The Compost Catastrophe or A Teeny Tiny Storm in a Teacup

Teacup under a storm cloud, with a crossed out recycling

Fancy a cuppa? Do you take milk and sugar? How about a sprinkling of microplastic particles? When I recently heard that some teabags contain plastic, I thought to myself ‘not mine — ​I only buy Fairtrade, organic, unbleached paper teabags ‘. So, when our local health food shop told me that the Clipper brand teabags we’ve drunk for years contain a plastic layer, I just didn’t want to believe it. After studying the box carefully … Read more

A Beginner’s Guide to Plastic-Free Periods

The average woman spends 6.5 years of her life menstruating, and uses around 11,000 disposable menstrual products¹. Despite advice from water companies and manufacturers, 1.5 billion are flushed away in the UK every year. As well as contributing to ‘fatbergs’ in our sewers, many end up in the sea and on our beaches—on a recent trip to the Sussex seaside, it was hard to explain to my 3 year old exactly why he couldn’t add … Read more

Spring, Tap, Filter?

Natural spring water is a luxury that few can afford, but I used to use five litres a day. I’d even hand wash my knickers in it. Before you jump to conclusions, I’d like to say that I’m not a diva. For the seven years I lived off-grid on a narrowboat, my drinking water mostly came from a spring that flowed from the hillside into the canal, and I collected it by bicycle every few … Read more

Toothbrush Trials (The Quest for an Eco-Friendly Toothbrush)

Toothbrush Trash

If you’re looking to reduce your plastic waste in 2018, using an alternative toothbrush is a great place to start. Toothbrushes are so very necessary, and with a world population of around 7.6 billion, us humans get through an awful lot of them! Officials advise replacing brushes every three to four months, so that’s a lot of plastic heading for landfill. It hasn’t always been this way—early toothbrushes were made from chewed twigs, bone and … Read more

Not All That Glitters is Green…

It’s that time of year where we like to add a bit of sparkle to our lives. Out come the sequins, on goes the glitter. Glitzy crafts come home from nursery, shedding a shiny trail. It feels like glitter is particularly on trend at the moment, with glitter body art and hairstyles, glitter tattoos, and even glitter beards around, but there is evidence that people have used sparkling substances since prehistoric times. As long as … Read more

A Stylish Slipper?

As the days turn colder, the wooden floors in our Victorian house become distinctly draughty. I’ve just mended my Shepherd of Sweden sheepskin slippers, but my man’s feet are getting chilly so I’ve been on a hunt to find him some stylish slippers. It’s pretty hard to find slippers that are attractive, and when you are buying footwear for a loved one, the last thing you want is to make them look fusty and old. … Read more

A Change of Chocolate

cacao beans and pods

I’ve got a confession to make: Chocolate is an area where I sometimes let my standards slip a little in order to get a fix. Despite having spent nearly a year researching the terrible standards in cacao production, I have been known to nibble a bit of low grade chocolate. I’ve been aware for years that Green and Blacks are owned by Kraft, but have deliberately kept my blinkers on, as they are the ‘least-worst’ … Read more

A Pukka Alternative

herbal tea

Imagine you work for a friendly ethical herb business, but it is owned by a boss who was paid well over 10 million pounds last year… What if your boss also owns a portfolio of businesses that practice animal testing, promote genetic modification and manufacture harmful chemical cleaning products… Could you still call your business ‘ethical’? When the news broke that Pukka Teas sold out to Unilever last month, their ratings with Ethical Consumer dropped … Read more