30-Day Eco-Living Challenge: Day 22-30

reusable teabags in a white mug

We’ve come to the end of the 30-Day Eco-Living Challenge! Here’s a run-down of the final week.

Day Twenty-Two

Meat-free Monday

Eating meat has a hefty impact on the environment, from fueling climate change to polluting landscapes and waterways.

Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. For our meat-free monday, I made a butternut squash soup!

Day Twenty-Three


Batteries contain a number of heavy metals and toxic chemicals and disposing of them by the same process as regular trash has raised concerns over soil contamination and water pollution.

Rechargeable batteries have the advantage of holding energy for longer when used in appliances that consume a lot of energy, so we’ve been gradually switching our batteries to rechargeable ones, as well as making sure our old batteries are properly recycled at the recycling centre.

Day Twenty-Four


Several tea bag brands use polypropylene, a sealing plastic, to keep the tea bags from falling apart. PG Tips, Tetley, Twinings, Yorkshire Tea and Lidl all use plastic in their teabags.

I chose a teabag from teapigs, who don’t use plastic in their bags! Other plastic-free brands include Abel & Cole, Clipper, Co-Op, Pukka Herbs and Waitrose.

You can even get some amazing reusable teabags!

Day Twenty-Five

Makeup brushes

As well as the manufacturing process, makeup brushes can affect the environment in another way: when they are no longer usable, makeup brushes get thrown away and end up in landfill.

Some brands use real animal hair for their brushes. They often use hair obtained from the fur industry, which is known for trapping and killing animals for their pelts, often by gassing or electrocuting to avoid damaging the hair.

We’ve made the switch to So Eco Make Up Brushes and Sponges.

So Eco is a range of eco-friendly make up brushes, with the unique emphasis on components being responsibly and ethically sourced. So Eco has tested and developed the hand cut heads for size, powder application and finish. The bristle colours have been chosen so you can see the amount of product on the brush head.

The hand crafted handles are made using bamboo, the ferules are made from recycled aluminium and the brush heads are crafted from cruelty-free Taklon bristles which are suitable for both liquid and powder cosmetics. 

Day Twenty-Six

Meal plans

Writing a shopping list and meal plan will:

  • reduce leftovers that can become wasted
  • stop spontaneous spending
  • help you feel more prepared
  • reduce temptations for takeaways
  • reduce the time it takes to shop
  • help you use up every last item
  • mean you can buy in bulk

I’ve been writing a shopping list on our chalkboard in the kitchen whenever I notice something that is empty or running low.

Day Twenty-Seven


How much clutter do we have and how many items have we bought never used or used once and then forgotten about?

With the internet and constant adverts on social media its hard to resist the impulse buys. According to the research carried out by a team from the Green Lifestyles Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability (GLAMURS) project, when people involved in grassroots climate movements take it upon themselves to buy and consume less, they actually experience greater lifestyle satisfaction compared to the people who do nothing. 

Before you buy new, think about…

  • …using items you already have – do you really need a new dress for every occasion? Yes, the shoes are on sale but do you need them?
  • …using items to their full potential – tear out the first few used pages of that notebook to re-use it rather than go out and buy another one, or fix holes in clothes rather than buying a replacement.
  • …keeping things tidy – nail clippers always go walkies in our home but since making sure they go into a special pouch in the bathroom with other runaways like tweezers and scissors, I’m not turning the house upside down to then go out and buy a new set.
  • …buying secondhand – it’s easier than ever to buy and sell secondhand. There are loads of hidden gems and bargains to be had online!
  • …if you really need it – leave things in your ‘wishlist’ for a week before buying something. If you still want or need it after 7 days, it’s probably worth it.
  • …whether it’s good enough – will you need to replace it after a month because of how cheap it is? Should you invest in something higher quality that will last longer?
Day Twenty-Eight

Wet wipes

The above is the shocking truth of Wet Wipes Pollution. As well as causing trouble in wastewater systems, wipes can find their way into oceans. Along with other types of plastic pollution, they can cause long-term problems for sea creatures and the marine environment. Wet wipes made up more than 90% of the material causing sewer blockages that Water UK investigated in 2017.

Above you can see a fatberg, a large mass of solid waste that has accumulated over time in sewers. It usually consists of personal hygiene products and congealed fat that have been flushed down the toilet or sink drains.

Instead of makeup wipes, use reusable cotton pads, which are much better for your skin too! Never flush wipes, always bin them, and try and use biodegradable ones.

Day Twenty-Nine

Coffee cups

It is estimated that 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups are discarded globally every year. This equates to a staggering 5000 every minute.

There are so many reusable alternatives, with many coffee shops selling their own reusable cups, and some even offer a discounted price on your favourite beverage when you bring in a reusable cup.

This is my Coffee Cup from Home Bargains, which is made with natural bamboo fibres that are pesticide-free, fast-growing and renewable. Bamboo is naturally sterile, with no plastic after-taste. They are free-from BPA or phthalates with a natural, matte, tactile surface, not “plasticky”.

Have a look round to see which cups are best for you. I have a blog post all about them, here!

Day Thirty

Making a difference

It’s easy to get discouraged, especially when the problem is so widespread that it’s hard to see what difference your individual effort is making. Many people think this is true with recycling too, but the truth is that small acts of recycling make a big difference:

Recycling just one tonne of newspapers between us would save around seventeen trees. Recycling one run of a newspaper would save around 75,000 trees!

I hope this 30-Day Eco-Living Challenge has shown you that small changes are easy to make and that small eco-friendly changes have a big impact.

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