Saturday

ZERO-WASTE: How To Use A Safety Razor

Hello folks!
If you are a follower of my Instagram you may have seen my newest purchase already. The safety razor! I wanna save the world but I'd like to do so without turning into a lady-yeti.

My last Gilette disposable was looking a little tired I decided no more! I'm slowly replacing all of my disposable items with 'zero waste' alternatives and the razor was next on the list.

I did really like the Muhle one I featured on my wishlist but with the budget being tight I couldn't quite stretch to the £30 price tag. I also read a few reviews saying that it wasn't ideal for a first time user which  terrified me  swayed my decision.

So I had a look on Amazon and there were some really cheap options with great reviews so I thought I would try this one as a safety razor newbie. It didn't come with any razor blades and there were only boxes of 100 available on Amazon which would be great if I knew they were good. Instead, I went to The Shave Lounge and had a look at what blades they had to offer. The first thing I noticed was how badass I felt looking for razor blades. I am saving the world but I am dangerous :P
The second thing was how blummin' cheap it is to get actual razor blades instead of expensive cartridge blades. You can get a pack of 5 for under £1.75! Plus with the razor being double-edged you get twice as much use out of it.
I really like the packaging on the razor boxes and I felt cool ordering shark blades haha, perhaps I should've been a man but I was finding this experience pretty exciting!
Delivery is free from The Shave Lounge and they also offer cashback which is amazing. They arrived quickly too.
They come in cardboard packaging with paper covering each blade, Easy for recycling! Apart from the Feather blades which arrived in a plastic box.

When they razor handle arrived I was pleased with the quality and colour (almost rose gold!)
At £9.99 is was a third of the price of the Muhle one. It's got a shorter handle than normal disposables and it is much heavier but I think this is something that I will get used to.
You twist the bottom part of the handle to open up the butterfly feature which is where the blade goes. Really simple but a well-made piece of work.
video

I've got a few tips for first-time users so it's not quite as terrifying:

1) Don't apply any pressure! Let the razor glide over the skin, this minimises any nicks or cuts.

2) Use short strokes at a 30 degree angle. There is only one blade so it needs rinsing between strokes for the closest shave.

3) Make sure you use a nice lathery soap. Those cans of shaving foam are rubbish. I like to use exfoliating gloves to lather mine up and have a wee scrub at the same time.

4) Shave in the direction of hair growth.

5) After shaving rinse the blade and gently dry. Put it back in its case away from the bath/shower so it doesn't rust.

6) Rinse your skin with cool water and apply a rich moisturiser or body oil for the smoothest skin in the land :)


I can report that I haven't cut myself as yet which is fairly amazing as I used to always cut myself with the disposables. Saying that it's nice to have a soak in the bath and take my time shaving rather than whizzing over and doing a bad job! It does take a little longer but it's so much better for the environment as plastic disposables aren't recyclable.
I know everyone is different but I was going through a 5 pack of Gillette disposables a month, I find after I've done my legs twice they're blunt and ready for the bin.(I has long legs!)
So 5x12 is 60 per year.
I've been shaving my legs for roughly 10 years.
So I've probably used around 600 razors in my lifetime which is horrendous!!
That's just me!
So this, my friends, is why I'm reducing my impact on the planet. People often say that one person won't make a difference but when you think of figures in that way, any small change is a positive one!

Would you be tempted to switch to a safety razor?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Thursday

#ECOBABE: Jessie From Tiny Yellow Bungalow


Howdy guys!

I hope you are all well. I thought I'd start a new feature here on the blog to shine a spotlight on my favourite #ecobabes from around the world! I know there are so many inspiring #girlbosses who are making the world a much better place with their unique spin on a sustainable lifestyle! 


My first interview is with Jessie, from Tiny Yellow Bungalow. A website with invaluable advice on an eco-friendly lifestyle, and an online shop filled with stylish, sustainable pieces to make the transition to a zero waste lifestyle easier! Jessie's carefully curated picks are cute, ethical and vegan! A girl after my own heart, here's what she had to say...


When did you first become interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle?

Unfortunately, I didn't really have an "A-ha!" moment when transitioning to a more eco-conscious lifestyle but it all really began in February of last year. I was living in a tiny yellow bungalow (hence the blog name!) in Houston at the time, and it was the first place, living on my own, that had a backyard. I was so excited to start a little garden in the yard! I began experimenting with gardening, composting, and sustainability, and it just sort of tumbled-weeded from there. I decided to start a blog to document what I was learning and also in hopes of encouraging others to try it out for themselves. 


Do you have any recommendation for books/documentaries that really changed your perspective?

I have a list on my website of my favorite resources! Here's a link: http://www.tinyyellowbungalow.com/resources/



Tell us, what has been your favourite secondhand purchase?

I can't really say I have a favorite secondhand purchase. My little bungalow is furnished with all of my favorite hand-me-downs, secondhand finds, and roadside gems. A lot of my furniture is from family, and my walls are decorated with estate sale paintings. I have lots of books to read, thanks to my favorite used bookstore. And if you consider four-legged friends as secondhand purchases, then my sweet mutt, Polly, that I adopted five years ago definitely tops the list! :) 


Who's blogs/websites do you turn to when you need some serious eco-inspiration?
I love Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home for tips on reducing waste. Beth Terry's My Plastic Free Life has been crucial in eliminating nasty plastics from my home. And Angela Liddon's Oh She Glows is my go to website for yummy plant-based recipes. 



What advice would you give to those who are wanting to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle?

For someone new to the idea of sustainability, I would recommend to just be conscious of your daily decisions. Start by swapping disposables for their more eco-friendly reusable counterpart, like carrying your own grocery bags, travel coffee mug, water bottle, etc. Start eliminating plastics in your daily life, and research more sustainable alternatives like those we carry in our online shop. On a grander scale, maybe consider starting a small garden and composting. 


If you could only eat one vegan meal for the next year what would it be?
Black Beans & Quinoa :) It's my staple meal without a doubt! It is so simple to prepare and I love that I can freeze half of what I prepare to save for later to enjoy. 



Describe your ideal work day...

I spend a lot of my day at home on the computer researching and filling orders for my little eco shop but my ideal work day is when I have a Tiny Yellow Bungalow booth at local events. I absolutely love getting to talk to people about sustainability and how simple and fun it really can be. Leading a more environmentally conscious life is something I'm very passionate about and I love when I can spark other people's interest in doing kind things for the planet. 





& Finally, What is your favourite item in your shop?
That's such a tough question, I love everything haha! Really though, I've worked very hard to curate a shop filled with products I believe in and support truly with my whole heart. All of the products in our shop are not just earth-friendly and functional but absolutely adorable! 

Thank you so much Jessie for letting me pick you brains! Y'all should head over to her shop and look at all the gorgeous eco-friendly products or check out her Instagram here.
What are your thoughts on adopting a more sustainable lifestyle?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


Saturday

What I Thrifted This Month- April//Homeware


Hello everyone!
Welcome to April's thrifty finds. I may have gone a little overboard this month with my bargains.

When I say overboard, giving money to charity is never going to be a bad thing but I did buy some non-essentials this month but on the other hand, I found some things that had been on my charity shop list so that equals out right?

I keep buying things for my house. The problem is I don't have a house yet...yet being the important word. After we've been on our travelling adventure it would be amazing if my boyfriend and I can find our own place. We're both living with our parents at the moment and it's coming up to a year since I moved in the caravan 'just for the summer' haha!

I think it's better to be organised and buy a few, useful things (that you love!) from the charity shop. Instead of moving into a new place and having a mix-match of tat you bought from uni, your parents cast-offs and then having to make an emergency dash to Homesense! See I'm sure my future self will thank me ;)

So without further ado here are my homeware bargains for the month...

Eco Balls
This was definitely the universe pulling me in the right direction. I was talking to my mumma that morning about how many toxic chemicals are in laundry powder and softener and how I was going to look for an alternative. Later that evening, mum comes back from work (she works at Age UK) and she said these came in and she had to buy them for me!
They're they older style Ecozone balls but I used them last night and they're amazing! I do love my washing to smell nice and bizarrely, the fragrance-free smells really clean. I don't know how they do it. I only put them on a cool 15-minute cycle too and all the clothes came out so fresh and so clean. Apparently these balls do up to 1000 washes without detergent and they come with extra refills.

Karrimor Rucksacks
Whilst not technically a home item, these rucksacks will house all of our belongings on our travels!
I have had backpacking rucksacks on my charity shop list for months, I wanted one that was almost new and not too big and my prayers were answered not once but twice! So now my boyfriend and I have matching rucksacks for our adventures -score! I remember watching videos on youtube like what in my backpacking bag or travelling supplies haul. I'm sure you know that travelling gear isn't cheap and one vlogger had said that it had cost her over £400 for all of her stuff! I couldn't believe it would be that expensive but once I started doing research it easily totted up. That kinda money would get me to the other side of the world! So I vowed I would find all my stuff secondhand. I had found a few odd bits that would be useful but I was holding out for a decent rucksack! These are 55L & 65L Karrimor Panther bags they were definitely over £100 each when they were new. They are in fantastic condition and have waterproof covers with them too!

Mason Jar
Since researching more into a zero waste lifestyle I have become a jar fiend. Full blown mason-jar lover haha. I bought a few last month in TKMaxx but this one is a three-litre beast so I couldn't leave it on the shelf. It was only £2 which I think is great as large sizes are usually around £10-15 mark. When I have my beautiful pantry, I think this jar will house all of my bulk-bought oats :)
I think food always looks much more enticing in glass jars rather than mix-matched packets and tins.
Glass Shaker
I understand that the zero waste movement isn't about going out and buying things specifically to be 'zero waste'. There are some things I just don't own and it would be silly to pass up something that will be useful especially when it's secondhand. I've seen a few of my favorite #ecobabes using glass shakers for all sorts, from cleaning products to homemade dry shampoo. So I don't know what I'll put in it yet I know it will come in handy.
I'm a believer in charity shop karma, if you really need something the charity shop will provide it for you, if you don't buy it then and next time it has gone it wasn't meant to be. That's what I thought with this particular item as  when I went back to buy it, it had gone. Saying that I visited the same shop a few weeks later and there was a different, prettier one! Yayy thanks, charity shop gods :)
Paisley Jar
Mmhmm, it's another jar :') This one is paisley and made of ceramic so I needed it. This is another find from mum's charity shop. She is as bad as me I promise haha. I'm not sure entirely what I'm going to put in this one but the pattern is so beautiful.


So I'm going to stop here and I'll show you guys my thrifted clothing finds in my next post! I've found some bohemian gems :) Plus I'm going to talk about my plans to create a charity shop capsule wardrobe and who know's I might even do an old fashioned outfit post.

Have you found any amazing secondhand pieces this month?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Friday

Happy Earth Day 2016!

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Dear Earth.
You're pretty awesome. I love what you've done with the place. 
I'm a big fan of the trees and hills and sea and stuff. 
I've not even explored a lot of what you have to offer but I hear a lot of it is breathtaking
I'd love to see the deserts, glaciers, and rainforests because they sound extra special.
There's only one thing that I don't like, that's what 'we'-humans as a species have done to you. 
You gave us the perfect conditions to thrive and flourish.
Perhaps we just think that we are so much smarter than you? 
Whatever you can do, we can do better.
It sucks that we don't think about our actions,
I mean, we think about it to a certain extent
-usually, how much profit we can make from abusing your resources or who we can exploit next for cheap labour.
Nature? 
Yeah, it's nice to look at the idyllic surroundings when in reality under the surface is bursting at the seams with OUR waste.
Animals? 
Aww, they're so cute and fluffy unless we're hungry and KFC is the most convenient option. 
We're detached.
We need to wake up and realise that our time on this planet is limited.
Space travel is on the cards for the elite folk but perhaps they should take responsibility for the state of the earth at the moment instead of jet setting to Mars.
The thing is, people are too busy to think about saving the planet. 
We want fast, cheap, convenience and we can leave the future generations to clean up our mess.
I don't want that anymore.
I'd rather take a little extra time and make some well-thought out decisions that won't hurt you or anyone else.
I sincerely hope that more people will change their mind and support you wholeheartedly.
They should because you're awesome and Mars doesn't even have trees yet...

Happy Earth Day Earthlings!

I hope that something somewhere will inspire you to think about the planet in a different way.

This is one of my favourite quotes:
'Never doubt  that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has'
Margaret Mead

Are you doing anything special for World Earth Day?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Wednesday

Four-Monthly Goals 2016 1/3

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Hello everyone,
I hope you are enjoying the glorious sunny weather! I cannot believe we're more than half way through April already. I feel like this year is whizzing by. I like setting 'goals' now and again so I think instead of  monthly/yearly goals 'four monthly goals' are a novel idea. I can't seem to think of a zappier name Quad-monthly? A third of the year has already gone goals?!
I usually just jot them down in my notepad but I thought I'd share them with you guys so that you can see what's going on and also so you have proof that I said these things!

1) Get into a fitness routine.
I have massively let my fitness slide since moving home, especially since Christmas I haven't got into a good routine at all! More sitting on my butt and eating vegan cake. I'm too far away from a gym so I'm planning to get hula hooping, walking the dogs every day and doing some weights! All things that are totally free but will make a difference.
I got a new blender last week so I'm excited to get back on the smoothie wagon and make my own soups and dips.

2) Work on my nutritional therapist course.
I feel really bad about this as I bought the online course last year and I haven't knuckled down and studied for it! I'm still really interested and although it is much harder than I thought (it's very science based) I need something to challenge my brain power and keep me focused.

3) Book a holiday.
It's our 6-month anniversary this month so my boyfriend and I have been planning some trips away but we haven't booked anything yet! My criteria is that it has to be sunny, have a beach, a good market, and vegan food! (The essentials haha) We are planning on some more exotic travels after summer so for now we're just thinking of a lil weekend break. Please send me your cheap and cheerful recommendations.

4) Keep 'Kondo-ing' all the things.
I'm still on my decluttering mission. I want my caravan to be a creative functional space, not brimming with 'stuff'. So I'm going to carry on whittling through all my whimsy and then do a caravan tour for you guys.

5) Read more, watch less.
I visited my auntie up in the lakes last weekend which I haven't done for years! It was nice to explore a new area and catch up with family. She's a hippy at heart and her house is full of quirky nick-nacks. She's got the biggest book collection I have seen so I used it as a library and I have borrowed a few 'life-changing' books. I'm going to make sure I get into the habit of reading everyday again. I'm reading one called 'Creating Money' at the moment and its honestly brilliant. I feel like I may have to dedicate an entire post to it! I also cancelled my Netflix subscription today which saddened me but I hope it will save me some money and make reading a priority again.

What goals would you like to achieve in the next four months?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Friday

#ECOBABE: Swap Your Stuff, Save The World!

Howdy everyone :)
So as I've been researching and delving into the crazy world of zero waste I've put together a little post to hopefully make things easier and inspire you to make some simple changes.
It's always daunting to adopt a new lifestyle all at once and the best way is to ease yourself in gently. I've made a few swaps already towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle and I will continue to do so.
I thought you'd like to see some more stylish, sustainable options and the benefits of making some money and planet saving swapsies :)...


Swap your cotton wool pads for: A Cotton Scrubby
Cotton farming is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. If you think about all the energy of growing, picking, packing and transporting the cotton wool for us to effortlessly sweep it across our face for-ooh 30 seconds then it goes straight in the bin. It really is a huge waste of the planet's resources not to mention the backbreaking conditions the exploited workers are expected to work in.
The solution? These face scrubbys! They look beautiful in a bowl in your bathroom and work in exactly the same way. Although when you're finished cleansing you can just rinse with hot water! I'd recommend putting them in the washing machine once a week to get them so fresh and so clean.


Swap your leather purse for: A Cork Purse
Being of a vegan persuasion I don't buy leather anymore. I have my Dr Martens and a leather belt that I've had for years and I intend to wear them until they wear out and I can find a vegan alternative.
Vegan leather is usually a plastic based synthetic which is fine but I'm looking for zero waste alternatives. Cork is a natural material made from the bark of a tree and when it's been treated it has a beautiful texture and durability to it. I love these purses and they look really chic and minimal.


Swap your plastic toothbrush for: A Bamboo Toothbrush
Ok, so there's approx 64.1 Million people in the UK, say everyone listens to the dentist and swaps their toothbrush every 3 months. So that's around 256.4 MILLION plastic toothbrushes every year! It's just a crazy figure to even think about. Plastic doesn't decompose for hundreds of years so we are filling up the land with grotty toothbrushes. Such a simple switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Mine was £2.50 so it's not even much more expensive than a regular one. If you're enticed by tongue cleaners and toothbrushes with a whitening pen inside watch this:

Bamboo is biodegradable and a sustainable raw material so give one a try! You can get different strength bristles and kids ones like 'regular' toothbrushes. I think they look much nicer too than the weird, bumpy, garish plastic ones.

Swap your Tupperware for: A Steel Lunchbox
Essentially Tupperware is much better than cling film or sandwich bags that get thrown away after one use but in some cheaper plastic containers the chemicals used to make them can seep into the food-gross huh!
So a steel lunchbox is a brilliant alternative. It keeps cold food cold and hot food hot so that's a bonus. I think untreated steel looks pretty swish and professional if you take a packed lunch to work. If you enjoy the whimsy in life there are some beautiful handpainted ones available on Etsy for the cutest lunch ever! Taking this yellow box out my bag would instantly cheer me up even more so if it was filled with vegan treats!

Swap your disposable razors for: A Safety Razor
Hair removal is so annoying. I try to avoid it for as long as possible without getting mistaken for a werewolf.
My original issue before zero waste was even a thought in my mind, was that I hated buying Gilette and Wilkinsons Sword because these nasty companies test on animals. When I bought own brand disposables like Superdrug's own they were so crap that I was using one per leg (I do have long legs!) but it was ridiculous!
My next investment will be a safety razor where the refills are about 15p per blade instead of almost a tenner! I'm a wee bit dubious about this switch because A) I'm lazy and B) I'm lazy and have a wondering focus haha. So I'm not sure how safe I will be with a safety razor. I have been told that it's much easier and the shave is so much closer so you don't have to do it as often (result!) I love this rose gold model and it looks so sophisticated compared to a plastic 'I'm gon-cut-you' Venus :')

Swap your plastic bottles for: A Metal Water Bottle
Ok, mentally prepare yourself for this one. We dispose of 15 million plastic bottles EVERY DAY (!!!) in the UK alone. That's just an insane figure to me. There are some companies who have revolutionised the recycling of plastic and you can get fleeces and bath sponges made from recycled bottles which is really innovative. It's just so SO much easier to carry a metal bottle around with you instead. I know I'm lucky and the water up here in the lake district is delicious. I'm well aware that city water is minging and taking tap water isn't really an option. Buy a water filter and keep it in the fridge and it tastes just as good I promise. Persuade your employer to buy a water cooler for the health of the staff!


Has this post inspired you to swap any of your daily habits? Please let me know if it does!
Thank you so much for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Monday

How To Make Money From An Epic Spring Clean!

Spring, Spring is here! 
The Daffodils and baby lambs tell me so :)

What better time to completely declutter and refresh your space? When you have whittled out your charity donations from your recycling pile and are left with only the treasures you've collected over the years, what do you do with the excess?
Stuff that is mediocre or things that just aren't you anymore-You sell them on of course!

When I first downsized from my spacious, mansion flat into a teeny caravan on my parents drive I had a MAJOR clean out. I sold lots of my possessions too as I wasn't sure when I'd next be employed. So I thought I'd share my experience selling secondhand so you can minimise mess and maximize money!

eBay
What to sell: High street/vintage/designer clothes, collectables, technology.
What to expect: Annoying 'ebayers' asking silly questions, bidding wars, slow payments.
What to prepare:Take some great photos, if it's clothing make sure they're ironed & show off the details.
Keep packaging that you can re-use, I always used to steal mounds of bubble wrap from the delivery at work. A roll of brown paper & parcel tape are much cheaper than jiffy bags.


Car Boot/Flea market
What to sell: Clothes that aren't as special can go in the £1 bargain bucket, books, crockery, ornaments, dvds, beauty products, craft items
What to expect:  People are vultures when you set up, haggling is paramount, you won't believe what people will actually buy.
What to prepare: Plenty of change, carrier bags, good company & a flask of tea. Warm clothes are a must too.



Sell & seek/Facebook pages
What to sell: Toys, baby things, furniture, appliances
What to expect: Lots of inbox messages, timewasters, quick turnaround, meeting 'interesting' people
What to prepare: Take good photos, write down the details & a price you can haggle with.

I've just bought Marie Kondo's book 'The Magical Art Of Tidying' and I plan to totally declutter my caravan and sell what I no longer need. I keep watching lots of minimalism videos on Youtube too and I really like the idea of that. I'm not a materialistic person but I do have a lot of stuff that I don't really see a purpose for anymore. When I'm happy with my space I'll do a mini caravan tour!

Let me know if you use any of my tips :)
Thanks for reading,
Rachelle xxx