This is my sixth week of bed rest prescribed by my gynecologist due to premature labour. And let me tell you: although it might seem pretty “chill” to be officially allowed to lie around all day in PJs watching Netflix, reading books and ordering stuff from the internet – if you’re an active person like me it’s wearing you down psychologically very fast. Seeing the same surrounding each day all day, not being able to talk to people most of the time and cancelling all the plans you had for your maternity leave is very frustrating. But: since I have learnt that “what I resist, will persist” I have tried to come to peace with the situation – with great help of all the wonderful friends who have visited, called or written to me and thus made my days on the sofa a little less gloomy. I hope I’ll be able to reciprocate that nice favor any time soon.
And also: being stuck at home gave me time to write more, which I actually am really enjoying. So today I would like to write about three very cool products and services that will make your life a little more sustainable in case you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint and become a more conscious consumer.
Renting is the new owning: Get new clothes with kilenda
When my regular clothes started to be too small for my growing belly I looked for a way to purchase maternity clothes sustainably – after all, I would only be wearing them for a couple of months. Of course there’s always the possibility to buy second hand, but then one of my girlfriends recommended the service “kilenda” to me. kilenda works like any online shopping platform, except for the fact that you do not actually buy the clothes you select right away, instead you rent them and send them back when you do not need them anymore . I found this extremely clever since I had noticed that I would be needing not only various different sizes during the last six months of my pregnancy (the belly gets sooooo big!), but also clothes for very different kinds of weather conditions (in my second trimester it was summer and very hot, now it’s winter and starting to get frosty). Using kilenda for the past four months I sported a few cute loose-fitting summer tops and blouses, a stylish rain-coat for autumn with extra room for the belly and two maternity-dresses I was wearing to the office. Right now I am renting a nice winter coat and two comfy dresses that I can wear when I am allowed to go out again (although my ability to walk has rather changed to something that can be called “waddling”). Anyway – here is my pros-and-cons-list of using kilenda:
- You can keep the clothes as long as you need them (you will be charged the full amount for renting an item for the first month, after that you will be billed on a daily basis – so it makes sense to keep an item for at least one month)
- If an item doesn’t fit or you don’t like it you can send it back within fourteen days
- Returning clothes is very easy: you just throw them in a parcel (you don’t even need to wash or iron them), stick the return label that came with the delivery onto the parcel and drop it off at the post office
- If you keep an item long enough so that the price for renting it exceeds the original retail price you can keep it and will not be charged for it anymore
- Besides maternity clothes, you can also rent regular women’s clothes, clothes for children, baby carriers and toys
- Compared to buying second hand clothes I like the fact that I don’t need to get rid of the clothes once I don’t need them any more; they will not take up room in my wardrobe and I don’t need to make an effort selling them
- If you do not have any problems buying clothes from cheap exploitative global companies like H&M or Primark, using kilenda will probably be more expensive than buying new stuff
- You need to be a little organized and keep an eye on what you have rented, otherwise you will end up paying off all the stuff you ordered and it will be as if you had bought everything right aways in the first place
- Even better than using kilenda is swapping or borrowing clothes from friends (I actually got a lot of maternity clothes from a friend who recently gave birth – that was awesome!)
Fighting food waste by being lazy: etepetete delivers right to your doorstep
You probably know this situation: you go on Instagram or Facebook and there is this advertisement for a really cool product. You have seen this ad a couple of times by now, it basically seems to haunt you across your social media channels and maybe even some of your friends are already “liking” it. And then one day you think “What the hell, I am going to order this product right now!”. This is exactly how I became a very happy etepetete customer – and I do not regret it: since I have a day off on Fridays I am getting a box full of fresh fruits and veggies delivered right to my doorstep every second week. So what’s the big deal you ask? The big deal is that those fruits and veggies are not “perfect”, they do not correspond to the norms and standards set by the food industry and would have been either destroyed or used for generating energy. So I am basically fighting against wasting perfectly fine food by being too lazy to go out and buying the food myself – brilliant! That the look of the fruits and veggies is not always perfect, of course, has no disadvantages regarding the taste. Nevertheless – besides all the advantages of this cool product I can think of some negative aspects as well:
- No need for shopping – the delivery comes right to your doorstep
- You can choose the frequency of the delivery and change it flexibly once you are a customer; also: you can terminate the service at any time
- There a nine different boxes you can choose from
- No delivery will be exactly the same, the contents vary depending on the season and the availability of certain fruits and veggies
- Every box contains a recipe that incorporates ingredients of the current delivery
- A box might contain a fruit or a piece of vegetable that you have never bought before, this way you are “forced” to try out new recipes and discover new flavors (for me it was chard)
- How sustainable is another delivery service? Although etepetete claims to have CO2-neutral shipping the fact that our streets are already crowded with DHL vans cannot be denied and we should actually be ordering less stuff (the same goes for kilenda as well…)
- Since no box is the same you cannot really plan a special menu with the contents (although you will get a list of the contents two days ahead of delivery, but I have found it not to be quite accurate every time)
- You might think that “ugly” fruits and veggies should be cheaper, but they actually are not (please read what etepetete says about this on their website – I totally agree!)
- A box might contain stuff you actually do not like, no matter how healthy it is (beetroot, anyone?)
No more new books: swap your old books for other used books with momox
Since I am forced to lie around on the sofa all day I am reading even more books than usual. This increased book-consumption soon led to a severe storing-problem: although I love owning books, I have made up my mind a while ago to limit myself to one bookcase in my apartment (an old brownish Ikea-Hemnes cabinet that miraculously survived the last move). So, purchasing new books meant to first get rid of some old books in order to free-up storing room. In the past I gave old books either to Oxfam or put them into one of Frankfurt’s open bookcases – but this time I sorted out some pretty new books that were in a good condition and wanted to try to sell them instead of giving them away fro free. And this was when I came upon momox, an online-service that enables you to sell your old books either for cash or for store-credit in case you want to buy “new used books” for yourself. The process is very simple: you download the momox-app, scan the ISBN-code on the back of the book you want to sell and then the app will tell you whether momox will buy the book and, if yes, for which price. The buying price can range from 15 Cent (this is actually the lowest buying price) up to two thirds of the original price (but only for current books that are high in demand). If you choose to sell a book you simply add it to your “selling cart” and once you have selected books worth at least ten Euros you are good to go: you put those books in a box, print out the shipping document (momox will pay for shipping) and drop the parcel at the next post office. A few day later, after momox has received your delivery and assessed the quality of your books, your money will be transferred to your account. I have done this two times already and never had any problems.
- The process is very easy and convenient
- There are no costs for the sale at all
- You might get frustrated because most of your books are only worth a few cents – but isn’t earning a few cents better than keeping those old books you are not going to read again anyway?
- It can become tricky to reach the minimum selling amount of ten Euro if you don’t own any books that are worth a little more