Soul Space, Transform your Home, Transform Your Life, Creating Your Own Eco – Sanctuary, One Drawer at a Time!

Since I started taking action to live in a more sustainable eco-friendly manner, I have become astonished at the cumulative, domino effect of change. The more I changed how I lived my life from simple things like buying bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic to learning new skills from preserving seasonal food to making my own cosmetics, I feel not just more and more empowered but also excited at how my life is transforming. It might sound cliche but if you start small, like a snowball rolling down a hill, your endeavours will take on a life on their own and become an incredible catalyst for change.

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I decided the most logical way to tackle my home was to take a fresh look at every single thing I own and to apply the simple yet remarkably powerful advice of William Morris: ‘Have nothing in your home, which is not useful or beautiful’. A wise soul who created immortal works of beauty, which still inspire us today.

 

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Its a work in progress and takes time. Do not be surprised at how your emotions will be stirred, the possessions that we gather around us affect us in many ways and often it is not the object itself we find hard to let go of but the memory or emotion attached to that object.

 

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Early on in my life, I was introduced to the concept of Feng Shui, a fascinating philosophy and guide on how to live the best life through our control of our surroundings. It is known as ‘The Art of Placement’ and is a life changing practice. I will talk more about this in the coming days but today I would like to share with you how I tackled my own project ‘Transformation’ !:)

 

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I live in a tiny one bed apartment with my husband, hamster, fish, plants, books and pictures and like most people, I have collected many possessions, too many over the years. Its time for a change. So room by room, here is my plan:

 

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The Hall

  • Change artificial plastic like lamp shades to recycled paper shades
  • Paint walls with low emission environment friendly paint
  • Replace plastic umbrellas with a good rain mac that will last you years
  • Bulbs

Green-clean-laundry

Utility Room

  • Replace detergent, softener and stain remover products with homemade natural products such as Castile soap, essential oils, lemon, bread soda and spirit vinegar [On-going]
  • Change plastic Laundry baskets to hemp or reed natural fabric baskets
  • Throughly clean out and sort through boxes [on-going]
  • Dispose of safely broken hoover & iron
  • Give old crutches and unwanted gifts to charity

 

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Bathroom

Replace usual cosmetic and hygiene products with natural homemade products [a daunting task to say the least!]:

  • Shaving Gel
  • Liquid Hand soap [Done, replaced with natural organic handmade soap bar]
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant [Done]
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste [Done]
  • Face wash
  • Toner
  • Shower Gel
  • Suncream
  • Shower Cleaner
  • Toilet Cleaner [Own made with essential oils, vinegar and lemon juice]
  • Toilet Brush [ceramic with steel or bamboo]
  • Toilet Tissue [to recycled bulk bought]

 

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Replace Makeup with either Fair Trade, not tested on Animals products from companies like ‘The Body Shop’, ‘Lush’ or for men, ‘Bulldog’ or own homemade:

  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Day Cream
  • Night Cream [Done]
  • Body Lotion [Done]
  • Foot Cream [Done]
  • Hand Cream
  • Primer
  • Masacra
  • Lip pencil
  • Eye Shadow
  • Eye Brow pencil
  • Eye liner
  • Lipstick
  • Make-up remover wipes

Eco-Friendly

Replace plastic with natural materials such as Jute, Sisal, bamboo, ceramic, glass…:

  • Neti Pot
  • Toothbrushes [Done, replaced with Bamboo toothbrushes found on Ebay]
  • Feminine Time of the month essentials storage box [Done, changed to glass]
  • Small bin
  • Bin bags
  • Four storage baskets
  • Shower mat
  • Chair
  • Sponge
  • Plastic razors to stainless steel
  • One-use only cotton wool pads to organic cotton cloths

 

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Replace artificial feminine pads with reusable organic cotton/ bamboo pads [Done]

I have two plants in our small bathroom, which were in plastic pots but are now in terracotta pots on terracotta saucers.

1f1138f16a213f573808cec827904561Bedroom

  • Plastic clothes hangers to be changed to wooden
  • Plastic gift bags to be changed to paper
  • Replace all lampshades with recycled paper shades
  • Change from plastic folders and plastic pockets for filing to going digital
  • Sort out wardrobe and if it hasn’t been worn in the last year, give it away
  • Plastic Plant pots [Done, changed to Terracotta]
  • Plastic Hamster cage change to wood and glass home [Done]
  • Bed linen to be changed to organic cotton
  • Repurpose old clothes into handy Tote bags
  • Consider ‘Swap, not Shop’ events

Hot Press

  • Storage boxes, clothes bags, baskets all change from plastic to natural material
  • Sort through linen and reuse old bath towels as t-towels or rag cloths

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Long long list of plastic that needs to be changed:

  • Kitchen Brush
  • Brush & Shovel
  • Mop
  • Bin Bags [Change to biodegradable]
  • Water jug
  • Gloves
  • Dish dryer rack
  • Wash Basin
  • Chopping Boards
  • Lap trays
  • Water bottles [Changed to Copper, see past post for more info]
  • Bucket
  • Storage baskets
  • Food containers [Done, changed to Mason jars]
  • Oil containers
  • Cereal container
  • Salt & Pepper Grinders

 

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Cleaning Products:

  •  Dish Soap
  • Window Cleaner [Done, Vinegar and lemon, wiped down with old newspaper]
  • Oven Cleaner [Done, Salt and Baking soda]
  • Floor Cleaner [Tea Tree oil, water and Vinegar]
  • Disinfectant
  • Counter tops wipes  [Done]

 

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Other kitchen items made from plastic need to replaced with a biodegradable option:

  • Highlighters
  • Pens
  • Spatulas
  • Kitchen Twel
  • Cellotape
  • Pegs
  • Freezer bags
  • Ice – cube trays
  • Batteries
  • Bulbs
  • Plastic cutlery for picnics to be changed to either bamboo or stainless steel
  • Plastic straws for smoothies to be replaced by stainless steel straws

images (1)Living Room

  • Conventional Candles [Need to replaced with Beeswax or Soy as conventional candles are made from the same material that makes tires, not healthy to burn!]
  • Plant Pots [Done, Changed to terracotta]
  • Bulbs
  • One use only tissues to be replaced with cotton reusable handkerchieves
  • Markers
  • Lampshades
  • Sort through books, dvds & cds & give away unwanted items

392ec7321156fb4804e2a9111db1145bBalcony

  • Plastic plant pots replaced with Terracotta
  • Growing my own veg and herbs organically; Rocket, Mangetout, Lettuce, Rocket, Thyme, Mint, Chamomile, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Calendula, Roses and sage

Okay, if you have made it this far, well done!! Even I feel exhausted after just doing up this list! 🙂

I think the most fascinating if horrifying thing to come out of all this is a new awareness at just how much plastic has invaded and taken over nearly aspect of our lives. I was shocked when I realised the true extent and am so glad I started now.

Changing our home to a more sustainable environmentally friendly sanctuary is not going to happen over night. Its taking time, effort and to a certain extent, money. The change over from plastic to glass food containers took me about two months and has cost me a small fortune in mason jars. However, I now keep all glass jars that I bought with sauces or jams in and am reusing them for not just food but even small things like pegs, spoons, biros…the small things that gather in our kitchen drawers and can usually never be found when needed! The great thing about glass is that its completely recyclable.

Well, its the tip of the iceberg but I hope I have inspired you to even make one small change. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be able to open my kitchen cupboards and see at a glance, what I have, what I’m running low on and when it goes out of date. I’m better able to plan meals, have less food wastage,  more space and feel…lighter.

slI feel less weighed down by countless possessions, I feel more able to make the changes I want to see in myself, to be more relaxed, calmer and clearer. If you ever feel stuck in your life, just take one drawer, any drawer in your home and clear it out and external events in your life will change, truly.  It might sound crazy but it works! The power of Feng Shui!

Xx

 

 

 

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