Tag Archives: eco

Green Blue Peter Badge

I recently had a major proud parent moment.

As a child, I absolutely loved watching Blue Peter. I will never forget the best make of all by Anthea Turner, Thunderbirds’ Tracey Island. I must admit, I wasn’t a fan of Thunderbirds but even I found it awesome watching this creation unfold on TV. We talked about it in school, watched other people fall over themselves trying to get hold of the instructions. It was HUGE!

As a parent, watching my 6-year-old daughter watch Blue Peter is a real joy and reminds me of my childhood.

She mentioned a while back about wanting to do something to get a Green Blue Peter badge so I looked online to see what she would need to do for a Green Blue Peter badge.

As an environmentalist, I make an effort to adapt my habits with the environment in mind and it turns out she’s been watching me and picked up a few habits.

She asked again if she could apply for one so I looked online to see the requirements.

The Pledges

Named Climate Heroes, there were three pledges she needed to do for at least a month; Power, Plastic and Plants.

Power – this one was to encourage children to save power; my daughter would always turn her nightlight off at the wall in the morning.

Plastic – reducing one piece of plastic from your lunch box. She has school dinners and takes a piece of fruit for a snack everyday.

Plant – planting something in the garden. As we are moving, I purposely haven’t planted anything this year as it could get damaged during the move so we sent in pictures of us litter picking (she asks to go litter picking!)

I filled in the online application, attached pictures and waited.

It was about four weeks later and this turned up in the post.

I can’t tell you who was more excited; me or my daughter. A major proud parent moment that I told anyone who would listen!

I think deep down inside, I had always wanted a Blue Peter badge but I was never encouraged to apply for one and watching her earn one for herself, I felt like she had achieved a dream of mine, as well as her own.

I strongly believe the key to slowing down climate change is education and one of the best places to start is with children. After all, they are inheriting the planet from us.

If you’re looking to start reducing your household waste, check out my free download

What I’ve Learned So Far – Block 2 – The Arctic

When I tell people that I’m studying for a degree, they are interested in what I’ve been learning. I’ve done two years so far (another four to go) and my favourite was the first year. I absolutely loved it.

Here’s what I learned in my first year studying toward BSc (Hons) Environmental Science.

In one of the first questions I was asked at the start of the textbook was write down what images came to mind when I thought about the word ‘Arctic’. For me it was; polar bear, igloo, and a person shivering from the cold. It turns out the Arctic is much more than that.

The Arctic has always fascinated me. I find it incredible that an extracted cylinder of ice can tell us so much about the past. When I first saw a picture of an ice cylinder, the line markers for each year were clearly visible indicating the snowfall for that particular year, similar to the rings on a tree trunk. In one of the pictures, I recall seeing a line marker that was easy to pick out, the others were various shades of white, but not this one, it was black, this indicated a volcanic eruption, and by counting the lines allowed scientists to know which year this event occurred. The information that can be gathered isn’t only about volcanic eruptions, from the air bubbles trapped in the ice, we can determine what the CO2 level was the year that snow fell, these bubbles are ‘fossils’ frozen in time giving us clues about what the atmosphere was like thousands of years ago.

We learned about the people and animals who live in the Arctic circle. The indigenous people have so much knowledge that has been passed down the generations, what would happen if this information isn’t recorded somewhere? This crucial information could be lost forever. The block looked as the many voyages to the area and people’s idea of the region and looked at two maps; The Mercator projection and The Peters projection. For those who are fans of The West Wing, you will be familiar with the scene that discusses this in season 1. The map you’re familiar with, isn’t quite correct.

As the Arctic is melting, access to the region is becoming a real possibility for companies who would like to drill and/or use it as passage during the summer months benefitting in shorter journeys by sea.

Whenever I thought about the Arctic melting, I immediately became concerned about the animals and people who live in the region; how will they manage as the ice continues to melt. Although the region refreezes during winter, the area refrozen is reduces every year. How can they adapt to a quickly changing environment? It never even occurred to me there would be companies interested in the Arctic for opportunities to drill for fossil fuels and the damage they will almost certainly cause to the environment.

The thought of drilling in the Arctic makes me sad and one of the reasons companies haven’t actually followed through with their plan is because the weather is incredibly harsh during the winter months. I think that’s the Arctic’s saving grace at the moment. Sadly, I don’t know how long the Arctic will be able to keep these companies away?

The TMA question was for us to pretend to be a curator of a museum, selecting five items with the theme ‘Exploitation of resources in the Arctic’. Once we had selected our five items, we had to write an audio guide for it.

Reducing our household waste is a really great way to start helping to protect our environment. If you’re looking to start reducing your household waste, check out my free download

Eco-Friendly Menstrual Products – Review

About eighteen months ago, I ditched my pads and tampons for eco-friendly alternatives and I’ve wanted to write a review about them but I’ve always been hesitant. I wasn’t sure why? Until now…

I recently started reading Brown Girl Like Me by Jaspreet Kaur. In the book, there is a section about periods and I quickly realised the reason I was hesitant to talk about periods is because growing up in a South Asian household, periods are a taboo subject. We rarely spoke about it. I never spoke to my cousins about it and I learned what I know from talking to my white friends and reading magazines like Just Seventeen (I’m showing my age!)

I’ve decided to take this taboo and kick it to the curb!

Here goes!

Women’s Environmental Network state on their website that menstrual pads can contain up to 90% plastic and 2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year. This is absolutely shocking.

I had been using tampons since my late teens (pads before then) and I had been flushing tampons down the toilet, because that’s what I was told to do. 

According to Friends of the Earth, menstrual products flushed down the toilet causes sewers to block (just like wet wipes). Many enter the sea and on beaches and the rest end up being incinerated or sits on landfill. Not to mention the plastic tampon applicators – you can follow Ella Daish about ending period plastic.

Menstrual Cup

I opted for this first because I have been using tampons for years. I did some research and read reviews on the main brands and chose the Moon Cup. 

It takes quite a bit of getting used to it as it acts like a suction cup and found it a bit of a pain to use. When I’m tired, I could easily change my tampon without even thinking about it but with this, I needed to pay attention all the time. I work from home so emptying the cup wasn’t an issue, not sure how I would get on if I worked in an office. There are cleaning instructions you need to follow after you finished your period to ensure the cup is hygienic. Personally, I found it a bit of a faff but I know other’s who absolutely love it. 

Period Pants

As someone who hasn’t worn pads since my teens (and after I had my child), I was a bit reluctant to try these but I didn’t want to go back to tampons. 

Again, I did my research and read reviews. I ended up opting for five pairs I found in Sainsburys. I have to say, I was really surprised at them. I expected the pad to be uncomfortable, like I had a nappy on, but it wasn’t like that at all. The brand I bought also included odour control and, as someone who is prone to heavy periods, I was really conscious about leaking through my jeans. This wasn’t an issue at all.

In the morning, I rinsed my the pants I had been wearing last night while I’m in the shower which rinsed off most of the blood (there isn’t actually that much) and then pop it in the washing machine for a proper wash.

It was easy and I prefer period pants, if I go swimming and I’m on my period, I will use my menstrual cup. 

The best advice I can give is to do your research, ask your friends and/or family for recommendations.

For both products, always read and follow the instructions. 

I appreciate the initial cost my be a bit pricey but in the long run, you will save money and you will be helping the environment. 

If you’re looking to start reducing your household waste, check out my free download and do follow me on Instagram

Planting Trees for the Future

Those of you who are familiar with my blog and follow me on Instagram will know I am a massive advocate for teaching children about the environment so when my daughter’s school sent a message out on the school app asking for volunteers to dig holes for sixty trees that needed to be planted, I replied almost instantly.

Ashford St Mary’s Church of England Primary school had been offered sixty Coppice Hedgerow trees to plant in the school field and were expected to be delivery by 18th March.

To ensure the trees could be planted straight into the ground on arrival, the volunteers’ mission was to dig sixty holes at the edge of the school field along the fence.

Led my Jenny Thorpe, we all assembled by the school field and started digging holes in the ground. All of the children who participated were being supervised by their grown-up and everyone else were digging, every so often, pausing to move wriggly worms to safety before carrying on.

Although it was a sunny afternoon, there was a cold wind but that didn’t deter the volunteers. It wasn’t long before our mission was complete, and the area was taped off.

The trees were donated by the Woodland Trust who have a fabulous scheme offering free trees for schools and communities “We want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So, we’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities. Together, we’ll get millions more trees in the ground.”

The school previously received five trees from The Tree Council, which had already been planted on the school grounds – two apple trees, two pear trees and a plum tree.

The Tree Council have a National Schools Programme: Orchards for Schools and Young Tree Champions with a map on their website showing all the schools who have taken part so far – “Thanks to over 800 incredible schools, this planting season we have planted over 30,000 fruit trees and fruiting hedgerow whips. We are working together to create a healthier future for young people and the planet by unlocking the power of trees. Thank you to each and every school – you are a Force For Nature.”

Projects like this is a fabulous way to encourage young people to reconnect with nature and each other. It’s also great way for them to learn about why trees are important and why we need to do what we can to protect our environment – after all, they are inheriting the planet from us.

If you’re looking to start reducing your household waste, check out my free download

What is Imperfect Environmentalism?

Since I’ve become more aware of my actions and how they affect the environment, I’ve joined many online groups: listening, reading and learning from others. I think it’s important to take part in discussions and debates, it allows us to understand a subject from a different perspective.

I absolutely love the collaboration and meeting like minded individuals with the same goal. The one thing I find unhelpful is when individuals are shamed for not doing things the ‘right way’. In my opinion, this is counterproductive and holds some people back.

I don’t believe there is only one way to live sustainably.

Being an imperfect environmentalist means you care about the environment and want to do what you can adapt your habits to reduce your impact – ‘do what you can’ this is the key and this will be different for everyone.

Where you live, finances, availability, convenience, trust in companies are some factors when it comes to wanting to live sustainably.

There is a quote I remember reading a while back, I think it was by Anne Marie Bonneau who said

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

This sums it up perfectly!

Where do I start?

Every plastic straw you refuse is doing something, every time you walk instead of using the car, buy loose instead of pre-packed fruit and vegetables – they all make a difference. I’m not saying get rid of your car, for a lot of people this isn’t possible but using it less still makes a difference.

There are areas I don’t do well; I still eat meat – although it’s not as much as I used to – and other areas I know I am making a difference by swapping my plastic razor to a safety razor. Break Free From Plastic produced a Global Brand Audit Report in 2020 which stated Coca Cola was the top worst polluter and I still drink coke (In the cans, I refuse to buy plastic bottles). I try to buy things in glass bottles as they’re widely recycled instead of plastic but, for some, the price is a factor. That’s OK.

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Being ‘perfect’ is only going to lead to overwhelm, that’s how I started and I wouldn’t recommend it. When I tried to do everything I found it stressful and I burned myself out, I had to reset and start again.

Start on one area in your home – bathroom is usually a good place to start – take shorter showers, shampoo bars, safety razors, bamboo toothbrush. Once you’re happy with the changes, move to the next area in your home.

If you’re unsure of where to start, I created a 30-day Eco Swap Challenge, it’s $7 and will help you get started.

Do what works for you and don’t forget to keep learning. Most of us didn’t learn about sustainable living at school, we’re all trying to figure it out as adults. Join local litter-picking groups, learn from people who educate others, listen to the science, write to your MP, if you have an outside space – start with learning to grow potatoes, switch off lights when you don’t need them.

We need to stop shaming people for not doing things ‘our way’ and remember that progress, in whatever form, is always better than nothing.

Above all, be kind to yourself – start small, do what you can, build from there

30-Day Eco Swap Challenge

Are you up for a challenge?

Since I started my blog, my friends and family have asked me for my opinions on sustainable living and eco swaps.

I love that they ask me for advice because I love helping others to learn to live sustainably and I will always give my honest opinion.

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

A message from my wonderful friend

More recently, I’ve had messages from people who follow me on Instagram and they often ask me for my suggestions on alternatives.

Just last week, someone messaged me to say they tried Wild deodorant and he found it irritated his skin. I asked him if he tried the sensitive range and he wasn’t aware that Wild had a sensitive range – he’s going to give that a go – I helped 😊

Something else I noticed is that, even though we’re all trying to do our best, some don’t know where to start. That was me when I started so I got to thinking cap on to see how I can help others?

After quite a few weeks of thinking about it, I figured out what to do.

I’m so excited to have created the 30-day Eco Swap Challenge.

Everyday for 30 days, there is one item that can be swapped for an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative – what it is, what impact it has on the environment and where to get it from.

Some are easy, some may take a little longer, there’s a wildcard and some where you won’t have to buy anything at all.

I’m a firm believer in starting small, doing what you can and building from there – for me, there isn’t a right or wrong to sustainable living – doing something is always better than not doing anything.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching, creating this guide and included links to other articles for further reading/stats (can you tell I’m an Open University student?! LOL)

At a one-off price of £7, the challenge can be started when you’re ready.

Do let me know how you get on

Will snow during winter be a thing of the past?

I remember when I was still at primary school so I’m guessing I was around 9 or 10 and going into school where the snow came up to my waist.

Only a handful of teachers and students made it in that day. We lived one road away from my primary school and nothing, not even the weather, was going to stop my parents from sending me into school.

As it was just us in the school, the teachers suggested we have a snowball fight in the playground, who were we to argue. It was so much fun!

Recently, someone mentioned a story they had heard on the news reporting that, due to climate change, the snow that falls in the UK during the winter may became a thing of the past.

That made me sad.

The fondest memories I had as a child was playing in snow. It didn’t matter how cold my fingers got or whether I could still feel them, it didn’t deter me from playing in the snow.

Even as an adult I loved making a snowman. I know, I’m just a big kid really!

This winter has been quite mild, I remember standing in the garden on New Years Day and I didn’t even need a jacket on. I don’t ever remember doing that. Although, we haven’t had any snow yet, if and when we do get snow, I don’t think it will be like it was when I was a child.

Memories of snow

Back in 2010, my friend Rachel lived with me for a while and one winter she was there, it snowed. So we decided at about 9pm, as you do, to go out and build a snowman. I was really cold but totally worth it. We were going for a ‘Night Fever’ snowman.

I’m pretty sure I’m wearing a pair of socks as I couldn’t find my gloves.

My friend found the article, which suggests by 2040, those living in southern England may no longer see sub-zero temperatures. These predictions are based on the acceleration of global temperatures.

When you read and hear stories about global warming and how humans are accelerating the process, the absence of snow in the future shouldn’t be a surprise.

Over the last few years, there is no doubting the weather has worsened – the number of floods and damage to properties on the rise. Trees and green spaces play a vital role in water management but these are being replaced by housing. Of course, people need to live somewhere, but at what cost?

The thought of not being able to play in the snow or make a snowman with my six-year-old makes me sad. But the planet is hotting up, playing in the snow will be the least of our worries.

Environmental Awareness Days 2022

At the start of last year, I posted a list of environmental awareness days for 2021 and I received quite a few messages from people who said they found it really helpful and referred back to it throughout the year.

So, I’m doing the same again this year!

Please note, this isn’t a comprehensive list list.

January

  • Veganuary 1st January to 31st January – This is an annual challenge which helps educate and promote veganism. The purpose is to encourage people to explore a vegan lifestyle throughout the month.
  • Big Garden Birdwatch – January 5, 2022 – February 22, 2022 – This is organised by the RSPB and encourages everyone, young and old, to spend some time outside monitoring and recording birds you seen. Afterwards, the information is submitted via their website and allows them to record how many birds there are in the UK.
  • Houseplant Week UK – January 10, 2022 – January 16, 2022 – Houseplants are brilliant at purifying the air, this week is a perfect opportunity to find out which houseplant to buy. A good place to start is a blog I wrote last year about the plants I have.
  • Big Energy Saving Week – January 17, 2022 – January 22, 2022 – This week is dedicated to how to cut your energy use and how to save money. This initiative is lead by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The website is full of tips and ideas.

March

  • Compost Week – March 14, 2022 – March 20, 2022 – As the name suggests, this week is dedicated to composting and its benefits. Composting is becoming quite popular and it’s really healthy for your garden. If you’re a newbie, the link is a great place to start.
  • Global Recycling Day – March 18, 2022 – Started in 2018, this day is recognise and promote recycling and the importance it plays on the future of our planet.
  • World Water Day – March 22, 2022 – This day educates us about how vital it is to have clean water. Even today, there are still parts of the world that do not have access to safe drinking water and water pollution affects many lives.

April

  • Walk to Work Day – April 1, 2022 – Not only does walking provide great health benefits, it’s also good for the environment. Plus, walking doesn’t cost anything.
  • Community Garden Week – April 4, 2022 – April 10, 2022 – This week takes the opportunity to celebrate schools and community gardens up and down the country. Learning to love our gardens has been lost in the last few decades. Working together and inspiring each other, what’s not to love?
  • Earth Day – 22nd April – This movement has been going since 1970 and their aim is to educate and encourage individuals to protect our planet. You can sign up to their newsletter and keep up to date with their progress and campaigns.
  • Stop Food Waste Day – April 27, 2022 – The amount of food wasted is eye-watering. The website provides great tips and creative ways to reduce food waste.

May

  • No Mow May – 1st May to 31st May – I found out about this campaign about two years ago and it’s a brilliant initiative. The idea is that you don’t cut your grass for a whole month, allowing flowers to bloom which are a vital source of nectar for bees and other insects. Ever heard of a ‘scaremow’? – click on the link to the National Trust Website to find out more.
  • Sun Awareness Week – May 3, 2022 – May 8, 2022 – This is a campaign led by The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) to educate and highlight the dangers of UV radiation from the sun. Their website has some great ways about staying safe when the sun is shining.
  • Water Saving Week – May 17, 2022 – May 22, 2022 – This week is to raise to raise awareness of the issues around water usage. Promoting ways we can use it efficiently everyday.
  • The Great British Spring Clean – May 28, 2022 – June 13, 2022 – Encouraging you to pledge whatever time you have, even if its an hour, and use that time to go litter picking or join a litter picking group.
  • National Children’s Gardening Week – May 28, 2022 – June 5, 2022 – Use this week to celebrate the joy gardening holds for children. They love getting their hands dirty and it’s a great way to teach the next generation about gardening.

June

  • World Environment Day – 5th June – On the same day every year, this day is dedicated to our environment. A healthy eco-system is the key to life on this planet.
  • Bike Week – June 6, 2022 – June 12, 2022 – In partnership with Cycle UK, this annual campaign is to celebrate cycling and its many benefits. Also, this a brilliant way to reduce your carbon footprint!
  • Garden Wildlife Week – June 6, 2022 – June 12, 2022 – An annual celebration of the natural world around us, including the plants and animals who live in it.
  • World Oceans Day – 8th June – This day aims to raise awareness of the importance our oceans play and how it helps to sustain a healthy planet. There is a lot in the media about plastic entering the ocean. Sign up to get involved.
  • World Refill Day – June 16, 2022 – I remember this from 2020. In an effort to prevent plastic pollution, this campaign highlights and encourages us to make the swap from single-use plastic bottles to reusable ones. Time to join the refill revolution!

July

  • Plastic Free July – 1st July to 31st July – This is a global campaign I am incredibly passionate about and encourages us to make changes to reduce our plastic use. I even wrote a blog about what I did for 2020. Small changes do a massive difference and I would encourage everyone to make a change. If you’re on Instagram, check out my profile.
  • Plastic Bag Free Day – 3rd July – This is a global campaign to eliminate the use of single-use plastics which is part of the Break Free From Plastic movement. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a plastic bag! Their website also has some interesting facts about the different types of plastic used in bags.
  • Don’t Step on a Bee Day – 10th July – Bees are vital to the planet’s ecosystem. Check out my blog about bees.
  • Love Parks Week – July 23, 2022 – July 31, 2022 – An initiative launched by Keep Britain Tidy, it encourages us to visit and enjoy our local parks.

August

  • National Allotments Week – August 9, 2022 – August 14, 2022 – This week is to celebrate the importance of allotments and their benefits; I strongly believe learning how to grow your own food should be a life skill. If you can’t get an allotment, you can grow food in your garden or windowsill.

September

  • Organic September – 1st September to 30th September – The vision of this campaign is to bring awareness by exploring and eating organic food and to educate people about farming practices in growing organic food.
  • Recycle Week – September 20, 2022 – September 25, 2022 – As the name suggests, it’s a week to promote and encourage recycling. This is Recycle Now’s flagship event to celebrate recycling up and down the country.
  • The Great British Beach Clean – September 17, 2022 – September 25, 2022 – Every year, thousands of people give involved in cleaning up our beaches. It also gets you outside and there’s nothing like breathing in sea air!
  • FSC Friday – September 24, 2022 – Promoting awareness about forest management and the vital role they play in climate change.

October

  • Unblocktober – 1st October to 31st October – This campaign promotes awareness for our sewers, drains and waterways by changing our habits at home. The amount of items flushed down their drains that can cause blockages is startling. I’m sure we are becoming aware of what baby wipes do to blockages. Their website has some brilliant ideas.
  • No Disposable Cup day – 4th October – as the name suggests, it asks everyone not to take a disposable cup for that day. Personally, I think everyday should be disposable cup day!
  • National Clean Air Day – 8th October – Their aim is to help protect children from polluted air. Their website states ‘Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.’

December

  • World Soil Day – December 5th, 2022 – Learning about the soil and it’s maintenance is vital for food production. Chemicals used in food production around the world is leaving large areas of land unusable as the soil is no longer fertile enough to grow food.

If there are any other events that you feel should be mentioned, please do let me know 💚

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Litter Picking At The Beach

Last month, in the UK, the kids were off for a week for half-term. I asked my 6-year-old what she wanted to do and one of the things she asked to do was litter picking on the beach.

Being an eco-warrior myself, I couldn’t help smiling.

We usually go litter picking in our local area and we have had positive comments and smiles from people passing but we’ve never done it on the beach.

It was a bright, sunny day on the beach in Folkestone, Kent, armed with our litter pickers we asked my friend, Rachel, to join us as she lived locally.

When we’re litter picking in our local park, we tend to find the usual suspects; crisp packets, McDonald’s packaging, sweet wrappers, bottles and polystyrene fast food trays.

Here’s a few photos of what we found at the beach

We found the odd bottle cap and sweet wrappers but the main thing we found was bit of nets used in fishing. There were so many little pieces of them littered everywhere along the stretch of beach.

Who knows how long they’ve been in the sea or sitting on the beach ready to be washed out again by the tide and we all know what this does to wildlife.

If you’ve got 30-minutes to spare, grab a litter picker and a bag and pick up litter – it doesn’t even have to be at the beach. You’ll get a bit of exercise, some fresh air, you’ll be doing something for your community and it’s free to do!

Do something green today 💚

Eco Discovery Subscription Boxes Coming Soon

I recently wrote a post about the plastic we get when we send or receive gifts from loved ones. More individuals are becoming eco-conscious and want to start changing their habits to live a more sustainable lifestyle. 

But where do you start?

Sustainable Living Products

So many eco-friendly products come on the market all the time, it seems like the choices available to us are vast and can be incredibly overwhelming.

  • Is the product good?
  • I don’t know anyone who has tried this
  • I don’t have time to keep looking for something eco-friendly
  • I want to support a small business but I don’t see their stuff
  • How can I find out about new eco-friendly products?
  • I want to try myself first before I buy for a friend

All of the above were examples of what I said to myself. 

Since launching my blog, Easy Peasy Greeny, I have tried a lot of different products; some good, some not so good, and some I don’t even want to mention. I won’t lie, it can be overwhelming because I didn’t know where to start either. 

This is exactly why I am launching a subscription box service with eco-friendly products called Eco Discovery Subscription Box, some of the products I am already familiar with.

My aim is to take the hassle and headache away from YOU and it will be delivered direct to your door.

There will be two options

Option 1

A quarterly subscription box that will contain 4 – 6 items and will be posted on a set day. In addition to discovering new products, every three months, your box will include a bamboo toothbrush because you should always change your toothbrush every 3 months, one less thing for you to remember!

Option 2

An eco-friendly box for a one-off payment, there will only be a limited number of boxes. I’m currently working on Safety Razor starter boxes which will contain a safety razor, razor blades, a jute bag and a bar of shaving soap. I’ve got quite a few ideas on some other boxes so I will let you know about when they’re ready.

All orders will come with a handwritten note on seed paper so you can pop the note in a plant pot and let the seeds grow.

Steps to Sustainable Living in Your Home

I’m in the process of launching something I’m really excited about. A guide called Steps to Sustainable Living in Your Home.

Since I started this blog in January 2020, I’ve learned so much about sustainable living, a lot of which, I have adapted into my own lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I’m still learning everyday and one person’s vision of sustainable living doesn’t always necessarily compare to someone else’s vision.

I remember at the beginning I was trying to change so many things in one go and found it so overwhelming. I wanted to live plastic-free, look at everything I was buying, only buy locally because the carbon footprint will be lower, companies I buy from and their view on sustainability, clothes that were environmentally friendly and so on.

What I quickly realised is that, by trying to do everything in one go, I wasn’t doing anything well. I was trying to change a habit I’ve had for the last 40 years in a short period of time, and I failed miserably.

I decided to take a step back and pick on one thing.

Looking back on where I am now from where I was, I realised how difficult it was to get information. Of course, the internet is jam packed with a wealth of information, but it’s knowing where to look and whether it’s reliable too.

I wish I had somewhere to start from; a guide, a handbook, a manual, something to steer me in the direction I wanted to go.

This was the reason I wrote Steps to Sustainable Living in Your Home. To be able to give you the chance to start your mission into sustainable living without the confusion and overwhelm I had. To pass on what I have learned so far, give you guidance on where to look for information about clothing materials and toxins found in cleaning products, what recycling symbols mean and what greenwashing actually is.

I’m not a scientist or an environmental professional, I am someone who is looking to help others live sustainably based on what I’ve learned so far.

Since the start, there’s something that has always come back to me:

I’m not sure if I heard it somewhere or if I came up with it myself, but I always say this to people.

So, you’re probably wondering, what’s in this guide?

 8 sections – Introduction, Household Waste, Cleaning, Kitchen, Bathroom, Fashion, Carbon Footprint, Conclusion
 13 accompanying PDF downloads
 Editable PDF downloads, no need to print them off
 Introduction videos for each section
 Lifetime access
  Work through the course in your own time

How much is the guide?

The full price of this guide will be £57. That’s it, less than a full tank of fuel.

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7 Quotes For Environmentalists

I call myself an environmentalist and since starting my blog back in January 2020, I have come across many who are doing amazing work and are inspiring.

One thing I absolutely love are quotes. I use them across my social media and quotes can be so powerful. I’ve put together a little list of some of my favourites

“If you are fearful of the destruction of the environment, then learn to quit being an environmental parasite.” —Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry Quote

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
—Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall quote

“A nation that destroys is soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

FDR quote

“Grow food, not lawns.” -unknown

Grow food, not lawns quote

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” ~ Barack Obama

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” Barack Obama

“Together and united, we are unstoppable.” ~ Greta Thunberg

“Together and united, we are unstoppable.” Greta Thunberg

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.” – Sir David Attenborough

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.” Sir David Attenborough

Share some of your favourite quotes

Unwrap The Plastic Crisis

Buying gifts for loved ones is such a lovely thing to do, for me, seeing a friend or relative open a present I bought them and seeing their face light up means more to me than how much I spent on their gift. It makes the other person feel good which makes us feel good too.

Every year, we buy gifts for loved ones; Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary, Valentines day, Mother’s Day, Father’s day, secret santa and those are just the ones that come up year after year at the same time, let’s not forget the one-off ones; leaving present, baby shower, new baby, Weddings. There are so many occasions we celebrate with those that are important to us and it’s great to share the love. 

I need you to think back at, let’s say, Christmas. Think about all the gifts you received from friends, family, colleagues. Think about how you felt..I bet you felt good. 

Now think about what they were wrapped in? And the packaging? Do you remember seeing gift tags with glitter? What about plastic ribbons? If you received clothes, was the tag attached with a plastic loop? Did any of the packaging come in plastic bags or sleeves? 

Now think about the gifts you have purchased for others? Can you see a plastic pattern? I spent Plastic Free July looking at ways I could buy gifts for friends and family that didn’t include plastic and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. 

The amount of packaging that ends up in landfill after Christmas is eye-watering. According to GWP 

  • An extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded throughout the festive period when compared with the rest of the year. This additional waste will be in the region of 3 million tonnes
  • Approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown out in landfill each year
  • Brits will also bin what equates to 108 million rolls of wrapping paper. This means that approximately 100 million black bags full of packaging from toys and gifts are discarded

We cannot sustain this level of waste. We all love buying gifts for loved ones but we need to start really looking at what we buy.

Something massive corporations don’t like us knowing is that, as consumers, we have an incredible amount of power when it comes to the purchases we make. We can literally make or break a product/brand/line – if no one buys it, it’s back to the drawing board for their creative team. 

Start looking at what you are buying and be careful about Greenwashing, marketing companies love to trick us but we are wising up to their tactics. Here are some tips to help you

  • Can you see plastic?
  • Do you have a zero-waste shop near you
  • Is the packaging paper/cardboard and can it all be recycled?
  • If it comes in plastic, does the store offer a recycling drop off recycling facility?
  • Have you looked online to see if there is an eco-friendly alternative?
  • Eco-friendly subscription boxes are a great way to cut out the plastic

There are so many eco-friendly products coming on the market everyday but these are sometimes drowned out by massive corporations shouting about their own products. Read my blog about greenwashing and how to identify it.

5 Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps For The Bathroom

There are so many products we use in the bathroom that are encased in plastic and they don’t need to be. The bathroom is the easiest place where you can make eco-friendly swaps.

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

Here is a list of some of my favourites (and they are easy ones too!) plus where to buy them!

Bamboo buds

Buds have many uses but, like a lot of things, they are plastic. The plastic tubes end up everywhere and cause all sorts of problems, especially when it enters the sea. Bamboo buds are eco-friendly and will decompose easily. I put mine in the food waste. When I have some more space and start composting, I will pop them in the compost bin.


Safety Razor

If you’ve read by blogs before, you will know that I’m a huge fan of safety razors! They’re friendly to the environment and they last a very long time. Read my previous blog about them.


Body Soaps and Shaving Bars

Soap bars tend to be sold in mixed paper/plastic wrappers which are difficult to recycle and are no friend to the environment. Swapping to bars is a great choice and are easily found in boxes and even without any packaging.


Bamboo toothbrush

Think about all the toothbrushes you have used in your life, did you know they are still around? Plastic toothbrushes are terrible to the environment. Bamboo ones are eco-friendly and they only need to be replaced every three months. You can also buy them for children too.


Dental floss

Dental care is so important and you shouldn’t neglect your gums. Which is why I over the moon when I found these beauties.


If you have any other swaps, let us know 💚

Wild Deodorant – Product Review

As we all are aware, deodorants come in all shapes and sizes but you will have noticed that they come in single-use plastic containers. Not good for the environment.

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

I noticed Wild Deodorant a few months ago but I wasn’t sure about it. Is this just another product telling us they’re good for the environment when they’re not? Claiming to be the “world’s first zero-plastic deodorant refill.”

Let’s find out…

Their mission is “to be a pioneer in sustainable and natural personal care, acting as a positive catalyst to raise the standards of sustainability across the bathroom. We want to build a progressive and inclusive business that makes switching to natural and sustainable products possible without compromise.”

Their website allows one-off purchases or subscription boxes. I opted for the one-off purchase as I wanted to see what it’s like first. There is an option for sensitive skin and my purchase included 3 refills. I chose fresh cotton and sea salt. The other options they have are:

Mint & Eucalyptus
Coconut Dreams
Bergamot Rituals

Orange Zest
Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt
Sandalwood and Patchouli

The order arrived within a few days and turned up in a letterbox friendly box.

Already a good start!

I’ve never used this product before and I thought I would create a reel on instagram opening the box and assembling it. If you like the song by KSI – Holiday, unmute it!

As you can see, it was simple to put together! Easy Peasy Greeny!

It’s now been a month since I made my purchase and I have to say. I absolutely love it!

Deodorants I’ve used before, I found that they don’t tend to last all day and by the evening, I notice a faint smell of BO, no thanks! I didn’t have that issue with this deodorant. I really does last all day. And that’s what you want from a deodorant.

Apparently, it takes a week or so for your body to get used to it but I didn’t have this. There are no harsh chemicals, and it got me thinking of the chemicals I must have been rolling on my pits for years! They don’t include parabens, aluminium or sulphates and are suitable for vegans!

The twist bottom is easy enough to use, the case is sleek, available in a variety of colours; it’s easy to hold, easy to refill and the refill cases can be composted.

I contacted Wild to find out which scents were suitable for men – Mint & Eucalyptus, Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt and Sandalwood & Patchouli.

I’ve found a deodorant I’m really happy with.

Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Sleek case
  • Variety of scents
  • Option for sensitive skin
  • Plastic-free
  • Refills cases are compostable
  • Easy to use
  • Letterbox friendly

Cons

  • Price (this is genuinely the only con I can think of!)

For some people, the price is going to be an issue. The refills are £6 each (you have to buy 3 at a time) or £5 each if you buy a refill subscription. For me personally, the price isn’t really an issue. I was paying £5 each for my previous Sure deodorant and as this actually works and lasts, I don’t mind the price.

All in all, I love this product and I highly recommend it.

If you want to give this product a go, I’ve got a link for 10% off your first order with code AFFXY10

Let me know how you get on 💚💚💚💚💚💚

How Sunscreen is killing the coral reef

When you think of sunbathing or going on holiday, you always associate wearing sunscreen. Going on holiday hasn’t been a realistic opportunity for many of us recently, I can imagine many of us yearn for a beach holiday and opting for a staycation at home. But the sea is paying a hefty price based on your choices.

Wearing sunscreen while in the sun in an essential part of healthy skincare, after all, no one wants skin cancer. Have you wondered whether your sunscreen choice is harming the environment?

You may have watched documentaries about the rise in sea temperature due to global warming and its impact on coral reefs. Well, it’s also pollution that’s having an effect or coral reefs – from our sunscreen.

Coral reefs, also known as rainforests of the sea, play a vital role in the health of the earth’s oceans.

What is sunscreen doing?

According to National Geographic, about 14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year and about 70 – 80 percent of coral reefs in the Caribbean have been lost in the last five decades due to pollution and warming waters. This is shocking!

Some sunscreen lotions contain a chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene and when you go into the sea and sunscreen washes off into the water, it is absorbed by the corals having a devastating effect.

This doesn’t just occur when swimming, it can happen when you’re having a shower to wash off any sunscreen.

Change is coming…

But help is on the way, on 1st January 2020, the small Pacific nation, Palau, became the first country to ban sunscreen that is harmful to the corals and sea life. Hawaii has recently introduced a ban on sunscreens that are harmful to the environment. This came into effect on 1st January 2021.

We want to protect our skin but we have to protect the environment too and there is a solution.

Check out the following tips

  • Look for the two common mineral sun-filters – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are great at reflecting the sun’s rays as it coats the skin like a mirror.
  • The ones to go for will state ‘non nano’ as they won’t contain particles that contaminate the sea and affect marine life.
  • Avoid sunscreen that contain – oxybenzone, octinoxate or octocrylene. These are the ones that have been banned by Palau and Hawaii. For good reason!

When you are in the sun, please ensure you wear the suitable sun protection and choose wisely to help the oceans too.

Greenwashing – What is it and why it’s a problem

Greenwashing is a real problem. More and more products are on sale with packaging splashed in various shades of green with environmental imagery. Ever wondered why?

The definition of greenwashing – When a company (and their product) claim they are doing more to protect the environment than they actually are.

In 2020, Break Free From Plastic produced their Brand Audit Report 2020 and it’s grim reading. Page 30 of the report lists the top 10 worst polluters

1. Coca Cola (Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite)

2. Pepsico (Pepsi, Doritos, Lay’s)

3. Nestle (Nescafe, KitKat, Nestea)

4. Unilever (Persil, Sunsilk, Cornetto)

5. Mondelēz (Oreo, Cadbury, LU)

6. Mars (M&Ms, Wrigley, Snickers)

7. P&G (Tampax, Ariel, Pantene)

8. Philip Morris International (Parliament, Marlboro, Merit)

9. Colgate Palmolive (Colgate, Palmolive, Ajax)

10. Perfetti Van Melle (Mentos, Chupa Chups, Alpenliebe)

Of course, you will recognise quite a few on the list and probably use them regularly. Some you may not have heard of the parent company but recognise the brands under their umbrella.

Changes in packaging

Recently, many brands have started incorporating the colour green into their packaging (if it wasn’t there already) and are including key words like ‘eco’ or ‘biodegradable’ hoping to appeal to the eco conscious market. This gives the consumer the impression that this product has been made with the environment in mind and is environmentally friendly. But that isn’t always the case. Greenwashing!

Sadly, because of these practices mean some companies are not being completely truthful in their marketing.

Let’s explore an example of greenwashing

Below is an example that really got to me recently. I can see they are trying but, in my opinion, they haven’t got it quite right.

My five-year-old loves crafting so we go through quite a bit of clear tape, I’ve been looking at environmentally friendly alternatives and saw this in the shop.

First thing to notice is all the words and images expected if you are eco conscious – ‘zero plastic’, ‘plant-based’ and they’ve got an image of the earth and a leaf. Thus, giving us the impression it’s environmentally friendly.

How can you dispose of this?

Because I was intrigued, I had a look at the product information for this product online. Look more closely to the below screenshot

The key sentence – ‘is biodegradable in an industrial composting plant‘.

This product is sold in a box and its core are easily recyclable and it’s great the tape is biodegradable, however, only if the tape is placed in an industrial composting plant. How does it get there in the first place? Do you separate your rubbish into a box for ‘industrial composting plant’? No? It’s OK, I don’t either. So, where do you think it will end up instead?

An equally important aspect was this article I came across published in 2020 in The Guardian, it appears there are only 53 of these industrial composting facilities in the UK.

What to look out for

  • Key buzzwords like ‘green’ or ‘natural’ or ‘eco’ – there aren’t any strict regulations on what these are.
  • Packaging with images of the planet, leaves, plants and a lot of green.
  • Do your research – lookout for approved seal logos on their packaging. In order to use these logos, the company would have to follow very strict guidelines in their practices.
  • For example, can all of it be recycled kerbside? Look out for terms such as ‘recycled in an industrial composting plant’ as there aren’t many in the UK.

In spite of this, there are a lot of companies out there are trying to do their best for the environment, they key is to do your research and buy sensibly.

Going Green – How You can Save Money

Going green and making small changes to your lifestyle is a great way to save you money and it’s good for the planet too. I love saving money, who doesn’t?

A while ago, I was having a zoom call with a friend (during lockdown three) about how expensive it is to go green. She was referring to things like electric cars and solar panelled roofs.

When you focus on high ticket items, of course it’s going to sound really expensive. Who has £30k sitting around?! Similar to buying a new house; they’re long-term goals.

Instead of focusing on the big things, I would always advise to start small when you’re going green. Here are a few ways to get you started…

Clothes

Do you really need that new pair of jeans? Or a new winter coat when your old still does it’s job? Challenge yourself to not buy any new clothes for a year. And if you do need something new, look to see if you can buy it second-hand instead – not underwear though! I managed to find a skirt in a charity shop that still had its original tag; it had never been worn. The tag said £35.99 and I bought it for £2. I do love a bargain!

Get on your bike

Where you can, leave your car at home and either walk or cycle. You will save money by not having to fill your car up regularly and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint. Win Win! Facebook tend to have local selling pages and you may be able to pick up a second-hand bike.

Make do and mend

I have to say, I love this one. I’m not that great at sewing but I have gotten better. Do you have a hole in your jeans pocket or a small section of hem has come loose on your skirt? Get your needle and thread out and get stitching. There are oodles of videos for beginners on YouTube for mending clothes. Mending your clothes mean you don’t have to replace it; saving you money.

Eat less meat

I know this can be a contentious issue at times because it’s not easy for everyone. I’m not saying cut out your meat intake completely but look to reduce the amount of meat you eat. Try ‘Meat Free Mondays’. Meat is expensive to buy; you may even notice the extra few ££ in your pocket after a shop.

Planning your meals

A great way to reduce your waste is to plan your meals in advance so you only buy what you need and won’t be wasting money. Anything that is leftover in the evenings could be eaten for lunch the next day. Another great tip is to see if you can buy your fruit and vegetables loose. Buying food in packaging means you could end up buying more than you need. You may only need one lemon so don’t pick up a pre-packaged pack of four; waste of money and waste of food.

Please share your ideas 💚

Looking at your household waste is a really good way to save money. You can download your analysis here.

If you want to read more, check out these blogs

How I became greener in 2020 and Things I no longer buy

DIY Toilet Cleaner Bomb Recipe

DIY toilet cleaner bombs – Let’s be honest, no one looks forward to cleaning the toilet because it isn’t a fun job but it is one of those jobs that does need to be done.

Have you thought about the harmful toxins found in your toilet cleaner? It’s OK, I didn’t take much notice of the chemicals either.

If you go into the bathroom and have a look at your toilet cleaner, you will see the label is littered with so many chemicals and most of which neither of us have probably never heard of. Of course, this is not good for the environment.

There has to be another way!

And there is – the answer is DIY!

The instructions below will show you how you can make your own DIY toilet cleaner bombs because I’m all for making life easier!

They are really easy to use because all you have to do is drop one in the toilet bowl, and after it’s down fizzing you can start cleaning.

I bet you’re wondering – why DIY? if I can just buy them, why would I bother making my own?

  • They are not littered with chemicals
  • You can add your favourite essential oil
  • You can make them into any shape you like (I will come to this!)
  • They don’t pollute the environment
  • You can save money (because who doesn’t want to save money)
  • No plastic packaging
  • DIY is fun!

Let’s get started with the DIY toilet cleaner bombs

What will you need :

do it yourself toilet bomb ingredients
  • 1 cup Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 cup Citric Acid
  • Silicone mold ice cube tray (mine is shaped as penguins!)
  • Spray bottle filled with tap water
  • 30 – 40 drops Essential oil of your choice (I have lemon)
  • Bowl
  • Cup
  • Spoon
  • Knife

Method for DIY toilet cleaner bombs recipe

  • Add the bicarb soda and citric acid in a bowl and mix
  • Add 30 – 40 drops of essential oil and mix
  • Spray the mixture with water – 2 sprays and mix
  • Keep spraying until you have sprayed the mixture with water about 20 times (two sprays at a time and mix)
  • Don’t over water the mixture because it will start to fizz
  • Spoon the mixture into your silicone mold and firmly press down so it’s compact and all the edges are filled.
  • Leave for 24 hours in a dry place and out of direct sunlight
  • Carefully pop your DIY toilet cleaner bombs out and store in an airtight jar.

Here’s the video

Here’s the DIY video below so feel free to have a watch. The original recording was about 20 minutes long but, seriously, who has that kind of time!? So, I shortened it to about 39 seconds and added a happy tune. I hope you enjoy the video and find it helpful.

So that’s it, you can have a go at this DIY recipe at home. Have fun and let me know how you get on.

If you want more ideas – feel free to check out my Instagram page and keep an eye on my website for more upcoming ideas.

Reduce Your Household Waste Consumption

The amount of waste us Brits throw away is eye-watering and I wasn’t aware of how much household waste is created.

In March 2020, The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) produced a report which shows how much household waste is currently being produced in the UK each year.

  • It is estimated that the UK generated 41.1 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste in 2016, of which 33.1 million tonnes (around four-fifths) was generated in England. The latest estimates for England only indicate that C&I waste generation was around 36.1 million tonnes in 2017 and 37.2 million tonnes in 2018.
  • The UK generated 221.0 million tonnes of total waste in 2016, with England responsible for 85% of the UK total.

221 million tonnes!

What does this household waste mean?

Let’s put that into context. I’ve got a Seat Leon car which weighs about 1.2 tonnes. That’s about 184 million Seat Leons. That’s a whole lot of household waste and it’s not sustainable at all!

We have become a throw away society. Things can be bought so cheaply now which means the quality isn’t high and certain products don’t last long anymore or they aren’t made to last.

I just want to add that I’m sure there are those who would love to have the money to buy good quality products that last longer but finances dictate your purchases.

In order to reduce what we throw away, we need to be smarter when buying products and looking at the packaging and the quality of the product. WE are the ones who spend the money and WE have a lot more power than we realise.

Companies will create and sell products based on demand, if the demand is dropping off, the product will eventually become obsolete.

The amount of packaging that comes with products is astonishing and it’s these choices we have to adapt.

I’ve been careful about what I buy so my bin isn’t overflowing every week. I’ve been actively reducing my household waste but that isn’t possible for everyone. So, I created a download to help you do just that.

I’ve written how how I’m trying to reduce my consumption you may want to check out

How I became greener in 2020

Ditching tea bags

My Local zero-waste shop

Here’s what I’ve come up with

Here’s my Household Waste Analysis. Each day has its own page covering 10 – 14 days (whichever you choose) and separated into four sections

  • Recycling
  • Composting/Food Waste
  • Donating/Selling online
  • Landfill

Plus, it’s an editable form so you don’t even have to print it off! Last thing I want to do is add to your household waste!

Oh yeah, and it’s FREE! Who doesn’t like a freebie?! Get yours here

Household waste analysis download

Each day you can record what is in your rubbish and save the document. Once you get to the end of the 10 days (or 14 days), you will have a full analysis of what you are throwing away.

When you see it in black and white, it may shock you!

The last page will give you ideas on how you can reduce your waste.

If you’re ready to start reducing your household waste, get your free download

I genuinely believe we have a serious consumption issue that we can’t recycle our way out of.

Please do let me know how you get on 💚 💚 💚