Give the Gift of Sustainability

Sustainability is very much in fashion at the moment, and I hope it’s not a phase. A lot of us have made small switches to reduce our waste and lessen our impact on the environment. The biggest change we should be making is moving to a plant based diet, but you can’t gift that!

With the approach to Christmas, many of you may have read some of my gift guide posts. On this post, I’m going to include a few swap and gift ideas that you can give this Christmas!

None of us are perfect, but we can all do our best to make swaps in our lives to help improve things.

Face Halo

I switched to the Face Halo last year and it is still one of my favourite purchases!

For those of you that don’t know, the Face Halo is a make up remover pad. You can visit the website for more details, but it’s so easy to use and has yet to fail at removing my make up! I don’t buy disposable make up wipes anymore as I have no need for them!

I bought a pack of 3 straight away and so far I’ve only used 2 of them, alternating when 1 goes in the wash.

They currently have limited edition cherry ones which look absolutely fabulous and would make an excellent Christmas gift!

Chilly’s Bottles

My brother bought a Chilly’s reusable bottle and it encouraged me to buy my own. There are other insulated bottles out there that are cheaper, however the quality doesn’t match Chilly’s.

I bought both a coffee cup and a water bottle and I love them both. The coffee cup keeps my hot drinks warm for a few hours and I’ve been really impressed with it. The durability of the bottles is amazing and I highly recommend them.

Vegetable Shopping Bags

This may sound like a weird one, but it’s made a big difference for us in our home!

When we pop to the supermarket to buy our fruit and veg, we try and avoid buying the pre-packaged items and pick up the individual fruit/veg that we need for that day/week.

We used to use the plastic bags that the supermarket provide you. We stopped doing that and were placing the bar code stickers directly onto our fruit and veg so we didn’t have to pick up a bag.

I found these bags on Amazon, that have been so handy. We keep them in our shopping bags and now we can keep our fruit and veg separate from the rest of our shopping.

They might not be the most exciting gift to give, but for anyone who is looking to make these swaps, it’ll make a great addition to their lives.

Ripple on Albany Road, Cardiff

On my final note, we walked along Albany Road back to the car from Luna’s Vegan Corner last week and finally popped into Ripple. They are currently working on an expansion project which I think is going to be really exciting.

I wasn’t fully prepared for this visit so didn’t have any containers with me, but everything is amazing. You can buy containers there, but there are also donated containers which you can pick up for free. The range of products is amazing from cleaning products, to tea, to granola and to pasta.

For those of you in Cardiff looking for zero waste shops, Ripple is where you need to be. I was so impressed and I’ll definitely be making another visit with all my containers soon!

Spring Cleaning: My New IKEA PAX Wardrobe

We’re into Summer now and over the past few weeks, Tom and I have been making a conscious effort to clear out our junk and start re-organising ourselves and the home! We are still very much in the process of clearing out but we’ve made a good start.

  • I’ve filled 1 large bin liner with clothes that I haven’t worn for a year or so (some even longer!). These have now been donated to charity.
  • Old shoes have also been cleared out, with the unwearable ones thrown away and the others donated to charity. I had, still have, an unnecessary amount of shoes.
  • With those 2 tasks completed, we were able to reorganise our third bedroom/office/dressing room. It’s much tidier with much more room.

This also included an early trip to IKEA on a Saturday morning after a week of designing our ideal wardrobe using the PAX Planner on their website. It wasn’t the easiest design tool but it was great for what I needed, although did heat up the laptop quite considerably!

My wardrobe design using the PAX planner

With the PAX Planner, you can save your designs to go back to later, add them to your basket and/or print out a list to take to your local IKEA store; which is what we did!

We spent a Saturday morning with our IKEA shopping list, struggling around the self serve section of the store with the trolley, collecting our items and cross-referencing them with our list. As it was still early, it wasn’t busy so we were able to get in and out within the hour. I also treated myself to a BRUSALI Shoe Cabinet.

Our IKEA trip was so exhausting just from lugging the items back and forth from shelf to trolley, trolley to van and van to house, that the thought of building it that same day was completely unfeasible. We settled for building the shoe cabinet first and saving the delightful wardrobe adventure for Sunday.

I wish I took before and after photos of the house, but before our shoe cabinet, we had a very basic shoe rack from Dunelm. This, combined with the masses of shoes, made for an incredibly messy looking hallway. The shoe cabinet has made a huge difference. It’s much more organised and having the shoes hidden away declutters a lot.

BRUSALI Shoe Cabinet

The only problem with the shoe cabinet was that the already provided gap for the skirting board was not large enough for our skirting board. This is probably my own fault for not checking but we got too lazy to cut it so we left it as it is, not screwed into the wall. We don’t have young children so we’re not too worried about furniture falling on anyone other than ourselves!

Now onto the wardrobe…

We woke up early on Sunday morning to build the first 100cm frame. I let Tom sleep in while I built the drawers as he would have the harder job of carrying the wardrobe frame upstairs. We opened all the packaging downstairs and he took the frame up piece by piece as it was heavy in it’s packaging.

We had to move the room around in order to give us enough room to build the frame but once we had that in place, it was fairly simple to follow the instructions. Our favourite thing about IKEA are their instructions with the funny looking faces. It can be quite difficult to follow and we made a few mistakes with misplacement of screws but fortunately they were rectifiable.

After completing this frame, we took a well deserved lunch break for an hour before moving onto the smaller 50cm frame. After building the first frame, it was much easier and quicker to do the second as we’d already completed the steps once before.

Both frames completed and put together

And finally, to finish off the wardrobes, we attached GRIMO doors with black ENERYDA knobs. The doors were incredibly simple to attach with the hinges and after we measured the door handles in the right place, the look was complete and we were ecstatic with the finished product.

I’m not sure what everyone’s overall feelings towards IKEA are, but I recommend these wardrobes. Something of a similar size, without the customisable options, from somewhere like Made.com was at least double the price.

In my opinion, it was very much worth the effort of collecting, carrying and building for the perfect wardrobe. I’ll complete another post in the future with the wardrobe filled and some more of my organisation improvements!