For many women, periods are an inevitable part of life. For around a week, each month we are cursed, or blessed (depending on how you look at it) with a reminder that our womb is there and very much in working order. During this time, most resort to sanitary pads or tampons to stay fresh but these products contain plastics that linger in the environment for between 500 and 800 years.
Some estimates say that the average person will throw out some 136 kg of period products during their lifetime, most of which is never recycled. But did you know it doesn’t have to be this way? There are now a number of eco-friendly, reusable options that are not only better for the environment, but that can be better for your as well.
So what are your options?
Let’s not beat around the bush- here is the Peace With The Wild guide to an eco-friendly period!
For those that prefer not to use pads or anything internal, period pants are a great option. We have just started stocking these beauties from Wuka that come in heavy,medium, and light flow. A
sustainable and reusable option for your menstruation needs, they are soft, stretchy and totally eliminate the need to throw anything away at “that time of the month”.
These hipster briefs come in black and not only look great but they prevent any untoward odours due to the Lenzing ® MicroModal fabric which is not only super absorbent but fights the growth of bacteria as well. They are totally vegan- approved by the Vegan Society, and hold 20ml of period flow
which equates to the same as four tampons. This means you can wear them all night, or for between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the heaviness of your flow.
Period pants are perfect for teenagers who don’t want to deal with pads, those who worry about ruining their “normal” underwear, and those who just want to whip them off and put a new pair on without having to faff around positioning and securing a pad.
For those who prefer to wear their usual underwear and just change out a pad every few hours, we have a great selection of reusable sanitary pads.
These pads from Bloomers come in irresistable, brightly coloured designs and have a lifespan of between three and five years, depending on how you care for them. Machine washable, reusable,
and plastic free, they benefit from a waterproof exterior and have a soft, absorbent microfibre core.
Alternatively you can try these winged options from Earthwise Girls. Coming in two sizes- small and medium– they are made with a leak-proof PUL backing and a soft, stain resistant core. They come in plastic-free packaging and air dry quickly.
Last but not least, Eco-Femme have come up with a lovely range of organic cotton panty liners and sanitary pads for day and night time use. Ethically handmade in India by a women’s collective, they are a part of the Pad For Pad programme which provides women and girls around the world with clean, alternative menstrual products. The programme also gives advice and provides answers to questions that they may not have otherwise been able to access.
For those that prefer to use tampons or who are looking for an alternative to sanitary pads or pants, a menstrual cup is a great solution.
Menstrual cups are folded and inserted into the vagina with a small tab left pointing downwards to make for easy removal. Once in place, they unfold and collect menstrual fluid, preventing any leaking onto clothing or underwear. Made from medical grade silicone, they come in a bell shape with a stem and the flexibility of the silicone allows for the cup to seal against the vaginal wall, just below the cervix. Every 4-12 hours, the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted- once it is in place, you would not even know it is there!
Cups generally have a lifespan of over five years, come in a range of sizes (for teens, those who have given birth vaginally, and those who have not), and are easy to take care of- you just boil them for five minutes after the end of each period.
If you are looking for a super-eco-friendly method of managing periods, the menstrual cup is up there with the best. It requires no machine washing and is healthier, greener, BPA & latex free, and allows you to save a lot of waste, and money.
We stock the Organicup which comes in a cotton travel pouch with instructions on how to insert it, remove it, and care for it correctly.
Some might be put off by the shape or method of using menstrual cups but once you get to grips with them, we can assure you that you won’t look back!
If you are out and about at work, school, or just socialising in general, you might be wondering what on earth to do with used period pants or reusable pads when you change them. Instead of hunting around for a plastic bag, get your hands on these gorgeous wet bags from Marley’s Monsters. With a waterproof interior and a bright, printed cotton exterior they are cute, durable, plastic free, and most importantly, washable and reusable!
As the summer holidays draw to a close, many of you may be turning your attention to the children going back to school in September. With this comes a flurry of panic, list writing, organising, and of course, shopping to make sure your child has everything they need for the upcoming year.
Whilst at school, the students learn about the ‘three R’s’- reading, writing, and (a)rithmetic, here at Peace With The Wild, we like to focus on reduce, reuse, and recycle. But did you know that you can combine the two?
Here is our guide on how to kit out your kids the eco-friendly way!
Travel to school the eco way
If you live less than a mile from school, why not try to organise a “walkpool” with other local children? This way, parents take it in turns to chaperone groups of children walking to and from school and the community can help cut down on emissions and traffic whilst encouraging exercise! You can also consider carpooling, cycling, or just ditching the car and opting to use public transport instead.
Reusable drinks bottles
Did you know that some 50 billion water bottles are used every year and that 80% of these end up as waste? Cut down on your consumption by sending your little darlings to school with a reusable drinking bottle that not only looks cool, but that can be reused and refilled again and again. These gorgeous printed stainless steel bottles from Qwetch are non-toxic and BPA free, or you can opt for these colourful insulated ones that keep drinks cool for 24 hours or hot for 12.
Eco-friendly lunch bags
For those that opt for a packed lunch, these organic cotton, water resistant, and long lasting lunch bags are a perfect solution. You can choose from an adorable unicorn,or car design and get matching snack bags to divvy up the food within. Alternatively these bags from Keep Leaf are insulated and come in a variety of prints and designs meaning that there is something to suit even those with the fussiest tastes!
Made from food-grade stainless steel, it won’t leach or absorb flavours and aromas meaning that not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is safer than plastic alternatives as well!
Buy second hand
OK, this might not sound very appealing but do you really need to buy every single thing for back-to-school brand new? Items of uniform, school bags, books, equipment such as rulers, calculators etc can all be purchased second hand, therefore saving items from an unnecessarily early grave in landfill. Join local Facebook groups, school groups and buy and sell groups to find great deals or head off to the nearest car boot sale to pick up a bargain. On the flip side, you too can sell on or pass on items that are no longer needed or just don’t fit anymore. Remember- one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
14 million ballpoint pens are sold every single day, by just one company- Biro. Unfortunately, these pens are not reusable so they will all ultimately end up in landfills, but there is an alternative!
These wonderful ballpoint pens are made with natural meadow grass and recycled BPA-free plastics and the factory that makes them is powered by biogas and waste heat! They are refillable and come in beige and dark brown with blue or black refillable ink.
As for what to write on, these notebooks which come in charcoal, pink, or grey, are wood-pulp, water, and chemical free and printed with soy ink. With 144 pages, there is lots of room for work and notes, and they open effortlessly, lying perfectly flat. Better still, the paper cannot be torn and it is literally impossible to get a papercut from it meaning there are even fewer excuses not to do homework!
When you are buying other products, do your best to avoid toxic pens, items that are made with PVC or BPA, scented products, disinfectant wipes, and antibacterial hand sanitizers. Many of these are full of nasty, unnatural ingredients that can be dangerous or harmful if ingested.
Essentials for the P.E bag
Physical Education lessons can often strike dread into the heart of even the most eager student, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Whilst we cannot magic away the smell of changing rooms or
the obligation to play hockey in the pouring rain, we can help make the whole experience a little more fun with our environmentally friendly bits and bobs.
First up, choose a plastic free deodorant that is not only kind on your child’s skin but that is plastic free, comes in a recyclable or biodegradable package, and only uses natural ingredients. We stock a wide range including bars, sticks, and pastes in various scents.
they career around the sports field. You could also slip in a plastic-free lip balm made with delicious ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, and cocoa butter to keep chapped lips in order without infringing on any ‘no makeup’ rules!
Last but not least, these might be wet bags for cloth diapers but they are also great for putting wet swimming clothes, socks, or other items that can be prone to a bit of pong if left in a school bag for a few hours.
Talk to your kids
One of the best ways to ensure a brighter and greener future is by educating the younger generation today. As you make all of these eco-friendly choices and decisions in your day to day life, be sure to explain to your family why you are doing it. You should also encourage them to tell their friends about the steps you are taking and the positive impact they have on the world around us.
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool and arming your little ones with the knowledge they need to be able to talk about recycling, the harmful effects of plastics, endangered animals, climate change, and the benefits of organic ingredients will help the word spread faster!
The sun is out, the sky is blue- summer is well and truly here. With the warmth of the summer months come a number of great opportunities to get out and about in the great outdoors with your loved ones.
Whether you are going hiking, to the beach, camping, for a picnic in the park, or just a good old-fashioned day out, you do not need to compromise your environmentally friendly ethos to have fun in the sun. We love exploring our world, but even more than that, we love being able to do our bit towards keeping it enjoyable and beautiful for generations to come. At Peace With the Wild, we do this by using reusable, plastic free, and environmentally friendly products that can be recycled or replace a disposable product.
For those that want to adventure the eco-friendly way, this is our essential guide to enjoying the summer!
Picnics are a wonderful way to enjoy the summer months. Whether you choose to al-fresco dine with friends, family, colleagues, or a loved one, sitting back and relaxing with food and drink in beautiful surroundings is a wonderful way to pass the time.
Of course, as with any outdoor pursuit there comes a risk of a various assortment of flying bugs trying to have a snack on you as you relax. But fear not, this Herbal Healing Balm with St John’s
Wort, Elderflower and Calendula is perfect for soothing bites and stings. It is also great for sunburn and healing any cuts you might get during your outdoor escapades. Citrus essential oils and citronella candles are great for keeping them away in the first place, but it does not hurt to be prepared!
But of course, picnics are mainly about food and what you put it in is important in terms of cutting down on your waste and plastic use. We have a great selection of reusable water bottles,cutlery, straws and containers to help you pack, transport, and devour your food and drink without adding anything into landfill! Our range of lunch bags are particularly great for packing goodies into, and you can enjoy your Pimms from these impeccably stylish yet practical recycled British stainless steel cups– all you need it a metal straw to complete the look!
Last but most definitely not least, if you need something to mop up the inevitable mess- ditch the wipes and paper towels and opt for some fabulously stylish, reusable unpaper towels instead. In a range of colours and styles, these last for ages and remove any need for cloths that you throw away after a week, or even worse, a single use.
Camping & Hiking
Venturing out into the great unknown, singing songs around a campfire, spending the night under the stars- there is nothing better than camping during the British summer time. For those that love to pitch a tent and go back to their nomadic roots, we have a great array of products to help you in your quest.
These water bottles from Soul Glass are perfect for putting in your rucksack and you have the benefit of looking stylish, as well as keeping you hydrated. Food and snacks can be stored in these wonderfully environmentally friendly, reusable wax wraps that come in a range of sizes and snazzy patterns. They last up to a year and can last even longer if you refresh them with the DIY refresher blocks.
You should also make sure not to leave the house without some first aid essentials such as biodegradable plasters and aloe vera lotion that cures, well just about anything!
Don’t forget to pack a Natural Vegan Deodorant Stick from Kutis to keep you fresh and one of these Lamazuna Vegan Solid Facial Cleaners that can get a days worth of grime off your skin, in just a few moments. Last but not least, don’t forget dry shampoo to keep your locks smelling and looking clean until you get back to civilisation.
A day at the beach/lake/river
If you are planning a trip to the water this summer, the number one essential item in your bag has to be suncream. We stock a range of sunblocks that utilise natural ingredients such as zinc that are known to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. With SPFs of 30 and 50, you can be sure that you are taking care of your skin, whilst cutting down on plastics and creams full of nasty chemicals. We also have some wonderful after sun that will soothe and calm skin that has accidently had a little too much exposure.
If you are planning on taking snacks with you, then these bento bags from Marley’s Monsters are just the ticket. They come in a range of funky designs and are washable, reusable, and secure- making a perfect alternative to plastic bags.
If looking good on the beach extends to a bit of light makeup as well, you can check out our vegan, plastic free mascara and eyeliner to make you pop. Just add a slick of Kutis organic lip balm and you are good to go.
We all know that essential oils are good for the soul but what about using them on your skin? The benefits of organic essential oils go far beyond aromatherapy and deep into the layers of your dermis. For almost every skin complaint or issue, there is an oil that can help fix it.
This is a guide from us to you about the importance of using organic oils, making the transition to natural, essential oil-based skincare, and what type of oils are good for you depending on your skin type.
Why Organic Oils?
At Peace With the Wild, we insist on only selling products that include the finest ingredients- this includes organic ingredients such as essential oils. But why is it so important to use organic essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants- the seeds, skin, flesh, leaves, and even flower petals. If that plant has been treated with pesticides or other forms of chemicals, these can remain and
make their way into the oil, in varying amounts. Of course, these chemicals are not good for you or your skin and regardless of whether there is a lot, or not much present in your oils, we would prefer there not to be any at all.
Organic oils are made with plants that have been grown without the use of chemical-laden pesticides. This means that when you smother your skin in one of our carefully curated skincare products, you can be sure that it is all natural, all healthy, and all beneficial for your skin.
What You Need to Know
When you switch to all natural skincare such as our specially created Peace With The Wild range, you may notice a few differences, particularly if you have been using a commercial brand before.
Many mainstream, non-natural varieties include a number of ingredients that are designed to make your skin feel silky smooth, without actually providing any benefit. Silicone-based moisturisers are laden with plastics that form a barrier on top of your skin- this locks in moisture but also keeps sweat, bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells inside as well. Whilst it might feel smooth and soft on your skin, the reality is that such creams can cause blocked pores, irritation, and breakouts.
We also don’t include water in any of our essential oil based creams because not only does it make your skin more greasy, but the mix of oil and water together means that we would have to include an emulsifier to enable them to mix. These chemicals can form carcinogenic compounds and also means we would need to use parabens which are not great for you, or your skin.
The first time you switch to a brand such as ours, you might notice your skin feels a bit different- perhaps it isn’t as smooth at first, but try not to worry! This doesn’t mean that the cream isn’t working for you, it just means that there are no artificial ingredients giving the illusion of healthy skin, and instead your skin needs a bit of time to let the ingredients get to work on giving you beautiful skin from the inside out.
Those that suffer from dry skin often find that they are sensitive as well, that means that whatever moisturiser you use has to be kind, gentle, and lovingly formulated to provide extra special care. One of the best oils for dry skin is palmarosa oil which is wonderful for helping the body retain moisture. When applied on the skin, or included in a product like our Organic Whipped Face Cream for dry skin, it keeps the skin moist and youthful whilst reducing symptoms of dehydration. This oil goes deep- beyond the surface of the skin and moisturises from the inside, relieving any inflammation and keeping your skin super soft.
Organic frankincense oil is also great for dry skin as it helps to protect your skin cells as well as soothing irritation, dry, and chapped skin. It is effective at rejuvenating tired or damaged skin and has anti-ageing properties as well!
Another wonder oil for dry skin is the oil of the macadamia nut. We have used this oil in abundance in our unscented for dry skin Organic Whipped Face Cream. Perfect for healing dry, sore, or chapped skin, it is highly emollient and easily absorbed as well as containing linoleic fatty acids which lock in moisture to your skin. Jojoba oil and hemp oil can also be found in our creams for dry skin as they can enhance collagen production and work wonders on healing troubled, damaged, or irritated skin.
Another superb essential oil for dry or irritated skin is cedarwood that can be found in our Organic Shaving Cream. With its earthy smell and its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also great for acne, scars, and for soothing the symptoms of eczema. Some people may be hesitant to use citrussy oils on dry or sensitive skin, but we love sweet orange oil and its caring, nourishing properties. In fact, we have included it in one of our Organic Whipped Hand Butters and our Organic Luxury Whipped Body Butter due to its wonderful and dry-patch-busting properties. We love the way that it fights any signs of redness and promotes the clarity, radiance and smoothness that dry skin so often needs.
As our skin gets older, it needs a special kind of TLC and we have identified the best organic oils and ingredients for the job in our range for mature skin.
Our Organic Whipped Face Cream and our Organic Luxury Whipped Body Butter with Rose Geranium and Patchouli is just what your skin needs as it begins to age. Rose geranium oil has a
number of properties in healing and skincare and it is particularly known for its antioxidant properties that studies show can help to reduce the signs of ageing. It helps the skin to heal from any exposure to environmental toxins and its anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and reduce any irritation or redness.
We combined this with organic patchouli oil, not just because we adore its earthy scent but because it is pure magic on the skin. It has a variety of uses in skin care such as preventing acne,healing dry and cracked skin, and helping to ease dermatitis. As well as these practical uses, its aroma is renowned for relaxing, easing stress and anxiety, and bringing a smile to weary faces. In our unscented face cream for mature skin, we have eliminated oils with a strong scent and instead included jojoba oil and apricot oil. The latter is known as a great ingredient for anti-ageing creams and is packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, fatty acids and essential fatty acids that are perfect for protecting and rejuvenating older skin. Jojoba oil is a great anti-inflammatory which has been shown to help repair damaged skin as well as treating conditions such as eczema and and in particular rosacea which tends to affect those over 40.
As well as smelling delicious, did you know that vanilla oilis also great for combating the signs of ageing? We have added it into one of our hand creams because not only does it help your skin look youthful but it can help to prevent skin damage as well.
If you are lucky enough to benefit from having “normal skin” then you might think you can get away with a minimal skincare routine, but don’t be fooled- you still need to smother your skin in love and luscious ingredients to ensure it stays healthy.
In our unscented for normal skin Organic Whipped Face Cream we have used lashings of hemp oil. This is a great all-purpose ingredient that is known for balancing the skin- therefore helping to
keep your normal skin, normal. It moisturises your skin without clogging pores and keeps you just the right amount of moisturised without being too greasy or drying. Organic hemp oil also has anti-ageing properties so even if you aren’t considering the impact of ageing on your skin, hemp oilwill take care of it just in case. Safflower oil is an oil that we use in a number of our skincare products due to the fact it gives skin an unmistakable glow as well as being a fantastic hydrator. It works by helping the skin to retain moisture as well as promoting elasticity. Frankincense is another great essential oil for normal skin and we have included it in our Organic Whipped Face Cream for normal skin because we love the way that it combats signs of ageing whilst also reducing any blemishes and minimising any pesky pores. We combined it with organic Lavender essential oil– a truly wonderful oil that soothes, heals, and calms any flare ups or irritations. Other than that, it smells divine and is well known for helping with relaxation and sleep.
Oily or Problem Skin
Oily skin can be a nightmare to treat and you might think you would be crazy to put yet more oils on it,
Tea tree oil has been used for centuries, perhaps even millennia as a tonic for skin but it is especially known for fighting oil and pimples that can pop up as a result of too much slick. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and it can also calm redness and other irritations that can sometimes trigger the over production of oil. This oil penetrates deep into the skin and helps to unclog pores and blemishes as well as disinfecting them, helping to avoid further flare ups.
You may have used eucalyptus oil when you have a cold, but did you know that it is great for your skin as well? Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties are great for fighting any acne or spots that may be tempted to form and is great at cutting through grease to leave your skin soft, moisturised, and balanced. Bonus is that when it is combined with tea tree oil, it smells incredibly crisp and fresh and you can almost imagine it busting the slick on your t-zone as you massage it into your skin.
Lemongrass essential oil is also super effective on oily or problematic skin. It has great fungicidal properties and it also helps to minimise pores, limit oil secretions, and tighten your skin. We have added it into our shaving cream to help keep freshly shaved skin in check.
After the kick-off of Glastonbury recently, it’s official – festival season is well and truly upon us. With hundreds of different festivals taking place in fields, on beaches, and in cities across the country during the summer months, you might already be compiling a list of your “must attend” events.
Camping out in a field for a few days, can be challenging at the best of times but if you are someone who lives an eco-conscious lifestyle, it can be even more difficult to stick to your principles. Single-use plastics, hygiene issues, and even glitter- there are a whole range of things you need to consider before you pack up your bag and head off into the musical wilderness of festival land. Continue Reading…
Today, May 28th, is Menstrual Hygiene Day. Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day to highlight the importance of healthy menstrual hygiene management, to break the silence around menstruation, to raise awareness and change negative social norms. This year’s theme ‘It’s Time For Action’ is one we can get behind. Action to change negative social norms, to catalyze progress on education, and to ensure everyone has access to menstrual hygiene products, so that no girl is left behind because of her period. Continue Reading…
We’re heading into Holiday season, the Easter break proved to be a weekend of glorious sunshine and we may not want to think of it as being that close, but the countdown is now on for the six weeks of school summer holiday. I need to start thinking about whether I still fit in last year’s summer clothes and I need to start thinking about family sun care.
Whether your concerns are kids with delicate skin, keeping the wrinkles at bay, protecting against skin cancer or just avoiding sun burn, you’ll need some sun protection this summer at home and abroad.
First and foremost, I’m buying sun-cream because I want protection
Cancer research UK advises that we should reduce our exposure to UV rays to reduce the risk of skin cancer. They suggest we should spend time in the shade, cover up and use a sunscreen (at least SPF 15 and 4 stars) and to reapply cream regularly.
Safe to say we all know what a sun protection factor (SPF) is- the higher the number, the more protection you get, right? And the stars? Well they tell you the percentage of UVA that is absorbed by the sun cream compared with how much UVB is absorbed. Higher star, better protection, but only in line with the SPF.
Thing is, I’m looking for more environmentally friendly sun protection and a lot of sun-creams I look at don’t have the star system on the packaging. I want to do the right thing for the environment but not at the expense of my health, so I got to wondering why the eco-brands don’t have the star rating… are they as good at protection as their cosmetic giant rivals? Well, the answer is almost certainly yes. It turns out that the star system is proprietary, it belongs to Boots, and you need their permission to use the logo. Crazy that the big companies have got their proprietary information woven into the guidance we all trust! So, what can we look at instead, if we’re buying a brand who hasn’t paid Boots to use the star rating logo?
The letters “UVA” inside a circle is a European marking. This means the UVA protection is at least one third of the SPF value and meets EU recommendations.
You can also do your research a little. Sunshade have tested their SPF25 product and confirm that if they were allowed to use the star rating system, their product would come out at 4/5 stars. I’m looking for environmentally conscious sun protection which meets the NHS and Cancer Research recommendations and I found one: Shade All Natural Sunscreen. If, like me, you have fair skin or have an active lifestyle which means avoiding the sun isn’t as easy, try the SPF50 that Amazinc! offers. The tube is easy to fit in a handbag for on-the-go use and the stick design means it’s easy to get the backs of the kids’ necks, often without greasing your own fingers up. I’m not usually so on the ball that I have a full bottle of sun cream in my bag, but this stick can stay in there all day long, it so convenient!
What makes sun-cream eco-friendly?
So, what’s in a sun-cream? What about the sprays and creams and gels? Ever wondered how we got from rubbing cream in like we used to in the 80’s to today’s convenience of a quick spritz and whoosh you’re off? How we got there is the same story as how we got from using a block of soap with a flannel to using an aerosol luxury foam with plastic net exfoliating buffer.
Just what are we on the progression to with our time-saving, convenient, luxury cosmetics? You’re here and you’re reading this so I’ll take it as read that you know the cost of this progress in terms of plastic waste but are you aware of the ingredients in sun-cream that have a direct and immediate toxic effect on coral reefs and marine life?
What is coral?
Coral is a symbiotic organism. Simply put, there are two organisms living together; a polyp which provides a home and algae, which is the food source. Both need each other to survive and provide something the other needs. It’s the algae that gives coral its colour. Coral bleaching happens when the algae either leaves, dies or is expelled by the polyp. Coral bleaching is often reversible so it isn’t too late to start making changes which could help save our coral reefs.
You might have heard that some resorts have introduced local bans on some sun-cream ingredients to preserve our precious coral reefs. Some chemicals used as preservatives and UV filters are known to have immediate, detrimental and irreversible effects on reefs and marine life. Industry has no current standards to help us determine which are coral or marine safe brands and which aren’t, so we need to do a little bit of label reading ourselves. Be aware that any claim of reef or marine safe means nothing. At the moment, it’s down to us as consumers to check the label and to challenge the manufacturers. The “Be reef safe” initiative advises against parabens, cinnamates and benzophenones (more information at Be Reef Safe) and the organisation “Marine Safe” has a realistic ethos that there is no fixed definition for “Marine Safe” but that with new scientific findings the definition will change over time. The more we know, the more we can adapt to preserve our marine life. Be Marine Safe has an evolving list of chemicals to avoid (Marine safe chemicals to avoid). One thing that every such organisation agrees on is that Oxybenzone is bad news. Oxybenzone is prolific in sun care products and is used as a barrier to UV light. It’s harmful to coral, causing coral bleaching and death of baby coral at levels we know to exist on our reefs today.
The European Chemical Agency regards Oxybenzone as being “very toxic to aquatic life” and “toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects”. The toxic effects this information comes from is tests on algae. We know algae is critical to coral survival. They also have initial grounds for concern for a list of areas including endocrine disruption and allergic reactions. Check out the long list of alternative names of Oxybenzone so you can check if it’s in your cosmetics at Marine safe chemicals to avoid.
I’d usually advocate using what you have before rushing out to buy new “eco” goodies but with these chemicals we really shouldn’t be using them anywhere near the sea. They’ll make their way through the water system and ultimately end up in the sea wherever we use them, but I would beg that you don’t use products containing these chemicals if you know you are going into the sea afterwards.
What am I buying?
I’m buying long sleeved, natural fibre tops- the Oxfam online shop is amazing for picking up affordable, conscious-clear holiday clothes. I’ll be digging out my sun hat and I’ll be sitting in the shade whenever I get the chance. To be honest, I’ll mostly be in a wet-suit but those times I’m not, I’ll be in the sea again soon, so I do want to protect myself, but I don’t want to be responsible for more reef loss. Last year’s sun-cream has probably lost its potency already so to keep my family safe and to keep marine life safe, I’ll be buying a biodegradable marine-safe products this year. I understand that I can only go on current recommendations and that things may change in the future, but I can make choices based on what we know now. I’m choosing Shade All Natural Sunscreen and Amazinc!
“Be Marine Safe” recognises how difficult it is to find a perfect solution and advises that what you can do immediately is:
-recognise this is a problem
-reduce the amount you use by covering up
-replace your sunscreen with less harmful alternatives
Good to go snorkelling now the sun cream is sorted?
You’d think so but no. These chemicals are in other holiday essentials and products we use all the time. If you’re following the advice of your hairdresser, as I have done in the past, you’re using colour protect shampoo and conditioner. The chances are that these products also have Oxybenzone and other harmful chemicals in, and it doesn’t even have to be a shampoo and conditioner designed to protect your hair from UV. Out of the two, conditioner is the most harmful as it sticks to our hair and releases the toxins into the water when we swim. Conditioners without oxybenzone and quaternary ammonium compounds are more expensive up-front, but they don’t leave harmful chemicals on your hair or deposit them in the sea and they don’t kill the algae in your local river. A little goes a long, long way with these products so just a small amount of natural liquid conditioner, such as Bain & Savon, decanted into a tin will last you all holiday and take up less room in your suitcase!
Oxybenzone and the other chemicals “Be Marine Safe” advise us to avoid are also found in your mascara, your shampoo and other products. I don’t wear much make-up on holiday, but I do love to wear mascara for the holiday snaps, and it has to be black for me. Do I need a new mascara? Well, it’s been a good while since I last bought one because I don’t wear make-up as a general rule, and we’re advised to change mascara every three months. ZAO do a volume and sheathing mascara which ticks all my boxes and a new mascara will mean I avoid eye infections whilst I’m on my jollies!
It’s not just reefs we stand to harm in the product choices we make. The ecosystems right on our doorstep rely on algae as the primary food source. So, when you’re thinking Marine safe, it’s not just about your sun-cream, not just about the sea, and not just for holiday.
Spring is in the air and if you have a bit of a spring in your step as well, the chances are you are considering giving your house a good clean.
Out with the old, in with the new, and getting rid of all the dust and grime that may have accumulated over the winter months is immensely satisfying and therapeutic. The problem is that traditionally, cleaning involves chemicals that end up in our rivers and oceans, and plastic cloths and sponges don’t get recycled, instead taking 100’s of years to break down.
So how can you get the job done without overloading on chemicals and plastic? Here are some tips from us to you, detailing how you can revolutionise your spring cleaning regimen the eco way!
Did you know that you don’t have to buy your household cleaning lotions and potions from a supermarket and in a single-use plastic container? There are hundreds of refill stations dotted around the country where you can take your own containers and fill them up with clean, biodegradable, and safe products that will keep your home clean, with minimal environmental impact.
We also stock a lovely amber glass spray bottle that is just perfect for filling up with linen spray, air freshener, or surface cleaners. Take a big step in the zero-waste direction by replacing your plastic spray bottles with reusable alternatives!
Reuse and repurpose
When coming across items such as old toothbrushes, socks with holes, and old towels, don’t just throw them away- repurpose them instead. Mops, dusters, cloths, and other spring-cleaning utensils can be crafted from items that would have just ended up in the bin.
Switch out those chemicals
Not only can you buy eco-friendly cleaning products but you can even make your own from ingredients you can find in your kitchen.
There is not much you cannot clean with ingredients such as lemon juice, water, vinegar, and baking soda. Add in a few drops of an essential oil of your choice, and you are good to go!
But for those of you that prefer to stick to a professionally formulated product, you can check out our new range by Iron and Velvet– floor cleaners, mirror and glass sprays, and antibacterial surface cleaners are all ready for you to get your hands on. With delicious scent combinations such as coconut and lime, orange and ginger, and fragrant ylang ylang they could prove a little hard to resist! These innovative water-soluble refill sachets are a perfect way to reduce unnecessary waste and plastic in the home. Just pop a sachet in a water bottle, top up with the required amount of water as instructed and the sachet dissolves leaving your cleaning solution ready to go!
Consider a clothes swap
Instead of throwing out all of your old clothes, why not organise a clothes swap between your friends or community? Arrange a date and a time where you can all meet and swap items between you. Whatever is left over can then be taken to a charity shop or donated to a homeless shelter.
Ditch containers completely
Whilst switching to products from refill stations is great, there are some household cleaning products that you can do away with in liquid form completely.
You are probably already using solid shampoo bars and conditioner bars, but you can also get your hands on the Zero Waste dish washing block from No Tox Life. 8oz of solid, soapy goodness, not only is this product zero waste, but it is vegan as well. It lathers up wonderfully and cuts through grease and stubborn stains without leaving behind chemicals in your drain and plastic in your kitchen.
You can also switch your liquid hand soap for one of our many varieties of soap bars– all made from 100% natural ingredients and completely plastic free.
Consider your cloths
Did you know that the plastic sponges you use to clean your dishes, kitchen, and bathroom with, could take up to 52,000 years to break down? But there are other options you can utilise instead of the polymer, polyurethane, and foam options that lurk next to your sink.
Take for example the Unsponge range available here– crafted from 100% cotton, these eco-alternatives are reusable and completely plastic free. Long lasting and totally sustainable, they make a great alternative to plastic sponges, and are surprisingly easy to keep clean and fresh.
You can also kiss goodbye to paper towels and disposable wipes, instead replacing them with unpaper towels such as these from Marley’s Monsters.
Top quality and made to last, they come in an assortment of designs and can even be used outside of the house on picnics, in packed lunches, or even just packed in your bag for emergencies.
Liberate your laundry
A change in the seasons means a change in bedding and clothing. Digging out bags of musty summer clothes and cotton sheets that haven’t seen the light of day since September usually requires a marathon freshening session. But you don’t need to rely on chemical products to get your summer wardrobe in order, instead there are lots of great natural options that you can use to liberate your laundry, all year round.
Soap nuts are a great alternative to powder and liquid detergents, as they are gentle on your skin and clothes whilst getting the job done when it comes to cleanliness. They are completely natural and contain no additives whatsoever, instead producing a natural soap called saponin. Just pop them in a muslin bag, throw them in the machine with your laundry, and get ready to be impressed.
are also great additions to your arsenal to help you blitz away stubborn marks and smells. Just don’t forget to hang your washing out to air dry afterwards, rather than putting it in the dryer!
They say that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and this applies to all of the junk that you have lying around your house. Magazines, books, old toys, ornaments, knick knacks, and bits-and-bobs- all of these could be worth something to someone else.
Be ruthless with your belongings- if you haven’t used it in six months then designate it to the thrift pile. Charity shops will gladly take them off your hands and others can be taken to local NGOs or charities to be donated, upcycled, or repurposed. Don’t just assume that your possessions final destination should be landfill- chances are that someone else can put it to good use.
To pick our brains for more eco-friendly spring cleaning solutions, you can chat with us on, Facebook, Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not so many years ago when someone mentioned going Eco or green as we knew it then, it instantly brought a vision to mind of some crazy hippy tree hugger who was hell bent on saving the world, but this is definitely not the case now, in fact nothing could be any further from it. As more and more media attention and television shows highlight what is happening to the world right now, its been brought to the forefront on everybody’s mind that the current plastic situation on our earth and oceans is devastating due to the damage that has been done since the 1960’s and lets face it realistically that was the real beginning of the plastic population that we know today! Continue Reading…