Lent Plastic Challenge 2017

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After the wonderful feedback and engagement we have had in previous years we will be facilitating another Lent Plastic Challenge from Wednesday 1st March to Sunday 15th April.

The challenge is a positive one, choose one or two items to find alternatives to each week. And you are not alone. There is a supportive Facebook community and each week we provide a tip sheet with inspiration, discounts and offers. You can also follow on Twitter and Instagram too. Use the #lentplasticchallenge and #plasticchallenge.

In the last few weeks there have been some exciting developments with the UN launching their plastics campaign and countries pledging to tackle their  impacts, so what a great time to really create a public shift in the perception of plastics.

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In other news, Cocoa Cola have also said they are now, after years of lobbying against, behind a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles  in Scotland. And A Plastic Planet are lobbying supermarkets for a plastic aisle.

Be part of the solution NOT the pollution

By joining the free Lent Plastic Challenge you can share your tips and inspire your friends and family too.

You can find out some of the reasons that plastic are bad for our health and the planet’s here.

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Healthy City Week Bristol Plans

Healthy City Week is an inspirational week of activities and events that join the dots between sustainability , health and wellbeing. There is literally something for everyone from babies to elders, workers to walkers, from Avonmouth to Southmead and everywhere in between.  And as I have been involved with the project, and the generous contributors I have a very full itinerary of events I will be attending, so please do join me at one of the below or check out the full timetable here

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Saturday 15th

Healthy, Active and Green Living Day 10-5pm Free,  drop in

To open Healthy City Week, we invite you to a community day of activities, talks, workshops and delicious food in the heart of Barton Hill at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and Barton Hill Settlement. The afternoon will culminate in a debate on current health and sustainability issues for local communities. Jointly organised by Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, Bristol Community Health CIC and Wellspring Healthy Living Centre.

Sunday 16th

Mainly this is going to be about activism fuelled with a little raw food!

A Basic Guide to Eating Raw Food with Shane Jordan
11.30am–12.30pm Windmill Hill City Farm Free, book online

A workshop on creating delicious nutritious meals from edible raw fruit and vegetables. “The cost of cooking accounts for about 4% of the average gas and electricity bill” says uSwitch. Raw food meals helps save money and allows more freedom by preparing food manually.

Alternative Visions with Community Harts
1–2pm Hamilton House Free, book online

Community Harts has been running a competition, ‘What’s Your Alternative Vision for Heathrow?’ for sustainable ideas for the community of Heathrow, alternatives to the proposed £17 billion runway. We will explain the positive outcomes through community creativity.

Tackling Big Tobacco in My Town (Bristol!)
2–3pm | Hamilton House. Free, reserve a place by e-mailing organiser or book online

The talk will highlight 4 decades of witty, high-profile, anti-tobacco direct action – sabotaging Big Tobacco’s PR, localising tobacco’s toll, using Valentine’s Day and Halloween and picketing shareholder meetings. Are there lessons for other health campaigns? Email Cecilia.Farren@tobaccoaction.org.

Protestival presents Barriers to Utopia
3–5pm | Hamilton House. Free, book on Facebook or drop-in

This workshop aims to empower local communities and provide insights into community organizing and social change. Healthy City Week encompasses issues of social justice and climate change, as well as the health of the city’s inhabitants, so we will be talking about different issues that present themselves as barriers to a utopian society as well as exploring our ideas of what a healthy city actually is and how
to improve city life.

Monday 17th

Bards of Avalon Therapeutic Sound Bath for relaxation 6–7pm at Amarelle Showroom Free, book online.

Let stresses melt away and experience deep relaxation with a therapeutic sound bath. Join Bea Martin and David Johnson, community soundworkers, as they combine their voices with the sounds of Himalayan Bowls, Gongs to create an uplifting soundscape to enhance your wellbeing. Contact 07504 301117 top ask any questions.

Tuesday 18th

Protecting the health of our water & environment: Lunchtime talk from Patric Bulmer, Bristol Water
12.30–1.30pm in the Healthy City Week Hub at Triodos Bank. Free, drop-in & bring your own lunch – Pukka teas provided

The Biodiversity Index is Bristol Water’s pioneering new approach to protecting the health of the environment, by measuring performance in terms of habitat protection and enhancement. This talk focuses on the Southern Resilience Scheme – a 30km water main through Somerset – and how we will work with partners like Natural England, schools and land owners to improve biodiversity.

Panel Discussion with Bristol Energy Network: Health Inequalities and Climate Change
6–9pm Food provided 6–6.30pm. Free, book online

People on low incomes often use the least energy and are therefore the least responsible for climate change. However, they often pay more for their energy than others and may need to use more energy to heat their homes sufficiently to prevent poor health. How can we tackle climate change whilst also taking into account health inequalities and people’s different needs?

Wednesday 19th

Laughter Wellness with Joe Hoare
1–1.30pm & 1.30–2pm at The New Room, Broadmead. Free, book online or drop-in for either session:

How simple basic laughter wellness practices promote engagement, connection, mindfulness and general wellbeing. Personal wellbeing is the cornerstone for professional wellbeing and peak organisational effectiveness. Contact Joe with any questions on 07812 159943.

Sustrans hosts a panel debate to explore: Should our transport system be considered a public health issue?
2.30–5pm. Free, book online

Sustrans host a panel debate looking at the impact our transport system has on the health of the city. The panel will present on their specialist topics and includes Dr Adrian Davis, Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Mike Harris, James Durie and Zoe Banks-Gross. Questions from the
audience will be chaired by Martin Booth, Editor of Bristol 24/7.

Turmeric – More Than Just Curcumin 5.30-6.45pm St. Werburghs Better Food store Free, Book online

Join Katie Pande, Senior Herbal Advisor at Pukka Herbs for this informative talk about the superfood turmeric.

Curcumin is undoubtedly a key active medicinal constituent found in turmeric; but there is so much more to this vibrant root. In this talk, Katie will be talking about some of the other amazing and powerful constituents present in this plant’s essential oils and their benefits for healthy and wellbeing.

Thursday 20th

Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra with Mel Skinner
9.30–10.30am in the Healthy City Week Hub at Triodos Bank. Free, drop-in

Many of us suffer from physical or emotional tension. Restorative yoga helps to remove some of the physical tension in the body and yoga nidra helps us connect to our deeper self, where great peace can be found.

Jenny Gibbs, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – Lunchtime talk on Medicines Waste
12.30–13.30pm in the Healthy City Week Hub. Free, drop-in and bring your own lunch – Pukka teas provided

Research has identified that medicines waste is a big problem in Bristol, costing the NHS an estimated £5.7 million a year. Wasted medicines cannot treat anyone and poor patient compliance with prescribed medication affects health and quality of life. If not disposed of correctly, wasted medicines cause harm to the environment. Learn more about this recent CCG study.

West of England Nature Partnership presents A Natural Health Service: Developing partnerships
6–8.30pm in the Healthy City Week Hub at Triodos Bank. Free, book online

The West of England Nature Partnership invites you to an evening event to explore how nature and health partners are working together to deliver integrated and improved health outcomes. From green prescriptions to woodland wellbeing, inspiring young people and empowering elders, discover how nature can help shift the focus from illness to lifelong wellness… naturally!

Friday 21st

A Letter to Your Pain & Duet for One: Elspeth Penny & Raquel Meseguer
5–7pm HOURS Space, 10 Colston Yard. Book online or just turn up (suggested contribution £3)

A space dedicated to those with an invisible disability or long-term pain condition: this is your space, and invites your plus ones to experience a two-part workshop tailored to you. Elspeth will guide you to write, create or draw a letter to your body or pain. Raquel will then invite you and your plus ones to find a truly comfortable groove. An inclusive dance, we will end by following the bravest small dance in the room, and finally find stillness together.

Saturday 22nd

Flexitarian Restaurant Award Food Trail
12noon Group discount tour. Book online & check website for departure point, times & maps

Join us for a food trail to celebrate the launch of the Flexitarian Restaurant Award, featuring restaurants and cafés leading the way in making eating out better for the health of people and planet! Choose a pre-paid discount group tour to visit a selection of local eateries and try tasters of exciting plant-based dishes, or print out one of our free maps and pay-as-you-go.

No More Taboo: Breaking down taboos-by laughing!
Doors 7.30pm, Start 7.45pm Roll for the Soul £6/£5 concession, book online

Laughing is proven to improve your health. So come join us for a comedy gala, poking fun at the taboos that still exist in our city. Periods, women’s empowerment and sustainability will be the common themes for the evening. From improv to stand-up, performers will amuse
and bemuse attendees helping break down taboos. All proceeds go to No More Taboo’s work with homeless women in Bristol helping them to have a happier, healthier period.

The Art of Protest

 

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As an environmentally conscious individual, it often doesn’t feel enough just to try and live a low carbon lifestyle when you hear about all the atrocities of large corporations and the complicity of Governments. The question I often have, and many of my friends is “cliktavism, marches ; protests -what can we do to make the biggest impact?”

But do politicians really listen to the angry protesters voices, and can they publicly be seen to react? After listening to books like Bill McKiben’s ‘Oil and Honey’, I was reminded that often political leaders can’t be seen to give in to the voice of protesters as they would be perceived as weak by their political counterparts.

So what to do? McKiben talks about positive, peaceful protests, reinforcing Obama’s pre- lection rhetoric rather than negatively criticising him as the stance they adopted when tackling the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011. And as someone who believes that negativity breeds negativity it makes sense to approach environmental campaigns in another way. Although,  I certainly have enjoyed attending marches against austerity and fracking.; the aspects I enjoy the most are the song singing and the sense of community and solidarity I come back with.

Throughout 2016, I have been following  the BP or not BP campaign with admiration, as a great way to highlight and engage people in the issues of climate change using creative direct action. So I was really pleased that finally  I had a  free weekend to atte20160925_140001nd the Splash Mob that was due to take over the British Museum on September 29th.

The instructional email I received, which was littered with hilarious fish and sea alliteration, set the tone for a fun, positive and respectful afternoon of theatrical activism.

On Sunday 25th,  the fun began as my friend and I worked out how we could cycle and then get  our mermaid costumes in the museum without them being confiscated by security.  Safely in,  the sense of unity and excitement began to bubble as we bumped into friends and strangers who were unveiling their glittering attire and putting on their fishy facepaint and makeup.

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The performance began to the summoning of a conch sound and merfolk and fishes congregated from each corner of the museum, and museum goers looked on in bemusement( the amp had been confiscated so some of the performances prose got lost in the echoey chamber of the great court. However every time a song broke out (that we joined in with), the audience swelled like the tide with intrigue. The performance took a stomping, singing procession around the museum until we came face-to face with 20160925_145920the Cracken, a 10 metre black sea monster puppet who consumed a fictional museum manager (we weren’t sure if he was real initially). We also wondered how this got in past security!

The real museum staff and security were patient and accommodating allowing the piece to take place with photographers recording the whole affair. Obviously that is what we should expect, and with organisers making it clear that their was to be no damage or disrespect paid to staff, and the atmosphere was positive, with the activists brushing up the paper oil rain that was on the floor.

With the British Museum already signing a another 5 year contract with BP, one could feel like the action was futile. As we sat on the step recollecting on the experience, we wondered about the museum visitors. – will they think twice about filling their cars up with fuel from BP or will they read into the issues of BP’s deep drilling plans or the issues of climate change???? Perhaps that is something that can’t be quantified by today. What I can be sure of is that it was an injection of campaigning ‘fuel’ for myself and my friend who is prohibited from protesting by his work contract. We felt reignited on ways to get involved and to approach environmental campaigning- song, theatrically, good nature and positivism.

So in the spirit of the Splash Mob all that is left to say, or sing (to the tune of  the Drunken sailor song) “What should we do with the corporate sponsor, what should we do with the corporate sponsor, what should we do with the corporate sponsor, kick them out of culture”!

Climate Change Requires System Change NOT Hereos

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In the midst of the COP 21 talks in Paris, I walked through Swindon station on a Sunday evening, and was stopped in my tracks by the above banner. Many thoughts ran through my head as I tried to fathom the objective of Birmingham University, in advocating their professors as heroes saving the UK from an energy crisis, so we can all carry on with ‘business as usual’.

I am still unclear if they are aimed at encouraging people to join their courses, or they are being sponsored by an energy company to encourage people to keep their heating turned up whilst the three ‘middle-class scientists’ save the day. Either way, following the catastrophic floods in the UK, we just don’t have time to wait for them to create new technologies  in order to avoid another 1-3 degree rise in global warming, or as per the message, run out of energy.

Technology is not the only answer

I am not suggesting they are not part of the solutions that need to be taken to address the impacts modern living is having on the climate. On inspection of their website, it appears that they have been funded and are working on technology to address:

  • Energy-efficient cooling systems due to the levels of energy required by refrigeration, air conditioners and data storage
  • Thermal storage systems for excess energy that is created

But as stated by Alice Bows Larkin, the Professor of Climate Science & Energy Policy we need to focus on serious energy efficiency and climate conservation first and foremost while these technologies are being developed. Particularly as the rest of the world starts to catch up with similar levels of energy consumption and fossil fuel burning.

Energy efficiency and energy conservation required by all

There have been many schemes to encourage people to insulate their lofts and undertake cavity insulation but these need to go much further according to Alice Bows Larkin. She is suggesting a programme of  government-led ‘energy austerity’ by developed countries, because if we don’t we can expect a 4 degree temperature increase. The current government are keen on financial austerity, so why not facilitate one that would actually be beneficial to the environment and provide long-term energy savings for communities. Although, based on the marches and campaigning that I have attended, I think that the term austerity would not necessarily be the best phrase to get buy-in from other social campaign organisations.

In fact, the University of Birmingham missed an opportunity to invite the Swindon passers by the chance to ask them to join in, and join the system change that could limit an energy crisis.

Listen to Alice Bows Larkin Ted Talk 

Climate Vs Capitalism

In her book and film ‘ This Changes Everything’,  Naomi Klein, argues that unlike the 1970’s, environmental challenges like climate change  are not being treated like bank bail outs  “as crises” due to the rise and power of the free-market state. In it’s drive for growth there is a constant demand for raw finite resources, which is ideologically opposed to the principles of resource conservation required for planet and species protection. This means despite claims that the free-market will solve the problems of our time, we cannot leave our energy crisis and global warming problems in the hands of a financial instrument that is committed to profit.

Global warming heading to unchartered territories

As stated in the Guardian (Wed 20th Damien Carrington)  global warming is driving the world’s climate into “uncharted territory”, which requires the urgent implementation of the carbon-cutting pledges made by the world’s governments in Paris in December.

But as demonstrated by the Birmingham Heroes advert there are some fundamental challenges in our human psyche and society that leads to a lack of mass-action to address climate change at a personal level:

  • It is not an immediate threat for us to deal with
  • It feels like it is too big and something we can’t address on our own- our actions won’t make a difference
  • Technology will save us
  • We suffer from loss aversion, and fear the changes in our own lives from making ‘sacrifices’

These reasons are explained in George Marshall’s book:

Don’t Even Think About It argues that the answers to these questions do not lie in the things that make us different and drive us apart, but rather in what we all share: how our human brains are wired, our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blindspots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, and our deepest instincts to defend our family and tribe.

Personal Choices

On a personal note,  I felt the same way until a couple of years ago. Whilst I was comfortable considering actions that could be taken to address waste, I thought that climate change was too big and far away for me. I also struggled to fathom how, if I didn’t get on an Easy Jet flight, what difference it would make.

But the reality is that if we carry on in this same guise, and the rest of the world joins us in similar levels of energy consumption; we will suddenly have to make drastic changes as life on planet earth will become immeasurably difficult.

Get the Facts

I have gained my understanding from listening to audio books, attending talks and workshops at festivals and hosted by environmental organisations. These videos and books explain the issues far more eloquently than I can:

Listen to Alice Bows Larkin Ted Talk 

Naomi Klein This Changes Everything 

George Marshall Don’t Even Think About It

Plastic Free Camper

It’s that time again, Summer festivals and holidays and as we get ready for Glastonbury and a summer of excursions we thought we would share some of our tips which reduce the packaging waste as well as lightening your heavy load ( more room for fancydress).

Drinks

  • Take a large empty water canister, camel packs and smaller metal bottles to fill up from taps- this is much lighter and more environmentally friendly than la pack of 2 litre plastic bottles of water.
  • Decant spirits into metal re-usable bottles rather than plastic bottles.
  • Take re-usable cups for beer and coffee- take these to vendors for drinks.
  • Reboot provide a handy carry strap for cans and bottles made from recycled wellie boots.
  • Fruit tea bags, lemons or cucumber steeped in cold water for 2-3 hours make a refreshing drink rather than cartoons of juice that are heavy to carry.
  • Take protein powder and a shake cup rather than cartoons or bottles of protein drinks,these weigh loads less.

 

Food

 

  • Pack food-stuffs in re-usable  cloth bags or reusable metal containers (like tiffin boxes) . Avoid bringing plastic carrier bags on site, these blow around in the breeze and can end up in the countryside and the waterways.
  • Energy food and instant snacks are important. Could you make your own energy balls or snacks to bring along? Here are some quick and easy recipes ideas.
  • Chocolate from Green & Blacks, Lindt, Divine and Lidl all come in paper and foil.
  • Buy loose fresh fruit and vegetables rather than bagged items. Fresh produce does not fair well sweating in a plastic bag inside a tent.
  • Bring re-usable cutlery.

Cosmetics

  • Avoid travel miniatures, instead decant your own bigger bottles.
  • Stock up on shower and shampoo bars which come with a handy metal box rather than travel miniatures bottles. Lush do a brilliant range.
  • Choose baby wipes or face wipes that are compostable/biodegradable and put them in a toilet (Could be mistaken for non-compostable ones in compost and compost get chucked).
  • Consider wooden toothbrushes and Lush toothy tabs (Read a Dentist’s review on these if you are interested).
  • Bring re-usable razors rather than disposable.
  • Lush now have a sunscreen block 
  • Mooncups are great if it is the time of the month

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  • Divide up your waste as you would at home separating recycling, compost and landfill.
  • Always put items in the correct bin- did you know that a whole consignment of recycled items can be chucked in landfill if they are deemed contaminated with food waste or mixed with the wrong items?
  • Refuse straws from bars (maybe bring your own metal straw).
  • Rather than getting a new single-use plastic glass, reuse the one you have as much as possible.
  • If you have a re-usable plastic pint glass, take this to the bar.
  • Avoid dropping plastic cups on the floor, once broken they are difficult to pick up and could endanger the innocent animals who live on the land.
  • Take your tent, chairs, fancy dress and wellies home with you. Contrary to rumours, they don’t go to refugee camps. Instead they are an ecological disaster, and cost the festival thousands to remove. This means a festival ticket will increase in future years, as costs for landfill rise.

Store Cupboard Baking

By Livvy Drake

To encourage saving, I have set myself a weekly budget for buying food, eating out and weekly treats. So when compiling my shopping list,  staring at the jars of flours and powders in the cupboard, I realised I had an abundance of delights in front of me and it was time for some store cupboard baking and freezing.

These were the recipes, I came across to replace bread and cakes which were so easy and tasty; I just had to share them:

BREAD

Ryebread 

I had a random bag of ryeflour so attempted to make really easy Rye Bread but alas our oven is not good for this and it never cooked in the centre. Instead I turned it in to breadcrumbs and have been making burgers, stuffed mushrooms and pakoras with it ever since- waste not want not! But give this recipe a try and let me know if it works!
Simple Ryebread

Seed and nut bread

This bread is a winner, it doesn’t need to be kneaded, or to rise in the oven, it is packed full of protein. I2015-06-21 11.09.38 chucked in whatever nuts, seeds and herbs that I had in the cupboard, it truly is a Life-changing loaf of bread (name of the recipe!).

RIPE BANANAS

These are always lurking in our house, so I either chuck them in the freezer and make into smoothies or make some kind of banana sweet treat.

Banana and Gramflour muffins2015-06-21 11.08.58
Amazing vegan muffins that are so satisfying and easy to make. I didn’t have any corn flour which didn’t seem to matter and I put raisins in instead of chocolate.
Chunky Monkey muffins

 

Rye, Banana & Peanut Butter Bread
Finding a vegan recipe is always fun, so I am pleased to say that this one worked fine by replacing the chia seeds with egg replacer (already in the 2015-06-21 11.10.33cupboard).  I put raisins in instead of cacao and used some wholewheat flour as I wasted all the rye on the unsuccessful bread.

Rye Peanut Butter Banana Bread 

Banana Flapjack
Mostly this month I have been eating oats and bananas!
The 4 Ingredient Energy Bar

Less Waste More Living Shares

Share your Store Cupboard Cookups or Baking recipes in the Facebook Group, Less Waste More Living  or on Instagram @lesswastemoreliving

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How to be less stuffy in the bedroom

Well, that got your attention! 20150530_172857 Sorry, this post is not about getting jiggy, it’s about looking at the stuff we accumulate,  and  considering the best way to manage  it, rather than chucking in the bin or dumping on a local charity shop.

 

Many people who have travelled will always say that it is so liberating to be free of all the clutter and excess; then return to the daily routine and re-accumulate it all again. Is this because the new shiny things give meaning to justify the 9-5? Do these things really make us happy?

The trouble with stuffIMG-20150501-WA0000
After moving three times in the last 12 months, I have given stuff a bit of thought as I packed and unpacked it, and found these limitations.

  • Stuff requires more stuff – lyrcra & shoes for a bike, shelving for books
  • Stuff costs money – to maintain, shelve, move, insure
  • Stuff takes up time – from sorting out piles of paper to dusting ornaments
  • Stuff creates worry – the more precious the stuff or things the more concern and pre-occupation are attached to them.
  • Stuff takes up space – the more stuff the bigger the room, house and cupboards that are required

How to get rid of stuff ethicallycluttered house

Coming from a family of hoarders it is easy to want to save things, as they could be ‘useful one day’, but if items just live under the bed or cant be found when they are required- how useful are they?

I thought the most ethical option was to donate to a local charity shop, until I read reports suggesting that up to 41% of charity clothes are being sold off in Africa and destroying traditional industries. So on my last move, I looked at other ways to manage my unwanted stuff.

Distribute Locally 

  • Give directly to local homeless shelters – ensure you check what they actually need first though
  • Find a local scrapstore – great for scrap fabrics or old bedding
  • Offer to friends and family – save them buying more new things too
  • Sell online –  As well as ebay and Gumtree,  I recently discovered Facebay! On Facebook there are numerous local groups as well as genre specific e.g. baby things, vintage things and my favourite for Bristol, Ghetto Booty!

Fix up Look Sharp 

I had a whole collection of broken things including rucksacks, waterproof coats, handbags and shoes. Rather than chucking away I looked locally for repair options, which saved me money.

  • A seamstress/ clothes repair place -fixed zips on dresses, ripped lining on a coat
  • The shoe repair shop – fixed loose soles and holes in the leather. They also repaired zips on a rucksack, and replaced a strap on a handbag.

     

Reuse rather than recycle
While I am trying to hoard much less these days, it is worth noting that there are plenty of places and organisations that will gladly take:

  • Egg boxes– local farm shops, vegetable or health food shops sometimes take these back
  • Stamps– charities can make money from these
  • Plastic bags and tote bags – these I donate to independent shops so they can reuse them.

How to reduce

My pet hate is spending time sorting through paper and piles of fltake picturesyers, so I decided to minimise the amount in my life.

Take pictures of business cards, flyers and posters on a phone

 

Refuse plastic bags and cotton tote bags- how many cotton tote bags do we really need, especially if as a lifecycle analysis suggests they need to be used 130 times to have a similar footprint to a plastic bag

Embrace Zero Waste living –  I have found inspiration from Bea Johnson in her Zero Waste book which demonstrates how you can mimise the clutter and consumerism without feeling deprived.

Focus on experiences rather than stuff – James Walman captures what many of us questioning consumerism are feeling- Stuffication. He suggests focusing on enjoying experiences rather than buying new things.

Less Waste More Living

Modern life is all about being ‘busy’ and ‘stressed’ and it is easy to getless-waste-more-living-profile-fb caught up on the treadmill, spending money on quick fixes to make us feel temporarily better. At Green Livvy, we are as much guilty of it too, so we decided to start the Less Waste More Living project.

Our challenge is to find simple, easy ways to take time out of consumerism and discover the pleasure and satisfaction of the simple things.

This will be a pictorial inspiration blog that you can follow on Instagram or join the Less Waste More Living community on Facebook

Instagram

Made up They are Plastic Free

During the Lent Plastic Challenge, there were items that were really hard to source from local shops and online eco stores, particularly make-up and toothpaste.

So we really were made up to discover the independent producers making small batches of products, with natural ingredients on Etsy.

Mascara

Hello Twink Beauty‘s original, vintage style “cake mascara” which mascaracomes pressed in a rectangular metal tin.

Just add a drop of water and rub the applicator in it. You need to apply a couple of coats but it is amazingly waterproof (tested at a wedding where there were lots of tears), whilst coming off really easily at the end of the day. Of course the applicator is still plastic but this can at least be reused.  The mascara is available in a great range of colours including black.

Toothpaste

Even natural toothpastes come in those non-recyclable tubes. So, we have got quite into making our own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking organic toothpastesoda But we are aware that for some people this could be a step too far. Hoorah for Georganics who are making organic toothpaste in London and selling in glass jars.   The benefit of the glass tub is that you just dip the toothbrush in which uses much less than squeezing out of a tube that is not even recyclable.

Georganics list all of their organic ingredients and their origin- and unlike mainstream toothpaste these are actually pronounceable!

Animal & Vegan Friendly

The fact that these products are made with simple ingredients also means these products are vegan-friendly, as they are not tested on animals.

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Getting the RAW facts on plastics

During the Lent Plastic Challenge, we got asked some great questions by followers, which we posed  to Melinda Watson, of RAW foundation  who fervently believes in realising another world without toxic plastics.

Follow the blog as we disclose her answers, which will provide you with inspiration to make educated decisions about the materials you use and take action in your local town (we are now involved in a local project in Bristol with Melinda).

“How can we reduce using plastics- at source? “

Melinda: Yes at source! And what is the source? Our capitalist economies and throwaway cultures,  in which products and objects are  constantly modified, made to break (planned obsolescence) and where cost and convenience is of primary concern.

“So as a consumer how could I address this?”

  1. Get informed and stay informed about the serious issues to do with plastics.just-say-no-to-plastic-bags-2
  2. Be the change on a personal level e.g. refuse single-use plastic bottled water and plastic bags and opt for toxic-free, long lasting sustainable alternatives.
  3. Buy local, unpackaged goods or plastic-free products and support plastic-free stores.
  4. Spread the word – talk about what you are doing and why!
  5.  Lobby local, national and international stores or companies to adopt principles such as ‘recyclability by design, cradle to cradle.  Surfers Against Sewage have a great ‘Return to Offender‘ campaign for marine litter.
  6.  Before you chuck something away, see if it can be fixed. Look out for your own local repair cafe.
  7. Instead of buying new items – look at second-hand, borrowing or sharing items.plastic-bottle
  8. Start your own plastic-free campaign in your school, college, university or office- ban plastic water bottles, takeaway boxes and coffee cups.
  9.  Sign a petition: Raw Foundation petition against toxic plastics
    OR
    Write to your MP, MEP etc – it is an election year so now is a good time.
  10. Undertake your own 30 day plastic challenge- we have created a FREE support programme to guide and motivate you.

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Going Wild for Pesto

By Livvy Drake

A couple of years I discovered wild garlic pesto and I am hooked!  As soon as I see the shoots coming up in late March,  I make a weekly batch exploring different combinations of nuts and seeds to compliment the fresh, pungent flavour.

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Where I currently live, we have it in the garden so it is easy to collect a bunch, but that kind of does take part of the fun of preparing this dish. One of the added pleasures of making wild garlic pesto is escaping to a wood for a walk, or finding it on a river bank and picking it in it’s natural habitat. Perhaps it is linked to our natural hunter gatherer spirit!

If you have not  discovered wild garlic or made the pesto yet then this post is for you. This recipe makes a delicious pesto, that is dairy free,  cost-effective and full of health and well-being properties… read on to find out more:

 The Recipe for the most Nurturing Wild Garlic Pesto of all

  1. Find a friend, partner or family member to join you for an hour or so
  2. Get on some wellies, walking boots and pack a reusable tote bag in your pocket
  3. Head to a woodland, river or a hedgerow
  4. Sniff the air for a light garlic smell and look out for the green leaves and later in the season white flowers
  5. Pick a bag full of leaves- make sure you leave some for other people and the plant to recover
  6. Enjoy your walk
  7. On your way home grab some optional extras: If you are dairy free include capers, and maybe lemon
  8. When you return home, give the leaves a good wash
  9. Pull out the food processor or blender
  10. Find some nuts or seeds- we recommend, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews.  Why not trial some different batches with each- the fun is in putting your own spin on it.
  11. Make sure you have a good quality light oil – rapeseed is my current favourite as olive oil can often be bitter and overpowering
  12. If you are using a blender chop the leaves in advance
  13. Put in the nuts to blitz up then add in the leaves gradually and drizzle in the oil as it is spinning to mix to a smooth paste. Also add in the extras- I just include capers and occasionally lemon, other people put in Parmesan
  14. Turn blender up high to get everything into a smooth paste
  15. Put into a reused jam jar and store for up to a week
  16. Prepare a fresh salad, with fresh bread or raw vegetable pasta and serve. It works well as a replacement to basil pesto with pasta etc
  17. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your hunting and gathering!

 Quantities

1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed
1/2 cup of seeds or nuts
2 tbsp of capers and a drop of brine
150mls  light oil (rapeseed is good)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)

Interested in more inspiration like this?

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