Zero Waste 30

A zero waste blog. Join me on my journey as I reduce my waste and move towards a simple, vegan and zero waste lifestyle.

Sprinkle of Glitter // Plastic Free July

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Did you know that regular glitter is made up of tiny little bits of microplastic and will take hundreds of years to breakdown?

Until a few years ago, the thought had never even crossed my mind. I don't know what I thought glitter was made of, but I certainly didn't worry about how much damage it was doing to the environment.

So what's the problem with glitter? Well, glitter is essentially a microplastic meaning that it's made up of tiny little plastic fragments that subsequently end up in our oceans. Since the pieces are so small, they are often mistaken for food by the animals that live there and can end up in the food chain. So if you're someone who consumes seafood then there's a good chance you're ingesting plastic too. A University in Belgium calculated that people eat up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year.

In fact things have got so bad that some scientists have even been calling on a ban on glitter.

However, there are some plastic free solutions for those of us who still want to enjoy glitter. Since it's festival season, I've been looking for a zero waste alternative so I can cover my face in glitter when I head to a festival in a couple of weeks (FYI - it's a rock festival, but it's the only one I'm going to so I will be wearing my pink glitter on my face whether anyone likes it or not).

Eco Glitter is a sustainable sourced compostable glitter that is also cruelty free and vegan friendly. There are so many colours and mixes to pick from and you can also buy a tin of aloe vera gel to help you apply it. It comes packaged in a cardboard box and wrapped in newspaper, so the packaging is zero waste too.

If you're looking for glitter then I couldn't recommend it enough. Remember "do what is right, not what is easy".

Vegan Banana Bread // Plastic Free July

Monday, 16 July 2018
Banana bread is one of those great cakes that you can make with ingredients from your cupboard and now I can bulk buy vegan chocolate chips, the recipe is zero waste too. It's also a great way to use up any bananas that are too ripe too eat so you don't end up with food waste.

I made this cake last night and as you can see from the photo I've already eaten about a third of it which can only be a sign that it tastes good. It's really quick and easy to make and you don't need any fancy food processors or equipment.

What ingredients do I need?

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond, but anything will work)
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice 
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips (feel free to add more if you like it really chocolatey) 
  • 1/4 cup of non-dairy butter
  • Sweet sauce or spread of your choice for a topping (I used my favourite Cashew Caramello one from Almighty Foods)

How do I make it?

  • Set the oven to 180 degree
  • Mix the apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk in a small bowl and put to the side.
  • Mash the bananas in a large bowl.
  • Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the bowl with the banana and mix together.
  • Add the small bowl of milk/ACV to the banana mixture.
  • Sift in the flour and add the baking powder, spices and salt.
  • Fold the mixture together (but try not to over mix).
  • Add the chocolate chips and fold in (again, don't over mix it)
  • Line the baking tin with butter
  • Add the mixture to the tin and place in the oven
  • The banana bread should take approximately an hour to bake. I'd recommend checking around 50 minutes mark just to make sure it's not burning (as all ovens are different).
  • Remove the cake from the baking tin and add topping when cool.
Happy baking!! Let me know in the comments if there's any zero waste cakes that you enjoy making.

My Zero Waste Bathroom // Plastic Free July

Thursday, 5 July 2018
Happy Plastic Free July!

I hope that you're all enjoying the challenge of trying to cut ditch single-use plastics and look for zero waste alternatives.

Of all the rooms in my flat, my bathroom is definitely the most zero waste. It was the first area of my life that I really tackled, and I'm proud that it's a plastic free zone. So I thought I would share the products I use to inspire you to make some plastic free swaps this month.

(Left to Right)

1. Natural shampoo bar - I've recently made the switch from a Lush shampoo bar (I'll blog more about this later) and I'm still in the transition stage. My hair felt oily the first few times I used it, but it seems to be settling down now which was just a sign of old residue build up from years of using shampoo full of unnatural ingredients. There's lots of natural shampoo on the market, but the one I'm using just now is from Zero Waste Path Shop and I really like it.

2. Face soap - I was actually gifted this facial soap bar a few months ago from Lush when I was in one of their shops promoting my work's mountain hare campaign (you can read about the campaign here) and it's been amazing so far. It leaves my face really smooth and it always feels very clean too. And judging my how small it is in this picture, I'll need to buy a new one again soon.

3. Nail clippers

4. Apple cider vinegar rinse - To combat the transition to a natural shampoo bar, I'm using this apple cider vinegar rinse as a conditioner to help with the build up of old hair products that are still lingering in my hair. It's just a mix of water and ACV and it's been leaving my hair feeling really soft.

5. Safety razor - I've been using my safety razor for a while now, and did a first impressions video on it here if you're interested. It works really well for me just now, but I am still scared I'll cut myself whenever I use it. However, it's a million times better than using plastic disposable razors which are really harmful to the environment.

6. Bamboo toothbrush - I ditched plastic toothbrushes last year, and have been using a humble bamboo brush ever since. I've not had any problems with my teeth since I switched over, and I love the fact the company helps children who can't access dental care too. I've really enjoyed moving to a zero waste lifestyle and finding new companies to support, especially ones doing such good things.

7. Toothpaste - I make my toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint oil and it honestly leaves my teeth feeling cleaner than they did when I used normal toothpaste. I can buy zero waste versions of all the ingredients so it cuts out the regular plastic toothpaste tubes that you can't recycle.

8. Body soap - I was gifted this by Lush when I got my face soap but I can't find a link on their website or the name of it. I used to get through so much shower gel, but now I only use soap and I have now become a little obsessed with all the different soaps I want to try.

Where To Bulk Buy in Edinburgh | The New Leaf Co-op

Monday, 18 June 2018
Want to know where to bulk buy in Edinburgh?

Well The New Leaf Co-op has all your zero waste needs.

I discovered this shop last year, and these days I can often be found there scooping chickpeas into jars and looking at all the shelves of spices.

The store is open from Monday to Saturday and is the best place in Edinburgh to buy in bulk. The shop sells loose fruit and veg, bread without packaging, and lots of bulk foods including grains, pulses, pasta, spices, herbs, dried fruit, cleaning products, and they have a nut butter machine!!


The staff will happily weigh all your jars and containers for you, but there's also paper bags in the shop if you don't have your own. You can also take your own washing up bottles and fill them with washing up liquid,

I still had a quite a bit of food in my cupboard so I only needed a few things when I popped in at the weekend.

I picked up some chickpeas, vegan chocolate drops, organic apricots, exotic muesli, and rice. I was really excited to find the vegan chocolate drops cause finding vegan chocolate in bulk is not something that happens every day. Plus, it tastes delicious!

If you're in Edinburgh then you should definitely take a visit to The New Leaf Co-op. Remember you don't need any fancy jars or anything. I used a katsu curry sauce jar to fill with apricots and my boyfriend's takeaway container to fill with rice.

This is Edinburgh's biggest bulk buy store, but I'll be blogging about other places in the city you can do some zero waste shopping in the coming months. If you have any suggestions, then please let me know in the comments.

Zero Waste Mascara

Monday, 11 June 2018

My makeup bag is probably one of the areas of my life that isn't very zero waste. If you know me well then you'll know I don't wear much makeup anyway, but one of my must-have items is mascara. I was previously using drugstore mascara which came in a plastic bottle, but since it ran out a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to find a zero waste alternative.

I found Beauty With Roots for Etsy and it arrived two weeks ago. The mascara itself is comes in a small glass jar with an aluminium lid. Not only is it zero waste, but this particular one is completely vegan and organic too. It uses lots traditional herbs, so it's a lot better to be using near your eyes than all the chemicals that are used in high street mascaras.

It goes on really well and lasts all day so I definitely have no complaints about how it looks on, but it can be a little tricky to get it out of the jar. If you stick the whole mascara brush in (note: this doesn't come with the mascara) then you'll end up with lots on the brush that will go to waste since your not putting the brush back into the bottle like you would normally.

However, you can stick the tip of the brush in the pot to put on your lashes and then use the whole wand to brush it through then it works fine. I just takes a couple of tries to get used to it, especially if you've been buying mascara in a standard shop bought bottle for years.

Overall, it's been a great product so far and I'd definitely recommend it. I'll be blogging about the rest of my zero waste makeup swaps in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Zero Waste Shaving - Safety Razor First Impressions

Monday, 28 May 2018
I've been waiting for a couple of months now to use my last remaining disposable safety razors before I could order myself a safety razor. A few weeks ago, I finally finished my last plastic razor so I took the plunge and bought myself a safety razor.

I did a little bit of research and decided to go for the Edwin Jagger DE89L which you can purchase from Amazon here and enough razors to last me a lifetime from Astra here. The best bit about Astra is that the blades come in a cardboard box with the blades wrapped in paper. It might have been more expensive that disposable razors, but that's the last time I will need to purchase any hair removal products for the rest of my life.

I'm still getting used to using the razor d taking it slow, but so far it's been a success!

Watch the video below for my first impressions and I'll be sure to update you as I carry on using it.

Have you tried a safety razor yet? I'd love to know what zero waste hair removal products you use in the comments below.

Zero Waste Beginner's Tips

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Say hello to my new venture into the world of social media!

I've dabbled with YouTube before, but I've never really committed to it properly. I've made a few videos over the past few years, but nothing that great and I guess I never stuck with it as much as I should have. So I decided to change my channel name from my nickname Moyesy to ZeroWaste30 and start again. If you would like to subscribe to my channel then you can do so here.

I thought I'd start things with a really simple video with my top 5 zero waste tips to get you started.

1. Reusable bottle

There really isn't any reason at all to be buying plastic bottles of water these days. Despite the fact that it's damaging to the environment, why spend £1 on a bottle of water when you can just drink it from your tap? It really doesn't make any sense at all. I picked up my stainless steel reusable bottle from TK Maxx a few months ago and it's the best bottle I've ever had. It keeps my water cold for 12 hours which is perfect if I'm on the go or if I'm doing some hillwalking. I've also found cafes and restaurants are more often than not happy enough to fill it up if you ask them nicely enough.

2. Tote Bag

I think this was one of the first zero waste swaps I made years ago before I ever knew what the term zero waste meant. I have quite a few ones that I carry around with me including a few from my work and my favourite vegan ones from Chiaralascura. Unfortunately the one I have is no longer available, but they do have some other awesome looking ones on their website. I picked mine up at a vegan festival in Glasgow a few years ago, but you can purchase them online too. If you don't want postage and packaging which I can't guarantee is zero waste then you'll be able to pick up other totes bags in shops a lot closer to home.

3. Shampoo bar

I swapped by shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar about six months ago and I haven't looked back since. I know there's a lot of different ones on the market and some people don't like Lush, but I've found the Seanik bar from Lush works really well for my hair. I don't need to use a conditioner with it and it lasts for a long time. I did try using a different one from Lush but it made my hair feel a bit dry, so I would shop around and find one that works for you. If you get one in Lush then they sell tins as well so they're easy to carry around.

4. Bamboo Toothbrush

I love my trusty bamboo toothbrush from Humble Brush which unlike plastic ones is biodegradable and can be recycled or put in the compost. I tend to keep hold of mine and reuse them to clean stuff with, so there's lots of different uses for them.

5. Reusable wipes

I stopped using face wipes last year, and have been using reusable ones ever since. I'm currently using some handmade ones that I made from an old pair of pyjamas. I used them with coconut oil to take off my make up (I don't wear much make up anyway) and then just throw them in the wash with my normal load. It much better and cheaper than constantly buying single use face wipes from the shops.

What tips would you have for someone getting started on their own zero waste journey? Comment below and let me know.

Vegan food in York & Leeds

Wednesday, 25 April 2018
I recently got back from a long weekend in York (with a day trip to Leeds) with my mum and my sister, and while I was there, I discovered some amazing vegan food. I only found one fully vegan restaurant (as opposed to the multiple vegan ones in Edinburgh), but lots of places had vegan options so I was never short of food. I even found a stall in York station selling brownies and vegan sausage rolls, although I'd just eaten breakfast so I wasn't hungry enough to buy any.

Here's some of my vegan food highlights from the trip.

1. Double Dutch Pancake House
Vegan Pancakes in York
I stumbled across this place from a leaflet left in our apartment, and while it's not a fully vegan café, it has lots of options for vegans. I had the Belgian pancake which was served with sliced pear, Biscoff spread and Swedish Glace ice-cream and a chocolate milkshake made with soya milk and ice-cream. I did feel pretty stuffed once I left and I would never normally eat something so sweet for breakfast, but it was delicious and a definite must if you're in York.

2. Pho
Vegan Vietnamese street food in York
Pho is a Vietnamese street food restaurant in Leeds which has lots of healthy, fresh vegan options. There's not a Pho in Scotland so it was completely new to me, but they seem to have locations all over the UK. Vietnamese spring rolls are my absolute favourite (even though I've only had them a few times) so I had them with vermicelli rice noodles, beansprouts and some salad.

3. Goji 
Vegan fruit scones in York
Say hello to the most delicious scone I've ever had. We arrived at Goji vegetarian café just as they were bringing out warm scones. I opted for the vegan version so it was served with coconut cream instead of butter. The café had a great menu with lots of choice for breakfast and lunch, and they had lots of huge cakes in the menu too.

4. Cosy Club 
Vegan vegetable curry in York
We found Cosy Club through a booklet in our apartment and since it had a separate vegan menu it was a winner. They had brunch, mains, sides and desserts on offer which isn't always the case for a non-vegan restaurant. I picked the vegetable curry which was served with rice, onion bhaji, nan bread, poppadum and mango chutney. I don't normally order a curry when I'm out, but i was drawn to it because it came with so made sides and it didn't disappoint. The décor of the restaurant was beautiful too, so you could easily have a meal and sit for a few drinks after it.

4. Ambiente Tapas 

vegan tapas in York
The dishes weren't marked vegan on the menu, but our waitress went through everything I could eat and other dishes that could be altered to be vegan. I picked veggie paella, patatas bravas, green beans fried in garlic and toasted bread with tomato and garlic. It was all really tasty, especially the green beans which I finished first. It might not seem like a huge amount of food, but it filled me up and it was really good value too.

I also have a vegan food blog from my recent trip to Iceland which you can read here.

Zero waste laundry

Sunday, 8 April 2018

If I'm honest, I probably didn't think much about what I was washing my clothes in until a couple of months ago. Aside from looking for a vegan product, I would generally just pick up whatever
washing detergent was on offer. However this zero waste journey has not only made me think about my plastic use, but it's also made me aware of all the chemicals around me.

A few months ago while browsing in my local health food store, I noticed this bag of Soapnuts or soapberries. I'd heard about them online, but this was the first time I'd found them, so I bought a bag and my washing has never been the same since.

Soapberries are actually a fruit which produces a natural soap meaning you can wash your clothes free of any chemicals, parabens or additives. They're vegan can be recycled in the compost too!

The ones I have are from Green Frog Botanic and they couldn't be easier to use. You just put a few shells into a small cotton pouch that comes with them, and you just throw it into the wash. The soapberries shells can be reused for multiple washes so they're much better value for money too. I also add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to my wash so my clothes come out smelling good.

I was definitely a little sceptical at first, but my clothes feel great and I know that I'll never go back to using chemical filled laundry detergent ever again.

So that's my new way of washing my clothes, and I love it!

I'd really like to know in the comments below what steps you take for zero waste washing.

Postcard from Iceland

Saturday, 10 March 2018
Disclaimer: I should have uploaded these photos about weeks ago, but life has been pretty busy and I just haven't had the time. If you want to know what I've been up to I did a life update blog here.

I've been wanting to visit Iceland for years, so I jumped at the chance to go when Vanessa invited me along on her birthday trip. So at the end of January, myself, Vanessa, Nat, Gemma and Kevin headed off to Iceland.

We arrived on Thursday and spend the evening exploring, then got up early on Friday where our first stop was The Icelandic Phallological Museum. which is home to the largest collection of penises in the world. There's a lot of people who probably think this is a bit weird for me, especially given my love of animals but it really was the most weirdly fascinating place that I've ever seen. Here's a picture of me posing beside the penis of a sperm whale (that's certainly a sentence I never thought I would say out loud).

After the museum, we took a walk around Reykjavik before we headed for the Blue Lagoon which was the most magical place I've ever been. Despite it being such a tourist hub, they don't oversell tickets, so it doesn't ever seem that busy. We spend about 3 hours in there - we had a drink, did a few face masks, enjoyed the steam room, and felt very, very relaxed.

We spent Saturday driving round the Golden Circle. We stopped at the Þingvellir Natonal Park first which looked very different than it did on the tourist board. We got a group photo taken and we were actually standing on top of a picnic table which had been completely covered in snow. 
I feel like everyone else loved the Geysir but me. I don't know if it was the fact that it didn't look as effective in the snow or because there was literally 100 tourists standing around it with their cameras out waiting to take photos, but I didn't love it. In fact, I actually enjoyed the gift shop more than actually natural wonder.

My favourite place on the route was Gullfoss Waterfall. I don't think I've ever seen anything so spectacular in my life. Due to the winter conditions, there was a gate preventing us from going closer to it, but everyone seemed to be ignoring it and just climbing over the gate anyway. The path was completely covered in ice, so I obviously fell over but it was worth it for the view you got when you reached the top. I mean just look at how amazing that view is...
On our final day, we decided to spend it in Reykjavik before we had to head back to the airport. First stop, was a really cool flea market before we split up for lunch and shopping. I went to a vegan drive thru which was really cool (my review is here if you want to read it) and then picked up some souvenirs to take back home for my family.

Where Have I Been?

Thursday, 8 March 2018
Hello!! *waves*

I feel like it's been a while since I blogged, so I thought I should do a bit of a life update.

Life has been really hectic lately and something had to give. Unfortunately for anyone who reads this blog, this is the thing that has had to take a back seat. But I'm back now, and have plans for lots of great content (well I think it's great anyway) over the next few months.

So what have I actually been up to?

Well firstly, work has been really busy since the start of the year. If you don't already know I work as a Campaigner and Press Officer for OneKind and I've spent the past couple of months organising a huge fox hunting march through Edinburgh which is taking place in just over two weeks' time. Over 700 people have signed up to attend and 1.7k are interested on Facebook, so it looks like it's going to be a great event. I've been doing everything from finding a band to ordering signs and meeting with the council. Today, I even filmed a video to go on a giant screen that'll drive around Edinburgh on the day. If you're in Edinburgh on Saturday 24th March then you should check out OneKind's website for more details and come along and join us.

I've started doing some volunteer social media and blogging work for Plastic Free Scotland - a group campaigning to end single use plastics in supermarkets. You can follow us on Twitter here and Facebook here. I also did an interview with Planet Problems about our campaigns and the problem with plastic when you can read here if you're interested.

I'm still reviewing theatre shows for All Edinburgh Theatre too. I saw The Sound of Music a couple of weeks ago and it was AMAZING. I've no idea how it's taken me until the age of 31 to see The Sound of Music but I loved it to pieces. I gave it a 4 star review which probably would have been 5 had one of the actors not been a bit wooden, but it was still one of the best shows I've seen in a really long time.

I guess you could say the rest of my time has been spent falling in love with the most wonderful human being. He's kind and funny and caring, and he loves Jurassic Park just as much as I do. I don't tend to talk about the side of my life too much, but it's the best relationship I've ever been in and I feel incredibly lucky to have met him.

I plan to get back to blogging regularly from now on, so keep your eyes peeled for more posts over the coming weeks.

So until then...

Over and Out!