My most recent favourite ethical purchases.

As consumers we hold so much power and our buying decisions matter. Simply put, demand drives offer and companies follow consumer choices. This is a basic market principle that we all understand but often forget when making our purchases.

At the end of the day, what we buy is what we believe in, what we choose to support and, ultimately, what we want to see more in the world of. Thus, it is important to be mindful not only about what and how much we buy but also why we buy it and from where. Rather than buying by impulse, we should be striving to make informed and conscious purchasing decisions. By investing into sustainable, eco-friendly and fair trade products we are collectively effecting change. We are also supporting companies whose work is focused on making our planet a better place for all living things. Throughout the past years, I have definitely become more aware of what I consume and of where I choose to spend my money. I take pleasure in doing my own research about cruelty free, socially and environmental conscious brands/products before making some of my purchases. This way I can make sure that they are aligned with my ethics and personal values.

In today’s post I would like to share with you my most recent favourite ethical purchases! This is not a sponsored post. As I have said before, I like to use this platform to share with you what brings me joy and that is what I am just about to do now. So let’s jump right into it! 🙂

  • Solid shampoo bar from Living Naturally

I have been wanting to buy a vegan soap bar for ages and I finally got around it! I went to London last month for my sis’ graduation, who is as passionate about environmental sustainability and plant-based food as I am. She took me to a vegan supermarket called Green Bay, located in Hammersmith. Despite its relatively small size, it had a wide selection of products, ranging from food to healthy and beauty items. I was very happy to see that they had shampoo bars from @livingnaturally. This is a sustainable and certified vegan brand that only uses plant-based, organic and ethically-sourced ingredients. It is also a family-run business, whose products are produced in the UK and free from parabens, palm oil and artificial additives or fragrances. Just the kind of company I am more than happy to support.

I bought the “coconuttey” shampoo bar, which contains natural ingredients like coconut milk, avocado and coconut oil. It came in a cute cotton bag, meaning that no plastic was used in its packaging whatsoever. I find that plastic is still a recurring problem when buying sustainable products. It upsets me because I think it sorts of defeats the purpose if you know what I mean. Anyway, as I have only used this shampoo bar twice so far, it is still quite early to share my feedback on it. I am planning to do a proper review in due time (once I have used it for a considerable period of time).

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(retail price:£5.99)
  • Insulated tumbler from Klean Kanteen

I have been on a quest to find that perfect eco-friendly travel cup that is leak proof and that actually keeps beverages warm. Two important criteria that my two previous travel cups were not able to meet. I also wanted a tumbler that was small enough to carry around but big enough to fill with a regular size cappuccino. So now that I have finally found it, I could not be happier! #win The one I bought is from Klean Kanteen and it  is made of stainless steel and BPA free. In fact, Klean Kanteen was actually the first company that publicly addressed the dangerous effects of BPA to human health. It is a family-run business and B-corporation*, based in California, that likes to give back to the community. The company is involved in various projects and initiatives related to public health, sustainability and environmental responsibility. In order to reduce single use waste they sponsor local events and festivals. They also partner with organisations that work to reduce plastic water pollution as well as to preserve water and land. All in all, a real great company that cares about the people and the planet.

*a title acquired when certain social and environmental standards are met.

 

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(retail price: 19.95€)
  • T-shirt from ARMEDANGLES:

Ever since I heard about the Rana plaza disaster and attended a Fair Fashion festival, I have become more ethically aware when it comes to clothing. As my concern about about where, how and who made my clothes increased over time, I started to read more and more about fair trade fashion. That is how I come across with ARMEDANGLES, a German fair trade and organic clothing brand.

This t-shirt is actually the very first piece of clothing from them that I own but, now that I value quantity over quantity, it will not surely be the last one.

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(retail price: 32.90€)

I bought this t-shirt a few weeks ago and I am so pleased about it. First of all, it is very reassuring to know that it was produced in a sustainable way that is neither harmful for the planet nor for the people. Secondly, it is made of 100% organic cotton, which makes it a super comfy tee to wear. Thirdly, I love the empowering sentences printed on it:

“We all play a part. We are game changers. We are an inner winner.Nothing to lose.”

While it is true that not every piece of clothing that I own has been ethically made, it is also true that I am now certainly more committed to not only buy less but buy well. This is because I want my clothes to last longer and I want my purchases to benefit the planet as well as the people sourcing/producing them.

Armedangels really strikes me as a business driven by the genuine desire to create positive change; not only when it comes to social but also when it comes to environmental sustainability. I was positively surprised by their packaging. Just have a look at it:

 

 The t-shirt came in a box made of grass paper that is grown in a sustainable way. If you are interested in reading more about the entire production process, please click here 

 

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I hope you liked to read about these products. Please let me know if you have heard about any of these brands before and/or if you own something from them. Also, I’d love to know about some of your most recent (or not) ethical purchases! 🙂

To wrap it up, the power of our choices as consumers makes us agents of change. Our choice of buying from sustainable and ethical companies tells others to stop treating clothes and animals like they are disposable, cut down on pollution and treat their workers right. As consumers we are in a privileged place to demand transparency from companies and together we can push towards a circular economy. Together we can reduce our environmental footprint and create real and long-lasting social sustainability. Plus, is it not so reassuring every time we buy an item that somehow contributes for the sustainable future of us all? Is it not beautiful to respect and value the planet that we have? ♥

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

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Silicone freezer bags – an easy and convenient swap

It is not news that pretty much everything we do has an impact on the environment, e.g. the food we eat, the things we buy, the transports we use (private or public), and the list goes on. Thus, I think that it goes without saying that one of the best ways to treasure our planet – the only home we have – is to be mindful about our day-to-day purchases and actions. If you are one of my regular readers, you would know that environmental sustainability is something I personally care about. A lot. And if I want to be overall more eco-friendly and do more for the planet, then reducing my waste load (in particular plastic waste) seems like the first and most logical step to take. That being said, as an attempt to lighten my ecological footprint and avoid single use plastic, I have been trying to find plastic-free alternatives to my everyday products. And that is the main reason why I am writing this post today.

I would like to tell you about the current undisputed star in my kitchen. I am so satisfied and pleased about this eco-friendly purchase that I just could not keep it to myself.

Sooo, I have been using glass and plastic food storage containers for most of my life. I find them to be very convenient to store leftovers ingredients/foods as well as fresh produce like cut-up fruits and veggies. As someone who cooks nearly everyday and likes to use the weekend for some meal prepping, I find freezers to be one of the greatest man inventions ever. However, given the small size of my freezer, I struggle to find enough space to fit it all. The problem of food storage containers is that they just take up too much space, which forces me to limit how much meals and foods I can prep for the week. Of course that I could use regular plastic bags but that would just go against what I strive for: a low impact lifestyle. Thus, the limited storage of my freezer led me on a quest for a better, more practical but still environmentally-friendly alternative to regular food storage containers and plastic bags. I am so happy to have “stumbled upon” on food storage bags made of silicone! This turned to be such an easy and convenient swaps guys and you can find below in detail all the reasons why.

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Advantages of silicone food storage bags:

  • The bags are made of food grade silicone, which is a non-toxic material free of BPA, latex, lead and phthalates. Thus, a safer plastic alternative for our health
  • Since this material is also an abundant natural resource, they are a more ecologic and sustainable plastic alternative for the planet
  • Silicone is sturdy and resistant to extreme temperatures, making it a long lasting alternative to plastic. These bags can be reused over and over again without really  cracking, peeling, drying out or becoming brittle.
  • Self-sealing convenience, which makes them leakproof (great for clumsy and accident-prone people like me haha)
  • Semi transparency of the material, making it possible to see what is stored in the bags
  • Light weight, which makes them super convenient to transport and have on the go
  • They do not take much space due to the material malleability and being airtight
  • Very easy to clean
  • They are odourless (a feature for those who are quite sensitive to smells would be happy to know I guess? haha)
  • Pretty affordable price. I got these 4 bags for 7 pounds on Amazon, which I find it to be a pretty good deal. I mean, is it not great when you can help save the planet without having to go broke while doing it so?

Changes of habits can be challenging at first but they get easier over time. However, I think that once we start to open our eyes to the great impact that our lifestyle choices may have on our planet and all living things, we begin to choose differently. I have embarked on this journey towards living a more sustainable and eco lifestyle about two years ago and I feel like this is a lifetime commitment. There is a lot of learning, exploring, experimenting and trial and error involved but it does give me a sense of purpose, you know? I am not sure how to put it into words but I just find it rewarding to implement certain changes in my life when I know that they are the right thing to do for the planet and generations to come.

I hope you have found this post somewhat informative and useful. Do you have Were you aware of their existence? As always, I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about these eco-friendly freezer bags? Were you already aware of their existence? Do you have them already or are they in your wish list? What are other sustainable items you have bought and recommend? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂
Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

In love with my bamboo toothbrush from Humble Co.

I think that our beautiful world could only benefit if we were all a little bit more mindful about the things we buy and consume; especially those we use on a daily basis like our toothbrush. I have bought my very first bamboo toothbrush around one year ago, at Vegenement, which is a Vegan Festival that took place where I live ( Utrecht, The Netherlands). Since this same festival took place again this year, just about three weeks ago, and I went there… you can guess what happened. I bought myself another bamboo toothbrush! 🙂 I am very pleased for having swapped my regular plastic toothbrush for a sustainable bamboo one. Hence why I am here today: to share my reasons for this happy swap and perhaps to motivate those of you who don’t have a bamboo toothbrush, to buy one and give it a go.

So, what do I like the most about using a bamboo toothbrush?

  • Contrary to plastic, bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, an attribute that offers a long-lasting protection against harmful bacteria. This way, I do not need to worry about potential nasty bacteria growing in my toothbrush
  • By choosing to use a sustainably-grown bamboo toothbrush, I am lowering my impact on the planet and ensuring that it will not be yet another toothbrush lingering in a landfill ..or, even worse, in our oceans and beaches. If it ends up there, it might end up by being consumed by marine life, which subsequently causes them harm. Also, a bamboo toothbrush does not contribute to air pollution as it so happens when the ones made of hard plastic are burnt (they release a toxic and greenhouse gases)
  • Bamboo is a material that is totally biodegradable (and can even be composted) and sustainable. It is actually the fastest growing plant on earth (i.e self-regenerated, rapid growth rate, super adaptable and resilient). Also, due to its naturally-occurring antimicrobial agents, its cultivation does not require the use of fertilisers or artificial pesticides, making it toxin-free.

I love to support any businesses and brands that are aligned with my personal values and interests (sustainability being one of them). It makes me truly happy to come across with entrepreneurs and business owners who are trying to make this world a better place.

Despite not doubting that most manufacturers of bamboo toothbrushes are a passionate bunch striving for greater sustainability, I think that is important to choose well. I must say that I could not be happier and more satisfied for having bought this last bamboo toothbrush. It is from the Swedish brand The Humble Co. and after some research and digging, I was amazed to find that this is not only a brand that cares about environmental responsibility but also about social responsibility. Thus, if you are looking to buy a bamboo toothbrush that is from a sustainable, transparent and trustworthy brand, I’d totally recommend Humble and Co. Here are all the reasons why:

  • It is 100% recyclable! .. but how so?

– The handle it is made of sustainably-grown bamboo which is 100% biodegradable as I have mentioned above

– The bristles are made of nylon-6, which is a long-lasting hygienic synthetic material with a low carbon footprint and that degrades over time

              – The box in which the toothbrush comes is made from recycled materials and its wrapper is compostable and made from plants (seriously, how awesome is this?)

  • It is organic, vegan and cruelty free, which means that you can rest assured that the bristles are not made of pig hair
  • It is BPA free due to its bristles being made of Nylon-6, a material that is naturally free from this toxin
  • You can choose between soft and medium bristles, which are actually the only two “hardness” types recommended by dentists
  • I really like its design and the toothbrushes are available in 6 different colours
  • I really value what this company stands for. It is an environmentally conscious brand that not only is aware of the plastic problem and of oral health care not being uniformly accessible across the nation but that also works to tackle these issues.
  • Every purchase goes towards funding professional and healthcare projects that benefit children in need. With its profits, Humble Co. donates either physical products (e.g. oral care products) or monetary resources to those that need them the most. This just confirm the company’s genuine intention to make a positive impact. It makes me feel good to know that by buying a bamboo toothbrush from Humble Co., I am supporting a business that is actually making a change in the environment and in the lives of many children
  • The toothbrush is developed by dentists who have put significant time into testing and refining proccedures to meet our needs. Knowing that my eco-friendly toothbrush was designed and produced under the guidance and supervision of professional assures me that it is adequate for my oral health care needs.
  • It has an affordable price (3,95€)

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Switching to a bamboo toothbrush might seem like a seemingly important thing but I, firmly, believe that it is by taking these seemingly irrelevant “SMALL steps” that we can make a “BIG difference”.

 

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Do you also own a bamboo toothbrush? If not, has this post somewhat convinced you to buy one? 🙂

Brief disclaimer: I am not being paid to promote this product nor was I offered it for free. I am just sharing a product that I have purchased because it has the potential to help us save the planet and because I love it.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful