Search This Blog

Featured post

Sustainable Backpack Guide

Ever since I started on the sustainable fashion journey, finding brands has been one of the hardest parts. Many are small, meaning their...

Saturday, 2 November 2019

A Guide to Carbon Offsetting

The climate emergency has been at the centre of the news over recent months, and rightly so. With travel having a heavy environmental footprint and tourism accounting for 8% of global emissions, seeing and travelling the world and the impact that has on the world can no longer be ignored.

We can choose to try and avoid air travel, instead opting for buses and trains, and this should always be our first place to look, but with so many people under both budget and time constraints this isn't always possible. With travel being one of the greatest and enriching experiences we have, finding ways for us all to travel more consciously is important, but this also means we need to change how we see travel as well, appreciating the journey to a destination can also become part of the adventure instead of a means to an ends.

When flying really is the only option however, we do have one other tool up our sleeves, the last resort card if you will. That is carbon offsetting. Although it doesn't equal not taking the flight at all, carbon offsetting provides at least some positive outcome from the negative effects flights have on the world around us.

What is carbon offsetting?

Offsetting is the process of compensating the carbon emissions that have arisen from your activities such as flying, normally calculated through a fee.
Money donated to carbon offsetting schemes will go to projects around the globe designed to make the equivalent reduction in carbon emissions, whether that through changing tech so emissions are not produced such as through providing clean cooking fuels in developing countries or sequencing the emissions back into the earth in reforestation / rain forest protection projects instead.

How do you offset your carbon?

Understanding where to start when it comes to offsetting can be tricky. With so many websites all quoting different amounts of carbon and valuing the amount of carbon you have produced very differently it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees. 
The good news is that you can take some really easy steps to offset your carbon in no time.

1. Calculate your carbon emissions 

Although some offsetting schemes will help you calculate your emissions, not all do. Therefore it can be best to calculate your emissions yourself to get a better gauge for how much you've produced. Climate Care's website provides one of the most popular here

2. Select your offsetting scheme

The options are vast and do vary but below are a few possibility that I would be happy to use from my research.

One of the best options available, Climate Care is a B corp which means its a company with the highest social and environmental standards and strives to be a force for good. With programmes on efficient stoves in Ghana, clean energy in India, Rainforest Protection  in Sierra Leone. So far they've cut 35 million tons of Co2 and improved 37 million lives which is an impressive track record.

Established by WWF and other International NGOs to ensure projects are actually reduce carbon emissions, Gold Standard is a summary place of carbon offsetting projects which are to the highest standard. To use their website first you must calculate your carbon footprint independently, the once you know how many tonnes of CO2 you're responsible for and then you can pick a project from the wide selection they have to offer. Each project has a limited number of donations available to ensure that people are really making a difference. Schemes include wind power in India, Biogas in Kenya and Forest projects and protection in Panama.

Carbon Footprint

One of the most popular carbon offsetters, a founding member of the Quality Assurance Standard and certified carbon neutral, Carbon Footprint provides a great option. Additionally they financially support some of the UK projects by reinvesting profits. With a Carbon Acadamy for peer learning and talks, the company are committee to helping companies as well as individuals reduce their footprint and is working hard to make a difference.
Projects vary greatly from fuel efficiency in Sudan, clean water programme in Central America, tree planting in the UK, deforestation reduction in Brazil and wild farm projects in India and China.


Clevel is another B Corporation with the single purpose of working with people to achieve carbon level impact. Additionally they are a corporate member of 1% for the planet which means they donate 1% of their turnover to the 1% charities, so your money is going further in helping people and the world around us. Projects include tropical forest protection with indigenous people, reforestation in Nicaragua with farmers and Mangrove conservation in Kenya.

Hopefully this guide proves useful and means you can easily offset your emissions if you do have to take a flight. One final tip, economy has far lower emissions than business or first class so save the cash for the holiday instead of the flight.


Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Top 10 Tips this Recycle Week

It's been a while where I wrote a list with a few tips to help encourage sustainable behaviour, but with  Recycling Week around the corner it got me thinking about new ways in which we can all help create a more circular world for the future.

Recycling is something that the majority of us have done all our lives but now more than ever our we need to ensure that we waste less and recycle more. In the UK our current rate is 45.2% and although this has increased slightly from the 2016 of 42.8%, we are still unlikely to meet the 2020 target of 50% without serious effort from all residents across the country!

The power of recycling is probably more than you know, 1 recycled aerosol can save enough energy to power a shower for 8 minutes, a recycled banana skin can generate enough energy to charge your phone twice, and simply recycling a drinks can could save enough energy to charge your phone a huge 65 times. The power really is in our hands.

So what can we do this recycling week?

1. Get involved with your food waste. Lots of councils now offer discounted small food waste bins like Lambeth here which are super handy and you can then place outside to be emptied each week. For councils that do not yet offer a food waste collection service though, they will offer reduce priced composters which means you can create your own garden compost whilst saving waste. With food waste producing around 11% of the worlds CO2, by altering how you dispose of your waste you're not only recycling but also reducing emissions as well.

2. Go Naked. Lots of supermarket are looking to reduce plastic waste, from taking your own bags to collect loose fruit in, to only buying veg that is not coming in plastic, there are so many options to help reduce your waste in the first place. If you're committed to no plastic buying you could also sign up for a Riverford or Abel and Cole delivery box, bringing food straight to your door, no plastic involved.

3. Take your Tupperware out. So many of us nip out for lunch, but why not take your tupperware along with you. Ask the server to fill up your box instead of theirs and it may also generate the conversation around why reusing out containers is so important. The Long Live the LunchBox campaign also has a list of restaurants

4. Grab a bar not a bottle. Why not try something new and test of a shampoo, conditioner or body soap bar. Not only do they last longer than a normal bottle but they have no packaging meaning your waste is reduced with minimal effort. I would recommend going to lush to see what they have, the amount is fantastic!

5. Drop off your clothes. So many stores now have recycling drop of points for your old clothes, from H&M to John Lewis, and then of course your local charity shop, with there still being around 300,000 tonnes or £12.5 billion worth of clothes going to landfill each year we still have a huge opportunity to recycle our clothes more.

6. Refill. Refill stations are popping up around the country and there is good reason. All you have to do is take in your jars, weigh them before the products, add the products in and you will only pay for the amount you buy. By bulk buying the stores have massively been able to reduce the plastic consumption for all those involved whilst also helping to have jars and bags reused time after time!

7. Recycle your weird items. Ever wondered how to recycle toothpaste, your contact lenses, bread bags, crisp packets, confectionery wrappers, beauty products or pet food? The likelihood is you have but were not sure where to start and so it ended up in the black bin. Terracycle however have the answer. With local drop off points all over the county for these items and many more its a fantastic way to be sure your waste is actually recycled. So why not start a little bag under the sink for beauty /  toothpaste /contacts lenses, a bag where you feed your animals for pet food containers and another one in the kitchen for bread and crisps. Less waste, more recycling done easily.

8. Do the basics. I feel like we've now reached the time where we don't need to talk about coffee cups and water bottles but these steps are still so important. So this week why not try to ensure that everytime you grab a drink, its in a reusable cup/bottle, eliminating waste from the get go!

Hopefully some of these provide a little inspiration and alternatives to encourage you to recycle more, and create less waste. We really can all do our part, just like this years campaign says, recycling, it's in our hands!


Friday, 17 May 2019

Are These The Best Vegan Chocolate Bars?


Monday, 13 May 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 7

The environment seems to be finally getting the glory and attention it deserves in recent weeks and I for one am delighted. The weeks top news covers a fair variety but the plastic conversation is still coming out top. If the past week has had me think about anything, its just how supermarkets still haven't ensured that all of their packaging is easily recyclable?! Baffling right! Anyhow that is a discussion for another time. For now, onto this weeks positive news!

Top 100 people killing the planet

The title of this may not sound super positive but someone has compiled a list of the names and locations of the CEOs for the top 100 CO2 polluting companies in the world. It finally puts a name to the company and publicly calls for them to realise that it is their responsibility to do better. I for one am excited to see more people calling out individuals for the companies that they are responsible for in the future.

Scotland introduce a 20p bottle deposit scheme

Its great to see some parts of the UK finally swinging into action now that a climate emergence has been announced with Scotland outlining plans for a bottle deposit scheme for some plastic, glass and cans. It's a small step but encouraging others to start recycling more can only be seen as a positive.

The top apps to help you live sustainably

Vogue have recently been covering the world of sustainability far more that it previously had, whether that be fashion or beauty. This post provides everyone with apps to help live more sustainably in all areas of your life and I am loving the fact that these apps are getting the credit they deserve. The only one missing from their list though is too good to go, an app helping to reduce food waste from stores in places all over the world!

The most ethical supermarkets revealed

Ethical consumer released their report on the most ethical supermarkets in the UK and its safe to say the big brands are far off the mark. Only M&S were found in the top 10, with the remaining places made up of smaller companies like Able and Cole, Riverford and Planet Organic. It just goes to show that shopping small and with brand with sustainability at the heart is a really positive thing.

Together Band launch with Bottletop and UBS

One of the most sustainable high end accessories brand has partnered with UBS, an investment bank to promote the sustainable development goals. The 17 bracelets representing the 17 SDGs are available online and in store.  The bands, made from up-cycled ocean plastic ad re-cycled steel  from seized illegal firearms come with 2 in each box with the idea of sharing at the heart of the campaign. With band production supporting the livelihoods of female artisans in Nepal its a great campaign to get behind. I just need to decide which SDG I want when all of them matter!

German ad agency called out for being racist

One which may not be classed as positive but should be classed as important is this add. Check out the petition page of how Asian women have been viewed in the add. It should make us all question, on decisions around gender and race that there is representation of those groups in the room.

On the go recycling schemes launched by hubub

Hubbub, still leading the charge in finding ways to engage the general public in issues that matter are set to launch a new recycling scheme for on the go cups (your coffee cups, MacDonalds, plastic lined things). The campaign, following a successful year in Leeds will be rolled out into Scotland and Wales. To see what else they're up to go check out Leeds by example here

Cambridge launch a co-house development

Have you ever thought about living on  co-house development where running of the area, communal spaces and shared responsibilities are at the heart of the community? No? Well this article tells you all about a way of living that most of us have never considered.

And Finally here's some positive figures that are worth celebrating

This maybe cheating by putting more positive news in my positive news but hey, think of it as a double dose. Some of these facts are fantastic, like the fact that '11 of the 28 EU states have already met the 2020 target to source 20% or more of their energy from renewable sources'!


Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sustainable Trainer Guide


Thursday, 2 May 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet: No 6

This weeks a little late with the inspiration post but with so many incredible sustainability and environmental activities and positive news stories to share, I thought it only best to do a quick mid week round up of things we should all be happy about.

UK Parliament becomes the first globally to declare a Climate Change Emergency 

Probably the best, and most exciting news I will share this week, following weeks of peaceful protests the UK government have declared a climate change emergency. Although this declaration is not legally binding in any form, it is a start to what will hopefully see a wave of positive action across the globe as other countries recognise the need to change our ways before its too late.

London Marathon reduces plastic use

To all those who took part and raised money for incredible causes in the London Marathon a huge well done to you! This year the marathon took a greener turn when instead of water bottles, water in seaweed membrane pouches were handed out to runners. The initiative saved a crazy 200,000 plastic bottles from being wasted and although some plastic bottles were used, that large events in the future may not have to have a gigantic environmental impact as well!

Oxford city council creates a citizen assembly for Climate change

Oxford city council were way ahead of the government as they are getting ready to create the first citizens assembly in the UK regarding climate change. The first meeting will be held in september. Fingers crossed we will start to see this trickle through the rest of the country as soon as possible as well!

Why B Corps are the new way of doing Business

Most people haven't heard of B Corps, in simple terms "Certified B Corps are businesses that are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment" meaning they are looking at far more than profit during every decision that they make. The brands, always ethical and most often sustainable demonstrate that businesses can succeed. Companies already B Corps include Abel&Cole, innocent Drinks, Toast Ale, Propercorn, Finisterre, Rebel Kitchen, Divine chocolate, Pukka herbs, Qbic Hotels and bulb energy supply just to name a few!

The UK can reach net zero by 2050

The Committee on Climate Change released their new report which states that the UK could hit net zero greenhouse gases by 2050. However this is only possible if clear and forward thinking policies are created to reduce emissions across the economy as soon as possible. Funding will also have to be shifted to make this happen. With growing momentum and demand that governments act around carbon emissions lets hope that industry and government come together in time to make this a reality!

New York City introduce a new green Bill

New York recently passes a bill that which will mean all new residential and commercial building across the city will have to have either solar panels, mini turbines and plants (or all three if they fancy), following in the footsteps of San Francisco, Toronto, Portland and Denver. It's hoped that the move will reduce emissions to the equivalent of removing 1 million cars off the road by 2030!

Johnathan Pie explains why protests in London matter

Watch the video, it covers it all, from media portrayal of climate change to fast fashion!

Cycle paths are proof people want to cycle

A new report released shows that when bike lanes are built, people will come and use them. It may sound simple but goes to show that there is demand for the infrastructure and it could also show that people are more willing to cycle when separate lanes are created for them to do so and the numbers of people using these routes are only increasing.

Consent explained with tea

Probably one of the most British videos possible, I recently rediscovered how making a cup of tea can be discussed like consent. It's an oldie but matters just as much now as it did when it was first made. No means no!

So there you have it a round up of news, some big and some small but all of them pretty darn positive.

Now lets all go and enjoy our bank holiday weekend, and hope for some sunshine even if its just for an hour or two!


Saturday, 20 April 2019

Top places to visit in Cornwall

I’ve been contemplating writing this post for over a year. Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the world, I have a spot on the cliff between Mawgan Porth and Bedruthen Steps where I can sit and watch the sun go down. The seagulls all sleep in the cliff edge near by and so you get to watch them fly across a sun set sky. The sound of the ocean is all you can here and on a warm evening, it is the best way to spend an evening.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 5


With a new week comes news positive news covering all elements of life; from beach cleans and shopping to inventions and Earth Day. Sometimes we just need to dig a little deeper to pull out the incredible things that are happening all around us!

So without further a do, lets begin...

Second hand fashion is booming

It is no surprise to me that the second hand industry is absolutely smashing expectations recently but did you know that although currently work £18 billion, its expected to over double in value to 39 billion in the next 5 years. Check out the article to find out more!

The 'Do Good' market just can't be ignored 

The doing good market is worth a wopping $23 trillion and banks are finally offering incentives for those companies being socially responsible. L&Q a property developer last year was awarded a huge £100 million loan with a discounted interest rate as long as the company met its annual target to help 600 unemployed residents find work. It's exciting to see that this maybe come the norm and that those companies helping communities not destroying them will benefit!

The Big Spring Clean 

Over the last 2 weeks Surf Against Sewage have rallied volunteers all over the country to join the biggest ever UK Spring Clean, with more than 600 river, mountain and beach cleans taking place. It's an incredible feet and fantastic to see so many people willing to help clean up our local areas!

Ribena are changing to be more sustainable

In a bid to be more sustainable beverage giant Lucozade Ribena Suntory have announced plans to redesign the bottle and change the flexible shell to be smaller and more transparent allowing for easier recycling. It's a small step but anything that makes bottles easier to recycle is a good thing.

NorthFace have a new collaboration 

I love North Face, and their recent collaboration with RÆBURN is a testament to the innovation of the brand as they are starting to consider the circularity of their products more and more! If you fancy grabbing one, the new bag range, made out of old tents will be available in the Carnaby store as well as online 

Reforestation is the answer to climate change 

It's simple really. Something many of us have been banging on about for years but trees really could be the savours of us all with findings confirming that the cheapest way to avert the climate crisis is to restore and replant degraded forests so that they can return to being the lungs the earth so desperately need.

image from ndlink

Small farms are leading the change with sustainable farming

Farming is one of the biggest emitters globally and how they run has altered vastly over the last 50 years. What you may not know though is that small farms are often those most heavily impacted by climate change and with around 475 million small farms globally or 12% of the worlds farming land being part of a small problem how those farms are able to manage in changing conditions is vital for the farming future. With challenges comes new solutions though and these small farms seem to be leading the change to more sustainable farming practices, have a read of the article to find out a little more about what they're doing, from pest control to reducing losses it's all pretty remarkable!

Marine plastic pollution is costing up to $2.5 trillion a year

I was expecting this number to be gigantic but 2.5 trillion is an absolutely absurd and terrifying amount that plastic is costing our oceans. This article tells you a little more about what has made up the calculations , but with an estimated 1-5% decline in the benefits humans direve from the oceans due to plastic polution, the number is only likely to increase as plastics find thereway onto our plates and into our bodies. Scary, but it provides even more motivation that we need change and fast!

Why its never cool to copy 

I believe I'm up there as one of Veja's biggest fans and the recent news that their distinct design has been copied by Primark raising questions of brand integrity, copying fashion students designs (cough cough zara) and why companies, who have questionable ethics and unsustainable methods think it's OK to be unoriginal, especially when copying a brand which places both ethics and sustainability at the heart of everything they do. 

In the words of Veja's CEO... 

“It is very sad to see this. The first question that comes to my mind is: Where are those nice counterfeit shoes made? I think @Primark got it wrong. They should not copy the style of our shoes, they should copy the way we make them. With organic cotton, with recycled plastic, with more ecological fabrics, in factories where workers are paid decently, and are working in secure conditions. We will explain everything to them in court.”

Scientists have invented a transparent wood 

With all the incredible man made materials that we use for buildings now adays, it's quite remarkable that scientists have only just created transparent wood but they have! The material is both sturdy, transparent and able to release and store heat. Although plenty of work still to be done on the material its hoped that it will be able to be used in construction and help increase recyclable and reusable material use.

 © Justin Brice Guariglia

Earth Day at Somerset House  

Earth hour is being celebrated at Somerset House for two weeks with a wide variety of activities and talks taking place that will inspire and enlighten. Be sure to check out lots of their free events and if you're in the centre on Saturday why not head along and take part!

This week I couldn't not give a quick mention to Wills Vegan Sustainable Shoe Brand, a brand with not only fantastic ethics but also vegan products made well which was shared with during our inspiration...

and finally, the fact that I got to witness Eleanor Graceful get married at the weekend also needed a quick positive celebration. There is nothing like spending a weekend surrounded by those you love and those in love to give you a positive outlook for the week!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks round up, have you come across any positive news stories this week?


Thursday, 4 April 2019

Sustainable Backpack Guide

Ever since I started on the sustainable fashion journey, finding brands has been one of the hardest parts. Many are small, meaning their reach is limited and their website position on google is a fair few pages back. Others are only stocked on retailers like etsy or more specific sustainability sites. Really finding brands that you like and think will last a long time can be difficult.