Last summer we took the children to Hull Fest. Knowing there would be food stalls and no doubt single-use plastics galore, I was determined to emulate the zero waste bloggers I had seen online with their zero waste kits. Consequently, I took with me a couple of large plastic pots with lids and a few sets of cutlery, a napkin or two and our water bottles. Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of difference between carrying a set of eating implements for one and enough for a family of five. I very quickly found my bag uncomfortably heavy, especially on a hot summer’s day. In my head I muttered to myself about how these young, free and mostly single zero waste bloggers don’t know how lucky they are existing in their beautiful minimalist homes and only having to carry their own kit around. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Thankfully my grumbling was cut short by lunchtime and I soon returned to feeling pleased with myself when I saved five people’s worth of disposable cutlery and styrofoam containers from heading to landfill! I vowed to arm myself with bamboo cutlery next time.
Fast forward to a month ago, when I received a lovely email from Jenna at Leave No Trace, asking if I’d like to review some of her products, which would include bamboo cutlery, stainless steel straw, sandwich wrap and washable cotton rounds. I’m picky about the products I review, so I checked out Jenna’s Etsy shop before saying yes. Here’s how we got on:
My parcel arrived and I loved the way Jenna had reused magazine pages to wrap everything securely for posting. Definitely a thumbs up on the packaging front!
The products themselves had minimal packaging too. The cutlery and straw came in their own fabric drawstring bag. The sandwich wrap was wrapped in a strip of paper. The washable cotton rounds were also wrapped in a strip of paper and accompanied by a piece of paper explaining the care instructions.
Our youngest daughter immediately commandeered the stainless steel straw for her lime cordial and has since adopted it.
I’m out of the house every Thursday and take a lunch with me. On Saturdays, our daughters’ dance lessons encompass the middle of the day, so I take lunch for us all on that day too. As you can see from the photos, the sandwich wrap is large enough to fit all our sandwiches in if necessary, or I can wrap it tighter if I only have my sandwich in there.
I like to take a jar of salad with me for my lunch on Thursday, so I was eager to try out the bamboo cutlery last week. It’s super light and I also like the long handles. Great for getting to the bottom of tall jars or eating ice cream sundaes.
Our eldest daughter enjoys experimenting with make up and trying out various products, so she volunteered to review the cotton rounds for me.
Eldest daughter says:
“I really liked this product. The cotton rounds are soft and super-easy to use, and the drawstring bag they came in was so cute as well. I loved the fact that it had leaves and toucans on it. I thought that the overall product was amazing (not to mention the packaging), this is something I would definitely recommend.”
I washed the rounds that she’d used in with the towels, tea towels, hankies etc. They’ve come up lovely and clean, and haven’t lost their shape or softness. I really didn’t want my daughter to need to resort to buying cotton wool, but I was concerned that the cotton muslin I use to remove my own make up (on the rare occasion that I wear it) was a little rough for young skin. I’m pleased that the cotton rounds are soft and gentle on her lovely, youthful complexion.
Generally I advocate making do with what you already have before investing in new equipment. On the zero waste groups that I’m a member of it irks me when someone starts their zero waste journey by throwing away all their plastic items and buying a whole host of new ‘zero waste’ products. Definitely missing the point a bit there! However, there are undoubtedly certain products that make great investments as old products run out and Leave No Trace seems to focus on these. Replacing an old worn plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush makes sense, as does investing in washable cotton rounds when your cotton wool runs out or a sandwich wrap when the last of the cling film is gone.
Leave No Trace sent me these products for free in exchange for my honest review. I only choose to review products that align with my values and blog ethos.