Read more about the article Buy Local: Focus on Yarn
Photo by Mahyar Motebassem on Unsplash

Buy Local: Focus on Yarn

If, like me, often purchase beautiful yarns for knitting, crochet or even weaving, one small change you can make to reduce your carbon footprint is to #BuyLocal. We are not short of amazing yarn mills, spinners and/or even hand dyers in the UK – look out for them in your local shops or support them via their websites!

As you are looking through the below, PLEASE let me know if I have missed any and I will add them!

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Read more about the article Home Made Reusable Sanitary Products
Home made sanitary towels / menstrual pads, by Cathrene

Home Made Reusable Sanitary Products

Following my Product Review on Reusable Sanitary Products in March last year, I have been producing my own Sanitary Towels. Not only have these been much more comfy to wear than those purchased, but the homemade ones have proven to weather the wear far better!

Originally, I made 2 test ones for myself (one for day and one for night), which I have used alongside those purchased, then numerous friends and businesses showed interest, so I made up more (far prettier than my “mock ups” from scrap fabrics). Now, a year later, my 2 sanitary towels still look and feel amazing, the purchased Earthwise towels look a little tatty, but are still functional, and the Eco-Femme Cotton Sanitary Night Pads have worn very badly, and although still functional, the fabric has become rough against my skin.

Compared to the brand of disposable pads I used prior, I would never go back…. No irritation and excellent absorbency!

So I set to to make some nice new towels for me for a change (haha – it was the same story with the COVID-19 masks – I have made nearly 100 for others… and still have not finished my own!).

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Keep the High Street Shops ALIVE… help them THRIVE!

In November 2019, Eco Store, Weigh of the World, in Northwich opened - THIS was a game changer for me! Local, and a brilliant concept! (you can read my blog post here). In addition to buying my fresh fruit & vegetables from John Griffiths' Green Grocers in Northwich, between the two of these shops, I found that I had 99% of what I needed! However, many small, independent shops, both in Northwich and elsewhere, are experiencing a massive decrease in sales, despite remaining open during the lockdown - people are doing their main shops in supermarkets. Before your supermarket shop, visit your local, small businesses first! Then only go to the supermarket if there is anything which you are unable to obtain! It is more important than ever that we support our local businesses - especially through this time of crisis! Furthermore, buying locally reduces food miles, helps alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution and cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions. With that in mind, I have collated a list of independent shops in NORTHWICH who are still open and operating, and what shopping options are available. Independent Northwich Shops Open/Online during Lockdown: Abda's Coffee Shop: Coffee and Tea can be ordered through their Facebook Page.Artisans Online: The Northwich Artisan Market is now online!Crafty Stitches: Online orders are being taken for delivery on FacebookFirthField Pet Stores: Open for business.Ginger & Browns: Pet Supplies at Blakemere - Open for online ordersJohn Griffiths' Greengrocers: 10 Witton St, Northwich -…

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COVID-19: Staying Home, Staying Safe and keeping up with your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Part 1

Wear a Mask – Slow the Spread!

With the combination of frequent hand washing and physical distancing, wearing a face mask can help to slow the spreading of the virus, according to supporting research. The wearing of a face mask has become the norm in many Asian countries since the onset of COVID-19, and more recently, the USFrance, and parts of Italy have also urged people to wear “alternative” masks – such as cloth face coverings.

Our local vets calling out for home-made face masks (all masks have been given to the NHS), but in other countries people are making for the hospitals, as supply is not meeting demand. During the past 6 weeks, I have been producing masks for myself, my carer and my mum (to use in the supermarket, when walking down the high street, etc.) in addition to around 30 masks produced for local key workers and veterinary surgeries.

To be clear this is a LAST RESORT mask for the NHS – and yet, during the past week, both my mother and I have been producing them for Physiotherapists and other staff working at Leighton Hospital, in addition to full sets of scrubs, scrubs bags and crocheted clips / headbands (which secure the mask behind the users head, to avoid rubbing the ears if wearing for a long time). The patterns and instructions for these can be found below.

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Product Review: Lavandi Organic Vegan Deodorant

Lavandi Deodorant

I was given the Chamomile and Bergamot deodorant to test by Weigh of the World about 4 weeks ago. And Lavandi provided me with two other versions to try – I took the Sports version and Sarah tried the Cedarwood and Sage.

What I liked most is the fact that Lavandi are based in Northwich, Cheshire, where I live! Lavandi have seen the need for change and have created a range of recipes that are all-natural. Lavandi’s Organic Vegan Deodorants are made from only the finest ingredients and are Zero Waste. With excellent absorption and odour control one application should last you all day, simply apply by pushing up from the bottom of the tube, then warming against your skin and then glide over the required area.

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Product Review: Kutis Natural Deodorant

My usual deodorant was one of the first items to be replaced – it has just taken me a long time to test out different ones and find one I love. Having not used spray deodorant since the 80’s, preferring a stick, I was looking for something with no plastic packaging. But I also needed something that worked…. and that did not have any (overpowering/”girly”) scent….

Well, I found it! The Kutis Natural Deodorant was one of a few deodorants which I purchased, and have since gone through two, tried four and purchased a multitude of other (gentle) scents to try!

Rating Overview: 10/10
Performance: This works really well
Fragrance: They come in two varieties, vegan and non-vegan, and a variety of Natural Fragrances…. suitable for both sexes.
Usability: Great – pushes easily out of the tube – even with arthritis (mum) or after a hand operation (me)

The Kutis deodorant sticks are made from all natural ingredients and they really work! 

With key ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda, arrowroot powder and coconut oil this deodorant gives you the lasting freshness without all the nasty stuff that can be found in commercial deodorants.

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Product Review: Faith in Nature Soap – Coconut

I have used Faith in Nature's Coconut Soap for some years - it is lovely to use: very gentle with a good lather and it does not leave my skin dry, and has a lovely smell. I had no allergic reaction - I actually use it in the shower occasionally! This is available from many shops, including Oxfam, but I have only found it on amazon without plastic wrapping (in packs of 18). Given the plastic packaging, I will not be ordering this again, but the product itself is very good! Additional Attributes 100% Natural FragranceWith Essential OilsFree from Parabens and SLSIngredients are vegetable derived, organic and are certified sustainable in origin

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Bamboo Toothbrushes

I have bought a variety of Bamboo Toothbrushes over the past 6-9 months, all of them wear well, do the job, are nice to hold, and I can dispose of them in good conscience. I have to admit, though, my favourite so far has been the Bamboo Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles by TEVRA - my teeth feel a lot cleaner with the charcoal bristles! Additional Attributes Plastic-freeZero waste - ie packed in all recyclable material!Dentist Approved: Not only is this toothbrush excellent for the environment, but it is also good for you. The toothbrushes all feature high-quality dental grade bristles, just like your plastic toothbrush at home. You will get the same clean, healthy teeth without any of the waste.Medium Bristles: They are stronger but gentle enough to not to cause enamel damage while delivering plenty of polishing power. GUARANTEED – If you do not like this toothbrush, TEVRA will refund the full purchase price - basically, you have no excuse not to try it! They also have their own Vegan Dental Floss and Refill Pack! This will be reviewed later! EDIT: I have recently read that the toothbrushes which I bought most, and favoured, from Tevra are "BPA-free Charcoal" - tested with a flame, and they melt rather than burn, so I suspect that there is some polyester in them. So, It is sadly it is not 100% compostable - despite what is openly advertised . I did, however, find a blog post on this subject which may be…

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Product Review: Vegan Scourer Brush Ecococonut

When shopping on Peace With The Wild, I found some Vegan Sourer Brushes – Ecococonut.

100% plastic free, they came in a two pack of scourer brushes and are composed of sustainably sourced coconut husks with stainless steel wire. I was pleased to find a more eco-friendly and biodegradable alternative for washing up and cleaning ovens, and these are much more “scrubby” than the scourers I made from jute hessian and cotton.

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Product Review: Soapnuts Laundry Detergent

This is something I put off trying for years, but as soon as I started my quest to reduce my waste, I bought some, and have been using soapnuts ever since! An eco-friendly alternative to laundry detergent and synthetic soaps, they are natural and non-polluting. But for me, with sensitive skin, which goes blotchy with many conventional laundry detergents (and softeners!), I was particularly nervous about changing from the one I have used for well over 30 years…

I am delighted to say that I am more than pleased with the results! Not skin irritation, clothes are both clean and fresh-smelling when they come out of the washing machine and (best of all) they work out just as cheap as the conventional laundry detergent – I even found I could get more washes out of them than they recommend! AND they take up less space!

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