Zero Waste Alternatives – The Klean Kanteen






One of the changes that I have made so far to reduce my rubbish is to eliminate plastic bottles. I drink a lot of water every day and so I always have a water bottle on me. I used to buy a Lucozade or a small plastic bottle of water and then just use that for a few days until I either lost the bottle or it started to smell funny. 

When out on my bike, I would use reusable plastic bike bottles.  After a while, no matter how much you wash them, the water just tastes horrible. (Especially when you are riding in the heat) That’s when I made one of the best investments so far by switching to a stainless steel bottle. Let me introduce the Klean Kanteen - stainless steel water bottle which lasts a lifetime and is leak proof and shatter proof.  And the best thing about it is that it fits in my bottle cage on my bike. No more disgusting water bottles! I take it everywhere with me, and I have several different sizes and caps. I fill it with tap water but I have used it for all sorts, as a coffee flask, soup carrier and even to take olive oil.  Even when it is really hot outside, the water always tastes fresh.
All of the caps are compatible with different bottles. I use the sports cap for cycling and screw top lid when I am out and about. It doesn’t leak which is perfect as I usually just throw it in my bag. As you can see from the image, the bottle has been used a lot but it is still going strong!
I usually just fill it up with tap water everywhere I go. Even when I am in town having a coffee or lunch I always ask to get it filled up and I have never been rejected so far. We are really lucky in the UK that tap water is safe to drink. There are more initiatives to get people to refill instead of buying which is awesome. 
It has saved me a lot of money already, as I would most definitely buy drinks when I am out so it’s a win win situation!
If you are planning to use it on your bike just check that it actually fits as not all bottle cages are created equal. When I ride someone else’s bike I usually just wrap the bottle in a sock, not the best looking solution but it does stop the annoying rattling :)

The Urban Cyclist


I have set myself a goal to start cycling around town a bit more. I love cycling and I do most of my miles around the Peaks or other beautiful locations when cycle touring. I have never been a huge fan of cycling in the city as it has a different purpose- the emphasis is on getting to your destination rather than enjoying the ride. Depending on where you live, the traffic also makes the whole experience quite stressful.

I wanted to challenge myself and to see if any of these ideas were actually just my own misconceptions and to see if I can find enjoyment in it. I learned that it’s all about preparation. Having a functioning bike, knowing the rules of the road and staying focused are your starting points. When you are prepared and confident about what you are doing, suddenly the enjoyment comes naturally and you have that feeling of freedom that the seasoned urban commuters talk about.  You can move at your own speed and you are connected to the environment as you feel all the up hills, down hills and weather changes. (Instead of getting peed off about the rain, I am trying to embrace it!)


The best thing is that you can get somewhere for free, have fun and actually enjoy the experience. There is something liberating about getting to where you need to be by bike, overtaking an overcrowded bus as it is waiting impatiently on the lights. You also get your exercise done without really thinking about it much. So really, it makes total sense. And the more bikes there are, the more cycle lanes= less cars= less traffic= less pollution.

Tip: How to make your clothes smell amazing





I love the smell of freshly washed clothes. There is something comforting for me in wearing an item which smells like it came right out of the washing machine. In the past I would use a lot of fabric softener and strong detergent to get that nice fragrance. I would go as far as washing something which was not dirty just to get that ‘’clean’’ feel back to the clothes which is just totally wasteful.

As I use a lot of technical clothing now (hiking, cycling) that cannot come to contact with normal detergent, I stopped using fabric softener and I now only use a natural detergent without any fragrance. I wash my clothes on 30 °C most of the time, so overall my clothes come out clean but without that lovely smell. I learned a great tip from my mum which I will share with you!

The secret is soap bars. All you need to do is pop them in your drawers or closet, next to your clothes and let them work their magic. The best soaps are the really fragrant ones as they can last for years.

I don’t wrap the bars in anything but if you are worried about the oils in the soap damaging your clothes, just wrap them in a piece of thin fabric. Even if I don’t wear something in my wardrobe for a while, it still has that lovely fresh feeling, without me having to waste resources on washing something unnecessarily.

And whenever I need a hand soap, I just take one out of my drawer and I am good to go. 


Enjoy!

Zero Waste Alternatives: Makeup Remover




This must be one of the easiest zero waste solutions that I have come across. It's super easy and there is no preparation needed, which makes it a keeper in my books. Plus, my face smells like coconuts which is a nice bonus!

I don’t wear makeup every day but a few times a week I will use a mascara and a blusher. From time to time, some of my foundation comes out of hibernation as well.  I have not bought any make up wipes in a while and so I got into the habit of just washing my face or leaving it on which I am sure is not that healthy.

This is a great example to show that if you are trying to reduce your waste, you need alternative zero waste solutions otherwise you will revert to buying something disposable when you suddenly need it.

Washing with water works up to a point but mascara and foundation seem to be leaving residue. There are quite a few natural makeup remover recipes but why complicate things when this works just as well?

All you need is two things, coconut oil and cotton pads. I bought reusable organic cotton pads from this lovely shop on Etsy a while ago. They are made out of organic flannel cotton which is really soft and pleasant on your skin. 

Coconut oil usually comes in a jar and so all you need to do is dab a little bit of the oil onto the cotton pad and wipe your makeup off. As easy as that. I have also used olive oil when I had no coconut oil at home and that worked for me just as well. Try and not get any of the actual oil into your eyes as it will blur your vision a little bit (found out the hard way) and instead just use it around the eyes. You can press your lashes against the skin under your eyes and just sort of dab it with the cotton pad.

Instead of throwing the pads away, you can wash them in the washing machine when you are done. Mine came with a little cotton bag which I use for storage and for washing.If you are using a lot of makeup, I would suggest soaking them in some warm water with a bit of washing powder and giving them a bit of a hand wash beforehand. 

Make up wipes are widely used because they are so quick and easy. Using coconut oil is just as quick and without the use of artificial fragrances and chemicals, so I am definitely hooked. No more overnight make up for me!



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