Update: January Family Low Waste progress

In December I wrote this post about things I’ve stopped buying to save money. In 2018 I was inspired to take steps towards living a more minimalist lifestyle with less waste. This was from years of over spending and an addiction to buying fashion, beauty and toiletry products. I decided enough was enough.

It’s not just been changes with the way I shop for fashion and beauty products. I’m taking steps in all areas of my life in the hopes of freeing myself from the idea that I always need to buy new things.

I don’t want to use the word ‘zero waste’ because that’s quite a statement for me to make… I’m definitely not in a position at the moment where I’m living zero waste, and don’t want to portray I’m doing something I’m not. What I am doing is changing the way I buy and spend money, focusing on more sustainable, long lasting items and contributing to less waste.

I’m pregnant at the moment so with the need for maternity clothes, combined with the whole idea that ‘oh I need to start buying things for baby’… this month has been interesting to say the least!

I thought I’d update on my progress.

The biggest two recent changes have been down to the great sustainable Christmas presents I got, a razor and a cup. The other change has really, been inspired through sticking to my guns and not buying unnecessary products. This is a New Years resolution I’ve made:

I will not buy any clothes new, I will stop shopping on the high street, I won’t go to Primark, and no buying unnecessary things for pregnancy/baby.

Zero waste Christmas presents:

Keepcup reusable coffee cup

I’ve been wanting a coffee cup for ages so I asked Ollie to do some research and buy me one as a Christmas gift last year. This worked really well because instead of something that I wouldn’t use or just put away in the cupboard and forget about, this gift has been used soooo much and has been one of the best Christmas presents I’ve got!

Not to mention a reusable coffee cup has been saving me money. I usually get my coffees from Costa when I’m out and about, and now with a reusable coffee cup I save 25p per coffee. It’s 50p in Pret meaning I can get a cup of filter coffee for 49p. Absolute bargain.

It’s estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups get thrown away every year in the UK. Not contributing to that has been fantastic, honestly. A little goes a long way and although it might not seem like much it’s really opened my eyes to other small changes I could make with other things.

My reusable cup is Keepcup. It’s a good beginner reusable coffee cup, simple, easy to use, doesn’t spill and easy to clean. It isn’t insulated, but I drink my coffee quick anyway and don’t need a flask cup at the moment. I love it! It’s so simple, light and easy.

One of the best things I’ve noticed about it compared to a non-reusable coffee cup is how it doesn’t spill when walking. I can easily push the pram with one hand and hold the coffee in the other hand, sipping as I go, without any spills going into the lid or down the sides of the cup. 😉

Safety razor

A bigger change has been moving away from disposable razors to safety razors. I’m sooo happy about this one. Although I’ll be honest, I was a little bit scared of using the razor to begin with!

In the bathroom/tolietries/section of life, I already use a moon cup, a bamboo tooth brush and have switched hand soap to hand bars. The next step for me was a safety razor, to save money on all those disposable razors I was buying and throwing away, and to avoid all the plastic they come with (and are made of).

My safety razor is from a Sheffield business Edwin Jagger. It was a gift but here is a link to amazon here or the Edwin jagger website here.

It came in a fancy box, is really well made, isn’t too heavy but super good quality. Compared to a disposable razor it feels so much better in many ways when I use it.

The best thing ever about this razor has been that… I haven’t had shaver rash for the first time in all my life!!!!!

I honestly can not think of a time I have shaved and not got had shaver rash afterwards. I’ve tried all the creams, shaver foams and aloe vera, sensitive razors, etc., to help with shaver rash and nothing has ever worked. I just put it down to my skin and thought I would just suffer if I wanted to shave. How stupid I was not to consider a safety razor sooner because I could have saved literally years of irritation.

I didn’t use any wax or creams or foams when I used this safety razor, I was just soaking in the bath. I’ve had NO shaving rash what so ever, my legs were not red or irritated at all for the first time in my life! I’m soooo happy!

The safety razor was easy to use and I loved being able to switch with two sides, whereas compared to a disposable razor you only use the head in one direction. With a safety razor you can use both sides turning the razor over, making it much easier to shave with. It shaved quick and I hardly pressed against my skin at all. 5/5!

I won’t need to buy disposable razor anymore and definitely won’t be doing so ever again. I’ve wasted so much money over the years on them, it’s frustrating now to think about. And contributing to so much plastic waste, as the majority of the razor and the packaging is not recyclable.

I highly recommend getting a safety razor. Just for the price of a couple of disposable razors will pay for a safety razor, not to mention all the money saved after that. There’s so many to choose from.

As for the blades, you can recycle them, they rust and decompose over time, or a doctor surgery will take them for a sharps bin.

Not spending money on fast fashion and reducing spending in general

I’ve banned myself from shopping on the high street. This means I won’t be going in primark anymore and no more buying any new clothes.

It felt a little bit daunting when I made that promise before the new year but honestly it has been great!

You might already be the type of person who doesn’t care about fashion, buying from the high street or spending money on clothes; if that’s the case, then, brilliant! But as I mentioned in my no spending blog post, I’ve always had a problem with buying clothes and it has always been my weakness!

It’s been more of a challenge because I’m pregnant at the moment, so the clothes I own are getting to the point of not fitting anymore. I nearly caved and bought some new maternity jeans from H&M (£25) but the price put me off… plus, it’s not an item of clothing I would be using for much longer as I won’t be pregnant after May. That doesn’t sound very sustainable to me.

So I avoided buying the new jeans and then 2 weeks later, after browsing in soooo many charity shops and nearly giving up, I came across a pair of skinny maternity jeans in my size for £1!!!!! It paid off to wait and not buy new.

Not going to lie, I’ve wanted to buy so many new maternity clothes just to be comfortable and have some “nice clothes to wear”… including pyjamas but I’ve resisted the urge, saved money and bought from charity shops instead, and I’m really pleased with myself. I’ve even been re-using some old clothes I never thought I would wear again. It’s forced me to look at what is in my wardrobe and switch up how I wear the clothes I have.

When I was pregnant the first time around, I now realise I used it as an excuse to buy clothes. I have always loved to buy clothes and having a new type of clothes to buy so I loved having a excuse to buy maternity wear. I actually went on maternity clothes shopping sprees and can tell you 50% of it I wore once then it got shoved in the cupboard. I wasted a lot of money, and all of it I didn’t wear after birth, either. I remember one pair of shorts specifically I bought for £35 and wore once on holiday. Not this time though!

Other small steps I’ve made, or are considering

allSo it might not seem a lot but buying maternity clothes second hand, no new clothes at all and not going to primark, using a reusable coffee cup and using a new safety razor… but it all contributes to big changes on a whole. I’m happy with that. The no-spending-on-clothes will save me so much money over the year. And I’m much more content knowing I’m not contributing to fast fashion consumerism anymore.

I have unsubscribed to lots of YouTube channels I used to watch fashion hauls on. I have no interest anymore in them and they are just a bad influence. I’ve unsubscribed to mailing lists from fashion websites, especially before the January sales came, and haven’t been shopping at all on the high street. I’ve not even been in a primark all month and I’ve not found excuses for things to buy because I felt like it.

My next steps for February are going to be about making my own toiletries. I really want to find a good recipe and make my own toothpaste, facial oils, mouth wash and shampoo/conditioner. Eventually, I would love to make my own candles, too. A basic recipe for toothpaste is bentonite clay, baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint oil. I’ll report back next month how it went.

No baby shopping

What to do and where to go with your baby in the early days

As I’ve mentioned; I’m pregnant! And this time I won’t be buying anything new for this baby at all.

Yes, my aim is to buy nothing new. I really hope I can stick to that. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to beat myself up about it; but we’ll see.

We already have all the cloth reusable nappies we need from using them from birth on Eric. So we won’t need to buy any nappies at all. We have all the clothes we need, again, from what we used from Eric plus some hand me downs from friends.

We bed share, I’ll be breastfeeding, and we will be using a sling. Meaning no pram (we have a buggy which Eric uses, anyway), no bottles and no cot to buy.

Anything we do need I will be buying second hand, with a vow to not buy anything new! This is completely different to Eric because when I was pregnant last time I bought loads.

And yes, we had to buy them because otherwise we wouldn’t have had anything at all… but I did, definitely, over spend. Besides the cloth nappies and some scandi clothes, I bought everything new. Toys, “baby essentials”, things we didn’t need and so much of it we never used.

I can’t honestly think of what else we might need to buy new. I’ve just bought a baby chair second hand and a breastfeeding cushion. Apart from those things I can’t think of what we might need.

It has been tempting to buy things but… that’s just because, in my life, I always have bought new things! I’ve had the niggling voice of “oh but wouldn’t it be nice to buy this new…” and “I might just have a look at…” but a) I don’t have the money anyway and b) it’s unnecessary. There is such a “new new new” consumerist culture we live in which I’ve been falling for all my life.

I won’t be going to the baby sales and events this time around.

Everyones circumstances are different and I’m not telling you that you should do what we are doing. I understand that people’s lifestyles and circumstances are not the same. But I definitely think anyone can save lots of money and make more sustainable friendly decisions by buying things second hand instead of new.

Plus, there is so much advertising on parents to be for buying this and that gadget and must-have essentials. I fell for it the first time. We ended up having to declutter and re sell so much crap we had bought and never used. Most of it was just impulse buy.

So, those are the changes I’ve made this month and hopefully, next month I will have made some of my own toiletries. I’m also going to be starting to browse online for second hand post-natal cloth pads instead of buying disposable pads this time around.

If you have any recommendations or comments, please do let me know. I’ve love to know if you’ve used anything I’ve mentioned in this post.

Thanks for reading!

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Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you I may receive a very, very small piece of commission from your purchase.

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One thought on “Update: January Family Low Waste progress

  • January 28, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Yay! I wanted to ask about how you were getting on with your razor as I also got one for Christmas. I am loving mine, too, and loving my ecoffee reusable cup, and gorgeous bamboo lunchbox that I got for Christmas.

    I’m similar to you in that I’m not really buying anything new for the new baby, and for the same reasons (lack of funds and environmental sustainability). When I was pregnant with J, I had to buy some new things (although we were lucky that we got lots of things handed down from in-laws as well) but we kept everything and now there is very little that we need to buy. Also, I think you are right, you get bombarded with advertising telling you that you “need” this and that, but a lot of it is just not necessary! Up to now (and I’m 30 weeks today), I’m not sure we have bought anything for this baby, although we have bought a bed for J’s room so we can have the cot for baby.

    I hope it goes well making your own toiletries. If you struggle at all, I recommend solid shampoos and deodorants from Lush, and have also heard lots of good things about Sheffield Skincare Company. The Lush stuff seems expensive, but it lasts so long that it doesn’t work out any more expensive than normal shampoo and deodorant. I wouldn’t use toothpaste without added Fluoride, but Dentabs which you can buy at Unwrapped in Crookes have this. There is lots more info about this sort of stuff on my blog although you probably already do as much as me!
    Amy Spencer recently posted…Happy New Year 2019!My Profile


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