Katie Vibes
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Conscious Changes
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Today I wanted to talk about a bit of a hot topic, and that's the idea of living slower and more consciously. I have touched on this before in my posts on easy zero waste changes and my 2017 good intentions. 2018 is going to be a big year: I shall my finishing my Masters degree and hopefully, by the autumn, my boyfriend and I will have moved in to a place of our own.

Some of my goals for 2017 included keeping up with my fitness, increasing my use of reusables, and buying less fast fashion. As much as I do thing there was a bit of a dip mid-year, at this point in 2018 and I am doing all these things. I now go to the gym for weight training 3-5 times a week, I use reusables 99.9% of the time (I even bought a safety razor), and I have rarely had to resort to fast fashion. I bought a few naughty things before my holiday in June after freaking out about finding clothes for the hot weather but, other than that a few recycled pieces from Monki/Weekday, all my purchases have been second-hand. A particular highlight are my amazing vegan Dr Marten boots that I purchased very lightly used from a seller on Depop (my new favourite app). I've also picked up a few really lovely pieces of workout wear from ethical and recycled brand Sundried via their Amazon shop. I've been super impressed with everything and I definitely plan on doing a post about a few more sustainable activewear brands.

I've been trying to pare down my belongings (and my environmental impact) this year in preparation for moving out around autumn-time. This seems like a never-ending process. My life still seems to create a lot of waste and so I feel like I am forever getting rid of bags of stuff but not actually getting anywhere in terms of de-cluttering my belongings. For now, I have another wardrobe purge planned for this month and then hopefully I can tackle one area of my life a month until I see some improvements. One area that I have managed to pare down is my beauty drawer and so you may be seeing less and less beauty posts in these parts. I have a few reviews to get out but after that, I plan on really only buying what I need and buying them as sustainably as possible. One makeup brand that is particularly intriguing me for this reason is Canadian brand Elate Cosmetics but unfortunately there is not currently an EU/UK stockist. They use sustainable bamboo packaging and many of their products (also vegan) are available as refills. If I'm honest, I've just got a bit sick of all the plastic in the green beauty space.

This was just a short update but hopefully soon you'll be seeing lots of lovely new content on KV. As ever, if you have any suggestions for content - especially in the fields of sustainability and minimalist-type stuff - please let me know either by email or via Twitter!

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4 Easy Zero Waste Lifestyle Updates

Although I don't think I'll ever manage to be 100% 'zero' waste (just not wholly possibly where I live), I have been trying to make continuous small changes to reduce my contribution to landfill. Some changes are a lot easier than you'd think and often save you money, rather than costing a lot to implement. Here are some easy changes that are affordable too:

1. Reusable drinks cups
This change is quite obvious and this probably isn't the first time you've heard about it. Using a reusable drinking container just makes sense. This is something I've been doing for years and I have multiple containers for slightly different uses - although this totally isn't necessary. I love my 24Bottles Thermo bottle for taking ready-made hot drinks out of the house with me as it keeps drinks hot or cold for hours on end and the stainless steel means it never holds on to smells. I used to take a coffee with me on the drive to university at about 7am and I could only just sip it at about 9:30am... so it works! I've never attempted to get this filled at a coffee shop so I can't speak too much on that but its 500ml capacity makes it possible. I have a plain old university-branded thermos mug that I use for this and then of course, I also use reusable water bottles.

2. Shop more secondhand
This one is probably something you occasionally do already but I try to source almost everything secondhand before I commit to buying something new. I love to browse for clothing in charity shops and online on sites like eBay and Depop. Depop is primarily for clothing but eBay is great for almost anything secondhand and if you're looking for home bits, try asking around friends and family first because you never know what people have lurking about their lofts.

3. Switch to bar soaps
We use liquid soap for a lot of things; shampoo, shower gel, shaving. A lot of these unneeded plastic bottles can be avoided by trying to incorporate my bar soap products into your routine. Unfortunately shampoo bars don't seem to work for me but I love using interesting (palm-free) bar soaps instead of shower gel and they're also super handy for travel as they don't contribute to your liquid allowance! Some of my favourite places for bar soaps include CoutiverLiving Naturally, and Odylique.

4. Make your own
Making your own stuff is underrated - and this goes for food as well as beauty. Not only is it fun, but it saves money and packaging. I enjoy making my own salad dressings, and sauces and storing them in up-cycled jars that I have kept to reuse. I also occasionally experiment with making my own powdered cleansers, deodorants and other products. Most recently I've made a deodorising foot powder for shoes and sugar hair removal wax.

What are some of your favourite 'zero waste' swaps?

Fitness Notes and Update

1. I quit the gym and joined an online fitness programme. With the end of my undergraduate degree, came the end of my access to my university's brilliant gym. As much as I enjoy a good cardio session or fitness class, I'm not sure if I can afford a brick and mortar gym at the moment. Therefore I decided to try an online fitness programme in the form of Vegan Aesthetics, a programme run by vegan fitness youtuber, Stephanie Moir. 

2. So... I started lifting weights. This particular fitness programme is weight-training based and so this is something that I'm now trying to do regularly. Due to my lack of confidence (and gym membership) I've been sticking to bodyweight and adjustable dumbbell exercises at home but I'm hoping to move things to a gym in the future.

3. I resisted the excuse to consume. With an increase in exercise, comes an increased urge to shop for new workout clothing. Thankfully, I have resisted this urge and stuck to using pieces that I already own. While my fitness routine remains in its early days, I shall be keeping my workout wardrobe small and curated. My only possible wish list piece is a new pair of ethical workout leggings from Gossypium

4. I've been taking care of my body. As good as it is for your body and soul, exercise does constitute strain and so it is important to care for those moving muscles. Two awesome natural beauty products have been keeping me going through my little fitness spurt - a good muscle relaxing body oil and a refreshing toning mist. Everyone knows that I adore Botanicals and the Muscle Ease Body Oil* has been doing exactly what it says on the tin, easing my aching muscles. I've even managed to score a free massage with it from the boy a couple times! I'm definitely considering a full size of this when this sample size runs out. The Evolve Beauty Daily Defence Moisture Mist* is a new product and a welcome break from the heat and sweat of working out. I love spraying this over my face, body, yoga mat, basically everything after a good session. You really can't beat the feeling.

Have there been any changes in your fitness life? Can you reccommend me any amazing ethical/sustainable workout clothing brands?

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A Little Update
Image:  elizadean

Image: elizadean

1. I finished my undergrad! I handed in my dissertation in April and had my final exam in early May. It feels strange to have finished university but I'm not quite ready to let go of academia... 

2. In September, I shall be beginning a Masters degree in Eighteenth Century Studies. I'm currently ploughing through a 700-page Enlightenment social history and philosophy book in preparation and I'm actually kinda enjoying it. Add me on Goodreads if you would like to keep track of my reading escapades. 

3. If you didn't know already, I do monthly blog posts for LoveLula on all things vegan beauty. I've done three posts so far, and you can check out my latest (a vegan's guide to Madara) here. I'm running the blog with a wonderful group of green bloggers and having a lot of fun with it. Follow the LoveLula blog here!

4. In a couple weeks Rhys and I head out on our first adventure of 2017, a week-long mini tour of Scandinavia. We shall be visiting Copenhagen, Malmรถ, and Oslo so if you have any recommendations for vegan food/green beauty/generally lovely places to visit, please leave them below.

5. I'm working a lot at the moment to fund said trip (and another jaunt to Croatia in July), and so this explains why the blog is being a little neglected. I hope to fix this ASAP. I've got a few exciting things planned but I also welcome any post suggestions or requests in the comments. In the mean time, make sure you're following me on Twitter!