November 22, 2018

Small Steps Towards Sustainable Living | The Kitchen

small steps towards sustainable living

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Starting in the kitchen with some small steps towards sustainable living

You know those subjects that sometimes feel so monumental, you don’t really know where to begin? And then, when you think about it a little more, you decide that not knowing where to begin is no excuse not to. That’s kind of how I felt when I thought about the subject of taking some small steps towards sustainable living.

In some instances you realise that it’s better to start somewhere than do nothing. And this is one of those for sure.

It’s a topic that’s gaining traction in mainstream media… and about time. But it can be a bloody frustrating topic too. Having the perspective of a 13 year old who still sees the world in simple terms can be a real leveller. “WHY don’t they just stop putting everything in the supermarkets in plastic?” Good question.

“Why doesn’t Donald Trump care enough about the environment to join in with other world leaders? And surely, if the world is at risk, why don’t they all get together and do something about it?” Both excellent questions and sadly, it still makes no sense to her when I have to say that in the end, it mostly comes down to matters of money, meaning that change is slow and sometimes ineffectual.

nordic teapot and artisan mug

I haven’t been able to watch the Drowning In Plastic documentary yet because H is pretty much always around. And I know this one would really upset her. To a degree, I’m still able to protect her from what can cause her upset but I know that won’t always be the case. But I am going to make time to watch it by myself… as gut wrenching as I know I’ll find it.

On the basis of what I’ve read on some blogs and Instagram accounts I follow, I decided to begin in the kitchen with our own small steps to sustainable living.

Here’s how…

Nespresso coffee and Jono Smart espresso cups

Nespresso lover? Me too… you may have sussed that one out by now.

Contrary to some messages I’ve had via Instagram DMs after posting my morning coffee on Stories, the capsules aren’t plastic – they’re made from aluminium and they can be recycled. Nespresso provide all the info here for the three ways you can do this.

We fill up the bag provided and then drop it off at a Collect + point to be returned and recycled, the plastic bag included. Simples!

soap bars eco friendly alternative

soap bar on marble soap dish

I don’t know what it was about turning forty but lot of my friends feel the same about a luxe liquid soap! But in a bid to use less plastic, I’ve decided to use up the ones I have and switch to soap bars instead.

This Sevïn soap and Hammam soap dish have both been cool and eco-friendly additions to the kitchen and I’m still using my Aesop Hand Balm that I bought about 18 months ago. Beauty products are a whole other topic to be investigated but on checking Aesop’s sustainability policy, I was happy to read that they use recyclable glass or cardboard wherever possible.

If there was an option to take your bottle in and get it refilled, I’d use it. I read on their site that due to hygiene reasons it’s not possible, but it would be great to see if more brands could even entertain this as a concept.

Scandi style tea pot


I didn’t realise that there are micro plastic grains in the sealed edges of teabags until recently (I read about it on Becky’s blog), so we’ve gone back to the old fashioned method of a teapot and strainer.

There’s something lovely and ritualistic about making tea in this way and this Skagerak Nordic Teapot is giving me all the Scandi feels! This is a thing of beauty that I love having in the kitchen.

After undertaking a search for an aesthetically pleasing tea strainer I bought this one by Robert Welch at John Lewis. Maybe a little more expensive than your average tea strainer but if it’s going to be gracing my kitchen worktop then I want it to look good!

And so go the ramblings of  an almost fifty year old who likes what she likes…

eliminating single use plastic water bottles

eco friendly products from Steamer Trading

Cutting out plastic water bottles is now a no brainer and I’ve had this one from S’well since earlier on this year. These insulated bottles are brilliant for keeping water cold and lets face it, they look pretty good too.

Whilst I was planning content for the rest of the year and thinking about putting this blog post together, Steamer Trading got in touch and offered to send through a hamper of some of their eco-friendly products that they’re currently offering. Perfect timing!

I opened my hamper to find a gorgeous insulated water bottle by Built so with more than one at our disposal, there’s no reason for plastic bottles Chez Online Stylist.


Here’s what else Steamer Trading had included:-

Beeswax food wrap – I was really excited to receive and try this stuff, having seen lots of people using it. Again – the power of good from Instagram. And it’s fab – I love how it seals together from the heat of your hands at the edges and is washable so, with proper care, you can re-use for up to a year. The beeswax smell made me waiver a bit at first but its harmless, fades with time and doesn’t taint food.

Stasher pouches – Another plastic free option for food storage and these are dishwasher safe too. They’re made from 100% pure platinum silicone and have a pinch-loc seal for closure.

Stainless Steel reusable straws

Not that we really used straws much (apart from the odd summer time mojito maybe) but these reusable stainless steel straws are a brilliant idea and even come with their own mini cleaning brush.

I have a couple of string and cotton totes that come out with us if we’re going shopping for anything and if that involves being in a supermarket, we stopped the unnecessary habit of putting any veg into plastic bags ages ago. The cotton produce bags come in handy for smaller or more fragile items when throwing everything into your tote… or if you want to separate your avocados from your bananas!

Between Mr OS and I, we’ve now got a couple reusable coffee cups. I love the idea of the Stojo collapsible, leak proof one for convenience. With that and the two Cuboo cups we have, there’s no more single use, coffee on the go cups.

reusable coffee cups

cotton produce bags

If you fancy trying out any of Steamer Trading’s reduce and reuse options here, I have a discount code that will give you 10% off and free delivery. Just enter START10 at checkout!

On a side note, as well as spotting valiant efforts for change by so many, I’ve also seen a bit of “eco-shaming” going on. People criticising others in public forums and calling into question their choices in a very public manner.

I don’t think this is the way forward and it won’t solve the problem. Lets not make sustainable living yet another stick to bash each other with… we already have enough of those! If we instead spent the energy on each doing what we can and sharing information where possible, surely that would be more productive?

At the moment it feels like living a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t made particularly easy by the powers that be and I’m under no illusions that it’ll definitely require a little more effort on all our parts.

In the sprit of hopefulness, I was talking to my wise and inspirational friend Lou yesterday and she pointed out all of this presents opportunities for companies large and small to stand up and be counted and start making a difference.

Lets hope they wake up to it sooner rather than later.

I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface so if you know of any blogs, Instagram accounts or brands that are making a difference, please feel free to share in the comments below and it’ll help to spread the word.

Here’s a few that I’ve found so far…

Jessica Rose Williams – I’m a big fan of Jessica’s minimal living approach to life and she has lots of content about a living a more sustainable lifestyle.

English Mum – Becky’s 10 Ways To Live A More Sustainable Life post makes you realise how easy it is to implement a few changes. Plus, she’s giving away a Steamer Trading eco hamper at the moment so get on over there and enter the competition before it closes on 23 November!

Joy felicity Jane – Tania’s blog and Instagram is beautiful and reflects her passion for photography, slow living and a zero-waste lifestyle.

Reading My Tea Leaves – (thanks Lou for the tip off!)

Small Shop – Eco resources for the home and a great blog with tips on zero waste

More This. Less That – A sustainable living brand directory.

STYLE CREDITS:  Skagerak Tea Pot – Amara c/o | Artisan Mug – The White Company | Nespresso Machine – John Lewis | Two Espresso Cups – Jono Smart | Sevïn Soap – old gift from Hero | Marble Tray – John Lewis | Soap Dish – Amara c/o | Aesop Hand Balm | Tea Strainer – Robert Welch | Glass Mason Jar (set of 4) – Amazon | Bamboo coffee Cup – Cuboo Cups c/o | Eco Products As Listed – Steamer Trading c/o

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8 comments on “Small Steps Towards Sustainable Living | The Kitchen”

  1. “On a side note, as well as spotting valiant efforts for change by so many, I’ve also seen a bit of “eco-shaming” going on. People criticising others in public forums and calling into question their choices in a very public manner.

    I don’t think this is the way forward and it won’t solve the problem. Lets not make sustainable living yet another stick to bash each other with… we already have enough of those! If we instead spent the energy on each doing what we can and sharing information where possible, surely that would be more productive?”

    I LOVE these words so much! And they apply on many levels, not just on this subject. And good for you, every little bit that we can do helps.

  2. Love, love LOVE this post. We can all make small changes to reduce the use of plastic in our homes, your way just happens to very stylish! Thank you for spreading the word x

  3. Great post!
    I too was shocked to find out there is plastic in tea bags. I’ve always used loose tea, but tea bags are oh so convenient especially for a single cuppa. A few years ago I bought a Boden tea strainer thingy that goes into a mug so that you can make your brew and remove the leaves (avoiding that bitter taste that developers if black tea stews for too long). I’ve also been lucky enough to inherit my nan’s stainless steel tea strainer as well as her silver tea measuring spoon. Both get used regularly, I love the nostalgia, but in this age of environmental awareness I like the way these are “recycled” items as well.
    As for soap, I find that one difficult. Most solid soaps tend to leave more of a residue than the liquid variety, and some of this residue encourages mould, so more cleaning required. We are very fastidious about wiping down our shower after use we have never had to remove lime scale even after 10 years of use in an area with fairly high lime scale in the water.

    1. I agree Sue – the feeling of using something previously owned, especially by a loved one, has a real feel good factor to it. The soap thing is a lot more messy – I’ll be saying “rinse the sink after you use it” to certain folk in this house on repeat I feel! xx

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