Author: Jamie Chapman

join the glitterati

Who said you can’t have fun and be eco-conscious at the same time? Sometimes trying to live an eco-friendly life can paint you into a corner. In this early stage of awareness, good alternatives are not always available and it sometimes feels like the sparkle has been taken out of life. So I’m excited to have got a hold of some fun eco-friendly glitter. Glitter, currently made from plastic, has come under scrutiny as the conversation around microplastics has hit an all time high. Microplastics have come under the spotlight after cosmetics using tiny plastic beads in their products were banned in several countries in 2015 onwards, issuing new reforms on plastics used in other industries as well. Plastic production has grown exponentially in recent decades and is predicted to double again by 2025 according to WHO (World Health Organisation). Although microplastics don’t have an impact on human life as yet, the effects on marine wildlife have been staggering and upsetting to say the least. Bioglitter® is the eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic based glitter. …

packaging free toothpaste

I have been searching for the answer to the toothpaste tube conundrum for a while. I know that the packaging free alternatives to toothpaste are endless, for eg; charcoal dust in a jar, homemade bicarb soda paste etc. But ultimately I have faith in the current formula that is recommended by Dentists and I wanted a packaging free option that included fluoride. I can’t find a good source to tell me exactly how many toothpaste tubes go into landfill, but I have created a basic formula to get an estimate below. I’m going to assume that all people in Australia are using toothpaste; According to recommendation, you should use a pea sized blob that is approximately 0.25g. A medium sized tube of toothpaste is 110g which contains 440 pea sized blobs. I know it is recommended that you brush your teeth 3 time a day (!) but I’m going to assume that everyone is only doing that 2 times a day. So by that formula, one tube of toothpaste will last you 220 days, which …

sustainable hair brushing

Hairbrushes and combs are another one of those incidental purchases that we make every once in a while, and unfortunately the options for these items are predominantly low-quality and made of plastic. I think of past hairbrushes and combs in my life like owning pens, I have never used a pen until it has run out of ink, much the same as I have never used a brush or comb until it was so worn that it broke or stopped working. These are the kinds of items you usually loose and it’s gone into the ether of lost things (most likely landfill). So I found myself wondering, how can I make hair brush/comb buying a more sustainable practice. Looking at generic brushes I found that biodegradable options were limited and combs were generally made of acetate. But with a little digging, I came across a gold mine of natural combs and brushes. Bass Brushes have been creating brushes with an emphasis on sustainable materials for 40 years, and have a brush for every need (more …

this phone case is made from plants

So my last phone case threw in the towel. It served me well for three years (yes I’m still using an iPhone 5). I made the call to say goodbye when it started detaching itself mid fall, which is kind of the opposite to what it’s supposed to do. Three years ago, I didn’t worry too much about my plastic use, but now an opportunity has presented itself, to find a phone case that was plastic conscious. Introducing, Pela Case. Basically feels and looks like plastic, but it’s made of a biopolymer, recycled materials and flax straw. And the best part, you can compost it in your own backyard! It would probably take a long time mind you, but it’s better than a piece of non-biodegradable plastic floating out into the ocean. The flax straw element, creates a nice speckle on the surface, which reminds me of granite. Even though it’s not made of plastic, it feels really durable and will probably last longer than the phone itself. It comes in a range of colours, covering …

beeswax food wraps

In my pursuit of a plastic-free existence, I have admittedly stumbled upon some pitfalls. Storing food is one of them. While fresh food shopping, I opt for the whole option of fruits and veg (eg. a whole cabbage, rockmelon or cauliflower) to avoid the plastic that half portions come wrapped in. Yay, avoided plastic! But not so great when I get home and I can only consume half a rock melon at once. Believe me, rock melon gets pretty boring, pretty quickly. What to do with half a rockmelon? Chop it up and put it in a tupperware container? – I can look forward to eating another half of a rockmelon in the next 24hrs as it’s definitely going soggy. Cling wrap? – Ultimate plastic fail. Put it face down on a plate and hope for the best? – Questionable. Introducing beeswax food wraps! (Basically cotton, soaked in beeswax.) It’s a literally flexible solution that will save space and fit to any item that you need wrapped. Because it’s covered in wax, all you need is the …

have yourself a sustainable Christmas

As a minimalist amidst this now very commercial holiday called Christmas, your values get well and truly tested. Consumerism takes itself to the next level, offering isles of decorations and nick-nacks that ultimately end up as landfill. Over the years, my eyes have been opened to the harmful and polluting industry of Christmas decoration production. Workers in third-world countries creating endless spray painted santa boots, polystyrene stars covered in glitter, plastic baubles hung from plastic twine. Despite these stories, I don’t like to be the anti-consumer grinch that doesn’t get into to the spirit, so here is a way to be festive without creating waste. How to make a natural wreath: You will need: secateurs, natural twine, scissors and flora 1 / Collect your flora Using secateurs, collect some plant cuttings. Luckily I have a backyard where lots of my neighbours trees and shrubs grow over the fence from which I could collect some good cuttings. I also took a walk to find some trees and shrubs on the street. You can also visit a …

slow cosmetics – the lip lab (v)

Trying to find ethically made lipstick is hard enough as it is. And if you want to find something vegan within this category, you can say goodbye to more than half of the options that were previously available to you. What is left is a tiny array of products, and within this again, you need weed out the colours that aren’t right for you. The options are slim, but when creating your own bespoke lipstick at a place like The Lip Lab, you can make a cruelty-free and vegan lipstick in the exact colour and finish that suits you. If you’re anything like me, trying a tiny colour swatch on the back of your hand doesn’t really cut it. So many times I have tried on my newly purchased item, only to realise that I’ve clearly made the wrong choice. You try your hardest for a while to make it work, but eventually, it ends up at the back of your makeup drawer never to be seen again. Spread this over a $400B dollar cosmetics …

minimalism and cooking – a super easy packaging free vegan lemon cake

This lemony treat serves as a quick and easy dinner party dessert. You can whip it up within the hour, using minimal utensils and all the packaging is recyclable or compostable. No eggs, no milk, this cake truly keeps everyone happy. Vegan Lemon Cake Ingredients 275g Self Raising Flour (buy in a paper bag) 200g Caster Sugar (buy in a paper bag) 1tsp Baking Powder (buy in a cardboard box or tin) Zest of 1 Lemon 100ml coconut oil (buy in a glass jar) 170ml cold water Juice of 1 Lemon Optional Icing 115g Icing Sugar (buy in a paper bag) Zest of 1 Lemon Juice of 1 Lemon Directions Preheat oven to 180C (not fan forced) Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper. note; this can be recycled afterward Sift flour into a bowl Add sugar, Baking Powder, zest, coconut oil, cold water and lemon juice. Mix together thoroughly. note; heat coconut oil to a liquid if needed so that it mixes in evenly. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and place in the …

your vegan and plastic free minimalist shower routine using only 5 products (v)

Here is everything you need in 5 easy and versatile products and feel good because it’s 100% vegan and plastic free! Body Cleanser: Dr Bronner’s Castile soap bars are biodegradable, fair trade, vegan, cruelty-free and made with organic ingredients. These bars are available in 11 natural fragrances and come wrapped in a pre-recycled packaging, printed with water based inks so it’s compost friendly. Shampoo and Conditioner: These heart shaped bars made by Ethique in New Zealand, are amazing for more reasons that one, but the best thing about this product is that it doesn’t come packed in a plastic bottle. Ethique is a climate neutral, certified BCorp and cruelty-free business, while their products are vegan and biodegradable (including the packaging). These bars are known to last up to six times longer than your usual bottled products due to their concentration, so it’s worth the price tag. #giveupthebottle Face and Body scrub: This scrub is so good you can eat it. Seriously. Get your DIY cap on for this easy-peasy all natural face scrub. Made from …