Sunday, 10 November 2019

Packaging - Think Outside of the Box


Our kettle died recently and when I brought home the new one it got me thinking about how we need to have a totally radical and innovative new at packaging.  This is what my one kettle "needed":

  • A cardboard box
  • 2 shaped cardboard sections to secure the kettle in the box.
  • 2 plastic bags (one for the kettle and one for the kettle base)
  • A 60 page safety instruction leaflet in 19 different languages
  • A guarantee certificate, approx equivalent to A3 size and also in 19 different languages (not shown, I only found it later inside the safety instruction booklet).
Packaging, Kettle, Single Use, plastic, cardboard.


On first impression this might appear to be relatively sustainable packaging with minimal plastic but sustainability is more than about replacing plastic with other products. It is about reducing unnecessary single use items of all types and where this isn't possible making them more sustainable.

How could this packaging be improved?


1. The box and moulded sections


Cardboard comes with it's own set of environmental problems and is not the ideal resource for single use packaging.  High energy levels are needed to grow, fell and process the trees into cardboard or to recycle old cardboard into new.  Making cardboard involves more water than making the same amount of plastic and involves considerable chemical use.  On the plus side cardboard is relatively easy to recycle and is accepted by almost all local authorities ... but it does have a finite recycling life before it is too poor quality to make new cardboard.  If it does end up in the environment it will break down far quicker than plastic but in landfill it will produce methane as it degrades.

However, the problem here is not so much the material the packaging is made from but the fact it is single use.  In order to transport my new kettle from factory to shop to my home it is deemed necessary to put it in a box with moulded sections, plastic bags, a safety booklet and a guarantee certificate.  All single use.  No other kettle will ever make use of this packaging and once I've unpacked it at home the box's short life is finished (unless I can use it in some way myself).  And I reckon I can safely say no-one will read all 60 pages of the multi language safety booklet and guarantee.  No-one.

A solution.


It's time to think outside of the box.  We need manufacturers to be looking at ways to transport their goods in reusable packaging and shops to encourage their customers to say no to the box altogether (a kettle would quite happily go in a normal shopping bag). Alternatively shops could supply standard plain boxes for transporting goods home for which customers pay a deposit. Now it is a reusable box taking many kettles home thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of what was previously a single use box.

Arguments against reusable boxes


i. The box will soon become tatty.

Sorry but get over it. If it is simply there to protect your kettle until it gets home then a bit of a tatty edge is irrelevant.

New packaging materials are being made all the time now that it is realised our current packaging is not sustainable. Once these become commercially available we may well be boxes that are almost immune to damage or could easily be recycled/composted once they are no longer the right size to package a particular item.

ii.  It will cost me time and money to return the box.

There are many ways round this:
  • If you buy locally I am sure you'll be in the locality of the shop at some time in the near future and can return it ... 
  • Or a friend can ... 
  • Or central return points could be organised for packaging from a wide range of suppliers. Maybe even a chip in the box could facilitate returning the packaging to the right retailer.  With a chip system in place couriers could take back packaging of products bought online and be able to redistribute them back to the manufacturer. .

2. The plastic bags


Does a kettle actually need these 2 bags? Manufacturers will probably argue that they protect the kettle but I am confident that with well made reusable boxes the plastic bags will become redundant. 

3. 60 page safety leaflet in 19 different languages


When selling goods shops could email you the relevant literature or a link to where to find it online.  If customers do not have internet access the shop could print out and give them the details in whichever language they ask for. No more 60 page booklets!

4. The guarantee


A till receipt should suffice or a simple online registration. This paper guarantee is just not needed.

Disclaimer and Summary


I am not a packaging expert and I do not have all the answers but I do know that we need to consign single use packaging to history and that there are plenty of more sustainable alternatives.   And this thinking outside of the box needs to be applied across all aspects of our lives.  We need to be much more innovative in our approach to tackling climate related problems so it is not simply the case of switching from one thing to another that may well have it's own set of environmental problems.  What we actually need to be doing is fundamentally questioning how we live our lives and making radical changes. We need to be thinking outside of the box on everything, not just packaging.

And for those of you who dig in your heels and make excuses for rejecting changes I say this to you.  Stop. Making. Excuses.  It is the all too easy option to maintain the status quo but the key to providing a future for our children is based on our ability to evolve and embrace change, even if this means a bit more effort from each of us.  I live in hope that history lessons of the future will look back on how we packaged goods today and laugh at how unimaginative and unsustainable we were.  But only if we accept changes will those history lessons even be able to take place.

What do you think? Are you ready to think outside of the box?

Packaging, think outside of the box, innovation, new ideas

Other posts you might like - click on the image to visit them:

https://eco-gites.blogspot.com/2018/08/why-going-vegan-wont-save-world.htmlhttps://eco-gites.blogspot.com/2019/06/electric-vehicles-are-not-answer-we.htmlhttps://eco-gites.blogspot.com/2019/01/social-media-contacts-for-supermarkets.html

Monday, 4 November 2019

Going Green #33 - November 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.

I'm dreaming of a GREEN Christmas


Did you know that early images of Father Christmas showed the jovial present giver dressed not in red but in green?  It was only after a well know drinks company decided to use him (and their corporate red colour) that Farther Christmas became the familiar figure in red we know today.  Bearing in mind that particular beverage company has an appalling environmental track record I think it's high time we brought back our green Santa.

OK, so I am probably not going to get that to happen but I can at least try and help you make your Christmas as green as possible. For starters there were a couple of festive posts in last month's Going Green including a round up of 60+ ideas for home-made gifts from Attachment Mummy and plastic free glitter from The Mad House of Cats and Babies.  I have also put together a round up of various eco-friendly Christmas related posts I have written - everything from seasonal food, to presents and how to wrap them.  Hopefully you can use these hints and tips to have a fabulous yet sustainable Christmas.  If you have any similar posts please do let me know and I can add them.

Vintage card with green Father Christmas


My picks from Going Green October 2019


Thank you to everyone who linked up in October - there was such a great mix of posts showing just how easy it is to make every part of your life greener.

    Sustaintable bike tour in Copenhagen

      How to overcome the hurdles of going green


      • And finally Vicky from Home Grown and Foraged brought us right up to date with details of UK apps and websites that can help you reduce waste and grab a bargain.
      If you missed these posts do head over now for a read.

      Now for the linky:

      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 💚.  Let's work to

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

      • Link up to THREE posts
      • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life. Posts without these will find they need moderating before being published.
      • 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. 

      I will sahre all posts on Twitter and Facebook.  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.


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







      You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
      Click here to enter



      Sunday, 3 November 2019

      How to have the best ever Green Christmas


      It can sometimes seem impossible to keep Christmas green when everywhere you turn the "spend spend spend" message is shoved in your face.  However I do feel that the greener message is beginning to get through with more and more people realising that we cannot keep spending on things we really don't need and we really must reduce how much we waste in all aspects of our lives.  Over the years I have been blogging I've written various blogs on how to celebrate Christmas whilst staying true to my green roots and as my present to you this upcoming festive season I've put them all together in this round-up:

      Green Christmas tips


      Happy GREEN Christmas


      Presents


      Green Christmas Present Ideas - The Ultimate List

      7 Green Christmas Present Ideas

      Decorations


      8 Christmas decoration ideas using natural materials

      6 ways to make your Christmas jumper "green"

      Food


      7 Foods in season at Christmas

      Waste


      Generally


      The Ultimate Collection of Green Christmas Ideas 

      I'd be happy to include more Green Christmas blogs in this round up so if you have a post you'd like me to add either drop details in a comment or drop me an email me here.

      So how are you planning to celebrate Christmas whilst also keeping it green?





      Saturday, 2 November 2019

      It's time to swap for a better world


      Who is old enough to remember the TV programme Swap Shop?  It was a ground-breaking children's entertainment programme that aired for 3 hours on a Saturday morning on BBC.  It included music, interviews with celebrities, competitions, cartoons and news coverage - but the name of the programme came from the part called the show called the "Swaporama" where children could swap their toys etc with other children.  I very much doubt thinking green and keeping items out of the bin was behind the concept but it was immensely popular and over the 146 episodes must have seen so many items find a new home rather than ending up in landfill.

      They say "one man's rubbish is another man's gold" and how often do you think about throwing something out that is of no further use to you but think it must be useful to some-one else?  We need to bring Swap Shop back to the 21st century and make it more than just something for kids to swap their toys etc.  You don't need to be a TV producer, though, and there are plenty of ways to swap items and organise your own swap events.

      Swap your unwanted goods


      Swap Ideas


      Work swap event


      Would you be consider organising a swap event at your work?  A lady I follow (@naturallyjackielane) over on Instagram did this at her workplace in Ottowa with great success ... click here to go to the details over on Instagram:



      Set up a book swap


      These are springing up all over the place.  In Normandy I've seen several in old phone boxes (including this one in an old British red phone box in Aunay-Sur-Odon) but you could make a custom small box or even set up a book exchange in the corner of a pub or café.  We are happy for guests in our gite to swap books from the book shelves and it means by the end of the busy summer period we have some new books to read.



      Get your local council to organise a large scale swap event


      A friend used to be the recycling officer for a local council. He organised an event where the public could bring all their unwanted items to a local school for swapping and what wasn't re-homed by the end of the day was taken to the dump, sorted and sent off for recycling.  Everything was welcome including rubble and soil down to small household items.  My friend joked that the only things they refused at the swap were animals and children!  Why don't a group of you get together and approach your local council to see if they would run a similar event?

      Hobby swaps


      Excess seeds, plants and seedlings, produce can all be swapped with fellow gardeners and growers - you could organise this with your local allotment group and open the event up to everyone to ensure as many garden related goods as possible get swapped.

      And all sorts of other items could be swapped with like-minded individuals - you could organise similar events with baby and toddler groups for clothes/toys etc, school swaps for uniform/equipment etc, craft group swaps for supplies ... the list is as long as there are hobbies, pastimes and groups of like-minded people.

      #1swap


      The Midcounties Co-op ran this initiative where shoppers are asked to swap one item in their shopping trolley for one fair trade item.  A simple swap that can have a huge positive impact on small scale farmers around the world. But you don't need to stop there - next week you could swap any one (or more) of any of the following: something organic, something that is plastic packaging-free, something made without palm oil or something in season/local rather than imported/out of season.  You could also choose to make one meal that you usually buy ready made.  You might not be able to make your whole shop perfectly sustainable overnight but several small swaps really do start to make a difference and the more that sustainable items are bought the more their price will come down.  With #1swap you can start making sustainable shopping available for all.

      Swap one meat meal for one veggie/vegan one


      We all know by now that a more vegetarian/vegan diet is better for the environment than a diet havey in meat and dairy but for many people a straight switch to a plant based diet isn't going to happen - but if we all swapped one meat meal a week for a veggie or vegan one we could make a significant difference.

      Christmas 


      Christmas does not have to be a hugely wasteful time.  Apparently many lifestyle magazines and influencers encourage people to change their decoration every year and people cite "decorations not matching new decor" as being a reason for buying all new ones. If you really want to change your decorations why not swap with a friend or set up a local second-hand Christmas swap fair. There are so many festive items you could swap: half opened packets of cards or wrapping paper, festive tableware, Christmas jumpers and festive film DVDs for example.


      Swapping websites


      What-ever you have in excess can most likely be swapped and remember, you can swap goods for services, skills and even holiday homes!  Maybe you could find presents for friends and family through one of these swapping websites:
       
      www.swapz.co.uk Swap site for various goods and services. Just get imaginative with what you can offer and how you want "paying".
      www.swapcycle.co.uk and www.swapitshop.com Goods for exchange.
      www.whatsmineisyours.com Clothes and accessories.
      www.swishing.org Organise a clothes swap party with friends.
      www.gardenswapshop.co.uk/ For gardeners who have seeds to swap.
      www.readitswapit.co.uk Book-swapping site.
      www.u-exchange.com Houses all over the world available for holiday exchanges.
      www.letslinkuk.net Community networks which link people who want to swap their skills and goods.

      You can also use local selling sites such as Gumtree, Ebay, Facebook Market Place to swap rather than sell/buy

      Can I tempt you to make a swap this week ... and next week ... and maybe the one after that too? It should have minimal impact on you but together our swaps can have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment.  Swapping also reduces the emphasis on everything having a monetary value so it places more significance on our environment as opposed to our bank balances.  This can only be a good thing for the planet where capitalism and excess consumerism have led us to where we are now.

      It's time to swap for a better world.  What will you swap today?

      It's time to swap for a better world


      Other blog posts you might also like. Click on the images to open the posts:

      Eco-Friendly party bag ideasHow our addiction to fast fashion is harming the planetBranded Toy Giveaways encourage consumerism in children
         

      Sunday, 13 October 2019

      Vegetarian Winter Salads Made Easy


      Eating locally grown foods is one of the most sustainable ways you can feed yourself and you get bonus points if the ingredients don't need to be cooked.  In the summer it is easy to make salads but this may seem more challenging in the winter and with supermarkets supplying all type of fruit and veg all year round it can also be difficult to know what is is season and what has flown halfway round the world to grace your dinner plate.  Help is at hand.  Below is a list of salad friendly vegetables and fruits that are in season in winter and with so many great winter veggies to choose from you won't miss tomatoes, avocado and cucumber etc.  One point of note though, even if you are buying from this list do check where the produce is from as supermarkets will still often import from far away if it best suits them.

      Use in season fruit and veg to make great winter salads


      Salad Vegetables and Fruits in Season in Winter


      All of these (with the exception perhaps of squash) can be eaten raw which is a real bonus, saving energy and retaining the maximum amount of nutrients in the food.  Citrus fruits and pomegranates will be imported but choosing those nearby countries such as Spain reduces food miles. You may be unfamiliar with eating some of these raw in salads but do give them a go. And for all of them choose younger and smaller ones over older bigger ones - they will be crunchier and sweeter. Save the big ones for slow cooked stews and warming soups!

      • Red, white and green cabbages are great shredded or grated in salads or slaws
      • Cress and sprouted seeds - these are super easy to grow at home
      • Celeriac - grated
      • Carrot - shaved or grated
      • Kohl rabi (early winter)
      • Beetroot - grated raw or roasted
      • Winter salad leaves - rocket, lambs lettuce/corn salad, cress, radicchio, claytonia, purslane, land cress, various oriental greens  etc
      • Kale
      • Fennel
      • Cauliflower broken into small florets
      • Raw Brussel sprouts, sliced finely but do choose small young sprouts which are sweeter
      • Onions especially red ones which tend to be sweeter
      • Leeks, thinly sliced - again go for young ones
      • Roasted squash
      • Apples
      • Cranberries
      • Citrus fruit
      • Pomegranates

      Extras for your winter salad


      Once you have a based of vegetables you can boost your salad with any of these great additions.

      • Dried fruit
      • Seeds such as pine nuts, courgette, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, sunflower etc
      • Nuts
      • Small amounts of cheese
      • Hard boiled eggs
      • Olives and pickles
      • Fresh herbs - you can keep pots of herbs growing all year on a warm window sill

      Dressings


      Creating a tasty salad dressing can change a salad from being a bowl of slightly less than interesting vegetables to a veritable feast.  Get adventurous mixing new dressings from the following ingredients:

      • Good quality oils
      • Various vinegars - wine, cider, balsamic, herb or fruit infused
      • Sherry
      • Lemon or lime juice
      • Orange and other fruit juices
      • Mustards
      • Garlic
      • Herbs, spices and chilli
      • Pomegranate molasses - if you've never tried this before you are in for a treat ... but get a good quality one for the best flavour.  It works magnificently with red cabbage salads.

      There are plenty of pages of recipes for winter salads online so do have a search (Using Ecosia.org of course) or try out these ideas:

      My very own grated beetroot salad - remember to keep some mint growing in a pot inside for this one.

      Winter salad - grated beetroot and apple


      Vegan feta winter salad from Curiously Consious. As cucumber will not be in season swap for something else crunchy that will be - I reckon apples would work well or maybe small cauliflower florets.

      Winter salad with feta beetroot and seasonal leaves


      Roasted butternut salad from Nancy on the Homefront.  This one includes iceberg lettuce that will not be in season in winter but you can easily use any of the salad greens I list above.

      Winter salad with roasted butternut squash and spinach


      Do you have a favourite way to eat salads in winter?

      All you need to know to make great winter salads - seasonal ingredients and salad dressings


      Other posts you might like. Click on the images to open the articles:

       7 more reasons to cook from scratch 21 ways to cook more efficiently 7 green reasons to cook from scratch


      Monday, 7 October 2019

      Going Green #32 - October 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.

      Climate Strikes


      First we had The Blue Planet Effect and then we had the global climate strikes on September 20th 2019.  Awareness that we absolutely have to changes our ways and we have to do it urgently is gathering momentum and we need to keep it going.  To that end I have linked up 2 posts that show what we can all do right now, one aimed at everyone and one aimed specifically at the section of our population who stand to gain most from the changes - children.

      I would also urge you to do some reading.  I am part way through the book "There is No Planet B" by Mike Berners-Lee which outlines where we are now and what we have to do mitigate the negative knock-on effect of our combined actions.  In part in makes for depressing reading but it is also a very positive book, showing that it is entirely achievable to stop increased levels in atmospheric CO2 without losing our current standard of living.



      My picks from Going Green September 2019


      Thank you to everyone who linked up in September - these were 3 of my favourite posts:

      • Isabel at Sustainable Responsible Living gave us a range of healthy sweet snacks without plastic packaging.
      raw brownies, healthy snacks, recipes

      • Annette from Four Acorns wrote about something that I suspect we all suffer from - Climate Anxiety and how she deals with it.
      fireweed-flowers-epilobes-epilobium-angustifolium  

      • And finally Emma from Small Footprints Big Adventures gave a very detailed account of which are the best shopping/grocery bags to use. Interesting stuff and not always what you would have expected. 
      Choosing reusable bags can be confusing!



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

      Calling Eco-Instagrammers

      If you are on Instagram and would like to join a group of like minded people to help support and promote your account. If you are interested please follow and then DM  backcountrycitygirl.

      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 💚.  Let's work to

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

      • Link up to THREE posts
      • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life. That will 
      • 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.







      You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
      Click here to enter


      Monday, 23 September 2019

      Children of the world, you are the Generation to reverse Climate Change. Act now.


      Wow - will September 20th 2109 go down in history as the day the world woke up because the children shouted so loudly? I sincerely hope so.

      The Climate Strikes are fabulous. They have made so many more people aware of the looming climate crisis and put increasing pressure on Governments to act. However, it is not just Governments who need to act now to stop humanity destroying itself (and many other species and habitats at the same time) and we ALL need to make some big changes to our lifestyles. Even as children there is so much you can do right now reduce YOUR impact on the planet.  You are more than likely the last generation who can make the changes need to avert a total crisis.  Please read on and please become eco-friendly even before you are an adult.

      Image credit


      Eco-friendly actions children can do, right now.


      Food


      • Only take the food you will eat - don't take too much and don't waste food.
      • Learn how to cook especially those things that are heavily packaged - don't just watch Bake Off, become a baker!!  Learn how to make bread, biscuits etc. Reject plastic packed processed food and aim for delicious home made goodies.
      • Takeaways - the beef in your burger may have come from a cow grazed on land that was, until recently, rain forest. Your fried chicken will most likely be from a factory farmed bird pumped full of growth hormones.  Parents often buy takeaways when they are short of time to cook a meal but you can help out.  Do some of the cooking or help with other jobs around the house to free up your parent's time.
      • Choose a vegetarian meal when you eat out.
      • Cut out those plastic packaged snacks that may well also contain palm oil.


      School


      • Ask if your  school will set up an environmental club and help run it.
      • Likewise ask for and help look after a school veg garden and suggest your school invites in environmental professionals to give talks and run workshops.
      • Lunch boxes - make your own sweet/savoury snacks and use reusable sandwich wraps. Make seasonal salads in reusable containers.  Take a reusable water bottle and say no to so many fizzy drinks or squash.
      • If you eat school dinners, pick the veggie option.
      • If available choose lesson options that give you skills as well as academic qualifications - cookery, woodwork etc
      • Look to follow a career that is environmentally friendly - green technology, environmental consultancy, organic agriculture etc. and chose the appropriate courses to reach our career goal.
      • Learn about politics and how governments work so you will be better informed when you are old enough to vote.


      Special Events


      • Over the next year you'll all have a birthday and then there's Christmas, Halloween, Easter etc so ask for fewer gifts and/or eco-friendly ones. Reject all th eplastic paraphernalia that goes with Halloween.  The generous grandparent can be a sticking point but politely tell them that their apparent generosity spending out on gifts you don't need is actually damaging your future. By spoiling you now they are spoiling your future.


      Fashion


      • You are no doubt going to need a new wardrobe as you outgrow your current one but consider buying fewer items and choose those from ethical and sustainable suppliers. Even if you can't do this reject the excess and enjoy a slimmer wardrobe.
      • Stop buying clothes online and returning those you don't like - did you know returned items invariably go to landfill as that is easier than checking they are clean and repackaging them?
      • Wear clothes until they actually need washing and get out of the habit if tossing them in the wash basket as soon as you take them off. 
      • Pass your outgrown clothes onto younger/smaller friends and family members and be proud to wear second hand.
      • Learn to make, mend and alter your own clothes.


      Personal care


      • Toiletries - ask your parents to buy you eco-friendly brands and products such as bars of soap and solid shampoo. If these cost more you could pay for the extra yourself from your pocket money.
      • Make up - consider how much you buy and finish what you have before you buy more. Could you cut back how much make-up you use, anyway? 
      • Sanitary wear - use washable sanitary pads or a reusable Mooncup. These may appear expensive but in the long term you will save a fortune.


      Your Garden


      • Ask if  you can take over a small part of your garden and start growing some veg for your family.  Even without a garden you can grow some herbs in a pot or cress on a plate on the windowsill. There's more growing ideas here
      • If you have no space in your garden you could offer to help out at the local allotments in exchange for veg and fruit.


      Leisure time


      • Join an environmental club or conservation organisation and start to become an expert on environmental issues.  You can get involved in wildlife surveys and maintaining local green spaces, parks and wildlife reserves.
      • Learn a useful skill.  I've already mentioned about helping to cook at home so join a cooking club to build up kitchen skills.  What about joining a sewing class so you make and mend clothes? Or classes on carpentry etc that will mean you can make and mend all sorts of things.
      • Become a Cub, Brownie or Guide as these organisations have become very green focused. You'll learn loads and be with other like minded people.
      • Join and use the local library. 
      • Could you help set up a toy library or a free book swap?
      • Technology - your phone takes a lot of resources and energy to be built and the servers that allow you access to the internet use A LOT of electricity.  It's time to get used to keeping your current phone etc MUCH longer and using it A LOT less.  When you are busy helping cook meals and snacks, looking after that veg patch and spending time in that environmental club you'll be on the phone less anyway so it will last longer! And you really don't need the latest phone, earphones, games console, tv etc etc - be happy with what you have right now and make it last.
      • Turn all your technology off when not in use - do not leave them on energy sapping standby.
      • Switch your search engine to Ecosia who use their profits to plant trees.


      Eco-friendly thinking


      • Remember to turn off the light, put on a jumper rather than ask to turn up the heating, only boil the amount if water you need for your drink, use both sides of the paper, only print what you really need, use a refillable water bottle, say no to straws etc etc etc. Question all your actions and see if you can do better.
      • Become an eco-complainer - contact shops, businesses, politicians to voice your concerns.  On the flip side praise those who are taking on board positive action. You may not have the same spending power/voting rights as your parents but remind those you contact that very soon you will be an adult and you will then have the choice where you spend your money/place your voting cross.  They need to prove to you that they are worthy in environmental terms of having your custom/vote.
      • Consider how you spend your pocket money/allowance - choose wisely and don't just spend for the sake of it. Ask yourself if you really need to buy a particular thing or perhaps even more importantly does the planet need you to buy it?
      • Learn to recognise greenwashing - many companies will be promoting things that appear to be really green but may be less so when you look into it a bit more. For example companies may from plastic straws to paper ones but either supplying them in plastic sleeves or the paper one actually is non recyclable or compostable. This is greenwashing and the best solution is to reject straws totally, even reusable ones as they take energy and resources to produce. 
      • Ignore peer pressure - often as young people you want to fit in with everyone else and peer pressure can force you to make poor environmental choices.  Be strong and do what you know is right for the planet. Choose your friends carefully and be a green leader not a planet harming hanger on. 
      • Learn to recognise fake news. Question everything and get to the truth. 
      • Be the change you want to see in the world and be your parent's personal advisory service.  Research good environmental practice and help your whole family to make positive environmental choices.  This blog post lists 365 ways you can help the planet - help your parents to make these changes.

      The future is in your hands.


      I have heard some children blaming their parents for the state of the planet but this simply isn't true (who to blame is the subject of a whole separate blog post).  Yes, they have played their part in getting us to this crisis point mostly through ignorance of their actions but blaming them is not helpful.  In all likelihood the Climate Strikes you and your friends have set in motion will lead Governments to make changes but it will also need a committed change from the whole human race to ensure success, especially those of you lucky enough to live in the developed world. 

      You have had luxury and convenience all your lives and to a level unlike any previous generation and whilst no-one is expecting you to return to poverty you will need to make many changes from now on.  Soon you will no longer be a child and by starting to live a greener lifestyle now you will find it so much easier as you enter adulthood.  You will be ready for a more simple life which does not crave material goods, that supports local and ethical businesses, where your food is seasonal and there is less waste. A world where we support everyone be they a fellow human, an animal or a plant.

      I think I know the type of world you want to live in.  And for that world to be a reality it will be your personal lifestyle choices that will determine whether you and all the generations that come after you can achieve this.   For that reason there has never been a better day to start making changes. Show the world now that you can do what so many previous generations have failed to achieve.

      Together you are strong. Together you can do this!



      Thursday, 19 September 2019

      7 eco friendly things you can do this week


      More and more people are now aware that we need to make major changes to our lives to stop a climate catastrophe and it is going to take more that buying a reusable coffee cup or rejecting wet wipes.  Millions across  the globe are striking today to support action - are you?

      Strike against Climate Change


      This movement started when Greta Thurnberg was a sole person striking outside her school but it has now grown into an international movement supported by hundreds of thousands of people of all ages.  Joins students and adults alike on Friday 20th September 2019 to tell governments and businesses we not only want change we absolutely need it.  There will be other dates for direct action if you are reading this after September 20th so click on the link above to keep up to date.

      Students strike again Climate Change.
      Photo credit

      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

      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