Where will you be doing your Christmas shopping this year? Whether you’ll be in lockdown or not, I imagine there’ll be more festive shopping done online than ever before. So what a great opportunity to seek out gifts and products that are ethical, and brands and retailers that you may not have come across before – the perfect time to spread seasonal love!
I spoke to mother and daughter duo, Sharon and Annie, who set up MettaLife, a one-stop online shop for vegan, ethical and cruelty-free products. Launched in 2019, they now stock over 100 brands and 2,000 products.
If you hadn’t yet noticed, soap bars are having a revival moment. To quote one friend who recently stayed at mine and used one of the three soaps from Earthbits.com that I’ve reviewed here: ‘I haven’t used a soap bar in years – I’ve forgotten how good they are!’
For me natural soap bars are the ultimate in eco and sustainable beauty. If made with planet and people in mind, they could boast no plastic packaging, natural and non-polluting ingredients, zero-waste, kind on skin and can even be homemade.
Making products out of recycled plastics is amazing and it still blows my mind how plastic can be turned into fabric.
So when Clearwaters footwear got in touch to show me how they are tackling ocean and landfill waste by turning plastics into shoes, I couldn’t wait to find out more.
I talked to Clearwaters co-founder Sean Evans to find out exactly how plastic is recycled into their gorgeous, cosy slippers and what more we can do to make recycling plastics a mainstream thing that we can all benefit from.
I’ve been sent some info on a community recycling project that sounded like a great initiative worth sharing, particularly during these challenging times of funding and spending cuts.
Community Recycle is a new venture set up to help schools across the country receive a range of free goods and equipment that otherwise could have gone to waste, sitting in storage for years or be sent to landfill.
It’s taken me a long time to get my head around trying washable sanitary pads. On the one hand, the ultimate eco and sustainable choice as nothing goes to landfill but on the other hand something that’s just outside the comfort zone – how gross can it be?
But it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while and talking to friends and followers about it, it seems others are also interested to try but maybe feeling a bit unsure too. So what was it actually like?
Spoiler alert: It wasn’t that bad at all! Read on to find out why these are worth it…
One of the best ways to encourage the masses to change habits around single-use plastic is to have easy, accessible and affordable alternatives. Replacing cling film in the kitchen with reusable beeswax or vegan wax food wraps is a great example of this. Sustainability in action.
I received a set of these nifty food wraps from a friend as a present a few years ago (great eco present idea btw) but, being a bit worn out now, I was due to replace them soon so I was lucky Bee Zero Waste got in touch, inviting me to try their vegan version.
As sustainability issues continue to grow, more people are thinking about how to make their wedding day more sustainable. Eco-friendly choices from food to decorations are expanding so it’s timely to be introduced to Poppy and Thistle eco wedding stationery.
Beauty brand Weleda kindly invited me and my sister, and we joined a few other green beauty fans, including my fave green make-up artist friends Lou Dartford and Conscious Beauty Union, on a decadent table for an entertainment-filled night at Studio 338 in Greenwich, London.
The year’s event, sponsored by Octopus Energy, was co-hosted by P.E.A. founder Jarvis Smith and biophilic design expert Oliver Heath with an immersive theatre performance by Enlightenment Cafe, including a brilliantly fun Climate Change Bingo.
This new Dr Hauschka Shower Cream comes in innovative sustainable packaging, made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) material, which includes plastic milk bottles. This apparently has saved over 65% of raw oil normally used to make conventional plastic tubes.
The shower cream has a gorgeously soft, creamy texture and an instantly uplifting lemon and lemongrass scent (developed by an in-house perfumer). I’ve been told the shower cream can also double up as a facial cleanser as it has anti-microbial properties. A pea-sized amount is all you need.
Here’s a mini Q&A with Tara O’Rourke, Dr. Hauschka’s brand trainer and expert who explains more about the recycled packaging and Dr Hauschka’s approach to sustainability:
What do you do with your old running shoes? I’ve definitely done a Google search or two over the years for ways to recycle my old trainers, but usually end up taking them to the charity shop. Although I’ve also found community groups who take good quality sports kit and donate it to disadvantaged groups.
Now Runners Need, the specialist running shoe store, has re-launched ‘Recycle my Run’ initiative to give you £20 off your next pair of trainers if you bring in your old running shoes into store before 7th March 2019. In 2018, this same campaign led to 7575 trainers being recycled. How cool is that?
Karine Jackson, Covent Garden IS LONDON’S first certified Sustainable Salon
Ever wondered how eco your hair salon is? Or maybe how eco your hair routine at home is? With the rise in environmental awareness, the University of Southampton discovered haircare and salons to be highly energy intensive (surprise, surprise) so they decided to launch the sustainable salon certification….(insert applause here)…
If you pop along to Karine Jackson salon in Covent Gardenyou’ll get a truly eco experience as it’s now officially the first hairdressers in London with this sustainability certificate. That means Karine and her team have not only made significant changes to reduce water and energy consumption and waste in the salon but advise customers how to do the same at home.
Karine, former London Hairdresser of the Year, has been a life-long advocate of green living and was one of the first salons in the capital to offer organic hair colouring (Organic Colour Systems), which uses fewer chemicals than conventional hair dye, and vegan hairdressing services, which I’ve reviewed several times and highly recommend (- not only for the dairy-free biscuit an almond latte, but for the team’s amazing cut and natural-colour skills).
…someone who washes their hair every day, rinses, repeats and blow dries uses 500kg of carbon dioxide a year. Washing hair every two days and rinsing only once, the carbon footprint goes down by 2000% to just 25kg of carbon dioxide.
Just check out the stats above – this is a single person’s carbon footprint so you can imagine how much energy a salon gets through each day, week and year. So giving a hairdressers a green makeover is not only an environmental win but the energy saving would save the business a ton of money too – a win for all. Karine is hoping this new eco initiative will encourage other salons to get on board too.