Easy Eco Swaps


I’m about to give you some information that will change your life.

‘There is always somebody who knows more than you’.

This literally applies to everything (unless, obviously, you literally do know the most about something. Which I gather is quite a scary place to exist in, because that’s a great height to fall from). Being ignorant of some aspects of stuff is a very freeing thing to come to terms with. If you’re anything like me, a person weirdly scared of looking stupid, your initial response will be a haughty ‘pffft but I’m VERY clever though ’ and you’ll find ways to combat it but the second you succumb to being a bit thick about certain matters, you’ll get to start saying things like ‘I don’t understand’ or ‘what does that mean’ and ugh, it’s just way more peaceful.

So we’ve cleared that up. We’re all coming to terms with how maybe being the smartest person in the room isn’t necessarily what’s most important.

Much more dangerous, I feel, is the new inferiority complex on the block. Because it’s not always that easy to come to terms with the fact that there is always, ALWAYS, someone worthier than you. Not knowing stuff is one thing. It’s a much more exposing thing to say ‘yes I still use applicator tampons’ or ‘yes I am constantly forgetting to pack my bag for life’. Because this is worse than being stupid. This is being a BAD PERSON.

I’m not even going to delve in to the vicious cycle that is capitalism and eco-shame, how we’re being manipulated into buying stuff on the basis that it’s better for the planet but that perpetuates capitalism which is bad for society etc etc etc that’s not what the Trowel is for and now I have a headache.

I almost didn’t even write this article because there will be someone worthier who could do it better. Who knows more about the environmental impact these products have.

Hands in the air: I am probably not a very good person to write this. given that my house contains so many products that are packaged in so much plastic. I am vegan, but also I am the world’s worst vegan who loves mayonnaise and posh party meaty canapés. I will buy a leather bag then remember that’s bad once it’s been bought but by then it’s like, bad not to make use of it because that’s a waste and then comes the existential crisis. I know something’s gotta give but for now it’s fair to say I ain’t doing everything I can. I’m pretty ashamed to admit it.

However, I have made some easy adjustments. You can’t stop Niagara Falls with an umbrella, but if enough people hold up their little umbrellas in a big old group then something will change. I present to you: my teeny tiny changes, small swapsies that aren’t overly expensive, are easily done and, dareIsay, provide much needed worthiness currency.


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£13 is hardly a bargain, but mine have lasted ages and it’s so nice not to be throwing stuff away all the time. Environmentally conscious obviously but also good for these practical reasons:

-I always forget to re buy cotton wool pads in Boots anyway, so can go for weeks scrubbing eye make up off with rough toilet roll

-cotton wool pads are quite expensive anyway, the good ones

-these come with a little wash bag of their own so you don’t lose em in the machine

-You get 12 soft & velvety ones to wipe away cleanser etc, but also 4 Terry cloth ones that delve a bit deeper for more stubborn going out make up.



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These are available on the high street now, and everything else is self explanatory.



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I just think these are so, so good. Not in a ‘Jesus Christ I live for putting my tampons in now’ way of course but, its near as I’m ever gonna get.

100% organic cotton. 100% biodegradable. I’m not hear to scaremonger but mainstream tampons are full of bleach, plastics, synthetic fibres & lots of toxins. The average woman spends seven years with tampons up her vagina. Read that again. You simply don’t want those things inside you for that length of time.

They come individually wrapped in plastic for hygiene reasons, so the other half of their profits goes to fighting plastic in the oceans. The other half goes to fighting period poverty.

Each box comes with lots of different sizes for the whole month. If you subscribe it arrives at your door whenever you need em, and you can cancel any time. If you have a baby you can put your subscription on hold.

They do sanitary towels too but I’ll stop going on about them now.



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I mean, beautiful. Let’s just accept that yeah, a wooden toothbrush with plant based bristles is four pounds and a plastic one is like £1.50 but like. Sometimes you’ve got to pick your battles & we’ve all seen pictures of plastic in the sea by now.



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This is another lovely way to cleanse. Soak it in water for 3 minutes then scrub it around your face and body with your cleanser. Think of it a bit like a fancy version of a Liz Earle muslin cloth. Because that’s pretty much what it is. It contains active, natural ingredients like bamboo charcoal which purifies the skin & removes excess oil. You can also get it in black or green, which are charcoal & green tea flavoured to go with your Elle Decoration bathroom.

……and a couple of luxe treats

I couldn’t resist including these, some of my favourite products that also happen to be eco conscious.


Everything Tata Harper is just lovely and delicate and elegant. Unfortunately, it also costs the earth. £37 isn’t too hyperventilate-y though, for a soft pink clay cleanser with the tiniest apricot seed exfoliating beads. Gives it all a good old polish, and suitable for sensitive skin. All of Tata Harper is vegan, but this particular 50ml cleaner comes in a biodegradable plastic bottle.



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I’m a sucker for anything containing magnesium - a pill, a spray, a bath. And now this, which is super moisturising and smells great thanks to the energising essential oils. Whatever gets you up in the morning.

A bit about REN. Last year they announced their ‘Clean to skin, clean to planet’ initiative, & their intention to become a zero waste company by 2021. They’ve been developing their packaging to make everything 100% recyclable and came up with this amazing first of its kind bottle made from 100% recycled plastic, 20% off which has been collected from oceans & waterways around the world. That is damn impressive, & well worth getting behind especially from a brand already so brilliant. Moroccan Rose Otto body oils all round!



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All in the name of eco consciousness, you understand.

Once you’ve finished your perfume, take your bottle back to the counter. They’ll refill it, and you’ll get 20% off.

Warning: Le Labo is addictive. I was reminded of it because yesterday in rehearsals my friend said ‘you’ve ruined my life. That time I was at yours and you gave me that sample, I couldn’t think of anything else until I bought the perfume and shower gel and now I hate every other perfume and I’ll be skint forever’.


Rebecca Humphries