10 tips to stop food wastage and start saving money!

I have always know that the UK is bad for wasting food. Latest figures from the Guardian show that on average £13bn of food is wasted every year, with around 24 meals a month going in the bin in each household. This is after 50% of the food we grow doesn't even make it off the farm because of 'quality' issues.

However, this was really highlighted to me when I spoke to my Latvian housemate about what Eastern Europeans think of Britain; the first thing she said was how shocking the food wastage is here which really struck me. Is this what we are now known for? I think it's terrible, but I know I'm bad myself. Since this conversation, I've been really thinking about reducing food wastage in the home and have been trying to implement more strategies to keep my food wastage low. I hope everyone can find some good ideas here and it really makes people think. With climate change and the pressures farmers face anyway growing food, and taking care of British farmers should be our number one priority, everyone has to eat.

1. Buy frozen fruit or veg where possible, then you always have some in and it stays fresh for a long time.

2.Buy a juicer! when fruit and veg start to go past its prime that doesn't mean it will make you ill to eat it. Juicing can be a really good way of using a bit of old salad leaves the odd apple and carrot up and it's super healthy too!

3. If you know you aren't going to cook something soon freeze it! Don't just leave it to go past its prime in the fridge.

4. Buy food that is seasonal (see the previous post), seasonal food will last longer in the fridge.

5. Always save leftovers for a soup, stew or curry. One of my favourite things to do with leftover mash potato is to make potato cakes and fry it up with an egg! If you have leftover cows milk or coconut milk pour it into an ice cube container and freeze! Then you can pop one out to add into a soup or curry made with other tasty leftovers!Mmm

6. Always write a shopping list and plan meals ahead so that you use what you buy and always have food ready when you are hungry.

7. Store jars of jam and chutneys upside down to keep them airtight and keep it fresher for longer!Also, make sure your fridge is not over full as this will stop the cold air circulating and keeping all the food cool.

8. Make sure you have a compost bin in your garden!

9.Create a soup bag of odds and ends and put these in the freezer, these can then be used to make veg stock.

10. Never throw bruised fruit away! Apple butter and banana ice cream are amazing ways to use up fruit.

I hope you all enjoy my list, this is something I really want to focus on this year as I find it disgusting.To combat this further, I'm considering writing a petition on stopping supermarkets being allowed to put standards like hight length clour size etc on veg so less goes to waste on the farm. I think this is ridiculous and needs to stop!


Sustainable fashion in London - Thrift shopping in Camden and Portobello Market

Now we all know how much I love secondhand finds and vintage pieces, so where better to search for these than London? Living in rural counties and spending most of my time in the countryside, there is a lack of new places to thrift and new bargains to find. So I wanted to write a piece about my thrifting experiences in the city how it's different and what I found!
I decided to go thrift shopping around Camden, as I knew there were a few charity shops there. Walking down the main street there are all the usual suspects, Oxfam, Bernardos, Age UK etc; however, when I was having a rummage in the shops they seemed to be a far cry away from the charity shops back at home! Firstly everything is a lot more expensive with tops from Topshop priced at around £8-12.00 instead of £2-4.00! However, everything is also much better quality and much better brands. Karen Millen, Levis and Gucci to name but a few were relatively commonplace and not a bad price for what they were.
The shops, on the whole, are also fancier, Oxfam was ridiculous with whole rails of quality cashmere vintage and designer pieces. The walls were decorated like a boutique, you would never know you were in a charity shop!

I thrifted some pretty good basics in Camden, there were some amazing pieces but I've been focusing on building up my basics at the moment and I feel like it will help me create better outfits. I recently have been looking for inspiration and creating boards on Pinterest before going out and thrifting the bits I would need to make the outfits. This seems to work quite well and I feel like it has definitely improved my style.
Another good place for second-hand clothes was Portobello Market near Notting Hill. There were stalls selling jewellery vintage clothes, fur jackets, 90's sportswear the stuff that hipsters dreams are made of. Again it's not cheap, but you can find some amazing things there and there is something for everyone!
I would definitely recommend thrifting here and it definitely lived up to my expectations with the quality of the clothes.

love lula january subscription box

Hey guys! I'm back with another Love Lula subscription box! Although I've written about this before, I just don't think they get enough love! If you are looking for a place to start with going cruelty-free or using more natural beauty their site is an amazing place to start as all the products are natural/organic/vegan. They are also based in the UK which a lot of other subscription boxes and natural beauty sites aren't.

Their subscription service is also cheaper than other boxes and I feel, with higher quality products which is why I love them so much. The box this January contained over £70.00 worth of products but you get it for £13.95.
I have been wanting for a while to move more towards natural, organic products not just cruelty-free so it was great to get a new stash! The January box contained an MOA fortifying bath potion, the PHB eye brightening gel, Laidbare Hair minimising moisturiser and the MADARA total renewal night cream. All the products this month are cruelty-free and vegan and contain really high-quality ingredients.

So far I've tried the Magic Organic Apothecary Fortifying Green Bath Potion £27.50, which is very very strong. Unfortunately, I didn't read the back of the tube before I poured a load into my bath; safe to say I felt very invigorated! It has a strong peppermint/ fennel smell which I liked and the oil left my body feeling silky smooth as well which was a welcome surprise the next morning. This is quite expensive so I did love getting it in the box, but personally, I wouldn't spend that much on a bath oil even though it is beautiful.

The next product in the box is the  PHB Brightening Eye Gel; which I have been loving! It retails for £16.95 and is for rightening and refreshing the under the eye. PHB is one of those brands that since going cruelty-free I have been longing to try! They are a really interesting and altruistic company with 20% of all profits going to charity. The ingredients they use are really high quality eco-friendly and vegan with most of their products being handmade.
Madara time miracle total renewal night cream was my favourite item from this box, retailing for £20.00 I was a bit dubious at first. For me the jury is still out on Madara I can't decide if I like them or not but I feel like this product may have tipped me over the edge and helped me get the brand a bit more. I do like it but I always get a clinical feel from their products and branding but I had to put that aside with this because the results speak for themselves! When I put it on I thought it is definitely too thin for a night cream but as my gran would say the proof is in the pudding! My face felt so soft the next day I loved it!
Lastly, the Laidbare hair today gone tomorrow hair minimising moisturiser £6.99, this I haven't tried yet but I'm a little hesitant to... I'm not sure I have much hair left to minimise but ever since I was younger using that Nair hair removal cream these things have always put me off I can't help but think about the smell of burning hair!

10 Reasons why you should shop seasonally

Shopping seasonally may seem a strange concept to millennials, but throughout human history, before about 30 years ago all our food followed a seasonal pattern of what was available. This meant that whatever was growing in your local field would be what is on your plate. However, now we can have bananas at Christmas and tropical fruits and nuts all year round, but is this really ethical?
Here are ten reasons why you should shop seasonally, for yourself and for the planet!
1. It supports your local farmers and their farms.
2. It limits the food miles, tropical foods have to be shipped thousands of miles using a huge amount of energy. 
3. Local food is allowed to ripen before being picked meaning it has more nutrients.
4. It keeps our money in the local/British economy.
5. It supports rural communities.
6. In the UK we have stricter labour laws meaning our food isn't grown using child or slave labour. 
For this recipe, put a potato in the oven and while its cooking heat up some coconut oil in a frying pan. Place the salmon and some sliced ginger and chilli in the pan and sear the salmon. Add the kale, carrot onion and cabbage and place a lid on the pan. Steam this for 15 minuets and then serve with a jacket potato ;)
7. It can save you money as seasonal products are often cheaper because they are easy to grow.
8. When food is picked from then it starts to lose nutrients so food that is grown locally can be consumed not long after picking. 
9. Food that is grown locally is tailored to your environment so it provides us with all the nutrients we need to live in that environment.
10. Food tastes better e.g a tomato off the vine in the summer... yeh we all can tell the difference.

Plastic pollution is choking the life out of our oceans

The amount of industrial and domestic plastics being dumped into our oceans has reached it's highest ever levels. An estimated 8 million tonnes is dumped into the sea every year, damaging biodiversity and affecting human health.

Plastic bags, bottles, fishing wire and cigarette butts are the worst offenders, floating out to sea and photodegrading into micro-plastics in the middle of the oceans. It has now been estimated there are more micro-plastics in the oceans than stars in the milky-way.

These microplastics are consumed by sea creatures because of their resemblance to food, which then leads to their death. Micro-plastics can also accumulate in the food chains as larger animals consume smaller ones, leading to a bioaccumulation of plastic throughout.Larger items like plastic bags are also eaten by sea creatures, especially turtles who mistake them for their favourite food, jellyfish. This creates an imbalance in the food chain and disrupts natures natural systems.
Plastic pollution on New Brighton beach

Even in the UK, many of our beaches are now covered with plastic washed up from the sea at high tide showing the extent of both local and global pollution. Beaches and seas are becoming our dumping grounds for the excess plastics we produce and this is will come back to haunt us.Everything, all life on earth the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere are all connected, it is our duty to protect them.

Plastic pollution is not only dangerous because of the damage to biodiversity; the creation of plastics gives off harmful chemicals which continue to be released throughout the products life cycle. These chemicals, mainly dioxins and PCBs, are endocrine disruptors and unsettle the natural estrogen cycle in animals and humans.

This can lead to cancers, tumours and has been linked to the rise in type-2diabetes, autism and affect the fertility of foetuses in the womb by interfering with testosterone. The CDC in the USA found 95% of urine samples contain some amount of BPA.

Plastic pollution is now at epidemic levels, destroying life on earth, poisoning us and our oceans; although we are the problem we are also the solution to this problem and if we all act now we can reverse the damage we have done.

What's on my dressing table - Going cruelty-free one year on

Just over one year ago, I made the decision to start only buying cruelty-free beauty products. I wanted to write a post and look back at how this has affected my buying habits, what has been difficult and how my dressing table is looking one year on.

I also wanted to write something to show how, when you go cruelty-free, it's a process that doesn't happen overnight. One year on I still have many products that are not cruelty-free that I'm still using up; it's not about getting rid of everything and starting again.

The things I found relatively easy to switch over to when I knew where to look was nail varnish, make-up and face wipes. It is quite easy to find cruelty free and more natural alternatives to these on the high street, with brands like Zoya, Barry M No7 and Gosh offering loads of choice for an affordable price. Most own brand face wipes and creams are also cruelty-free, but Faith in Naturals has to be my favourite. I also love most of the brands in Holland and Barret and Lush for picking up face creams and hand lotions.

The things I have found difficult are hairstyling and heat protection products and perfume. The only brand I could really find on the high street apart from own brand ones is Lee Stafford; I can't seem to find any perfumes either as all the cruelty-free and vegan ones I have tried don't smell right to me. Obviously, this s personal preference and perfumes smell different on everyone depending on your taste.

If you fancy watching a little tour of all the products that are currently on my dresser you can below:

What is ethical fashion?

Since the release of the True Cost, ethical fashion has become a bit of a buzz word with thousands of people joining in with Fashion Revolution last year.  This year, again, Fashion Revolution is on the 23rd to the 29th of April and is championing a more ethical and transparent future for the fashion industry.

But what is all this fuss about? What is ethical fashion? Why should anyone care who made their clothes? The answer lies in the evolution of the fashion industry over the past 10-20 years and the shift in how much we value clothes. Clothes used to be more expensive and a new dress was something that was purchased once a year or for a special occasion. The rise of fast fashion is the development of cheap disposable clothing, which remains in style for a short period of time. After this, we clear out our wardrobes of the thin low-quality items and buy more.

This method of constant production requires a huge amount of resources to perpetuate a system of constant supply and demand. To be able to reach such high levels of production at such low costs it's essential to have access to the cheapest labour costs possible and unlimited use of finite resources such as soil and fresh water.

This leads to unimaginable levels of exploitation not only for the people who make these clothes but also the farmers who grow the fabric and the worlds limited soil air and water. The fast fashion system has led to multiple ecological and humanitarian problems; many people, when thinking of the humanitarian issues surrounding the garment industry, think of the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. However, the crisis goes beyond the people who make the clothes in the factories. In the Punjab region of India, between 1,500 and 2000 farmers committed suicide between 2010 and 2013 with the cases steadily on the rise. The main reason for this is extortionate levels of debt, with 88% of small farmers now in 'serious' debt. Farmers go into debt buying expensive genetically modified seeds, high-cost chemicals and fertilizers and food for them and their animals. 
What does this have to do with fast fashion? Well, Punjab is one of the largest cotton producing areas of the world; high demand for cheap cotton drives farmers to go into debt buying GMO cotton seeds that are Roundup-ready to ensure they have a better harvest and can earn enough money to feed their families. This pushes them away from organic farming, to use methods that rape the land causing ecological disasters and disease. Luckily, when their children get sick from exposure to agricultural chemicals, the same companies that make the chemicals also make medicine! How fortunate, now they can borrow more money from these companies and get into more debt.

We also don't think of the environmental cost of fast fashion, the East River in Xintang, China has turned blue with the pollution runoff from the denim factories in the region, that just dump their dyes and bleaches into the river. There is known to be huge amounts of lead copper and cadmium in the river with levels 128x over what they should be. The pH of the water has also been recorded at 11.95, meaning no aquatic life can live there.One in three pairs of jeans in the world is made in this area and in 2008 produced 260 million pairs of jeans. The rivers were once lifelines in the towns where people washed, fished and swam but now they are untouchable and highly toxic.

Gurou North of Xintang produces 200 million bras a year and in 17 out of the 21 samples surrounding the town large amounts of heavy metals were found. These tests were carried out by Greenpeace and are far from exceptional cases.

In south-west China, many poor people are paying the price for the money made from selling textiles to the USA and UK. Large amounts of waste are often dumped in remote areas spreading pollution by leaching into soil and water sources. Chemicals like Chromium which are used for tanning leather are often dumped in poverty-stricken areas resulting in many villages surrounding these areas getting cancer.
This is where ethical fashion comes in; ethical fashion demands a fair price and a transparent supply chain; ethical fashion demands that we use organic and more sustainable fabrics; ethical fashion demands that we care for our water soil and air; ethical fashion says don't buy these clothes they won't make you happy.

Ethical fashion is a means by which we can use ethical consumerism and divestment to change the social, political and economic structure of the world. It is the tool we can use to help stop pollution, loss of biodiversity and the exploitation of poor subsistence farmers chemical organisations. This is why it's important when you go shopping your not just shopping for a new outfit or cute pair of shoes you can be shopping for a better world.

What I've been thrifting recently - Ethical work-wear haul

I tried to have a break from thrifting as my wardrobe is getting quite full! But I went again and picked up some amazing bits for work and cocktails that I really wanted to share with you all. I feel like sometimes there is a stigma surrounding shopping second hand that only people who look and dress a certain way should do it, but I wanted to show with the recent items I've got just how untrue that is! There is so much amazing stuff in charity shops, for everyone, for every occasion.

I love shopping for things second hand I think its the best and most ethical way to shop. It also saves me money which is important as well, many people myself included work so hard for their money why fritter it away when you can save loads and give to charities at the same time? I really hope that this 'haul' shows just how varied the clothes in second-hand shops can be and how much amazing workwear and 'smart-casual' clothes you can find! Let me know what you have all been thrifting lately and your best finds!

The first thing I found was a blue mesh french connection shirt that is quite boxy and stiff.  This caught my eye because it's French connection and good quality but it is a little on the big side so I have considered selling it on. I also found a cream dress from French Connection which I love and is perfect for work! I found this in Oxfam and I wasn't too sure but when I tried it on I could see how much tailoring there is on this piece and I had to get it! I definitely feel like this is a work dress not a cocktail dress and it has quite limited wearability but I still feel like it will fit well in my wardrobe.

I also found a blue dress in dogs trust that is from Jager, perfect for work! It is such good quality I couldn't pass it up as a new wardrobe addition. I also found a Ralph Lauren silk shirt in a dark gray/blue, I do often look for good quality brands because then I know they will last me a long time.

I also picked up two smart jackets, one was an old blue riding jacket which is really special. The other is a long pink duster coat with a silky pink lining; both I found in a vintage shop I love mixing vintage pieces with designer pieces and thrifted finds I feel like it gives outfits a more unique look.

I love thrift shopping and updating my wardrobe, I feel like secondhand shops are the loophole of ethical fashion. Let me know what you have all been thrifting!!

My new years ethical resolutions for a greener, happier year!

Hello everyone! I know I have been away for a few weeks but I just felt like I needed a break from my blog and to just to enjoy my holiday and have a bit of a rest as I damaged my back last year. Although I know most people roll their eyes at new years resolutions, I have always quite liked them. No, you don't have to wait until the new year to start a diet or stop smoking but it does definitely spur you on. My new years' resolutions this year are focusing on being a healthier me and living a more sustainable lifestyle.  I feel like transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle is a process and it takes a good while... after the success of last year going cruelty-free and only shopping ethical fashion I thought it was time to pay more attention to my diet and living in a more zero-waste esk. way.

Mainly this year I want to focus on keeping my fitness levels more consistent, keeping up with a healthy eating plan all the time. This is really important to me and I think it has areally positive impact my life. I also want to really think about where my food has come from and look at the food miles; its important to me to support local farmers and producers who make British produce. I also want to really start looking at packaging and going as zero waste as possible, taking care not to use up resources that I don't need. I'm also hoping to really try with being more plant-based this year, cutting out sugar and red meat is so much better for my health and I know red meat isn't good for the planet! 
I also really want to wage war on plastic pollution this year, keeping away from excess packaging synthetic fabric and microbeads. They are all so damaging to our natural world it is so important to stop this madness and protect our wildlife.

Let me know what your resolutions are and if you have made any green ones! I've also linked a video below just talking in more detail about why I've chosen these resolutions. Excuse the odd look on y face it's my first ever video and I wasn't overly sure what I was doing! I thought it would be a  great way to branch out my blog and also show some more of the clothes I thrift etc. that are difficult to blog about!