Unwrpd Boxes! Your #ZeroWaste best friend.

Z E R O   W A S T E
Sounds easy enough right? To minimise your waste by lowering consumption of single-use plastic, unnecessary packaging, and other not so earth friendly things humans do. It is not until you start to think about the amount of waste you produce that you realise how wasteful we are as individuals and as societies.

It happens so innocently and slowly creeps into everything you do. Like when you order a (food) takeaway and it comes in a ‘convenient’ plastic container; or when you order a drink ‘to-go’ in a single-use plastic or paper cup. When you go shopping and use a single-use plastic bag, and evens when you buy your shampoo and conditioner in a plastic container.
All those things add up.

But you can make changes! small changes can go a long way! I started replacing all single-use plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles made of insulated metal by Klean Kanteen. These beauties not only look nice, but they keep your drinks chilled/warm for longer and help you reduce the number of plastic bottles you consume.

‘Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.’ Plasticsolution.org

Companies like https://unwrpd.com make the zero-waste life transition so much easier. Earlier this month they contacted me and offered me to sample one of their subscription boxes!

“We choose products and companies with eco-credentials we can stand behind. Additionally, all our packaging is 100% plastic-free; recycled, recyclable and up-cycled where possible.”

The products they offer are all natural, environmentally friendly, chemical free and cruelty-free. They are a happy tree hugger eco-warrior best friend! They also offer one-off gift boxes which are the perfect treat this Christmas.

I also love the fact their packaging matches their company ethics. No plastic at all. And the box is completely recyclable (check your local council for full details)

Happy Environmentalist Holidays!

For a limited time only enjoy 25% off your order with my code Onix25 by accessing via this link 

Please note the discount code won’t work unless you use the link. You can also find the link on my Instagram bio 🙂

XOxo

Jihane

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EEK-O-Friendly Halloween Tips

This post comes to you, courtesy of ECOlunchBox 

Halloween is right around the corner and with costumes, candy, parties and haunted houses involved, what’s not to love?! No matter what spooky antics you’re planning for Halloween, keep in mind you can be greener and cleaner too!

 

img_5767Make Your Own Decorations 

Consider using upcycled and recycled items for decorating, and definitely avoid that nasty “spiderweb” plastic people spread all over their bushes! Create paper cut-outs to decorate windows (which can be stored flat and saved for next year). Cover formed chicken wire with cheesecloth to create floating ghosts in the yard. Drape cheesecloth over pedestals and other yard items to make the appearance of dusty cobwebs. Use tin cans for walkway luminaries. You can drill holes in the sides to create a design and add to the flickering light effect. Re-use all of those cardboard boxes before recycling them. They can be turned into gravestones and placed throughout the yard to create a haunted cemetery. 

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Party Like a Zero Waste Rockstar 

Throwing a Halloween gathering? Use non-breakable, kid-and-planet friendly items (like stainless-steel camping trays) instead of paper or plastic plates, cups and utensils. For a full guide loaded with ideas and tips on throwing a zero waste party click here.  

Sustainable Candy & Alternatives to Candy Treats

Every kid deserves to have a happy Halloween, but for those with food allergies, sensitivities, or who want a healthier, happy treat, the candy offered by neighbors might not be an option. Look for organic and/or sugar-free candy options at your local store. There’s always the option of giving out non-candy treats, too! About half of kids say that they would like to get alternatives to candy treats as well. Arts and crafts or school supplies are a great idea and give the kids something to do when all of the festivities are over (other than getting a sugar high from all of the candy!) 

Lighting Options

We all that spooky and scary atmosphere that candles create on Halloween, but paraffin is the main ingredient in most conventional candles. Paraffin is a waste product from the petroleum industry and releases carcinogenic toxins when burned. Benzene and toluene are found in the sooty residue from burning candles. The EPA has classified benzene as carcinogenic and toluene is toxic to the nervous system. Choose 100% beeswax candles to still achieve that spooky atmosphere while being environmentally conscious. Or, if you’re feeling especially crafty, make your own soy candles. Soy is a renewable resource and soy candles burn cleaner than toxic paraffin candles. 

Halloween Costumes 

Don’t buy new costumes – the likely hood of re-using a brand-new costume is very slim so the purchase is a waste of money and a strain on the environment. Instead, create a brilliant costume from up-cycled thrift store purchases. Mix and match pieces to make a one-of-a-kind costume. Another way to recycle costumes is by hosting a costume swap. Donate your old costume in exchange for a new-to-you costume.

Make Your Own Make-Up

Many commercially available Halloween face paints contain all kinds of scary toxins including heavy metals and a variety of parabens. Parabens are estrogenic (they mimic the estrogen hormone) and disrupt the hormone system. By making your own face paint, you control all of the ingredients and get to do a creative activity with the kiddos while instilling some health-conscious ideas. Or use mom’s non-toxic make-up that you already have on hand!

Bring Your Own Bag

One plain and simple way to green your Halloween is to bring a reusable bag. Give your costume some extra flair by making your own reusable treat bag to enhance your costume.

Bonus Tip: Take a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

By going to the pumpkin patch, not only are you having a great day out, kids learn where pumpkins (and food) come from. They get to interact in a farming environment and choose their own pumpkins. You’re also supporting the farm directly. Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste! Save the seeds to roast and add to salads or just eat on their own as a tasty and nutritious snack. Also, you can keep the carved out bits of your pumpkin to use in a variety of recipes. 

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Whatever you do, have fun with it! and remember to try not to use single use plastics and non-compostable treats this halloween!


 

About ECOlunchbox

ECOlunchbox is mission-based, family-owned business based in Northern California striving to save our oceans from needless plastic trash by creating products that are good for our health, protecting both people and planet. Since its inception in 2009, ECOlunchbox has worked to consistently develop best-in-class, 100% plastic-free food containers. To learn more visit: ECOlunchboxes.com. 

Say NO to Plastic Straws with The Little Straw Company

On a quest for a better, cleaner, safer planet earth I have been doing a lot of research and reading about #Zerowaste. I attended an the Volvo Ocean Race event in Cardiff a few months ago, and it opened my eyes a little more. Ocean plastic pollutions is a real problem. A problem that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should.

Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. 500 million! To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. That’s 46,400 school buses every year! Americans use these disposable utensils at an average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day.average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day. (source nps.gov) and that is just the United States. In the UK we generates around 3.7m tonnes of plastic waste each year — of which around a third is recycled, with the rest going to landfill or incineration.

The amount of plastic which Britons throw away is set rise by a fifth by the end of the next decade – with a 34% rise in crisp packets, 41% more plastic straws and 9% more drinks bottles, according to a study done by WWF earlier this year. I personally, find it shocking that we are not doing more as individuals and as societies to preserve our environment.

But thankfully, more and more companies are making an effort to become more environmentally friendly. Ethical consumerism is on the rise, with more consumers wanting to know the products they bring into their homes are not only produced fairly, but also in a way that they don’t damage the environment.

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One of this companies is the Little Straw Company. They make metal straws ready for you to take along with you in a convenient little bag. Their packing is all cardboard and plastic free and their are available on Amazon for an affordable price. (click here)

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I take my metal straws with me everywhere, absolutely all the time. This has allowed me to drink fashionably without having to contribute to plastic pollution, and it makes it easier for children to transition into a more environmental mindset when it comes to consumerism. My son now knows that when we go out he can ask for his drinks to be  plastic ‘straw free’.

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Metal stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean and sterilize, also unlike plastic straws, metal straws will not bend or leak. Stainless steel straws are reusable and can last for a long time if you clean them properly. In addition, stainless steel does not leach chemicals – good bye BPA –  Plastic products and plastic containers manufactured to store food and beverages, such as water bottles, take-away boxes and straws may contain BPA.  Bisphenol A (BPA)  is an increasingly common industrial chemical used in the industrial production of certain plastics and resin. Over the years, BPA has been known to increase the risk of health problems, such as reproductive disorders and diabetes.

I definitely recommend using stainless steel or (yet to test) bamboo straws, not only they are better for you but also better for the environment which for me is a win/win!

You can buy The Little Straw Company started set, with cleaning brush and carrier bag on amazon – click here to get yours now! 

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Viva Organic, Cardiff’s #ZeroWaste Heaven!

You guys! I have been so busy and so Instagram dependant that I haven’t blogged in here as much as I really should. I mean, as a blogger sometimes you even question if anyone is reading. Is this thing on? hello? lol but I have had a few people reach out to me via email and social media lately who reminded me why I blog. Because I love everything green, eco-friendly and sustainable! which I assume is the same reason why you are here too.

So let me start reconnecting by letting you know about this uber cool place in Cardiff. Viva Organic! (what a fantastic name that is)

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Viva Organic is located in the Pontcanna area – which is filled with little British houses, trees, small cozy roads with people pedaling along on their bikes and an array of amazing little shops. Pontcanna reminds me a lot of the Montrose area in Houston – sans the heat – but with British accents and Welsh cakes.

Viva Organic is the first of its kind in the area. As a zero waste shop, it offers everything your little environmental hearts can wish for. Organic fruit and veg (without plastic containers or wrapping) juice bar, with cold-pressed juices and delicious smoothies – My 12-year-old son devoured a Tropical smoothie in a matter of minutes and said it was one of the tastiest he ever had.

 

 

They also offer a range of organic wines and beers and coffees. The only thing I didn’t see was Kombucha, however, there was a little sign saying ‘coming soon’.

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The best part of the shop is hidden towards the back. A whole selection of self-serve and pack areas with large glass containers holding grains, pasta, cereals and oils which people can buy and carry home using their own containers ❤ it is just perfection. You can also purchase shampoo and natural soaps along with a range of cleaning household items.

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fullsizeoutput_8387The only downside to the place is that I have to travel more than a few miles to get there from the Valleys. But it is definitely worth a visit!

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B I G Thank you to Rod (Thomas) owner of the place, for bringing this amazing little place to live! I am absolutely in love with the place, the concept and the ethics behind it. I was also very pleased to see so many young families, and kids in the shop – mine included.

Viva Organic is located at 79 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna, Cardiff. General opening hours are Tuesday to Friday – 8 am until 6 pm, Saturday – 9 am until 5 pm, Sunday – 11 am until 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

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