Monday, 2 September 2019

Going Green #31 - September 2019


Welcome to Going Green. This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world. If you are not sure what subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

Hello Autumn


Gosh, September already and we are heading into the final third of a year that has seen a definite rise in environmental awareness.  We need to keep the momentum going so maybe you would like to join in some of the events taking place this month or spread the word so others know about them:


  • International Coastal Clean Up Day is organised by the Ocean Conservancy and using the strap-line "Fighting for Trash Free Seas. This worldwide takes place on Sat 21st September and 2019 marks the 30th year of this event.
  • Clean Up the World Campaign is another long running event and facilitates clean up projects all around the world.  This will be its 26th year and in that time 35 million people   in 133 countries have been involved in over 49,000 clean up projects.  This year the Campaign takes place 20-22nd September.
  • And if you have children heading back to school one of my lined up posts highlights 7 ways you can make the return to school more green.  We are at a critical time where we can still make a difference to the future, the future that our children and grandchildren will have to live through.  We cannot fail them.


7 ideas for a Green Back to School


My picks from Going Green August 2019


Thank you to everyone who linked up in August - if you missed reading up on these 3 which were among my favourites:

  • If you have a young family maybe you are thinking about using cloth nappies rather than disposables. This guest post on Justine from Little Green Duckie's blog might be just what you are looking for: Parenting with Cloth Nappies.

Cloth nappies
19 Uses For Calendula Tea featured image, tea in tea cup    
  • And finally as we start to bid farewell to Summer some of you may be thinking about Christmas and gift buying - do therefore have a look at Attachment Mummy's post listing a brilliant selection of ethical and vegan gifts.
Ethical and vegan gift ideas featuring toys,bags, clothing and cosmetics



If you missed these posts do head over now for a read.

Going Green is a subject I believe in with a passion I hope, that with your help, this little linky will go from strength to strength helping more people to realise how easy it can be to live a greener lifestyle.

Please link up to 3 posts, old or new and let's work together to spread the Going Green message.  I'd love it too if you could promote the linky on all your social media channels and among all your friends. Thank you 💚.

Before you link up may I just remind you of 3 of the "rules":

  • Link up a maximum of THREE posts - any more will be deleted (sorry)
  • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life.
  • This is a blog link so in order for us all to benefit please comment on a minimum of three other blogs in the link up, ideally including the one in front of you, one my host posts and at least one other ... the more you comment the more others are likely to visit your blog. 

If you share your posts using the hashtag #GoingGreen and I will RT you etc.  I will also add posts with suitable vertical pins to my Going Green Linky board on Pinterest.

Need to find me on Social Media?  Here you go ...

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Thanks for visiting and I look forward to reading all your linked up green posts.






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Thursday, 15 August 2019

Eco- Friendly Party Bags


I am going to show my age here but when I went to parties as a child the whole idea of party bags hadn't come about - instead the kids either went home with nothing or a slice of birthday cake wrapped in a paper napkin ... how things have changed.  Now parents seem to fall into 2 camps when it comes to party bags.  Some choose to keep the cost down with a small plastic bag filled with a number of generally plastic toys and sweets. Sweets are probably devoured before the children get home and toys are played with briefly before ending up in the bin.  Other parents spend a small fortune of presents to go in their bags but the end result is often the same - sweets quickly eaten and yet more plastic toys that the children do not need.  So what should eco-aware parents do when it comes to party bags?

My first suggestion would be to totally buck the trend and send the children home with nothing or just that slice of cake.  The more people that do this the more normal it will become and others will follow suit.

However if you still want to send your young guests home with a bag of goodies here are a range of ideas to reduce the plastic and keep them eco-friendly.

Eco-Friendly party bag ideas


Ideas for Eco-friendly Party Bags


The bag


Avoid plastic and go for bags made from paper, hemp, cloth or anything home-made from materials you have around the house. You can also make bags from newspaper or make a small box or cone. 

Misc items to add to your eco-friendly party bag


  • Crayons and a small colouring book/printed sheets
  • Loose sweets (home-made even)
  • Boxes of raisins
  • Playing cards
  • Wooden ruler and pencil
  • Marbles
  • Paper hats to decorate
  • Books - you can get packs of books from book clubs are a very low price 
  • Home-made bath bombs
  • Book marks
  • Wooden yo-yo or similar toys

Foodie ideas


  • Make a paper cone filled with sweets
  • Bake each child a cup cake or some biscuits sent home in a little cardboard cake box
  • Cookies or muffins in a jar - layered ingredients in a glass jar look gorgeous and just need the addition of an egg/butter at home.
Cookie mix in a jar


Go for something a bit different


  • A flower pot with small paper bag of compost and some seeds, either wildflowers or vegetables. Don't forget to add growing instructions
  • A crafty bag filled with the loose items needed to make something eg a wooden spoon, some wool etc to make a spoon person.
  • A lucky dip - wrap small gifts in newspaper, place in a big bag and let the departing child dig in for a gift.

What to avoid


  • Anything made from or wrapped in plastic - don't make a party an excuse to dump more plastic on other families
  • Anything too expensive
  • Balloons
  • Collectible items - this puts pressure on parents to buy more of the set 
  • Glitter - most is made from plastic
  • Buying supplies online where you may not be able to avoid plastic packaging.

Do you have more ideas to create eco-friendly party bags? Or will you be brave enough to ditch party bags altogether?


Monday, 5 August 2019

Going Green #30 - Aug 2019


Welcome to Going Green. This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world. If you are not sure what subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

Plastic Free July 2019 - what did you think about it?


So another Plastic Free July has come to a close - what did you think of this one?  Do you think it was better supported than in previous years? Did you see any articles about it in the mainstream media or your social media channels.  And what do you think we should be doing from now onwards?

Who is up for a Plastic Free Life?  Please do let me have your feedback.


Feedback on Plastic Free July 2019

My picks from Going Green July 2019


As ever there was a wide range of topics linked up.  My favourites this month include personal care, some natty re-purposing and a look forward to the summer festival season:


Plasic free washing up

Upcylce old jeans into a rug
    
  • And finally Isabel from Sustainable Responsible Living write a post that really struck home - What is Eco-Snobbism? highlighting some issues that arise as susainability becomes more mainstream.
Eco Snobbism explained




If you missed these posts do head over now for a read.

Going Green is a subject I believe in with a passion I hope, that with your help, this little linky will go from strength to strength helping more people to realise how easy it can be to live a greener lifestyle.

Please link up to 3 posts, old or new and let's work together to spread the Going Greenmessage.  I'd love it too if you could promote the linky on all your social media channels and among all your friends. Thank you 💚.

Before you link up may I just remind you of 3 of the "rules":

  • Link up a maximum of THREE posts - any more will be deleted (sorry)
  • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life.
  • This is a blog link so in order for us all to benefit please comment on a minimum of three other blogs in the link up, ideally including the one in front of you, one my host posts and at least one other ... the more you comment the more others are likely to visit your blog.

If you share your posts using the hashtag #GoingGreen and I will RT you etc.  I will also add posts with suitable vertical pins to my Going Green Linky board on Pinterest.

Need to find me on Social Media?  Here you go ...

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Thanks for visiting and I look forward to reading all your linked up green posts.




Links without backlinks to this blog will need moderating before appearing on the linky and for some strange reason occasionally this happens even with a backlink. If you are having any problems adding a post do let me know.


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Feedback on Plastic Free July 2019


As we bid farewell to Plastic Free July 2019 I would love to hear your feedback on the month.

  • Is this the first time you had heard of it or are you seasoned in the art of plastic free living?
  • What successes can you report back from the month? 
  • And what failures?
  • Do you think it was larger than in previous years or about the same?
  • Did you see much about it on social media or in mainstream news outlets - TV, newspapers etc?
  • And what do you think we should be doing from now onwards?
  • What else can you add?
 
Feedback on Plastic Free July 2019

My gut feeling was far more people are plastic aware now than they were a year ago but if we are not careful people will become disillusioned about how hard the task ahead is and will give up trying to reduce how much plastic is in their lives.  We need to keep this momentum going and fight back against the likes of Trump who chose last month to start selling his branded plastic straws or the food department of M&S who launched their mini shop with all its associated plastic.

How can we all work together to beat plastic?  Please do leave your feedback in a comment.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Branded toy giveaways encourage consumerism in children


Slap bang in the middle of Plastic Free July seems an odd time for a well known UK food retailer to launch its Little Shop series of "free" toy products with each £20 you spend.  Quite understandably some eco-aware people have been up in arms about this pointing out that many of the mini items are plastic and at a time retailers should be working hard at reducing plastic the marketing team of this shop have come up with this idea.  They are, of course, not alone.  Macdonalds have been giving away free toys for years and in Australia 2 well know supermarkets are doing the same thing.


M&S have tried to defend their decision saying the plastic is all recyclable but that is not really the point, after all how many will actually end up in the recycling and as I have said so many times before recycling is not the answer?  However whilst the plastic issue should not be ignored I feel there is a bigger and more serious threat to the environment through schemes such as these.  M&S is an upmarket food retailer that sells a large range of ready cooked meals, imported and plastic packed produce. Through the little shop items M&S are encouraging children to become their consumers of the future thus increasing how much of these unsustainable foods they purchase.  This is even outlined in the press release about the mini shop launch:

"A similar campaign proved to be hugely popular in Australia last year with one of its largest supermarkets, Coles, driving sales and social media talkability about the supermarket and its products."

Branded Toy Giveaways encourage consumerism in children



This giveaway isn't about giving children toys, it is all about developing brand loyalty.  It is often the case that once a consumer finds a brand they like and are used to they will stick to it come what may, without questioning its price or how environmentally friendly (or not) it may be.  This is why all shops work so hard at developing a distinctive brand through their logos and adverts ... the mini shop is just an extension of this, priming children to become the M&S shoppers of the future.  And, as I keep writing in this blog, fundamental to reversing climate change is the need to reduce how much of everything we buy.  We do not need to be encouraging consumerism in the citizens who will suffer most from the effects of Climate Change - our children.

If you think shops such as M&S should be banned from running these sorts of giveaways there is a petition you can sign.  You can also contact the retailers direct either by email or on their social media pages and you can also boycott their shops (do let them know).

When shops do toy giveaways it is all about building brand loyalty and encouraging children to be consumer focused - this is bad for the planet where we need to be curbing how much "stuff" we buy. 
Our planet needs us to turn our backs on consumerism and these giveaways should be some of the first things to be banned.  Do you agree?

Branded Toy Giveaways encourage consumerism in children

Monday, 1 July 2019

Going Green #29 - July 2019


Welcome to Going Green. This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world. If you are not sure what subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

Plastic Free July - will you be taking part?


It's July so it's time for Plastic Free July.  I am hoping with the problem of plastic being so high on the current environmental and public agenda that loads of people will take part this year.  But if you think the idea of going plastic free for a month is just impossible, fear not, my blog post will give you plenty of ideas of how you can take part even if you aren't able to ditch all plastic for a month.

So whose up for supporting Plastic Free July?


Logo for Plastic Free July 2019



Saturday, 29 June 2019

20 Great Plastic Busting Ideas to try in #PlasticFreeJuly


Plastic Free July is upon us, challenging us to go plastic free for a month.  Wow - just think how great things would be if we all did that but some people have, quite rightly, said they cannot go plastic free for all sorts of reasons - food may not be available to them without plastic or it may be too expensive.  They may need medical supplies than come in plastic or have to buy things for family members that are plastic.  But I say to you all, don't be put off Plastic Free July because you don't think you can manage to go plastic free for the month. Instead do the very best that you can and use the month as a stepping stone to a plastic reduced life thereafter.  Here are 20 things you can do to help yourself on that journey.

Logo of Plastic Free July 2019


20 Great Plastic Busting Ideas


  1. Remember that every piece of plastic you reject is a win.
  2. Do a plastic audit in your house and bin so you can identify where your household plastic lurks. 
  3. Use the month to research out plastic free alternatives.
  4. Focus on eliminating single use plastic - this blog post on ditching disposables might help
  5. If you have to buy plastic then contact the manufacturer/shop saying you want to see change - call them out on social media.  If they send you back a cut andpaste corporate answer, ask for specific answers to your plastic related questions
  6. Go on a litter pick.
  7. Write to your MP asking what they will do to reduce plastic.
  8. Look at your workplace - can plastic be reduced there?
  9. Liaise with your children's school/clubs or your own college/university/clubs to help reduce plastic.
  10. If you are feeling a bit rebellious, when you end up buying plastic, unwrap the items and dump it at till.
  11. Research where your nearest zero waste shop is - if it is a bit far join up up with friends and do a bulk buy together.
  12. Join plastic busting/zero-waste Facebook groups and follow accounts like Pointless Packaging on Instagram.
  13. Party time?  Why not link up with other parents or the PTA to make a party pack of reusable plates etc.
  14. If you are having a BBQ and might previously have used plastic plates why not do what everyone here in France does and just ask your guests to being their own. 
  15. Set yourself one food challenge a week to reduce plastic.  Pick 4 foods you buy in plastic and make them at home
  16. Learn where plastic is to be found - did you know it is in many teabags and most wet wipes?  Become plastic savvy!
  17. Find out if you have local milk delivery and sign up.  Maybe this doesn't work for you all the time but every glass bottle helps reduce plastic milk bottles
  18. Sign up for a veg box delivery.
  19. Talk to your kids about reducing plastic and what changes you will all need to make as a family.
  20. Shout about your successes on social media and remember to use the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly.
Did you know it only takes 21 days of doing something new for it to become a habit?  That's right, just 21 days to make rejecting plastic a habit.  21 days to save the planet from the scourge of single use plastic.  It's not much is it?
 What will you be doing to reduce plastic through Plastic Free July?

Use #PlasticFreeJuly to reduce plastic in our life

Saturday, 22 June 2019

What inspired you to become more green?


It was a Winter's day, I am sat in the car whilst Mum has popped into the shop to buy something.  The car parked in front of ours has the engine running and I am drawn to the exhaust fumes spewing out.  The longer Mum is shopping the more I watch and wonder what happens to the fumes, as surely they can't just keep filling the air?  Not long after I was watching the TV and saw a news story about Acid Rain and a connection was made.  Huge areas of forest were being destroyed by the rain that had become so acidic it killed the trees. This acid rain was, in part, created by nitrous oxides in the atmosphere that come from ... you guessed it ... car exhaust fumes.  I was probably about 12 years old.

Acid rain and how it led me to live a greener life

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Electric Vehicles are not the answer - we need a more radical solution


We all know that driving a traditional diesel or petrol car releases CO2 that contributes to Climate Change.  These cars also release pollutants that can be damaging to our health.  Many countries are pledging to phase out the production of diesel vehicles urging the car drivers to switch to electric vehicles.  But are electric cars always the greenest option or should we be concentrating on a different approach altogether?  Whilst electric vehicles undoubtedly produce less CO2 when being driven they are far from being as environmentally friendly as you might think.  For that reason I believe that we should we actually be pushing for a massive reduction in overall car ownership because the negative effect that all cars have on the planet goes far beyond the CO2 they emit whilst being driven.

We need a more radical solution than witching to Electric Vehicles


Monday, 3 June 2019

Going Green #28 - June 2019


Welcome to Going Green. This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world. If you are not sure what subjects would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find all the details about the linky here: Going Green Linky.

Tackling Climate Change through Good Environmental News


If you read my second linked up post about tackling negativity to taking action against Climate Change you'll read how too many harrowing images of the effects of Climate Change actually desensitise people to the problem - a problem now coined Climate Change Fatigue.  There are plenty of ways to counter this and one is to make sure we spread as much good news about the environment as bad.  Who's joining me on being the purveyor of Good Environmental News.

Using good news stories to engage people in tackling climae change