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The backpackers coffee press

I love coffee and I carry my own coffee making equipment with me when backpacking, (yes really I do), but this mug is also great for the office or even for take out.

I have

So I boil the water in the tiffin tin with the huge element. Pour the hot water onto the coffee. Wait for it to brew. Plunge. Sit on the balcony watching the sunrise sipping fresh coffee. I Yes I know its a plastic cup but I can’t give it up I tell you!

Plastic 

I used to carry glass and metal cafetierres but they kept on breaking. I have to admit that this is one of those times when plastic is the best man for the job. I bought mine in Japan but I found something similar on Amazon. Zyliss Cafetiere Hot Mug, Blue Zyliss Cafetiere Hot Mug, Blue £8.99 

Steel 

But when I need a new one I will get one of these stainless steel beauties…..

From the Bodrum Website

TRAVEL PRESS SET Coffee maker with extra lid, vacuum, small, 0.35 l, 12 oz, s/s Black:

  • vacuum and made from stainless steel for maximum heat retention.
  • closable lid with a stopper for the opening.
  • slip-proof silicone band around them comes in beautiful colors.
  • Coffee maker furthermore comes with an extra lid
    You can of course get them on Amazon
Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker, Lime Green
Bodum Travel Press Set Coffee Maker, Lime G…
£16.67

Amazon

You can read our thoughts on Amazon here and why we sometimes suggest products sold through them.

Coffee Beans 

I try to buy my coffee loose where I go. I have found bean shops that will grind and give me the coffee in my own reusable bags in Istanbul, Georgetown, Chang Mai and Huddersfield.

 

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Swimwear Recycled

Well my Decathlon, unsustainable boy shorts have finally fallen apart and it is time to source some new, more ethical swim wear. Given my …. lets call it chunky…. form,  this is an area where I feel I might have to go with lycra. Yes it’s plastic but I need it to keep my pants on. So I am looking at recycled, recyclable stretch swim wear as the way to go. Until I learn how to make my own, this is the best I can do and the only realistic option for those who can’t sew.

Davy Jones

This is a very nice project…Davy Jones have just launched a ranges of swimwear made from ” 100% regenerated nylon yarn from waste including spent and ghost fishing nets. And are designed to last longer, fighting the trend of throwaway fashion and creating something that can keep up with you in all conditions.
WE are looking to build a closed-loop resource system within the brand. While OUR SUITS ARE BUILT TO LAST, when THEY DO eventually reach the end of THEIR life, we want you to be able to return them to us and we will recycle or regenerate the resource content. The target will be to achieve 60% closed loop recycling by 2020.”

They are also made in the U.K. 

Visit the website here 

Rizboard Shorts
If I was younger, slimmer and richer I would go for a pair of these…..Rizboard Shorts for surfers – ladies and gents….
These are designed in London, made in Portugal, from recycled fabric and they have a recyswim wear recycle postcling program to take back old shorts.  Nice designs too.  Some blurb for the website…

“Riz Smith, the founder and creative director, is a London-based designer and surfer. After years of designing swim and beachwear for various global brands, he became acutely aware of the need for something better. With this in mind he set out to build a small, honest brand shaped around the aspiration of creating ‘The most beautiful and sustainable swim shorts in the world’.WE DON’T WANT OUR SHORTS LITTERING LANDFILLS OR OCEANS. SO, IN AN EFFORT TO DO OUR PART WE’VE SET UP THE RIZCYCLING PROGRAMME.

This means working with our customers, you, to create a perpetual loop that transforms waste and old swimwear into beautiful new products.

Today all our shorts are made from 100% recycled and recyclable fabrics. By offering a 25% discount on a new pair of shorts, we encourage you to donate your old unwanted surf shorts for us to reuse or rehome.

Speedos
Here’s another scheme I came across. For those of you who like a sustainable banana hammock….and who wouldn’t. Best of all worlds surely?

Aquafil & Speedo

Aquafil today announced it has partnered up with with Speedo USA. Aquafil, specializes in the production of a synthetic fabric called Econly Nylon 6. It is, according to Sustainable Brands, made from upcycled fishing nets, old carpets and other nylon products that have reached the end of their product life. Better still it is endlessly recyclable.

Speedo specialize in the manufacture of swimwear known for those very skimpy trunks known as budgie smugglers. The ones that make you avert your watering eyes.

Aquafil will be taking Speedo’s left over fabric scraps and turning it back into nylon fibre. This will be used to make PowerFLEX Eco fabric which will turned into more swimwear.

Powerflex consists is78 percent ECONYL nylon the rest is Extra Life LYCRA®.

An article in Sustainable Brands quotes Speedo as saying “the resulting fabric retains its shape up to 10 times longer than traditional swimwear fabrics, is resistant to chlorine, sagging and bagging and is offered in styles designed for both performance and fitness swimmers.”

The article claims that “ECONYL offers the same quality and performance as traditionally manufactured nylon and can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss in quality.”

What it doesn’t say is how or indeed if you can recycle your trunks.However that should be a possibility. Patagonia uses a similar sort of fabric and runs a return and recycle scheme.

Outerknown

This fabric is also used in  surfer Kelly Slater ‘s new men’s apparel line,Outerknown,

Read more about similar types of synthetic fabric.

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the plastic food I eat…

Plastic food is food that comes in

I have sourced plastic free alternatives for most food stuffs and while it might sound hard (it was!), and be rather more time consuming (it is!), there are very good reasons not to eat plastic packed foods. Read this about  chemicals leaching from plastic into food.

Of course there are some foodstuffs for which there is no alternative such as crips. So what to do then? Some I have chosen to give up; cornflakes, crisps, crackers and cucumbers spring alliteratively to mind. Others I cannot do without.

Here are the plastic packed foods I still eat….

Cupboard Staples – essentials

Polythene Versus Film

Many products like dried beans, lentils and pulses can be found, dried, and packaged in lovely looking, printed, laminated plastic film.  Or to put it more simply several layers of plastic each with different properties stuck together.

Because they consist of different plastics bonded together it is difficult to know what they are and how to treat them and separating the films is tricky and so very expensive. Films therefore often don’t get recycled but burnt or landfilled.

Simple polythene bags are easy to recycle. You can read more about that here.

Early on in the boycott I decided to buy many dried staples in bulk, on-line in polythene bags.

Beans & Pulses

I bought a whole lot of dried beans and pulses in bulk, on-line. Years later and I am still eating them. There are a few limited options for buy loose. Heres where you can buy loose, cardboard and polytheism wrapped  dried beans and pulses.

Dried pasta

An essential in our house. Quick and easy but sadly not plastic free. Again rather than buy small amounts in fancy film bags I buy the big bags made from polythene, from Tescoes. Sadly, I cannot buy whole wheat or organic pasta like this so I have to make do white white pasta twirls.

Iranian herbsno alternatives unless we go to Iran

Vegetable oil – even the tins are plastic lined

Glass Jars with Plastic or plastic lined lids

  • Tomato ketchup
  • Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Mango Chutney
  • Sweetcorn relish
  • mayonnaise – I just can’t make this stuff!
  • Marmite
  • Pickled Gherkins
  • Pickled Beetroot

Tins

  • Coconut milk
  • Baked beans
  • Tomato puree
  • Tuna

Cant resist – occasional treats

  • Cream cheese
  • Smoked Salmon (plastic free options here)
  • Noodles
  • Nori seaweed
  • Cream and Creme freche

Alcohol

Bottles with plastic lined lids, caps and corks
Cans of tonic

Check out plastic free booze here.

More

Now I know what you are thinking – if my diet consists of mainly baked beans, tuna pasta and vodka, I have hardly gone plastic free. This however is not the case. Sadly the student days are long since gone. And, since I have learnt about how chemicals may leach from the wrapping into the contents, I am not so keen to eat plastic packed food. I eat the above in very limited amounts  (except for alcohol obviously), and often when we are entertaining/ have children round.

More Plastic Free Food & Drink Posts

You can see all my plastic free alternatives here

 

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Scrubbing away

In my opinion you can use natural products most of the time but occasionally synthetics come into their own.

This is especially true if you are cleaning tiles. Here steel scourers can leave black marks and luffas and natural bristles may not be quite strong enough. A plastic scourer can be a god send here.

Look, someone got clumsy with the Danish wood oil and It sticks to tiles like a good ‘un. Here you need something strong enough to clean off the oil without scratching the wooden upstand. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I used the plastic scouring cloth… courtesy of Ecoforce.

It is made in the UK from 100% recycled fibres and the packaging is compostable cardboard.

Even better the 93% of the cardboard packaging is recycled materials. But best of all the display hanger is also cardboard and not an attached plastic hook.

All good points….

They also do a sponge scrubber – a scouring pad with a sponge backing. In their own words they “found out that every company manufacturing foam products have tons of clean, unused foam going to landfill every day. We rescue and grind up these bits of foam, compress them together and the super absorbent recycled EcoForce sponge is born.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had no call to use these so I can’t tell you how they perform, but I guess as well as any other synthetic sponge scourer.

However, this is a semi disposable product. Whereas pegs and washing lines ( see previous review) have a good long working life and can possibly be recycled, these have a much shorter life span and will not be recycled  – which  raises questions:

Is this a justifiable use of plastic that would otherwise be trashed? Well I suppose if it was going in the bin any way then yes… but talking of bins..

What happens to the finished pan scrub? How do I dispose of them? Well I can’t. As they don’t biodegrade I cannot compost them,  they cannot be recycled so cannot go in the green bin and  I don’t fancy burning them. So they have to go in my black bin to be collected and specially disposed of by the council. Hmmmmm.

So to conclude nice packaging, properly labeled, the product locally made from recycled materials; when I need a plastic scourer I would choose these.

BUT I would advise you to try one of the natural alternatives first.

You can find more pot scouring options here

You can read my other Ecoforce Reviews here.

 

 

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Razor

Shaving is a big part of almost every adults life wether a beard or a bikini line. Back in the day razors were reusable items now of course they are plastic and throwaway. Obviously something has to done about this. Both the husband and I have trialled the razors on the market. Heres a quick synopsis of our findings:
Not shaving:
Electric reusable razor – plastic but long lasting – my preferred option.
Metal safety razor with a reusable body and a disposable metal blade – did not work for either of us:
Metal cut throat razor with a blade you can sharpen – way too scary for us:
Disposable razor – the husbands preferred options but he has found ways to extend life and reduce use:

Not Shaving…Happy Days Of Hairy Legs

Razors always gave me a horrible shaving rash so  I stopped shaving my legs. This was back in the 80’s when I was a student. In those days and social circles it was perfectly acceptable to stomp round in D.M.s, proudly sporting fuzzy legs. How I miss them. But times change and so do bodies. Now everyone is depilated to within an inch of their labia and with age my leg hair has got thicker and blacker. While I would never go for a Brazilian I did feel the pressure at work to shave my legs. And I gave in. It was that kind of job and office.

Electric Shaver

But age did not change my extreme reaction to razors so for a long time I waxed. Then one day I tried an electric razor. Wahey. No shavers rash at all. I know that an electric razor is made from plastic but my battery operated Phillips has lasted years and is still going strong. I appreciate that shaving your legs is not absolutely essential but there is a strong social pressure to do so. I think a reusable plastic shaver is plastic fairly used. What do you say?

A Dry Shave Is A Greener Shave
PLUS an electric shave is a dry shave which cuts down on your hot water use. Apparently the most carbon intensive part of your shave is the hot water used. Wet shaves are way less green. You can read more about this here.
You can read more about the plastic we use here….

Metal Safety Razor  razor personal

This has a metal body and takes double sided, disposable metal blades which you have to replace.
Husband being a tightwad he bought a rattly old thing from an Indian bazaar. he hated it. I spent ages trying to persuade him to give the metal razor another go. My argument is he bought a rubbishy, cheap thing and paid the price. His argument was TWENTY FIVE QUID FOR A RAZOR. And yes they are expensive. But that said you  save loads on the blades over time and of course cut your waste. Finally I made and executive decision and went and bought him one.

Using A Safety Razor
Well neither of us could get the hang of the safety razor. Hubby still cut himself to bits I still got a  revolting shaving rash But there are others out there who swear by them. Check this out

Reviews
After posting about our close shaves with a razor in some of my favourite zero waste groups, I got loads of positive responses. FYI   I have quoted  some below. Thank you for taking the time guys….
“I love my safety razor i use it with my homemade coconut oil soap as it lathers well. (On my legs and underarms) yes i do shave slightly slower but have never cut myself (well not so far!)”
Others say that you have “to get the angle right when shaving, and it is a difference since you don’t need to apply any pressure to the handle. I just let it glide along the skin and it works great, the one and only cut I got was when I turned the angle too sharp and pressed down by accident.”

Buy
I got  a Merkur Razor. It is a metal razors with disposable old style double-edged blades  from our local hardware (Huddersfield) shop which is wonderful.

But I could have got him a Mutiny Box Shaving Kit. These guys are ” Anti-corporate! Anti-plastic! Anti-animal testing! Vegan friendly! Carbon Neutral! Yoghurt-knitting! Lentil-weaving! Tree-hugging! Wet shavers!” 

And they sell a shaving kit which as long as you don’t mind the synthetic bristles (plastic) in the shaving brush, is almost plastic free. I haven’t used them so cannot judge the quality but I like their style.
mutiny shave featured

And at 24.99 very reasonable indeed. Check out the website…

Ebay

You can also get razors, and the replacement blades, on Ebay.

Blade Plastic Spoiler

Sometimes the blades will come in a plastic box but it is possible to get them in cardboard. I quote from Facebook here: “I’ve been buying blades from http://www.shavelounge.co.uk/and they have free delivery in the uk. I bought a package of different kinds of blades since I wanted to try them out and they all came in cardboard and individually wrapped in paper.”

Straight Razor

Seems the hard-core, zero-waste find the safety razor too easy and have moved on to a straight razor which, (I think), is also known as a cut throat razor. Yes one of those Sweeney Tod things.

For the love of pies why?

Because “it gives me a closer shave and cause I don’t have to change a blade.” Rather “you just have to sharpen it every once in a while and use a strop at home before each use to align the blade.”

And not just for the gents but “a small Dovo made for women that I adore, it’s great for getting to the back of the knee and the bikini.”

Any one fancy guest posting on the straight razor? I would love to know more but I am never, ever going to try myself. I say I am clumsy is to understate. Currently got two fingers wrapped in plasters from a rather nasty paper cut! Quite frankly I would prefer to look like a monkey then return of the mummy.

Disposable Razor

Husband went back to disposable blades limited his use of them by growing a beard. So on trend!

For the few bits he still has to shave he used a Gillette  blades with the reusable handle. Being, as already stated, careful in the wallet region he hoards those heads and uses them for ever.

Read this Indestructables post on how to keep your blade sharp for months .

Or you could invest in a Razor Saver  “The Stay Sharp Razor Saver keeps your blades clean and free of hair, skin and soap buildup that lead to dull blades and uncomfortable shaves. Patented friction technology cleans and sharpens to make you feel like you’re shaving with a brand new blade, every day! Works with all men’s and women’s blades including cartridge, disposable and double edge blades, and guaranteed to extend the life of your razor up to 6 times your normal use.”

You can further cut your plastic by getting a “Beautiful, Oiled Beechwood Handle, Fits Mach3 Blades” They also do oak and olive wood.

 

 

 

 

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Yogurt & Yogurt makers

Yogurt comes in plastic pots  and I of course refuse to use one use disposables. So the pots have to go,but who can live without yogurt? Not us, so I had to learn how to make my own.

I had heard of how you could make it in a flask but I just ended up with curds and whey and an evil-smelling flask.

Then VB  remembered how they used to make it back in the village  of his birth. He ended up with curds and whey and evil-smelling blankets.

Yoghurt Makers

So I bought me an Easy Yo Yogurt maker – – really easy – just mix the contents of the sachet with water – yes that’s right – the plastic foil sachet that came in the plastic packed box. Didnt think it through. Not best pleased – it did make very good yogurt though. If only they sold the mix in a jar – or cardboard box. Ho hum back to the drawing board.

Finally got me an electric yogurt maker from Lakeland – mail order. The yogurt is made in a plastic container -BPA free for those of you worried about leaching chemicals. It works really well. So although it is a plastic product I feel it is worth it as it cuts our overall plastic consumption. It does make good yogurt and is very easy to use. If you are busy I would recommend getting one of these.

Update

Trying Homemade Again Since then VB has re-learnt his yogurt making skills and now makes it in a pan which he leaves wrapped in a blanket overnight. Completely plastic free.

Reusing the Easy Yo And if you check the comments you will find out how to make yogurt using hot water and how to use the Easy Yo yogurt maker without purchasing more sachets.

Moving to Spain where they sell yogurt in glass jars. Only joking – would never buy yogurt in glass jars. Not good for the environment.

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Bulk Buy Polythene Versus Film

Ok some things you can’t find plastic free and can’t give up. So which plastic packaging has the least impact?

A lot of food now is packaged in lovely looking ,printed, laminated plastic film.  Or to put it more simply several layers of plastic each with different properties stuck together.

This method of making plastic films leads to a very versatile product that looks good and has a wide range of uses.

On the down side these films are difficult to recycle.

Because they consist of different plastics bonded together it is difficult to know what they are and how to treat them and separating the films is tricky and so very expensive. Films therefore often don’t get recycled but burnt or landfilled. You can find out more about the plastic used to wrap your food here.

The best advice here is avoid the fancy graphics and shiny films and go for the simple, easily recyclable polythene.

Polythene  Wrapped Products

Goodness ON LINE

Internet store Goodness can supply you with a whole load of  beans and other dried stuff in polythene bags. At least they used to. It’s a while since I used them so double check and please report back!

Please note, many  of the companies featured on their website DO sell stuff in film BUT the 3kg bulk buy bags in the Goodness range, (their own range), always come in polythene bags. At least they used to. It’s a while since I used them so double check and please report back!

Their onward packaging is all recyclable or biodegradable.

Tesco In Store

Sell bulk pasta in polythene bags

N.B

Obviously this is not an ideal solution and certainly not a plastic free one, but it is the best I can come up with.

The best solution is of course  to buy loose then you could use your own  bags and create no waste at all. There are very few shops around that do sell loose but  you can find them here.

 

 

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Juice and juicers

I can easily avoid juice screw top lids, and plastic lined tetra packs, by making my own juice.

Now I have been putting this off for a while because I thought it would take a lot of  labour and time . Don’t like the first and don’t have enough of the latter. But I have heard so much good about fresh juice and juicing recently I began to think it might be worth it.

And our tree is covered with apples no good for eating but if I juice them then maybe. Well at worst I could make cider surely??

So I bought a Philips Juicer and though there was some plastic wrapping most of the protective  gubbins was cardboard. Result.

Better still it is really easy to use and clean. No peeling no seeding chuck the fruit in.

Since then I have been juicing everything – really I mean everything. Both  fruit and veg are quickly reduced liquid and its great for using up things – bit of pepper, some dried up ginger, half a lemon and a soggy tomato – in they go along with the broccoli stems and sour allotment apples. I know it sounds gross but so far it has all tasted good.

Totally recommend this product

PLASTIC ALERT

Of course the juicer has plastic elements but we don’t boycott all plastics. We think that there are some valid uses for the product ( gasp!! yes I know…you can read our reasons here). The juicer fits into the

Plastic products that reduce the use of plastic disposables

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Sun block

Oh the risks I take for you… this year I am going to make my own sun block. If I end up looking Methuselah you will be to blame….

Why Sunscreen

Sunscreens help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin.

There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB

  • UVB is the chief cause of sunburn and linked to sun cancer.
  • UVA rays, penetrate the skin more deeply, and contribute to photoaging. They do not primarily cause sunburn but are also linked to some types skin cancer

Which Cream

You need a cream that protects from both. Creams protect in following ways

  • Physical sunscreens reflect the sunlight
  • chemical sunscreens absorb UV light

SPF

SPF factors only measure protection against UVB

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% (approx) of UVB rays.
  • SPF 30 97%
  • SPF 50 98%

When To Wear

There may be no indications of damage being done

Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen daily.

Windows,filter out UVB but not UVA rays.

Up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day.

Shade and protective clothing are the best ways to protect infants from the sun.

Sun Block Chemicals

  • UVB (290-320nm): Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Ensulizole, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate), Oxybenzone, Padimate O, Sulisobenzone, Trolamine Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (320-340nm): Dioxybenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Helioplex, Meradimate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (340-400nm): Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide

Physical blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide may give some deeper skin tones a white cast (as they are, literally, physically blocking the rays). Some may be allergic or sensitive to chemical sunscreens and may need to opt for physical blockers instead. Physical blockers protect skin by deflecting or blocking harsh UV rays, while chemical blockers/sunscreens usually absorb them. (Most other sunscreen ingredients beyond titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are chemical sunscreens, for reference.) Physical blockers tend to be more stable, while chemical sunscreens may degrade and are often paired with other sunscreen ingredients to increase stability. (See more information at AMF.org.)

Applications

Sunscreens are unlikely to be fully effective after 2 hours

According to the skin cancer organisation  “you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.

Making Sun Block At Home

You can add active ingredients to home made, ready bought lotions or straight to a base oil such as coconut oil.

Easily Obtained Active Ingredients

Zinc Oxide is the most easily obtained and can be bought from numerous online stores. This is what I use in my sunblock creams. I have been using this for years, all over the world. I have found to prevent burning even in the most tropical of places. It is easy to use.

About

Offers both UVA and UVB protection

It is a physical sun block. “When you apply zinc oxide sunscreen the particles are said to stay on the outermost layer of your skin, where they scatter and absorb ultraviolet radiation, protecting your living skin below. Zinc oxide is considered a broad spectrum blocker, protecting skin from UVA, UVB and UVC.” from the www.aromantic.co.uk website.

It is one the oldest and most effective sunblocks BUT it can sit on the skin like a white, pasty mask.

It can be added to

  • home made or ready made lotions
  • Oils like coconut oil

Nano Zinc?

There are 2 kinds of zinc – normal and nano. Nono zinc particles are tiny and so tend to reduce the white look BUT there are some concerns….

Nano or micronized zinc oxide is zinc oxide that  has been ground to a very fine powder to reduce the size of its particles. Anything with a particle size smaller than 100nm is considered a nano particle. This means it spreads more easily and does not leave a white sheen on the skin.The worry is that the particle may enter the body.

The zinc I use does leave a slight white sheen so is obviously not nano zinc. I live with the sheen.

It can also leave white marks on dark clothes. Wear white linen is the obvious answer to this.

Using Zinc

Ratios

20% zinc oxide  will give an approximate SPF of 30. That is by weight. So you weigh your base say 100g of cream then you add 20% or 1/5th of zinc. Which is 20g of zinc.
You can see from the ratios below that SPF 15 is not half of SPF 30 so you cannot use that scale to work out your SPF factors.
  • SPF4 filters out 75% – 25% UVB gets through
  • SPF10 filters out 90% – 10% UVB gets through
  • SPF15 filters out 93% – 7% UVB gets through
  • SPF25 filters out 96% – 4% UVB gets through
  • SPF30 filters out 97% – 3% UVB gets through
  • SPF50 filters out 98% of UVB rays and SPF100 99%.
  • Source

These ratios were taken from DIY Natural. They have not been tested in a lab proceed with caution!

  • For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
  • For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
  • For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
  • For SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide
 
Sub Tan Lotion.
Add zinc to a home made or store bought cream to make a lotion
Do note that this will make your lotion makes it thicker and much whiter. Too much and you end up with clown makeup. Use a thin lotion as a base.
If you want to make a lotion there are some recipes here.
Store bought lotion. I have never tried this but apparently it helps if you warm them first – let me know how you get on!
This is best for day wear.
Sub Tan Oil
My preferred option is to add zinc  to neat oils and butters. I use my home made shea body butter as a base because it doesn’t go hard in colder climates, is easy to spread and stays in place.
Oil based sunscreens seem to stay on longer in water so is better for the beach but it does look a bit shine and oily for normal day wear.

TAKE CARE

There are claims that certain oils like coconut oil have a natural SPF. This may well be true but I strongly advise you do not rely on this alone.

Many recipes on line suggest adding essentials oils. In my opinion

  • there is no real benefit to be derived from this;
  • they may make your skin more sensitive to light;
  • essential oils are resource hungry, have a large environmental footprint and should only be used on special occasions.

None of the above has been tested in lab and you have no accurate way of knowing  what SPF your lotion has. Proceed sensibly!

Self Tan

If you want your lotion to be self tanning as well you might want to add some DHA

PLASTIC SPOILER

NB the above products come in a plastic bags – booo… but the bags are polythene so easily recycled  and as I get huge amounts cream out of one small bag of ingredients, I consider it a worthwhile compromise.

 

 

Pen Ink refillable

Here is a one of the worlds finest inventions as radical in its time as the computer has been in ours treated as a throwaway piece of rubbish

Not only am I ridding the world of plastic I am reinstating dignity to the much abused pen.

Refillable Fountain Pen

I have bought myself a fountain pen with refillable cartridge. Please note many pens use disposable plastic ink cartridges which defeats the object. DO CHECK!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fountain pen with reusable ink cartridge.

The pen is from Parker and the body is made (mostly), of stainless steel.As is the nib.

Yes the cartridge thing is plastic but it is reusable.

I have been using this pen for a while now and I like it a lot.

Bought the wrong pen?

If you have got a disposable cartridge pen you may be able to buy a refillable cartridge.  For example this one for Parker Pens. You will need to Google the make of your pen to find out.

Failing that Indestructables have a guide fro refilling throwaway cartridges. Looks time consuming and messy to me but it can be done!

Ink

The ink  comes in bottle but they do have  plastic lids. The bottles are  so cute I plan to up-cycle them when I get enough.

I don’t actually do that much writting by hand so that might take some time.

Plastic Alert

Of course the pen  has plastic elements but we don’t boycott all plastics. We think that there are some valid uses for the product ( gasp!! yes I know…you can read our reasons here).

Buy

I strongly recommend you buy from a shop. This pen is going to last you a long time! You need to get the feel of it. Besides which, pen shops are lovely.

Though we try to link with business we know we cannot always do this. Then we try to find a similar product on Amazon.

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. This is not why we do it.

Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Chrome Trim Fountain Pen Medium Nib - Gift Boxed Parker Fountain Pen Refillable Ink Converter Parker Quink 57ml Ink Bottle Permanent - Black
Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Chrome Trim F…
£13.97
Parker Fountain Pen Refillable Ink Converter
£3.87
Parker Quink 57ml Ink Bottle Permanent – Bl…
£4.48

Biodegradable Cornstarch Pen

But I am bad with pens – years of abusing them can not be wiped out in a moment. Used to loosing them destroying them throwing them away without a backward glance means I am careless.

 

In the meantime I don’t want to lose my expensive fountain pen so  I have bought some disposable pens – pens that biodegrade. You can read about them here.

They were rubbish so now I  use a pencil…..

Read more about pens & pencils here….

 

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Bread and bread machines

Buy

As you know, most bread comes plastic wrapped. Unless you are lucky enough to  have a local bakery, and don’t work office hours, this can be problematic for the plastic free.

I do get to choose my own hours so I can go shopping in the week, and we do have a local bakers – but there is still a problem.They put their bread in plastic bags. They do have paper bags for the buns but they don’t like using them for bread. Each time I ask, they tell me the bread doesn’t fit in a paper bag. It quite clearly does and has been proven to do so on previous occasions. It is, for whatever reason, an issue with them so I don’t push it.

Most supermarkets do unwrapped rolls and will let you use your own produce bags.

However man cannot live on barm cakes alone!

Make

So I bought a bread maker which is easy to use and the bread is fantastic. There are still some plastic elements – the milk powder comes in a plastic lined packet and the yeast is plastic foil wrapped but it is a small plastic price to pay compared to pre-packed bread.

Of course the  breadmaker has plastic elements –  but we don’t boycott all plastics. We think that there are some valid uses for the product ( gasp!! yes I know…you can read our reasons here). The breadmaker fits into the plastic products that reduce the use of plastic disposables category.

More

So now our bread needs are met with a combination of buns from the co-op, a run in with the bakery when I have the time and the stamina and homemade bread.

Speciality Breads get fantastic nan breads from Maryam Bakery

Find more yummy baked things at bread, buns and biscuits

Courses & Community Made Bread

Not only do these guys do scrummylicious bread which I totally recommend, they do it for a good cause!

All quotes are taken from the website….

“LoveBread is run by bakers and volunteers who love baking bread. We want to involve the local community in providing real bread for their community.  ”

This not for profit organisation  bake handmade artisan bread for sale in  Ryecorn’s Wholefoods, Brighouse every day except Wednesday, Villa Farm Shop, Huddersfield on a Friday and Saturday and Ingfield Farm Shop, Southowram on a Friday and Saturday.

Learn to make Real Bread

Love Bread run regular workshops teaching the basics of making your first loaf to advanced techniques of shaping and flavourings.  We also run courses and training sessions for community groups and schools.

All workshops are available to book online, visit our workshop page for more information. Our workshop vouchers are now available from the bakery, market stalls or email us for more information.  We are now taking bookings for all our workshops, visit the workshop page for more details and to book your place.