Recently I celebrated my 26th birthday, much to my dismay… Somehow in the blink of an eye I have surpassed my early twenties -_- However, out of all my years of living I think I am most proud of my last year, purely from the perspective of how much more proactive I have become in actually being an example of my beliefs. What makes me more proud is seeing friends and family around me taking an active interest in changes I have been making, and moving out of their comfort zone to explore these things with me! My gifts this year were so thoughtful that i thought I would share them with you, not to mention they are also generally useful zero waste ideas. Everyone gave me them either unwrapped, or wrapped in newspaper/ brown paper. Perfect.
First up, a raw chocolate making kit! I have recently been trying to make lots of things from scratch, and I think this may have been noted by my sister who gifted me this. I am literally a chocoholic, and raw vegan chocolate is not the cheapest- meaning I am spending a lot of money (unnecessarily) on treats. Hopefully with this kit I can make them myself for much cheaper, and zero waste (the Bulk Market in Hackney sells loose cocoa butter, and I already have lots of cacao powder at home :)). Best of all, this plasticy looking packaging is in fact compostable!
A pair of Zara printed trousers still with tags on for £7 from the charity shop! My sister is such a pro at charity shops- I am jealous of her skills. To be honest, they overwhelm me slightly but she always manages to find the best things. I always gravitate towards the home sections as they are so much easier to navigate ha!
I mean… who else gets refuse sacks on their birthday but me? I think these were the first thing I grabbed and waved around in the air in excitement! I have snuck them into my dads cupboard so he uses them (currently he uses the cheap non degradable kind much to my horror). These ones are from D2W. Also a Safix Scrub pad for washing up (completely compostable, and in paper packaging), a natural bristle brush for cleaning, some Dr Hauschka bath oil and a packet of Loving Earth’s Salted Caramel Swayzee– in fully compostable packaging (including the inner plastic/ cellulose)- I ate it all in one go and I do not regret a second of it. It was delicious.
My sweet friends got me an Anthropologie hankerchief (which I think I will use as a headwrap) and soap, my favourite stain remover from soap nuts (which is better than chemical ones I have used in the past), and a soap nuts soap bar (trust me, you can never have enough bars of soap!) and orange essential oil (which I will be using for my homemade beauty products).
Continued from above, I also received this beautiful tote bag made ethically by artisans in Malawi, and I love that it has an extra pocket so I can use it as an actual bag. My friend made a trip to the Bulk Market in Hackney and got me the snack size Elephant box, which is perfect to have in my daily bag for leftover food at restaurants or carrying snacks around with me in a smaller container, and she filled it with some bulk shea butter which I use as a night moisturiser.
Finally, my mum got me these two plants which I have incidentally been lusting after for ages (which she didn’t know!). Plants are such a great gift to receive, and I am building up quite a collection. These are a String of Hearts and a String of Pearls.
Needless to say I am very lucky to be surrounded by people who take such an active interest in my outlook on life, and although I really admire minimalists, I am not quite there yet so I am unfortunately very much still riding that consumer bandwagon. But, maybe it’s ok to consume if it is consumption of things which are relatively useful, ethical and zero waste? My internal debate continues…