Hello, and welcome to my very first blog. I thought I would start off with discussing shopping habits and how you can change them for the better. This blog is for people who haven’t yet started or who are new to shopping with caution to help reduce their plastic waste.

With many individuals having adopted a green ethos and thanks to the internet, environmentally concerned individuals now have access to a wide range of less environmentally harmful products, ranging from organic produce, biodegradable packaging to many other certified items.

We as a society have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce the environmental impact that our shopping habits have on our planet and by making more educated and conscious decisions about what we buy, everyone can contribute to making our world a better place for the generations to come.

I have been on my journey for a while now but I still have a long way to go before I’m completely happy that I’m living as sustainable as I can be. As time goes on though, I find that myself and my family are using less and less plastic and are making better decisions about what products we are consuming. Below are my top 5 tips to get you stared on reducing your plastic consumption when shopping:

1. Never buy a plastic bag again.

This one is super easy. Almost every household I know has a stash of plastic bags somewhere that they can take with them shopping. I always keep some in the car and I also never leave the house

without a small canvas bag that I can fold up and pop in my handbag just in case I need it. It's also a good idea to invest in some trolley bags. They are brilliant for doing your big weekly food shop and mine are still going strong after 6 years use!

2. Use solid shampoo, conditioner and shower gels.

This has been one of my best swaps; it saves so many plastic bottles that you will be forever grateful. I use products from an amazing company called Crystal Cole. Crystal has a large range of solid shampoos, conditioners and washes for adults and children. They all smell absolutely divine, come in compostable wrapping and last ages!! so you will never have your bathroom covered in plastic bottles again. My favourite is the Argan oil solid conditioner bar which you can get here:

3. Always look for alternatives.

When your next shopping for something always ask yourself ‘is there a more environmentally friendly option?’ It's surprising how well this actually works and you’ll find that a majority of the time that there is. It could be as simple as buying loose fruit and vegetables instead of ones that are packaged, every little swap helps.

4. Read Labels Carefully.

Most of us are guilty of not reading labels. Its time consuming and confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature and it’ll make a huge difference to what you buy. To start you off, look out for labels that tell you whether or not the packaging can be recycled. Overtime you can familiarise yourself with different eco-labels and learn what ingredients and chemicals to avoid.

5. Choose cloth where you can.

Investing in cloth nappies, wipes and sanitary products that you can use time and time again not only saves huge amounts of plastic from the landfill and from our ocean’s but also saves you a considerable amount of money. For an example, using cloth nappies instead of a stores own brand disposable will save you over £1400 from birth to potty training age and will save over 4,000 disposables from going in the bin.

I hope these tips have given you a bit of guidance on where to start on your journey to becoming more eco-friendly when shopping. Everyone has to start from somewhere and its always a good idea to master the basics first as it can be quite overwhelming with lots of changes all at once. If anyone has put these tips into practice then please let us know how you are getting on, I would love to hear from you. Good luck!!

Gemma xx

Hello! I'm Gemma, founder of Once Upon a Future. I just wanted to welcome you to our new website and draw your attention to the 10% off for new subscribers offer - all you need to do is enter your email address via the signup form (see homepage) and a discount code will arrive in your inbox. This can be claimed against all products in our online store!

I'll be posting more here in the very near future. In the meantime, I can't wait to hear what you think of the site!

Gemma x