Say no to plastic bottles! // Creative Alternatives 001

Welcome back to the Sunray Sister blog. How has your week been? Mine has been a bit up and down, but I’m slowly working things out! That’s why I made this little business/project/creative outlet of mine that I like to call Sunray Sister; to work out what makes me happy and help others lead a positive, conscious and creative life.

Part of that includes leading a natural life with less waste, and more respect for every living being and every object. Choosing what you bring into your life, how you treat it and how you let go of it.

So today is the start of my new series of posts called ‘Creative Alternatives’, focusing on how to live with more care, more creativity and ultimately create less waste and less impact on the environment. You can also read my introduction post for this series here!

Every other week I will present a very specific issue, and my take on a solution, or a creative alternative. In other words, we will use our creativity to find a solution outside the normal ways of thinking (which is generally to accept what is given to us and not question things). Let’s start asking more questions! Our first question is, why do we use disposable plastic bottles?!

 

Part one: the problem

Plastic is made from oil, which is drilled from the earth. This oil is made into plastic pellets. The pellets are formed into plastic bottles. The drinks are made to go into the bottles. The packaging and advertising are created for the drinks. The bottles are shipped all over the world. The bottles wait patiently on shelves everywhere.

I am sure we can all agree that this is a huge process which requires a lot of energy! And for what? To quickly quench our thirst and swiftly dispose of the convenient container.

“But wait!”, I hear you cry, “I shall diligently reuse that poor plastic bottle for at least the next month to make proper use of all that energy that went into making it! I shall then responsibly repurpose the bottle to grow a plant for my child’s school project. And finally, I will of course recycle the bottle once it is no longer needed.”

Well…

The very act of using a plastic bottle in any context, or any reused situation, suggests that you at some point supported the continued production of plastic bottles. We vote with our money. If you buy a disposable plastic bottle, even with the best intentions to reuse, repurpose and recycle, you are telling the big corporations and people in power, “Hey it’s ok to keep drilling all this oil and using all this energy to bring us convenient drinks, I will be your loyal servant and responsibly use and dispose of this packaging you have so kindly created for me, don’t worry about it.”

Please, do worry about it. Do care about it. Do give a damn about it!

So why do we love plastic bottles so much anyway? I can see three reasons: convenience, you like sugary drinks, you are concerned about tap water.

Here’s three reasons I don’t like plastic bottles: they use up limited resources, they are not designed to last and yet they will most probably outlive us, and they get eaten by animals who cannot digest plastic (which, if you eat fish especially, you will possibly eat too). The earth and its animals do not want plastic! So why do we? What is more important: your momentary thirst, or the entire life of millions of innocent creatures?

 

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Part two: the creative alternative (a.k.a. the solution)

So perhaps I’ve convinced you to stop buying plastic bottles? But how will you ever drink again? Fear not, for I have solutions. You must remember, however, that throughout this series the creative alternative is twofold: there is a physical replacement, but there is also a new mindset and habit to incorporate into your daily life. Here are some easy steps to get you started in the right direction:

Step one: buy a reusable bottle. I really love the metal ones! They are light-weight and long-lasting.

Step two: fill it up each day from the tap or get a water filter (Brita actually take back their filters for recycling or you can get alternatives such as charcoal water filters). Give up sugary drinks, they are not good!

Step three: put it in your bag/on your desk and drink!

Together we can make a difference!!!

Could you take on some creative alternatives in your life? What alternative habits do you already practice? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

 


Coming up…

  • Tomorrow (Saturday) I have an exciting announcement to do with my Etsy shop! Make sure you follow my Facebook and/or Instagram to hear the news first.
  • This Sunday there will be a new blog post up with my current reading list! There are many books that I really want to read, which I have finally written out in one place in my journal, and thought I would share here too.
  • On Wednesday I will have a craft tutorial YouTube video (which was due out last week, but I have now decided I will reduce my content to fortnightly for a little while, so that I can focus more time on my Etsy shop and balancing the other elements to my business!) In the meantime check out my latest video below, and take a little browse in my Etsy shop for handmade self-love promoting one-of-a-kind creations.

 

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Let go – a new hoop available in my Etsy shop now!

Have a relaxing weekend sisters and take some time off just for you, because you should always love yourself!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

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Another Introduction: Creative Alternatives by Sunray Sister

Hello again beautiful sisters! Happy Friday!

Last Friday I introduced ‘Love Lessons’; the first of two new post series starting soon on the Sunray Sister blog. Today is the turn of the second new series:

Creative Alternatives

This second new series of posts is going to be about finding alternative ways to live our lives, which require a little creativity to reduce our harmful impact on this beautiful planet. In these posts I aim to encourage:

  • creativity
  • thinking outside the box
  • less waste
  • more natural products
  • reducing harm and suffering
  • simplifying

In each post I will highlight a specific item/behaviour/habit that is considered ‘normal’ but causes unnecessary waste/pollution/suffering. Following this I will provide my creative alternative! These will often be natural and DIY projects, as well as basic replacements that you can invest in right now, including a metal water bottle, instead of the standard ‘convenient’ plastic version. These alternatives may also require a gradual adjustment to your habits, so remember to forgive yourself as you learn! It’s a journey and I am always learning, forgiving and moving forward.

I will also be referring back to the zero-waste movement quite a lot; explaining what this is exactly, along with the importance of the many ‘R’s, the least important of which (but the one you’ve probably heard the most) is recycling.

We need to take a step back and ask ourselves, what could I do before recycling? Could I reduce my consumption, and buy less? Could I refuse that paper bag? Could I get a bag to reuse? Could I repair that coat? Could I repurpose this glass jar? Could I rot this cardboard packaging?

Recycling is not the only solution. Recycling says that it’s ok to continue producing waste. Instead we need to say let’s stop creating this waste in the first place. We need to think about the energy that goes into something being made, and the fact that all that energy in disposable items is sent to landfill. We need to respect the physical items in our lives, and not just dispose of them.

Some ideas for ‘creative alternative’ topics:

  • plastic/paper bags < reusable cloth bags
  • plastic water bottles < reusable metal bottle
  • take-away drink cups < reusable ceramic or glass cups
  • tissues, napkins + cotton wool pads < washable handkerchiefs + cloths
  • disposable straws + cutlery < reusable alternatives
  • packaging in general < bulk stores? farmer’s markets?
  • make-up < make your own!
  • plastic toothpaste +  brush < DIY toothpaste + bamboo brush
  • deodorant + other toiletries < DIY or support local package-free business
  • razors < safety razor with replaceable + recyclable blades
  • disposable feminine products < reusable ones!
  • standard laundry powder < DIY + natural
  • animal product diet < Vegan diet

Structure for ‘creative alternative’ posts:

  • Introduce the topic
  • Outline the issue, use statistics and examples
  • Show the creative alternative, explain why it is better
  • Include a mini-tutorial, or provide links to purchase related items, which may sometimes lead to my own Etsy shop!
  • Conclusion, and open discussion for further ideas

This is all a lot to ask, I know. But with forgiveness, and baby steps, and an acceptance that perfect does not exist, we can make the impossible completely possible. And yes, one person can make a difference. Because when one person sets an example, others follow in their path. I hope I can set an example, for you to set an example for someone else. Together we can make a difference!


Could you take on some creative alternatives in your life? What alternative habits do you already practice? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

Before you go, make sure to watch my latest YouTube video where I show you how to make your own toothpaste. Like and subscribe while you’re there too!

See you on Sunday for my next blog post. Have a brilliant weekend full of love and fun!

Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 13: How to Love the Planet // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Hello sisters and welcome to the start of a brand new week, but the penultimate day of my 14 days of love! If you need to catch up on any posts, simply click ‘Sunray Sister’ above to get an overview of all my content. Plus I’ll be doing a re-cap of all 14 posts this Friday.

Over the weekend I shared some advice on how to love yourself, and how to love others. The final piece of the puzzle is our planet; our home, our surroundings, the physical space in which we exist, a spinning rock in an infinite universe, the reason we are alive today.

In my eyes, a lot of the larger world around me is completely out of balance. What I need to remember is that I have a little piece of that world, and through small actions, and through influencing others with those small actions, I could make a small difference which could lead to a collective huge difference.

Today I would like to share my tips on how to love the planet, so that it might be a happier place for all…

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Reduce waste

In the UK alone, we send millions of tonnes of waste to landfill every year. The world is not getting any bigger. We need to take responsibility. Stop and ask yourself, what do I throw away everyday? Where has it come from? How can I reduce this?

Refuse waste

Reducing waste is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t the ideal. The ideal is having no waste at all. There are so many simple things that we can refuse so easily: no carrier bags, no plastic bottles, no disposable cutlery, no take-away cups, no plastic containers… Learn to say no.

Research the alternatives

Know your options. Find out what happens to your recycling. See if there are any extra solutions. Create new habits and find the alternatives. For all the things you refuse, there are reusable replacements. Use tote bags, reusable water bottles, bring your own metal straw and cutlery, use glass containers to store food, make your own toothpaste, use cloth napkins. The list is endless! And exciting!

Ditch consumerism

Avoid the need for new. Find it second-hand first. Clothes, furniture, books, electronics… Another endless list! Discover artists and makers who use reclaimed materials or natural ingredients. Learn to make things yourself. Learn to ignore the lure of advertising and sales.

Respect your personal world

When our surroundings are clean and tidy, we can be more at peace with ourselves. We can see clearly, once the clutter is cleared. Treat chores and cleaning like sacred rituals; to give thanks to the items that you use, and the enjoyment they bring you. Look after them all. When things break repair them, or find someone who can.

Accept the physical world

Be at peace with everything. Even though I am aiming towards a less materialistic life, we still exist in a physical world, where physical things happen. With love, kindness, knowledge and responsibility, we can avoid the bad things.

Re-consider your travel

Cars are clogging up the planet. When you can, use your feet instead; walk, run, pedal, skate, scoot! Also consider public transport for longer journeys. If your route is not part of public transport, look into car shares, perhaps with work colleagues.

Reconnect with nature

Switch off and spend time in nature. Walk in the fresh air, and remember that we are natural. We are not plastic or electronic. Plant seeds, grow vegetables, pick berries from hedges and collect pretty leaves.

Use your vote and your voice

Sign petitions, donate to charity, fundraise, get involved with the community. Support independent markets and businesses. Vote for the people you believe in, because they might listen and help to make a bigger change.


With little steps and small changes, we could all make a big difference to the monumental imbalances in the world. What advice do you have? What do you already do to show your respect for this world?

Tomorrow is the final day of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, NOOOOOO! I’ve loved exploring some new topics, and digging into things that I think are really important, as well as fun and silly stuff.

In the final post I will have that special surprise that I mentioned way back at the start of the two weeks, and I have already talked about it in a previous post, any guesses?! You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. See you then sisters!

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 7: Alternative Valentine’s Gifts // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Hello again sisters. We’re halfway through my two week challenge!!! I’m having a lot of fun spreading all this love around. Here’s a little summary of the past six days:

 

Now to today’s post…

This Valentine’s, as well as a cute card for your loved one, you may be thinking of adding the standard flowers, chocolates and fancy gift. Well today, I’d like to show you some creative alternatives!

 

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Chocolates

Get healthy! Make super special smoothies. Take time for a traditional tea ceremony. If you still want a treat, make or buy sugar and dairy free alternatives. Heck even gluten free?! I am slowly, slowly realising the benefits of gradually cutting these things from my life. So why should the gifts we give and receive be any different? What is the point in a ‘treat’ if you are going to feel rubbish five minutes later? I am still working this out for myself though, so just remember to always forgive yourself!

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Flowers 

Plant seeds! Cut flowers are nice, but not that nice. I managed to save the flowers below about 4 years ago by drying them, and now they make a nice photo prop. But for a special gift try a potted plant instead. Or even seeds, which could represent nurturing and letting love grow! Everyone knows you don’t need a garden to enjoy plants and beautiful flowers; you can make room for them inside your house, or outside your windows if you have window boxes or hanging baskets. If you do have a garden, you could buy a beautiful rose-bush or even a tree!

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Expensive gift

Go independent and support small businesses! If you are brave enough make something yourself. Of course there are lots of options within this choice. It depends on what you feel capable making and what your loved one enjoys: it could be an abstract painting, a portrait, a mini photo album, a photo collage, some infused cooking oils, jam from berries collected on a walk, homemade moisturizer or lip balm, or even a poem.

If you are really brave, maybe just don’t get anything at all? I believe in experience over possessions. But even when it comes to an experience such as a meal out, try to support small and independent restaurants or pubs. Skip the chains. Also explore alternatives such as the obvious cooking something fancy at home, or taking a really long walk somewhere new. For these kind of things also consider creating a cute ‘voucher’ for a date, such as writing on some pretty paper: “Meal for two at___, on ___, followed by a walk to ____. Love your Valentine”, or something similar!

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These ideas can be applied to any occasion, not just Valentine’s. What alternative ideas do you have? Are there creative solutions which you already use? Let me know in the comments or via social media.

Tomorrow is day 8 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, and I will be bringing you my perspective on when love is misused, and how we can restore balance.

 

Peace and extra love,

Rachel x