Zero Waste Hair Care


The days when I had a basket full of half used hair care products are long gone. Conditioners, hair foams, gels, salt water sprays, heat protection sprays and millions of other things were sat in my bathroom, used once in a blue moon and collecting dust. Fast forward a few years and my hair care kit consists of only three items. I use these items daily and take them with me everywhere I go including hiking and cycling trips. There is nothing to collect dust anymore!


My three to go items are hair comb, solid shampoo and a conditioner. That is it. I recently swapped my plastic comb for a peach wood comb which feels a lot nicer on my hair and scalp. For a while, I only used a shampoo, but my hair is getting so long, a conditioner makes it a lot easier to brush my hair. I buy the shampoo and conditioner from Lush. It is really easy to buy them Zero Waste. I have two small tins which I bought years ago from the same shop and I just pop the items straight into them (or use my cotton produce bag). I ask the staff to not give me any packaging or stickers. The staff are always friendly and I usually get asked questions about why I do it which I am happy to answer. Lush has an environmental policy in which they pledge to use minimal packaging and encourage you to shop Zero Waste which is a big step forward. They take responsibility for the plastic that they produce- the majority comes from recycled materials and they accept (and encourage) their used black pots for recycling. To me this is a high standard of corporate environmental responsibility– it is very easy for companies to churn stuff out there but what about when these items come to the end of their life? More companies should be responsible for the items that they produce during the whole lifecycle of their product. If this was the case everywhere, we would have a lot less crap out there as businesses would really think about the durability of materials and whether it is even worth producing something in a first place. f you have been reading my blog you know that I always try and opt for local businesses but if big companies make positive changes of this kind, I will happily spend my money there as well.


Another factor which I consider when opting for Zero Waste alternatives is ingredients.  There are so many chemicals used in conventional hair care products none of which I want anywhere near my skin.  One of my friends said to me once that just because a product is more natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is also better for you. I agree with that. I use all of my items not only because I can buy them package free but because they work and I love using them. That is ultimately why the products above have made the cut in my minimal hair care kit list. If you swap your packaged product for a Zero Waste alternative which you don’t like or you don’t want to use, chances are that the change won’t be long term. The fact that Lush uses natural products plays a big part in my ‘shopping is voting’ attitude.


But how many items is enough? It will be different for everyone. I found my current perfect amount. Everything that I use I love and there is nothing sat in the cupboard for future ‘what if’ situation. One of the unexpected benefit of minimizing my hair care products is the amount of money that I saved over time. I use my shampoo and conditioner daily. It lasts me for months as I only ever need a tiny amount.  The money (and time that I wasted shopping for the products in the first place) that I save, I can then spend on something which brings a lot more value to my life than salt water hair spray- having a dip in the actual salt water, aka the sea! 


How to buy bread Zero Waste

                    The bread and the bread makers working hard behind the scenes 

Sometimes all you want is a nice crusty piece of toast. One of those which crunches in your mouth as you take the first bite. Spread a bit of nice butter on top and you are officially at peace. Sounds familiar?

Bread is one of the easiest things to buy package free. Most bakeries and even supermarkets will sell loose bread.  



I usually get a big ish loaf when I shop.  The bread goes straight into my reusable cotton bag, without using the paper or plastic packaging that the shop provides. When I get home I slice my bread and pop it in the freezer in another cotton bag. If you prepare the bread this way, it means that there is never any waste as you only ever use what you need. I also don’t eat bread every day so it is nice to have something at home when I really fancy a piece of toast. I also freeze rolls and ciabattas for burgers and they taste just as nice as fresh ones. Just make sure that you defrost it in time for dinner!


 
I don't go anywhere without my trusty cotton bag.

My favourite bakery in Sheffield is called Seven Hills Bakery. They have so many different loaves of bread to choose from,  you can spend ages just salivating over the selection. My current favourite is a pumpkin sourdough. They also have a coffee shop and sell fruit and vegetables with some local produce. Not only is their bread delicious, they seem to also use a lot of reusable containers which is a great step in my book. No annoying little plastic butter and jam containers, instead,  they use homemade jam and local butter. Yum!




I am really lucky that where I live in Sheffield, there are so many local independent shops. As I said before, this often makes it easier to buy things package free as owners are happy to have your custom and are willing to listen to you. If you live in areas where you are reliant on shopping in supermarkets, buying bread Zero Waste is a good place to start. Just put your loose rolls and bread into your cotton bag and walk through the checkout with the most confidence that you can muster. :) 


                                             

Wild Food Recipe -Dried Crab Apples with Cinnamon



Have you ever bought sour apple sweets? There is no need for all of the processed stuff if you like that sort of flavor, as you can literally make your own healthy version at home. Introducing crab apple- aka the real sour apple. 



Crab apples are abundant Wild Food all around the United Kingdom. They are a lot smaller than cooking apples so you have to put a little bit more work into transforming them into something delicious. I made chutneys before, but this time I wanted to experiment with a healthier version. The result are cinnamon and dried apple snacks!

You need
Crab apples
Ground cinnamon
Lemon 


How to
  1. Core your apples if you don’t want pips with the end product. It didn’t bother me as the crab apple pips are tiny and I wanted the nice star shaped middle to be visible. Slice the apples very thinly using a knife or a mandolin. 



  1. As you cut the apples put them in pan of lemon water. This will stop them from browning. You can see where I left the apples on a chopping board for 5 minutes as they turned brown straight away! Leave them to soak for about 15 minutes. 



  1. Dry the apples using a tea towel. Arrange them in a tray so that they have plenty of space. Sprinkle each piece with cinnamon making sure that they are fully covered.



  1. Bake on the lowest setting (50 degrees or so) for 5-6 hours. Keep checking the oven as they might burn quickly once they are fully dry. 


The drying process gets rid of some of the sourness. But I am not going to lie, they are still quite sour! Mine will be chopped into tiny pieces and added to my homemade granola as a free ingredient.  This recipe will work well with other types of apples as well. They look so pretty, I am actually tempted to use them as a Christmas tree decoration!  


Enjoy!

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