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!

 

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?

Good Intentions for 2017
Earrings: Oh My Clumsy Heart

Earrings: Oh My Clumsy Heart

I didn't particularly want to do a resolutions post this year (because I am quite rubbish at them), but I did want to partially keep myself accountable for some 'intentions' for 2017. I've been eating vegan since 2013, using green beauty since 2014, and in 2017, I plan on finally making some changes to other areas of my life. 

Towards the end of 2016, I started going to the gym more and semi-regularly attending yoga classes. I want to keep this up in 2017. I am a member of my uni's gym (even though I live 40 mins away) because it means I can make the most of long breaks between classes - which can sometimes be up to four hours long. I also want to make a conscious effort to bring a reusable cup with me everyday as I hate to think how many non-recyclable coffee cups I have used over my time at university, let alone over the course of my life. I'm rather excited about my new 24Bottles thermo bottle that is suitable for both hot and cold drinks. It has such a beautiful design and the 500ml capacity is perfect for uni. I'm feeling very inspired by the 'zero-waste' movement and I'm also looking to make some other minor changes such as purchasing a reusable safety razor rather than relying on plastic (how exciting).

I'm also doing a bit of an overhaul with my wardrobe. From 2017 onwards, I am going to make a serious effort to buy largely second-hand and only buy from sustainable companies if buying clothing new. However, exceptions will probably be made for certain items (like shoes), as my budget can only stretch so much and they're items that get worn often. I've worn my current pair of black Chelsea boots nearly everyday for the last year and a half. I would definitely say that's more sustainable than buying five pairs of eco-friendly boots that I hardly wear. Second-hand, vintage, and charity shops have always been a passion of mine (I love spending hours browsing) so I'm actually delighted to get back into using them. In terms of sustainable companies, I've already purchased a few basics from the fabulous People Tree. They're a bit expensive full price but so far, everything I have has been bought on sale or via their Amazon shop that stocks additional sizes to what is available on their own website. I'm very excited for their S/S '17 collection - some of the pieces look right up my street. As you can see from the feature image, I've also purchased these beautiful earrings from one of my favourite jewellery companies, Oh My Clumsy Heart. I've been eyeing them for ages and Christmas was a great excuse to just treat myself! Sophie - the owner - totally aligns with me in terms of values and ethos so it's a brand I'm delighted to support.

What changes are you looking to make or what good intentions do you have for 2017?