Virtuous Vernal: Eco Swaps

Being eco-conscious is sometimes stressful. Sometimes we just feel like there’s always so much more we can be doing and we can easily become overwhelmed. It’s important for us to recognise that small steps can make a huge difference and that we don’t always have to do things perfectly. Ultimately remembering that,

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau

is helpful to to keep us motivated and not bogged down with the responsibility of looking after our planet.

Our Virtuous Vernal social media campaign has been created to grow a community inspired by quotes from the eco-conscious, give eco swap suggestions to demonstrate that we practise what we preach and to promote some of our favourite ethical brands. We’re not perfect but strive to do what we can within our means and we hope that you’ll join us in our plight for caring for our planet (one other, all the living creatures and ourselves). Don’t feel you have to implement everything straight away, it’s more about building our consciousness for environmentally friendly living.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 1: Sustainable Home.

We were given lovely Herbatica coconut bowls for Christmas by Laura's aunt and uncle. They are 100% natural and handmade.

Herbatica are "on a mission to bring more and more natural alternatives to everyday products and make the switch to your eco-friendly lifestyle more pleasant and affordable" and from every single purchase they donate £0.43 to people without fresh water. Not only are their products sustainable but they give back to those who don’t have one of the basic commodities available. Here are a few other suggestions for making your home more eco-friendly:

  • Ditch single use plastics such as cling film.

  • Don’t forget to take a bag for your shopping. We find cotton tote bags are the best. They re strong but fold up very small.

  • There are so many reusable water bottles available now why would anyone want to buy water in plastic bottles?

  • Generally, buy less, but sometimes you have to make purchases, buy quality items that will last.

  • Avoid fast fashion outlets that thrive on sweatshop manufacturing. Ideally buy second hand or clothes swap with friends.

  • Avoid manmade clothing fabrics such as polyester, nylon and lycra that leak micro plastic fibres into our water system.

  • Repair items where possible. Your bank balance will start to look healthier!

  • Switch to energy efficient light bulbs.

  • Swap paraffin (mineral) wax candles for ones made from vegetable waxes such as soy.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 2: Cruelty Free Make Up.

Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup is officially Leaping Bunny approved so I’ve completely ditched using non cruelty free trademarked make up products for high quality, animal friendly make up. I personally believe in investing in good quality products, despite the additional cost, and using them sparingly. Cruelty free products are created without animal ingredients or animal testing and these feel amazing on my skin too. What’s not to love?!

Cruelty Free International is the leading organisation working to create a world where nobody wants or believes in the need to experiment on animals. As one of the world's longest standing and most respected animal protection organisations, it is widely regarded as an authority on animal testing issues and frequently called upon by governments, media, corporations and official bodies for advice and expert opinion. Check out this list to make your animal compassionate swaps.

At Langtree Botanics we want to be kind to the planet, animals and each other, and so our products are Vegan Trademarked and eco-conscious. Being cruelty free and / or vegan is not just diet but a way of life that causes no harm to any living creature, so we encourage everyone to be mindful of this when purchasing lifestyle items. Click 'Shop' to purchase your compassionate home fragrance and skincare products.

  • Invest in some reusable cotton pads instead of disposable ones.

  • Switch plastic based cotton buds for compostable versions.

  • Choose vegan brands that don’t contain animal fats and crushed insects and that aren’t tested on animals.

  • Avoid products containing microplstics and microbeads. Polyethene, polypropylene, poly-e-terephthalate, and polymethyl methacrylate are tiny particles that pollute the oceans and can be ingested by marine life.

  • Look for brands that are paraben free.

  • Recycle packaging and look for brands with non-plastic eco packaging.

  • Avoid make up brushes made from animal hair and / or plastic

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 3: Being Ethical on the Toilet!

It might not be glamorous but buying ethical toilet paper means we can give crap and support an important cause whilst just sitting on the toilet.

The founders of Who Gives A Crap started their toilet paper business venture when they “learnt that 2.4 billion people don't have access to a toilet. That's roughly 40% of the global population and means that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes”.

"They thought that was pretty crap. So in July 2012, Simon, Jehan and Danny launched Who Gives A Crap with a crowd funding campaign. Simon sat on a toilet in the draughty warehouse and refused to move until they had raised enough pre-orders to start production. 50 hours and one cold bottom later, they’d raised over $50,000."

"Who Gives a Crap delivered their first product in March 2013 and have been thrilled to keep growing ever since. Not just because their toilet paper is gracing bathrooms across the country but also because they donate 50% of our profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world."

Their paper products are delivered straight to your door, packaged in recyclable materials rather than plastic and shipping is free for over 20 items.

…and they’re happy to be keeping toilet humour alive!

  • Opt for a non-plastic toilet brush.

  • Switch disposable women’s sanitary products for reusable versions such as menstrual cups, reusable cotton pads and period pants.

  • Reusable nappies are the way forward as a disposable nappy takes 150 years to break down and it is estimated that the average' baby will use approximately 5000 disposable nappies before being potty trained.

  • Choose an eco toilet cleaner such as Ecover or make your own from a strong acidic element (vinegar, lemon juice etc.) and essential oils to clean and eliminate odours. You can also sprinkle baking soda and scrub to lift stubborn stains.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 4: Natural Nails.

Isn’t nice to give you nails a little colour now and again? And isn’t it nicer to use cruelty free, vegan and non-toxic nail polish that’s delivered in environmentally friendly packaging? Manucurist have invented ‘Green Flash’, the first clean gel polish that can be removed like regular polish. Made in France, it is formulated without toxic ingredients and made from bio-sourced ingredients like potato, cassava, cotton and sugar cane. This revolutionary polish can be removed in just 2 minutes with a gentle, acetone-free nail polish remover.

Manucurist’s mission is to “bring a smile to your face with our mood-boosting polishes and nail care products. And we want them to be as healthy and clean as possible”.

Let’s ditch the toxic nail polish brands and support ethically minded small businesses.

  • Choose toxic free nail polishes. Avoid those that contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

  • Find a natural nail polish remover that doesn’t contain acetone.

  • Seek a plastic free nail file such as glass, sandstone or metal.

  • Ditch the false nails, gels and acrylics as they’re are all made from plastics and therefore non-biodegradable.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 5: Personal Hygiene

Did you know that many commercial toothpaste brands aren’t cruelty free? We’ve swapped our supermarket toothpaste for a leaping bunny certified one, our ear buds and dental floss for compostable versions, our mouth wash for one without alcohol or saccharin.

Dave’s also been using Bull Dog moisturiser which has worked wonders for his skin. It’s certified by Cruelty Free International and contains no plastic microbeads, synthetic fragrances or artificial colours, and is packaged sugarcane plastic.

We use our own Langtree Botanics soap instead of plastic packaged liquid soap. They’re artisan plant-based soaps are lovingly hand stirred and naturally fragranced with essential oils and herbs. Made using a traditional cold process soap making method, they contain no toxins, parabens, sulphates nor synthetic ingredients.

All of our soaps are:

🌱 Made from 100% natural vegetable oils

🌱 Certified by the Vegan Society

🌱 Free from synthetic fragrances and colourings

🌱 CLP compliant

🌱 Made using the highest grade essential oils from sustainable sources

🌱 Presented in eco-friendly sustainable packaging

Why not treat yourself or a friend to a spa ensemble of a candle and soap in a matching fragrance? Featured here is our ‘Vernal’ range, for spring. Click the photo to purchase yours.

  • Once your plastic toothbrush / toothbrush head needs replacing consider a bamboo toothbrush or recyclable toothbrush head.

  • Use natural deodorants preferably in non-plastic containers.

  • Replace disposable razors with an electric shaver or epilator.

  • Use soap bars rather than liquid shower wash in plastic bottles.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 6: Non Toxic Skin Care

At Langtree Botanics we want to be kind to the planet, animals and each other, and so our products are Vegan Trademarked and eco-conscious. Being cruelty free and / or vegan is not just diet but a way of life that causes no harm to any living creature, so we encourage everyone to be mindful of this when purchasing lifestyle items.

We’re also keen to demonstrate that we practise what we preach and have made lots of eco-swaps over the last few years. One of my favourites is using Herbivore skincare products. “Herbivore believes in the power of nature to bring tangible results you can see and feel. We make our products, ingredients, and packaging as gentle on the planet as they are on our bodies”. Their products come in beautiful natural pastel colours, plant-based and feel amazing on the skin. Mix and match Herbivore skincare with Langtree Vernal soap for a relaxing and eco friendly bath and skincare regime.

  • Ditch single use products such as wipes, face packs and disposable cotton rounds.

  • Switch to a soap bar that’s suitable for use on the your face to eliminate all plastic packaging.

  • Avoid products that contain parabens, synthetic ingredients, sodium laurel sulfate, fillers, mineral oils, petroleum and chemicals.

  • Look for brands that offer refills.

  • Seek out brands that are cruelty-free, vegan, natural and with a majority of the ingredients used being organic.

🌼 Virtuous Vernal Eco Swap 7:⁠ Cleaning Products

The future of our planet is dependent on us all making eco friendly changes in our everyday lives. We are working hard to make as many aspects of our business as environmentally friendly as possible from materials to production and packaging. We're also practising what we preach in the home too. Our kitchen cleaning products swaps include:⁠

🌱 Koh cleaning sprays and cloths⁠

🌱 Ecover fabric conditioner⁠

🌱 Smol dish washer tablets⁠

🌱 Langtree hand soap

We're not perfect yet so it'd be great to hear your eco-cleaning product recommendations. ⁠The more we all make small changes, together we will make a massive positive impact on our planet and ensure that it's beautiful biodiversity thrives for generations to come.

  • Use multi purpose eco-cleaners where possible.

  • Reuse old toothbrushes for household cleaning.

  • Seek out kitchen towel alternatives such as bamboo or reusable . Most brands are made of valuable virgin wood pulp and uses masses of toxic chemicals to be bleached so can’t be recycled.

  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda or bicarbonate of soda) is a natural, safe and wonderful cleaning product. You can use it on your oven and toilet.

  • White vinegar is another natural cleaning product. It gets windows sparkly clean, removes stains and is antibacterial.

  • Avoid synthetic air fresheners that reduce air quality and cause migraines and asthma attacks. Instead use natural fragranced products from essential oils to combat bad odours.

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