Green living: 9 products to make your life Top Drawer

No one can have looked at the footage of the Bolivian and Amazon fires and not been moved (unless you’re a certain leader of the free world, of course). If ever there was a sign that we need to change our ways, the space images showing smoke over the continent has to be it.

We’re recycling geeks in the 50Sense household and always have been. Incredibly, caring for the environment is not something limited to schoolchildren. I grew up worrying about the effect of CFCs and acid rain (along with the bomb) and trips to the recycling centres are in my DNA.

Regular readers will know this already. From recycling beauty products through sustainable fashion tips to foraging for skincare ingredients, making your life as green as possible has been an important topic for me.

Thankfully, it’s getting a lot easier – certainly more easier than trying to find a hairspray that would keep my Flock of Seagulls hairdo up without damaging the ozone layer in the 1980s.

Sustainable living is going to be a major theme of life from now on – so much so that it is being highlighted at the Top Drawer trade fair in London next month. Manufacturers are also developing better-looking products, too, so you can forget looking like you’ve just mugged Worzel Gummidge for his recycled lunch bag.

As the global population continues to expand it’s important to be mindful of the impact we have on all life on Earth. Consuming consciously by buying sustainable products that provide environmental, social and economic benefits whilst protecting public health and the environment throughout the product lifecycle is essential for our well-being. We all need to be part of the change for good. If not us, then who?”

Jeremy Corner, distributor of BambooCup

Here are the nine items Top Drawer predicts will have you on-trend for sustainable living next year:

A few years ago I had a lunch bag made out of recycled Coke cans. It was… unique, shall we say. Now S’Well are launching reusable snack containers called S’Nack by S’well. They’re stylish work and schoolbag-friendly lunchboxes, but you can also use them to go shopping with and cut down on those single-use plastics.

This is a must for stationery addicts (looks at growing pile of notebooks). Ola Studio’s Conscious Collection uses paper made using the waste from food production, so that’s mountains of almond, citrus and corn saved from the landfill. Their signature shades of grey are made using 100% recycled fibres, too.

Straws are a bugbear of mine. I hate the plastic ones, but I also know that some people have trouble using paper ones. The answer is a reusable straw. This Straw for Life from Lund London folds down into a pocket-sized holder, so you can even use it for after-work drinks.

Environmentally friendly clothes used to look dowdy (think Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous). But now you can look good from head to toe – especially with Be For Change shoes. They’re made from leather off-cuts and defects that were headed to landfill and if you buy these ones from Juta Shoes, you’re supporting a social enterprise employing women who face barriers to work.

How to use a Beeswax Wrap

Forget rolls of kitchen foil and clingfilm (and the waste as it wraps up on itself) and keep your kitchen sustainable with a food wrap from Beeswax Wrap. I love these. They’re handmade and reusable, with designs created by local designers using organic GOTS-certified cotton. Such a clever idea.

Plastic water bottles are my all-time hate. There are so many places that offer free water – even Wetherspoons do it! – that there’s no excuse not to carry a water bottle. You can tick-off the style with these Ayaida at Hyggen Home bottles while making a difference for children who are fighting for clean water 100 litres of drinking water are donated for every bottle sold. Look at them – they’re gorgeous. Go get one!

Carry your green credentials – and purse, lipstick, notebook, phone, pen (no wonder I’m shattered all the time) – in style with Goodeehoo’s vegan friendly handbags and accessories. All their packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable and even their tissue paper uses soy- based ink. You’ll also be saving your bank balance, too – the prices are amazing.

After my interview with CrazyOrganicMama, I’m all about the garden at the moment. Check out Garden Trading for some beautiful repurposed plastic and recycled glass products to make your outdoors bloom. I’m in love with these Bathford Trough windowboxes. Next year is about the kitchen, so it’s a win-win!

Finally, you can even sleep better and greener now. The Flax Sack has bedding sets made from linen and bamboo so they’re soft and also easy to look after. Linen and bamboo are smooth and non-irritating and good for sensitive and eczema-prone skin – perfect if you have menopausal itch!


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