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Navy blue, A line and below the knee…

A sensible, deep blue, below the knee A line skirt. I wear it with leggings or tights. Yes it sounds dreadful but it’s good for cycling in. I made it from a soft corduroy which I think stops it looking like too much like a school skirt. While it really is much nicer than the description implies even kindest friends would class it under practical rather than glamorous

Fabric & Purchase Details

I dont know where the corduroy was originally from and it boasts no organic or fair trade credentials but it was bought from my local fabric shop LeonsAnd buying locally and keeping fabric shops open are both very important to me.

It is 100% cotton. I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed. Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Design & Pattern

I used the Mc Calls M6770 Misses’ Jacket, Bustle/Capelet, Skirt and Pants patterns as a very loose guide. The Mc Calls pattern features a bustle. My corduroy skirt doesn’t!

Fixtures & Fittings

I didnt bother with a waistband just turned the top over and fixed it using used bias binding. This is 100% cotton, bought by the meter and from a cardboard roll. I fitted a zip at the back The zip is metal and synthetic fibre. It is sold unpackaged. N.B.metal zips are not so easy to fit as plastic as they are bulky, dont sit as neatly in the seam and tend to flash and glint. Plastic zips are finer and so less obvious. As I always wear long tunic tops it is not an issue for me but you might want to consider it.

Made With

They were  cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating
Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In At 300g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

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Eco Fluffy Mama Blog – with a strong focus on reusable menstrual products

Hi there, my name is Tamsin and I am the creator of the blog, Eco Fluffy Mama. My blog is based on Green Living, with a strong focus on reusable menstrual products and zero waste. I also write about my life as someone with multiple chronic illnesses. I am 29 years old and live in rural Suffolk with my son and fiance.

I am extremely passionate about reusable menstrual products, and helping others understand why disposables are bad for the planet and our health.

Projects-

I really enjoy helping others, and am currently working on distributing reusable menstrual products to charities that work with homeless people, and those living below the breadline. In 2015, I created a campaign called Ditch The Disposables – I worked with the UK’s leading retailers for Reusable Menstrual Products, and between us we generated 122 brand new menstrual cups to donate between the 2 charities that the campaign has sponsored.

For 2017, I am hoping to run another campaign to help more charities give reusable menstrual products to the people they help. This will eliminate waste, and help those in need to always have something to manage their period.

Links To Social Media:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/ecofluffymama
Twitter – https://twitter.com/EcoFluffyMama
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ecofluffymama/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/c/Ecofluffymama
Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/ecofluffymama/

Please note..

This post was written by the contributor and  is  a PfU.K. Directory submission.

And the Pf U.K. Directory is…?
…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily but certainly plastic-problem aware.
The DIRECTORY is to promote their fantastic work. Read more here…

Got a project?
It is very easy to get a project featured. Each contributor submits a short synopsis of their project, focussing on the plastic aware element and I post it. You can read the submission guidelines here.

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Find  more plastic free menstruation & tea here…

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Plasticfree, compostable, homemade and below the knee

No Daisy Dukes for me! Check out these bad boys! Below the knee, denim shorts with half gather waist. Made for when the weather was warmer only posted now!

Fabric & Purchase Details

I don’t know where the denim was originally made and it boasts no organic or fair trade credentials but it was bought locally from the Button Box in Huddersfield Market. And buying locally and keeping fabric shops open are both very important to me.

It is 100% cotton. I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed. Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Design & Pattern

I thought I could adapt the Palazzo Trouser pattern I have already used for the Linen Trousers. I still wanted to use a drawstring waist (no plastic elastic for me!), but didn’t want them to be quite as gathered. The denim is much thicker than the linen so doesn’t gather as easily. I didn’t want to end up with crinoline style shorts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shorts hanging in festoons?

I narrowed the legs of the pants and added darts at the back waist to make a more fitted butt. This means only the front is gathered. The bum bit works well and is a comfortable fit… but the back of the pants have a tendency to hang in festoons? It doesn’t really matter and they might soften out with washing but for my next attempt at trousers I will try a different, proper pattern rather than adapting one.

Fixtures & Fittings
Plastic free drawstring fixing.

Made With
They were  cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating
Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In At 414g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

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Special days, gifts & parties

Here’s a guide to celebrating, partying and gift giving.

If you want biodegradable, disposable cutlery try How To Party Plastic Free. Reusable advent calendar? Check out Christmas. Compostable condoms – yes they are in Valentines along with other loved up stuff.

And of course at the end of every party, the washing up. Sigh.

Have fun and drink responsibly….

Pancakes & Pancake day

To make plastic free pancakes in a plastic free non stick pan ... you will need: Eggs in a cardboard ...
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Mothers Day

Flowers and chocolates  are a traditional choice for such days and always welcome. Especially when you choose a few plastic ...
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Easter

Easter egg makers are far more environmentally aware than they used to be and it is now possible to buy ...
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Valentines Day

Wethers it's Valentines Day, a very special date, an anniversary or just because,  here's a round up of plastic free ...
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Christmas Crackers Reusable

As they sound - a cracker that can be used over and over again. Probably not completely plastic free, (those ...
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How to wrap gifts plastic-free

Reusable Wraps Wrapping presents – cloth furoshiki using a square of cloth. Crackle paper made from recycled tents. Disposable Paper As much ...
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Christmas

Here are some more fantastic waste free ideas for Christmas Keep up with fantastic plastic free christmas ideas via our pinterest ...
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How to party…plastic free….

Organising a big bash? Nipping off out to buy some paper plates? WAIT!!! Given the choice between washing up and disposable ...
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Alcohol – to drink

Plastic free booze is hard to find....glup!!!!. But as giving up IS NOT AN OPTION...here are our best choices.... The Plastic ...
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How to wash the pots plastic free…..

By Hand...Sigh Washing up liquid and I use Ecover  in a refillable plastic bottle. I know the bottle is plastic but ...
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How To Buy Flowers Plastic Free

You don't even want to know how many plastic wrapped roses we are going to get through on this one ...
Read More

Greetings cards

Cards  have been the bane of my life , (I mean greeting cards not gambling  - that's all in the past), as many ...
Read More

 

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Trial a plastic awareness game?

Any teachers out there want to trial a plastic awareness game?

The Auroville community in India are tackling plastic waste through education. Sometime ago I spoke to them about a children’s game they were developing – here is an update….

“Last year, interviewing experts was part of our research phase for developing a memory style card game which we have decided to call ‘kNOw PLASTICS’. The game educates children about the impact of plastics on animals, the environment and us.

We are now in the pilot testing phase of the game. Up till now we have tested the game in schools here in and around Auroville, Tamil Nadu, South India. It is a really rewarding experience and so much fun to see the children playing with the cards. So far we have received positive responses but we would like to get feedback from as many other children throughout schools the world over. We are looking to test the game internationally with students from diverse cultural background so that the game is relevant to as wide an audience as possible.

If you know of any schools, organisations or teachers then we would be very happy if you could connect us or test the kNOw PLASTICS game, please find below what this would entail:

  1. Printing the game in colour (we’ll send you the designs and clear instructions).
  2. Find 4 resource persons or teachers to help you or test the game (3-5 student per group).
  3. Playing the game with children and answer questions (takes about an hour and it lots of fun).
  4. Sending us the feedback and if you can Skype/WhatsApp call at your convenience.

Our goal is to complete pilot testing the game by the end of November, so our design team can finalise the game, print and launch it in February 2017.

When we have produced the game we would like to provide a free copy for a school or organisation you work with as a thank you for your assistance in pilot testing the game.

Please do help us test this game!

I really appreciate your time and effort and promise it won’t be a waste of time!

If you can help you can contact Chandra on wasteless@auroville.org.in
www.wastelessindia.org
 Facebook.com/WasteLess

 

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Tabbard Tunic Top

This is a simple sleeveless dress with bust darts to add a bit of shape. It looks rather like those old pinafores people used to wear hence the name.

It is easy to wear – either as a comfortable tunic when worn over a tee shirt and leggings or a cool dress for those hotter days. This Summer I hardly need say I have been wearing it as a tunic, over leggings, with a cardigan!

I would be very pleased with it if it wasn’t for the fabric…..

Fabric & Purchase Details

I bought this material locally from the Button Box in Huddersfield Market.  . It is 100% cotton.

I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed.

Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Notes On This Cotton – Craft Fabric

kate

It is a silky fabric that creases easily. I mean really easily. I wear it for seconds and it looks like crumpled paper. I am not sure it is a dress making fabric. It was sold in small bales folded on a cardboard board. In a section of the shop called craft fabrics. I think they are mainly used for patchwork and quilting. Is this cotton somehow different?  Rose & Hubble fabrics are sold the same way and the stuff I used for my loon pants worked out fie.  I thought with washing it would soften it as has happened with my loon pants. These are made out of Rose & Hubble cotton. They are now so soft I don’t need to iron them. Actually I never ironed them and while they looked rumpled I could get away with it. Not a chance of that with this top! Still as stiff as a board, needs ironing before I can wear it. Even with my low sartorial standard I feel I have to do at least that. Once on, it creases immediately.

As time has passed it’s tendency to crease has annoyed me more and more. As has the constant ironing.

Pattern New Look 6558

Fixtures & Fittings Cotton bias binding round the neck and arms sold by the meter at the shop.

Made with…

It was cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies  (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating

Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here)

Weighs In At

149 grams Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? Share out all the fibres made by all the people on the planet and it works out, (very roughly), 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres. Here are the figures in full.

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Offset Tunic

Bought some lovely organic cotton cambric from Offset Warehouse an online fabric store that sell greener than green fabrics.

Such as this lovely patterned cambric that is

  1. made from organic (uncertified) cotton
  2. hand woven and printed by hand using wooden “hand-blocks”.
  3. The dyes used in the printing are azo-free
  4. The weaving and printing is done in a cooperative and certified Fair Trade by the WFTO.
  5. As it is a hand-made product, the process uses virtually no energy or water!
  6. can be washed in washing machines.

I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest option, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed and, even better, at the end of a long and useful life, I can compost them.

Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And the reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found in detail here.

More Information

Weave/Knit Type Plain, Woven
Thread Count 46 x 46
width 119cm 47″

Packaging

I had been assured that the packaging was plastic free and it almost was. The fabric came wrapped in tissue paper in a cardboard box but the box was sealed with plastic tape and the invoice was attached to the front in a plastic bag. Sigh!

Pattern

McCalls M6102 1 hour dress. Really easy

Fixtures & Fittings

No fixings needed.

It was cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies  (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating

  • Natural fibres
  • Organic
  • Fair-trade
  • Homemade by me
  • Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In

At 157g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? Share out all the fibres made by all the people on the planet and it works out, (very roughly), at 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to my fair share of 3.8 kg of natural fibres. Here are the figures in full.

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October

Because plastic is too scary – even for Halloween

Whhhooo oooo

Yes its time for spooks, ghouls and zombies to take to the streets and beg sweets.  We have put together a few tips to cut the plastic horror that results. Included are…

  • Get,(or make), some fabric trick or treat bags to take out with you – not to my house obvs.
  • Buy plastic-free sweets for when the ghouls come calling.
  • Use compostable, disposable partyware
  • Make a reusable, burlap witches hat .
  • make your own costumes

Check out the How To Halloween Plastic Free page for details. And please do add your own grisly finds and ghastly zero waste ideas  ….. love Hollies mushed beetroot brains!

 

This Year

see what we got up to the rest of the year right HERE

 

Updates

Compostable Coffe Cups

Look out for the lovely green van. Maybe you can hire it for your events. Not sure. You will have to contact them. As well as a great vehicle they are using compostable disposables. Mmmmmm.
London based
We’re a new mobile catering company coming soon! We’ll be serving excellent artisan coffee and bites out of our gorgeous vintage wagon!
Thanks to @BiopacLtd for our compostable coffee cups & other packaging! #TheWackaWagonCo http://www.TheWackaWagonCo.com

Straw Wars

All Bar One
Are cutting plastic straws…..
It’s simple really, over the next year we’re going to reduce our straw usage by a third.
Don’t worry you can still sip away merrily on our delicious cocktails and soft drinks, and for those crushed ice cocktails we’ll be offering replacement eco-friendly options.
So why does this matter to us? Our own research show just how many straws are in use and in turn, creating an environmental problem. To give you a snapshot of just how many straws we use at All Bar One:
Straws are served in 25% of our drinks
An average of 1,600 straws a week in each bar (about 13,000 a day as a brand)
We purchase 4.7 million straws a year
We need your help, we can’t make this happen without you, the change starts with how you enjoy your drinks and we ask that when you do, you don’t ask for a straw. Let’s all work towards making a difference and get rid of plastic straws for good.
We’re also calling on other bars to join the pledge and get involved in the #StrawsSuck movement.

Check out the website HERE

Weatherspoons
Are also giving up straws for new year.
From January 2018, Wetherspoon chains will no longer automatically put plastic straws in their drinks, instead using only biodegradable paper straws. The pub chain claims this will stop 70 million plastic straws from heading to landfills or finding their way into the ocean, where they can cause damage to all kinds of sealife. The plan is part of a massive campaign called Refuse the Straw, which urges pub chains and restaurants to stop handing out plastic straws willy-nilly.

Read more
HERE

If you really need a straw, there are some options here – reusable or compostable. Read more.

Some more loose food here…

Hi, I have a stall on Northampton Market every Tuesday and Wednesday doing “Scoop and Save Herbs Seeds and Spices” where I encourage folk to bring their own jars, otherwise it’s a resealable reusable freezer bag…

Apples

October is the time for apple harvesting. If you don’t have your own tree you could try a PYO farm. There are hundreds of orchards offering this in the southern counties, rather fewer up here in the north.Check out this great farm finder website

Urban Harvest

Otherwise you coud get involved in some of the urgan harvest programs. They pick and distibute unwanted fruit. Abundance in Manchester is one such. From the website…

“A mature garden fruit tree produces more than the average family can eat. And at the same time there are lots of people in our city not able to access fresh food.

Abundance Manchester is a voluntary project which picks surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens and public trees around South Manchester and distributes it to local groups and communities who can use it. We also collect and distribute surplus vegetables from allotments.”

I have listed a couple more here.

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The Fulsome Foolish Skirt

We were planning to visit Seville for the Feria, the big flamenco party. To say it is dreey would be understating. I spent a lot of time wondering what I could possibly wear. The flamenco dresses I had seen looked very elaborate featuring different fabrics, trimmings and all manner frou-frouery. Needless to say I possessed nothing like that. Then, while meandering through the Indonesian markets, I came across some very lively sarongs. They were highly patterned strips of fabric featuring a bold use of color and frantic patterning. If, I thought, I was to make a skirt out of such sarongs, it would look extremely ornate. Not frilly but with a general air of exuberance that would make it suitable for a flamenco night out.

So I bought some. They were amazingly cheap but I was assured they were made from Indonesian cotton. They are not. They are synthetic fibres. I didn’t realize this till I got home, tried to iron them and they melted. I was annoyed. Not only did I have to spend hours scraping away at the iron but I don’t like wearing synthetic fabrics. I’m sure you know that synthetic fibres contribute to micro plastic pollution. When they are washed, they shed tiny, non-biodegradable, synthetic fibres into the drains. These are then washed out to sea where they are now polluting the oceans and being eaten by plankton.

Still I thought I could still make the skirt, wear it for the Feria, and never, ever wash it. After all how much demand would there be for such a lively skirt in my daily life? So I copied a pattern for a circular skirt from the internet, sewed it up and tried it on. It hung nicely but it was full…. very full. Draped over my Rubenesque curves it looked rather tent like – by which I mean a big top. It might have worked if I had made it from a different fabric. Something with less pattern and nicer colors. Lord knows what I was thinking but dominant tints were bottle green and aquamarine blue covered in hot pink and purple flowers. It looked funky in the market place as a sarong; it looked insane as a swirling skirt on a wide berthed middle aged woman. So much so I will not be featuring a photo of me modeling it.

So I now have a huge and very ugly skirt which I can never wash and never wear. But as I can’t bear waste so I am keeping it as a permanent pattern for future huge skirts I may wish to make. In fact I used it as the base for my Japanese Fish Wrap Skirt.

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Weight 243g. This counts as part of my fair share fabrics project– a self imposed rationing system where I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

2016 WLLM Want to share my bath?

Or perhaps you would prefer to post some photos of the local shops you support. Here’s the deal…

“Each year the UK alone is putting over £3.8 billion worth of resources into landfill and evidence suggests that increasing rates of consumption and material possession are not necessarily leading to healthier societies and may in fact be damaging to our happiness and wellbeing.”

Waste less, Live More have had enough and have taken to organizing a week of events to combat this. WLLM is a Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign. It is 7 days of awareness raising, rubbish, cutting activities and brings together a wide range of partner and supporter organizations… of which I am one.

Yes, from 19-25 September, ” organizations, charities and businesses, (ME!!!), will be hosting … events and activities which encourage people to waste less and live more – events demonstrating that what is good for the environment is good for us.”

Eek – hosting!? What am I going to do?Well WLLM have kindly put together over 101 activities including having a bath together. Feel free to join me in the tub but I was thinking of something more inclusive. It’s a small tub and I’m a big girl.

Love Local, Photo & Post

Because I move around a lot it’s hard for me to do anything on the ground so I plan to do it virtually. Last year I organized an online litter pick where I photographed and posted pictures of the plastic litter I collected. People were kind enough to join me and I could do that again. BUT…. after my week of eating-plastic-free -but- only-buying- from – supermarkets project I would like to to focus on local shops.

Activity Number 46 looks ideal. It is Buy local – Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy.

Like the litter pick, I will be posting photos of local shops and businesses and the (plastic-free) produce you can buy from them. Once again I invite you to join me. Together we can celebrate, promote and support the independent traders and, (of course), packaging-free, waste-less produce. One day in the week, when out shopping, take a photo of your favorite indie, local shop then post it up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all of them. A few details on where it is and what it does would also be good.

Post Where?

Post on your Facebook Twitter or Instagram account but do remember to hashtag your photos. You can also post them in the Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook Group group  where they will remain as permanent record of great places to shop. Or up on the WLLM Facebook page.

Tag Them

Use tags #pirlocalshop and #wastelesslivemore

Like this

“love my #pirlocalshop The Hut, Huddersfield #plasticfree kabanos Celebrate indies 4 #wastelesslivemore week.”

Feel free to copy – using details about your own shop I mean. Then you can promote the project with more posts like this one…..

Visit #pirlocalshop gallery & on line photo competition for #wastelesslivemore week. Vote by liking. On line photo competition for #wastelesslivemore week. celebrating indies.

Galleries

You can also visit the galleries…..

Check out the Twitter gallery here

Facebook gallery here

Photography Competition

Got the bit between my teeth now. Why not, I’m thinking, combine it with

“Activity No 17 Have a photography competition – Create a list of things or themes to photograph, such as ‘favourite local green space’ or ‘best place to relax’, or ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘sharing’. Have fun comparing your results!”

Add #pirshoplocal hashtag to be in with a chance to win fantastic

Prizes

I’m thinking Activity Number 39 Make a puppet or sock monkey – Odd socks? Try upcycling them into the ultimate toy/mascot/desk companion.”

Or we can we include “Activity Number 77 Share a bath ?” – a voucher system maybe?

So Trashionistas what do you think? You in?

More

You can sign up at the Waste less, Live More website and let them know you are supporting them. And if you don’t have any local shops, a camera or shudder at the shared bath, here’s the list of activities – all 101 of them. There is something to suit everyone.

101 Ways to Waste less and Live more

This year we are challenging you do as many of our 101 ways to waste less and live more as you can. Let us know what you are up to via social media (#wastelesslivemore) – we can’t wait to see how you get on!

  1. Become a RAKtivist – Do little things to ‘pay it forward’ as a Random Acts of Kindness activist – leave change in the parking meter, give out free hugs, pick up groceries for a neighbour.
  1. Have a declutter day – If you don’t love it loads or use it often, donate it to a charity shop.
  1. Rediscover the fun of the playground – Jump rope, hopscotch, duck duck goose, hide and seek, limbo, leapfrog, stuck in the mud – PLAY!
  1. Grow from scraps – Give your fruit and veg another lease of life. There are great beginner guides online to get you started!
  1. Take it outside – Take your next meeting, lesson or catchup outside. Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!
  1. Organise a shared lunch – Everyone brings a dish and you eat together. You’ll get an amazing spread and think of the sandwich wrapper waste you’ll avoid.
  1. Set up a book-swap shelf – Got a spare shelf at work, school or in your local pub? Ask if it can be turned into a book-swap shelf. Give away your books and pick up something new to read 
  1. Organise a street party – Get together with neighbours and plan an afternoon of activities for all. Check with your local council about road closure procedures and permissions.
  1. Have a go at upcycling – Turn something old or unused into something new and usable. Broken umbrellas can become saddle covers, cheese graters can become earring holders – get imaginative!
  1. Support your local library – Rather than buying that book/film/cd you are after why not borrow it from your local library instead?
  1. Make a pinecone birdfeeder – Hang it near a window so you can birdwatch too!
  1. Scoot to school – Micro-scooters are more fun than walking and more eco-friendly than a car.
  1. Give collaboratively – Club together to get a lasting gift – save money and wrapping paper!
  1. Be intergenerational inspirational – Your grandparents or children can help you see the world in a different way – what skills and stories can you share?
  1. Organise a walking bus – Get to work or school on foot and pick up your colleagues or classmates en route – a little fresh air and exercise make a great start to the day!
  1. Support a local community project – Get in touch with your local volunteer bureau and find a project that needs some help.

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  1. Have a photography competition – Create a list of things or themes to photograph, such as ‘favourite local green space’ or ‘best place to relax’, or ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘sharing’. Have fun comparing your results!
  1. Sleep under canvas – Even if it’s only in your back garden, get the tent out and spend a night under the stars.
  1. Have a fix-it party – Got a pile of stuff you’ve been meaning to fix? Gather the things you’ll need and invite your friends over for a fix-it Check out YouTube for tutorials on how to fix almost anything.
  1. Make a home for wildlife – Make a bird box, bug hotel or a hedgehog shelter. It’s easier than you think and you can get advice online from theBBC or the RSPB. 
  1. Build a bottle rocket – There are plenty of tutorials online. Too easy? Have a competition with friends – who can make their rocket go the highest? Be safe!
  1. Gift a tree – A great alternative to conventional presents – try the National Forest or Woodland Trust.
  1. Darn it – There was a time when most people knew how to darn. Check out YouTube tutorials or find a friend or family member who can teach you and give those socks a new lease of life!
  1. Get gardening – Even if you’ve only got space for one pot, you can garden. Why not try growing herbs on your windowsill or looking after a spider plant? You can find some great beginner tips and tricks
  1. Spend an evening by candlelight
  1. Pledge to have zero waste lunches – Think about how much packaging you get with a lunch bought out. Pledge to have zero waste lunches for the week – bring in your own from home or sit-in to eat.
  1. Arrange a themed movie night – Invite friends over and watch a movie, follow it with a discussion. We recommend the Minimalism Documentary, My Stuff Movie or Black Fish.
  1. Get a teapot or coffeepot for work – A teapot or coffee pot is a great addition to the office! It’s sociable and the kettle will only be boiled once.
  1. Ditch the disposables – Try to go a whole day or the entire week without using disposables.
  1. Preserve and pickle – Gather old glass jars and fill them with delicious and long-lasting preserves and pickles – there are loads of recipes online. They make excellent gifts too 
  1. Create a new game (no purchases allowed) – Remember making up games as a child? Have fun creating a new game using things you’ve got at home.
  1. Get inventive, Masterchef-style! – Get together with friends to see who can create the best dish from all your leftovers and what’s already in your cupboards!

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  1. Chit-chat for charity – Organise a coffee morning – get people baking, donating and chatting to raise funds for a local cause.
  1. Patch it – Patch the holes in your jeans and tops rather than dispose of them – make the patch blend in for a ‘good as new’ look or go bold and make a statement!
  1. Share your skills – Can’t cook but can play the guitar? Get together with others to swap your skills.
  1. Get your office growing – Plants are a great addition to the office – they encourage a positive and healthy atmosphere so get planting with colleagues. Herbs are easy to grow and can be used in your lunches! 
  1. Play team sports – Organise a game of football or ultimate frisbee in the park with friends or colleagues.
  1. Lift-share – This week, try to make no journeys in the car alone. You’ll be reducing your environmental impact and have someone to chat to. Too easy? Travel further afield using a scheme like Blablacar.
  1. Make a puppet or sock monkey – Odd socks? Try upcycling them into the ultimate toy/mascot/desk companion.
  1. Love your local park, river or beach – Go to your local park, river or beach and show it some love. Are there any Green Flag parks or Blue Flag beaches near you?
  1. Join a choir – We have a great choral tradition – it is sociable, creative, keeps your brain active and it is great fun!
  1. Give a hen a home – Contact the British Hen Welfare Trust to give a hen a free-range future. Over half a million re-homed hens to date!
  1. Try geocaching – Use a GPS-enabled device such as a mobile phone to treasure hunt for geocaches near you. There are over 2.5 million globally!
  1. Eat seasonably – Seasonal fruit and veg need less artificial input, have less environmental impact, taste better and are often cheaper. Check out your local market, grocer or food store and don’t be afraid to ask if it’s in season.
  1. Make a musical instrument – Make a rain-stick using lentils, a guitar using plastic bands or a tambourine using bottle tops. Too easy? Form a home-made instrument band and record a song!
  1. Buy local – Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy.
  1. Organise a spoken word or unplugged music night – Why not get in touch with Sofar Sounds and host a gig in your living room?
  1. Set up a stuff library – Need a drill for that DIY project? Bored of your DVD collection? Set up a real or virtual library to share the things you have, helping everyone’s stuff get used more and gather less dust.

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  1. Harvest rainwater – Make a DIY rainwater harvester to collect rainwater for use on your lawns and gardens. Too easy? Why not install a more permanent domestic rainwater harvesting system?
  1. Join your local transition town – ‘Transition towns’ are grassroots groups aiming to increase self-sufficiency to reduce environmental impact. Check out the one in Totnes.
  1. Buy milk from the milkman – Fewer plastic bottles and more reusable glass. Why not get your orange juice from the milkman too 
  1. Scrub naturally – Use sugar, sea-salt or oatmeal to make your own microbead-free exfoliant – there are plenty of tutorials online.
  1. Food-share – Become a food philanthropist and grow food to donate to local charity partners.
  1. Row, row, row your boat – Gently down the stream.
  1. Organise a Big Tidy Up – Visit the Big Tidy Up website and order a kit to get you started.
  1. Be a lover, not a leaver – In restaurants a lot of food is wasted through preparation, spoilage and what’s left behind on the plate. If you’re eating out, commit to asking for a doggy bag and LOVE those leftovers!
  1. Yarn-storm your garden – Decorate your garden with colourful knitted or crocheted yarn installations.
  1. Do a bug hunt – Join the Big Bug Hunt or just see which creepy crawlies you can find in your garden or local park.

 

  1. Join a veg-box scheme – Fresh organic veg delivered straight to your door to help you eat in-season and get creative in the kitchen.

 

  1. Stargaze – You don’t need any special equipment and a good place to stargaze might be closer than you think, even if you live in an urban area. There are lots of free guides online, including the Dark Sky Discovery’s website.

 

  1. Go zero waste – Try to produce no waste for a day.

 

  1. Host your own DIY Olympics – Use what you have to make hurdles and javelins, toss bean bags and relay with buckets – the possibilities are endless… Don’t forget to make medals for the winning team!

 

  1. Go paperless – Think before you print, switch to paperless billing – you’ll never have to open a bill again (well not a paper one anyway!)

 

  1. Make a cork memo board – Collect wine corks and upcycle them into a functional and stylish cork board in just a couple of hours.

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  1. Fly a kite – Get yourself up the nearest hill and enjoy the simple pleasure of flying a kite. Too easy? Make your own kite from recycled materials and fly, fly away!

  

  1. Buy nothing – When was the last time you went a whole day without buying a single thing? Give yourself, the planet and your wallet a day off.

 

  1. Have a (non-computer) games night – Get out board games or a pack of cards and have an evening of fun together.

 

  1. Go walkies! – Borrow a dog from a family member, friend or neighbour for the day – they make great companions for a walk!
  1. Re-love some stuff – Check out a local car-boot sale or charity shop – enjoy the thrill of finding a bargain or unexpected treasure!
  1. Go for a bike ride – If you haven’t got a bike, why not borrow or hire one, take a nice ride in your local park or explore your local neighbourhood using pedal power!
  1. FoodCycle – Find your local FoodCycle Hub, where communities unite to make sure no good food is wasted, and get involved.
  1. Race to save water – Challenge family members and flatmates to keep showers to less than three minutes. Who can be in and out the fastest 
  1. Become a citizen scientist – Join project like the British Trust for Ornithology Survey – collaborate with other members of the public and professional scientists to collect and analyse data about the world around us. 
  1. Plan an overland holiday – Pick somewhere on your wanderlust list but don’t get on a plane – go by boat or train and make it a real adventure.
  1. Host a ‘jumble trail’ – Like a car boot sale but along your street, communities coordinate to set up stalls outside their houses to sell bric-a-brac, toys, vintage clothes and cakes.
  1. Create unique reusables – Organise a workshop get the people involved in customising their own canvas shopping bags or water bottles to take home and use.
  1. Share a bath
  1. Organise a ‘Give and Take’ day – Give or take days are a great way of getting rid of items that you don’t need, and taking items you do. Left over items can be donated to local charity shops.
  1. Make your own – These days we can pop into a shop or go online and buy almost anything we like. This week, commit to making your own – bake real bread or make a gift for a friend.
  1. Arrange a scavenger hunt – split into teams and see which team can capture the most photos from a list of miscellaneous objects.

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  1. Get crafty with bottle caps – There are loads of creative ways to reuse your beer bottle caps or milk bottle caps.
  1. Theme your next book group – Pick a book with an interesting social or environmental theme such as The Spirit Level and 10 Billion for discussion at your next session.
  1. Green your roof – Whether it’s a few pots on a flat office roof or getting a professional to waterproof your shed roof and cover it in vegetation – make the most of space available and bring nature closer to home.
  1. Go dairy-free – Cut out cheese, cream, butter, milk and eggs for a day. Too easy? Why not try and last the whole week?
  1. Do good, get fit – Join the Good Gym – a group of community-minded runners that combine regular exercise with helping those in need 
  1. Create your family tree – Get together with family members to map it out and share memories using photos you have around the house.
  1. Go birdwatching – There are lots of apps available to help you identify birds from their calls or appearance. How many different species can you spot?
  1. Get together to doodle, paint, sketch, draw… – Get together and whip out the colouring pencils, pens and paints. Get messy and creative!
  1. Break the bag habit – Stop using single use bags and invest in a nicer reusable alternative.
  1. Forage – September is a great month to forage for nuts, berries and other delicious treats. Guides online will help you identify safe produce. Remember to leave plenty for wildlife and check local bylaws on foraging before you set out!
  1. Visit your nearest green open home – The National Network for Low-carbon Open Homes enables you to visitopen homes in your area to see what others have done to become more energy efficient.
  1. Build a den – indoors or outdoors.
  1. Plug-out – Turn off the wifi, phone and all other electronic devices for a day and fill your time with other waste less, live more activities. We don’t want to hear about this one on social media..!
  1. Volunteer with your local Scouts / Guides group – Channel your inner Bear Grylls and contact the Scouts / Guides to offer your skills.
  1. Make rubbish art – Get creative by making art and sculptures with recycled materials.
  1. Go meat-free – Cutting down on meat is good for you, other people and the environment, so why not try going without meat for a day. Too easy? Why not try and last the whole week?

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  1. Try an outdoor gym – Outdoor gyms are springing up everywhere enabling people to exercise in the fresh air for free. Check with your local council website or the Great Outdoor Gym Company to find one near you.
  1. Swish your clothes – Bring friends or colleagues together to swap items of clothing you no longer want and find yourself a new outfit.
  1. Write and perform a song, poem or play – A great activity for children and adults alike and you might discover you’ve a talent you didn’t know you had.
  1. Go swimming outdoors – Get down to your local lido or swimming ponds – enjoy!
  1. Turn off the TV – Try going a whole evening without watching any TV. Too easy? Try the whole week!

 

…Phew! Happy Waste less, Live more Week 2016!

We have tried to ensure that all information provided in the Waste less, Live more Week Challenge was correct at the time of inclusion. We do not guarantee the accuracy of this information and we apologise for any errors. We take no responsibility for the content of third party websites that may be referenced in the Challenge. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. If you have any problems with the site or wish to comment on the content, please contact us athello@wastelesslivemore.com. We accept no responsibility for any activity undertaken by you as part of the Challenge. Please seek professional advice regarding any of the activities where appropriate. We strongly recommend that if children are wishing to partake in Challenge activities, they should be supervised by a responsible parent/guardian for their own safety and well-being.
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Supermarkets & Chainstores

Sometimes supermarkets can surprise you – check out the plastic-free and reduced packaging products here…

T.K. Max

A write up here from Liz Hodge.

If you have a review of a supermarket leave the link in the comments below.

Supermarket Feedback by Lyn Bull and the Zero Hero’s

Lyn Bull administrator for the Facebook group Zero Waste Hero's recently posed the question "Any suggestions for quick, easy, no ...
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Supermarkets – All stores product list

Have to shop in supermarkets? If so you might despair of living a plastic free life. After all supermarkets are super ...
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Whole Food Market U.K. Chain

Rushing through the Cheltenham suburbs, had to buy wine so lurched into the huge carpark of an out of town ...
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Lidles

Lidles  is a chain of budget supermarkets. It offers some plastic free surprises. (Click the links to see a review ...
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Lush

lush are one of the more forward thinking British companies. They are ethical in all kinds of ways and  sell ...
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Wilkos

Did you know you can buy loose screw and other fixings at Wilcos - as many or as few as ...
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Morrisons

A quick overview of some of the plastic free / reduced stuff you can get in Morrisons Supermarket, Huddersfield. A ...
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The Range – a chain of home & garden shops

Loose pet food, home wares and some loose sweets. Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way ...
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Tescos

I have one near me so I tend to visit more often then I think is ideal. here are some ...
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All supermarkets list of  packaging less products from Louises Bayfield and her  “POSTIVE PRODUCTS LIST (UK) a list of High Street and Supermar-ket products that have no packaging or in some way help reduce packaging.

More

If you have a review of a supermarket please send us a link and we will add it. Leave the link in the comments below.

N.B.

YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE YOUR OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Case Study

Is it possible to eat plastic free buying only from supermarkets?

Eating Plastic Free Food 

Plastic free food is food that is unwrapped  but for me it also includes

From Supermarkets!

Now many people think you cannot be plastic free and shop from supermarkets. I agree it is not easy

And let me say right now I don’t like supermarkets. They are killing off the local shops and take money out of the community. But for many people they are the only option. Because they have killed off local shops. Vicious circle. But this is about plastic-free food NOT supermarket politics so I am going to prove that you can eat plasticless and shop at supermarkets.

How to do it…

If prepared to eat seasonally, traditionally (think meat and two veg with spuds), and cook from scratch, supermarkets if they are big enough to have meat and fish counters can supply you with a fair variety of food. If you are depending on Tesco Express you are going to go hungry.

Bring Your Own Bags

You will also need to take your own packaging. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Ingredients for a week

I got an a big sack of unpackaged fruit & veg from Tesco,

It included leeks, potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, courgettes, peppers. apples, a melon, mushrooms and bananas.

Apart from the peppers (Holland), and Melon (Spain), and bananas (forgot to look), it was all grown in the U.K.

I got loose ginger and garlic from Tesco. The chiles I bought a while ago from the Asian shop but I have seen them loose in Morrisons.

Eggs & oats in a cardboard box.

Back to Tesco’s for lard in paper. Sainsbury’s and the Co-op do butter in paper.

Meat and fish can be bought unpackaged from the counters but I ask that they use our own compostable biobags.

The brown rice I bought loose from Wholefood market sometime ago. White rice can be bought in a box from Lidles.

We also get some cheddar cheese from Tesco. It was cut off the (plastic – wrapped) block but wrapped in our own packaging. The plastic is not in our bin. You can read up on how we feel about this, here.

You can get bread rolls loose from Tesco but I don’t like them much, the co-ops are much better. Lidles and Waitrose do loose loaves of bread. Almost everywhere does croissants. I also used my bread machine and plastic wrapped dried yeast.

More information on all of the above can be found here…

Non Supermarket Beverages

Drinks were tea and coffee which you can’t get plastic free at the supermarket. Milk was from the milkman. Read on…

Fizzy drinks were carbonated water made with the sodastream mixed with homemade ginger and lemon syrup.Read on…

Meals For the Week

  • Porridge with bananas
  • Toast and butter
  • Croissants and fruit
  • Omelette and other forms of egg

Lunch

  • Butties from the shop
  • Butties made at home
  • Veg soup – anything that is looking a bit sad and needs eating up thickened with potatoes. I would prefer to use lentils but I cannot get them .

Dinners

Day One Stir Fry left over steak from Sunday, lots of veg in a spicy tomato sauce served with rice.

Day Two Roast chicken and veg with home made gravy from chicken juices and flour. Wine (plastic lined screw top), was added.

Day Three a rich and meaty stew made with stewing steak served with boiled potatoes. Meat and veg were from Tesco’s.

Day Four Bangers and mash made with Tesco’s chippolata sausages – the only ones they had loose.

Day Five Mushrooms and peppers were added to the left over day three stew to make a rich goulash that was served with rice.

Day Six Bacon ribs from Stockport Market – yes I know its not a supermarket but I felt so sorry for them. Stockport Market used to be huge spreading across the square and down the side streets. Now there are hardly any stalls outside. The indoor market was open for business but there were not many shoppers. I bought some meat, veg and loose sweets. Such a shame.

Day Seven pork from Tesco’s used in a stir fry made with coconut powder that is not plastic free. It comes in a plastic sachet. BUT I made my own noodles. First time ever. So easy!

You can see photos over on Facebook

Help

Trying to go plastic-free – try the plastic is rubbish support group.

More info

Products you can buy plastic free from supermarkets. because sometimes we have to shop there .

A list of shops selling loosefood that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt

Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

The Plastic Free Cookbook

 

 

 

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Commercial Composting

Commercial Composting Methods Provide a Smart Solution to Disposal of Waste

Ever wonder about how much waste we really throw away each year? Well, studies estimate that 30 to 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes to waste, often ending up in landfills. In 2014, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that the U.S. tosses over 3.8 million tons of food every single year.

That’s tragic because so many people in the world are going hungry. Food waste also contributes to global warming and disposing of it costs a lot of money. Using our food more efficiently would be a more permanent solution to the problem, but there are some things we can do to improve our disposal process as well. With composting, disposal doesn’t have to mean the end of food’s useful life and may even have some positive environmental attributes.

How Composting Works

Composting allows us to recycle organic materials, including many food items, yard waste, animal products and paper products. It uses a natural process that’s integral to life here on earth, the decomposition process that breaks down these materials into rich soil from which plants can grow.

Composting takes that natural phenomenon and accelerates it using one of several different methods. Individuals and families can compost their food and yard waste in their own backyards. Large companies sometimes compost their own leftover materials. Some local governments also organize composting operations, and local businesses might offer composting services to nearby residents. These services can be a perfect, easy-to-use solution to our organic waste disposal problem.

Composting Methods

Beyond simple backyard composting, there are a number of methods that large-scale composting operations employ.

1. Aerated Static Pile Composting

One of the simplest methods for composting large amounts of waste is aerated static pile composting. It involves placing well-mixed organic waste into a large pile, along with bulking agents such as woodchips or shredded paper. This method can produce compost within three to six months.

2. Aerated Windrow Composting

Aerated, or turned, windrow composting involves placing waste in rows that are about four to eight feet tall and 14 to 16 feet wide. These rows, called windrows, must be turned occasionally so that the inner part of the pile ends up in the outside and vice versa. This method is ideal for particularly large amounts of waste.

3. In-Vessel Composting

In-vessel compost allows for more control of the composting process and produces results quickly. In this method, compost is placed into contained spaces such as large drums, enclosed tunnels or other containers where machinery regularly turns it. This produces usable composts in a few weeks to a few months.

How to Get Involved

Other popular methods of disposing of household organic waste, such as garbage disposals, can be useful but don’t have all the same capabilities as composting. Garbage disposals, for instance, can’t handle solid items like peach pits. Regular trash collection has environmental consequences.

Composting can take care of many different kinds of waste, is environmentally friendly compared to other methods and produces a useful end result – compost that can be used to grow crops and other plants.

Many people don’t have room, time or ability to compost their own waste. For these people, commercial composting methods are the solution. Contact your local government and search for nearby businesses to see if organic waste collection and composting services exist in your area — and whether you can get some freshly made compost for your garden.

Bio:

Emily is a sustainability writer and the editor of Conservation Folks.

Please note…

This post was written by the contributor.

Read more about composting, compost bins and other rotten posts HERE

Guest Post & Plastic Free Promotions

We love to feature guest posts. If you have something to say about #plasticfree living let us know.
Also take a look at the projects featured in the PfU.K. Directory submission.

And the Pf U.K. Directory is…?
…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily… but certainly plastic-problem aware.

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