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ERIN KAY WILLIAMS

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The current climate is scary. Emotions are all over the place and its hard not to be left with worry or concern. With us all trying to ...

Sunday, 13 December 2020

8 ways to Minimise Waste This Christmas


We all know Christmas means way more of everything is consumed and wasted. The figures are staggering, but there are many simple ways that you can reduce your overall waste over the festive holidays. Below are just a few ideas to help along the way.

Shop Loose

Over the festive period we buy so much more than normal (of everything). So before you order why not try to do as much of your food shop at your local market where you're likely to find fruit and veg loose. Even at supermarkets if you bring your own bags for loose veg you'll never need those rubbish plastic thin bags again. Similarly, shop smart. Think of all the presents you need and if you are needing to order lots from one place (we all know the amazon order) then try to do this in one go. This will mean less boxes, shipping and emissions are created from your order, and less rubbish that ends up in your recycling bin. Finally, take your bags with you. We all have tons of bags sat around at home, so when you hit the shops remember to take them. After all, they are just another product that will likely end in the bin once home if you don't!

Give The Gift Of Experience

This year, instead of physical gifts, why not get friends and family experiences in which they can create memories. Whether it's tickets to see a show, afternoon tea, gin tasting, rally car racing, theme park visiting, or a hotel stay in a new place there are so many options to suit all budgets and personality types! What's not to love?!

Save the Wrapping Paper

These are so many fantastic options for wrapping presents that create less waste. From using Who Gives a Crap toilet roll paper (perfect squares for wrapping candles), to using old pieces of fabric (Lucy and Yak send out their items in beautiful fabric bags), or using gift bags instead which can be reused year upon year. If you do go for wrapping, try not to go for something with glitter or metallics, as this can not be recycled. Instead why not try simple paper and decorate with a festive bow/ flowers/ pinecones etc to get you in the Christmas mood.

Pick Your Fairy Lights With Care

With Christmas Tree lights being a big thing, and many of us stringing lights up around the front of our houses, if you're having to buy new lights then please make sure you purchase LEDs instead. LEDs use far less energy than the other options whilst also often producing far more light. For you're lights around your house, it maybe worth investing in a timer so that the lights are on only in the evenings when it is dark and are not left on all night when you're asleep. Similarly keeping your tree lights to only being on in the evening will save you a fair amount of money!

Plan Your Leftovers

We all know the story, no one can quite finish off that last potato or stuffing ball and with only a few small pieces of veg left over, most sadly end in the bin. Instead though, why not chuck a few more in the roasting tin planning ahead that they will be left over and so then can be made into soups, broths or cracking left over sandwiches. Websites like the BBC Good Food and Waitrose also provide a wealth of inspiration for what you can do with your left overs. If worst comes to worse, just be sure to start a food waste bin/ compost bin to hold your waste after.

Use your Legs Instead of an Engine to get to a Friend’s House or the Pub

The majority of us to not head far over the festive season yet the temptation to jump in the car is great. So this year why not walk to the pub or your friends house whilst enjoying some fresh air and movement (what many of us don't get when stuck behind an office desk all day!).It also means you can go to be knowing you've done a small something for the planet over the festive period as well.


Recycle Your Christmas Tree

If you've chosen to buy a real tree instead of renting, then they're fully recyclable and can be shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks or woodland areas. Although this can be a little trickier in cities, chucking your tree in your green bin or taking it to the tip isn't the only option. Instead if you have a garden you can use the tree as kindling for a fire. Alternatively, there are many beaches that are using trees to help stop further erosion so if you live by the seas be sure to see if you can find your closest.

Reuse or Donate Unneeded Gifts

Everyone ends up with a gift that they may not necessarily need/ like. Instead of stuffing it into ta draw though, why not think how best to use it. Is it one of your friends favourite foods? Do you have a family member that the household item may really match? Finally, if there are so many shelters around the country who would really appreciate donations for unopened shower wash, shampoo and the like. So lets start re-gifting for the better, so that nothing actually goes to waste!

Let me know your tips!

Thanks
Erin



4

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Christmas Gift Guide 2020


Spending my time this year curating the Big Sustainable Gift guide has led me to find so many incredible new brands. As the world looks to source more locally and ethically, it is fantastic to see the changes being made as brands move to a greener way of doing business. This year, the guide is bigger than ever with over 100 sustainable and locally sourced gift ideas. 


I hope as always it provides a useful tool as you uncover possible gifts and new brands along the way! 

Enjoy!


Gifts for Fashion Lovers

Gifts for the Fashion Lover 

Veja Trainers | £140 

One of the most sustainable trainer brands out there, and also the most stylish, if I do say so myself.

Apples Organic Nude Ethics T Shirt | £25

How to improve a t shirt? Made sure it's made from organic cotton of course

Wicker Wings Bag | £190 

Made in the UK out of high quality rattan, a very sustainable material, Wicker wings backs are hand made with all materials fairly and ethically sourced.

Sheep Included Jumper | £160 

Made from ultra-fine Merino wool carefully sourced from New Zealand farms that use regenerative farming methods for a positive environmental impact, and conform to the highest animal welfare standards worldwide. Sheep Inc are creating amazing jumpers that have no negative impact on the planet

Fund Jumper | £160 

Helping to support small independent farmers. Fund work exclusively with a British company to manufacture sustainable high quality wool from free range pasture fed ethically reared sheep. The brand also helps support a variety of charities and offset their emissions meaning you're supporting a brand really trying to do good.

Amaryllis Mashu Bag | £290 

Designed in London, made in Greece, this bag uses vegan suede made from recycled polyester and repurposed wood helping to support the circular economy! 

Retold Vintage  | from £60  

Based in London each vintage item is curated by owner Clare Lewis. Retold proudly supports the circular fashion movement, promoting sustainable fashion choices and positive change within the clothing industry.

Fearless T-shirt | £35 

This t-shirt is made from 100% sustainable cotton, grown and ethically harvested. The art of hand embroidery is a slow process, so the designer wanted to make sure that when you are buying something from her shop you are supporting an ethical process which is designed for longevity. Now what's not to love about that?


Jewellery Christmas Gifts

Gifts for the Jewellery Fan

Jewellery Case | £54 

I can not recommend this enough, perfect for travelling, perfect for preventing tangling!

Sammi Maria New York Chain Necklace | £69 

SAMMI MARIA jewellery items are made-to-order, making sure no resources or precious metals are being used without a clear purpose. Therefore, production only begins  after your order has been placed. 

Saint Kojo Pearl Studs | £40 

Made with organic freshwater pearls that glisten softly in the light and dipped in 14k gold that reflects beauty on any wearer, Saint Kojo is bringing artisan jewellery to all. The range is selling out FAST.

DAPHiNE ring | £55 

Beautifully simple pieces which are handmade in their Jaipur atelier. 18ct gold laid over brass that is Responsible Jewellery Council certified so you don't have to worry about ethics. 

Wolf & Moon Abstract Charm Hoop | £68 

Wolf & Moon is a handcrafted jewellery label by British designer Hannah Davis. Inspired by nature, architecture, art and design. Each piece of jewellery is handmade in their studio, so you can be sure you are buying a product that has been made with care, whilst supporting independent British design.

Ana Luisa Earrings | £55 

One of my recent finds, and a brand I've fallen in love with, Ana Luisa ensure they only use recycled gold, and are committed to being carbon neutral. One piece of advice though, be sure to know your size as the brand is based in NYC returns cost around £9 

Terracotta Jewellery Plate | £16.50 

A brand dedicated to design with minimalist styling at its foundation. These hand crafted goods, which have been slow crafted with the environment in mind means beauty and elegance are intertwined, perfect for your bedside.

Wolf & Gypsy Harmony Necklace | £84

 Wolf & Gypsy’s beautiful jewellery is made from sterling silver, gold vermeil, 14ct gold, ethically sourced, conflict-free gemstones (moonstone, topaz, turquoise, emerald and diamonds) that are handpicked by the brand's owner, Tori herself, in India to ensure they perfectly fit each piece. Now that's dedication to quality!

Christmas Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Gifts for the Outdoor Explorer

Finisterre Fisherman Beanie | £30 

A brand that I talk about a lot, Finisterre has sustainability at it's core with all their items being so incredibly well made. If you need any more evidence they're also a certified B Corp demonstrating their commitment to people and planet

Finisterre ¼ Zip Jumper | £125

A cosy woollen jumper from a brand with great sustainability credentials. Perfect for a blustery walk along the beach

Running Bear Socks | £6 

My local running shop is a brand in itself and their socks have been around almost as long as they have. Made with British Supplier Ladkins in Nottingham, these socks have British quality ‘stitched in’!

National Trust Membership | £72 

What better gift than the opportunity to visit the 500 sites across the UK

Passenger Jacket | £99 

Another British outdoor brand with sustainability at the heart with manufacturers are based in the UK, Europe and Asia. With a huge variety of sustainability initiatives the brand are working hard to minimise their planet impact.

Fedora Hat | £76

Made by artisan groups, Australian Brand, Lack of Colour are committed to ensuring their 100% Australian Wool hats are supporting the communities who make them.

View Ranger Yearly + Maps App Membership | £24.99 a year 

If you know a walker, this maybe the perfect gift, View Ranger allows them to plan their routes and save offline along with being linked with OS Maps to ensure they always know where they are on the mountainside.

Millican 15L Day Walking Bag | £125

A bag made for walking by a brand working to create sustainable products. Made from only a few panels of weatherproof Bionic® Canvas, 65% recycled and 30% stronger than regular canvas, their strength is in their simplicity.


Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

Gifts for the Garden Fanatic  

Botanist Print | £21 

Because sometimes we want to shake up presents for gardening fan. This print offers the perfect alternative.

Neals Yard, Bee Lovely Hand Wash & Cream | £12.50 & £10 

Another one of my favourite brands, Neals Yard uses a variety of organic ingredients which make up most of their products and as a brand their sustainability credentials are top notch!

Garden Gift Hamper | £55 

Organically nurtured, the Present Tree work hard to make sure all their plants organic, whilst coming in biodegradable, recyclable and carbon neutral packaging. Perfect  

Wild Plum Tree | £35 

As above, o and The Present tree works hard to support the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust as well.

Eden Butterfly House | £11.99 

This Eden Project butterfly house is great all year round as it provides a habitat during the summer, but also an over wintering space for some species such as non-migratory butterflies. Made from sustainably sourced timber where insects can live, nest and let their larvae develop. O and its supporting both Oxfam and the Eden Project.

Hanging Cork Planter | £45

For the green-fingered minimalist, the hanging planter is the perfect gift and looks great in bathrooms.

Eden Project canopy vase/ bulb planter | £18 

Canopy is a range of sustainably produced glassware, designed specifically for the Eden Project by LSA International. A stunning collection of different glass wear. Now you can finally try growing that avocado from the seed!

Crops in Tight Spots Book | £12.71

Having bought this book last year, I have been filled with inspiration for how to use the outside space we have available (or none). With creative solutions and easy to understand, its a fantastic starting book for anyone who wants to tempted to get green fingers.


Christmas Gifts for Hosts

Gifts for those who love to Host 

Sustainability Starter Kit | £37.50 

Firera, one of the go to sustainability home spots on the internet have combined customer favourites into one set. This set includes one of our linen tote bags, a mesh linen produce bag, selling jute multipurpose cleaning cloth, and a striped pure linen kitchen towel. All handmade of natural materials, reusable and durable.

Fatty's Organic Pink Grapefruit | £35 

Fatty's Gin launched a Grapefruit drink as well with half the amount of alcohol to their gin but all the flavour. Everything about this Soil Association-accredited gin being organic – even down to the ink on the label, you know its bound to be good. It’s also made in small batches of 100 bottles per run in south London.

Hand Dipped Beeswax Candle | £18

These beautiful handmade candles are a real piece of art. Their completely natural honey scent makes them a joy to have in your home. The farm who makes them work in harmony with nature, using regenerative farming techniques to nurture our countryside. So by buying candles you are helping to sustain 25 small-scale farming families as well.

The Eden Project LSA Glasses | £28

Canopy is a range of sustainably produced glassware, designed specifically for the Eden Project by LSA International. A stunning collection of different glass wear, these tumblers are perfect for everyday use.

Portable Table Top BBQ | £149

Sometimes a little different gift is all you need. This portable bbq made from cork offers on the go dining and is the perfect gift for those BBQ fans with limited outside space!

Drinks Trolley | £49.99 

A fantastic find which helps charity through the sales. This drinks trolley is exactly what every living room corner needs.

Make our own gin Botanical Sets | £23.99 

This set of 12 specially selected superior culinary botanicals are perfect for an evening of gin and cocktail drinking. This set provides you an exciting mix of world botanicals created especially for you to infuse.

Elizabeth Rachael Tea Towels | £11.95

These may not be the first gifts that springs to mind, but they're great. Plus you could pair it with a bottle of wine using the tea towel as your wrapping. Perfect right?!


Cosy Christmas Gifts

Gifts for a Cosy Night In

RiLEY Studio Co-Ord Tracksuit | Trousers £120, Sweatshirt £110 

Crafted in a super soft fleece-back jersey, this track pant & jumper set have been made from a mix of upcycled cotton and recycled plastic bottles and trimmed with comfortable ribbed edges. Riley aim to create clothes without season and from waste. Now that's guilt free comfort

Neal’s Yard Seaweed & Arnica Foaming Bath | £15.50 

This stuff is magic, who knew that these ingredients (organic) together would create the perfect bath that really does leave you sleepy afterwards. It's my go to! 

Desmond and Dempsey Set | £120

A brand that has a serious rep, Desmond and Dempsey may not be known as a 'sustainable' brand but their garments are built to last, and the reviews speak volumes.

Self Care Gift Set | £20 

Handmade in the UK & plastic free this kit reduces the impact of our beauty routine.

Body Shop Shea Gift Bag | £45

The Body Shop is a staple and with good reason. With so many fantastic products using fair trade ingredients and supporting communities around the world they're a great brand to continue to support.

SKANDINAVISK Onska Mini Scented Candles Gift Set | £42.00 

Certified as a B Corporation in summer 2019, the work of Skandinavisk in the areas of certified raw materials, local production, due diligence in sourcing and supplier standards, and policies toward their staff, including their refugee integration program, all contributed to meeting the stringent criteria to become a B Corporation. This special edition gift set of JUL, SNÖ, TRÆ fragrances are poured into painted mini glass votives with a new blend of perfume and sustainably-sourced soy wax, pure cotton wicks and engraved wooden lids from PEFC-certified European beechwood.

Cork Teapot | £38 

Cosy day snuggled up on the sofa watching films, this teapot is the perfect accompaniment with the cork helping to keep tea insulated. 

Scent to Sleep Gift Set | £38

REN, a cruelty free brand has sleep sorted. This kit is boasted about all over the place helping us all to fall peacefully to sleep. 


Christmas Eco-friendly Beauty Gifts

Gifts for the Beauty Lover

By Sarah Green Clay Cleansing Balm | £42 

Plant based and organic, this cleansing balm is perfect for those with slightly dry skin. The brand is also pushing transparency with all ingredients listed unlike so many others and they are committed to high quality natural organic plant based ingredients to!

Green People Micellar Foam | £19

 A brand with the highest eco credentials this Certified COSMOS Organic by EcoCert with 99.7% ingredients of natural origin and 20.8% of the total ingredients from organic farming. Not to mention their new packaging which is also increasing their eco friendly status.

LE Labo Fragrances | Multiple testers £4 each 

A completely different approach to perfume Le Labo is rewriting the rule book. Creating scents based on intention working with craftswomen and men to secure unique scents. You will definitely be intrigued! 

Organic Detoxifying Face Oil | From £32

Rich in antioxidants and cleansing botanicals, this uplifting blend soothes, stabilises and supports troubled skin. Basho Skin take a holistic approach with natural ingredients and also aim to honour women using their platform to uplift others.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Refill |£19 

One of the first brands to offer refills on their lipsticks, this is a great gift for those who have a favourite shade

Pantherine Face Brushes | £34.99

Spectrum is vegan and cruelty free certified and their brushes have thousands of fans for a good reason!

Zero Waste Shaving Kit | £28.99 

Dramatically cut your plastic use with this reusable safety razor. This kit has everything you need to start with and its handmade right here in the UK.

Aromatherapy Polishing Brush | £25 

Fantastic for buffering away dry and dull skin whilst promoting circulation made from cactus bristle and natural wood. Perfect for the post bath boost.


Sustainable Christmas Gifts

Gifts for the Sustainability Enthusiast

Chimney Fire Coffee | £8.90 

There is a wide range of absolutely fantastic sustainable coffee available. Chimney Fire is just one of them but they are extremely passionate about traceability and aim to be fully transparent on where they  get their coffee from, including how it is sourced and where it is sourced from, and how it is handled from the farm to cup. Plus with Christmas coffee it offers something a little different for the festive season.

Love Fair Fashion T | £39 

Plain T with an important message, this is 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and the brand SABINNA is aiming for circularity, which means your t-shirt can simply be sent back to the factory once you no longer want or need it and they will recycle it for you.

Please Recycle, Please Vote Socks | $14 

There may be a fair few socks on this list, but these are incredible and I am completely here for clothing getting political! 

Our Planet Live in Concert | from £46 

This needs no explaining, a fantastic experience for a BBC nature documentary lover

Chilly’s Refill Bottle | £20 

One of the original reusable water bottle brands, this one also donates a proportion of profits to the Refill project.

John Lewis Sewing Machine | £130 

For those looking to repair and extend the life of their garments or try making something from scratch, this machine is the perfect starter kit.

Organic Basics Pack | £80 

A simple concept, producing organic products, with exceptionally high standards of fabric and workers rights who all care about the environment and they're comfy as hell.

Crochet Kit | £15.49 

For those crafty friends, this crochet kit enables you to make an every day reusable item enabling you to reduce your future waste whilst learning a new skill in the process.


Sustainable Gifts for the Home

Gifts for the Nesty One

Gina's Ink Girls | £45 

Gina's Ink Girls began as a way to support Gina the founders campaigning work and channel activism into one of the things I love most in the world: art. 10% from each of the works goes to marginalised communities including women's shelters, crowd funders to support communities after political unrest and marginalised individuals who need financial support.

Firera Pale Grey Pure Linen Blanket | £55 

Handmade from pure linen fabric, in a gentle waffle texture, it has a soft and luxurious feel making it comfortable and a pleasure to use. The breathability and temperature regulating properties of linen blankets make them non-seasonal, so can be used throughout the year. Perfect for enjoying a relaxed evening by the fireplace in winter, or breakfast on the balcony on an early summer morning. These are a wonderful eco-friendly alternative to synthetic blankets and vegan alternative to woollen blankets.

Sage x Clare Nudie Rudie Bath Mat | £48

Sage x Clare designs homewares, apparel and accessories that are hand crafted, bohemian, soulful and eclectic. They are all quirky and fun, this bathmat is one of my favourites.

Nkuku Mali Coffee Mugs | £24.95 (20% of orders over £30 with code WINTER20)

Produced in a small kiln, made simply from bricks and lit by an open fire. The Mali pottery is handmade in southern India as part of a fair-trade project. The project was established to provide training and secure employment for men and women both, from disadvantaged backgrounds. The scheme now employs 40 people and focuses particularly on empowering women in the workplace.

Amber Glass Bottles | £42 

Made in the UK, this collection of 5 various sized amber brown glass bottles have been carefully put together for you to fill with all your favourite zero waste and eco-friendly bathroom products. Plus they amber colour protects against UV light enabling your oils and lotions to last longer

Natural History Whale Illustration | £145

Inspired by original illustrations by top explorers, MADE chose their favourites from the Natural History Museum archive. This triptych whale print is a combination of work from Archibald Thorburn, John Reeves and Dr. Hermann Burmeister.

Hand Woven Baskets | £25 

Raw Label's natural cotton and jute baskets are handmade in Zambia using 100% locally grown cotton and natural jute. These baskets are versatile, strong and sustainable, they can be used around the house for storage or a potted plant basket and adds a natural element to your home.

DoraCreates Iretiola Art Print | £45 

Self taught, Dorcas is passionate about representing and uplifting Black people specifically Black women through illustration. Her art uses a lot of bold colours, pattern-work and references her Nigerian heritage. Simple and stunning.

Sustainable Sportwear Christmas Gifts
Gifts for the Sporty One

Allbirds mizzle trainers | £115 

Made from renewable materials that repel the rain, Allbirds mizzle shoes are perfect for everyday use and will keep your feel toasty in the cold as well.

TALA Stride Run Leggings | £48 

Aiming to make sustainable sportswear affordable TALA aim to disrupt your wardrobe with our slow fashion approach to sustainable style that doesn’t break the bank, or our planet. Plus the designs are stunning.

The Organic Company Lunch Bag | £16.50 

For those always on the go, this certified organic cotton lunch bag is the perfect thing to throw in a bag.

Girlfriend Black Topanga Bra | £35 

Another sportwear brand who takes sustainability seriously, girlfriend uses recycled polyester for the majority of their garments. Although an American brand Selfridges stock them in the UK helping to reduce your postage costs.

BAM Zip Neck Bamboo Baselayer | £45 

Perfect for those cooler workouts, BAM sportwear is not only exceptionally comfy, sustainable for the planet but breathable too.

Liforme Yoga Mat | from £80 

Liforme Yoga mats maybe slightly more expensive than other brands but with their environmental ethos and fantastic grip you really do get what you pay for. Piece of advice, don't skimp on your mat, your practice will be 100x better with a mat that actually grips you. 

Weekend Bag | £139.90 

ECOALF is a brand I've been following for a long time, everything they produce is environmentally sound whether that's using recycled fibres PFC free, or other credentials. This bag is perfect for gym/ sports/ weekend life.

The Frankie Shop Padded Jumper | £159 

The Frankie Shop may not be a sports wear shop but hey, they had to feature in this list because everything they make I want in my wardrobe. Sorry not sorry.


Sustainable and Eco Friendly Gifts for Children

Gifts for Little Ones

Critically Endangered Baby Socks | £15 

Organic socks which double as hand puppets the sale of these go towards trying to help save endangered species

Bunny Teether | £6.99

Made from 100% food grade silicone and American Beech wood ring, these bunny teethers are perfect for babies.

BBC Earth Kids Organic Cotton Hooded Towel | £14 

Designed to reduce the impact on the planet and be as transparent as possible, all products in the range has achieved CarbonNeutral product certification. This towel though, just offers a cute alterative to a hooded towel.

Tidy Children’s Book | £6 

I am all here for story books that teach kids to care for the planet, this one is beautifully illustrated as well

Stacking Rainbow | £20 

This site which resells preloved toys is an absolute treasure trove! In particular I'm a fan of this stacking rainbow but there are so many more great gifts to grab and the fact they're all environmentally friendly and sustainable makes them even better!

Patagonia Baby Fury Jumper | £45
The fluffiest and most sustainable jumper a baby will likely own. It will certainly be an item that can be passed down through families for a long time to come!

Blocks | £8 each 

These are the perfect gift for spelling out names and can be equally used as room decoration.

Wooden Ocean Stacking Animals | £24.95 

Birch Plywood, finished with non toxic, water based pain, these stackers are just too much fun to not include. 


Christmas Gifts for Food Fans

Gifts for Foodies

The Good news Baker Brownies | £16

After all, who wouldn't love a delivery of brownies through their door, these sets are the perfect pick me up! 

The Modern Cook’s Year | £19.26

One of the most talked about cook books this year, The Modern Cook provides over 250 recipes throughout the seasons teaching us about the value of seasonality.

Six Seasons: A new Way with Vegetables Cookbook | £26.99 

In Six Seasons, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons—an arc from spring to early summer to midsummer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, the earthy, mellow sweetness of winter. Perfect for those looking to expand their cooking

Organic and Vegan Wine Weingut Db Schmitt | £24

Wine is always a great gift, this one with its organic and vegan labels offers a little more than your standard .

Food huggers | £11 

Helping keep food fresh for longer, these food huggers are the perfect addition to a chefs kitchen.

Viners Organic 5 Knife Block | £34.36 

Made from organic wheat fibre and recycled steel this knife set and block offers a great eco friendly alternative to most sets out there.


Gifts for the Home Office

Gifts for Those Working From Home

Ponderlily Weekly Planner | £35 

Ponderlily Planners and Journals promotes intentional living through beautifully-designed, eco-friendly planners and paper goods. Each product is crafted with recycled paper, vegetable-based ink and REACH compliant 100% rayon covers. This diary is probably one of my favourite that' I've come across hence it being the first on this list!

Ponderlily This Week Notepad | £10 

I'm a big fan of desk planners, easy to jot down and make sure you capture your tasks plus looks great.

Papier My Daily Productivity Planner | £21.99 

A diary with a difference. Inside, there’s space to plan your days and weeks, write to-dos, make schedules and shopping lists, set and review goals, track habits and reflect on your personal growth. You fill out the dates yourself, so you can start using it at any time of the year, perfect so you don't waste pages when on holiday and just long enough so you will know if its something you can keep up.

Papier Personalised Note Book  | £19.99 

Personalised stationary gets most people excited (dont try and pretend it doesn't). Papier take the time to source the finest materials and printing techniques and this is so obvious when you handle their products.

AYM Bamboo Trousers | £89 

The only clothing in this section because these trousers literally look like the comfiest things on earth (along with the rest of AYM gear). After all sustainable bamboo wear that's comfy as heck, what's not to love

Bertie the Boston Fern | £12 + Pot (£12) 

We all know that plants are good for our health but they are also known to increase our productivity and happiness. This boston fern will look great in your space

2021 Wall Calendar | £16 

This eco-friendly monthly planner is filled with hand illustrated designs, perfect for your office wall.

Little Black Book | £6.99 

Little Black Book: A Toolkit For Working Women is the modern career guide every creative woman needs, whether you're just starting out or already have years of experience. Packed with fresh ideas and no-nonsense practical advice, this travel-sized career handbook is guaranteed to become your go-to resource when it comes to building the career you want.


Stocking fillers

A Pile of Poo | £12

Hey, there is nothing like a bit of a joke present that also helps charity!

Amur Leopard Socks | £12

Selling exceptionally fast, these socks help raise money for endangered species and their protection. Fancy an alternative? 

Ocelot Chocolate | £5   

A small business, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that use only the highest quality ethical produce, and ethical business practices in every way we can. From outer packaging made in the UK from FSC certified paper stock to the inner film is 100% home and industrial compostable. They have always chosen to take a smaller profit margin in order to create the most delicious, and most ethical product.

Tweezerman Micro Palette |£20

This mini set is the perfect for travellers. Having well made products means less future purchases as well.

Mini Scrubs - £18.95

If you don’t fancy making your  own scrubs (message me if you do), these are great option that are great for travel and perfect pamper treat. O plus they're natural and made in the UK

Wild Guide | £16.99

I rave about these wild guides to everyone. They are such a fantastic resource to plan any adventures in the UK and show you all the hidden spots around the country that you definitely wouldn’t find without.

Scrunchies | £10.95

 Unique 100% silk patchwork scrunchie made from fabric offcuts from a tiny little little brand.

KeepCup | £20

If you know someone without one of the staples now is the perfect time to give.

Fir Tree, Orange Candle | £16

100% pure essential oils and made with eco-soy wax. These candles are hand-poured in small batches in East London and Brighton and they use wooden wicks which produce a soft crackle and burn slower than tradtional candle wicks which are usually cotton.

Gin Pong Drinking Game | £13.99  

Because sometimes we just need a gin / beer pong kind of night and this is just the gift to support that.

 

Gift Ideas for those hard to buy for

Gin Making Experience | £110 for one, £160 for two people.

Ever wondered what it is like to make your own gin from scratch? Well that's exactly what you can do at Salcombe's gin school. I went a few years ago and still bang on about it now, you can read my post here.

Canopy & Stars Voucher | Any Amount

A present that smells of wood smoke, tastes like s’mores and offers true relaxation in the great outdoors. Gift Cards can be for any value and used at any of Canopy & stars 750+ amazing spaces, from treehouses and cabins to buses and beehives.

National Geographic Traveller Subscription | £34.50 a year

We may not be travelling much at the moment but this will certainly help give you plenty of ideas for the future.

Audible Subscription | £23.99 more 3 months

Perfect for those on the go, audible offers books to those who may not be able or want to make time for books. Plus you may save a few trees in the process.

Patch Plant Gift Card | From £30

Plants can be like children and they offer so many benefits not just for making rooms look 100000x better, but also for our health and wellbeing. So in short, get a plant.

Neom Candle | £32

Christmas in a candle. With 100% natural fragrance. A soothing, traditional scent with expertly blended spicy and fruity oils of mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean, plus 10 other essential oils to help you relax, unwind and create a warming vibe in your home during the busy festive period.

DIY Creative Bag Kit | from £38

For those creative types, these DIY bag kits by Love and Salvage offer a fantastic way to create something unique and uses fabric offcuts.

Our lovely goods Gift Box | From £38

These curated gift boxes are a way to gift someone (or yourself!) an experience that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home, whether it’s everything you need for an evening of self care or a moment to unwind with a candle and some chocolate! 

Gifts for those looking to learn about other perspectives and grow

Women don’t owe you pretty | £12.00

A recent read on my list and one that's made me really look at my friendships and connections. This book offers a fresh look and gives you the tools to look introspectively, calling bullshit on our excuses and encouraging us to be the better versions of ourselves.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse | £12.99 

I come back to this book every few months, the imagery, the words, the whole thing is beautiful and many have become my favourite quotes including "What's your best discovery? asked the mole. That I'm enough as I am said the boy" . A perfect table topper.

The Girl with the Louding Voice | £7.49

A book that will enable you to see the truth of others lives and make you realise how kindness really can change the world, one kind act at a time.

Invisible Women | £9.99

Probably one of the most eye opening books you will ever read and the most important as well! It's time for the world to notice women, for everyone's safety and future.

This Book Will Make You Kinder | £10.99

A book that's been on my to buy list since it came our earlier this year , Henry James Garretts drawings and words will leave you laughing and questioning why we aren't kind, always.

The Uninhabitable Earth | £8.99

A book that's a wake up call. Covering everything from the probability of worldwide drought and famine to the risk of total economic ruin, it’s an urgent manifesto for a wholesale environmental revolution, from everyday behaviours to government policy and international cooperation. There has never been a book as needed for the current times.

Papier Wellness Journal | £24.99  or Wearth Daily Goals & Wellness Planner | £24

Sometimes you can grow and express yourself without the need for a book. These goals and wellness journals are a great way to start if its new to you.

Patreon Account of Claire Press, Aja Barber, Helena_, | From £3  

Supporting inspiring women's work and learning from them in the process is a perfect gift, especially for those looking to learn more about sustainable fashion.


My boyfriend's Christmas gift picks

Small Beer Gift Pack | £18 with glasses , £15 Without glasses  

Beer was bound to make an appearance on this list. The glasses make a nice touch.

BAM Boxers | £15

The comfiest boxers someone may ever own apparently. O and they're made of Bamboo, one of the most sustainable materials going.

Kelson Finisterre Socks | £18

These socks are such good quality and are great for wearing under boots of any type.

Zero Waste Shaving Gift Bag | £28.99

Apparently this would be at the top of the list, if Louis didn’t have a beard. These kits though are great and so simple whilst also meaning no waste required.

Patagonia T shirt | £40

An absolute classic T-shirt that’s made by a brand built on sustainability!

Spicery Kit | £32

One of Louis favourite purchases of late, the Spicery recipe book and spice kits make trying different cuisines so easy and delicious. Plus you can reorder the spices online so your kit is always complete. A simple but effective cooking tool.

Finisterre Cable Knit Jumper | £135

If he needed any more jumpers (he doesn’t) then these cable knit pieces are perfect for winter. The wool is fantastic!

Chilly’s Coffee Cup | £30

A new design makes this coffee cup look really robust and more likely to prevent spills as well. Great for just chucking in a bag.


and that isn't all! 

If you need any further inspiration check out 2019s Christmas gift guide

Love
Erin 



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Sunday, 26 July 2020

10 Road Trips to Start Planning Now

I'm not sure there has ever been a better time to plan a UK or Irish roadtrip. With the opportunity to explore cities and the countryside with a bit of adventure thrown in for good measure and also a reduced risk of having to quarantine for 2 weeks upon return at the last minute. So here you a run down of some of the top roadtrip options, close to home allowing you to travel slightly more sustainably (without even having to try)!

Urban House

The South Lakes, Lake District


Easy to access by car or train (Windermere has a big station), The Lake District has been a hotspot for many and with good reason. With so many stunning vistas, a Lake District roadtrip offers incredible sights at every turn. If you're short on time, the South Lakes can be fitted into a weekend as it's based on a 20mile radius of Windermere lake, however you can easily spend a week.  Start your journey in Windermere and be sure to take a lake cruise and call in at the Lakeside and Haverthwaith Steam Railway (my Grandad was a big fan!). From there head along to Ambleside, Grasmere and then onto Hawkshead before completing the loop of the lake to end back in Windermere.  Along with hundreds of walks that you could opt to do, be sure to check out Beatrix Potter’s cottage, Hill Top. 

As you'd expect, the Lake district has plenty of sustainable options, so why not try Cedar Manor Hotel at Windermere, Waterhead Hotel at Ambleside and Moss Grove in Grasmere. As you near the completion of your loop, be sure to stop of at Porto restaurant as well, just be sure to have booked!

Ireland.com

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland


If you're still wanting to experience the away from home then why not opt for Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route. After arriving via boat into Belfast (it's so much easier than you may have originally thought), travel along the coast to Derry, stopping off at The Gobbins, Murlough Bay, a quick trip over to Rathlin Island, Ballintoy and Whiterocks Beach and coastal path, which holds a prestigious Blue Flag award. In between Ballintoy and Whiterrocks, be sure to check out the stunning World Heritage Site Giant’s Causeway, and if you're not too scared of heights why cross the popular Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. 

If you're after a sustainable hotel option along the way, be sure to book a stay at the Salthouse Hotel located in Ballycastle. The hotel has been called one of the most sustainable and "smartest" in Ireland and Europe with on sight wind turbines and solar panels, you'll be sure to say your stay had no impact due to it going beyond carbon neutral. Now that's a guild free trip!

NC500, Scotland


If you're after an adventure that leaves you in awe, then an NC500 roadtrip is what you've been looking for. Catch the sleeper train to Fort William before hiring a car to see you around 600 mile trip. You'll weave through the highlands, driving past wild beaches and inhabitated spots as you truly emerse yourself in nature. The trip requires at week at least, two if you have it and should you feel adventurous, there are plenty of camp sites on loches and hidden spots should you wish. Be sure to call in at Applecross, one of the most remote villages in the Scotland and home to one of the countries most impressive road Bealach Na Ba Route and the incredible Walled Garden Restaurant. From there head to Ullapool, and onwards to the most northwesterly village, Durness. Next head along the top of Scotland to John O Groats before heading down to Dornoch. If you make time, try and drive of the main roads into tiny villages, you'll likely find incredible hidden gems. 

Accomodation wise, The Applecross Inn or The Torridon Boathouse are a great first stop. Argyll Hotel in Ullapool, Kylesku Hotel, Kylesku, and Smoo Lodge, Durness all site along the route as you head north as well and with plenty of sustainability credentials are each, you know your trip is as eco friendly as possible.

Celtic Routes, Wales and Ireland


A roadtrip across two countries provides the perfect opportunity to d o something a little different. Celtic Routes, a heritage initiative to connect  the two countries allows visitors to explore history whilst also witnessing stunning landscapes along the way. With no set route, the options are vast however, I would suggest catching ferry from Liverpool to Dublin. Then head South calling at Wicklow to see Black Castle, on wards to  Waterford and then across to Wexford with incredible sites over Fethard Quay. From there catch a ferry back across to Wales from Rosslare Harbour ending at Fishguard. Pembrokeshire National Park has plenty of spots to explore and as you head North along the Pembrokeshire coast, Cemaes Head, Foel Drygarn, Llagrannog and Cors Caron are just a few spots worth a visit. 

If you're first stop is Dublin, be sure to stay at Iveagh Garden Hotel with great eco credentials and a stay at Brook Lodge and Macreddin Village will be bound to impress and as home to  Ireland’s largest geo-thermal hotel heat recovery system, and sustainability credentials are easy to see. Once in Wales, Llys Meddyg provides the most perfect pit stop with a beautiful hotel and restaurant just by Fishguard. Further up the Welsh coast Coes Faen Spa Lodge can be found, the perfect relaxing way to end your trip.

Visit Scotland

South West 300, Scotland


You could call this roadtrip route the little brother of the NC500, and although there are similarities (its in Scotland, it goes along the coast), it offers so much more due to the inland contrast and variety of national parks. Starting in Dumfries, head along to Colvend, onward to Isle of Whithorn then Cairgaan before heading north along the A77 to Aye. The last stretch sees you head inland again and back to Dunfries but along the way be sure not to miss Mennock Pass, Caerlaverock Castle and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. 

If you're not sure where to stay why not stay at Nithbank Country Estate or Queensberry House along the way.

Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland


If exploring 2,500 km of coastline is something you're interested in then a roadtrip along the Wild Atlantic Way is for you. Starting in LondonDerry all the way down the westcoast to Kinsale near Cork you're sure to experience some of the best Ireland has to offer. A personal recommendation, be sure to call in at Dingle a beautiful little harbour town. Along the way from the northern headlands to the surf coast beauty is to be found at every turn. There are so many possible stops and sites to visit I cant note them all but a visit to Galway and if possible a boat across to the Blasket Islands. If you want to make it a real adventure, I would encourage you to get the boat across to Ireland from Wales/Liverpool and drive across to where you will start the route. It may take a little longer but will add so much more to the experience. If you don't have time to do the whole length of the country, many would recommend The Ring of Kerry, a 120 mile loop that could take a weekend or a week depending on how much you want to see and do.

To stay, why not stop at Beach Hotel and Restaurant, Gregans Castle HotelMadra Rua which overlook Trawbreaga Bay and Doagh Island and Slieve Bloom Manor Eco B&B.

The Yorkshire Circuit, England


Through the moors and onto the dales, the Yorkshire's landscape offers a certain ruggedness not found in many places of the UK. Start your Yorkshire Roadtrip from York first visit   Harrogate followed by Grassington before heading back to Aysgarth Falls. Then head off to Ilkey and onto Wensleydale.Of course you must remember to visit the Creamery Visitor Centre after all Wallis and Grommit would approve. Finally head North to Reeth in Richmond before finishing back where you started in York. If you fancy, you can make this route even shorter by starting and ending in Harrogate. 

Top sustainable spots to stay include Beck Hall in Malham, Cambridge House in Reeth and Aldward Manor Golf & Spa Hotel in York.

Best of the Brecon Beacons, Wales


At only 50 miles, this is a short roadtrip, but don't let that put you off as it can easily be extended. Starting at Abergavenny and heading to Gwaun-Cae-Gurwens be sure to do this road North to South. Famed from Topgear this route is filled with hairpin bends and unrivalled views of the Tywi Valley. If you fancy extended beyond, upon reaching Gwaun-Cae-Gurwens head on to Tenby and along to the Penbrokeshire Coast National Park, then to Fishguard before looping back to Abergavenny. 

There are limited spots directly in the Brecon Beacons however, near Tenby the Grove-Narberth is a great spot, as is Llys Meddyg near Fishguard. Before you start your drive you could choose to stay at Drovers Rest at the far North of the national park. 

Best Of The Cotswolds, England


A backdrop for any film or media where quintessential England is depicted, a Cotswolds Roadtrip offers beautiful villages and miles of lush countryside. Starting in the North of the Cotswold area, Chipping Campden offers a great base, from there you can zigzag between beautiful villages, Medevial churches and old English pubs before ending your trip in Bath. Be sure not to miss Bourton on Water, Burford, Kingham, Chedworth or Bilbury. If you're wanting something a little less touristy though, Nauton may also be a great spot. With the whole trip being under 70 miles, you know you can stop at a different place each day should you wish!
 
You won't be sure of beautiful B&Bs to stay in on your trip, my sustainable recommendations though are The Wild Rabbit in Chipping Northon, Daylesford Kingham, and if you're feeling like something really special Thyme in Lechlade.

Atlantic Highway, England


The Atlantic Highway Roadtrip follows the coastal path through Devon and Cornwall as it winds through small fishing villages and past beautiful beaches. As you follow the A39 from Bridgewater to Bude, be sure to first stop off at Exmoor National Park. Bude will be one of the first coastal villages you reach in Cornwall, then as you continue to wind along the peninsular do not miss out getting a bite to eat in in St Issac and of course Padstow. As you head off to reach Land's End make sure you take the time to walk a small patch of the coastal path. What ever part you do, oceans views are bound to be out of this world. 

Cornwall and Devon are home to some of the most sustainable accomadation and dining options in the UK. One of the top stops is Bangors Organic located just outside Bude. If you fancy some luxury, a little further along your route be sure to stay at The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth. Then,as you reach the end Tregenna Castle in St Ives will be a perfect pit stop. 


There you have it, enjoy your trips!

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