What you need to know about zero waste shaving

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Safety razor

Hardcore hippies? Yeah us neither…

So. This week we’re going to have that conversation about zero waste shaving. Old-school barbershop style razors are really coming back into fashion of late, and not only are traditional safety razors (you know the type your dad or gramps might have once used) better at giving that close shave to get those oh-so-smooth-and-silky legs, they’re beautiful too. Yes, they’re no longer just for men – ladies, many even come in gorgeous girly colours and styles too. But why bother when you’re maybe already using one with replaceable heads, or when the plastic ones are dirt cheap? Well, here’s why we think you should get your very own safety razor:

  • They give a closer shave that lasts longer
  • Less irritation and razor burn caused by blunt blades and snagged hairs – winning!
  • It’s a ‘buy me once’ thing, look after it and it will last you years
  • Despite the initial cost of the razor, it works out way cheaper in the long-run than throwaway alternatives
  • They’re more stylish than throwaway razors – why would you ever buy another cheap plastic one when you can buy something beautiful AND sustainable to take pride of place on that bathroom shelf?
  • It’s more hygienic – you can easily take them apart to clean every little nook and cranny, so no more annoying trapped hairs or dead skin

We know, you’re probably still a bit sceptical (we were too), but stay with us. In the UK, we throw away millions of plastic razors each year, and in the US that figure is closer to 2 billion! Even one person can make a big difference, to the planet AND to your bank account. For a great visual breakdown of how the safety razor holds up cost-wise to a typical cartridge razor and for a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of safety razors, just follow the link below:

https://www.toolsofmen.com/shaving-with-a-safety-razor/

So, even though your actual razor might initially set you back anywhere between £10-100 (depending on what style and brand you go for, you can get a good one new for around £25 on Amazon prime), you make back your investment pretty quick. Blades are super cheap – for less than £10, you can easily get 100 blades (we recommend Astra for good quality blades that come in a cardboard box individually wrapped in mini paper sleeves), working out at less than 10p per blade! Depending on how often you shave they tend to last around a month each, or you can just replace them whenever you think your current blade is no longer up to the job.

Tip: If you want your blades to last longer, take your razor apart after each use and carefully wipe dry and to stop the blade going dull so quickly.

 

Our dos and don’ts

Do keep the blade on an angle of around 30° to minimise any accidents. Remember safety razors are generally not flexible like their more modern plastic cousins so bear this in mind when you switch. Take your time and you’ll be whipping that thing around like a pro in no time (ladies, we’d recommend getting one with a longer handle to help you get to the more difficult-to-reach areas).

Do work up a good lather to help that blade glide. You can buy the fancier soaps or, like us, just use your regular body wash instead!

Don’t apply any downward pressure on the blade at all, at least until you’re more confident and know how much you can get away with. No really, don’t do this. Not only are you less likely to cut yourself this way but it also means skin that is much happier and less irritated. Let the weight of the razor do all the work for you.

Don’t just throw used blades loose in the recycling bin. Collect them in a safe container and when it’s full, drop it off at a local scrap metal collection site where they can be safely disposed of without any poor unsuspecting recycling plant workers losing any fingers!

 

If you have any other useful tips for us, please share in the comments below – we’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve had any ‘hairy’ experiences!

 

P.S. Double points if you can buy locally or find an antique one in a second-hand shop 🙂

 

Easy vegan microwave chocolate cake recipe

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chocolate cake

This a really easy and vegan-friendly chocolate cake which you can cook in your microwave for a speedy chocolate fix, or in your oven if you’re more patient than I am…

Note: this recipe uses cups which is 240ml

Dry ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup golden granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a bowl then add the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pour in to a glass bowl and cover with a plate, leaving a little room for steam to escape. Microwave for 4 minutes, allow to stand for 1 minute. Serve with homemade cashew cream, custard, ice cream, or just eat it warm straight from the bowl!

Will you pledge to plog?

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During the month of May we’ve teamed up with Sweat Pledge and made a big scary pledge to run 100km and pick up 100 pieces of litter during the month and we want you to join us in whatever way you can.

Sweat Pledge was started by Kajsa Tylen following her Guinness World Record winning year spent riding her bike. While pedalling away to win the accolade of most miles cycled by a woman in a year, Kajsa asked people to donate not money but swear by pledging to do any physical activity in support of her, whether that be walking, cycling, swimming, running… 5km or 5,000…anything that gets you sweating.

With the trend of plogging picking up pace in the UK we want to extend this sweat pledge concept to tidying up our local communities. Plogging involves picking up litter while jogging and I, Kim, founder of Plastic-free Pantry have pledged to run 100 km during May and pick up 100 pieces of litter.

Will you pledge to support me and do some plogging of your own? You don’t need to match my distance or litter count, or even run. You could walk 5km and pick up 5 pieces, or cycle 1,000 and pick up 1,000, or any other combination of activity and litter. Everybody who completes their pledge by the end of May,  no matter how big or small will be entered in to a draw to win a £30 plastic free food hamper.

To pledge, head on over to sweatpledge.com and create an account. Set your pledge in support of PlasticFreePantry and then getting sweating and litter picking.

You can see our sweat pledge profile here.

Weekly link round up #1 27th April 2018

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UK supermarkets have announced a voluntary commitment to use recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025. That’s just 7 more years of landfill getting fuller and our planet suffocating then. We’ll just carry on as usual 😉

A sperm whale washed up on the shore of Spain with 64 lbs of plastic and waste in its stomach (29kg)

Microplastics have been found in an isolated marine environment in Australia, previously thought to be ‘pristine’

and even in the Swiss mountains

 

But it’s not all bad news

Scientists have discovered a plastic-eating enzyme which could help reduce the ever-growing plastic waste mountain. Of course we still want to see a future without single-use plastic being created in the first place

Ministers have proposed a ban on plastic cotton buds and straws. These tiny things collectively contribute to a lot of litter and marine pollution so we really hope to see the end of them

We finally got around to reading this great write up on the inspirational Earth.Food.Love in Positive News and we’re even more desperate to visit their shop than we were previously

Zero Waste queen Kate Arnell made a video reviewing three online plastic-free shopping options, including us. Yes we fan-girled

 

Nottingham is getting a vegan gluten-free scoop shop this weekend when Dash Vegan open their store within the at.1 yoga studio on Triumph Road. Their launch is 28th April

Ordering information

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We hand pack our produce so it can take a few days to process your order. Typically this is around 2-3 days, and then we dispatch using a next day courier service. We tend to get most of our orders over the weekend so things can take a little longer at the beginning of the week when we’re catching up while orders received later in the week tend to go out much quicker. If you need your order please contact us and we’ll do our best to speed things up for you, although we can’t guarantee that we can but we’ll try to give you an estimate based on our current workload. Although please bear in mind that if everybody does this it will slow things down significantly!

We no longer operate our pre-order system but it seems to still be coming up in search even though that post has been deleted so please ignore that information. We now dispatch Monday-Friday which is a much quicker way of operating.

If an item you require is out of stock, please check back on a Tuesday as this is when new stock comes in. If we don’t have something listed which you would like, please fill in the product request form at the bottom of the website. We check it weekly when making our bulk order and we try to incorporate popular requests. We are vegan-owned and although we are very laid back about it and pass no judgment on those who aren’t vegan, we are committed to only stocking vegan produce so please bear that in mind when making requests.

How to cook dried chickpeas

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Using dried chickpeas takes a little bit of preparation compared to grabbing a tin, but you’re rewarded with far better tasting chickpeas. Make up a big batch and use in lots of different things, from curries to hummus and falafel. They’re even great roasted for snacking.

For both methods below, start by rinsing the beans and removing any bad peas or stones.

You can also cook your chickpeas with a pressure cooker but I don’t have one so it’s not featured below. If you have a tried & tested way of cooking chickpeas with a pressure cooker do let me know via shop@plasticfreepantry.co.uk

Slow cooker

This takes the longest and so isn’t great if you need to use the chickpeas on the same day, but this is how I do my chickpeas at the weekend in preparation for a big batch of hummus and using in a couple of different recipes in the week. You don’t need to pre-soak for slow cooker chickpeas.

Measure out your chickpeas and water using a 1:2 volume ratio and place in the slow cooker. I tend to use 3 cups of chickpeas. Cook on low overnight or for around 6-8 hours.

Soak & boil

Soak your chickpeas overnight in cold water, or speed the process up by covering the chickpeas with water, bringing to the boil for 1 minute, and then leave to soak in the water for 1 hour.

Drain & rinse the chickpeas then cover with double the volume of water to chickpeas.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for one hour, checking occasionally to make sure they haven’t boiled dry and topping with water as necessary.

Hummus recipe

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Hummus

Hummus is incredibly easy to make. It does take a little time when you’re making it from dried chickpeas but it’s low effort, you can get on with other things while the chickpeas are cooking. Our favourite way to cook them is overnight in the slowcooker (we make up a big batch for using in lots of things, not just hummus) but the fastest way is with a pressure cooker. You can also boil them.

Ingredients

200g cooked chickpeas

juice of half a lemon

4 tablespoons of water. For extra flavour you can use water left over from cooking the chickpeas

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of paprika

pinch of fine sea salt

 

Method

Add everything to the blender and blend . Taste and add any extra olive oil, salt, cumin, garlic or paprika to your personal taste. If the hummus is slightly dry and not blending well add extra oil or water. Enjoy with warm, fresh bread. Or chopped veg. Or in a falafel wrap. Or in big dollops straight from the blender 🙂

This recipe is vegan & gluten-free