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ERIN KAY WILLIAMS

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Fancy a Challenge for the Planet this January?

With New Years just days away, I thought it would be only fitting to end 2018 with a challenge for us all during January, the c...

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.
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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?

Love
Erin
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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.
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Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 4


It's safe to say the past few weeks have been a little bit chaotic and so I sadly haven't had time to compile the positive news stories but this week I'm back with stories covering all sorts from alcohol to LGBT.

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Friday, 8 March 2019

International Womens Day; 8 brands supporting Women around the World


It's International Women's Day! 

For me, International Women's Day is a day to celebrate, to show your love for all the women in your life but it is also about recognising the privilege I have to live, dress and work where I want and how I want, something many women are still not allowed to do. This years theme, #BalanceForBetter is all about us creating a world where everyone is treated equally because we all know a balanced world is a better one.
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Monday, 4 March 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 3


It's that time of the week where I round up the positive news stories from the week. There are lots of positive things happening from festivals banning plastic, to retailers needing to discuss sustainability more seriously! Enjoy...


Refill lunches to make a comeback #LongLivetheLunchBox - Numerous independent cafes and restaurants in the UK are allowing people to bring their reusable lunchboxes to help tackle single-use plastic. Places taking part will display a pink 'we accept containers here'. To find your nearest follow the map here


Water-free system dyes fabric with CO2 - Did you ever think it would be possible to dye clothes without water? I certainly didn't but a Dutch company have created a new dying technique using compressed CO2 instead of water. Check out the video in the link.

Glastonbury bans single use plastic - This year Glastonbury will ban the sale of all single use plastics. That includes backstage, dressing rooms or production. In 2017 a staggering 1.3 million bottles were used at the festival so diverting this many products from use is absolutely incredible!


Restaurants need to get on board with waste - A study has revealed that if restaurants invested £1 into cutting food waste they could make up to £7 profit. Proving that there really is a business case for all businesses to help reduce their food waste.

Etsy to offset global shipping emissions - Etsy have made the commitment to offset all of their carbon emissions from shipping its products which make up 98% of Etsy's total emissions.


Australia plan to plant 1 billion trees - Although Australia are doing some seriously shady stuff around the coral reef at the moment they have recently pledged to plant 1 billion trees by 2050. The scheme is part of a new National Forest Industries Plan to help remove green houses gases. 

Meghan Markle tackles race in University - Did you know that of the 19.000 professors recorded in Britain only 90 were black men and 25 were black women. TWENTY FIVE! The numbers are horrendous but Megham Markle is taking on the academic system and calling for change. 


Zipcar reach 250,000 members - Zipcar which has over 2,600 electric vehicles in the UK has reached over 250,000 members. With such success, especially in the cities who knows if shared services may be the future of how we use vehicles, bikes and electronics.


Retailers admit to needing to do more around sustainability - UK and Irish retailers have admitted there is "more to do" surrounding sustainability in fashion following the publication of the environmental audit committees report. And its about time!

5 foods you can regrow at home to cut back on waste - There are lots of reasons to grow your own vegetables, from reducing your food miles to getting to experience growing what you like. Here are 5 easy foods to regrow from your food waste.


Algae may be used in future construction  - French architech have designed a new tower black for the Chinese city of Hangzhou which uses algae to absorb CO2. The feature called biofacade is a little like double glazing but instead of air between 2 glass panes there is algae and water. The use should help offset the buildings environmental impact. Although the project is yet to be approved there is a similar one in Paris that has been given the go ahead. 

A fat rat got stuck 😊 - because sometimes you just need to see a little fat rat in Germany being rescued after it got stuck in a hole!

Hope you enjoyed this week. Do you have any positive news?

Erin
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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 2


We all like some good news now and then, so here’s your weekly dose of happy news stories from species making a come back to clean energy wins for a greener planet.

Enjoy!


The biggest offshore wind farm in the UK starts supplying energy this week - A windfarm off the Yorkshire coast was set to supply its first power to the UK electricity grid last week. The windfarm, once complete will dwarf the current largest and with 174 turbines it will be on a par with conventional fossil fuel-fired power stations. Go green energy!

Sierra Leone have a national cleaning day each month - On the first Saturday of the month from 7am to midday citizens of Sierra Leone take to the streets to clean up waste and litter. The aim of the campaign is to ‘bring people together who will make their own environment habitable again’, reminding citizens of the importance of having a clean environment both for human and planet health.


A circular economy has the opportunity to provide a wealth of jobs -  a study in Australia found that for every 10,000 tons of material recycled, 9.2 jobs would be created. This is a huge increase of just 2.8 jobs when material was previously being exported our of the country to China. Showing that improved recycling and a move towards a circular economy may help economies as well.


Amazon has set a goal for Net Zero on shipping - Amazon has a long-term goal to power their global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy. With improvements in electric vehicles, aviation bio fuels, reusable packaging, and renewable energy, they now believe they can see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers, this has led them to set the goal of reaching 50% of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030. They're calling it project "Shipment Zero” and is a huge positive step to a net zero future.


The RAF has won the diversity and inclusion advert of the year - This year in channel 4s diversity awards, the Royal Air Force scooped the best advert for diversity in advertising. The advert takes down women's stereotypes ending with “Women should be defined by actions, not cliches.” Now that's what we like to hear!


IKEA to start renting furniture in sustainability push - IKEA has announced plans to start renting its furniture, as they try to encourage a move towards a more circular economy which includes refurbishing and re-selling products.

The trial furniture rental scheme, due to begin in Switzerland imminently, will initially be limited to office furniture such as desks and chairs with the hopes that in the future this could be rolled out to other areas of the house, so only time will tell.


How 56 men are trying to breaking through stereotypes - This campaign, created by Cephas Williams is all about breaking through stereotypes and the negative portrayal of black men within the media and the stigma attached to them in public. 
Using social media, Cehas posts striking head shots of black men in hoodies. All the men involved are politicians, directors, teachers and all have positive life stories that are irrelevant to the attire they choose to wear. The whole campaign is to demonstrate that for everyone black man you see representing something negative, there are 56 others doing positive work that goes unnoticed and is a crude reminder to everyone that stereotypes and the media really need to be put in check sometimes. Be sure to go check out the instagram page!


Sea Turtle populations have soared after legal protection -  FANTASTIC NEWS, following legal protection a team of researchers looked at 31 marine populations and found that the populations of 78% of marine mammals and 75% of sea turtles rebounded after receiving protection.

What's even more incredible was that the median sea turtle population increased by 980% following the regulations established by the ESA, an absolutely huge win, and may it long continue.

The BBC are launching a fashion and lifestyle brand - Following the success of Blue Planet 2, the BBC have announced the launch of eco-friendly clothing, homewear and books under the umbrella BBC Planet. The collections are hoped to act as a guide to those who want to change their habits and move towards more sustainably made products.


Hovis launch bread bag recycling scheme - Hovis has announced a new partnership with recycling specialist TerraCycle to make it easier for its fully recyclable plastic bread bags to be correctly disposed of by households. Although the bags are recyclable at the super market plastic bag drop off, after research it was discovered that less that 10% of people were doing so.
So, if you eat bread, save up a few bags under your sink and either register as a private collector of bread bags and access free postage label to post them to TerraCycle for recycling or, why not locate a dedicated community collection point in schools or charity hubs to send the packaging for recycling.

So there you have it, a round up of positive planet news! Have you got any positive news this week?

Love
Erin
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Monday, 18 February 2019

Positive News for a Positive Planet; No 1


There are many inspiring news stories that we come across on a weekly basis. Some are squished in between other depressing stories so we don't really have the opportunity to absorb the fact that something good has happened. Others, make the front page spread. Then there are those that unless you look in the correct place you will never find. In a world that seems so full of hate at the moment though I thought it was about time to cheer up those Monday evening blues.

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Saturday, 26 January 2019

24 Hours in Applecross; A Guide


Going to one of the most isolated villages in the UK may not be something high up on many peoples to do list, but I think it's something everyone should consider.

Applecross isn't your average little village, situated on the coast line with a wide sweeping bay, incredible views and fantastic food, its a place like no other that will leave you feeling you really have escaped from the rest of the world.


We only managed to spend 24 hours in the area, and I'm already dying to go back. so if you're heading over to Sskye or fancy doing the NC500 route (read more about that here), here's a quick comprehensive guide on how to spend your time in the beautiful place at what feels like the edge of the world...

Where to stay in Applecross?

It's safe to say there isn't much choice of where to stay in Applecross, it's tiny after all.

We stayed at the Hartfield House Hostel, which was pretty darn basic but had everything we needed and for £50 for the two of us, it was pretty reasonable price as well. Although there is no phone signal at the site, there is Wifi to connect to should you wish.

If hosteling isn't your thing, you can grab a room at Applecross Inn, the country put in the centre of the village starting from £70.

If you want somewhere a little fancier, I'd encourage you to book Applecross B&B.

Of course, there's also a camp site and a few other B&Bs dotted around should none of these places tickle your fancy. Due to the low number of rooms though, I'd encourage you to book, especially in the Summer.


Where to eat and drink in Applecross?

For me, there is only one place to eat in Applecross, the Walled Garden. The place is a converted greenhouse, it's tucked away from the main road and provides a little oasis (should you need one). The cafe come restuarant has a menu of locally sourced products and everything we ate was cooked perfectly. In fact, the chef could quite easily fit into a London Pub and you would still be impressed. My only issue was the fact I couldn't go again because we were leaving the area.

Now of course there are a few other options which all looked great, including the Applecross Inn where the seafood is the freshest you may ever experience, or The Junction, a relatively new bar where you can grab pizza till late and stare across to the sea with a whisky in hand.

What to do near Applecross?

If finding the best views around is something that interests you than the Bealach na ba route is perfect. Reaching a peak of 600m, it's one of the highest roads in the UK with plenty of hairpin bends. Whether your in a car, on a bike or walking, there are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the sites. It's really not to be missed

With so much natural beauty around, you could head into Rassal Wood; a 6000 year old ash woodland where wild flowers can be spotted. More of a beach buddy? Then head to Sand beach for views over the Isle of Skye.


If like me, lochs and waterfalls are your favourite thing to go and visit. I'd highly recommend a walk to the Falls of Bagly. In autumn you can sometimes catch a sighting of Salmon (sadly I didn't have any luck), but continue up the path and through the gate and you'll reach a loch completely deserted. Should you fancy a bit more of a walk then you can head back to the road and across the other side to climb a hill called Aird Mhor.


If my small amount of time spent in Applecross taught me one thing, its that the views at every turn really can take your breath away, and the isolation, although a little daunting at first, can leave you with a feeling of complete calm by the end of your trip.

Have you ever been to Applecross? Would you go?

Love
Erin

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