Less Waste Life: Repair & Make It Last

A very un-instagram photo, because whilst I talk of swaps a lot, one of the biggest changes in buying, spending and wasting less has been really valuing and taking care of the things we do have. Maintaining, repairing, making it last. We’ve learnt so many new skills in the process too – fixing our clothes, bikes, oven, hob, broken electric cords, washer and dryer when they’ve had issues. You can learn anything on YouTube eh, what a resource!

I’ve had my phone for about 4 years now (we buy used / refurbished phones and have Giffgaff rolling contracts for £10 a month to save £ on contracts) and recently it started overheating and not keeping charge. In the past I would have totally justified an upgrade, but we got a £6 replacement battery kit on eBay, thought we may as well try, and with the help of a YouTube tutorial it’s now good as new, we have the tools now should we need to get phones apart again, and the old battery is off for recycling, yay!👍🏻 Have you repaired anything recently that you could have just chucked? It’s a good feeling hey?! L x

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Less Waste Birthday For Our 4 Year Old

Since its #plasticfreejuly here’s what we got Marls for a #lesswaste simple birthday… Thrifted Peppa Pig cuddly toy (50p), Lego tow truck (£2), Set of Maisy books (£1) and a few pick and mix sweeties in a paper bag (his request 😂🎉). Game I knew he would just love… Huge 👍🏻 to @orchardtoys whose puzzles / games are made from card, in Britain and did you know they replace up to 3 pieces a year for free if you lose / damage them? How awesome is that?! L x

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Less Waste Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping since we started to lower our waste… Our girls go to forest school on the Thursday, so we stop off at the greengrocers on the way home for our shop (I kinda love it as early years #homeeducation for the little kids too, Marley loves helping and counting out what we get ❤). I meal plan, then buy enough fruit and veg for the whole week (to supplement what we’ve grown at home).⁣

There is a bakery next door where we can also get #plasticfree (gorgeous 😍) bread. I buy enough for the week and freeze in the paper bags what I won’t use in the first few days, taking it out the morning of the day we will need it 👍🏻. We get bulk wholefoods delivered every couple of months, and nip into Tesco or Aldi while the girls do gymnastics once a week if there is anything else we need, trying to get tins, jars or cardboard packaging where we can.⁣

I try and minimise visiting shops, especially big supermarkets as much as possible as I don’t particularly find it an enjoyable experience – its such a time (and money!) sap if I don’t meal plan and end up popping in every few days for bits we need! I’d love to hear more about how you shop for your family, if you are making any changes or wanting to? Its all so dependent on our time / circumstances and what’s accessible locally, but hopefully increased pressure will mean more supermarkets focussing on sustainability in the near future! L x

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Less Waste Family Car Kit

When we began reducing our waste (and I was riding the wave of late pregnancy organisation mode 😂) we made a little #lowwaste car kit to make it easier to stay #plasticfree on the go (we certainly don’t always manage this but it helps us do better, most of the time, which is good enough for me❤). We have a takeaway coffee cup for me, a metal bowl and spork each, lots of produce and shopping bags, jars for bulk foods, an old takeaway tub for baked goods / leftovers etc. and I also keep a couple of spare reusable nappies, wet bag, cloth wipes and an old filled water bottle to wet them. It saves me remembering everything on the morning of going somewhere, which is helpful for a mama with extreme baby brain / very demanding small people 😂
And in case your interested in the thrilling contents of my car boot 😂 I also keep a picnic blanket, baby sling and blanket, a thin towel for each of the kids, a onesie for each kid, my granny trolley and a camping chair so I can sit and feed comfortably out anywhere. I kinda love seeing whats in people’s cars / fridges / bags, is that weird?! 😂😂 L x

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Plastic Free July

Keys, purse, water bottle, everywhere. Anyone else on board with #plasticfreejuly – trying to refuse single use plastic where we can? Maybe just taking shopping bags or a reusable water bottle more is a first step for you this month, or maybe you are taking big steps to changing the way you shop or making more yourself to avoid plastic covered everything in the big supermarkets. I’d love to hear what’s going down in your home?! And I’ll for sure be here sharing what we are learning too ❤

Also if you are after a brill long lasting steel reusable water bottle and ain’t on a kleen kanteen budget (like this mama ✋✋) this was £6.60 delivered from eBay (5.50 for the kids sizes), had mine about a year and recently replaced the kids plastic ones too as they’ve broken / got chewed / manky in the lids over time (I keep them as a spare water bottle for wetting wipes in the car now!). They are great (oil the bamboo lid every now and again to take care of them and don’t leave in water / dishwash) and I’m hopeful they’ll last for yeeeeears.
L x

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The Nissan Leaf for a Family of 6! Chatting Electric Cars…

Electric car chat! Everytime I post a story with us in the car I get a tonne of questions about what car / seat we have that fits 4 kids in one row the back.. ⁣

So, we have a little @nissan Leaf electric car that we absolutely love. Its lovely to drive, unreal cheap to run (no petrol or tax) and we have had no repairs to date in almost 6 years of owning it. We mainly just charge at home, on @ecotricity 100% renewable energy, and energy from our own solar panels. ⁣

We have a very early (one of the first on the road) that we bought secondhand a few years old, it gets about 60-70 miles to a charge now (slightly less in freezing weather or peak district crazy hills) which is actually plenty for 99% of the driving we do.⁣

Its certainly not an option right now for lots of people, with having restricted range (other than a 2nd car for a short commute / peeps who work from home like us etc) but newer EVs are doing over 300 miles to a charge, with the @Teslamotors model 3 changing the game with the technology and being the about the same price as a standard new petrol car (so in a few years being an accessible price for more people). ⁣

It works so well for our family that we sold our big diesel second car last year as it was only being used a few times a year and we worked out it was cheaper to get a train or rent for holidays or visiting family (i’m hoping we can find a local person with a 6 seater car we can pay to rent off through a peer to peer site rather than pay a big company) ⁣

It also has helped us to be more mindful of how far we travel and to focus on living more locally, which has been unexpectedly kinda great!

In order to keep it when we had our third child we got a @multimac_seat secondhand on eBay. They are pricey but the cost savings on not having to changing our car for 3 and now 4 kids was well worth it for us. It’ll fit until our eldest is 12 when we need to re-evaluate.

Anyone also got or considering an electric as their next car? My hubby @garythopkins is a massive enthusiast and will try and answer any questions / bust some myths for anyone interested! L x

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Less Waste Life: Cloth Nappying On The Go

Less waste with a little one…cloth nappies, wipes, muslin for dribbles, a wet bag for dirties, water bottle and a couple of spare sleepsuits (secondhand as ever, baby clothes are in such abundance secondhand as they are barely worn!). ⁣

I think we have cracked a good system with cloth nappying now, I carry washable wipes dry (we use a mix of @cheekywipes and ikeas plain super cheap cotton facecloths) and just wet them with my water bottle or a sink as needed as I found taking them out wet if they werent used that day they’d go a bit smelly. The wetbag with dirties then just gets chucked in the washer at home 👍🏻⁣

We have Rory in full time nappies and Marley in a nappy overnight, and we do about 1 nappy load every other day, so it is extra washing but in the grand scheme of things a pretty small inconvenience, and I think worth it to send no nappies to landfill and to never run out and have to haul ass out for some 😂. The money advice service also estimates around a £1500 saving over 2.5 years even with laundry costs included 😮 (and not including getting nappies passed on, or selling them after) so its pretty substantial on your wallet too. ⁣

If you are considering cloth nappying your local council may also offer an incentive scheme (ours offers £25 back on a £50 spend) ⁣and @mamalinauk is a brilliant resource for all things cloth nappying (see the highlight on her page for links!)👍🏻 L x

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Less Waste Life: A Sustainable Wardrobe

Lets talk clothes! In the years before we simplified and got eco thrifty, so much of my clothing I would never reach for because it didn’t really fit me right or feel comfortable on my changing mama body. I’d buy things just because they caught my eye in the supermarket or fast fashion shops, then barely wear them. Or I’d buy for a future me that wasn’t really me, or practical for my lifestyle. ⁣
While I was pregnant I pretty much sold and donated everything but a few things that fit, I love and reach for all time, so now I’m slowly building a little capsule wardrobe (I have one small chest of drawers for all my clothes) that is simple, and secondhand or ethically made wherever possible. ⁣

I’m mainly a charity shop girl, with eBay as my backup and haven’t bought new clothes in a long while, but after having a super hard time finding anything to wear that fit and I could feed in after having Rory my mama bought me some @lucyandyak dungarees as a gift and oh my goodness they are the comfiest things I have ever owned, I adore their ethics as a company (will write more on this soon & a few ways to save ££ on buying them!) and I am just going to live in them forever. ⁣

I found this Topshop denim jacket a few months ago in a charity shop for £1 which is handy for matching all my summer clothes. Caitlyn also repping the forever self chosen mismatched thrifted wardrobe and not giving a damn what anyone thinks look, whilst showing me her wobbly tooth😂⁣ Anyone else living with a capsule wardrobe or trying to move towards it? I love it for less money, laundry, time shopping, and choices in a morning! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Are you interested in seeing more of what I pick up / how we shop secondhand / for the kids etc? I’ll never be a fashion blogger 😂 (hello how awkward i am in every photo of me!) but I think we need voices repping #buyless #secondhand and #sustainablefashion where we can, in a world of Primark hauls and tonnes of clothes ending up in landfill each year (and you’ll never find judgement in this space cos I’ve certainly been that person, and we are just here learning together & doing what we can in our individual circumstances ❤) L x ⁣⁣

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Less Waste Life: Freezing In Glass

Potato, lentil and spinach curry, with an extra batch of sauce heading to the freezer for a mama’s too tired to cook day ❤ Old jars make great #plasticfree storage containers – old jars are just good for everything aren’t they? 😂

We put all hot food leftovers / sauces etc into glass now, and will re-use our old big plastic tubs until they are broken for freezing fruit we grow or buy cheaply to chop and freeze for smoothies.⁣

To defrost stuff in jars quickly you can stick it in a bowl of hot water too (I use the little half of my sink) which also elimimated the use of a microwave in our house – win 👍🏻 I’ve started work on a new little project for a revamp of my blog today, with lots more tips and recipes and I absolutely can’t wait to share it with you!
L x

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