post

Gift wrap reusable and made from old tents

I have to admit to using synthetic tents. I feel this is one instance where plastic really is the best product for the job, (remembers sleeping under canvas and shudders #plasticweuse). But what to do when your trusty old tent is no longer up to the job. Well you could re- use  it to make crinkly sounding wrapping paper. Or if you don’t camp, or sew, you could buy some recycled Glastonbury tent wraps form these guys….

FESTIWRAP

FestiWraps are made from tents, discarded at UK music festivals such as Lattitude and Glastonbury, and then collected by us. Tents that cannot be recovered by charities and would normally be sent to landfill, are collected, cleaned and used to create fabulous reusable gift wrap. The wrap itself is made from two outer layers of tent fabric sandwiched around a piece of ground sheet.  This creates a crinkly sound like paper folding and un-folding, bringing the emotional sounds and experience of a wrapped gift to life.  The fastening cord, which makes the FestiWrap so quick and easy to use, is made from the recovered tent guy ropes. You can buy here.

More

The picture was taken from this website where you can see Glastonbury trash shots.

You can find other gift wrap options here, plus biodegradable sticky tape, string and pretty ties

Some reused plastic sails here

 

post

Pancakes & Pancake day

To make plastic free pancakes in a plastic free non stick pan …
you will need:
Eggs in a cardboard box. (If you buy them from Queensgate Market Huddersfield you can reuse the box and get a discount.)
Milk in a glass bottle from a milk man. Find one here
Flour in a paper bag
Unpackaged lemons bought in a cotton produce bag
Sugar in a paper bag
Butter in paper

Plastic free frying pan

Make

Make your batter. The BBC cookery website have a great range of recipes and
exciting pancake related information.

Heat the plastic free frying pan
Add a knob of butter
Swirl in the batter
Flip
Serve with lemon juice and sugar

More

Here is some exciting pancake related information.

Check out the plastic free cookbook here

post

Halloween Outfits

bc1a69400b979de96bde47e5f738618cWant a halloween costume that doesn’t involve a lot of plastic?

The skull T was found over on Pinterest along with lots more very clever cut out ideas – some with instructions. The rest you might have to work out for yourself. Eek!

Martha Stewart can show you how to make cut out  skeleton teeshirts. Which strikes me as rather strange. I didn’t think that was her thing.

If you are not so crafty, you might like to go as a head on a box!? Or 50 shades of grey…

More plastic-free Halloween ideas here.

 

 

post

Halloween Celebrations

Halloween can be  truly a time of plastic madness what with the masks, fake blood and sweets. I beg you to consider just how evil all that plastic is. So here are some plastic free ideas…

Pumpkin Lanterns

Each year finds me  busy carving my own biodegradable lantern. It’s easy ; buy your self a vegetable, hollow it out cut out a face (or message) and stick a candle in. You can then make soup out of the innards.
I used to be too tight to buy a pumpkin so used swede instead.  I have to admit that swede soup is not as nice. Also pumpkins are easier to carve – its hard work hollowing out swedes.

More plastic free fun…

  • 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

Halloween Outfits

Want a halloween costume that doesn't involve a lot of plastic? The skull T was found over on Pinterest along with lots more very clever cut out ideas - ...
Read More

Candles

Nothing sets the mood quite as well as candles but it is hard to find plastic free candles. Most come in a protective plastic wrap or  bag. However we ...
Read More

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 partyware, the answer may seem obvious. Or maybe ...
Read More

Halloween labels and flour paste!

Print and stick  these creepy labels onto a wine bottles to make a suitably  themed halloween gift  - but don't use avery labels as some suggest!  Print onto ...
Read More

Halloween colouring pages for kids

The day of the dead skull and more nice stuff is over at cool moms. These are more kid focused. You print them out, colour them in. And then ...
Read More

Halloween Witches Hat

Follow the instructions to make a cunning canvas reusable hat. On this extremely crafty blog... Find more fantastic Halloween party ideas here. How To Boycott Plastic Find plastic-free ...
Read More

Party Bags Trick or Treat

I know you family types need to plan ahead so, lets get ready for,...ooooooooo.......halloween.... Well my nasty little ghouls and ghosties you will be getting no plastic wrapped ...
Read More

Chocolates and Sweets

I don't care if the lady loves milk tray, she's not getting a box of chocks from me. Not with that plastic wrapping, plastic cover sheet, plastic sweet tray ...
Read More

 

 

post

Flowers Cut

After going to all that trouble to find plastic-free, cut flowers  you will want them to last as long as possible. Here are some tips from Edna Thompson. Not entirely plastic-free as cans of soda are plastic lined and asprins are plastic packed but massively plastic reduced and no need to buy any new product.

Tricks to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Fresh flowers add flavor, aroma and energy to every home. But they don’t last long. If you want to keep your birthday bouquets fresh longer, you need to know a few things. The first major reason that cut flowers fade is that they do not get the nourishment they need once their stems are cut. As you know, soil is rich in nutrients that keep plants alive for a long time. When flowers are taken away from their habitat, they can no longer get nutrients from soil, and water can only keep them fresh for several hours to a couple of days. The second reason that flowers fade quickly after they are cut is bacteria. Over time your vase contents will attract bacteria. For this reason, what you need to do to enhance the longevity of your cut plants is to provide nutrients and to reduce the growth of bacteria to a minimum.

Here are a few tricks from Gardeners in Chelsea that will get you the best results. Read on.

Cider Vinegar

The first method to keep your cut flowers fresh as long as possible is to use apple cyder vinegar. Here is what to do. Before you put the flowers into a clean vase, fill it with water and add two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Wait for the substances to dissolve and add the flowers. Now, in order to enhance their longevity, you need to change the water every other day. Don’t forget to add sugar and vinegar every time. The secret to this method is that apple cider vinegar prevents bacterial growth and protects cut flowers from fading too soon after that.

Aspirin

Fill a clean vase with water and add a crushed aspirin. Let is dissolve into the water before you add the flowers. Again, make sure to change the water every other day or every few days to ensure that the flowers are kept fresh and free from bacteria.

Sugar

Another way to go is to use sugar and white vinegar. Before you toss your cut flowers into the vase, be sure to add two tablespoons of white vinegar and three tablespoons of sugar. Add water and then the flowers. The water needs to cover up to four inches of the cut stems (10 centimeters). This mixture proves to be very powerful. While white vinegar prevents the growth of bacteria, sugar helps to nourish the cut flowers.

Vodka

Another clever way of keeping your flower arrangement fresh is to use vodka. Believe it or not, vodka can nourish your cut flowers as it offers antibacterial activity. As a matter of fact, any other clear spirit will work great too. Use one tablespoon of sugar and only a few drops of clear spirit or vodka to provide a bacteria-free environment for your cut flowers. Be sure to change the water every couple of days.

Soda

Here is our final suggestion. Instead of using sugar to keep your cut flowers at their best longer, grab a can of soda and fill a ¼ of cup with it. Then add the liquid to the vase water before you place the flowers. It’s best to use a clear soda, but other alternatives will work too.

Picking Your Own?

Do not cut them on a hot afternoon. Instead pick a cool early morning time to do this. Hope you enjoy your fresh flowers longer.

post

Flowers to collect

Because they are grown locally and packed on site, I bet you could get these UK grown flowers plastic free if you asked! Why would you want to buy UK flowers? Read more…

Organic Blooms If you love cut flowers, and care about where they come from and how they are grown, then a stunning bouquet of British cut flowers from Organic Blooms could be just what you’ve been looking for!
Organic Blooms is a Social Enterprise based just outside of Bristol. CLICK AND COLLECT Bouquets Available now

Champernhayes Flowers & Foliage is based in rural West Dorset where I grow and sell cut flowers and foliage. I love to forage from local hedgerows. I arrange flowers for weddings and events, as well as selling wholesale and to local businesses. My speciality is in scented woody ornamentals and foliage stems. I have an established perennial cutting garden and a newly fenced field which will be planted up in the autumn of 2014.

Or

These don’t have web pages but  are up on twitter.

Yorkshire Petals @Yorkshirepetals

Glorious home grown English country flowers offering varieties of bunches that are not available in most florists or supermarkets.

Elaine Parkinson @FelicityFarm

Growing and designing beautiful seasonal blooms for weddings, events and gift bouquets on our farm in Chorley

 

post

Wrapping paper you can plant

I love this idea – wrapping paper you can plant. The following is taken from the sales blurb…

“Eden’s Paper is 100% plantable wrapping paper. It’s a gift within a gift! So, instead of throwing your wrapping paper in the bin, you can now plant it to grow things like veg, herbs or flowers!

Once the paper has been planted in the soil, the paper immediately begins to biodegrade leaving the seeds to grow into champion veg or flowers.

  • 3 pack includes: 1 x Broccoli, 1 x Carrot, 1 x Tomato
  • 5 pack includes: 1 x Broccoli, 1 x Carrot, 1 x Tomato, 1 x Beetroot, 1 x Bell Pepper
  • They also do flowers – great for mothers day!

Our paper is made from 100% recycled paper. The seeds are embedded on the back of the wrapping paper in seven layers of biodegradable tissue paper. The wrapping paper and tissue paper layers use no glues to hold them together, as glues are harmful to the soil.

  •  MADE IN BRITAIN

Read more and buy here

More

Don’t forget to use biodegradable sticky tape ( and that’s not, despite what you may have been told), Sellotape.

Not got a garden? Then try these other zero waste and / or environmental wrapping options.

post

Mothers Day

Flowers and chocolates  are a traditional choice for such days and always welcome. Especially when you choose a few plastic free, more eco options.

Sweets

Flowers

Gifts
What mum doesn’t love a garden? Or Monty Don? Or Waitrose? Then check this…  while looking for some plastic free secateurs I came across these from Japan. At 80.00 they are outside my price range but they look lovely, are recommended by Monty Don, come in a box (less plastic packaging) and are sold by Waitrose.

“Rated one of the best performing secateurs by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, with a score of 17/20 (January 2015).These slim-handled secateurs, forged from a single piece of high carbon steel, are a popular choice for female gardeners as they fit smaller hands perfectly.”
What can I say!
If you cant afford that there are some other (cheaper) options here, recommended by me.
And a lot more garden related gifts here.

But what if …
I am stereotyping your mum? what if she hates the gardening, has hands the size of shovel, wants to wipe the grin off that smug buggers face and only shops in Lidles? You could try these plastic free delights that can double as gifts.

Argh last minute Valentine day fixes….

Forgot !?! Quick, go get this free down load and print out the coupon book. Serve with a deep soulful look ...
Read More

Knickers

Time to buy new panties, knickers, bloomers, draws, step-ins – call them what you will. I am a simple woman ...
Read More

Body Butter

One of the joys of living plastic free is that you have all kinds of useful base ingredients in the ...
Read More

Secateurs

The  cutters of I use are from Joseph Bently I bought this set from TK Max– steel and wood tools with minimal ...
Read More

Wrappings & Cards
Gift got you need to wrap it. You can find plastic free gift wrapping options and cards here.

post

Easter

Easter egg makers are far more environmentally aware than they used to be and it is now possible to buy plastic free eggs if you look for them.

An even greener option is to have a reusable, refillable egg. For example…

You can buy wooden eggs like these on Ebay which you can decorate yourself.

If your decorating skills leave something to be desired you could try these Beatrix Potter lovelies also found on Ebay.

Then you fill them with sweets and chocolates….yum!

Sweets & Chocolate

You can still buy sweets loose in shops and even some supermarkets. I have seen those pastel chocolate eggs available which are of course ideal.

Or if you are feeling ambitious you try your hand at #plasticfree truffles – egg shaped of course.

 

Flowers

Flowers are always a lovely way to celebrate Easter for older or less chocolate orientated people.

Not used this company but plan to do so. The flowers are lovely – see here.  And so is the delivery! Answer to a request for info… let me know how you get on plastic free lovers.

there is no plastic in our packaging. The flowers are wrapped in craft paper and we use Rafia to tie them.

There are lots more options here

post

Wrapping paper – cheap & green

I had to wrap a present the other day. I was away from home and my huge stock of unbleached tissue paper. Cue flurry of worry. I assumed that all gift wrap came plastic wrapped these days. I was wrong! You can still buy gift wrap in single, unpackaged sheets from card and book shops. But it is either incredably expensive or very ugly. They got very ugly!

For a one off this might work but if you have a lot of presents to wrap, at Christmas for example, this is not an option. Unless you are filthy rich!

pfree celebrate

A cheaper, greener alternative much touted on the internet is to recycle newspaper as a wrap. The examples up on Pinterest look lovely and I have no problem with the idea. It’s the content that worries me. I cannot give a present wrapped in the turgid prose of the Stodgeville Gazette.

Which is why (in the days before the bulk tissue purchase), I used to use foreign news papers. Especially Chinese which I thought looked great. For sure they might be lamenting some dreadful triple murder and suicide but who’s to know! Unless you are Chinese obvs!

But how green is it to recycle a chinese newspaper that you cannot read? And I gave up the Stodgeville Gazette years ago.Which is why I ended up buying tissue paper in bulk.

Here are three alternative wrapping paper options:

Wrapping Tissue:  This rather grainy, super-cheap tissue paper is used for wrapping breakables.of the cheaper packaging papers on the bulk buy market. I bought it wholesale in a polythene bag and that one purchase seems to be lasting a life time.

Brown Paper:Then there is the kraft paper used for the old school brown paper parcels. You can get huge rolls of this paper which again last  forever. This option is very chic in the green, present-wrapping circles!

Newspaper Offcuts. This unmarked white paper is, as it sounds, a waste product of the newspaper industry.

Purchase

You can usually find all the above in shops selling packaging. If you go to a real shop you may be able to get some plastic free. Buy on line and in bulk and it will almost certainly come pre plastic-packed. You have to content yourself with the plastic offset and the knowledge that this plastic is already in your waste stream however you buy.

Read about our thoughts on bulk-buy, plastic-wrapped wholesale here.

Sticky Tape

You will also need to get some biodegradable sticky tape like this to wrap your paper parcels.

BUT

But even though these papers are cheap and often recycled, this is still not a zero waste option. It still contributes to the wrapping paper trash mountain.  According to  ,  every Christmas we use enough wrapping paper on our presents to go around the equator 9 times!

Hmmm. Perhaps we need to be considering reusable wrapping.

Paper available on Amazon

White Tissue Paper - 450x700mm. Pack of 500 Sheets. Cheap Unbleached General Purpose Packing Tissue. Ideal Protective Wrapping for Clothes & Garment Packaging. Great for Retail & Moving House as Interleaving & Carton Void Fill or Gap Filler. Recyclable, Scrunchable Paper Filling. From Packaging2Buy PPD 500 Sheets Of White Packing Paper - Newspaper Offcuts 500mm x 10m Kraft Paper Roll 88gsm
White Tissue Paper – 450x700mm. Pack of 500…
£16.00
PPD 500 Sheets Of White Packing Paper – New…
£14.99
500mm x 10m Kraft Paper Roll 88gsm
£3.55
750mm x 20M Heavy Duty Brown Kraft Wrapping Paper Roll 90gsm - 20 METRES
750mm x 20M Heavy Duty Brown Kraft Wrapping…
£5.24
 Amazon Products

Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. But sometimes you can’t buy local so I have put together an Amazon catalogue. of independent sellers operating through Amazon.

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead…..

Yes we do get an affiliation fee for this, and 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.

post

Valentines Day

Wethers it’s Valentines Day, a very special date, an anniversary or just because,  here’s a round up of plastic free posts to woo your plastic free sweetie.

Argh last minute Valentine day fixes….

Forgot !?! Quick, go get this free down load and print out the coupon book. Serve with a deep soulful look and "Experiences mean so much more than things, baby". I ...
Read More

Candles

Nothing sets the mood quite as well as candles but it is hard to find plastic free candles. Most come in a protective plastic wrap or  bag. However we tracked down ...
Read More

Condoms & Lubricants

If all goes well on Valentines day you may well be planning some intimate moments. Time to check out condoms. Condoms come in the following materials.... Latex: made of latex ...
Read More

How to wrap gifts plastic-free

Reusable Wraps Disposable Paper As much as we love reusable gift wrap and bags, you ...
Read More

Chocolates and Sweets

I don't care if the lady loves milk tray, she's not getting a box of chocks from me. Not with that plastic wrapping, plastic cover sheet, plastic sweet tray and, to ...
Read More

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 Valentine's day.Oh you do? According to the Flowers & Plants Association, ...
Read More