Friday, September 29, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Thirty



Welcome back Sustainable September-ers. It is the last day of the month of Eco Kindnesses. What a crazy wild ride it has been.

One thing I have to say is that it is my Mums birthday today. It is always such a lovely way to end Sustainable September by honouring the woman who gave birth to me. 
my mum who's new age shall remain untold even though it's also in the picture! 😉
You, Mum, are the best, most couragous, genuine, compassionate, determined woman I know. You make other people see the best in themselves even when they didn't realise there was more to them. You have championed so many causes, helped so many people, affected so many lives and you have done so much of it quietly, in the back ground. You are a marvel. I am so blessed that I was put on this earth with you. Thanks for being my mum!

Back to the blog post now...

I love that every September I learn new and interesting ways to reduce my waste and make my life, and everyone else's lives a little better. I forget how much I have done and continue to do for this great planet of ours. It is like a journey I forget I am on. Iimpliment small changes that I forget about as they become normal. It is only as a result of doing Sustainable September that I realise just how far I have come in my journey to reduce my waste. I am a long way off being Zero waste but each year I get a little closer to living with no waste. It is by no means a fast swap. I feel like my small changes are sustainable though. I like it like that. After all this is Sustainable September for a reason. Small changes that can be sustained for a long time to come. 

Kindness is always my priority when it comes to this blog. Kindness to our planet equates to millions of people in poverty having support. People living in poverty are the first casualties as a result of climate change. Being kind to our planet is simply thinking more about our actions so that we can help those who need it most. So everytime you choose glass packaging over unrecyclable plastic... just remember you are doing a kindness for those less fortunate than yourselves. 

What is Sustainable September all about on the last day of the month? It is about FUN!!!

Two of my favourite ideas when it comes to being environmentally friendly...

Sustainable September Day 30 - Op- Shopping and Upcycling. 

The idea and the ACTIVITY are one in the same today. Go Op-shopping (go to the thrift store, buy second hand, even look up pre-loved or used items on ebay). or Upcycle something that needs new life.

Oh... how I love Op-shopping. Usually when I am looking for something specific now though. By now you will have figured out your Capsule Wardrobe and decided if there are a couple holes in your wardobe. I know that as the summer months come into it I have a few more holes in my wardrobe because I have changed shape and a lot of my clothes.

I went to a local op-shop today. My family and I have been blessed with the most amazing gift of a holiday away. My niece, nephew and I went into the local town and went to the local op-shop... like you do! We didn't buy anything but had a look around. My nephew was looking for something very specific, so when that something wasn't to be found, he was out of there. It was probably all of about 4 minutes in the shop, but thankfully it was just a look around. I thankfully didn't need anything and the only thing my neice wanted they didn't have either so we all left. 

Normally I probably would have spent more time riffling through the back rooms to find little treasures... but not today. My nephew is pretty determined when his tummy rumbles... I guess that serves me right for not feeding him BEFORE we went into the opshop. oh well. I wasn't really looking for anything and I don't need to add to my piles of stuff at home... a lot of which is already destined for the opshop.

This is what i look at when I need something new.... Use what i have first... borrow second, swap third, then thrift, make is the next option leaving buy new a final resort. It takes into account all of the Zero Waste principals too.

If you have nothing that you need when it comes to opshopping/thrift shopping, then look at your waste and think of creative ways to Upcycle some of that waste. Have an old flannel shirt with paint stains? then turn it into a couple of gift bags, some hand warmers and a Apron.

Or you can thing about other types of waste too. What do you often throw out that can be upcycled and given new life, without going to the tip? Can't figure out what to do with an old tyre? Turn it into an ottoman. or a swing for your kids in the back yard, or a planter box. There are so many ideas for giving old things a new life... and therefore keeping them out of landfill. It just calls for creativity.

If you are interested in Upcycling then there are a huge range of boards and ideas on Pinterest.

I know, for those of you who have followed this blog ALL month, that Upcycling is not a new idea. But tomorrow is a saturday when people are most likely to be able to do fun things like op-shopping and upcycling... so i thought... why not bring it back again! :)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed Sustainable September for 2017. I always intend to do so much more stuff, be more creative and more informative... and then life gets in the way and you end up with a interesting shorter version of what i had planned in my mind. I guess living life and living this sustainable ecofriendly lifestyle is what the whole month is about so I guess that is part of the fun... not knowing what life will bring in a month.

I hope you will all continue to work to make this world better for everyone who lives here... make it kinder for everyone.
Sending love to you all.
Love Daena xx

ps. if you need a challenge for October starting on the 1st... it is "Buy Nothing New Month". Which puts another spin on reducing what you buy in Fast Fashion and also looking at alternative ways to help the environment.  Give it a go. I really enjoyed doing this last year. It was a little bit of a challenge but ultimately it was worth it. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Nine



Making life a little kinder for our planet and all those who live here.

Welcome back to the last week of Sustainable September. This week is all about Fashion and Beauty.

It is simple the less we consume and the more we wear the clothes we already have the more environmentally friendly they become. However, there are times that it is impossible to keep clothes. They don't fit, they are unflattering, they are out of fashion, they are stained or ripped, they are thoroughly warn out.

Sustainable September Day Twenty Nine: Dejunk your excess.

This may seem a little strange to talk about Dejunking now after talking about waste this last 28 days. However consuming less and owning less is a massive part of reducing your environmental foot print. So I am here to talk about responsible dejunking and recycling.
If you are going to be creating a a capsule wardrobe (check out the last two days worth of blog posts for more information) it often involves getting rid of lots of clothes that no longer fit, aren't your style and are are stained or broken. Even though I will be talking about this in terms of clothing, some of these ideas apply to all the things you are getting rid of. 
Yesterday you would have started going through your wardrobe and putting aside the things that don't fit, are broken or stained, are too big, too small and aren't your personal style. Instead of just chucking all this in a bag and dumping it in landfill, I want you to look at what you have. 

DONATE: The things that are too big and small and aren't your personal style can be donated to a local thrift store, asuming they are in good enough condition to be sold exactly as they are (anything else is not going to be resold). You could also resell them yourself if you want to (to earn some extra cash). This means that anything with stains or breaks must not be taken to a thrift store, it is the same thing as throwing it in landfill because ultimately that is where it will be sent. 

First lets talk about REDUCING what you going to be sending to landfill. After all your resellable stuff is donated or resold you can then move on to the next group of things. The ones that are broken.

BROKEN: If they are broken, see if they can be mended. If they can be mended, can you rewear them? If you can rewear them, do they fit? are they stylish enough? do they go with more than one thing in your Capsule Wardrobe? The best thing you can do is repair them even though they no longer fit you, your style and dont match anything in your wardrobe. Then they can be sold or donated. I did this with a pair of shoes I owned at the beginning of the year. They were ones that i had worn to be bridesmaid at my best friends wedding, but i rarely wore them. The only times i did wear them, the straps broke on them. The straps pulled out of underneath the sole of the shoe. So I went to a cobbler and had them repaired. It cost me $10 to have 2 shoes fixed but then I was able to donate them as they were going to be useable/saleable for a charity thrift shop. It might seem silly to have something fixed to then give them away, but they were good shoes and I knew they would come in handy to someone sometime in the future.

Is something ripped or stained so badly that it can't be donated? Is it so bad it can't be fixed?  Then there are two options 1) Upcycle it into something that will be useful. 2) Rip it up and use it as rags.

I have done both of these.

UPCYCLING: For the first one I turned an old Flannelette t-shirt into a bunch of different things. Hand warmers, gift bags, a BBQ apron and more. I even had someone love the Apron so much they bought it off me and someone else loved it so much they commissioned me to make another one in Red! :) 

RAGS: Then there is those clothes that are stained so much that they can become nothing but rags. I had an old t-shirt that was so badly stained and holey that it would have ended up in landfill if I had decided to take it to an op-shop. Thankfully it was a cotton t-shirt so it could be ripped up fairly easily and then used as rags. I use it now in the shed for all kinds of things. From wiping up the paint from my projects to dusting, to using it for checking the oil guage in the car. I didn't realise how many tissues/papertowels I used that have been saved because I reused my own rubbish and turned my old clothes into scraps. I turned my old university t-shirts and promotional-shirts (one off t-shirts that no-one would buy from a thrift shop) into rags and now they have a use and have not ended up in landfill. I have been able to wash these rags over and over again. They are mostly made of cotton so they can be thrown into my compost once they are well beyond washing.

FANCY DRESSES: I have a bag of dresses at home that are waiting to go to a new home. And i have a plan for them rather than sending them to an opshop. There is a school not too far away from me that is looking for pretty dresses. They loan the dresses students whose families cant afford to purchase ones for school dances or School Balls. Everytime i find a fancy dress (in an Opshop) or I grow out of one of the ones id worn in the past, or ones my friends is getting rid of some of their fancy dresses, I put them aside ready to take to this school. There may be something like this in an area near you.

Those of you who want to donate your wedding dresses can either resell them, donate them to charity or even donate them to a cause where they will be Upcycled. What i am talking about when i say Upcycled is turning these dresses into Angel Gowns. "
"Angel Gowns Australia Incorporated ...provides services to bereaved families who have suffered the unimaginable stillbirth or death of their baby, families who are or have gone through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or families who are impacted on by a child's life-limiting illness or special needs.From donated wedding dresses we lovingly hand craft Angel Gown garments which are then donated to hospitals, funeral homes and directly to families through special orders.
To bring a ray of sunshine into special children's lives we use the left over tulle from wedding dresses and transform it in to the most beautiful Tutus, which we also donate to hospitals and other children's charities all around Australia
Currently they have an over-supply of wedding dresses. They will be taking more dresses in the future, when they are work their way through their current supply. So donating your wedding dress to this cause would mean that you would have to hold on to it (in Australia at least). 
I am sure there are a lot of other things that you can do with your old clothes!
TOWELS, SHEETS & BLANKETS: If you want to donate old towels, blankets and sheets you can donate them to homeless shelters and pet shelters. The worse condition they are in the better they are for animals and less for human use. Donating these items can be a huge kindness particularly in winter times and when blankets and sheets are needed to keep people and animals warm. 
I hope this helps you with your donating and recycling of old clothes and fabrics. 
With Love,
Daena x

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Eight



Welcome back to the amazing Eco Kindness month... Sustainable September. This is the month where we focus on being kind to this amazing planet of ours and all those who live here. This week the focus is on Fashion and Beauty and how we can reduce our environmental impact in this area.

Yesterday I wrote about the problems with the fashion industry... particularly FAST FASHION.
The challenge yesterday was to reduce the amount of Clothing we buy, and then when you do go to purchase stuff, choose sustainable options like Seconds Hand, Envionmentally friendly, Fair trade, Organic, Vegan & Cruelty Free, Vintage etc.
This might seem hard... saying no to fast fashion. However, I have some tips and tricks for you to look at. Like this one...

Sustainable September Day Twenty Eight: Create a Capsule Wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardobe you might ask? Well it is basically a collection of clothes you wear regularly that all mix and match so you are left with less options overall and less choice fatigue - yes that is a real thing! This doesn't mean you really have less choices, you just get to use the smaller number of things you own and love in more creative ways.

Start with shopping your own closet. That means going through all of the clothes you own (Yes... ALL of the clothes you own) and figuring out if you love it, hate it, if it fits, if its still a style you feel comfortable wearing, if it still has its tags on check if it is worth taking the tags off.

I know how it goes, you look in your closet everyday and feel like there is nothing to wear.

Today, I'm going to share my excitement because I have been using a Capsule Wardrobes for the last 3 months.

I have been following a popular minimalist Blogger called Courtney Carver from from Be More With Less who created a Capsule Wardrobe challenge called Project 333. Thats 33 items of clothing for 3 Months.

"The Rules
  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them."
    (Check out the rest of
    Project 333 here)
For the last 3 months I have been working on using only 33 items of clothing/accessories/Shoes that fit together to form my Winter Capsule Wardrobe. That way I limit decision fatigure and spend less time looking at clothes (or in my case, it used to be 'worrying' about clothes). It actually makes my life easier... because I know what I have to choose from and all of these things are my favourite things to wear.

It's a challenge that may not suit everybody but i decided to give it a go.

I can make heaps of different outfits from this list too. 

 If I get to the point where these things aren't my favourite I will change them in the next 3 months as the weather warms up.

It has been surprisingly easy. I actually started with about 5 less items than I finally ended up with. I added in the black Toms Shoes, my grey Leggings, my red & black scarf, my University Hoodie and the Ying/Yang singlet. However my grey leggings and ying/yang singlet I often wear to Bootcamp so they might not technically count but oh well. I still have one space for a dress... I just couldn't decided which one! It turns out I haven't really needed a dress this last 3 months. Except for this coming Sunday when I will wear a pretty hand-me-down dress to become a Fairy Godmother... i mean... Godmother *cough*.

And do you know what? I have had more compliments in the last 3 months on my fashion than I ever had before. My favourite compliment was "You look really sophisticated these days." Thank you Shazza! It brightened my day.

My family didn't even notice. I had to tell my mum, my neice and nephew all about it last week. Apart from the fact I have to do washing more regularly, it wasn't too different than before. I still wear my favourite clothes, I just wear them more often and in new and interesting ways. I got really excited when i realised there were ways I could wear things that I never thought of before. Crazy huh? I have owned some of these clothes for YEARS. You can check out my Excel Spreadsheet too.

Yes I made a spread sheet. But that was just so I could keep myself accountable and know that i still have a long way to go when it comes to fast fashion. I bought a majority of my clothes from Fast Fashion outlets. But I also got a lot of hand-me-downs from friends, which I love. I also have a surprising amount of 'gifts" in there too. My favourite jewellery is all gifts from family and friends. 

If you want to know how I got started well it was pretty simple. I started by taking a record of what I was actually wearing. See that photo above of all the little outfits? That's from an app. It's called Stylebook (its currently only in the Apple App Store). It's awesome. For a month before I started the Project 333 challenge, every day I photographed what I had decided to wear that day and added it to the Stylebook app. After a month you will realise what you are wearing all the time and what is your favourite outfits. This helps when planning your Capsule Wardrobe for Project 333. Or any Capsule Wardrobe really. It gave me my core clothes. Ones I basically couldn't live without. 

From there I started seeing where the gaps were in my closet. For example the reason I bought the blue peplum top (whilst I was holidaying in Sydney in June) was because I needed a top that I could dress up and down and i didnt have something that could do that. I really liked the style and colour and I knew I could wear it again and again. AND I also decided I wanted it because I liked the way it fit, particularly how it flatters my waist. I know that when it gets to the end of it's life I can cut a pattern from it and make more like it. I may even do that BEFORE the end of it's life. It is a Fast Fashion brand (which I'm not pleased at myself with) but I needed something in a hurry and it filled my need. It doesn't mean I'm going to discard it after this 3 months either. I love it, so it will stay in my closet for a long time to come.

What I want to tell you is that I went into that particular store THREE times before I actually bought the Blue top. Why? Because I didn't really want to buy a Fast Fashion item. I dont know why I went in to that shop to start with... I usually avoid shops that I don't like ethically. But I was sucked in there and then I found the blue top and I was like YAY... something that fit the gap in my planned "Capsule Wardrobe" and then I asked myself did I really need it. After deciding No i didnt NEED it, I left. Then I had an unexpected event I was going to that was Smart/Casual. I didn't really have anything that fit it. So when I went back to that store and I, again, walked away in the hopes that I could find something from a better environmentally friendly and ethical store... but alas I found nothing so that is when I went back and bought that top. If I had had more time to scour the Op-shops/Thrift Shops I think I could have found something lovely. But I was in a foreign city without knowledge of where these shops were. I did the best I could with the time, money and information that I had. I also know I have a lot room for improvement and I look forward to experimenting more with capsule wardrobes. 

Interested in starting your own Capsule Wardrobe but need more inspiration from others? I have a Pinterest board dedicated to Capsule Wardrobes and also one dedicated to Travel Wardrobes (Which is basically a smaller Capsule Wardrobe that fits in a carry-on case). Travel Capsule Wardrobes are a great place to start because it makes travel easier AND you get to see if you can cope with a Capsule Wardrobe! Here is another persons Capsule Wardrobe for visuel inspiration...

Check out this really good video too...
ACTIVITY: Start planning a capsule wardrobe by recording the clothes you already wear regularly. This paired with yesterdays activity of not buying anything new will be a challenge for some. If you already know what you wear regularly and would feel confident putting together a capsule wardobe (as an experiment) then give it a go. It sure works for me. 

Not interested in doing Project 333... no problem! You don't need to limit yourself to just 33 items for 3 months. You can still create an awesome Capsule Wardrobe. Check out this video by SugarMumma for ideas on a larger Capsule Wardrobe...

I hope you have found this as useful and interesting as I did putting it all together. I look forward to seeing and hearing all about your new (or old) capsule wardrobes.

Much love to you all,

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Seven



Welcome Back Everyone.
There are only a few more days of Sustainable September so I am making sure this counts. Yesterdays blog post (for today) was all about making some reusable swaps like saying no to disposable razors in favour of reusable Safety Razors. There are so many awesome ideas for yesterday and I am sure there will be people telling me that there are more that could be done too. I welcome those challenges.

Today's blog post idea (for tomorrow) is a big one... so I hope I do it justice. It is all about Slow vs Fast Fashion.

Sustainable September Day Twenty Seven: Give Fast Fashion the flick.

Lets start by explaining what Fast Fashion is... before we talk about what we can do about it.

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast Fashion is simply the high speed turnover of clothing so that when you buy a "Trendy" item it will be out of fashion by the time you wear it. In the past, in my grandmothers era, there were two seasons of clothing to buy for: the warm season and the cold season. Then there were four seasons of clothing: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Now Fast Fashion is generating 52 Seasons of clothing every year...One for every week of the year (some brands are going even faster than that).

When I worked for an Australian fashion brand, ten years ago, we would receive new shipments of clothing every week. Each week there was something new to entice people in. What I witnessed then was that any of the old stock that had been reduced to clear (but hadn't sold) had the tags removed (identifying labels for the brand) and then it was either thrown in the bin or donated to charity. There was a lot of waste. A LOT! But I didn't think much of it at the time. I wasn't aware then of how fast fashion worked. I wasn't aware about how bad it was for the environment to make these items. I didn't realise how bad it was for the planet as a whole when it came to disposing of these items, nor for the workers who make these items AND also how bad it is for our wallets (that is a conversation for another time).
If you shop Fast Fashion now and still have nothing to wear then check out this video on Fast Fashion
Here are some quick Fast Fashion Facts...

The War on Waste Australian TV show did an amazing job of showing off the impact of fast fashion. If you aren't in Australia you won't be able to watch the episodes. But there are a lot of other amazing documentaries and programs that show you what the Fast Fashion Industry is all about.

So how about you check out this Video from TED talk.
The key points of this TED Talk is that 10% of the worlds carbon footprint is coming from the Fashion industry. The fashion industry is the Second Highest polluting industry behind only the oil industry. 4 Billion Pounds of textiles end up in land fill every year. Polyester is made from micro-plastics which means that every piece of polyester that has ever been made still exists, even if it has been thrown into landfill.

There are so many other challenging facts about Fast Fashion. If you want to learn more about Fast Fashion and the implication it has for our planet and all those who live here... check out the documentary called "The True Cost". It is available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and to download on your computer. It is really worth a watch.

After you watch the implications of the Fast Fashion industry you have to ask yourself... What can we do about it? And it is a very good question.

Be Kind, Choose Slow Fashion, Choose Fair Trade (Ethical brands), Buy Second hand or Vintage, and Upcycle. I won't cover all of this here because it is a massive task, however, I will look at a few of these points.

Firstly, for a kindness advocate I had to look at the importance of Kindness in my consumption of fashion. I don't just mean Eco-kindness either, oh no, this is kindness to fellow human beings all over the planet. There are many people who work to make our clothing. In many countries these people are living in poverty and do not earn a decent wage for what they make. This is something that I have started paying more and more attention to over the years. I want to make sure that the people who make my clothing are in safe living and working conditions are not subject to slave labour and have enough food to eat and water to drink.

Sometimes this means that I have to pay a few more dollars for the clothing I buy. Those extra dollars buy me peace of mind.

I have a few different Apps to help me make conscious choices about where I want to spend my money. The one I have used the most is an app Called "Shop Ethical" (Available on Apple and Android). Another I use is called "Good on you"(Also available on Apple and Android). I have these apps available on my iPhone at the touch of a button. For more Ethical Apps check out this link to an article on Ethica.

To continue making a different and steer away from Fast Fashion there is now a movement toward slow fashion.

Slow Fashion - What does it even mean?

Slow Fashion means being deliberate with your money. Every dollar you spend is basically a vote toward the future you want to create. Spending money on fast fashion, means you are voting for the continuing ethics and attitudes behind it. Spending money on ethical, fair trade, vegan (cruelty-free), environmentally friendly brands, you are voting for those types of businesses and products you want to continue. Changing your focus from consuming, to making the world a better place with your purchases, is a type of conscious kindness that we need more of. It ultimately affect us all.

I used to find shopping fun. I used to go to cheap stores and buy a bunch of sale items. I would spend about $20 to $50 every week on fast fashion. But now I am more conscious of what I buy, where and from who. I make sure that the money I spend, when I do actually spend money on clothing, is going to support the type of industry that I want to have.

One of my most recent Purchases was two pairs of jeans from JeansWest over 3 months ago. One is skinny blue jeans and the other is straight leg black jeans. They cost me $99 for the two pairs. This is more than I would have bough for jeans in the past but already they have well and truly earned their keep. As they are so well made they will last a lot longer too.

When I went to purchase my jeans I checked on my Shop Ethical App and discovered JeansWest were good when it came to their ethical wages & conditions for workers. They have started working on reducing environmental impacts too.

I also saw that they have a return and repair shop when I bought them (in Sydney), so I can get them repaired if, say, a button goes on my jeans. I have worn them almost everyday for the last 3 months and they are amazing. I know that they have a long way to go, but I chose them deliberately for their clothes and because I really needed to get some jeans.

Note: I had purchased some JeansWest jeans second hand (from Ebay) a while ago but they didn't fit. So I opted for convenience. At the shop I could try the jeans on so I knew they would fit me AND last a while. Next time, I might go in and try on jeans in a range of styles to see what i like and what suits me best. Then I can look for the right size and style second hand on eBay. It just takes a bit more time to figure it out, so I admit I went for the easy option with this purchase.

Choosing Fair Trade is linked to all of these. I have talked about Fair Trade on this blog before so I won't go too far into it. Here is an Inforgraphic to explain it to those who might have missed my previous blogs.

What I will say is making choices that are going to help not only your hip pocket but help those who are making and growing the ingredients/products you buy, is a start.

The Sustainable September idea for tomorrow is to say NO to fast fashion. This can be hard at first. So here are 10 Fashion Tips to help you give fast fashion the flick.

So check out this video below for more inspiration:

Did you know: There are companies around the world who are taking up Sustainability and Zero Waste practices in the world. There is even a design award that promotes and encourages Zero Waste and Environmentally Sustainable Practices. You can check out more info from this link...Video: Eco Chic Designing Award - Cutting Waste out of Fashion.

ACTIVITY: Do not buy any new clothes for a week. Instead take the time to research what you really need. Check out tomorrows blog for ideas about how to figure out what you REALLY need, when it comes to clothing.

I hope this post doesn't overwhelm too much. I did my best to keep it short and sweet. However there is just so much information about fast fashion and its impact on our environment.

Sending love to you all,
Daena x

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Six



Good Day!
How are you going? Did you have any luck or have any fun making your own beauty products? Did you find a more environmentally friendly version for yourself to use now or in the future?

The idea for tomorrow is still on the Fashion and Beauty theme...

Sustainable September Day Twenty Six - Find Environmentally Friendly reusable products.

You may wonder what I am talking when I say reusable products. I mean finding replacements for single use items like disposable cotton make-up pads, disposable razors, even tampons.

Disposable make up wipes/pads. I used to buy single use wipes and make up removal pads. WHich is kind of funny because I dont use make up very often, but when I do I usually stick to mascara, eye shadow and eye liner, with a coloured lip gloss. I like to keep it simple. My skin (on my face) doesnt like foundation or concealers so I just dont use them unless it is for promotions work. But when it comes to my eye makeup, unless i want to look like a panda in the morning I use make up removal pads to get it off with eye-make-up remover. I got given some commercial Eye Make Up removal creams a long time ago, and instead of wasting it, I am VERY slowly using it up. That means i am still using make up removal pads... however they are no longer disposable. I bought a set of 5 make-up removal pads from Undisposed.

These little babies are amazing. I use my 'regular' make up remover on them and they work a treat. I rinse them off after my make up comes off, then throw them in the wash (in a cloth bag so i dont loose them) and put them through the wash. Simple. They often share a cloth bag in the wash with my handkercheifs and reusable feminine hygiene pads.

You could also make these if you wated too. I just find its easier to buy mine... and 5 is enough for me because i dont use make up very often, however you might need more depending on your makeup and facecare regime.

Disposable Razors is an interesting one. I haven't used a razor for a long time. As my best friend is a beauty therapist she would constantly tell me how bad shaving was for the skin and hair I wanted to remove. So i used to get her to do all my waxing. However she now lives in Melbourne so I can no longer just pop over to get her to do it for me. So I had to come up with another idea.

So I researched Epilators and ended up buying one at christmas time in the boxing day sales. This is not the ideal. There is a lot of plastic that came with my Epilator and even though it is reusable and rechargable there isnt really a way to recycle it when it no longer works for me. I will keep using it until it dies.

There are other options though. For those who haven't got a problem with shaving there are things called "safety razors" that are made out of all metal with a replacable blade. They vary in price from about $20 -$250AUD (in Australia) so shop around and check out online stores too. Finding one that doesnt come packed in plastic would also be a good outcome.

Another option for those who like to get treated to having their eye brows or other body parts hair free... threading. I have given this a go a couple times. It is the least waste I have seen of all those who do hair removal as a service. They use cotton (like magicians) and basically pluck out the hair in your arms/legs/lips/brows. I dont think they do private areas though. Mind you it is facinating to watch... like evil hair pulling magicians. hehehe. Maybe not evil... but it feels like that even though i find it completely facinating to watch.

Tampons & Menstrual Pads- There will me Too Much Information (TMI) shared here so you can skip the next two paragraphs if this doesn't apply to you. - So the last few years i have talked about the zero waste option of not using disposable tampons or menstrual pads. I bought some reusable menstrual pads and love them... but what I mentioned but didnt give a go until this year was this awesome thing called a menstrual cup. I am a menstrual cup convert. Why? well apart from the fact that there is no rubbish that i need to get rid of every few hours for the week that i get my monthly menace... the best part is that i can go 12 HOURS... yes you read that right... 12 HOURS... without having to change on a regular day! For me that is the best thing in the world. It also lines up nicely with having showers twice a day. I dont like to empty my menstrual cup down the toilet if i can help it because the blood often sits at the bottom of the toilet and can make for some interesting conversations. So i find a quick shower to empty it out and wash it in hot water with soap, rinse and then reinsurt works well. It also makes me a happy lady! For me I need to use my reusable pads for the first few days of my period because it is super heavy and will overflow my menstrual cup... but not by much. So a mix of the two works so well for me. But by about day 3 Idont even need to wear a pad... no leakage!!!! Woooohoooo!!! okay... yes... TMI... but for those who go through some stuff like i usually go through with periods, you might like to give these a go. They cost about $50 AUD but last several years. And considering i was spending about $5-10 per month on disposable feminine hygiene this is a much better investment for me. I love my Diva Cup. Never thought i would say that.... ehehhee.

There are a range of menstrual cups available on the market too... depending on price and what you are looking for...

And this is just a few... I think there are a few different options here in Australia too. So that is pretty interesting! There are also a whole heap of reusable menstrual pads and free patterns avaiable on the web to make your own. I have saved some links in my Eco and Environment Pinterest Board if you want to check them out there. 

Extra Swaps. There are also a few other things that you could swap out in your beauty and fashion regime. Like cotton wool buds. They are often little sticks of plastic with cottonwool attached to the ends. They are used for all kinds of things. I recently found (at the Wasteless Pantry) that you can get bamboo Cotton wool buds, that come wrapped in a cardboard container so the cottow wool buds can be composted after they have been used. Next time you go to buy these little things, buy the eco friendly ones instead and then compost them! :) 

ACTIVITY - look at where you could make a swap immediately. Do you need to buy some new cottonwool buds (not balls)... then get the Bamboo ones instead! Need to buy a new pack of tampons or a new razor... how about getting ones that are eco friendly and plastic free! Make a simple swap today! :) 

I hope this finds you all well.
Much Love, 

ps. I am about to have a bath with the epsom salts I got at the Wasteless Pantry the other day... My body is complaining after i did bootcamp today! oh the joys of being fit and energetic! :) 

p.p.s A friend of mine shared with me a new Zero Waste store that has opened up not far from her in Halls Head (Which is the other side of Perth City to me). It is called The Glass Jar - A Wastefree Eco Pantry! Their catchphrase is so cool... "Saving the world... one container at a time!".  So if you are south of Perth, Western AUstralia and The Wasteless Pantry is too far from you... check out this shop. It is only about a month old apparently... so they need all the support they can get!!!!:) 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Five



Welcome Sustainable September-ers.

Yesterday was all about reducing Plastic in our hair care regime. I am excited to take up Shampoo Bars.

Sustainable September Day Twenty Five: Reduce the amount of chemicals and plastic used in your beauty routine.

One of the simplest ideas to reduce the amount of the plastic and environementally un-friendly chemicals is to simplify your beauy routine.

For some guys this is probably less of a problem, however, there are some men who use more than me when it comes to health and beauty regimes.

" Cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, without government review or approval. About one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. To top it off, U.S. federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off labels, including nanomaterials, ingredients considered trade secrets, and components of fragrance.

The scariest of all? More than 500 products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union. and here we are, buying this stuff up like it’s the cool thing to do." (One Green Planet)
I don't tend to wear much makeup except for the occasional promotions work I am doing at the moment. I have been working to change the products I do use (on the rare occasion that I do actually use them) to vegan and environmentally friendly. I recently upgraded to a vegan mascara, which is pretty good.

I also gave making my make up a go. It was a little bit of a failure. I know there is a lot of different recipes

ACTIVITY: Make your own Makeup and Beauty products.
For example:
Check out more make up ideas here. There are a lot of other ideas for Homemade Body Products on a new Pinterest Board of mine.

Love Daena x

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Four



Welcome to the final week of Sustainable Septemeber 2017. Where we are looking at making life a little kinder for our planet and all those who live here. This week is all about Fashion and Beauty. How can we make our daily Fashion and Beauty choices more sustainable? Start small and build up. Today is a simple idea,

Sustainable September Day Twenty Four: Reduce the amount of waste from Shampoo and Conditioners by using more sustainable Options.

There are several options that can reduce the amount of waste from Shampoos and conditioners. For examples there are Shampoo Bars, Dry Shampoo, No-Poo, Hair treatments that are home made and package free. Just to name a few.

Depending on the level of committment you are prepared to make to the environment. Here are a few options. Buy in Bulk. This means less packaging for the same amount of product you would usually buy. It is still producing waste, but not as regularly therefore not as much. This is a transitional stage for when you are looking to reduce your waste but not sure about where to start.

As always there is a simple switch that can be made. Instead of buying a whole new plastic bottle everytime you need more shampoo or conditioner you could take the containers to be refilled at a bulk store, which for me is the Wasteless Pantry. It is all about REUSING. I know the Wasteless Pantry have the ability to refill your already existing bottles of shampoo and conditioner. However it wont be the same brand you have already. It will be the next best thing. Just check out the closes bulk supply store you can. Hopefully it wont be too far away from you, wherever you are.

Then there is also using a home made or bulk dry shampoo option. I recommend making it because that reduces the amount of waste that goes in the bin. You can check out the one from Going Zero Waste. I use a little bit of Tapioca/Arrowroot flour and a little brush that i sprinkle on and then sort of sweep through my fair. I use my fingers and massage it into my scalp then too. It is not perfect but i dont feel that my hair is super oily. From the things that the Going Zero Waste link talks about... i might give that recipe a go next time. Using Dry Shampoo probably reduces the amount of waste i have by delaying my hair washing to once a week instead of two or three times a week. SO thats pretty awesome. It means that i am doubling the time it takes for me to go through the same size shampoo bottles i have (and yes i still use liquid shampoo and conditioner... for now).

THe next level of reducing waste is to use a Shampoo bar and Conditioning Bar. These are plastic free, come in a million different flavours and sizes, and are apparently really great to use. I have put in an order for some which sadly didn't arrive in time for me to share my experiences... but hopefully next year they will be. Shampoo and Conditioning Bars are like soap bars for your hair.

I am looking for one that is great for allergies and helps get rid of things like Psoriasis in the hair. I have Psoriasis (an autoimmune disease where you skin produces a lot more skin cells in certain areas) which is often pretty bad. Mind you at the moment with my diet and health improvements my psoriasis is almost unnoticable. A couple of my friends have recommended one for people with bad dandruff and psoraisis... it is called the Bee Beauty Beer Shampoo bar. Yes you read that right... it is a BEER flavoured Shampoo bar. and apparently it is the best. They are an Australian brand - from Tasmania. This particular shampoo bar is apparently just as good for all hair types. So that is awesome and I can't wait to give it a go*. Its about $12.50 AUD per bar.

In the meantime my sister has ordered me some other shampoo bars to see if they work, from her Bulk Buying Group. They bought in bulk from a supplier which significantly reduced the amount of money per bar that they had to pay. So they are due to come in the next few weeks. Hopefully before i have to buy some more of my Coal Tar Shampoo (which is the traditional treatment/ Shampoo for Psoriasis). Its costing me about $4 AUD per bar (Cheapest option).

I have also see a whole lot in Lush, the soap shop. They have waste free soap, shampoo and conditioner bars available. (Its about $15 AUD per bar depending on which ones you get.). Or even the Wasteless Pantry has some (at about $20 per bar). So shop around for the best price and the best option for your body/skin/hair type.

Then there is No-Poo. When i first heard about it i have to admit... i laughed. A lot. at the name mostly. When you live with two kids/teens (one of whom is a boy), fart and poo jokes are everywhere! heheh. But then i heard the premise about it. Basically it is using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash your hair less and almost detox your hair and the chemicals that are often in mainstream shampoos and conditioners. A friend of mine is currently giving this a go. There is a detox period (she is currently struggling through this period). But she led me to a blog about it (which if i find again i will post tomorrow).

But if you want a really balanced opinion before giving No Poo a go... check out this link from Google. It gives you the facts when it comes to No Poo so you can make your own choices.

ACTIVITY: Make your own Shampoo.
There are also a lot of other recipes for Shampoo and Conditioner Bars available on my Pinterest Board Eco and Environment ideas.

I hopeyou enjoy the first of this last weeks theme of Fashion and Beauty.

*NOTE: I do not get any money for any of the sites or products I mention. I just thought other people might like to hear about the ones I know (from my friends showing me) work. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Three



Hello again,
I am feeling much better today. So I hope you enjoy this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I spent some time today cleaning up and sorting out my clothes. In the last few months I have changed shape a lot. I have lost two to three dress sizes. This means I have a lot of clothes that are not comfortable or even the right size. I spent some time giving a lot of my clothes a go, seeing what fits and what doesn't. It was kind of sad to realise that some of my favourite clothes are actually too big for me now. Which is also a blessing. This will actually lead on to the next weeks theme of FASHION AND BEAUTY. I'm giving you a day or two advanced notice. It is a huge theme so I hope I do it justice. Anyway... back to todays idea and this weeks theme of cleaning.

To end off this weeks theme of cleaning, i wanted to talk about dishwashing.

Sustainable September Day Twenty Three - Sustainably cleaning dishes.

Often there is a lot of plastic when it comes to washing up. Either the washing up liquids you buy come in lots of plastic containers or the dishwasher tablets come wrapped in plastic too, and often wrapped twice in plastic.

There are some different ways to reduce waste and make the way we do our washing up more sustainable

1) buy in bulk. This reduces the amount of plastics that go into landfill. For example, Where you would buy 3 x 330ml bottles plastic bottles of washing up liquid, you could buy a single 1Lt bottle of liquid instead. It is not a huge difference to make but it can actually make a pretty big difference. And this can be done with dishwashing tablets too.

2) Buy an eco friendly brand. If you currently use a heavy chemical based dishwashing liquid, you could simply change to one that uses less chemicals and uses sustainable practicises in its packaging and bottling. If you are not sure what some of these brands are you can check a local (to you) Facebook group that does Zero Waste, or Environmental sustainability. I am part of a few Perth based Facebook groups and i am so amazed by the collective knowledge that this group of people has.

3) Refill a container. I know this because i have done it before. I had one of those previously mentioned small plastic bottles of dishwashing liquid that I took to The Wasteless Pantry. There i got it refilled (which basically made it zero waste. That was one plastic bottle of dishwashing liquid that i didnt need to purchase, and one that didnt have to end up in landfill or at the recycling yard either.

4) buy plastic free Dishwashing tablets. We are yet to find a wonderful option for this, even though we do use dishwashing tablets at home (unless we hand wash stuff - which I tend to do a lot of). We buy an eco brand in bulk (where possible) but the packaging still has plastic, so I wouldn't recommend them here. However if anyone knows where I can get dishwasher tablets without plastic wrappers I would be so grateful.

5) Make your own dishwashing liquid or dishwasher tablets. This is actually the ACTIVITY for today too.

Now I know this wont work for everyone. Apparently some recipes can be a little temperamental so some experimentation is required. But give it a go.

Zero Waste Liquid Soap/ Dishwashing Liquid - This is made with Soap Nuts!!! I mentioned them in the last two blog posts, so if you havent read them yet... check it out.

Note: You dont have to have colouring in this recipe either... it just gives it a nice way to differenciate the dishwashing liquid from other cleaners in your home.

Zero Waste Dishwasher Tablets - look pretty easy and she shows you how to make Washing soda from baking soda.

Note: you can make this into a washing up powder if you want to- just dont add water to recipe.

I would love to see what you have made and how it looks!

Here is a video about Zero Waste Cleaning. I thought I would include it here because tomorrow is the last day of the Cleaning Theme and I didn't want to miss anything. This is from Kate Arnell from EcoBoost. It is about 20 mins but it is worth it.

I hope you have enjoyed the cleaning theme and look forward to the next one! :) 
Much love and kindness to you all. 
Love Daena x

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Two



Hi everyone,
Apologies for the late Sustainable September post. I've been a bit unwell and I've been unable to get my post out as early as I would have liked. I'm always working to be the best I can be. I always talk about being Kind to yourself, so I'm taking time now and being kind to myself. Whilst also getting this done! Hence being late. 

I went to the Wasteless Pantry today and bought myself some Soap Nuts. If you are interested in finding out more, look at yesterday's post. 

This little jar should last me quite a while! And when the nuts get brittle they can go in my compost bin, so they are basically Waste free. Yay! 

Today's idea is again on this weeks theme of cleaning. 

Sustainable September Day Twenty Two: dry your clothes in the sun. 

Did you know that the sun has the ability to disinfect your laundry? Well you do now! It is great to simply & safely kill bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals. 

It is also a really a simple power saving (& therefore money saving) tip. 

Want more reasons to dry your clothes on the washing line? Check out this website... The Spruce. It has some awesome ideas too. 

ACTIVITY: Hang your washing out to dry. If not outside (it's been raining here this week) then inside on a drying rack! By reducing the amount of power you use by putting on the electric dryer you are helping the planet by reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to power it. 

Not sure how to hang something? Then here is a handy little guide to help you line dry your clothes. 

Hope that's everything you need for today. I love keeping it short and sweet. 

Like me, I hope you are being kind to yourself. Look after yourself. Eat healthy, do some exercise, drink plenty of water and get some sleep. Like I plan to do... right now. Please don't forget that the reason we do Sustainable September is because we want to be kind to our planet and all those who live here! That includes ourselves!

Love Daena 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty One




Welcome back to sustainable September 2017! 

Yesterday was a bit of a milestone for me. I finally reached 300 posts on my blog! Which was super exciting! It's taken many years and lots of failed attempts at writing to get that many up and running! I am so glad it's such a wonderful milestone. 

Thank you to everyone who supports me with the blog, particularly my close friends and my super supportive family. Much love to you all!!! 

Window cleaning was yesterday's idea. I was going to do a before and after shot of my worst window but after photographing it several times and still not being happy with it I decided that telling you about it would be better. It was in a terrible state... it looks much better now. All because I cleaned my window with vinegar and newspaper. It's nice to have a clean window. All I need to do now is clean the other 20 or so! Bummer we have so much glass in our house! It might take me a long time to get it done. 

Sustainable September Day Twenty One: do your laundry sustainably. 

What does that mean? It means looking at the following video and learn how to care for you clothes better, so they last longer and look better too! 

Sunrise special on clothes.  (This is a Facebook link, sadly I couldn't find it on YouTube).

What you can do to reduce the amount of waste you make in the laundry? or how can you reduce the amount of harmful chemicals you are personally putting out into our waterways? Laundry can be done simply and so environmentally friendly.

Interestingly, my family all does it differently, depending on their own abilities and preferences (some of us are further along on our sustainable and Waste free journeys). My brother in law buys the best Eco brand of washing liquid he can find and buys it in bulk (thus reducing waste). Mum gets the old laundry detergent refilled (in the plastic container She bought ages ago). I use whatever I can and then vinegar as I would a fabric softener (1/4 cup in the fabric softener drawer or centre pillar in our top loader washing machine) and it's awesome. However, I have also used Soap nuts when I was house sitting for a friend. I quite like them. 

 I need to purchase some for myself. You need to make sure they are in a fabric bag with a tight drawstring or a zip before you chuck them in because they can come out of their bag and attach themselves to your clothes... which isn't very fun. I know from experience. Whoops. So use a small bag and they are really good. 

Here is a little video from a zero waste advocate... she uses a few different options in her washing routine. So it's worth a look. 

ACTIVITY: do a load (or 3) of washing using as little detergent as possible, as well as using the least amount of waste as you can. If you are feeling brave you can also check out soap nuts too! It's on my shopping list for tomorrow at The Wasteless Pantry

Anyway, I hope you are learning new things and enjoying sustainable September this year. I keep leaning more and more each year... building on the knowledge from the year before. I keep implementing new ideas each year too. Sometimes I feel like I'm moving forward on my journey and other times I feel like I'm going backwards. But even if I just keep to the small changes I make... it is making a difference. 

Enjoy your day.
Love Daena x

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty



Did you know we are two-thirds of the way through sustainable September 2017! Wow... time flies when you are having fun!

For those who are still doing some of the things that we talked about early in the month. The Sustainable September idea of taking your own cup to a cafe has been rather successful. 

 There is often a sign outside the cafe (like this one) that will tell you if the cafe gives you a discount when you bring in your own Keep Cups! One of our local cafes gives a 50c discount when you bring in your own reusable coffee cup! I think that is awesome! 

I also wanted to share with you all a kindness I did in the theme of reusable cups. I gave a friend a reusable mug to take with her to work and anywhere really. Now she has it and has used it a couple times I thought it would be okay now to share the photo of the reusable cup. Because you'll get to know her name with this one! :) 

What did you decide to do with your baking soda activity today? Did you find any other uses for it in the cleaning of your home? 

I remembered after I wrote the post yesterday that The Slow Home Podcast had another awesome episode about Bi-Carb Soda and a couple other simple and awesome environmentally friendly options for cleaning. So check out the link to that episode here. The Slow Home Podcast Episode 144. It should look something like this on your podcast app of choice. 

Sustainable September Day Twenty: Window Cleaning. 

This is another idea that uses things you already have around the house that means that you don't need to buy environmentally harmful chemicals for your home. 

It's as simple as vinegar and newspapers! Check it out here...

ACTIVITY: get down a dirty or should I say clean and clean those windows. 

I hope these ideas and links help you make greener choices and give you awesome cheaper ideas when it comes to cleaning your house. 

With love. 
Daena x