Daily Tip Challenge 2020 – November
1st In season food – Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Elderberries, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash
2nd Switch to eco deodorant. I know there are many people who make their own deodorants which I appreciate is even more eco. If that’s not something you want to do but still want to make a more positive environmental step then look at the range of deodorants that come in easily recyclable or compostable packaging.
Most high street products are in containers that either can’t be recycled or very difficult to recycle due to mixed plastics or components in the aerosol cans. We have the Earth Conscious range which is in a card dispenser so fully compostable or the Eco-natural range in aluminium tins which could be repurposed or recycled. There is a huge range of others out there too.
3rd Small tips to save energy around the home.
-put radiator insulation foil behind radiators to reflect heat in to the room
-don’t block radiators with large furniture items like sofas
-close curtains (unless the sun is shining)
-turn the thermostat down, it’s recommend to be 18 degrees Celsius and then add layers if required
-leave the oven door open after cooking
-draft proof around doors and windows
-use a hot water bottle to save on electric blanket or having heating on at night
-open doors in south facing rooms to allow warm air to circulate during the day
-when the sun has set close the doors to keep warm air in rooms
4th Shop local. There is obviously the environmental benefit as well of shopping local. Much lower carbon footprint to get your products and less packaging required. If they are having to close then buy vouchers for their products or services.
This second lockdown could be the final nail for many small businesses who were hoping for a good November to make up for having to be closed for the summer.
If every adult in the UK spent just £5 per week in their local shops and businesses, instead of the supermarkets or with huge multinationals, it would be worth £13.5billion going directly back into our towns. This means real jobs, better facilities and nicer places to live.
5th Swap to coffee with plastic free packaging. I have posted before about switching to a French Press due to the amount of coffee pods that go to landfill as they are very difficult to recycle. Most coffee I have seen for this is in the plastic foil which is again very difficult to recycle.
With Percol the coffee is in paper which is fully home compostable or recyclable. As you would expect it is also 100% Fairtrade and Percol are a carbon neutral company.
What’s really great is we are now selling some of their range. Have a look here for more info
6th Keep your toilet roll tubes. There are loads of websites dedicated to using these cardboard tubes, especially around crafting. To show how useful they are, in looking for tips I saw that people actually sell them on eBay, and people are buying them!
If you want a couple of uses around the house then look at this list:
-use to keep cables from tangling in drawers and you can write what the cable is for
-stuff with lint and scrap paper and use as a fire starter
-make a DIY phone speaker (see link)
-keep rolls of wrapping paper corralled
-place around hangers to prevent creases
-use on end of vacuum to get in to awkward spaces
There are more at this site and detailed info for making the above. cnet.com/pictures/handy-uses-for-cardboard-tubes/14/
7th Try plastic free crisps. My daughters love crisps, although there are ways to get the packets recycled it’s not an ideal solution so thought we would buy some of the Two Farmers crisps which come in home compostable paper bags. They are made in the UK and the potatoes are stored, cooked and packed using renewable energy so eco all round.
They are more expensive but hopefully as they become more successful this way of packaging will become more mainstream.
8th Buy plastic free decorations. Obviously keep what you already have as long as possible but if you’re looking to expand your range then we have a selection of wooden and metal decorations.
We were planning to do a few Christmas markets and pop up shops so have quite a range. Just had delivery of another range of products that will also be going on the website over the coming days now we can’t do the planned markets. https://greenalternatives.co.uk/collections/christmas
9th Christmas gift ideas. If you’re thinking you would like to gift something with little to no carbon footprint, no packaging, not through Amazon and memorable then see if any of these gives you an idea...
10th Plastic free snacking. It always seems most snacks that isn’t fruit comes in plastic wrappers that go in to general waste bins. I stumbled across a company last week ( @earthlykinduk )that sell snack boxes of plastic free and vegan products. There’s a great range of savoury and sweet and a good option for a Christmas present.
11th Swap your yellow and green sponges. These types of sponges contain plastic and each use sheds microplastics. These are often so small that will not get picked up in the filtration during water treatment and can end up in the environment.
We have just got new sponges in stock that are made of plant cellulose so are completely home compostable when they are worn out. They are hard wearing though and can be cleaned in the washing machine or dishwasher. We have 2 different sizes and the coconut scourers make the perfect accompaniment when you need something abrasive.
12th Make a wish list. If you want to ensure your gifts this year are from environmentally sound and ethical companies, or you want to support your local economy, or gifts are free of plastic, or just want to ensure it is something you actually want then do a wish list. There are many websites where you can compile this, put a link to the relevant website and any other required details. You can then email this around to those who will buy you gifts. They may even be pleased with this at it saves them time and they know they are getting you something you actually want.
13th Replant your Christmas tree. If you are getting a real tree and have the space why not plant it? You can get a few years use from it until it’s too big and then you can enjoy having it outside.
Pictured is the result from a couple who planted their tree outside in 1978 and is now 50ft tall.
14th Swap plastic tapes for paper tapes. Millions of rolls of plastic sticky tape will be used over the next 6 weeks wrapping presents and parcels for it to be ripped off and go straight in a general waste bin.
Paper tapes have come on a long way and are as easily as good as the plastic ones. If your paper is recyclable as well then it can all be recycled together. If you can preserve the paper though for next year then that’s a better option.
15th Make your own wrapping paper. A lot of festive wrapping paper can’t be recycled due to having a plastic membrane.
We have a huge roll of recycled and recyclable brown paper, a selection of Christmas themed wooden stamps and different coloured inks. Also keeps the kids busy for a while as they unleash their creativity.
16th Use cloth instead of paper for wrapping. Furoshiki is a Japanese cloth used to wrap something, it’s becoming more popular with people trying to cut down on paper usage during Christmas etc. The cloths are simply returned after and can be used for a number of occasions for years.
17th Opt for LED Christmas lights. If you need more lights then look to buy LED lights. These are more energy efficient than traditional lights and therefore require less electricity and better for the environment. There is a cost saving for this reduced energy requirement but this equates to only around £1 per strip on lights over the festive period. Standard lights can be a bit cheaper to buy initially so to see the financial benefit make sure you store the lights well to get many years of use from them, the bulbs should last 50,000 hours so no reason they won’t be a cost saving eventually.
18th Support local makers. Being in lockdown means many of the Christmas markets have not been able to happen. This has had a huge impact on local makers who use these to sell gifts as well as charities who host pop up events.
Instead of resorting to Amazon or other national retailers have a look at local markets that have moved on to social media. Many virtual markets are up and running on Instagram and Facebook so people can still buy unique, personal gifts. The eco benefit is many sellers will deliver to you so still having the benefit of a low carbon footprint to shop as well as helping a small local business.
19th Use eco lip balms. Check out our range of Hives and Herbals lip balm!
20th Switch to washable makeup wipes. Ours are cotton and bamboo, handmade for us by a local seamstress.
21st Use washable face masks. Seeing discarded face masks on the pavement is becoming quite common now. It’s also looking likely that mask wearing will be a requirement in shops/public places for many months so a washable mask will not only save on the environmental impact it will also save money.
22nd Switch to plastic free gum. Most gums contain plastic not to mention the packaging. We have the Chewsy range of plastic free, plant based gum in fully recyclable card boxes.
23rd Switch to bars of soap. Plastic free, no palm oil, vegan certified, homemade, not tested on animals... There is so much to like about choosing bars over dispenser soap.
24th Switch to reusable sandwich wrap. Cling film/plastic wrap or plastic sandwich bags are one of the more difficult to recycle plastics and completely unnecessary with the eco products available.
We sell the Boc’n’Roll sandwich wraps which will seal any shape of sandwich or baguette. The wraps are wipe clean or machine washable. We also have the Snack’n’Go bags which are perfect for fruit or square single sandwiches. Both on the website if you want more info.
25th Refill cleaning sprays. By buying the refill capsules you are not only saving on the bottle going to recycling you are saving the carbon footprint of a bottle of mostly water being shipped.
With the Ocean Saver range you simply pop the capsule in your empty bottle, fill with tap water and shake to give you your cleaning solution. You also get sticky labels so you won’t get your sprays mixed up.
26th Get a wax block. We sell beeswax blocks and vegan blocks which many people will use to either make their own wax food wraps or refresh the ones they already have. There are actually loads of other uses for these blocks…
- Make your own lip balms or creams
- Waterproof shoes or clothes
- Use as a lubricant for moving parts like drawers or hinges
- Keep garden tools rust free
27th Replace plastic cotton buds. There are silicon buds than can actually be washed and used 1000s of times. If that’s not an option then we have bamboo ones in fully plastic free packaging. Very versatile, can be used to:
-clean your keyboard
-clean camera lens/eye glasses
-cleaning ear phones, jewellery, watches
28th Swap to plastic free toothpaste. There are not many councils in the UK that can recycle plastic tubes. There is a huge range of alternatives available like the toothpaste tablets we sell on our website. I have a small aluminium tin and just use a refill pack each time. Great for travelling too as you can just pop the number of tablets you need into a small travel tin. (We sell all types of toothpastes, tooth tablets and tooth soap and tin variants on the website).
29th Limit wet wipe use. Wet wipes make up 90% of sewer blockages and in the UK there is an average of 1 wet wipe on every 27 metres of beach! There are still too many people that think they are flushable or compostable.
We sell packs of 12 versatile cloth wipes which can be used in place of wipes. Simply wet them or make your own wipe solution (loads of websites showing how). These are made from plant cellulose and cotton and can be washed in the washing machine or top of a dishwasher.
30th Switch to a bamboo toothbrush. As always, use what you currently have until it has to be replaced. Our set of a bamboo toothbrush and travel case is ideal for holidays, overnight stays or gym bag.