Up date so far – Months 4 to 6

Candles – I am going to have to revisit the candle situation. I found the beeswax candles were expensive and short lived. As winter is over, I haven’t been using candles and so I haven’t looked into alternatives to hard. There are soy candles and options of making your own, so these are all things I will research.

Washing brush – this is a useful little tool, but is not good enough to clean on its own. My hubby still likes the scourer sponges, so I need to find an alternative to this that will keep him happy.

Eye make up remover – the rose water is not great, I am finding that I have panda eyes the following day. I use my witch hazel as a double whammy, but it is still not removing it all. To be fair, I found the same with shop bought eye makeup remover, and this also left me with plastic bottles to ditch. So, this area is work in progress and I need to search Pinterest for some homemade recipes.

Cotton buds – I have no idea why cotton buds are still made with plastic. The paper stemmed ones I purchased from Sainsbury’s are good quality, they do exactly what I need of the and, whilst my rubbish gets incinerated by my local authority, IF one escaped my rubbish somehow, it would break down over time and not cause damage to the wildlife or environment. This change is a necessity for the world.

E-bills – it’s been an easy change, I haven’t really noticed the difference. However, I need to figure out how to stop the sales literature coming through the door. This seems to be a never ending battle.

Reusable tumbler – I am making the most out of this during the hot weather – finding opportunities to sneak in a coffee frappe or a fruit cooler. However, I am disappointed with the size – you can only purchase medium sized reusable cups – and I have spoken to others who refuse to buy reusable drinking vessels because of the small size. I would also not purchase a plastic reusable tumbler again because it is still plastic. I am obviously not the only person questioning the eco ethics of the plastic reusable drinking vessels (http://www.wehatetowaste.com/starbucks-cup/) but I will make the most of it and I will use it until the end of it’s life.

Toner – this is a keeper. Witchhazel is cheap and a good astringent and, whilst it hasn’t sorted out my skin problems (should I really still be getting this many spots at this age?), the easy to recycle glass bottle makes it a much more attractive (and cheaper) option than the named plastic, over-priced toners.

Washing powder – the biggest issue I have had is the fading on the washing. I have a a lot of items, mainly t-shirts, with what appears to be bleached lines on them, as this picture shows.

This appears to have slowed down, so I think it may have been something to do with using too much washing powered or overfilling the drum (or maybe both). I hope that I have fixed the issue and I will continue to use the washing powder as it means no plastic and, a bonus for me, it’s cheaper!

Washing up liquid – I thought I had done the right thing when I purchased a box of Ecover washing up liquid, and then I read this: http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/new-ethical-index-rankings-soap-brands-whats-ecover/. I am really glad that I have reduced the amount of plastic I am using by purchasing like this, however, I wish the brand was as ethical as it once was. Whilst I will continue with my changes and I will continue to bulk buy where I can, this change will be improved upon and I will seek out a more ethical brand to bulk buy from in future.

Coleslaw – all I can say is that I will NEVER buy shop made coleslaw again! Homemade is so much better and is worth the time and energy in making it. It is so much cheaper, there are no plastic tubs to bin or try to recycle or reuse. If you’ve never made your own, I can only urge to you to try it!

Bamboo toothbrush – it has taken a while to get used to using a ‘manual’ toothbrush again, as I have spent so many years using an electric toothbrush. I can’t really comment on this change until I have had my next checkup at the dentist, however, I am really happy with the quality of the brush I have purchased and I hope that I am not disappointed with the results.

30 degree wash – I have still found that there is no difference between a 30 and 40 degree wash. My clothing is perfectly clean and I have noticed no unpleasant smells (and no one else has mentioned this either)! Washing at 30 or 40 makes no difference to the ‘staining’ on my washing (as I’ve said before, I think that is probably either overfilling the drum or too much powder in the drawer). I cannot find one negative thing to this swap and so it stays.

Safety razor – it is taking some getting used to, using a safety razor. It’s not as convenient as a disposable and it takes longer to shave. I need to find the best shaving lubricant (ongoing trials) but I am really happy with the razor I have bought. It is well-balanced and nicely heavy and sturdy and feels good in my hand. This is a change that I wish I had made sooner.

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