The time for change is now

Oh god guys, I’ve been gradually working on this post about reducing plastic for the past week or so and after yesterday’s screening of Plastic Ocean and refreshing my memory of what is going on our planet I feel like it’s more important than ever that I post this. I’m not saying that me posting this is going to change the world but hopefully it could help someone make a positive change. I’m sorry if this comes off as something ranty (I really don’t want it to be!) and it’s perhaps a bit different from my usual fitness stuff but I do think it needs to be spoken about and this is something I’ve really come to care a lot about.

Rewatching Plastic Ocean was just about as shocking as the first time. Some things I’ll never forget from the first time I watched it, for instance the dead birds with their stomachs full of plastic causing them to die a slow and painful death. Other things I had sort of forgotten but as we watched I started remembering more and more. It’s so important to freshen up your memory and remind yourself why you’re going through all this extra hassle at times to avoid using plastic. Somewhere along the way you start to forget a little bit and that’s when you need to go back to your inspiration and be inspired again. I sat there in shock once again to how blind we are to the massive issue we have right in front of us and I feel like no one with higher powers is dealing with it urgently enough. Where is the sense of urgency? Our oceans are suffering from our mindless and shortsighted behaviour.

After the screening we had an incredible panel discussion with experts on the environment. One of the things they said which really resonated with me was start making the changes and then talk to people about it. Don’t be scared or ashamed to share the journey you are on and help others to normalise this so it becomes a normal thing to do. This is so true and that’s why I felt even more now that I want to share these tips because starting to cut out plastic can be tough.

So the war on plastic is officially on. Companies are pledging to go plastic-free (the first entirely plastic-free grocery store aisle recently opened in Amsterdam), restaurants are ditching plastic straws and the latest I’ve seen is that Starbucks are going to start charging 5p on their single use cups. I’ve also seen Deliveroo trialling sustainable take away boxes. What a relief that companies are finally realising the positive change and impact they can have on the world. Maybe this is the change from above we have been waiting for? Could this be the beginning of something? I’m truly hoping so! Time will tell but if we as consumers think of our consumption as placing a vote, a vote for change and vote towards what we want to see more of then maybe this is the reaction to what we’ve been voting more for recently.

I for the past year have become increasingly aware of the amount of plastic that’s surrounding me in my every day life. Recycling is something my family has always done but here in the UK the recycling of plastic is not as advanced as back in Sweden. Yes plastic is recyclable, not all of it and yesterday the panel said only 9% of all plastic gets recycled! Also, from what I’ve understood you can only recycle plastic once and as we all know, plastic never goes away. Once it exists in the world it will be there for hundreds of years, slowly disintegrating into smaller pieces and eventually becoming so small we can’t see it, but it’s still there impacting our environment. Therefore, as the panel also said, recycling and disposing of it is really just time wasted because what we really need to do is stop using it.

I am by no means perfect when it comes to my plastic use, the same way that I don’t have the perfect healthy lifestyle but in both areas I strive to do the best I can. There’s a couple of ways I’ve been able to avoid plastic in my life and I thought I could share it here in order to maybe inspire some of you to take these small steps towards making a change. I’m sorry if you’ve heard them before!

1. Glass water bottle

I’ve got two glass water bottles which I take everywhere with me and I very rarely ever buy bottled water in shops (can’t remember the last time I did). It’s such an unnecessary thing to do if you think about it. First of all, driving the bottled water to it’s destination in the shops causes unnecessary pollution rather than just getting water out of the tap and secondly the plastic bottle itself which the planet can never really ever get rid of again.

2.  Bar soap

Switching out my soaps for bar soap is another way to avoid plastic packaging. Lush is great because you can buy however much you need and there are loads of deliciously smelling options to choose from. Whenever you’re buying a bar soap make sure the packaging around it doesn’t have plastic in it.

3. Tea/ Coffee cup

Another easy thing to do, bring your own coffee or tea cup with you when you’re out. A nice little bonus is a lot of coffee places give you a small discount if you bring your own cup. I think I also got an extra stamp on my loyalty card at Café Nero, I don’t know if they always do that. Either way, you’re saving the planet and some money. Now you don’t have any excuses 🙂

4. Bamboo tooth brush

In one of my posts you saw I recently got Jamie and bamboo tooth brushes, bamboo is biodegradable. I think they brush really well too!

5. Avoid single use straws and plastic cutlery

This is something I try my very best to do if I’m eating or drinking out somewhere, to get my water or whatever I’m drinking without a straw and bring my own cutlery. I must admit I’m not the best at the cutlery part but if I have forgotten to bring some and end up using plastic ones, I bring them home to put in the recycling at least. I know it’s not the ideal situation but if I get anything in a plastic container I bring it home to be recycled rather than throwing it in a bin somewhere.

6. Buy fruit and veg without plastic packaging

Do you remember my post about plastic on UK fruit and veg in supermarkets (click here to get to it)? I was very upset at the time when I wrote it and it still frustrates me to the bone that there’s still so much unnecessary use of plastic. My organic bananas do not need plastic bags around them! I find that  incredibly ironic. The broccoli or carrots don’t either for that matter. There are very very few fresh produce items that actually need any form of packaging, especially plastic packaging. If there’s an option to buy a fruit or vegetable without it being in plastic, do it. I also avoid the small plastic bags you for fresh produce, I just wash it all properly when I get home. Another option is to get cotton bags or something to put the produce in and reuse them.

7. Food in the food waste bin

I’m not sure about other places but here in Glasgow they not long ago put food waste bins next to the recycling bins by all flats in the city centre (from what I’ve understood it). So instead of throwing your food waste such as fruit and veg peel, meat, fish, cheese, things that have gone off etc into the normal bin, we now have a little food waste caddie with biodegradable bags. This means the stuff we would throw out in the bin normally gets taken care of in the best possible way AND Jamie and I have started taking out normal bins out far less because we don’t fill them as quickly, meaning we need fewer plastic bags for our rubbish.

8. Choose other materials when you can

When you are grocery shopping or buying a new hair brush do some research and see if you can get it in a different material. For instance getting your olive oil in a glass bottle instead of a plastic one, get a hair brush which is wooden, my latest exfoliating gloves are made out of hemp. You get the idea, shop around and think of how this purchase will affect the environment when you dispose of it. I think what we need to realise when we purchase something is that one day we’ll have to dispose of it, this means we somehow we need to get rid off it in the best possible way. What are the best materials to be disposed? There is actually no “throw away” as they say in Plastic Ocean for plastic, it just continues exist elsewhere but it never goes away.

9. Have a support group

As with the gym, it’s so much easier and more fun doing things together. The same goes for reducing plastic and having a friend or a group of friends who you can do this together with, be supported and inspired by makes this so much easier. Faye and I discuss our issues with plastic and our environmental impact all the time. We can ventilate our frustrations and also get tips from each of what to do. It makes the journey a lot easier when you’re not alone in it. It’s also great for accountability. Yup it is pretty much the same as with the gym!

These are the things I can think of just now! If you watch A Plastic Ocean, which I really think you should if you haven’t, it can really leave you feeling disheartened and think “what’s the point?”. What’s the point with doing anything if we are destroying the planet? What’s the point in having a job and living life normally when this is happening right now. We need to do something now and we can. We have the power over our own choices. We can choose what we buy but it might need some extra planning.

Our time is now, we need to act now. Otherwise, in the words of Doug Allan last night “We’re fucked”.

Let’s get going people! Let’s start making small changes, one at a time. Everything helps. We’re not perfect but let’s start somewhere. Let’s be the change we want to see. We can make a change.

Have a beautiful day. M xxx

Nikki Strange x House of Kind

Hello lovelies! Sorry this post is up a bit later than usual! I had to grab the opportunity this morning when Jamie was up early for once and clean the flat. We haven’t cleaned for a while and things had started to get quite messy. Neither of us really enjoy cleaning and it’s one of those things, we’d rather do other things when we’ve got a spare moment but today was the day to get it done and there are few things that make me as happy as a clean flat! Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but it does make you feel good!

I feel like a good grown up when our home is tidy. Jamie looks at me all confused and sceptically when I say that, he doesn’t get it haha.

I was at the gym this morning because this evening Faye’s sustainability society at uni are having a screening of the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” combined with a panel discussion with some incredibly inspiring individuals such as Doug Allan who’s been the cameraman for several wildlife programmes on the BBC such as Blue Planet!! How cool is that?! I’m so excited to hear their thoughts on the state of the planet. I’ve watched Plastic Ocean before but am looking forward to seeing it again and being reminded of why it’s so important to reduce our plastic waste. I’m currently working on a post of how I’ve reduced my plastic waste and can’t wait to share it with you guys when I’m done.

Speaking of living sustainably and purchasing more consciously, this makeup bag arrived the other day from the amazing House of Kind. For Christmas I asked Santa for a new one since the one I have I’ve had for probably ten years and let’s just say it was due an upgrade! It was falling to pieces. My sisters so kindly gave me money towards buying this one I’d seen on House of Kind from the brand Nikki Strange and I haven’t had a chance to order it until now but better late than never.

House of Kind is a lovely one stop web shop for all kinds of lovely ethical and sustainable purchases. I loved the brand Nikki Strange’s beautiful patterns on their makeup bags and the ethos of their brand. The prints on the bag are designed by Nikki herself printed with eco-friendly inkjet fabric. The bags are made of cotton and are hand sewn in London by unemployed women in the area giving them textile training and work opportunities. How incredible is that?

I absolutely love the print, it’s stunning and the bag feels so special instead of just buying one on the high street I love that there are brands out there making a difference whilst producing beautiful things. It just shows, you can make a difference with anything you do when you start at business.

There are loads of other lovely things on House of Kind such as candles, diffusers, cushions, beauty, jewellery and so much more! You really need to have a look.

I thought I’d just give you guys this tip because I was so incredibly happy with my purchase when I opened my delivery. Something that made it even more special was the handwritten note from the founders Cat and Raina. A beautiful touch.

M xxx

Natural deodorant review: Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime

Hi guys! Taking a little break with the Rainhill posts and instead wanted to share a recent find I made when it comes to natural hygiene or what I should call it! A while ago, must be over a year now, I was informed by my friend Kat how bad normal deodorants are for our health. Our pores in our armpits absorb all the scary chemicals in the deodorant so it goes straight into our body. Doesn’t sound that great to me but it was only a couple of months ago I started trying out natural deodorants. I was also looking for something that was vegan and cruelty free. Whilst it also was sustainable and good for the planet.

The first brand I came across and tried was Salt of the Earth. I had no idea what to expect. I tried one of their sprays with an essential oil smell. It smelled lovely but those light sprays in my armpit didn’t feel like it was really going to do anything for someone who trains and sweats a lot. You don’t want to smell and you don’t want the sweat to be pouring either. As charming as it sounds, I’m quite a naturally sweaty person. Something I used to be really embarrassed and self conscious of when I was younger but have just accepted with age. I just need something that’s going to keep me dry.

Salt of the Earth was not something that worked for me at all. I smelt fine most of the time but I sweated loads during workouts. It was bad and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I finished it off and then came across Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime natural deodorant. I think it might’ve been Sarah’s Day who was talking about it. Instead of it being a spray it was a more solid substance and you rubbed it into your armpit. That sounded more like something that would give more protection against sweatiness and smell so I decided to order it off Amazon and give it a try.

At first I thought it was very odd standing and rubbing stuff into your armpit. It does look and feel weird but you get used to it quickly and now I don’t mind it at all. You get a little spatula with the glass pot that you get the deodorant out with. You really don’t need a lot. I love that it’s a glass jar as it’s easier to recycle and better for the planet! If only the lid was metallic, unfortunately it’s plastic.

The deodorant smells nice and fresh. Once you rub it in you can’t really smell it at all. I have to say I absolutely love this deodorant. I feel like I don’t smell at all when I use it and the sweat is minimal. I didn’t really expect a natural deodorant to work so well for me but I really think it’s the best deodorant I’ve used so far ever, including non-natural ones. It is a bit faffy with the rubbing but all the positives outweigh this one negative.

I really think you guys should give it a go! Obviously we’re all different but it’s worth testing. Please let me know of any natural and cruelty free deodorants you’ve tried that you think are good. I’d love to hear xx

My BKR bottle

Happy Wednesday my dears! I was flicking through photos on my phone and realised that I’ve never really written a post about my water bottle I got from Emma and her boyfriend John for my birthday. I’ve wanted a BKR bottle for ages as I think they’re incredibly cute and love that they’re made of glass. I have a lululemon glass bottle as well but it’s a bit big and heavy I’ve come to realise and since I got this bottle I honestly don’t use my big lulu one as much. It’s bigger so great if I’m going somewhere where I need a lot of water with me but for everyday use it’s a bit clunky.

I always carry my little BKR one in my bag because it’s really light and a great size to have either in my backpack or handbag. It saves me having to buy bottled water when I’m out on the go as well. First of all I absolutely hate the taste of bottled water. It makes me not want to drink water. Second of all, a bit less plastic for the planet. Having your water in a plastic bottle is really bad for you as well so having a glass one is better for your body as well.

I love the sensation of drinking out of glass and if you’re worried about it breaking, I can tell you that I’m one of the clumsiest people you’ll meet and it’s lasted me so far (touch wood!). The silicone sleeve helps keep it safe. There are so many beautiful colours to choose from. I absolutely love my pink one!

Thought I’d just give a little review since I’ve been using it for a while now. It’s become my partner in crime out and about and in the gym. I love it! Thank you again Emma and John for getting me this for my birthday. I know it was a while ago but still!

I slept on the sofa last night to try and avoid getting Jamie’s flu (paranoid? Yes!!) and I slept so badly haha. It was incredibly windy last night and the windows wouldn’t stop making noises so I kept waking up all the time. It also made me have nightmares so the sleep I got was very stressful. Not ideal but I’m just trying to make the most of it. I’m not feeling too bad yet. I’m quite good at functioning on little sleep. Think I’ve inherited that trait from my dad.

Today I’m getting some more work done on something I’ll be letting you know soon what it is. Sorry for the ambiguity once again! I just want it to myself a bit longer. Then I’m training tonight at G5. I’m intrigued to see what Stella puts us through today after yesterday’s class!

Have a beautiful day, M xxx