All posts by Raakhee Stratton

UK Eco Blog | Writing about environmental awareness days, Sustainable living ideas, and self-care the eco way | No eco-judgement zone

Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? A Review

Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? a new documentary aired on Channel 4 last night (20th September) and it was one of the most thought-provoking, honest programmes I have watched in such a long time.

It’s not that often I feel compelled to review something I’ve seen on TV, the last time was Extinction: The Facts by David Attenborough. After watching Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? I have to add my take.

Packham tries to make sense of the lack of urgency regarding the climate crisis from our government and wrestles with the dilemma of whether it’s ethically acceptable to break the law. Potentially, putting his own safety on the line.

TV presenter and nature lover Chris Packham believes the science; reports from The Climate Change Committee (CCC) and , The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have all printed the science facts behind climate change and what fossil fuels and it’s clear; it’s getting worse and we have to work together and put steps in place to avoid complete catastrophe. Despite these reports and the lack of any meaningful government policies, we are still pumping for oil, cutting down rainforests, and polluting our oceans seemingly without any regard for the future of the planet. All this despite the obvious effects as we’re seeing such as weather patterns becoming more extreme and are heading towards climate apocalypse. 

Chris Packham has “completely lost trust in the government and judiciary”

He asks himself – how far does he have to go? how far can he go? Is civil disobedience really an ethically responsible thing to do?

Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law?

For years, Chris Packham has been a peaceful democratic activist; joining marches, taking part in peaceful protest, writing posters but none of it, in his eyes, has worked.

He explores why protesters would risk their lives, knowing they could also be arrested and potentially imprisoned for protesting about climate change? What drives them? What makes ordinary people do this knowing it could lead to a jail sentence?

A young activist climbed up on the gantry on the M25 and stopped traffic. An incredible and dangerous act that could have resulted in losing her own life. Aired on social media, Heartbreakingly, she says “I’m here because I don’t have a future” with fear in her eyes and desperation in her voice.

Crowd of People Marching on a Rally
Photo by Robin Erino:

From a young age, schools ‘mould’ us to follow rules; don’t hit each other, put your hand up when you want to use the toilet, don’t jump the dinner queue. This continues into adulthood when following the rule of law and in everyday lives. Society only works when we follow rules; whether we agree with them or not. Although, there are some who break these rules, most of us are law-abiding.

I’m currently studying towards a BSc Environmental Science and I know human activity is accelerating climate change; I see it in the data and reports and it’s not something that should be ignored. Global temperatures are rising. It’s happening. We can’t go back into the past and change it but we can do something about what happens next. I wonder if direct action is needed and political opinions need to be put to one side to tackle global warming.

What Are People in Power Saying?

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said “current policies are taking the world to a 2.8 degree temperature rise by the end of the century. We are hurtling towards disaster, eyes wide open. It’s time to wake up”.

Packham speaks to Lord Deben, who is a Tory Peer, who chaired the Government’s Climate Change Committee in which the report that was published was “ruthlessly critical of the Government’s plans”. In Lord Deben’s opinion, the Government doesn’t have a proper plan to deliver the changes desperately needed.

Lord Deben continues “A whole generation of people are waking up to the fact that we have destroyed their future and either we recover it or they will have no future”.

Police have now been given powers to intervene in any peaceful marches/protests that are disruptive to others. Surely, the whole idea of a protest is to be disruptive?

Despite requests to speak to cabinet members, no-one wanted to speak to Packham. He did end up speaking to Lord Peter Lilley, who sits on the House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee and he feels the climate change issue has been overblown. It was incredibly disheartening to watch.

Who Are The Rule Breakers?

I remember seeing a placard that read ‘Every disaster movie starts with the government ignoring a scientist’. Day After Tomorrow is a prime example.

The Activists

When those in power seem to ignore the science, it’s not difficult to understand why organisations like Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, and Insulate Britain have formed. It’s the lack of urgency and any meaningful action by those in power which is truly terrifying. Despite the threat of arrests, imprisonment from law enforcement, and verbal, sometimes physical abuse, from those being inconvenienced, the activists continue.

There were two Just Stop Oil protesters who climbed up the Queen Elizabeth II bridge, in Dartford, in October 2022 and Packham asks how history will judge them?

Packham travels to speak to Andreas Malm, author and activist, about how peaceful protests aren’t working anymore which is leading to more radical measures arguing that ‘historically, social progress has frequently required a radical wing’.


Packham touches on the subject of rule breakers in the past who are now cemented in history; a group called the Suffragettes, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, who believed in “deeds, not words”

Pankhurst Statue, London
Credit Raakhee Stratton – Taken 19th December 2021

The Suffragettes smashed windows, assaulted police officers, and committed arson. Pankhurst was arrested, as well as many other Suffragettes, and imprisoned many times. Let’s not even mention what happened to them in prison. He says “An enemy of the state at the time and yet now celebrated by it” by having her own statue in Westminster.

I know there are many who find the actions of the suffragettes inexcusable, to me, they were heroes.

Roger Hallam

Packham speaks to Roger Hallam, co-founder of Just Stop Oil, and feels the actions of Just Stop Oil activists MAY be effective. It’s difficult to tell immediately if something is working or not, time will tell. Hallam explains that from history, there have been trigger events which spark massive change. He prefers non-violent peaceful uprising from people who have had enough, referring to Gandhi’s salt march.

Greta Thunberg

Many around the world will be aware of Greta Thunberg. An environmental campaigner, she started her activism by missing school to sit outside her country’s parliament with a sign that stated “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (School Strike for Climate) and she has no sign of stopping until there is meaningful change to stop climate breakdown. She’s been arrested and it hasn’t deterred her from still protesting. She’s spoken passionately on the world stage about how much we need change, and that we’re tired of lip-service.

What’s Next?

Man Holding a Sign
Photo by cottonbro studio:

Chris Packham battles with his conscience about doing what is potentially illegal and putting himself at great risk but wanting to be on the “right side of history”. Knowing that breaking the law is an imprisonable offence and includes a criminal record .

He’s not asking people to break the law, he outlines a number of lawful ways to get your voice heard. It’s about the actions HE is looking to take for HIMSELF.

We’ve seen ourself that the lack of policy change from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s UK government isn’t forthcoming.

Could I break the law? I’m not ashamed to admit that I am not brave enough to do this myself. However, I need to do more. At this stage, I don’t know what that looks like.

Packham’s personal journey has put into words, passionately, what many environmentalists are feeling and have been feeling for a long time. As one of the UK’s highest profile nature presenters, we will have to see what he does next. 

Easy Ways To Keep Your House Warm In Winter

As we are approaching the end of summer and the winter months are on the horizon, the temperature will start to fall and keeping your house warm (and ourselves) starts to become challenging. 

We will start researching with one question in mind – What is the best way to keep your house warm in winter?

Keeping our energy costs down during the winter period is something many households will be concerned with and some of use probably don’t know how we are going to manage it. The cost of energy has increased in such a short space of time that households are looking for ways to keep our heating bill down where we can.

Although, there seems to be ‘help’ from energy companies when in comes to insulating our walls and lofts, I found that trying to access this help is often elusive. 

Some of us live in homes with without proper insulation and, in an ideal world, we’d all have the money to fix that. For majority of us, that’s not a possibility, and the question of ‘how to keep a poorly insulated house warm’ is a genuine concern

Here are some tips I’ve tried if you’re stuck on how to keep your house warm and reduce heat loss.

image of house wrapped in a scarf with Great Ways To Keep Your House Warm This Winter as a heading

Easy Ways To Keep Your House Warm In Winter


There are a few areas where your curtains can help to trap some head in your home. 

Depending on the position of your home, the sun will enter the home and heat up the room(s), which is what you want, make sure your curtains are open to allow the heat in on sunny days. Once it gets to about 3ish, close your curtains which will help trap the heat in the room.

Having thick curtains can help with retaining heat in the room. However, not all of us have the money to go out and buy fancy curtains with thick linings so a friend of mind found a pair of second-hand curtains with thick lining in a charity shop (I think they were about £10), removed the lining, and stitched them to her own thermal curtains. This is much more cost effective than buying new ones and can help to reduce your heating costs. 

Foil behind the radiator/radiator reflector panels

For years, I’ve been told about putting foil behind the radiator (the foil used in the kitchen), especially on external walls. However, I personally haven’t found them to be as effective so we bought some Radiator Heat Reflective Insulating Foil. It was quite cheap and came in a roll allowing us to cut to size based on each radiator size. Once done, we placed them at the back of the radiator so the heat wasn’t lost through the wall and keeps the hot air in. This is beneficial for a living space you use regularly. 

Heat from the oven to warm your house

When it’s cold, I find that I tend to use my over a lot more. Once you’re done with the oven, keep the oven door open which will help to heat the kitchen. 

Please make sure that you (or anyone else) are not close to it, last thing you want is someone burning themselves!

Make your own draught excluders

I had a go at making my own draught excluder with things I already had at home. If you’re looking for a DIY project and would like to know How to make your down draught excluders, here’s the link

Striped draught excluder at the base of an internal door to keep my house warm

Not too shabby for my first attempt!

Get warm with a hot water bottle

women with hot water bottle
Free image from Canva Pro

Hot water bottles come in all shapes and sizes. Get yourself a hot water bottle and keep yourself warm. I suffer with  cold feet so I put it at the bottom of my bed about 10 minutes before bedtime. You’ll stay warm for hours. 

Layer up

You’ve heard this before and I will say it again, put on a jumper, fuzzy socks, slippers. Wearing more clothes will stop you from turning up the programmable thermostat. 

Don’t worry if you look silly, it’s about keeping warm rather than making a fashion statement. An extra layer can make a difference. 

Feet warmer

I was given a foot warmer which is powered via a USB port. As someone who works from home so I try to avoid situations where I need to put the central heating on. I plug it into my USB port on my laptop and keep my feet toasty and warm.

Close doors and keep your house warm

I will always remember my parents saying ‘were you born in a barn’ when I was little. Funnily enough, I say the same thing to my family. Keep internal doors closed as this will trap the heat in that room and will help to keep your house warm.

Lower your thermostat by a degree

Lowering your smart thermostat by one degree can help with energy bills and there’s a chance you won’t even feel it. Also, make sure your timers are set to exactly when you need the heating system to come on. There’s no point in setting the timer for when no one is at home. 

Keep radiators free from furniture

Radiators work by emitting heat into the room. However, they can’t do this is if it’s behind a sofa or any furniture from blocking the heat, the furniture will get warm but you won’t. A top tip is to look at the heat sources for each room and keep your radiators clear of furniture and the heat flow into the room and keep a warm house. 

Move your bed away from the window

If your windows aren’t well insulated, a good idea is to try to move your bed way from the window frame to avoid feeling a draughts. 

Add foam tape around windows and doors

If the insulation around your doors and windows are poor, you can purchase foam tape and install them around any gaps. This will help reduce cold air entering and help keep a warm house. 

Get an extra duvet/blanket 

If you’re a little chilly at night, grab an extra duvet or use a fleece blanket. The thing I like about fleece blankets is that they don’t need to warm up, unlike a bed where you get in and takes a while for your body heat to warm up the bed. 

Put a rug on wooden floors

The great thing about carpets is that they trap heat, to a certain extent and do a better job than hard flooring. A great way to help keep your house warm is to invest in some rugs. We’ve got hard flooring downstairs so this on my to-do list. You’ll find some good deals on Facebook marketplace.

Chimney Balloon/draught stopper

Some of us will have an older fireplace – maybe decorative than functional –  that will include a small door. This will likely be a wind tunnel where heat escapes. A friend of mind bought an inflatable chimney balloon which sealed the gap in the chimney drastically reducing the amount of cold air travelling down the chimney. Although, the balloon is a short term fix during the code weather, it may be worth investing in a Chimney Draught Stopper longer term. 

Cover keyholes for a warm house

This was one that never occurred to me until recently. Although, keyholes are small gaps, they are still gaps nonetheless and heat can escape through these gaps. This is specific to older external doors. A great way to tell (that I’ve tried myself) is put some water on the tip of your finger and place the finger by the keyhole. You will be able to tell if your finger is getting cold. If it does, you’re losing heat (and cold air in entering your home). You can use keyhole covers to reduce the draft. Or if it’s a door you don’t use that often, put some clear tape on it and keep the cool air out.     

Cuddle under blankets

Why not snuggle up with your partner, little ones or pets and watch some TV in the living room. It’s cozy and, by sharing body heat, you’l keep each other warm.

Increasing the energy efficiency in your home can be tricky, some other options are investing in an electric blanket, a good option is to update your loft insulation as heat rises you don’t want to lose any through the ceiling, thick rugs is great for uninsulated floors especially if you have a hard floor, this can help reduce air leaks, so if you can, use rugs. The key is always going to be good insulation which will help to reduce your utility bills in the long run, especially during the colder months. 

If you’re looking for more ways, Martin Lewis’ website has a wealth of information. 

How To Make Your Own Draught Excluder – DIY Project

We will soon be entering the winter season, and will all be looking at ways to keep ourselves and our homes warm in the winter. Making your own draught excluder is a great (and cheap!) way of stopping heat from escaping through gaps under doors.

I do love a DIY project and, although I’m a beginner when using a sewing machine, I wanted to have a go at making my own with things I already have at home.

If you’re looking for draught excluder ideas, I’ve got you!

Where should you put draught excluders?

The great thing about making your own is that you can make them to the size that fits your doors or windows. Maybe you have a double-patio door, or maybe sash windows, or your door frame is wider than the average door.

Identifying areas that have a draught and creating a solution will help reduce heat from escaping from your home and could save you money on your heating bills.

What can I use to make a draught excluder?

To be honest, there are so many things you probably already have at home. Old pair of jeans, curtains you no longer need, I’ve even seen one made from a woolly jumper sleeve.

For the stuffing you could use clothing that can’t be donated – socks with holes , clothes with stains (if you have kids, you’ll know what I mean), clothes that are ripped, old pillow padding, bubble wrap, decorative glass beads, plastic packaging.

The idea of a draught excluder is for it to be weighted down. Some use rice or beans for this but I personally am not a fan of using food. However, I prefer to utilise things that I’ve already got lying around the house.

Whatever you use, make sure it’s completely dry.

Can I make an extra long draught excluder for french doors

Of course! You can absolutely make a draught excluder for doors. The great thing about making something yourself is that you can make it any size you want, you don’t have to rely on what you see in the shops.

You’re going to learn how to make a draught excluder.

How you make your own draught excluder heading with an image of a house wrapped in a scarf

How To Make Your Own Draught Excluder – DIY Project

Things you will need

Fabric of your choice

Sewing machine


Measuring tape

Stuffing – whatever you choose, make sure it’s dry.

In addition to this, and if you’re feeling brave you could add your own embellishments at the end.

How to make your draught excluder

  • Measure the width of your door and add an extra inch to each end (e.g. if the width of your door is thirty-three inches add two extra inches – total will be thirty-five inches)
  • Cut three strips in the same with (as the door). One strip will be seven inches wide (five inches plus and extra inch either side. The other two strips will be six inches wide (four inches plus and inch on either side). You should, therefore, have something that looks like this.
three pieces of striped fabric
  • Take two of the smaller pieces, place them face to face and pin along one edge and sew
  • Start pinning everything together and sew and you should end up with a sleeve
  • Sew up one side and cut the corners off. Although, this may be a little fiddly, take your time.
  • Do the same along the opposite end but leave a gap wide enough for your hand.
  • Gather everything you’re going to use for the filling – I got old clothes than can’t be repaired and I wouldn’t donate, bubble wrap, ornamental stones (they were given to me three years ago that I never used), rocks. I’ve also go some old pants (I’m not showing my pants!). Have a root around your home, I’m sure you’ll find loads of things you can use.
  • Start stuffing the draught excluder until it’s full. Top tip – when you start filling, make sure you filled the corners first so they’re not flimsy.
  • You should end up with this. Get a needle and thread and sew up the gap


striped draught excluder at the base of a door

Rather than buying one, you used what you already had in the house, it didn’t cost you anything!

If you’re looking for more easy ways to go green without going broke, you really need to check out this fabulous blog.

5 Environmental Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

If you’re looking for Environmental Instagram Accounts to follow? I’ve got you!

Social media has been transformed from its initial role as a mere platform for sharing selfies and images of our furry friends. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, which were primarily linked to casual interactions for our daily lives, have undergone a substantial evolution becoming a way for so many of us to access and share information.

This transformative shift has led to the rise of social media influencers where we can access news, information, opinions, and knowledge, totally transforming the way information flows.

These platforms have become key in local, national and international movements, sharing news and stories from social injustices, fashion trends, and environmental issues. Gone are the days where our information was solely obtained by newspapers, where information was controlled, to uncensored information at your fingertips.

If you’re looking for like-minded environmental accounts, this is the place for you. I follow these accounts myself and I love their content, they’re my kind of people.

5 Environmental Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You heading with instagram logo on mobile phone

5 Environmental Instagram Accounts to Follow

Emma Reed – @emmareed_writes

Emma is an eco blogger who writes about parenting, travel and lifestyle who had a great following on Instagram.

It started back in 2018 where she made the swap to cloth nappies which led Emma becoming more environmentally conscious. Since then, she’s explored different ways to become environmentally friendly and promotes the benefits of reusable, sharing what she has learned on Instagram.

I highly recommend you check out Emma’s website here

Amber @ecoanxiousmum

Amber is based in Bristol and her Instagram bio reads ‘Trying to live and parent sustainably. Living low waste/ low plastic since Jan ‘23
Vegetarian but also post some vegan recipes 🌱 organic gardening 🍅’

Amber shares about the changes she’s making, easy eco swaps, greenwashing, fashion and how to reduce food waste.

Anne-Marie Bonneau – @Zerowastechef

Anne-Marie is an Award-winning cookbook author and speaker and she’s incredibly passionate about zero-waste. Her feed is filled with how to use leftovers, DIY recipes and up-cycling, ways to reduce waste, and great recipes.

She recently posted a reel on how to turn a newspaper into a compost bin liner, something I have now started doing myself.

Anne-Marie’s website is packed with so much information, have a look

Rada – @ecowithrada

Rada regularly promotes eco-friendly tips and DIY on a budget, which is so important as many of us are living through a cost of living crisis.

You’ll also get a dose of happy eco news which is something we all really need along with low-waste gift ideas, reminders of garden jobs and swaps she has made.

Sam Bentley – @sambentley

Sam lives in Birmingham and regularly posts about happy eco news that you won’t necessarily see on mainstream news.

There is so much negative news about the planet and the good things are often overlooked. Sam also includes sources in his videos so you can look it up if you want to know more.

He’s up to one million followers on Instagram so there’s a real thirst for good news. If you watch his reels, you can feel the passion!

There are so many other accounts to follow on Instagram and it’s easy to find like-minded Environmental Instagram Accounts to connect and learn from. If you’re on Instagram, give me a follow too @easypeasygreeny

Can You Recycle Receipts? Find Out Why You Shouldn’t

Can you recycle receipts? The quickest answer is no. I’ll tell you why and what to do with them instead?

I’ve often been asked “Can you put paper receipts in recycling?”. As they look like paper, it would make sense. But receipts are made from thermal paper which means there’s a chemical in the paper and, therefore, cannot be recycled.

Can You Recycle Receipts? Find Out Why You Shouldn’t

Can You Recycle Receipts? Find Out Why You Shouldn't heading with an image of receipts.

What can you do with old receipts?

A lot of receipts we receive will have some personal information on it; part of your debit/credit card, loyalty card number etc. I’m always conscious of identity theft, and always make an effect to protect my information.

In the reel below, I used my hair straighteners to cover up my card details, you could also use an iron instead. Please ensure none of these equipments are left unattended. No one wants to burn their house down!

How do I get rid of paper receipts?

Sadly, the only thing you can do with them is put them in the general waste bin. As an imperfect environmentalist, it pains me to write this but there is no facility where we can recycle receipts.

I’m afraid, they’ll end up in landfill.

Are receipts compostable?

No, they are not compostable. Thermal receipts are coated in BPA; bisphenol A. It’s a chemical used in plastics manufacturing and there is ongoing research into the health implications of BPA. Composting thermal paper will contaminate your soil. Nobody wants that.

How can I tell if a receipt is printed on thermal paper?

The best way to tell if your receipt is thermal paper is that they’re usually shiny. You’ll be able to tell for sure if you use a hair straightener or iron as it will turn black.

What are the alternatives to receipts?

A lot of places allow you to choose whether you want a receipt or not. If you’re buying an electrical item or clothes, usually your receipt will be act as a guarantee so you will need it. However, if you’re buying bread or eggs, you probably don’t really need a receipt.

Additionally, you can ask for a receipt to be emailed to you (if the store offers this). The only issue I find with this is that you end up on their mailing list, make sure you unsubscribe to their emails, you don’t want emails unnecessarily.

Something I wanted to touch on, from my own experience, is the issue of racial profiling in the UK, particularly in shops. It is a reality and it does happen, whether people want to admit it or not. If this is of concern to you, always take a receipt, even if you’re just buying eggs.

Why are shops printing receipts if they can’t be recycled?

I suspect, it’s to do with cost (like most things in life!) and it’s more convenient. If you think about your printer at home, you need to load it up with paper and ink. For thermal printing, it’s only the rolls that need to be replaced. Thermal printing do not require ink. Therefore, keeps costs low.

I did a reel on Instagram with a visual demonstration of why they can’t be recycled. Hope you find it useful.

Ways to Ditch Old Habits and Learn New Ones

Since I’ve started leading a more sustainable lifestyle, I noticed the changes I want to make (and have done) have a lot to do with habits; old habits and new habits.

Us humans are creatures of habits, we learn what we see around us and, therefore, adopt those practices. They’re learned behaviours we repeat over and over again sometimes without thinking about them.

The dictionary definition of a habit is ‘a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up’

Although there are good habits and bad habits , I’ve found a way to change this has a lot to do with how you adapt to changes. It’s not always easy, remember the saying ‘old habits die hard’?

Tip – don’t do it all in one go, it’s going to be overwhelming!

Ways to Ditch Old Habits and Learn New Ones

Ways to Ditch Old Habits and Learn New Ones heading with a hand holding a little flag with 'new habits'

Pick one old habit at a time

The biggest mistake a made was to make so many changes at the same time and I eventually found it so overwhelming that I burned myself out. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Focus on ONE thing you want to change.

It could be buying loose fruit and vegetables instead of ones wrapped in plastic, opting for second-hand clothing, ditching tea bags in favour of loose tea leaves, make your own cleaning product, take part in environmental awareness days, or opting for eco-friendly menstrual products.

Although we have good intentions, it’s easy to slip.

Once you have picked one, focus on that. Eventually, you will form a new habit which will allow you to move to the next one.

Here’s a great quote

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” ― Charles DuhiggThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right straight away, we are all learning.

Something I always say – start small, do what you can, build from there.

Think about the process

old habits new habits written in the hand with arrows in opposite directions.
Credit – Canva

I’ve been reading Atomic Habits book by James Clear and there’s a section where he talks about habit stacking. This is where you incorporate a new habit into actions you already take.

One of the chapters focuses on processes.

We tend to work on a series of processes; make a shopping list, get in the car, go to the supermarket, get a trolley, fill your trolley, queue and pay, load up the car, return trolley, drive home. Yet, we sometimes forget our shopping bags.

If you want to incorporate shopping bags, you need to add that to the process.

Here’s an example –

Shopping trolley bags - old habits and new habits

When you write your shopping list, add the word ‘shopping bags in the car’ first, that will make you stop and put shopping bags in your car. It may help putting them on the passenger’s seat so you remember to pick them up once you’re parked.

All you need is a clear prompt to add to your process. Once you get into the habit of remembering your bags when you’re writing your shopping list, move to the next habit you want to change.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

― C.G. Jung

Change your environment to let go of old habits

One of the biggest things I took away from Atomic Habits book is about changing your environment.

One of the examples given was about eating fruit. If you buy fruit and leave them in the fridge, you’ll forget it’s there and will have to throw them out. Instead, leave them in a bowl on the kitchen counter where you will always see them. When something is out of sight, it’s usually out of mind.

How can you ditch an old habit for sustainable living?

Something I’ve recently started is composting. I had a habit of forgetting to put food scraps to one side so I starting putting the scraps in a DIY compost bag I left it on the kitchen island, where I always prepare the food. As it was right in front of me (rather than to one side), I started I started adding any scraps to it.

One little change makes a difference.

Old habits are hard to let go. I’ve found identifying them and working on one habit at at time, reduces the chance of overwhelm and anxiety.

If you’re looking for a DIY project, here’s how you can make a draught excluder from things you already have in your home.

Also, be a little kinder to yourself.

The Ridiculous Cost of Train Travel in the UK

In our pursuit of sustainable living, many of us are exploring train travel as a viable option for travelling between destinations. As we strive to adopt more eco-friendly habits, we are encouraged to leave our cars at home and embrace sustainable modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, or utilising public transport.

The logic behind this choice is quite sound. While cars offer convenience, they contribute significantly to pollution levels, which can have adverse effects on individuals with Asthma or respiratory problems. Moreover, their operational expenses can be quite high, and the unpleasant experience of being stuck in a traffic jam on a sweltering summer day hardly adds to the enjoyment.

When embarking on longer journeys, opting for train travel appears logical; however, in my experience, the cost of train tickets, forces me to reconsider this choice as a viable option.

The cost of train travel in the UK is eye-wateringly expensive. For many, it isn’t a cost effective option, regardless of the environmental benefits.

When I Was Commuter

Having commuted from Kent to Central London for nearly six years. The moment arrived for me to retire my season ticket for train travel as I ventured into self-employment. Throughout my time as a commuter, the expense of my season ticket consistently escalated each year. Culminating in a staggering £6,776 for my final annual pass. This ticket not only covered my travel on the High Speed service, with a duration of 40 minutes each way, but also included a travel card for the underground network.

Shallow Focus Photography of Railway during Sunset
Photo by Albin Berlin:

Although I loved my job, the annual increases were not something I was able to sustain in the following years. The cost of train travel was one of the factors of why I became self-employed. Today’s cost (Aug 2023) for the same ticket would be £8,552.

For many commuters, public transport is the method of travel people opt for, despite the astronomical cost. We have to get to our workplaces to earn money.

Train travel for Leisure

A great way to save money for train tickets is by booking far in advance. Although, this is great in principal, it reality, life doesn’t always work that way.

I moved to Leicester at the end of 2022. I was looking at train tickets for myself, my partner and my 8-year-old daughter to travel to London for the day. For three of us to travel costs £134.85 for an open return and £150.15 to return on the day. That’s before you even think about grabbing lunch, venue entrance fees. It’s cheaper for us to drive from Leicester to Borehamwood, Barnet or even Cockfosters and travel on the underground.

Train travel ticket cost - 2 adults, 1 youth return £134.85 open return. 2 adults, 1 youth return £150.15 returning on the same day

With costs like this, what incentive is there to encourage people to use public transport?

Train Travel in Europe

Germany recently relaunched (yes! relaunched) their scheme where travellers pay €49 per month for unlimited train travel. The point of this? to promote sustainable travel!

In Spain, a train ticket from Valencia to Alicante, a 3-hour journey, is just €9 (£7.80).

France have banned internal flights where rail journeys are available and less than two and a half hours.

What’s the solution

Sadly, the rail in the UK was privatised a long while ago. Everyone’s financial situation is unique and, ultimately, you have to do what is affordable for you. If you’re in a position to book far in advance, you can really make a saving on your train travel.

There are many railcard discounts available – network rail card, disabled persons railcard. If you’r eligible for these railcards, they can go some way to making train travel a little cheaper.

If the UK want to encourage us to use public transport, the cost of train travel needs to be a lot cheaper than it currently is. The networks needs to be improved so people who live in small towns and villages are able to access them.

Eco-Judgment – Time to Ditch It & Shape a Better Planet

Let’s talk about Eco-Judgment. I’ve noticed it quite a bit since I started talking about sustainable living. Some can be quite loud about what they do and why others ‘should do it my way’.

In my opinion, judging someone who doesn’t make the same environmental changes as others is incredibly counter-productive and feel this level of eco-judgment is really unnecessary.

I consider myself as an imperfect environmentalist, I try to do what I can when I can. I care about the environment and I always say – start small, do what you can, build from there.

You’ll look at something and wonder ‘Is it eco conscious’ or ‘What is an eco-conscious lifestyle?’ This looks different for everyone, there is no right or wrong. For many, it is linked to finances but there are other barriers to sustainable living.

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

Eco-Judgment Time to Ditch It & Shape a Better Planet heading with image of many people holding hands

Let’s Ditch The Eco-Judgment & Work Together For A Better Planet

Breaking Habits

When you’ve been doing something one way for a very long time, it’s learned behaviour and to change this, your brain needs to re-learn and adopt the new way. There are some who can wake up in the morning and say to themselves ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ and they don’t. I really admire anyone who has the ability to do this, but for a lot of people, this isn’t that easy.

I’ve read somewhere that it could take about a month to break an old habit and learn a new one. A month is a long time.


I mentioned this at the start. There are many sustainable products on the market but they come with a price tag, which can really take a chunk out of your monthly finances. Judgement needs to be left at the door.

I’ve seen myself that a glass jar of mayonnaise will likely be more expensive than the single-use plastic bottle or a tube of toothpaste will be cheaper than toothpaste tabs. There’s no need for any eco-judgement here. You can only do what you can do.


There are going to be some areas that don’t offer the products / facilities as other areas.

At the end of last year, my family and I moved from the South East of England to the East Midlands. Where we used to live, all residents were provided with a food caddy where food waste could be stored and taken away on a weekly basis. My new district council do not offer this facility. I assumed this collection would have been the same up and down the country, that’s not the case. Because of this, I have started to compost some food (there are things you can’t put in your compost) and the rest of the food waste ends up in the refuse bin.

I’m doing what I can, that’s the point. Eco-Judgment shouldn’t be a factor when it’s out of your control.

Ignore the Eco-Judgment and do things your way

I like being different and it’s something I embrace. I’ve had friends and family look at me at times and wonder whether I’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic and it makes me laugh.

Baskets on Picnic Blanket
Photo by Starzzz Studios:

Let’s look at some examples.

I have worn the same dress to three different weddings. It didn’t matter to me that people have seen it before. It’s a lovely dress and I love wearing it. I’m going to another wedding next year and many of the same people at previous weddings will be there too. I’ve seen trends where people are now re-wearing an outfit to a wedding more than once. There tends to be quite a bit of judgement around this and I don’t understand why; it’s cheaper, it’s better for the environment (less consumption) and you get to wear a dress you love over and over again. Even celebrities re-wear outfits.

Another thing I do that makes people raise their eyebrows is wearing odd socks. The reason is that if one sock has a hole in it and can’t be repaired, the other one is discarded even though it still does its job – which is a waste. Does it really matter if you’re wearing matching socks?

Some people think wearing odd socks is good luck (I haven’t found this) but something that is important is that International Down Syndrome Day is celebrated by wearing odd socks.

Maybe you could wear odd socks for Down Syndrome Day 2024 and show your support.

Start somewhere and ignore the eco-judgement

There is something we can do all and you need to find what works for your situation.

Start with something small, I’ve got loads of tips to help you get started.

You can also have conversations with friends and family to see what they do, that could give you some inspiration and potentially adopting that practice into your lifestyle. You may be surprised at how many people buy second-hand.

If you’d like to practise self-care the eco way, check out this download.

It feels that we just need to be kinder to each other and forget about the eco-judgment. After all, we are all working towards the same goal, just in different ways.

Breaking Down Climate Change for Kids: Easy and Effective Tips

Climate change has come up in many of our family conversations and it’s a tricky subject to navigate.

As a parent, my desire is to provide my child with a joyful and care-free upbringing while also imparting essential knowledge about potential world hazards, all without causing unnecessary fear.

Throughout her early schooling, she’s learned about Stranger Danger and other. We had meaningful conversations about it and I’m really really relived that she didn’t seem frightened by it. Surprisingly, she seemed to embrace the awareness I and the school were trying to achieve.

Mother and Daughter Talking at Home
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:

Nevertheless, there exist other perils, including the concerning issue of climate change.

Parenting doesn’t come with a comprehensive guidebook. Most of us are trying to navigate it the best way we can.

Personally, I strive to draw insights from fellow parents and carefully consider my words and actions, recognising that young minds are highly impressionable and a lot of what adults say, children will soak like a sponge. We’re all navigating this journey to the best of our abilities, hoping to raise them well without causing harm.

So, when it comes to climate change, how do we navigate this subject without scaring them? Here’s what I did, maybe some of these tips will help you.

What Can We Do About Climate Change?

  • Begin by laying the foundation: start with the basics about climate change. Explain to them what climate change is, what causes it and why it’s happening. Be sure to use simple language
  • Incorporate visual aids: When educators teach, they tend to use visual aids to help children understand. Pictures and videos can be really helpful and helps them visualise what you care trying to explain. As adults, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right words. Workbooks can be really helpful.
  • Question time: Children are incredibly curious and they will have questions, and it could be at random times. Don’t dismiss their questions. They’ll probably think of questions on the way to a swimming lesson or at the dinner table. These questions are usually their own way to process what has been discussed.
  • Action time: Children want to be helpful, make sure they know there is something they can do and encourage them to create habits to help them. Don’t forget to lead by example.

What Can Children Do About Climate Change?

  • Reuse items: Encouraging children to embrace reusing items is a great place to start. Using sandwich boxes instead of cling film, having water bottles instead of drinking out of drinks cartons.
  • Repurpose items: There are so many resources online to help children to repurpose things we no longer need. Turning a drinks carton into a birdhouse, using toilet rolls into a pair of binoculars, creating a house or rocket ship from a large unwanted cardboard box. This is a great way to harness their creativity.
  • Recycle: Show them the importance of recycling and how it works. Many councils have different rules on recycling and teach them what is required in your area
Sort out the recycling waste workbook digital download for climate change
  • Use their voices: Encourage them to use their voices when they want to make a change. Let them spread awareness, take part in local protests (peaceful ones), write to their local MP.
  • Reduce consumption: Turning off electronics when they are not needed, turning off lights when no on is in the room, turning off the taps, showers instead of baths, projects where they can reuse waste.
  • Reduce waste: When it comes to food, only put on their plate what they will eat, look at the packaging that comes with toys, encourage them to play with second-hand toys. When something is thrown out, it’s got to go somewhere.


Facilitating children’s comprehension of climate change constitutes a crucial stride toward forging a sustainable future. Through elucidating the foundational concepts, establishing relevance to their daily experiences, and underscoring the significance of proactive measures, we empower children to engage as dynamic contributors in the battle against climate change. By embracing minor actions to diminish their carbon impact and championing transformative shifts, children possess the potential to effect change and motivate others to follow suit.

Baby Shower Games and Tips for Hosting an Eco-Friendly Shower

Baby showers are special occasions that celebrate the impending arrival of a new life, surrounded by friends and family. To make the event even more memorable, consider incorporating simple baby shower games while also embracing an eco-friendly approach. This fusion of joy and sustainability can create a unique and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

Pink Juice in Glasses for baby shower
Photo by RDNE Stock project:

Eco-friendly baby showers don’t have to be expensive and may require a little imagination. Look at things that can be recycled and decorations that are natural. Try to avoid plastic where you can. Some things will probably involve making things instead of buying them, if you’re not a crafty person, that’s cool, enlist the help of someone who is.

Baby Shower Games and Tips for Hosting an Eco-Friendly Shower

Choosing a theme

Baby Shower Gifts


Baby Shower Games

Choosing the theme

When planning an eco-friendly baby shower, the first step is to choose a theme that aligns with yours or mum-to-be’s values. A great idea would be to opt for natural and earthy decorations, avoiding single-use plastics and opting for biodegradable or reusable options. There are often places where you can buy second-hand decorations; Facebook Marketplace, Ebay etc. Invitations can be sent electronically to reduce paper waste or, if physical invitations are preferred, use recycled paper as well as any baby shower games.

Instead of buying plastic confetti (which get everywhere!), you can get a shaped hole-punch and punch out some of your shapes in your own colours, this will be in keeping with the theme/colour of the shower.

Here’s a great little tip – you can make the paper invitations a keepsake by printing a picture of the mum-to-be and the recipient of that invitation.

Baby Shower Gifts

Apart from Baby Shower Games, you need to think about gifts. Incorporate sustainable practices into the gift-giving aspect of the event as well. Encourage guests to bring gifts wrapped in reusable cloth or other eco-friendly materials. Additionally, you could ask the attendees to look for second-hand gifts. When I was having my daughter, my friends found loads of gifts second-hand that I will need; bottle warmer, bottle steriliser, baby grows.

You could even gift something for mum-to-be too. How about getting a papering session or a foot pedicure. Expectant mums have achy feet so that will go down a treat. Ahead of this, you can speak to others, gather ideas for gifts and baby shower games. Give them an IOU so when they’ve had the baby (and they’re able to), take them out somewhere and spend some time with your friend. Her life will be all about the baby when she becomes a mum and remind her that she’s still a person.

Gifts can be given in gift bags that can be reused again and again. Try not to buy ‘you’re having a baby’ bag or anything too specific, it will allow the mum-to-be to regift it to someone else.

Chocolate for Baby Shower in pink booties
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr.:


I’m always a fan of supporting local businesses and buying things like cakes and food from locally sourced businesses is a huge boost to that business. For drinks, avoid plastic glasses or cups unless it’s something you’re going to reuse over and over again. If you want to have a go at making cupcakes yourself, there are options where you can have silicone cupcakes. I’ve got these and they can be reused a multiple of times without causing any plastic waste. Here are some zero waste snack ideas. Next we can look at baby shower games.

Baby Shower Games

What baby shower will be complete without hilarious baby shower games? There’s nothing like having games that will make everyone laugh and giggle. It’s a great way for people to share their own stories (not the scary ones!)

To take the headache out of trawling through the internet looking for games, check out these printable baby shower games where you can print at home on recycled paper. They also include answers. If you’re looking for Baby shower games for large groups, these are perfect for that.

Curious at which simple baby shower games are included? Keep reading…

Games include
– What’s in your phone?
– Baby shower predictions
– Wishes for the baby
– Wishes for Mum-to-be
– Baby Word search
– Baby ABC games
– Guess the film
– Animal gestation
– A-Z – Boy’s Names
– A-Z Girl’s Names
– Who knows Mummy best?
– Name that song
– Charades
– Unscramble the words

There are so many ways we can celebrate a new life coming into this world without using plastic.