Welcome to your free low impact resource library full of tips on how to start that intentional life!
We’re all side hustling our life away. But isn’t there much more to it? This free resource library is a concise place for all things low impact that will help you realise that there’s so much more to life than consumerism.
The key framework of mind is this:
Intentional living: Do things you want to do with people you want to be with and only buy things that add value to your life.
Low impact lifestyle: We’re pretty much destroying our planet right under our feet. To minimise our impact we don’t have to go 100% bat shit zero waste. We just need to lower the impact of our lives on the environment we live in.
Mindfulness and slow living: Enjoy everything you do, experience, and even the things you own. Stop rushing around accumulating vast amounts of possessions. Have a fresh tomato from your balcony garden. And watch the grass grow.
Easy low impact swaps and little lifestyle changes you can try right now
There is absolutely no way you ought to wake up one day, tick everything off this list (& more) and become a 100% zero-waste mindful superhuman. Perhaps just go through this list slowly and at your own pace and rather than jumping immediately at the tasks at hand, just think about them. Don’t go decluttering 600 things from your home at once (or in a month). What I find the most effective is to really absorb low impact swaps. Sit on them for a few days, weeks or even months. And once you get your head around them adopt them into your lifestyle. Hope you enjoy this little resource library of tips!
- Make-up remover rounds: Replace your single use make-up removed pads for these beautiful reusable cotton rounds that will last you years and years, if not forever.
- Recycling at home: Place 3 paper boxes in your home (or buy a set of recycling bins) and go through your bin placing rubbish in appropriate recycling boxes. Each new piece of rubbish goes into new designated bins. At the end of the week make a trip to containers for recycling (you can google where to find them closest to your home).
- Wishlist: Before buying anything (food excluded), put it on your “wishlist”. Wait at least 24 hours but ideally a week before purchasing said thing. You’ll be surprised how many impulse buys you’ll be able to avoid.
- Seasonal decor: Don’t buy your seasonal decor in TK Maxx this year. Go for a walk in the forest and forage for pinecones, twigs and pebbles. Create your own decor from natural resources. You can then discard them in composting or return them in the nature on your next walk.
- Create free zero waste gifts: My favourite zero waste gift are propagated houseplants, but you can make all sorts of beautiful thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. Collect seeds from your garden. Make a beaded handbag. Sew a pretty summer dress. Draw a picture. Bake cookies. Or bread. A jar of pesto. Or a majestic faux bone inlay cabinet from an ugly old piece of furniture you’d be giving away anyways.
- Grow a jungle: Surround yourself with greenery. It’s not just beautiful but it’s also very healthy for us. It’s good for our lungs (plants purify air in our home) and for our soul (they help us calm down and relax). And you can easily propagate the plants you already have so you don’t have to spend any extra money.
- Meal planning: Avoid creating waste by planning your meals in advance. You can also learn a lot about your habits by going through your pantry and fridge and using up all the food that’s been there for yonks. You’ll learn that these foods are not to be bought again or bought in smaller amounts. For your next meal plan you’ll know what to buy because it’s delicious and what not to buy because it’ll just end up taking up precious space in your fridge.
- Books: Are you obsessed with reading? And also buying books? Look at the books you own and consider which ones you’ve read, which ones you need to read, which ones you’ll never read (and also the ones that make you angry, aaargh I used to have so many books that made me upset and guilty). Get rid off the ones you no longer want to own. And make a plan on reading the rest. Limit buying new books if you have too many on your tbr list, perhaps even try this challenge with me!
- Forest therapy: Go for a walk in the forest. Look around, look up, look down. Watch the animals, the trees. The moss. The shrooms. Once you learn visiting a forest multiple times a year you’ll see how the nature changes around you. So valuable for our wellbeing!
- Plastic Tupperware: In spite of many opinions that plastic tupperware is dangerous for us and we should immediately chuck it in the bin, I advise you against this. Where would we be if we all suddenly through our plastic lunch boxes in the bin? Just carry on using it and once it’s finished serving you – it broke, started leaking or you just stopped using it because you now work from home, put it in your recycling bin. And should you need to get a new one, buy it with low impact in mind – it can be glass or steel, or perhaps you’ll be okay with just a wax wrap!
- Coffee on the go: I used to love Starbucks – but then I had a real coffee and realised that Starbuck doesn’t actually taste anything like coffee. It tastes more like sugar with some sugar on top. So I started going to independent coffee shops for my morning cup. To move it up a notch in terms of sustainability get yourself a nice sturdy reusable coffee cup. I have the KeepCup and I’m very happy with it. I sometimes even make my own morning coffee and take it out with me to sip on it whilst reading a book on my morning tram journey to work. What a perfect way to start your day!
- Decluttering: And I definitely don’t mean throwing everything out in the name of minimalism. Keep things that make you happy, get rid of crap you’ve never used. Even the dresses that still have tags on but you’ve never worn. You’re removing pointless possessions but also guilt. I guarantee you’ll feel a ton better after all the guilt triggering things are out of your home.
- Cleaning products & tools: Go through your cabinet with cleaning products and make little product groups: products you use and love, products that you have multiple bottles of (why?), products you bloody hate and can’t make yourself use them up. Now push all your nice products to the back of the cabinet (together with your multiples). Place the crappy ones at the front and just use them up. Just do it. Or give them away if they’re absolutely unbearable. Then use up all your multiples. Keep just one of each. That’s good for now, some other time we can look at replacing even this stash with something more natural, less expensive, more mindful.
- Shop your stash: Be it our make-up drawer, your wardrobe, or those damn cleaning products. Or even your pantry and fridge. Open up those places and just stare at them for a little bit. Are there things you’ve never used? You hate using? Either use them up or remove them (and give to someone who can use them up). You’ll be surprised how many things you actually own now you’ve reach the very bottom/back of each drawer and cabinet.
- Shop your cat’s stash: All cat parents are guilty of this, let’s just face it. We keep buying our cats toys and treats but once the cat is bored of it, we just shove it at the back of the cat drawer. Chuck all the treats past their expiry date. Remove all the broken toys (they can actually be dangerous at this point!). Is there a toy your cat doesn’t truly appreciate? Try reviving its spark with some catnip or valerian spray. And don’t buy any more bloody toys and treats before the ones you already have have been used up/played with to death.
- Canvas tote: Don’t have one? Buy it. Or make it if you’re talented enough. Now carry it in your handbag wherever you go. It’s perfect for groceries, a spare book, croissants from your local bakery, an impulse buy (which you totally didn’t make because of the wishlist, right?). Yet it’s so perfectly lightweight and tiny it fits into majority of handbags you own.
- Produce bags: These are so handy and really change the way you think about plastic wrappers. You can buy so many things without the need to wrap them into anything – an apple? In the shopping basket it goes. Without a bag. Because you’ll wash it at home anyways! Carrots. Lettuce. Mushrooms. Brussel sprouts. Potatoes. Probably all produce can just go in your basket without any sort of packaging. I keep a couple of bags on hand just in case I need to buy pastries and nuts. They are also brilliant if you shop at zero-waste stores, where you do need to put everything in your own packaging. You don’t have to necessarily buy them – they are very simple to make from old cloths or curtains!
- Candles: Have a few candles around your home makes it beautiful and cosy. Do think twice about what wax is being used in the candle. Is it okay to be breathing that in? Make sure you’re not stocking up on piles and piles of seasonal candles that you won’t even be able to use up. And perhaps think about replacing some (or all) candles with a diffuser. They are “healthier” and adding essential oils in them can provide you with amazing aromatherapy benefits.
- Pens & DIY craft supplies: The joy of one is the miracle formula here. I know those gold pens with fluffy poufs on top are just adorable, but don’t you already have the one with a cat and one with a butterfly on it? Yes you do. And you don’t even write anything in hand anymore! Just use up all your pens and pencils you have until you are down just to one that you really enjoy. The same goes for your craft supplies – use them up before buying any more. I’m sure you have plenty to open up a little stall at a crafts market.
- Important documents: We all have that dreaded drawer with documents such as signed agreements, phone contract details, bank passwords. Make one folder where you put the most important things you have to have in paper. The rest? Scan it with a scanning app and save it on your external hardrive (and ideally back it up to your cloud too). Voila, you’ve gotten rid off a PILE of documents and receipts you’ll never need anyways.
- Shaving: A super simple zero waste swap is to replace your Gillette Venus with a safety razors. The shaving is the same (I can’t tell the difference), replaceable blades are incredibly cheap in comparison and the razor will last you forever, literally. You can also consider investing in an epilator, which will help you limit your need to shave to an absolute minimum.
- Laundry: Did you know that we flush down a lot of plastic particles and toxins down the drain (and into the ocean) with every single load of washing we do? Get a natural detergent and softener, maybe even soap nuts, they are super natural and great to wash your clothes with! In addition to this think about what materials your clothes are made of and limit buying artificial synthetic materials to minimum.
- Aluminium and kitchen foil: There’s a simple replacement hack for this – it’s called a wax wrap and I shall be sharing a DIY tutorial for this very soon. They are super easy to make, very natural and so inexpensive in comparison to store bought single use foils.
- Paper towels and tissues: Do you really need to be using these? It’s all just convenience. And they are not all that convenient after all when you think about all the rubbish they create, which you then need to take out. I’ve bought a pack of traditional cloths handkerchiefs (they have nice ones at M&S) and I couldn’t be happier. And for the kitchen? We just use a wet dish cloth when we spill something. That’s what people used to do back in the day (and I mean like the 90’s) and it still works just fine.
- More tips in the resource library to come every week, so stop by again!
If you can, then buy these books in your local bookshop. That way you can support small independent business owners, which is very important for our economy. I’ve linked to places where you can buy these books online for convenience and for those who can’t for any reason buy them from a bookshop. This resource library is constantly being updated so do come back for new recommendations!
Low impact tools that will make your life easier
Other useful hacks & swaps
Resource library of inspiring blogs and reads
- Vanilla Papers: If you’re looking for a lovely read about all things slow and calm whilst being cosied up on the sofa with a cup of your favourite tea, head this way.
- Beauty Balm blog: A super insightful blog on everything natural beauty related. Lots and lots of reviews for skincare lovers, this is your beauty resource library if you like!
- Burkatron: A blog full of useful DIY’s that will transform your home into a serene oasis.
- Plastic Free July: Join the plastic free challenge at at any time, not just in July!
- Rush & Teal: A beautiful slow living blog with lots of home decor inspiration.
- Going Zero Waste: If you’re very very serious about zero waste and want to dive straight in (and this blog is just a tad too casual about it all for you), then head over here! This blog is a resource library in its own right.
- Planterina: If you love plants then this lady is bloomin’ goals – so many beautiful plants and so much useful advice! A great resource library for everything houseplant related.
- Sugarpuffish: A blog full of useful tips on how to find natural beauty products. This lady really knows her stuff and can really decipher labels for you like a pro!
- Slow Living Lnd: Another great source of minimalism, slow inspiration. A lot of book recommendations, slow resources and tips on how to stop and smells the roses so to speak.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this low impact resource library. It’s beeing updated regularly, so come back to find more intentional living tips!