(Some) second-hand holiday shopping, plastic-free goodies and compost toilets!

Our holidays in a snapshot! While I don’t want to turn this into a ‘what I did on my summer holidays’ post I thought I’d just write about some of the highlights. Our wet and windy camping trip to Scotland yielded a few second-hand goodies, a leaky tent and some ‘interesting’ compost toilets!

Our first stop in Edinburgh included a rummage around a great store.Armstrongs Vintage  in the centrally located Grassmarket is an aladdin’s cave of second-hand clothing. Separated into decades, with some truly beautiful fifities dresses, this is what I call proper vintage. There was even a small rack of children’s clothing which my eight year old daughter was keen to try on. While I failed to find anything my husband picked up this beautiful blue wool blazer for £20.

Not quite as blue as this picture shows!

Not quite as blue as this picture shows!

As we travelled further north into the Highlands and Islands charity shopping became less of an imperative. Locating a petrol station or grocery shop became more of a priority. However we did come across a very small charity shop in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull where my girls bought a rather sad looking baby doll. While on Mull I discovered the gorgeous Isle of Mull Soap Co and stocked up on a few plastic-free bars. Since taking part in Plastic Free July I’ve been converted to using bars of soap for handwash, bodywash and even shampoo and conditioner (so much easier to pack for our holidays than large plastic bottles). I was very excited to be able to pick up some more bars of soap, packaged only in cardboard. Later, on the Isle of Skye I bought another bar from the Highland Soap Co (I think this is becoming an addiction!).


One of the best plastic-free finds of the holiday, however, was a community allotment scheme which we discovered on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. I believe the West Ardnamurchan Community Garden at Kilchoan is the most westerly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model in the mainland UK. From what I can gather the local residents work together on the allotment growing produce for themselves, and to sell. We stopped by the shed attached to the allotments where you can help yourself to veg, gorgeous homemade jams, flowers and put your money in an honesty box:

Our final stop was an eco campsite on the Isle of Skye.  Rubha Phoil Skye Forest Garden’s campsite is an organic veg growing, composting, rubbish free, eco living dream. It is set amid 16 acres of woodland with homemade eco dwellings dotted around for those who live and work on the site. They grow organic produce for local shops and offer textile workshops and internships for those wanting to learn more about permaculture and running an eco campsite.We were lucky enough to be able to stay in their static caravan as our tent had sprung a leak. The children had great fun playing in the natural playground and spotting seals out to sea, while they (reluctantly) had a go at using the compost toilets. (Our caravan had a different type of compost toilet which, I’m afraid to say, did smell – unlike the traditional sawdust ones). I have to say I was glad to return to a water-guzzling toilet and clean smelling bathroom after our trip but it was certainly a place to remember.

Upon returning from our epic roadtrip to Scotland we had a final camping night with our beloved tent before saying goodbye to twelve years of ownership. In true second-hand style we will try to reuse some of its poles, pegs and groundsheets.

What did you get up to over the holidays?



2 thoughts on “(Some) second-hand holiday shopping, plastic-free goodies and compost toilets!

  1. Sadly no hols but yours sounded very interesting! Great to hear about all the projects going on in the Highlands. Have been up there once and was taken with it but was with someone who didn’t even know what the carrots I pulled from my garden were…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.