emma copland
heart autumn blog

It seems like forever since I've written a post on anything sustainable-related, but I guess that's what happens when you get busy with festivities and the whole 'new year, new goals' mentality before getting into a complete rut and not wanting to write anything at all! So now that I'm getting back into things, it seemed like the right time to just have a bit of a catch up and talk about some of the changes that I've implemented myself over recent months. I bought steel straws and stopped using cling film (not that I really used it all that much anyway), I've not bought plastic carrier bags for a loooong time and I've always used reusable water bottles, but they're mere starting points. And I still have a long way to go, but I think as long as you're making some changes, you can't be going too wrong really can you!

I've stopped eating fish
I've been largely plant-based for a few years now, but because I have a lot of food restrictions with IBS and a failing digestive system, I've struggled to go completely vegan. But after seeing so much about the detrimental effects of the nets and other fish paraphernalia in the ocean, I decided that I didn't want to be a contribution to that in any way. So the occasional salmon or fish finger sandwich that I used to enjoy has been cut out.
Now that I've made that change and finally found the right meat substitutes that work for my body, I am *almost* vegan. (My only real downfall is that I'm terrible at remembering to check labels, sorry!)

I use a menstrual cup
I bought a moon cup back in the summer of last year but was a bit scared to actually use it so it sat in my drawer for a couple of months untouched. When I finally plucked up the courage to try it, it was nowhere near as bad as I'd thought. I've mastered the fold for getting it in and after a while of persevering, I've mastered the technique for getting it out too! I'm much happier using it than all of the tampons and pads I used to get through! Think of all the waste saved, not to mention the money too! I did encourage a friend at work to try one after she'd already been looking into them and the one that she got absolutely was not for her. The horror story she came in with one Monday morning had me in absolute stitches (she had to rope her husband in to remove it..) BUT don't be put off, there's not only moon cup, there's lots of different brands out there offering different shapes and sizes, so if one doesn't work for you, another one might!

I bought reusable cotton pads
I've never really used face wipes, only when I've been particularly lazy, and instead have used muslin cloths with my cleanser every day. I did, however, still use cotton pads for my toner each day! But to cut down a little more on waste, I found some reusable pads (check out plasticfreedom.co.uk for a range of choices!). They're perfect to apply toner and I feel would work equally well with cleansing; you can easily put them in a little cotton bag and throw in the washing machine.

I discovered plastic bag recycling
This may sound like an obvious one, but bear with me! We all stopped (or should have!) buying plastic bags years ago, instead taking our own to the shops, so having stations in supermarkets to recycle those plastic bags never seemed like something that I would need to use. However, it's not only the carrier bags that you can recycle there, but a whole host of other plastic packaging that comes on your everyday items. I try to buy fresh produce that comes plastic-free, but sometimes you don't always manage it. So things like bread bags, frozen food bags or the wrapping on your toilet roll can all be recycled at these stations in large supermarkets! I now keep a box next to the waste bin in the kitchen to collect any of these!

Bars over bottles
I recently placed an order from Lush for both a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar and my hair actually feels SO much better using them! They have far more options to choose from than I was expecting, so there's bound to be one for your hair type and I simply store them in small soap bags from plasticfreedom.co.uk. Because think of how many shampoo bottles we've all got through? Similarly, I've taken to using a bar of soap in the shower instead of shower gel (currently it's a mango one from The Body Shop if you're interested - smells divine!) and I keep this in a small hemp back also from TBS. This doubles up as an exfoliater too which prevents the need for plastic-filled scrubs!


I just buy better

Quite a basic one, but being so aware of the fast fashion industry and all of it's issues, I really don't feel comfortable buying from these stores so much. Ok I get the occasional pieces, I picked up a new coat in the Topshop sale for example, but a couple of years ago I would've been ordering from Topshop, Zara, Missguided and countless others scoring bargains in the sales. And now I just don't bother! I went to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet at the end of December for some sale shopping and I bought a few pieces of much better quality that will last far longer, instead. I've also taken to hunting out charity shops for some hidden gems, but I'm generally just buying less of everything, realising I don't need to hoard so much!
Give me all your tips and tricks! I want make all the changes that I can!

Loves. Emma.