Make your shopping count!
Sometimes, it seems that we can’t escape pollution. In our streets, in the countryside and even filling our minds! Happily, we’re not powerless and can make decisions every day that will make a difference to the future of our planet.

When it comes to inspiration, then Nadia Sparkes, aka Trash Girl, sets a high standard in action, commitment and bravery.

Horrified by all the rubbish she saw cycling to and from school she began collecting it for disposal appropriately.

As bullies started calling her Trash Girl, she became rather upset. Chatting at home, her Mum suggested she take ownership of the title rather than stop her litter rides.

Nadia said, “I’m not going to stop doing the right thing because of them and if they are going to call me Trash Girl they can say it with respect. I’m doing something to protect the world they also live in.” We love you, Nadia!

Team Trash Girl

Making conscious decisions about how we shop and what we buy is more than just one small step as the ripples of our actions spread far and wide. The great thing is that conscious decisions soon become habits!

Here, we’ll be exploring some positive initiatives that you can embrace, sharing them with your family and friends.

Water-to-Go will enable you to enjoy safe drinking water in the hills, on holidays abroad or, indeed, wherever you need it.

As a portable water filtration system, it eliminates way over 99.9% of microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any unsalted water source.

If you like spring-sourced bottled water, then Eco for Life bottles are made from PLA (polylactic acid), manufactured 100% from renewable plant material, so you can avoid buying single-use plastic.

Plastic seems to have inveigled its way into every aspect of our lives and it’s a challenge to cut it out. Getting the message to children is a great way to help accelerate change.

Emmeline had the idea for Plastic Free Party Bags when her daughter brought home another plastic-filled party bag from school – the packaging would stay on this earth beyond her lifetime.

Traditional bags are filled with single-use plastic but all her items, including the bag, are recyclable, biodegradable, reusable or compostable. Plus, they’re free from animal products!

Further, by sourcing Fairtrade fillers and toys, they actively support charities or the people who have produced them.

We met Lilly and Lottie in Harrogate at the Countryside Live show and loved their enthusiasm for making and supplying soap that is so different to the offer in supermarkets. Lilly told us, “We started out making soap as a hobby last year. We made a decision to be kinder to the planet and our bodies and thought starting with toiletries was a great way to do this. Over a year later, we have a growing business and now dispatch all over the UK, we are so grateful to people like Julia who have helped grow our following on social media.”

Their soap uses Neal’s Yard organic essential oils and the base is vegan/vegetarian friendly. Lilly added, “There are no parabens/SLS/SLES in our soaps and we are plastic free!” They are also passionate about the great outdoors, love hiking and camping and Lilly enjoys a wild swim at any time of year. Might join them on a walk in January … but pass on a swim!

On that chilly walk, we would have to take a stainless steel, insulated flask from Klean Kanteen.

They set the environment-friendly bar for carrying hot or cold drinks by giving us a much better option than plastic and lined aluminium bottles – a safe, durable, lightweight, re-usable bottle free from Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxic substances.

Klean Kanteen

Talking of every day, &Keep shows there are eco-friendly, sustainable and reusable alternatives for everyday items, many of which are usually plastic. Plus, they offer loads of valuable info and advice on making thoughtful decisions about positive changes.

Actions speak louder than words, of course, but raising awareness takes many forms.

&Keep co-founder Natasha volunteers as a Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHeroes Ambassador, a Community Leader for Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities in her town, and as an Eco Schools Green Flag assessor. We can make a difference!

When you’re making your shopping lists or noting info for action, then Coffee Notes notebooks are perfect for ensuring you start out the right way.

The paper is manufactured using a combination of recycled disposable coffee cups and recycled pulp.

All elements of the cups are used in the recycling process as the plastic is made into insulation cables.

Time to shop!

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