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I’m An ‘Eco’ Hoarder

I am a few days away from being finished with my degree and just under a week away from having to move (again). I am not someone who travels light, a constant source of stress for myself and those around me. But who am I without all my things?? No one. Anyway, as I am once more sifting through all my clothes and other things that I have accumulated, I realised something. Being environmentally aware has turned me into a hoarder. Some hereditary tendencies come into as well, I’m sure. But I keep things because I don’t really know what to do with them and feel guilty about just chucking them.

This is largely because:

  • I know what will happen to these items if I throw them away.
  • I know what will likely happen to them if I recycle them.
  • I know what will likely happen if I donate them.

They’ll end up in landfill. Or worse.


Take, for example, my old worn out gym trainers. I don’t need them any more, I have new ones that actually support my feet. I can’t donate them because they are worn out and who would want them. It would just mean they’d be thrown out next week and not today. Nike will apparently take any brand of athletic shoe to be recycled at participating stores, so I will have a look into that. Alternatively, you could donate to a charity, that shoes the needy abroad such as Sal’s Shoes or Shoe Aid.

boots

I also have a big bag full of old make up, that I kid myself I will use again. If I’m honest with myself I know I only use max like 5 products so the bag of 50 will go forever unused. I have, in the past, seen the above bins in Boots but I am not sure if they are still hosting them, the website says very little. There are also the TerraCycle schemes which are free to use and set up, if there isn’t a collection point already near you.


Essentially this post serves as a public name and shame for myself. Marie Kondo your life, gal. But also I am lamenting the consumerist society that we are trapped in, and the existential crisis it is forcing me to have as I sit in front of my overflowing wardrobe. Just stop buying clothes, I hear you say. I cannot, unfortunately. I will not.

If you have any thoughts or tips please, leave them below!

Jessica xx

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'10 ways to green your halloween' over a pic of a decoration halloween pumpkin

10 Ways To Green Your Halloween

So, Halloween (month) is here! I won’t lie to you, I bloody love Halloween! Halloween in the UK is nowhere near as big as it is stateside but I think we’re really getting into it! Here’s a few ideas to reduce the environmental impact of your Halloween!

If you don’t enjoy or participate in Halloween, this post won’t have a lot to offer you, unfortunately.


Pumpkins:

Everyone loves carving a pumpkin! It’s fun, you get to be creative, and they look so good when they’re done (if you’re a creative genius like me, anyway)!

A pile of large orange pumpkins

Recipes:

Most of the pumpkins bought during this season are used for carving. This is not their sole purpose in life. Pumpkins are a delicious and versatile ingredient for many dishes! Personally, I could eat a whole pumpkin’s worth of pumpkin seeds! So, instead of just throwing away all the gooey goodness inside the pumpkin – put it to good use, in your tummy. Here are some recipe ideas!

Compost:

When Halloween is all done and dusted, make sure you dispose of your pumpkin appropriately. If you have a compost heap, stick it on there! If you don’t have a compost bin, maybe just break the pumpkin up and put it over the garden – it’ll break down over time and the bugs will love it!


Sweets:

Don’t give out sweets:

No sweets = no waste. No rubbish. No resources used up. It sounds cynical and not really in the spirit of the holiday, but it’s a simple fix. Sugary foods aren’t great for the environment anyway.

A backgroun of coloured sugar sprinkles - two fried egg sweets for eyes and a red liquorice for a smile

Make your own!

Sweets often come in non-recyclable plastic wrappers or waxed paper. A lot of sweets are given out, and eaten, on Halloween. So, that means a lot of wrappers just going straight to landfill! To prevent this, you could have a go at making your own surprises for trick or treaters. I won’t lie though, I’d always be a bit wary of those people that gave out sponge cakes or whatever else they had made! Anyway, here are some ideas (be mindful of allergies)!

Good choices:

If you can’t be bothered to make your own (can’t blame ya), try to buy ones that are ethically and consciously produced. Like checking if the sweets etc. are organic, fairtrade, or even just plastic-free. Get some foil-wrapped sweets – at least then the option to recycle is there, all you can do is hope! You also don’t have to give out food! You could give the children some colouring or a small toy – great if you want to have a clear out!


Costumes:

Costume swap:

If you have some friends (let’s assume you do) you can organise a costume swap. Your costume doesn’t have to be new, it can just be new to you. This is a great idea for people who want to dress up but can’t afford a new costume or just a chance to organise a get-together with some friends!

A man wearing a hoodie with a neon skull-like face on a dark background

Charity (thrift) shops:

This follows the same principle as the point above but this time you’re swapping the costume for money! And for a good cause! When you’re done with it, if it’s still in good nick, you could re-donate it!

Rent a costume:

Why buy a costume to use for one day, when you could just rent one? You’ll likely save and money – not to mention how good you can feel about not generating anymore unnecessary Halloween waste! If you’re going to go down this route, get in there quick and reserve one as I’m sure this is a popular choice.

A person wearing a red fluffy coat, jeans, and cowboy biker boots - they are wearing a costume rabbit head and sat on the stair of a derelict building that is covered in graffiti

DIY:

You could also just cobble together some kind of costume with stuff you have lying around. It really doesn’t have to be something elaborate. Add fake blood to anything, and boom, a costume! This will also save you some money!

Pro tip: make your own fake blood to prevent a load of plastic waste!


DIY Decorations:

A lot of Halloween decorations are made of plastic. And, with how much plastic is in the ocean at the moment, it’s probably best you avoid using plastic at all costs.

Two pumpkins and a small horned animal skul in amongst a lot of dead branches and grass. there are 5 candles.

Decorations don’t need to be elaborate! Maybe just let your garden go a bit wild. Find some dead branches. Leave the spiders to do what they do best! The last Halloween party i had, I made loads of decorations just from stuff that I found in the garden and recycling! I made some tea light holders out of glass jars, I made the house into a jack-o-latern, and I made a big ghost out of some chicken wire and an old sheet!


The pinterest pin for '10 ways to green your halloween' feautres some candles, some dry twigs, and a skull.


If you have any suggestions on how else to ‘Green Your Halloween’, leave them in the comments!

Jessica xx

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