Iulia Pop's less plastic lifestyle

It only takes a few minutes to research or to follow new social media accounts and you will find some amazing things.

I grew up in Romania where food markets were, and still are, a thing – and there you would find the freshest produce grown by individuals, not farmers who were growing on large scale. Back then, as a child, I used to question why my parents bought the slightly ‘imperfect’ produce from the market and not the perfect and shiny ones from the supermarkets; today, I know better.

I fondly remember my mother always washing and re-using any plastic pots that came with yogurt – they had many purposes, bottles from water or juice which she would cut and use in the garden to protect her flower stems over the cold winter months – she would always find at least a second use for everything.

Today, I choose to buy less plastic or no plastic where possible – empty houmous pots are great for freezing food, but refill stations are the best! Although the cost of unpacked fresh produce is slightly higher, in the long term using something like Waitrose Unpacked doesn’t make a huge difference.

This month for #PlasticFreeJuly, Oxford Etsy have opened their food and liquid refill station in their Didcot concept store.

Some of my go-to sustainable options are:

  • The Market Garden, Eynsham – for zero-waste products and locally-sourced produce. * the also offer veg boxes
  • Beco shampoo bars – they are also found in Waitrose
  • Georganics – sustainable oral hygiene products
  • Smol – subscription of eco-friendly laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets
  • Phox – eco-friendly water filter
  • And my newest addition – By Sarah London – organic and sustainable skincare

As for fashion, who has not lived in hand-me-down clothes? I used to love the moment when an aunt would drop off a bag of clothes – the hallway became my own catwalk stage – much more fun than buying clothes which “you’ll grow into”. Buying less clothes is a first great step towards being kinder to the environment and humanity. For more about fast fashion I would recommend following Venetia La Manna on social media.

Ultimately, switching to ethical and environmentally friendly products can only be better for the planet and implicitly for ourselves.

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”  Anne-Marie Bonneau

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