As someone who is always on the lookout for new eco-friendly products, and have a lot of friends and family who ask me for recommendations, I recently came across Mum & You 100% Biodegradable Baby Wipes.
‘Mum & You 100% Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Baby Wipes have been developed to look after baby’s delicate skin and the world they live in. They are made from sustainably sourced, naturally derived viscose from the most abundant and renewable wood fibre on Earth. Gentle and kind on baby’s skin, they contain 99.4% water and every ingredient is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin. They are 100% plastic-free wipes too.’
One thing I like about being a mum is that mum’s talk. We talk about products we’ve tried; ones that work and ones that don’t. We share tips and tricks to help our babies (and ourselves), and we want to make each other’s lives easier as we try to navigate this crazy journey called parenthood.
Who are Mum & You
The Mum & You narrative is straightforward. Their goal was to establish a company where the support of mothers and their infants would be at the core of everything.
The inception of Mum & You stemmed from the realisation that in order to provide babies with the optimal beginning in life, it was crucial to offer support to mothers. The initial 1,000 days of a baby’s life are paramount for their development, constituting a critical phase in which the groundwork for a child’s future is laid, profoundly influencing their capacity to grow, learn, and thrive.
Yet, this period can also be the most challenging for any new mother.
Mum & You at Christmas
The Christmas period is a season of giving and a bit of indulgence. Engulfed in the frenzy of purchasing gifts for everyone, including our furry friends, it’s no surprise that the UK is a nation of generous gift-givers. In reality, the UK generates over 688,000 tonnes of Christmas waste annually.
Becoming a parent is a transformative experience, prompting many to become more conscious of the world they inhabit, looking for gifts made from sustainable materials, and the lasting impact their choices can have on their baby’s future. The first Christmas with a baby is particularly special, offering a prime opportunity to reassess gift-buying habits and adopt a more thoughtful and sustainable approach to giving.
My friend recently had a baby and she’s been struggling with finding a solution for her little one’s nappy rash. It turns out her daughter has quite sensitive skin and a lot of the other wipes she’s used seem to irritate her daughter’s skin. I asked her to try the Mum & You sensitive range.
It worked an absolute treat. The rash started disappearing and now she has no rash. My friend said she will only use this brand and has already stocked up on more. She also likes that the scent isn’t overpowering. A happy baby equals a very happy (and relieved) mum.
As I said earlier, mums talk. She regularly attends mum and baby groups and she’s already starting praising these wipes.
A massive thumbs up!
Ideas for gift-giving
Here are five plastic-free baby stocking filler ideas that are kinder to the planet and also make a real difference to mums:
1. Organic cotton cloths and muslins – a mum can never have too many
2. Biodegradable wipes – Mum will get through around 36,000 baby wipes over 4 years and many of these are not biodegradable, taking up to 100 years to break down (let’s eliminate traditional baby wipes)
3. Handknitted baby mittens or booties (handmade gifts can be the ultimate kindness gift)
4. Nappies – not the most glamorous but something that would be helpful!
5. A 1st Christmas handmade tree decoration – something to treasure for years to come.
When my daughter was a baby, we went through A LOT of baby wipes. They were easy and convenient, especially when we were out and about. However, back then I never thought about the environmental impact I was having on the products I used.
Thankfully, there are a lot more products on the market that are kinder to the environment and have undergone biodegradation testing, use good quality natural ingredients, created using plant-based materials, and the best part, many don’t have harsh chemicals that cause nappy rash or aggravate your baby’s skin.
These Mum & You 100% Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Baby Wipes are a great addition to any baby change bag so it’s time to ditch the conventional baby wipes.
Mum and You is now available at Tesco as well as Boots online, Amazon and Ocado.
Stay updated! Here are nearly all of the environmental awareness days and sustainability dates to look out for in 2024 for the UK.
The great thing about awareness days is that there’s an awareness day for nearly everything. My favourite is International Chocolate Day which is held annually on 7th July. Personally, I tend to eat chocolate most days but it’s nice to know there’s a day for it.
I’ve written Environmental days 2023 UK and previous years and it’s something that is growing year on year as people are kind enough to let me know of additional events – it’s one of my favourite ones to write.
If you’re planning your social media content or a teacher looking for help for lesson plans or would like to organise a sustainability event in your community or at your workplace, this list of environmental days will make your life easier
As you can imagine, there are loads of dates for your calendar so the hyperlinks for each month will make it easier to navigate.
I have included what I can at the time of posting this and will update any new sustainability days for 2024 as and when new information is available.
Throughout the month of January, Veganuary invites and inspires people to explore a vegan lifestyle. Since 2014, 2.5 million people have signed up from 228 countries and territories around the world. It’s a great way to discover how to cook with different vegetables and allows you to be as creative as you want. Their website has a wealth of advice and recipes to get started.
This is a great opportunity to do with little ones. All you have to do is sit in the garden, be very quiet and count the bird you see. If you don’t have a garden, it’s fine, sit in the park, watch from your balcony, anyone can take part. Birds play an important role in nature and with our help, the RSPB can keep an eye on the population our feathered friends. Check out their website to see how to get involved.
Houseplant Week UK 8th – 14th January 2024
Usually held annually during the second week of January, this week celebrates the benefits of having indoor plants. Indoor plants not only look good, they can help purify the air and there are so many low maintenance options if you’re worried about forgetting to watering them. I’ve got some Peace Lilies and a spider plant. I’ve also three snake plants; Thor, Loki and Hela (one for Marvel fans!)
Looking for an environmental day in February 2024? I got you
World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually to mark the anniversary of The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands which was signed on 2nd February 1971 to protect wetland habitats which play such a vital role within our ecosystem.
Here are the March 2024 environmental awareness days for your calendar
This is a United Nations International day to celebrate the all the wildlife and around the world. Focusing on the importance of why these wildlife and plants are crucial to all life on this planet and why loss of habitat is affecting their survival. This date was specifically chosen to cite the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which was signed in 1973.
Knowing that we are using finite resources, we have to look closely at what we are throwing away. This day was created to encourage and focus on why recycling is important and how we can reuse the precious resources we have without taking more from from the environment. Check out their website for facts and figures on recycling and how you can take part to look after the planet for future generations.
Held annually on the 22nd March, focuses on the importance of freshwater. It raises awareness of the 202 billion people around the world who do not have access to safe water. The theme for 2024 will be ‘Leveraging Water for Peace’.
Sustainability days for the month of April 2024
National Walk to Work Day – 1st April 2024
This day is dedicated to encouraging us to walk to walk. Admitted, this means not hitting the snooze button so many times, walking has so many health benefits and according to Well ‘A 20 minute walk per day could cut your risk of premature death by a third.’ Leaviing your car at home will reduce carbon emissions and help towards a better future.
Community Garden Week – 1st April – 7th April 2024
This is a week where community gardens and school gardens come together, to support and inspire each other. Creating these gardens for everyone to enjoy. What’s not to love?
Dolphin day – 14th April 2024
Held annually on the same day, this day is to think about and raising awareness about protecting these beautiful marine mammals.
For Earth Day, earthday.org will be demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics.Not certain types of plastics, ALL plastics, by 2040. We have all see n the devastating effects plastic has on us and the environment around us so this quite an important one. Check out their website and find out how you can get involved. There is a section on their website where you can learn more about plastics and also a report called The Plastic Waste Maker’s Index showing what companies are most responsible for plastic pollution. Take a guess who is at the top of the list? (paeg 49). The first Earth day was held in 1970 and has been going strong ever since.
So much food is wasted daily and there are so many ways to reduce this; freezing, buying less, donating. 45% of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally is lost or wasted per year, that’s way too much waste. There is so much world hunger and there are things we can do. This day focuses on education, check out their website to find practical and creative sustainable solutions of reducing your food waste
Here are some more environmental events to take part in May 2024
Plantlife’s annual campaign, No Mow May is a pretty simple one to take part in. Just don’t cut your grass for the month of May. That’s it! The aim is to provide a space for nature to do their thing. According to their website ‘We’ve lost nearly 97% of flower rich meadows since the 1970’s and with them gone are vital food needed by pollinators, like bees and butterflies‘
This annual education initiative is to raise awareness of the importance of composting, from the benefits of composting to the importance of creating healthy soil. You don’t need a lot of space for composting and this week will show you how you can get yourself and little ones involved. This is a great example of the power of collective action.
Endangered Species Day – 17th May 2024
This annual event focuses on the species that are likely to be extinct in the near future and there’s a possibility that we’re losing species before we have even discovered them. There are many reasons for this: exploitation of the environment, depletion of natural resources, habitat loss, and the lack of meaningful climate change action by world leaders. The WWF website keep an updated list of the species that are on the endangered list.
Bees are the hardest working creatures on our planet, as they play a critical role in pollinating our food and I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. There are over 250 species of bees. Learn more about bees and how we can help them by planting wildflowers and preserving the flora we have.
There are so many people around the world who do not have access to fresh drinking water. Water is a vital source for all life on this planet and this week is a national initiative dedicated to bringing awareness and promoting ways in which we can save it.
This is a great way to celebrate and encourage the enjoyment gardening hold for our children. Kids aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty and it’s a great way to teach the next generation about the importance of gardening. You don’t need to have a large space for gardening, it can be about maintaining school gardens, gardens in our local communities or in your local park. This is one of the sustainability events that is popular up and down the country with a view to make our environment a better place.
June 2024 is a busy month for national environmental days
This world day is held on the same day every year, which is dedicated to our environment. This United Nations Environment Programme has the main aim of focussing on the only home we all share and how we need to look after it for the next generations to come. If you’re looking for some great ways to help children learn about environmental protection and more about the Earth’s environment, this is a great place to start. Let’s make a positive impact.
This is one of the UK’s largest celebration of actions taking my local communities to tackle climate change and to protect nature. This can involve anything from litter picking to writing to your MP. Check out their website to see how you can plan an event in your local area and get your community involved in looking after the only home we have.
For a healthy planet, a healthy ocean is vital for ALL life on this planet. As a global event, this year’s theme is ‘Catalyzing Action for Our Ocean & Climate’ aimed at campaigning and encouraging our leaders to make the decisions needed to preserve our oceans and make climate action and global warming an urgent priority.
According to their website ‘Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.’ We all have the right to access clean air as pollution causes so many health problems, especially in children. Their website has a wealth of resources where you can get involved in this important day.
Held annually on the same day, World Refill Day encourages us to ditch our single-use plastic bottles and using refillable bottles where we’re out and bout. Millions of people get involved around the world. They’ve created an app to find out where you local refilling station is. It’s time to join the refill revolution.
Working with various organisations and indigenous people, their mission is to highlight and celebrate the importance of our rainforests which are at threat due to human activity. This is a global movement with the aim of protecting and restoring the rainforests we have left. Filled with biodiversity and are home to so many species, some of which we may not have even discovered yet.
This month-long campaign has grown year on year encouraging use to adopt sustainable habits to reduce our plastic consumption. We don’t realise how much power we have as small changes can make a huge difference. #PlasticFreeJuly is a great way to find ideas on what you can do for this month. I’m always talking about reducing my plastic consumption, check out my profile on Instagram and follow me
Don’t Step on a Bee Day – 10th July 2024
This day is observed annually in the UK. Bees are amazing pollinators and they are key to our long-term survival playing a massive role in balancing our ecosystem. If you’d like to know more, check out my blog on why they are so important and how you can help them.
Having access to green spaces is vital to our mental health and this week is dedicated to celebrating these spaces and everyone who contributes to them. Go for a walk in the park and enjoy nature and the blue skies.
Held annually on the fourth Sunday in July ‘in celebration of bogs, fens, swamps & marshes is an opportunity to raise awareness of peatlands – the benefits they provide, the threats they face and the ways we can all help protect them.’
Here are environmental awareness days for your calendar for August 2024
This week is where the The National Allotment Society encourages us to the benefits of having an individual or community allotment. They also promote the benefits of having healthy soil. Check their website to see how you can get involved.
Hold on to your hats! September 2024 is a bumper month for sustainability days
This campaign is a month-long annual celebration by Oxfam to promote buying second hand and reduce waste. By buying second hand, we can reduce our carbon footprint. I’m a huge fan of #SecondHandSeptember and here’s what I bought in September 2023.
This annual campaign is led by the Soil Association who work tirelessly to raise awareness of the benefits organic farming. This isn’t just important for our health, but the planet too. This environmental day is one for the diary. Artificial fertilisers are depleting the nutrients we need in our soils to grow food.
This is a key environmental day in history of when, in 1987, the the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted.
‘As the treaty turns 35 on Ozone Day, we will remember how the Montreal Protocol ended one of the biggest threats ever to face humanity as a whole: the depletion of the ozone layer. When the world found out that ozone-depleting gases used in aerosols and cooling were creating a hole in the sky, they came together. They showed that multilateralism and effective global cooperation worked and they phased out these gases. Now the ozone layer is healing, allowing it once again to shield humanity from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.’
Held annually on the fourth Sunday in September, is to celebrate our waterways. It focuses on the numerous benefits of our rivers, aims to boost public awareness, and promotes better care of rivers worldwide. Rivers in nearly every nation confront various challenges, and it’s only through our active engagement that we can safeguard their well-being in the future.
This environmental campaign focuses on helping and encouraging homes, schools, businesses and community groups to find ways on how to reduce waste that is destined for landfill. Check out their website to see how to get involved.
This is a great initiative where thousands of people give involved in cleaning up our beaches allowing people to enjoy our beaches without having to avoid rubbish. As their flagship event ‘Litter data collected on beach cleans drives our conservation work, helps us to campaign for change, and also feeds into the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC).’ It’s the perfect way to get our little ones involved in caring about their environment, besides, who doesn’t enjoy some fresh air and time away from the TV? I’ve taken my daughter to the beach to litter pick, find out how we got on.
This global annual event had some amazing results in 2023; 19.1 million participants took part from 91% of listed UN nations and collected a whopping 205,000 tons of waste! What an amazing achievement. I’m sure 2024 will be another massive year for this fabulous campaign.
Each year, the FSC Forest Week is a global initiative that urges all those responsible for forests to raise public consciousness regarding the significance of sustainable forestry. The objective is to motivate these consumers to make a difference by selecting products that carry FSC certification.
Here are all the environmental days in October 2024
This annual, month-long campaign was started to create and promote awareness on how we can improve the health of our sewers, drains and seas. First launched in 2019, thousand of people up and down the UK have made pledges to change their bathroom and kitchen habits. Many of us don’t realise the wider environmental implications of what we put down our drains. Check out their website for tips on the different ways you can change your habits.
Led by Living Streets, this is a month-long campaign to encourage children and parents to walk to school. Promoting better travel habits that are kinder to the environment, road safety awareness and the fun of exercise, there are may ways to get involved. Check out some great #WalkToSchoolStories on their website.
This day is dedicated to not using a disposable cup. Their website states “Daily in the UK we use more than 7 MILLION DISPOSABLE CUPS – 500,000 are dropped on the floor! UK is one of the worst in the World in disposable cup waste using 2.5 billion cups a year – this would create a pile of disposable cup waste as big as the Albert Hall in London!” This one is easy to solve. Get yourself a reusable cup.
This annual event, hosted by Recycle Now, serves as their primary initiative to promote and foster recycling throughout the entire country. They’re really keen to get schools involved in this great initiative and learn how the can get involved.
International E-Waste Day acts as a platform for heightening awareness regarding the problem of electronic waste. Any organisations that have an issue with E-waste can take part. ‘You can recycle anything with a plug, battery or cable! International E-Waste Day to shed the light on ‘invisible’ electronic waste.’
Here are some more environmental events to take part in November 2024
Led by the Tree Council, it’s their largest annual event celebrating our trees. This annual event encourages thousands of people in Britain to come together to plant trees, marking the start to tree planting season.
This day highlights the importance of the health of our soil and why it is essential for long-term food security. They promote the importance of sustainable agriculture and encourage environmental conservation through education. Without the nutrients in the soil, we won’t be able to grow food. As someone once said to me “We can’t grow food in dirt”.
So, there you have it. A list of sustainability days for 2024. Feel free to comment below if you have a campaign you would like included. I’m always happy to share as many environmental awareness days and dates for 2024.
Ever wondered what you can do with your unwanted bra? Some people donate but did you know there are ways you can recycle bras too ?
For a lot of us, bras we no longer wear end up in the dark corners of our drawers or maybe in the bin, which is a real waste.
Have a look in your underwear drawer, how many bras do you have that you haven’t worn in years that are probably still in good condition? And there could be so many reasons; because it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t feel right, it’s the wrong colour, it’s the wrong size, your body shape has changed?
My body shape changed a lot after having my daughter (and during), I had to regularly buy new bras as well as maternity bras. Naively, I thought my shape will go back to normal but that wasn’t the case. I was left with a lot of lightly used bras that no longer fit me and I didn’t know what to do with them.
I recently found a link to Harper’s Bazaar, which reports that an astounding 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. That’s huge!
How many of us know how to pick the right fitting bra or even been shown? It’s certainly something I wasn’t ever taught. I remember just going into a bra shop and trying on various bras until I found something that did the job. I was always too shy to ask for assistance.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you should have a bra fitting every six-month because our bodies can change and last thing we need is to be wearing a bra that doesn’t provide the support we need.
We are all aware of the textile waste problem caused by the fashion industry and giving your old bra a second life is one of the best sustainable solutions available as it reduces your carbon footprint, finds a new home for your preloved bras and avoids landfill.
Recycle Bras – Who does it help?
Donating and recycling bras are a great way to give your old bra a new lease of life and can really help someone.
There are numerous organisations that have a facilities that work with smaller charities by donating them to disadvantaged communities. Not only that, they can also help homeless women and many underwear companies have teamed up with recycling partners to ensure bra donations go to the people who desperately need them.
Recycle Bras and donations – where can I drop them off?
There are many donation site and drop-off locations; domestic violence shelters, local shelters and homeless shelters around the country as well as postal options available where you can donate gently-used bras or even old bras. Give your old bra a new life and help women who need them.
Bravissimo recycle bras as they accept donations in-store, these donations are collected by a company who sort through the bras. In addition, for every kilogram of bras they receive in donations, they donate the money Coppafeel. An absolutely fantastic charity the promotes the importance of breast awareness; how to check your breasts and what signs and symptoms to look out for.
I was curious where the bras are sent so I contacted them and they were kind enough to reply with the following:
“40% to Western Europe, 30% to Africa, 16% to Eastern Europe. Items that are not considered wearable will be broken down and re-used in other forms such as the padding used in insulation”
Their website has a lot of information about how they recycle bras and If you’re not sure where their nearest store is located, this link will help.
Your Smalls Appeal are a small UK charity which was set up in January 2016 as an ‘initiative to empower girls around the world’ by supporting women and girls in developing countries. Not only do they accept lightly worn bras, they also accept and donate menstrual hygiene products and menstruation kits.
So many girls around the world are missing out on their education because of their periods, this shouldn’t be happening. They’ve helped so many women and girls in villages in Africa. More recently, in 2022, they provided thousands of bras and much-needed menstrual products to help Ukrainian women and girls within Leicestershire.
Please check out their website and get in touch with them to see how you can help, they also accept donations on their website
Charity shops are a great place to donate your unwanted bras. Many charity shops are always on the lookout for more donations and they raise money for various specific charities and vital research including support to breast cancer survivors.
There are some charity shops that tend to be inundated with donations as they are usually limited on space, therefore, please speak to your local charity shop first.
These are just a handful of great options of how you can get involved and help people in your local community and further afield to help others have a better life. Your old bra many not be a perfect fit for you but there are plenty of places your unwanted items can have a positive impact.
Please ensure the bras are in good condition and can be worn by someone else. Social media is a great place to talk about this and share your donation. Next time you have a look through your drawer, think about checking out a recycling program near you.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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
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 Duhigg, The 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
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 –
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Let’s Ditch The Eco-Judgment & Work Together For A Better Planet
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.
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.
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.
Are you looking for the best DIY toilet bomb recipe? I’ve got you covered!
This toilet bomb recipe can help get your cleaning done in no time and they’re easy to make.
When it comes to cleaning, the toilet isn’t always the favourite place to clean but it does need to be cleaned.
Many household cleaners contain nasty toxins that are no good for your health nor the environment.
It’s something I never realised before. I’m mean, why would I? I’ve never looked at the side of the bottle scanning the list of ingredients. I needed. a products to clean something and I will see what’s available.
I bet if you have a look at the ingredients on some of your cleaning products, there will be words that you may not even be able to pronounce, let alone know what they do.
Just breathing in these chemicals can’t be good for our lungs and no one wants to have to wear a full set of PPE when cleaning.
Since I opted for a more eco-friendly way to live, I’ve been looking into ways I can ditch harmful cleaning products in favour of ones that are more sustainable and kinder to the environment (and they could work out cheaper too)
One of the ways I have achieved this is to create my own toilet bomb recipe.
I even got my happy helper (my daughter) to help me.
Wanna know more? Keep reading
DIY Toilet Bomb Recipe
Here’s what you need for your Toilet Bomb Recipe…
1 cup of Bicarbonate of soda
1/4 cup of Citric Acid
Silicone molds ice cube trays (we’ve got various shapes)
30 (ish) drops of essential oil (I chose lavender)
Small spray bottle filled with tap water
Firstly, mix the bicarb soda and citric acid together in a bowl.
Once mixed well, add drops of essential oil and mix well.
Spray every so often and keep mixing. You want it to see some of it sticking together but not too much as it will start fizzing.
Carefully, spoon the mixture into the molds and ensure you firmly press down so the mixture can compact, if it’s not compacted, it will fall apart.
Once you’ve used up all the mixture, leave them in a dry place to let the set.
I tend to leave it for 24 hours to ensure they are fully set.
Place them in an airtight jar.
Here’s a video I made earlier with some happy music
How to use the toilet bombs
When it’s time to clean your toilet, all you have to do is drop one or two of these into your toilet and let them fizz away.
Leave for about five minutes or so and, using your toilet brush, clean your toilet as usual.
As we’re approaching the last quarter of the year, there are still plenty of Environmental Days left in 2023.
A friend of mine is a primary school teacher and suggested I list the remaining 2023 environmental days. She wanted to include some in her lesson plan for her students ready for the start of the new academic year.
As I said to her – “your wish is my command.”
If you’re thinking about any sustainability events at your school, workplace or community, here are some dates you’ll want to add to your calendar.
Secondhand September – 1st September to 30th September 2023
Led by Oxfam, Secondhand September is a campaign where we are encouraged to buy second-hand throughout the month of September.
I’ve written quite a lot about second-hand I’ve made myself and I’ve found some real bargains along the way.
Indeed, sharing your second-hand purchases on social media using the hashtag #SecondhandSeptember is a great way to spread the word and show off your preloved items.
For 2022’s campaign, Oxfam said ‘26,413 people pledged to say yes to less, by buying only second hand throughout September 2022. And 1,300 people shared your #SecondHandSeptember tips and experiences on social. That’s thousands of people consuming less, looking out for people and planet, raising money and awareness to fight climate change and end poverty.’
Organic September – 1st September to 30th September 2023
This campaign is led by the Soil Association working tirelessly to raise awareness of the benefits organic farming brings. Not just for our health but to the climate too. This environmental day is one for the diary.
I’ve recently learned about the devastating effects artificial fertilisers are having on our soils. It’s depleting the nutrients in our healthy soils and eventually won’t be able to grow anything. I remember somewhere in the textbook it said that you can’t grow anything in dirt.
Additionally, they care about the welfare of farm animals and it’s better for us too.
Their Pledge for the Planet ‘Together, our small collective actions add up to make a real difference. Whether we’re supporting local organic farmers and independent shops, growing our own nature-friendly veg at home, or taking steps to reduce our waste, making a pledge for our planet can help to build a more sustainable future’
The Great British Beach Clean – 15th September to 24th September 2023
We’ve all seen the images of the awful effects litter has on the oceans and wildlife.
Moreover, litter collected is recorded and their website states ‘Our data has been used to make a positive impact on our ocean – including the introduction of the plastic bag charge, banning microplastics in personal care products, better wet wipe labelling, and supporting a tax on single-use plastic items.’
I’ve taken my daughter litter picking at the beach and I was so astonished at how much rubbish we found.
It’s a great way to get the little ones involved in caring about the environment, they can see they’re making a difference and, besides, who doesn’t want some fresh air in their lungs?
World Dolphin Day – 12th September
I’ve always had a soft spot for dolphins so when I watched a programme a while back where over 1,400 dolphins were killed in one day, I was completely horrified by what I was seeing (link contains graphic images!). I’ll never forget how the water just turned red – it was heartbreaking.
You can sign up to their mailing list to join the movement.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – 16th September 2023
This is an important environmental day in history of when the the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1987.
‘As the treaty turns 35 on Ozone Day, we will remember how the Montreal Protocol ended one of the biggest threats ever to face humanity as a whole: the depletion of the ozone layer. When the world found out that ozone-depleting gases used in aerosols and cooling were creating a hole in the sky, they came together. They showed that multilateralism and effective global cooperation worked and they phased out these gases. Now the ozone layer is healing, allowing it once again to shield humanity from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.’
I was a child when this was adopted and recall hearing about CFCs and the Ozone Layer. Even as a child, this showed me what global nations can do if they work together for a common goal.
If we’ve worked together before, surely we can do so again?
World Car Free Day – 22nd September 2023
Led by Living Streets, this day promotes and encourages us to leave the car at home and allow people to experience the roads traffic free.
If you check out their website, there are some examples of how other people travelled that day.
This is Recycle Now‘s Flagship event held every year to promote and encourage recycling up and down the country.
Each year there is a theme and this year’s is ‘The Big Recycling Hunt – focuses on “missed capture”: the items that can be recycled but are commonly missed in the home. ‘
They’re really keen for children to get involved and like to focus on schools to take part. Primary schools in England and Northern Ireland can sign up for the Action Pack Recycling Challenge competition – this is a great way for teachers to get their students involved in recycling. Plus, who doesn’t like a bit of competition?
Their website is packed with a wealth of resources for teachers and community leaders to get the little ones started.
Unblocktober – 1st October to 31st October 2023
This month-long campaign aims to create awareness to improve the health of our sewers, drains and seas. This campaign was first launched in 2019 and since then, thousand of Britons have made pledges to change their kitchen and bathroom habits.
So much of what we put down our drains have a wider effect on the environment and their website will help how you can change your habits.
No Disposable Cup day – 4th October 2023
This annual campaign encourages us to refuse a disposable cup and instead use a reusable cup. Disposable cups really are unnecessary and alternatives are so much better for the environment.
Their website states “Daily in the UK we use more than 7 MILLION DISPOSABLE CUPS – 500,000 are dropped on the floor! UK is one of the worst in the World in disposable cup waste using 2.5 billion cups a year – this would create a pile of disposable cup waste as big as the Albert Hall in London!
We have 4 times more cafes in the UK as there were in 2000. Branded coffee shops have grown from around 600 to nearly 7500 outlets. Around half the coffee we drink is from a disposable cup! Recycling or compostable cups are not the answer! STOPPING is the answer!
We don’t need to use any disposable cups ever. It is very simple to carry a reusable cup with you. It is also very simple for coffee shops such as Starbucks, Costa, Cafe Nero and Pret to stop serving coffee in disposable cups and make reusable take-away cups more obviously available and cheaper in price.
Or better still, make your own coffee before leaving the house 🙂
Unlike many environmental problems this one is not hard to fix – it can be fixed overnight!”
International Walk to School Month – 1st October to 31st October 2023
Living Streets have a month-long campaign to encourage parents and children to walk to school. Promoting travel habits that are better for the environment, awareness for road safety and the joy of exercise, there are may ways to get involved.
In addition to this, it will help improve air quality near the school and ease congestion. Do what you can.
This is an Environmental Day for 2023 that many people can get involved in.
International E-waste Day – 14th October 2023
Initiated by the WEEE Forum, International E-waste Day is to shine a spotlight on the increasing concern surrounding electronic waste and advocate for the conscientious management of e-waste.
Their website states – “This year’s edition will run under the slogan “You can recycle anything with a plug, battery or cable!” highlighting the issue of invisible e-waste – the electronic items that often go unrecognised and are not properly recycled within the appropriate waste stream. While e-waste is often associated with discarded gadgets and devices, a significant amount of electronic waste remains hidden in plain sight.”
I recently wrote a blog about ways to lower your digital carbon footprint, check it out here
World Vegan Month – 1st November 2023 – 30th November 2023
Set up by the Vegan Society, World Vegan Month is to celebrated globally to promote and embrace the vegan movement.
Their website has a wealth of advice, tips, recipes so you can take part in their month-long celebration.
National Tree Week 2023 – 25th November 2023 – 3rd December 2023
Led by the Tree Council, National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration. Each year, thousands come together to plant trees to mark the start of tree planting season.
Their website states “Trees are heroes of nature. They sustain wildlife, create oxygen, purify our air and are absolutely beautiful. National Tree Week is the perfect time to celebrate our trees and remind everyone about all they do. After all, learning more about all the incredible things trees do is an important first step on our journey to a tree-filled future. So, any way you can, whether its sharing the campaign on social media, an email to colleagues, taking part in our competition, or just talking to friends, let’s celebrate our trees!”
Check out their website to see how you get involved in this great Environmental Day for 2023.