t any reason at all to be buying plastic bottles of water these days. Despite the fact that it’s damaging to the environment, why spend £1 on a bottle of water when you can just drink it from your tap? It really doesn’t make any sense at all. I picked up my stainless steel reusable bottle from TK Maxx a few months ago and it’s the best bottle I’ve ever had. It keeps my water cold for 12 hours which is perfect if I’m on the go or if I’m doing some hillwalking. I’ve also found cafes and restaurants are more often than not happy enough to fill it up if you ask them nicely enough.

2. Tote Bag

I think this was one of the first zero waste swaps I made years ago before I ever knew what the term zero waste meant. I have quite a few ones that I carry around with me including a few from my work and my favourite vegan ones from Chiaralascura. Unfortunately the one I have is no longer available, but they do have some other awesome looking ones on their website. I picked mine up at a vegan festival in Glasgow a few years ago, but you can purchase them online too. If you don’t want postage and packaging which I can’t guarantee is zero waste then you’ll be able to pick up other totes bags in shops a lot closer to home.

3. Shampoo bar

I swapped by shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar about six months ago and I haven’t looked back since. I know there’s a lot of different ones on the market and some people don’t like Lush, but I’ve found the Seanik bar from Lush works really well for my hair. I don’t need to use a conditioner with it and it lasts for a long time. I did try using a different one from Lush but it made my hair feel a bit dry, so I would shop around and find one that works for you. If you get one in Lush then they sell tins as well so they’re easy to carry around.

4. Bamboo Toothbrush

I love my trusty bamboo toothbrush from Humble Brush which unlike plastic ones is biodegradable and can be recycled or put in the compost. I tend to keep hold of mine and reuse them to clean stuff with, so there’s lots of different uses for them.

5. Reusable wipes

I stopped using face wipes last year, and have been using reusable ones ever since. I’m currently using some handmade ones that I made from an old pair of pyjamas. I used them with coconut oil to take off my make up (I don’t wear much make up anyway) and then just throw them in the wash with my normal load. It much better and cheaper than constantly buying single use face wipes from the shops.

What tips would you have for someone getting started on their own zero waste journey? Comment below and let me know.

Zero waste laundry

If I’m honest, I probably didn’t think much about what I was washing my clothes in until a couple of months ago. Aside from looking for a vegan product, I would generally just pick up whatever
washing detergent was on offer. However this zero waste journey has not only made me think about my plastic use, but it’s also made me aware of all the chemicals around me.

A few months ago while browsing in my local health food store, I noticed this bag of Soapnuts or soapberries. I’d heard about them online, but this was the first time I’d found them, so I bought a bag and my washing has never been the same since.

Soapberries are actually a fruit which produces a natural soap meaning you can wash your clothes free of any chemicals, parabens or additives. They’re vegan can be recycled in the compost too!

The ones I have are from Green Frog Botanic and they couldn’t be easier to use. You just put a few shells into a small cotton pouch that comes with them, and you just throw it into the wash. The soapberries shells can be reused for multiple washes so they’re much better value for money too. I also add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to my wash so my clothes come out smelling good.

I was definitely a little sceptical at first, but my clothes feel great and I know that I’ll never go back to using chemical filled laundry detergent ever again.

So that’s my new way of washing my clothes, and I love it!

I’d really like to know in the comments below what steps you take for zero waste washing.

Zero Waste Shopping

I’ve been using reusable shopper bags like this one for years, long before I had even knew what zero waste meant.

In Scotland, there’s been a 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags since 2014, but even before then I carried around one of these shoppers. I’ve had a fair few over the years but this green one is my current favourite. I picked it up from Chiaralascura at a vegan festival last year. It’s really thick material and has a clasp on it to keep it closed. I would estimate that I probably carry this bag around pretty much every single day without fail. It’s always in the bottom of whatever bag I’m using just in case I need to pick up some shopping.

If you’re trying to cut down on plastic or take some steps to becoming zero waste then this is probably one of the easiest things you can do. Plus, if you like in the UK then it’s going to save you money in the long run if you keep having to purchase single use carrier bags.

Zero Waste Periods

Let’s face it, no one likes getting their period. I am currently sitting on my sofa with a hot water bottle on my stomach because of cramps and I’m not exactly thrilled by it.

However, we (women) all get periods so we need to think about what products we want to use. I’m lucky because I get light periods due to the birth control I use (it’s a UID if anyone is interested).

I read something a few weeks ago about how the average sanitary pad contains the equivalent of four plastic bags. We’ve become a nation who are trying to cut down on our plastic bag use, yet women are using lots of plastic each month without even thinking about it. Then there’s tampons which come with plastic applicators, the name alone tells you they aren’t good for the environment.

So what options do we have?

I know quite a few people who swear by the menstrual cup. I have tried one, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m sure it probably takes a while to get used to. I just didn’t have the patience and found it all a bit awkward.

So I decided that I would try reusable menstrual pads which I bought from this great shop on Etsy here. They’re really comfortable, soft, and they look so much more fun than regular disposable pads. Plus, while each pad costs a few pounds to buy you’ll be saving money in the long run and really cutting down your plastic use.

So how do you wash them?

I just soak them in some cold water and then throw them in the washing machine with my regular washing. Once the wash is done, I just hang them up to try and they’re good to go again.

If you haven’t thought about how much plastic you use each month for your period, then I recommend that you do. There’s a few different options on the market which will not only save you money but will also dramatically cut down the amount of plastic you. I’d also love to know what products and companies you’re using in the comments.

Making my own almond milk

Guess who made her own almond milk at the weekend?

I had wanted to make it for a while, but I kept putting it off. I thought it would be really difficult, but in actual fact it’s really simple. So here’s my step by step guide to making your own almond milk.

1. Soak 2 cups of almonds overnight or for at least 8 hours. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with an inch of water. The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the almond milk will be.

2. Drain and rinse the almonds. Use cold water to rinse the almonds which should be quite soft if you pinch them.

3. Blend almonds and water. Put the almonds in the blender with 4 cups of water and blend until the almonds are broken down.

4. Strain the almonds. Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag (I use this one from Lovetree products) and squeeze or twist the bag until the liquid comes through the bag and you’re just left with the almond meal.

5. Refrigerate the almond milk. Store the milk in a air tight container. It usually last between 2-3 days.

If you like your almond milk sweeter then you can pick a sweetener of your choice, but I usually only use my almond milk in porridge so I don’t need it to be very sweet because whatever porridge toppings I use will do that for me.

There’s also lots you can do with the almond meal whether it be adding it to energy balls, nut bars or smoothies. I just put mine in the fridge for now until I decide what to do with it, but I’ll write another post about it when I make my mind up.

Most plant based milks come in either plastic bottles or cartons with plastic tops, so making your own is a great way to cut down on your waste while also cutting out any additives that can sometimes be added to it.

Have you ever made your own non-dairy milk before? I’d love to hear your recipes.