zero plastic

5 eco Sunscreens (that you don’t have to DIY)

While there’s a lot of great natural sunscreen brands out there creating alternatives to the hormone inhibiting chemicals found in most standard brands, sadly a lot of them are still produced in plastic packaging. Below are some sunscreen brands I’ve discovered that are both natural and safe enough for our skin and coral reefs, but also packaged in biodegradable or reusable materials.  

Avasol Responsible Suncare

These guys haven’t cut corners, using cardboard or metal packaging, as well as reef safe ingredients. You’ll find an all natural and water resistant SPF 30 sunscreen in a metal pump bottle on their site, along with refillable pouches so you can continue using the same bottle.

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Butterbean Organics Suncare

These mineral based sunscreens are produced in Florida and made with fair trade, and organic ingredients. Their range features sunscreen sports sticks in cardboard packaging, or metal refillable packaging with refillable packs available. I love the fact that they ship using recyclable materials. 

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EIR NYC

With a shout out from Vogue under her belt, EIR was developed by former extreme athlete and surfer Jun Lee. Understanding the perils of trying to remove zinc from your face, Jun came up with an all-natural and hydrating zinc remover that also acts as an after sun cream. Her products aim to have a minimal impact on the planet with her zincs packaged in cardboard or a metal tin.

Dirty Hippy Cosmetics

Ticking all the boxes, these Australian made sunscreens are vegan, cruelty and toxin free, organic, fair trade and ethically sourced and to make it on this list, they’re also eco-friendly and entirely natural. For those looking for plastic free makeup, they also sell mineral foundation and plastic free mascara too. Check out their range of zero waste skincare here.

All Good Water Resistant Sunscreen Butter SPF 50+

Safe on coral reefs and made with only six ingredients including Zinc. Find it here.

The case for optimism on climate change

I thought I’d share this video I watched a while back, because as usual only the bad news is reported and telling people we’re already fucked as a planet isn’t exactly motivating for some people. If Al Gore can find hope and optimism despite knowing all the hard-to-swollow details, then we can too. We live in a critical time, but it’s not too late. I hope this provides some inspiration and fuel to do what you can in your corner of the world, whether it’s through your career, or just your simple day to day choices.

Aesop have announced they'll be using 97% post-consumer recycled PET plastic in early 2019

I thought going plastic free meant I couldn’t use my favourite Aesop sunscreen anymore, but I was wrong!

I adore Aesop, I love the packaging, the way it smells and the way it works. I discovered their mint flavoured sunscreen and their deodorant spray with vetiver root and coriander seed last year, both of which worked really well. These products are on the higher price point, but most natural sunscreens are around the 30-40 dollar mark, which is how I justified the spend. The deodorant also lasted me about 6 months and kept me smell free unlike other natural deodorants.

In an effort to continue using these beautiful smelling products, I decided to jump on their site and ask the little chat box lady ‘Grace,’ if they use post consumer plastic and to my delight, this is what she said:

“Aesop is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our packaging, and we minimise the use of outer cartons on our products and our preference is to package our products in glass, aluminium or PET (which is the most recyclable type of plastic). Regarding post-consumer plastic, we are aiming to introduce 97% post-consumer recycled PET in our product packaging in early 2019, with around 81% of our 500ml bottles and 100% of our spray deodorant bottles to be made from 97% post-consumer recycled PET.”

So there you have it! In 2019, Aesop will officially be okay to use for those of us that care for the environment. That’s only a few months away now too.

If you’re finding the plastic free life to be void of the nice quality things you used to use, I’m releasing a guide very soon with all my favourite eco-conscious brands, who also hold active ingredients high on their list of values.

Personally, I find the plastic free skincare brands out there to be a bit too ‘earthy’ and lacking in the ingredients that I look for, say Hyalauronic acid moisturisers, or vitamin C cleansers.

Anyway, if you want to be notified when the guide is released, add your email below and I’ll send one to your inbox. I don’t like unwarranted pointless spam either, so at most I’ll send a quarterly newsletter and you can opt out if you get sick of hearing from me.

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the pitfalls of a shampoo bar

For those that saw my review of the Voi shampoo bar, here’s a slightly anticlimactic update:

It straight out ruined my hair.

Even months after I stopped using it, my hair formed waxy dreadlocks at the nape of my neck that took me back to the old days, when mum tackled my knotty pre-schooler locks with a strawberry scented de-tangler spray and a fine tooth comb (agony). Even now, after using nasty deep cleansing shampoo as a short term solution, my hair’s not quite the same. As someone who always had silky hair it feels a lot drier and still more prone to knots.

As you probably gathered, I wouldn’t recommend this solution and truth be told, since my hair is still on the mend, I’ve appointed a couple more plastic bottles of shampoo until I come across a great plastic-free solution. Finding genuinely good alternatives has been my biggest challenge since going plastic free and it’s something I think it’s important to be transparent about, because I don’t want to go recommending things to people that simply don’t work. But as a newly mainstream movement, it’ll take time for better options to become available… and I’ll make sure you know when they do!

If anyone out there has found the perfect solution please comment, I’m all ears!

what is plastic free july and how to do it

Originating in Western Australia, Plastic Free July is now a worldwide initiative where over 2 million people and 159 countries participate. The challenge? To go the whole month of July without single-use plastics. That's no takeaway coffee cups, straws, containers or plastic packaging from the supermarket. They say it takes 30 days to develop a habit and the aim of Plastic Free July is to show how easy it can be — all it takes is a little getting used to before it becomes second nature. 

So how do you do Plastic Free July? Here's a few helpful tips, in order of easiest to hardest to make it a breeze...

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  1. Say no to straws — they're kind of superfluous if you think about it. If you really need one, bring a bamboo or metal one with you. 
  2. Say no to cups and bring your own instead — keep it in your car or bag at all times.  
  3. And no to plastic produce bags!! Use mushroom bags for produce at the supermarket. Better yet, take one of these re-usable ones. 
  4. And cling wrap!! Put a plate instead of cling-wrap on top of your food, or store in re-usable glass containers instead.
  5.  When doing groceries, shop at bulk food stores where possible and choose fruit and veg that isn't wrapped in plastic.
  6. Always keep baskets or cotton bags in your car to carry things in. 
  7. Dine in where possible, or bring a stainless lunchbox with you instead! It might feel weird to ask in the beginning, but it'll become normal in time, we promise. 
  8. Bring a re-usable water bottle everywhere you go. Plastic bottles are the worst! 

And that's a wrap kids — we hope it helped! Please comment with any questions and for more inspiration check out more on our Zero Plastic blog.  

 

 

 

your ultimate guide to a beautiful plastic free kitchen

It might seem overwhelming at first, but turning your kitchen into a plastic-free zone is easier than you think. The trick is to take it slow and swap a habit every fortnight or so. You've already got a head start seeing as there's lots of ceramics, glass, wood and steel already present in the kitchen. With a little awareness, swapping your remaining plastic items like shopping bags, cling-wrap, storage and plastic food packaging is a no brainer and super rewarding. No more overwhelming and ugly brand packaging, just beautiful jars of nourishing whole foods that make the whole experience of cooking so much more enjoyable. 

Here's what you need to replace:

grocery shopping:

Local supermarkets are filled with plastic and unnecessary packaging. Luckily, bulk whole food stores and farmers markets are growing steadily in numbers. Bulk whole food stores like The Source, also sell reusable produce bags so you don't have to go hunting for them. 

baskets and produce bags

Always keep baskets or cotton shopping bags with you. This includes produce bags for storing loose items at the supermarket like grains, flour, and spinach. Onya do some great ones at an affordable price, but if you prefer canvas or muslin, try these by Leafico. Otherwise, your local bulk foods store should sell them too, but of course online will likely be the cheaper option!

French market baskets

French market baskets

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

African market basket from Oxfam (Fits a surprising amount of things inside and very durable with heavy items)

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

Produce bags (on left) for fruit, veg and grains

takeaway food

For takeaway cups of coffee, I love using my glass KeepCup, but if you don't want something as heavy as glass try these double walled stainless steel one's by Forestry Labs come with a handle and keep your coffee hot for longer. For smoothies, try Kleen Kanteen's range of larger cups and for food, try to avoid getting takeaway, but if you have to — use a storage container like this one from Cal Tiffin.

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Double walled cup by Forestry Labs to keep coffee and tea warm for longer!

Keep Cups

Keep Cups

storage:

cling wrap

There's no need for cling wrap with so many other alternatives available that do the exact same job and these days, they're much easier to find in your local bulk foods shop for example. Biome has a huge selection of beeswax wraps in patterns and plain colours that you can buy online. They can be used 6-12 months and work just like cling wrap. Use them for sandwiches or to keep food fresh in the fridge. 

 

DIY beeswax food wraps

DIY beeswax food wraps

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food storage

Saving jars from pesto, tomato sauce, or preserves is a great and cost-effective way to store food, but if you're after something with a little more personality, check out these incredible Danish and Japanese slick storage solutions by Vincent Van Duysen and Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato. 

 

 

Vincent Van Duysen

Vincent Van Duysen

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Kiyokazu Tsuda/Yoshiyuki Kato

Upcycled glass jars

Upcycled glass jars

food preparation:

Coffee

Nespresso coffee pods take 150-500 years to break down. They're polluting our oceans and are found washed up on remote beaches. Swap the pod machine for a beautiful ceramic filter coffee system like the one below by Yonobi Studio, an espresso machine, Moka Italian coffee pot, or a French Press. There's so many alternatives that make superior coffee to the lowly and wasteful Nespresso Machine. George Clooney we love you, but you've got some explaining to do. 

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

Yonobi Studio filter coffee set

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Salt and Pepper

These bad boys by MENU can be refilled with rock salt and peppercorns for plastic-free grinding.

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cleaning

dustpan and funnel

There'll be a separate post coming up for zero-plastic/natural cleaning, but we couldn't go past this cute sweeper and funnel by Polish designer Jan Kochanski. It's innovative, sleek and made from nothing but natural materials. 

 

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dish washing

For kitchen cleaning, there's plenty of alternatives including wooden scrubbing brushes, copper scourers, twine or coconut fibre scrub pads and cotton re-usable dish cloths

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For soap dispensers, we found these beautiful amber glass one's from Rail 19, but if you're a fiend for good design then these one's by Eva Solo or Vipp 9 you'll probably have for life. 

 

 

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Vipp 9 soap dispenser for kitchen/bathroom

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Evo Solo soap dispenser

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

Rail 19 amber glass soap dispenser 

cookware

Notice how most non-stick pans only last a couple of years? If you add up the cost of that over a period of 5-10 years, it'd be a lot more expensive than the price investing in some good copper pans. Copper pans don't stick either. Sticking occurs when heat is unevenly distributed in the pan, but copper's ability to conduct heat evenly fixes this problem and rarely sticks to food. While it's a big investment (between 400-600 for a single pan), they're the kind of things that your grandchildren will pass on to theirs.

Brands like Mauviel and Falk sell the real deal, but for something a little less pricey these one's by Chasseur Escoffier aren't much more expensive than a good non-stick pan. For slow-cooking and pots, investing in one good all-rounder Le Creuset cast-iron pot will again, last a lifetime. Westinghouse also do them at about half the price tag. No more re-buying crappy pans with toxic non-stick chemicals every 2 years — just good old school cooking. 

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the truth about plastic free shaving

Never have I ever drawn blood when shaving... until I used a safety razor. That's the plain truth of it unfortunately. You might recall your grandpa with little squares of blood dotted tissue on his freshly shaven jawline — yes, the un-rightly named 'safety' razor is the same old school gizmo he used for his morning shave. 

So why on Earth would we subject ourselves to this kind of Sweeney Todd esque contraption? Because there's a lot of upsides and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to avoid cuts... most of the time. Safety razors are great for the environment (and your wallet) because you keep them forever... but the nature of the sharp single blade with no shock absorbers can leave you with shaving cuts here and there. But don't let this discourage you, I still use mine. If you persevere with these bad boys, eventually you'll get better at it. In fact, if you read this you should technically learn from my mistakes and avoid it altogether. Here's what I learned about using a safety razor:

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1. Lather and re-lather with lots of soap to protect your skin - the razor takes the protective film of soap off, so you'll always want to have a soap bar on hand to keep applying it before going in for a closer shave. 

2. Use on a 30 degree angle — any higher and you will cut yourself. Period. 

3. Let the razor do the work. Apply little to no pressure while shaving. 

4. Throw everything you know about shaving out the window; this is a different ballgame. Standard razors come with shock absorbers, built-in soap pads and multiple razors for a closer shave and admittedly, they are easier to use — but once you've got the hang of a safety razor, it's a little bit like going from a manual to an automatic car; not as easy but people often say they feel more in control of 'at one' with it...(in saying this, I've never driven a manual car). 

5. Don't buy one in a store because they're 60-80 bucks. I got a shiny perfect one from Ebay with two boxes of spare razors for $12 and it's exactly the same as the one's you'll find in a store with a hefty price tag.

6. Don't rush — think of shaving as a new form of meditation with an added incentive. If you lose focus you'll cut yourself, so it's like a forced mindfulness practice. There ya go! 

 

10 luxurious plastic free items for your home

The plastic free movement is gaining momentum with so much social sharing of late, particularly this alarming viral video of a British Diver with a go-pro swimming through a sea of plastic. There's endless bloggers and influencers sharing plastic-free tips, from using jars as storage, to DIY-ing everything and while these are great for the environment, they seem to be void of one thing; luxury.

Let's be clear though, our definition of luxury isn't about needless spending and consumerism, quite the opposite. It’s the kind of thing that your grandma enjoyed back in her day when buying clothing so sturdy they could last a lifetime. We're constantly in search of the most tasteful, ethical and eco-friendly items out there. Funnily enough designers can often be eco-friendly by default, as they tend to favour premium and natural materials like wood and aluminium anyway. Combining form and function, a lot of this stuff doubles as artwork. 

Here’s 10 luxury plastic free staples for your home that your grandma would approve of:

 

Organic Cotton Bedsheets

Synthetic fabrics contain micro plastics that leak into the ocean with each washing cycle. Using organic cotton bedsheets means the crop weren't grown with harmful pesticides, herbicides and insecticides that also seep into and poison our waterways and irritate the skin. We love these one's by my organic sleep.

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Ferm living drupe bottle grinder

Freshly grind spices, salt and pepper with these fancy designer kitchen staples that double as little sculptures. They're made from ashwood and come in six different colours so you can colour coordinate your spices. 

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Menu dustpan

As innovative as it is stylish, this little guy has a funnel to easy dispense all that funky dust you sweep up in the house. These one's from menu are pretty lush and they also come in black. 

 

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Double walled stainless water bottle

They're everywhere and they're overpriced, but these one's by The Source Bulk Foods come at a much friendlier price of $29 for their largest size. 

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Wooden brushes for the bathroom

Whether it's a hair brush, comb, or dry body brush, there's probably a wooden alternative that does exactly the same job. There's so many brands out there now selling plastic-free brushes. We love these one's by Meraki or this one by Vegan Organics.

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Cotton muslin produce bags

There's really no reason to use plastic in the supermarket other than pure forgetfulness. Produce bags are cheap, fold into nothing and can be always kept in your car for the next time you're at the grocer. It's a much nicer experience using these instead of plastic and if you forget yours, don't stress, just grab a few paper mushroom bags to store lose leaves or grains in the meantime. 

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Ginko Walnut Cube Alarm Clock

In the age of iPhone alarms, you're probably wondering why this is on here at all. Well, with studies have shown that electromagnetic radiation from your phone isn't all that great, not to mention the temptation of a phone charging near your bedside might keep you up at night — especially with the blue light it emits. Keeping an alarm clock by your bedside removes the excuse of needing an iPhone by your side overnight and we love this stylish one by Ginko.

 

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Ratio Eight Coffee Maker

This sexy pour over coffee maker also comes in a blonde wood trim and is made with aluminium and borosilicate glass which (for coffee enthusiasts) heats water to the ideal extraction temperature. It supposedly produces the kind of pour over your local barista would make for you, all without leaving your place. 

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Ever Eco Rose Gold Straws

Why have silver when you can have rose gold? These one's from Ever Eco come with a straw cleaner so you can sip hygienically, sustainably and in style.  

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Seagrass storage baskets

Using baskets for storage is a no-brainer because they're cheap, durable and they look beautiful in almost any space. They can be used for everything from a laundry basket, bathroom storage, to pot plants. We love these by Dos Hombre.

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Minimalist packing tips (for warm weather)

Reading time: 3 minutes

There's nothing clumsier than a bulging suitcase full of 'just in case' items dragging behind you through the streets of a new town, especially if the streets have cobblestones. What's worse is packing three extra outfits, but forgetting to pack your underwear. 

Packing like a minimalist helps you avoid these crucial errors and sees you gliding through an airport like a well-seasoned traveller with a feather light suitcase, ready for anything.

It's not about compromise or only wearing Kathmandu either. I believe in bringing nice things, but choosing the ones that don't require ironing, or can be dressed up three different ways. Here's my tried and true tips for packing like a minimalist

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The Suitcase:

Ø  For adventure-trips; A backpack is a great option — on wheels is better. I got mine for $280 on sale at Kathmandu. Unlike many backpacks where you jam your clothes haphazardly from the top down, this one unzips from the top for neat packing. Wheels aren’t for everybody, but they’re a good all-rounder if you’re bouncing from European airports to more intrepid third world countries.

For standard airport-to-hotel journey’s; the obvious choice is a small black hardcover Samsonite, which wheels when it’s upright too.

Personal care:

Coconut oil — doubles as moisturiser, makeup remover and cooking oil. Put it in a smaller 100ml jar before you go.

Doctor Bronners 18 in 1 — it’s body wash, kitchen and laundry detergent and more. Need I say more?

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Shampoo bar — Comes in a metal tin which you can bring in carry on. Doubles as soap. Won’t leak in your bag.

Essential oils — Tea tree is a compact antiseptic for small wounds. Lavender has similar properties but doubles as a relaxant when on flights.

Citronella and light long travel pants — Mozzies get you at dusk and dawn even if you’re wearing citronella, so you’ll need pants too. Light pants are a must particularly tropical countries, whether you’re exploring temples or need something comfy for the plane.

For the plane:

Eye patch and earplugs — for the plane and hostels, a good sleep is everything.

Peppermint tea — Compact natural anti-nausea. Calms nerves and digestion. A must when you’re in countries where rice is eaten for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Handy things:

Kindle — a million books in one and when you travel you tend to get a lot of book recommendations and never follow through, but with a kindle, it’s possible!

Turkish towel — packs into nothing and it’s makeshift picnic blanket.

Tote bag — doubles as a laundry bag, flattens to nothing.

Mooji collapsible day bag — perfect if you’re planning on doing low-key hiking or travelling Europe from a base country and only want to bring carry on.  

Fill2Pure waterbottle — The extreme water filter is designed for third world countries so there's no excuse to buy plastic waterbottles! If you know you can get filter water where you're going, I like this one buy The Source Bulk Foods. 

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A Cotton Sarong — it may seem basic and unnecessary, but this magic item comes in handy on nearly every occasion. It provides privacy when tied to a bunk if you’re an intrepid traveler cutting costs on budget accommodation; it protects you from potentially grimy beds, is a great towel, particularly in the tropics. Simply wrap yourself after a shower and walk around semi-naked until you’re try, or can be bothered getting dressed. Other uses include, a picnic blanket, a sleep mask on the plane if you forget one, a scarf if the wind has a bite to it.

Shoes (I tend to stick to three pairs of shoes when travelling):

Burkenstocks —  Flip-flops are for rookies. Burkenstocks can be worn from beach to low-key hike. Affectionately known to me as off-road sandals. They may not always be pretty, but they’re every seasoned travelers favourite shoe.

1 pair of active shoes — for exercise and long days of walking. make sure they’re light and collapsible.

1 pair of flat tan sandals — goes with every item in your suitcase and packs down to nothing, need we say more? I love these ones by James Smith (there are no affiliate links in any of this for those wondering). 

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Packing light for warm weather:

Stick to a simple colour palette e.g. my fave is black, white and an earthy colour of yellow. Throw some denim in there for good measure of course. 

One denim jacket — durable + light 

One thin jumper — mainly for airplane or when in high country and when you put your denim jacket over it and wear a sarong as a scarf, it’ll keep you warm enough in slightly cooler climates.

One puffer jacket — can be rolled into a small bag and takes up no room. Good for exercising/hikes and unexpected drops in temperature. I got mine from UNIQLO.

Thin mostly cotton clothes — it doesn't crease, it's durable and dries quickly if you’re travelling the tropics. I roll all of my cotton clothes in a suitcase and it packs down to nothing. 

Stuff you don’t want to forget:

Your underwear

US bucks — most places have ATM’s these days, but if you end up in a pickle, everyone speaks in US dollars.

Converter — don’t forget your phone charger means nothing in another place, nothing worse than forgetting this fine detail

Additional extras (for those on long intrepid voyages)

Incense (and holder) — this may seem the opposite of minimalist, but I’ve learnt that anything that makes you feel mildly 'at home' on long voyages is gold, especially your accomodation has a musty stank to it.

Simplify your wardrobe, simplify your life: How to cull your wardrobe the right way

A capsule wardrobe can save you time to spend on more important things in life and money to buy experiences instead of unnecessary things. 

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Reading time: 3 minutes

I didn’t expect that removing 90% of my old wardrobe-cull to be so life-changing. Getting dressed is simpler and it's an absolute no-brainer to put outfits together now. The clothes I buy are better quality, I make less dud purchases and I can pack an outfit to change into after yoga in 1-minute flat without stressing. To me, a capsule wardrobe is pure gold. 

I was inspired by something called the 80/20 rule; the idea that you wear 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time.  Here's how I did it:

Step 1 // Remove EVERYTHING from your wardrobe

Dump it all on the floor, then separate into three sections; a no, yes, and a maybe pile. Be brutal with the no pile, put in there anything you haven’t worn in months or years and anything shabby. The trick is to avoid sentimentality or overthinking. It will seem like a waste at first, but this is the most important lesson of the whole exercise; seeing your previous wasteful purchases will stop you from frivolous and unconscious shopping in the future.

Step 2 // Analyse what worked and what didn’t

Get a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, label the first column ‘no pile’ and the second column ‘yes pile.’ Now, write all the commonalities of the no pile, note the brands, cuts and fabrics that tend not to work for you. I learnt that crochet things and colourful patterns never work in the long term. Do the same with the yes pile, what prints and fabrics work, for me it was neutral patterns and colours that last the test of time, as well as fabrics like linen, cotton and denim. The maybe pile can go in a box that, if it in a year’s time is forgotten, can be donated as well.

Step 3 // Figure out what you need

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

This is the most important part to avoid re-hoarding like a bowerbird. After putting the 20% yes pile back in your wardrobe, you'll probably feel lighter and less overwhelmed already, but there'll be a few blank spots in your wardrobe. Now it's time to figure out what you need to make tiny wardrobe functional. Here's how:

1. Write down your week-to-week lifestyle in percentages, For example, 60% work, 20% exercise, 19% casual bars/gigs, 1% work functions. Now you know what types of clothing you actually need and in what quantity, which means everything will get worn. 

2. Only buy good quality in future. You'll be able to afford to, since you're buying less. Things will last and you'll appreciate and look after what you do have, and you'll know what you actually need to buy if you're every out shopping again (which of course, should be a lot less). 

Review: Voi plastic free shampoo

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I’m currently documenting my real-time journey to eventually remove all plastic in my day-to-day life.

Looking for plastic free shampoo alternatives

A friend of mine recently transitioned to using apple cider vinegar and bicarb soda to rinse her hair every week or so. She has plans to eventually rinse her hair only with water. I asked her how she found it and she said “I like beachy hair, so I think it suits me quite well.” I felt her hair and it felt salty, but personally, I prefer silky hair. I tried following in her footsteps, but only lasted a few days, since I didn’t like the texture at all. I was told to persevere, but I struggled and decided to buy a waste free shampoo bar to tide me over.

Plastic free shampoo bar

I was telling a friend about this bar I discovered and she said it reminded her of Morocco, where perfumes and facial cleansers come in aromatic bars, and are sold in bulk. I liked the sound of that. The brand I found is called Voi (pictured). It comes in a tin with a screw cap and smells quite strongly of the many different oils in it. From cacao butter, avocado, argan and hemp seed oil — there’s about 12 oils in it. Plus extracts from kakadu plum, fig and goji berry. All the ingredients are organic.

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Washing my hair with it

The soft oily bar lathers and foams into your hands. The oil makes it spread onto the hair easily and it smells pleasant in the shower, but doesn’t smell too strong when it dries.

The results

I expected based on other natural shampoos that I’ve used, that this little guy would dry my hair out and I’d have to just put up with it. I thought that living plastic-free life, meant my days of lovely silky hair were over and I’m glad to say I was wrong. After washing, my hair still feels soft. In the past, I only used conditioner at the ends of my hair because it made my scalp too oily. I found the shampoo bar to conditioned the ends of my hair, without making my roots oily which I was kind of expecting.

The troughs

There's a couple of downsides things I'd improve. Firstly, it’s $20 for a single bar and although I haven't used the whole thing — I have a feeling it won't last as long as a standard bottle of shampoo. For that price, I find this a little disappointing and would be inclined to look into making my own recipe at home. The other trough isn't too bad since it can be easily avoided. If you’re at home I suggest leaving the bar on a soap holder, but if you’re travelling, it sticks to the bottom of the tin and is quite hard to remove. I found myself spending a good minute slamming the tin into my hand to try and get it to come out. 

The peaks

It’s entirely plastic free, and so far leaves my hair feeling silky and nourished. It’s a good size for travel, especially if you only take carry on. You can also use it as a soap bar which is handy. All in all, I’ll continue using this and see how I go. 

 

Top 7 plastic free cleansers

Reading time: two minutes

I thought I was already pretty good at living sustainably being vego and the owner of various plastic free items like a bamboo toothbrush, keep cup and re-usable shopping bags. 

I knew enough about plastic in our oceans, overfishing and animal agriculture to feel passionate about it, yet when I really evaluated it, I still frequently purchased products in plastic. In bathroom alone; my toothpaste, shampoo, cleaners, makeup and razors were all plastic. 

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As I started making efforts to be plastic-free, I quickly discovered that most of the advice out their is either telling you to make-it-yourself, or recommending a product that doesn't appeal to me in terms of quality and aesthetic.

As someone that's educated about skincare, I wanted active ingredients like Hyaluronic acid in my moisturiser, not just shea butter or coconut oil.  I felt frustrated by the fact you couldn't just go to the store and buy top quality plastic-free skincare, so I did some research and uncovered 7 non-toxic cleansers to consider, with minimal to no plastic. Any plastic shown is bio-degradable:

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YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE — age prevention cleanser

This kale + green tea, spinach and vitamin infused cleanser smells like cucumber water and feels so fresh on the skin. It removes all makeup without stripping the skin. The nutrient rich gel is vegan, organic, sulfate-free and it also comes in a generously sized bottle with a biodegradable pump lid. Active ingredients include, aloe vera, vitamin A, E and C.  On a side note, their moisturiser is equally amazing and I'll be sharing a post about that soon. 

 

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drunk elephant — juju bar

Skin care fanatics will instantly recognise this skincare brand which has been on high rotation with beauty Youtubers and bloggers who have sung nothing but praises for their range. The Juju facial cleansing bar is one of their most popular products, it balances the skins PH, removes dead skin cells and heals with antioxidant rich marula.

 

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april skin — signature soap black

Made with French green clay to purify and coconut oil and shea butter to moisturize, April Skin’s slick black cleansing bar is also suitable for sensitive skin. They also offer a cleansing stone as part of their range for a deeper cleanse at night time.

 

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Alpha H Cleansing Cube for Face and Body

Crushed cranberries and 1% glycolic acid buff the skin and coconut oil keeps it moisturised in this compact cream coloured soap bar for the face and body. The Alpha H cleansing cube is more affordable than most, at just $11 a bar.

 

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Life Basics — Activated Charcoal Face and Body Soap

Acting to absorb dirt and impurities, the activiated charcoal content removes excess oil from the skin while olive oil and coconut oil softens the skin. This product is also Australian made, vegan, free of palm-oil and not tested on animals.

 

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Life Basics — Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge

When immersed in water, the hard black sponge turns buttery soft and removes hard to get, acne causing bacteria from the skin. Used in Japan for over 1500 years, they are PH neutral which keeps the skins natural acid mantle of the skin intact, while other harsh cleansers might strip this protective layer. The Konjac sponge helps protect the skin from environmental and bacterial damage and enriches it with minerals. You can use it on its own or with a cleansing bar to stimulate blood flow and cell growth.

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Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser

With lactic acid for mild exfoliation, this cleanser comes in a glass bottle with a biodegradable top. Only half a teaspoon of the Parsley Seed Cleanser mixed with water forms a foaming gel. Clarifying liquorice root and blackcurrant seed will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean as a whistle.