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Sustainable products

We love finding products that are more sustainable. Here are our thoughts and tips.

Leftovers in glass

If you are, like me, the kind of person who bring leftovers for lunch, you should consider which container you use. I used to have the small simple plastic ones, because they take minimal space in the cabinet and in the freezer. Ideal. But, it’s neither healthy or great for the environment so I´ve decided to change that.

I´ve invested in a few glass containers for my leftovers instead, and although they are still too few to fill up my need, I try to prioritize them. They feel nicer to eat in, and I know I don´t get any plastic in me from microwaving them. And of course, they are prettier and don’t go that ugly yellowish color after a few uses. The ones I have are from IKEA if you want to get some.

There are however two issues.

One, they are to big to fit conformable in my freezer. I´m going to look for smaller ones that work better and that problem will be solved. If you aren´t a regular leftovers-person this is not an issue, but for me who cooks for ten meals at a time it’s a problem.

And second, what to do with my old ones? This is a general issue when changing to eco-friendly products: it shouldn’t mean you throw the other stuff out because then you still created extra waste. Therefore, I´m still using my old ones, and I’m trying to figure out if I can give them to someone who needs a few free.

So they are two solvable issues at least.

Oh, and in the other container in the picture is a food thermos which is perfect for picnics and stuff, or soup. And if you often bring salad you can use glass jars for that – it’s easy and looks really tasty.

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A crystalized alternative

Today I use a crystal deodorant as you can see. It’s made of a salt called Alun that has antiperspirant and antibacterial properties. You just add water and it’s ready to go. It seems too simple but it actually works quite well. It doesn’t add a smell to cover your sweat, so after a tough workout I still smell a bit, but for everyday use it’s perfect. That it doesn´t smell is my favorite part because it feels more natural.

This is an easy product to change in your everyday routine. A downside is the plastic package, but for a deodorant it is still a preferable alternative. You know exactly what it contains and that the production had minimal environmental impact compared to other deodorants. Also, it lasts for ages so it will be forever before you have to change and contribute to yet another packaging. At that point, there is probably a glass casing too.

An effective change to brushwood

These are my brushes for dishwashing. When I was younger we usually had one of the heavier ones, made of brush wood,  at home and used quite a lot. So when moving out it was quite natural for me to find one. And I love it. For one, it’s less plastic than a normal one, but I also feel that they are much more effective and easier to use. Since you hold the brush itself it somehow feels easier to get everywhere and to scrub as hard as needed. And well, brushwood is harder than plastic so it makes sense.

The thinner horse hair brush with the metal clasp is one we decided to try but that haven’t made a hit in our kitchen. It’s too soft, but I still prefer it for frying pans to that they are not damaged. I have another head to change it to, but we get along so well with the other one that I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Anyhow. You should get one with brushwood if you haven’t already.

Looking for new shoes – sustainable brands

I need new shoes. My current one are pretty broken so it’s clearly time for new ones. I must admit I have a lot of shoes, just not good shoes that I can actually use everyday and walk well in. I have to major problem when buying shoes: I have wide feet, I need to be able to fit my insoles, I easily get blisters, they need to be comfortable to walk a lot in and they need to fit with dresses. High-maintenance I guess. And now, I decided that I want socially sustainable shoes, preferably with ecological or reused materials.

For shoes that are suitable spring to autumn, I’ve been browsing four brands to choose between. They’re basically different sneakers.

  • Ethletic and their fairtrade converselike-sneakers. They pride themself on being vegan and using sustainable materials such as cotton grown without pesticides and chemicals, and natural rubber. They also prioritize social sustainability and work on projects where the workers together use part of their wages toward a common goal such as education, healthcare, micro-loans etc. They look nice, and white or black pair does work really nice with a dress.
  • Solerebels with their ethiopian-styled shoes. An important question for their business is fair wages and they pay four times the legal minimum wage in Ethiopia, plus they have full medical coverage for their workers and cover transportation to and from the factory for all workers. They do not base wages on quotas but instead treasure a fair and good working environment. I’m looking at their runaround freedom shoe in denim blue. They’re beautiful but maybe not perfect for dresses.
  • Indosole have repurposed soles from car tires and the shoe is hand crafted. They are a B Corp, meaning they’re pretty much fairtrade and take care of their workers. I’m checking out their JJ Shoes. But they do look a bit to pointy for my feet, so it is not my first hand choice.
  • Veja, sold though Green Laces, is my fourth consideration. They use responsibly grown cotton, without pesticides or chemicals, grown by a plethora of families and fairtrade. They produce on demand and do not have a stock that can go to waste and constantly review ways they can minimise their environmental impact. Veja works with manufacturers in Brazil and are paying a over minimum wage while working to improve workers conditions. I like these, they look super comfortable and soft, but I don’t think it will work with dresses or my style of clothing.
  • SkråmträskSkon, made in sweden with vegetable tanned leather. They are five people working in the company, doing the entire process at side and with pride. I love their shoes, they look wonderful and I think they would be really good for my feet. However, I am looking for a pair that is good for summer and nice weather. These are more an autumn, winter kind of shoe. Perhaps I will order a pair later, but not today.

After consideration on which ones would work for my feet, go well with dresses and resonates best with my social interests, I’ve finally decided on Ethletics dark blue sneakers. I will tell you how they work for me later.

A must-do tiny eco step

An easy and necessary little step to take is changing your plastic water bottle to a metallic or glass one. The next step it to actually use it and refill it. If you, like me, live in a country where tap water is clean and drinkable this is a must-do.

My metallic bottle is one I got a long time ago from 4H but did not use regularly until recently. Today it goes with me everywhere. I love that it has a carbine and can hang on my bag, otherwise I would have to leave it behind a lot.

Which kind of bottle do you use?

A cup of awesomeness 

Another period-related tiny step I´ve taken is using a cup. And I don’t think I can say enough kind things about it. I´m using it as I write and it is simply so easy.

I saw an article the other day that a normal pad contains the same amount of plastic as 3 or 4 plastic bags. I didn’t look into it so I don´t know the sources, but there is for sure a fair bit of plastic in them. Along with other materials, and blood of course, making it hard to recycle. Thats pure waste when we have good alternatives: cloth pads.

I think the largest objections I’ve meet when speaking about cloth pads is that is outside your body and gets a bit gross. This then is the same people that  wouldn’t wear a regular pad either since it’s outside the body. I´ve always found tampons scary – it’s a bit of treated cotton you put inside you. I hate the feeling – when it’s full it swells and becomes really uncomfortable. When its not full enough it’s hard to get it out because it’s all dry. And when you put it in its all dry aswell, making it less than comfortable.

This is where cups win. They are neither dry or super heavy. They are easy to get in a variation perfect for your vagina – small or large, hard or soft, tall or short. I find them super easy to put in, and they are more comfortable to keep in there – I don’t feel them at all. Plus, I can take it out anytime without any harm.

Plus, the optimal worth of course: they can be reused for several years. No more buying tampons and throwing used one out – creating even more waste. It feels more sustainable since it’s something I know creates less waste. Also, having something that is reused and last a long time feels awesome in it self. And that feeling is great. Not only can I be comfortable during my period, but I can feel that I’m actively minimising my environmental footprint every day. 

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