I am increasingly aware of how much stuff we have, too many clothes mainly for me but just too much excess in general. I never thought I'd see the day when I started to rebel against shopping and consumerism. I am even finding I don't want to go clothes shopping any more. My weak spot though is online shopping - controlling that habit is a work in progress - but I am sending more back so that is a start.
Anyway, it got me thinking, as I am now on an ongoing decluttering mission, I thought I would share some of my recycling ideas, I have come across a few good causes in recent months that you too might find useful.
Bras - did you know we can donate our gently used bra's to charity? Smalls for All® is a Scottish charity which collects and distributes underwear to help women and children in Africa and the UK. In Africa, they help those living in orphanages, slums, IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and schools, as well as those in hospitals suffering from medical conditions like obstetric fistula. The also accept new bras and new pants. I bag my unwanted bra's up and take them to the Post Office to post to them.
Hair straighteners - my Cloud Nine straighteners died while we were on holiday in La Gomera in December (horror) so I came home and needed to order some new ones and discovered that Cloud Nine will accept any brand of straighteners (even if you are not buying from them) to be recycled. And you can print off a 'free pre-paid postage' label too - easy! Details at Cloud Nine here..
Clothes - obviously there is eBay but that is very time consuming for not much return and of course it is always good to donate to charity shops. But if you'd like to make some cash from some of your nearly new / gently used items then do look for a dress agency near you. There are so many popping up. I use Vintage & Vogue in Beaconsfield and Diana's Wardrobe in Maidenhead.
And I wanted to mention here a fabulous new business I came across on Instagram recently. Tors & Co offer a range of slogan t-shirts, hoodies and bags for men, women and children. All their products are organic and plastic free. Every item is made and printed in a renewable energy powered factory and is designed to be sent back to them when it is worn out. They make new products from the material recovered and the cycle itself is renewable. The products can be returned and remade again and again. This is CIRCULAR FASHION! Customers will get a discount code every time they send a Tors & Co used shirt back to use on their next purchase.
Cards - I am still not sure how I would feel if we gave up cards arriving in the post, I do love to get real post especially birthday cards and I have received a lot of sympathy cards after our recent bereavement which was so kind. I also love to send birthday cards. I keep a lot of my old cards - not every single one but the ones that stand out for me. I didn't however send many Christmas cards this year, only to those people that I am not in daily contact with via Social Media. What about the alternatives though - eCards? I think they can definitely have a place especially for invitations, I tried out Paperless Post recently and it was a very easy process to send a card.
Coffee pods - I noticed that John Lewis now has a Nespresso Boutique in our local store so I stocked up on pods (not that I am a coffee drinker) and they asked me if I wanted a recycling bag for the used pods. It is really good to see these initiatives now available and becoming more common.
Cosmetics and toiletries - this one has stumped me for a long time. If I buy a product, open it, try it, but don't like it - what then? It seems such a waste. And I get so many free products and samples given to me as well. When I was in Sri Lanka I gave some of my unfinished bottles to the beach seller I befriended and she was so grateful. So I researched and found Toiletries Amnesty a website that holds a directory of all the charities in the UK that accept donations of cosmetics and toiletries - either new or gently used. And Jo from Less is More told me about Clean Conscience, a charity that works with the hotel industry to recycle soaps and toiletries mainly but other items too - candle wax, bedding etc.
Wild, a natural deodorant I reviewed here a while back are about to launch a fully recyclable version.
There is website called Recycle Now that has a directory of just about everything - although I couldn't find any ideas for new or unused toiletries on there and they do ask that bottles are emptied and rinsed out.
Hope this is helpful, I certainly have learnt a bit more about what can be recycled recently. Now I just need to keep a note of these options and remember to use them - it does take a bit more effort - to bag up the bras and go to the post office for example.
In other news, I am still really struggling with low mood and although I have better days - like last Saturday when the sun was amazing and really lifted me, I am still having really down days. It does mean I am not really enjoying my insta-grid and getting photos right now, I am also really missing 'getting dressed up' my wardrobe seems very uninspiring and grey like the weather.
I am not sure what I need to lift me - maybe some days out in London (my happy place) - but I will talk about it all some more in a separate post - the whole HRT/anti-depressant/hormone/life stuff is really confusing! I am about to listen to a podcast from Dr Chatterjee #94 Is everything you know about depression wrong with Johann Hari.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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