Thursday, 28 November 2019

How to Shop Well On Black Friday

If I am honest with you I don't get Black Friday. To me it seems completely nonsensical to have a massive sale just before Christmas. January sales; hey make sense - you're selling off the Christmas stock to make room for the Spring stock. Black Friday however, seems like one big excuse for over consumption and bad behaviour. But I do understand that for a lot of people it can be a chance to get something they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford and it can be a chance to make Christmas that little bit easier on the wallet. With this in mind I wanted to share some tips on how to shop well this Black Friday.

1. Think about what you really need. I spoke to my Dad the other say and his laptop has finally, after many years of hard work, given up the ghost. It's time for a replacement and because laptops are very expensive things he has decided to wait till Black Friday. He isn't buying anything he doesn't need he is simply taking advantage of the sale to buy something he has to buy but at a reduced price. Don't get swept up in a mad Black Friday spending spree buying a load of things you really don't need and spending all your November pay cheque. Think carefully about what you might need, write a list and stick to those items. Over consumption is killing our planet and we need to be so mindful of that this Black Friday.

2. Shop online.With the first point in mind I suggest you shop online to avoid getting over excited. Use your carefully created list and go straight to those items. If you know you're some one (like my husband) who can't resist a bargain even though you know you don't really need it, then don't shop around. Just buy the items you want off the right website and shut that computer down!

3. Use the sale to buy better. I know for a lot of people, myself included, it can be really hard to buy ethically and sustainably You know in the long run the item will last much longer and help a lot of people but the price is just not affordable at that moment in time. Although a lot of ethical and sustainable brands don't reduce on Black Friday for ethical reasons, some do offer a discount like People Trees 30% off. Instead of buying huge amounts of things you don't need from a cheap fast fashion retailer buy one special item at discount from one of your favourite ethical and sustainable brands.

4. Give back. Take this opportunity to not spend on yourself and instead buy things at discounted price for people who really need them. Maybe you can get some clothes, food, toiletries for a homeless shelter or maybe you could buy some discounted toys for the shoe box appeals.

5. Don't give into the Black Friday madness. For me, I won't be buying anything in the Black Friday sale because I just don't need anything. If that's you too then just don't give into the over consumption madness we are all being encouraged to get involved with. If you want to treat yourself you don't need to find a bargain. Buy something you really want regardless of whether it's reduced or not. Lucy and Yak did a wonderful thing last year for Black Friday and instead of reducing prices which would adversely effect their suppliers, they instead gave 10% of each sale over the weekend to a charity that helps to educate girls. Because of that they were able to pay for the education of 36 girls. There was no discount on their products but something like that is well worth your money sale or not.

I hope this has been helpful and remember it isn't about being perfect. You aren't doing anything wrong shopping in the Black Friday sale I just urge you to be responsible. Think about what you're buying and try to make a positive difference. 
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Friday, 22 November 2019

Make and Take Workshop

 Recently a friend put up on Facebook that she was going to be hosting a Make and Take Workshop in her home the idea being that we would learn to make toxic free natural beauty and cleaning products which we can then take home to use and remake ourselves. If you've read this blog for a while or follow me on Instagram you will know just how excited this made me. I couldn't wait to book on and learn all about natural toxic free handmade products.

For a while now I've wanted to learn to make my own cleaning and beauty products but I just didn't know where to start. I got some good books about it but it felt like a lot of money, time and effort to start buying all the ingredients and equipment. That's why this workshop was so great! Lovely Jen, who runs these evenings in peoples homes, brings all the containers, ingredients and recipes that you need so all you have to do is turn up. 

I got to learn so much about essential oils and how they really benefit our cleaning and beauty products. I'd been wanting to learn about them for a while now and it was so great to have an expert like Jen to talk me through how to use them and what is good for what.  

The containers were also made of glass meaning no chemicals from the plastic would transfer into our lover products and we can use them over and over again! 

Over the course of the evening I made an all purpose cleaning spray, natural hair spray, face and body cream, lip balm and natural hand sanitiser. I am so happy with all my products and have already been using the cleaning spray in the kitchen. It smells amazing and works so well! I am definitely going to be remaking this one as it's just a fraction of the cost, it doesn't put nasty toxic chemicals onto your surfaces or into the air to be inhaled and it saves our planet. 

I absolutely loved this workshop and can't wait to teach myself to make more natural products. I also think these would make such a great eco friendly alternative Christmas present. If you're looking to make some beautiful and affordable presents that will help our planet then definitely give natural beauty products a go.

Unfortunately Jen is going to be moving to Canada soon so won't be running anymore workshops in England in the near future but she has got lots of info on her website and on her Youtube channel.  Also a great book on how to make your own beauty and cleaning products that I highly recommend is "The Art of the Natural Home" by Rebecca Sullivan. 

If you have any tips or tricks for natural products I'd love to hear them in the comments below! 

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