In 5 Fridays

5 Ways to Reduce Waste

Whilst we as individuals are not necessarily the main causes of climate changes (I’m looking at all you massive corporations over there in the back, not even reading this post), but we can individually do our bit to help the environment just a little. One of these ways is to produce less waste, which means less going to the landfill site and less being thrown in the oceans or blown out into the world in the wind!

1. Stop buying plastic water bottles

I will freely admit that I’m not great at this one. I have used reusable water bottles most of my life, but since my last once wore out over a year ago (it was metal and very dented) I haven’t purchased a new one. Since then, I’ve been using plastic water bottles in rotation – getting a new one each time I forget to pack the one I’m currently using. This saves some waste and money, but I do need to get around to buying a new sturdier one.

Reusing water bottles saves so much plastic. Single-use bottles just become silly and unnecessary. Reuse your water bottles people!

2. Always carry a tote/reusable carrier bag

I always do my best at bringing a tote bag with me when going shopping – it’s been part of my routine for a long time, seeing as the Welsh Government put the 5p charge on plastic bags in 2011 and the rest of the UK following suit not too long after. But there are times that I forget to bring a bag, so recently I’ve been keeping a tote bag folded up at the bottom of my rucksack/handbag so that I am never stuck.

PSA for students: you can pick up free tote bags at any uni open day. They will have the name of the uni on it but honestly I don’t see that as a problem, it’s just the same as a brand having their name on a plastic bag.

3. Make packed lunches

Most of the lunches I bring into college are leftovers from meals I’ve had either the night before or frozen. My family have a few sturdy lunchboxes which we share and are a great size. One timesaver is to make extra food in the evening and pre-package the night before. For example, I once made a curry last a week and it’s pretty easy to cook an extra 100g of pasta and a few spoons more sauce and let it cool.

If you do have to buy lunch (due to lack of time, etc.) then try to go somewhere that has largely recyclable packaging or maybe eat in with plate. Similarly, try to avoid using plastic cutlery and carry around a spoon or fork in with you from home. Just remember to take them out of your bag so they don’t accumulate in a pocket! (Not that I’ve done that before…)

4. Donate, don’t throw away

Minimalism is a growing trend, and it’s a lifestyle I would love to lead but know I would never be capable of. I think I’m just too much of a messy person and I get way too sentimental about things.

Despite this, I have been trying to clear out some of my stuff and get rid of things that are just lying about unused – we all need to have a clear out at some point any way. What I suggest doing, instead of throwing anything out straight away is to check the condition and the type of object and then donate it to a charity shop or homeless shelter if the items are suitable. This way you can make some space whilst helping others and ensuring that items reach their full potential.

5. Wear a menstrual cup!

It’s no secret how much I love my menstrual cup – I will talk about it to friends and strangers alike (hence my blog series, #ACupaDay) – but there is a reason for my enthusiasm. For people who menstruate, disposable products such as tampons and pads are the initial go-to that we’re taught from the get-go are the only things to use during your period. Think about it: you’ve got the products themselves, the packaging/wrapping and then the applicators (if they’re there). That’s ridiculous amounts to be throwing away.  However, in the past few years I have become much more aware about the array of products that we have available to us. My menstrual cup has changed my life (not even exaggerating) but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit you. If you don’t like the idea of a menstrual cup, you could always use period underwear or reusable pads (just make sure you wash them regularly!).

What do you do to reduce waste?

If you liked this post you might like: My First Thoughts on the Menstrual Cup

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In Monthly Wrap Ups

January 2018 | Monthly Wrap Up

January’s been pretty mad. It’s been buys, it’s been stressful, it’s been full of friends. But mostly stressful.

Favourite part?

January has felt a bit surreal – it’s gone by in a flash without me almost realizing it. I loved seeing my some of my friends in a production of Love & Information they were both amazing!

I’ve had a few quite chill evenings this month – either with my friends or a girly night watching the Crown with my mum. These have been much needed as they’ve helped a lot with stress.

Best read?

I’ve read so much this month. I don’t know what’s happened, I’ve just been on a real book high. Admittedly, they have mostly been quite short but who cares?

First, I read Lydia by Natasha Farrant – a YA reimagining of Lydia Bennet’s stay in Brighton. I love anything to do with Pride and Prejudice and this was a fun way of thinking of the universe, although I’m not sure I agree with the characterization of Lydia.

Then, I finished reading A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin which I had read half of in 2017. I love this series and I’ve got the next instalment lined up for February/March.

I read MAGGIE by John Sergeant as part of my EPQ. It was really interesting and definitely good for anyone who wants to know more about Thatcher and the immediate aftermath of her premiership. I also read Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I can understand why it’s been praised so much and I think it is a great way of promoting acceptance and kindness in young people.

I then read A Little Gay History by R. B. Parkinson, which I’d been meaning to read since I heard the Banging Book Club episode on it. This is an excellent resource and I found out so much! I would recommend everyone give this a read – especially all you history nerds out there.

I then read Of Women by Shami Chakrabarti (Shadow Attorney General) and Women & Power by Mary Beard. Both of these are amazing works of feminist writing and, again, I would highly recommend to everyone and anyone. These women are amazing and I loved reading every word they wrote.

Lastly, I finished reading the Russian Revolution by Alan Moorehead. I am currently reading His Bloody Project by Graham Macrae Burnet and A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Marry Wollstonecraft.

Favourite tunes?

One artist I’ve discovered this month is Carla Bruni. I’ve been playing her songs on repeat along with my chill playlist. It’s really calming and especially good to have during A Levels. I’ve also been listening to a lot more ABBA because of my excitement for the release of Mamma Mia 2!


Favourite watch?

I’ve watched quite a few films this month, including Darkest Hour, Julie & Julia, Penelope and Love, Rosie – all of which I would highly recommend for very different reasons. I also watched the film adaptations of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park (the one with Billie Piper), so I’ve now seen most film/TV adaptations, although I still want to watch all of them.


Ooh I nearly forgot: the fourth series of Grace and Frankie was released! I loved it as I did the previous series, however, I did have some issues with the difference in the portrayals of the men and women.

What did I learn?

Value my life and what I have more. I know it sounds way too soppy and sentimental but I don’t care, I really want to appreciate everything a bit more.

What’s happening next month?

It’s one of my best friend’s 18th birthday so I’m looking forward to celebrating that with her. I also have mocks which I should be revising for instead of writing this post. I’m also seeing a show - a feminist one so hopefully it'll give me all of the opinions. 

What’s been on my mind?

The summer! Whenever I write this section I feel like I’m repeating myself.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I’ve really been loving my friend Amanda’s videos this month – they've are really interesting and it's just great to listen to her speak more often. Carrie Hope Fletcher has been doing a monthly project called Three Cheers for New Years (more commonly known as VEDJ, except acting as a fundraiser) and I will never say no to more Carrie videos.

Favourite post?

I’ve been reasonably productive on my blog in comparison with recent months, as I’ve actually managed to publish one post a week. The stand out post has to be Goalsfor 2018, I just love planning things and looking into the future!

Biggest inspiration?

Again, another one where I feel like I’m repeating myself – the thought of the future, panic at failing exams, wanting to make a difference, but this month I want to include my friends on this list more. My friend Maisie has set up a justgivingpage to raise money for Alopecia UK through a sponsored headshave. This is in honour of our friend Anna – both of them are incredible and it would mean so much to all of us if you could share the link and donate where possible. It’s a truly great cause that helps so many people.

Some more of my friends (there’s a small group of them so I’m not going to list names) are doing a night walk in aid of the Rohingya Crisis. It’s a wonderful cause again that needs to be discussed more and put to an end. Again, anything you are able to give would be really appreciated, but just a share would be amazing.

Any other favourites?

In January, I tried to establish a proper skin routine. I’ve always been quite insecure about my skin; in fact I’d go so far to say that it’s my biggest insecurity. I’ve used a few products from Body Shop’s Vitamin E range (a god send that damages my bank account but I think is worth it so far) along with the Lush facemask ‘Don’t Look at Me’. My skin feels so much healthier and even if it isn’t totally clear, I feel a lot better in myself.

If you liked this post you might like: December 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

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