Simple ways to cut down on your packaging

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Visit a Zero Waste Shop

These stores are popping up everywhere now, particularly in major cities. Why not have a visit on a weekend and get some inspiration for what swaps you can make – you might just feel inspired to make some lasting changes. As well as finding out about the usual swaps like metal straws and reusable cups, you’ll likely find far more interesting zero waste possibilities too like laundry detergent, bamboo toothbrushes and cleaning products. Remember to take a reusable bag or some jars in case you end up buying something!

 

Make simple swaps when you can

Is your shampoo about to run out? Your mascara reaching its end? Perhaps your toilet paper supply is running low. When you notice something that needs replacing, take a look at alternative brands that perhaps don’t use plastic packaging, or are making a conscious effort to improve their sustainability efforts, so you can replace them with something better for the environment. Try and wait until something is genuinely running out though, otherwise your eco efforts aren’t as good as they could have been as it’s MORE wasteful to NOT use up something!

There are loads of companies that are making changes with packaging – take a look at Lush who sell shampoo, conditioner and deodorant bars, bars of soap and are currently bringing out more and more packaging-free products.

 

Make use of old packaging

Get on Pinterest and see what you can turn your packaging into, to give it a new purpose and stop it ending up in the ocean. Upcycle your bottles, boxes and tubs into storage vessels, cups or something more interesting!

 

Change your supermarket habits

If you like to go to the supermarket in person, make sure you remember to take reusable bags with you. You might have to keep some in your car if you’re likely to forget! If you’re an online supermarket shopper, edit your delivery details so your products arrive in crates without bags, so you can put everything straight into your cupboards.

Good luck!

Eco-friendly swaps to try

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Switch plastic for paper (or something else)

We’ve heard about how so many companies are switching their policies to swap plastic straws and cups for their paper cousins. We’ve also heard how coffee shops are offering decent discounts for refilling customers’ reusable hot drinks containers rather than providing them with a disposable cup like Pret A Manger (who have increased their discount to 50p several months ago). They are small steps sp far, but think about swaps you can make at home from plastic to another material.

Grow your own fruit and veg

There are so many benefits to growing your own produce – it’s cheaper, no packaging and you know exactly where it’s come from! It will obviously demand more effort, but you’ll feel so proud eating your first harvest. Do some research to see what you could grow depending on your own tastes and how much work you’re able to invest in your vegetable garden.

Swap chemicals for natural ingredients

People nowadays are more concerned about the chemicals in their everyday products. If this includes you, take a look at natural alternatives to your cleaning products, toiletries and makeup. As part of the current anti-plastic movement, there are lots of new companies offering natural (and often packaging-free or plastic-free) alternatives. For toiletries and makeup, take a look at companies like Lush or Meow Meow Tweet, and for cleaning products, there are many guides online to mixing your own using everyday kitchen products like vinegar or rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit mixed with essential oils.

Reduce your packaging

It could be that you want to open something while you’re still in the store and leave the packaging there, it might be that you want to look for companies that use clever cardboard alternatives, or it might be that you want to visit a zero waste store and refill your own containers.

Look at the items you currently use and see where you can make a difference as a consumer. You could even write to companies directly and ask for change, or start a petition to stop companies using plastic.

 

What you can do this World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day (5th June 2018). If you’re not sure what you can do to reduce your impact on the environment, we’ve put together some tips to keep you busy til the next World Environment Day and beyond!

Stop throwing away single-use plastic

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Single-use plastics are a huge threat to our environment, so if you are buying plastic you should make sure it’s not intended to be thrown away after just one use. You may have noticed already that many bars and restaurants are now supplying paper straws, or adopting a policy where plastic straws will only be provided when asked for.

There are also things you can do at home. You may need to pay slightly more upfront to invest in a more durable plastic water bottle for example, which will last much longer than one use (and can get you discounts in coffee shops including Pret a Manger!), or invest in reusable non-plastic food wrap for packed lunches rather than cling film or sandwich bags.

Take a look at items you routinely buy and how much plastic packaging they arrive in and whether it’s necessary in case there are alternatives that can easily replace them. For example, there are several companies now that make more eco-friendly toothbrushes out of wood or bamboo. Take a look at Humble Brush or Brush with Bamboo to see if you could make the switch.

 

Reduce your waste

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Cut your bills with an Eco Egg – unlike your typical washing powder or box of tablets, an eco egg lasts for hundreds of washes. All you need to do is top up the beads inside to keep the freshness going. This could save you money on your water bill as well as preventing you throwing away the plastic bottles/packaging that normal washing powder comes in.

You can also invest in a Hippo Bag to put in your toilet’s cistern that prevents the whole tank from emptying with every flush, so saving you water and keeping your water bill down!

 

Car sharing

If you drive to work along the same route as a colleague, why not discuss whether you could alternate driving throughout the week and share a car? There are even a few places in the UK where car sharing could make your journey a lot faster – Leeds, Birmingham and Bradford have car sharing lanes which would speed up your journey to work!

 

Try renting a bike

You may have noticed some rental bikes popping up around your area. Companies like Ofo and Mobike have introduced dockless bikes that can be parked anywhere. To use a bike, download the app and it’ll show you where they are located. To unlock a bike, you use the app to scan the bike’s code and off you go. You pay via the app for the total duration of the rental once you’ve finished with it.

 

What changes have you made for World Environment Day?

Money saving ideas to cut the cost of your wedding

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Wedding season has officially started. If you’re in the midst of planning yours, it can feel like every you breath you take you’re adding another extortionate cost to your big day. If you’re like most people (not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), you probably have an eye constantly watching your budget, so here are some suggestions for keeping costs down by asking for a favour (or ten) and taking a creative approach to your wedding spending.

Decorations

Once you’ve decided on a theme/style, it can be tempting to go on Etsy or NotOnTheHighStreet.com and want to buy tons of hand-made individual pieces for every table, room and guest in that colour palette, but what you could do instead is browse for inspiration and make your own. eBay is also a great place to find craft materials and buying in bulk could save you a lot of money. Of course this tactic requires more time to get the work done, but with a few extra pairs of hands from the wedding party you could get the jobs done a lot faster.

Enlist help

If you have a friend that’s been on a calligraphy course, or just has lovely handwriting, get them to do the table names (or assess if you even need them). If you’ve got a family member that’s a graphic designer, see if they can design the invitations.

Wedding planning is the perfect time to ask for favours, and there’s something in it for them as they can swap their help rather than give a wedding present – so don’t be shy when asking your friend if you can hire their classic car or asking them to play the piano during the reception.

If you’re part of a local forum or community organisation, feel free to ask around there, too. You might find a local discount or friend of a friend that’s more than happy to help.

Dress

These days it’s not hard to find a great, low-cost wedding dress. Many high street stores have their own bridal collections, including Debenhams and Whistles, and ASOS have recently brought out a wedding collection, too.

If you don’t necessarily want to own a dress, consider hiring one, particularly if you can’t see yourself wearing it again. You can hire wedding dresses from designer rental sites like Girl Meets Dress or even from other people in your area online using apps like FatLama.com.

Bend the rules

On your day, you can bypass or stick with the traditions how you see fit, so if something is going to cost a lot of money and you don’t see the point of it, go ahead and leave it out. Whether it’s getting rid of favours, forgetting the veil or mixing up the day completely, just go for it!

 

Benefits of a Spring Declutter

It’s that time of year again. Daylight is around for a lot longer in the evenings since the clocks have moved forward, and it finally feels like summer is on its way (good riddance, ‘Beast from the East’)! Some of us are still living amongst wintery cobwebs we’ve been hanging onto, instead of welcoming the sunshine into our homes with a much needed declutter. If you need some motivation to get started, here are some reasons why a declutter could bring with it a host of benefits, and keep it feeling fresh for summer’s impending arrival.

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Image source: featherandnest.co.uk

Just to freshen up

If your home is looking bulky or drab, it’s definitely a good time to get to work. When it’s warm outside, the last thing you want to see are fluffy blankets and dark, cluttered spaces.
According to rd.com, having a good spring clean can decrease feelings of anxiety that comes with cluttered, unclean or untidy spaces. It can also improve asthma symptoms as there are fewer places for dust to gather.

Make money out of unwanted items

Spring cleaning could make you some extra cash for your summer holiday. If you’ve got a lot of unused things hiding in your cupboards, it could be worth putting some time aside to sort through what could be thrown away, sold or donated. You’d be surprised at what people will buy second hand, so if you find anything that could be used by someone else, try listing it for sale online and see if you could make some money, particularly with things like clothing or electronics. If you’re not sure if something is likely to sell, search for the item in eBay’s ‘completed listings’ and see what prices the same or similar items have recently sold for. If you’d rather not sell, consider donating instead. There are many places that accept donations, whether it’s a charity shops, a toy library, or somewhere that accepts donations for specific projects like recycling wedding dresses/suits or sending old running shoes/sports gear to those unable to afford them.

Make space for new purchases/activities

Perhaps you’ve been meaning to make space for something in the house, like for a piano or a play area. It’s amazing what a bit of decluttering and repositioning of furniture can do, so doing some maneuvering could give you the space you need to improve your living space and mean you’re able to do more productive or fun activities at home.

Preparing for a house move

If you’re looking to move home this year, decluttering in advance could save you a lot of hassle nearer the time, and could reduce the amount of items to pack before moving day. If you’re likely to be moving in the warmer months, you might find it beneficial to pack up your winter items well in advance, like warm coats, woolly hats and gloves, or specialist winter sports gear like skiing or snowboarding equipment. Packing away anything that you are unlikely to need before the move will reduce the number of chores to do nearer the time when stress levels are already high in the weeks before your moving day.

Good luck with your decluttering!

Amsterdam Supermarket Introduces Plastic-free Aisle

Image Source: guardian.co.uk

A plastic-free aisle in an Amsterdam supermarket has been unveiled, which includes 700 items now available to buy without plastic packaging.The organisation Plastic Planet were the brains behind the idea, and have called the introduction of this aisle “a landmark moment for the global fight against plastic pollution”

 

The new aisle at Ekoplaza supermarket now has items with glass, metal and cardboard packaging, as well as other compostable materials, which are all clearly marked as being plastic free and do not cost any more than their plastic-covered counterparts.

 

Prime Minister Theresa May recently mentioned her support of plastic-free supermarkets in her 25 year Government plan, and UK store Iceland recently pledged to rid of all plastic packaging on its own-brand products by 2023.The other big UK supermarkets are now under pressure to follow suit, but none have yet to disclose information about their plastic outputs or made any similar commitments.

 

Plastic Planet surveyed British shoppers to find that 9 out of 10 want the amount of plastic packaging reduced in supermarkets, so hopefully these other supermarkets start listening and following Iceland’s lead.

 

iPhone X Prize Draw Winner Announced!

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Between October and November, we ran a prize draw for the opportunity to win a brand new iPhone X. All Shiply customers were eligible to take part in the prize draw, and were automatically entered if they accepted three quotes on Shiply between 9 October and 30 November 2017.

Shortly after the closing date of 30 November, a winner was randomly chosen out of the eligible customers and the lucky winner of an iPhone X was Raj Kumar!

Congratulations Raj from all of us at Shiply!

Resolutions for a Green New Year

Perhaps you want to commit to having a greeener 2018 but don’t know where to start? Have you been watching Blue Planet 2 and want to know what you can do to reduce your negative effect on the environment? Here are some ideas for making your 2018 kinder to our planet.

Declutter once and for all

‘Spring cleaning’ will get your home feeling fresh in time for summer and it’s warmer temperatures. It can be difficult to get started (especially if you’ve got lots to get rid of), so don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for a helping hand – even if it’s just someone to repeatedly say ‘keep, throw away or donate’ to keep you on track. Perhaps you can keep yourself motivated by committing to clear out a certain amount of space in a cupboard by the end of the day or reward yourself with a takeaway in the evening. If you have any items of any value, list them on a second hand marketplace like eBay or Amazon and you might even make a profit too!

Fitness and wellbeing

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Do you have fitness goals this year? Fitness and wellbeing are subjects that are becoming more and more talked about, and rightly so. Perhaps you want to smash a goal like completing a marathon or it could be a smaller lifestyle change like cycling to work instead of taking public transport. Mental health and wellbeing has also been talked about much more in the open, and many people have felt the benefits of speaking about their mental health and self-care.

Take up a green hobby

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Do you want to start something new in 2018? It’s never been easier to find like-minded people online and get together over a shared interest. With websites like meetup.com, you can search for any sort of hobby or interest and you’ll find a group for it! Green hobbies could include learning to upcycle furniture, knitting your own clothing or learning to fix things around the home. Many educational institutions offer short courses in popular crafts like sewing or woodwork, or online ‘how to’ videos could teach you everything you need to know. If you want to do something new in the new year, there’s nothing stopping you!

Eat less meat

The meat and dairy industries are coming more and more under fire with more people turning to a meat-free or plant-based diet. If you don’t want to go fully plant-based, you may prefer to buy locally-sourced ingredients or cook only with vegetables that are in season. The meat and dairy industries have a massive negative effect on the environment, and you can make a difference by adjusting your diet. You might even want to sign up to Veganuary and kick off your new year with a vegan month!

Think green this Christmas

If you’re wondering how to have a less wasteful Christmas this year, here are some tips to make your Christmas a little greener. Planning ahead could make a big difference to how much you throw away and help minimise your effect on the environment.

Buy Second hand presents

Shiply blog imageImage Souce Ebay.co.uk

Second hand doesn’t have to be a stained or half eaten present. It can also mean something virtually brand new in a box that was an unwanted gift for someone else but perfect for who you’re buying for. Before heading straight for brand new, consider looking for something second hand. Use sites like eBay to find pre-loved (or never-loved) items that deserve a better home and look good as new, which should please even the fussiest of Christmas guests. It should save you some money, too.

Be mindful of potential waste

There are a lot of things we do around this period that are excessive, without giving them a second thought. Do you really need to buy a huge bag of sprouts when it’s only one person that’ll actually eat them? Do you really need three whole desserts for a family of six? When you’re shopping, try and think about portion sizes (if you’re going to be following recipes, look at what is recommended for each person and try to stick to it). People overspend and overbuy – remember you can always buy more another day if there’s not enough! The same goes for gifts – if you have more than one gift for one person, do you really need to wrap them individually and do they really need more than one in the first place?
If your loved ones have stockings, think about what you’re putting in there and don’t just fill it for the sake of it. Will the small toys really be used? Do they really need all those gimmicks? Think carefully about what you’re buying and the consequences on the planet if they’re thrown away.

Make sure you recycle

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If you’re finding it too difficult to find out how many mouths you need to feed, or presents to buy (maybe you’re not sure who’s going to be coming round and when!), make sure that you’re able to recycle what you do not use. For waste food, make sure you don’t just throw it away – leftovers can be sorted into portions and eaten later. Popular ways to use turkey leftovers include making christmas sandwiches or turkey curries. As a last resort, discard in a compost heap or put in a food bin for the council to collect.

Make sure you separate wrapping paper and cardboard to be recycled. If you don’t already recycle, take a look at your local council’s website to see how you can avoid putting your Christmas waste into landfill.

Think green this Christmas!

How Shiply can help you this December

Shiply can help with a range of challenges you might face over the Christmas period, from the all-important build up, right through to the new year. With savings of up to 75%, Shiply can help save you money during what is typically an expensive time of year, for a range of different services like moving home, helping with those bulky furniture arrangements and getting those all-important presents to your loved ones.

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Coming home from uni?

If you have to leave your halls of residence at the end of every term, you might need some help getting everything home. It’s easy to find a removal service on Shiply, and if you need help packing and unpacking, our transport providers can quote for these services, too. Perfect for if you’ve asked enough favours this year from your parents or friends or if your uni is particularly far from home.

Christmas presents

You’ve found the perfect gift for Mr or Ms Impossible-to-buy-for, BUT you’ve discovered that the item is collection only and is to be collected from the other side of the country…or somewhere just too difficult to get to. Many of Shiply’s customers find it super-easy to find a courier to get you that perfect gift, whether it’s coming from the next village or the next country. Shiply is also an eBay-compatible application so you don’t need to put in ebay item details manually – just put the eBay URL into our form and the fields will populate automatically with item information and photos to save you time.

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Moving home?

Have you recently bought a new home that you’re going to be moving into in time for the arrival of Father Christmas? The combination of the pressure of Christmas festivities alongside what is notoriously one of the most stressful things you can do could easily be calmed by hiring a helping hand, be it just a man with a van to get your things from A to B with a bit of heavy lifting or whether you’d like someone to take care of the whole process while you’re at work, including packing, unpacking, assembling and disassembling furniture and appliances. We can even help with pets!

Preparing your home for Christmas

Preparing your home for Christmas day can involve a lot of organisation and hard work. Maybe your Christmas tree is too heavy to carry yourself or you could do with some help having your decorations delivered as well as installing them at home. Just list your requirements on Shiply if you think it’ll be difficult to do alone this year.
Not enough chairs for everyone to sit round the table? A man and van service can help you gather up those spare chairs from loved ones’ homes so you can all be comfortable on Christmas day.