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#ecovalentine

The focus is mainly always on making Christmas a more sustainable holiday but Valentine’s is also a widely celebrated holiday. In America, more than 124 million adults celebrate Valentine’s alone. Add all the European romantics and we’re left with billions of discarded greeting cards, chocolate boxes, wrapping paper and roses.

Valentine’s is all about celebrating love so let’s spread it a bit further and make it an #ecovalentine.

Greeting Cards

The billions of cards that are sent to our better halves add to deforestation and most end up sitting in our landfills. You should choose to either buy a greeting card made from recycled paper or you could opt to take the romance level up a notch and create your own card using recycled materials. Going digital and sending an e-card is also a super alternative.

Flowers

Bouquets of roses and flowers pretty much go hand in hand with Valentine’s. The thing is that these only last up to a week and are then thrown away which brings us to our next recommendation – Why not give your partner something that will last longer? A herb plant would be an ideal and romantic gift if you enjoy cooking together.
If plants aren’t your thing and you would still rather give your partner flowers then visit your local farmers market and see what’s in season. Support local and get a better deal all at once!

Chocolates & Wine

When choosing your wine – be sure to choose a bottle of organic vino and check that the cork is made from sustainable materials instead of plastic!
With regards to chocolate, buy your partner chocs with the least amount of plastic wrapping or packaging. Opt for Fair Trade chocolate and consider dark chocolate for its health benefits!

Dining

If cooking is your thing then definitely prepare a romantic meal for your partner at home. Visit your local farmers market and buy foods that are in season and available. However, if you would rather avoid starting a fire in your kitchen (again!) – do dine out but be sure to try and reduce food waste by taking your leftovers home!

Gifts

This year, don’t go for the traditional soft toy or heart-shaped cushion – be creative and look into some eco-friendly gift ideas. Our reusable veggiebags make the perfect gift and are even made from recycled plastic!
Remember not to wrap your presents in non-recyclable material, opt for brown paper and draw on some red dots to add the red touch.

Happy Valentine’s to all. Be sure to give our Earth the love it deserves all year round.

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Ditch and Switch

EWWR begins today. That stands for European Week for Waste Reduction. Waste Reduction is the preferred approach to waste management because waste that never gets created doesn’t have waste management costs. An example of waste reduction is reducing unnecessary packaging from manufactured products and produce. Unfortunately, since we are not able to control how all products are packaged, we can choose to refuse certain brands and opt for more eco-friendly options to at least reduce our waste at home.

One person doing this is already a good start, a hundred people doing this is wonderful but thousands refusing plastic packaging and reducing their overall waste is incredibly beneficial to the environment. Think of yourself as one of the many thousands. Your waste reduction WILL make a difference.

So here are a few of our ideas on what we should all ditch & switch. Some might seem obvious by now but a gentle reminder never hurt anybody.

-Ditch balloons and switch to eco-friendly decorations
-Ditch unrecyclable wrapping paper and switch to brown paper this Christmas
-Ditch the plastic toothbrush and switch to a bamboo toothbrush
-Ditch water plastic bottles and switch to a reusable bottle
-Ditch the disposable cutlery and switch to a set of reusable cutlery you can carry around
-Ditch the plastic straw and switch to reusable straws made from paper, bamboo or stainless steel
-Ditch the plastic bin liners and switch to bio-degradable bin liners
-Ditch the heavy plastic packaging and switch to glass or cardboard packaging
-Ditch the small plastic toiletries and switch to larger ones in order to bulk buy
-Ditch the single-use produce bags and switch to reusable produce bags when shopping
-Ditch the disposable lighter and switch to old-school matches
-Ditch the plastic razors and switch to a metal safety razor
-Ditch tea bags and switch to loose leaf tea
-Ditch plastic bags and switch to reusable shopping bags
-Ditch tampons & sanitary pads and switch to a reusable menstrual cup
-Ditch aerosol sprays and switch to essential oils 

There are so many products that we can ditch & switch and if everyone made the effort we could really reduce waste substantially, leaving us with less waste in our landfills and in our seas. Throughout the week we’re going to be ditching & switching and showing you all our efforts as part of our daily blog posts especially for EWWR.

What are you doing to contribute to European Week for Waste Reduction?

veco xxx

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Zero Waste October – Reduce

Hello Zero Waste October followers!

Our last post was all about refusing single-use plastic. If you haven’t yet given it a read you can do so by clicking here.

Creating zero waste is not just about refusing, there’s a few R’s you need to keep in mind; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. This time it’s all about reducing – something we probably don’t do enough of!

Remember:

Refuse what you don’t need
Reduce what you do need

So how can I reduce my waste?

  1. Opt for a home-cooked meal!
    Reduce the amount of times you dine out or order a take-away. Statistically when we cook at home we only waste about 3% of  the food prepared compared to a whopping 40% in restaurants!
  2. Take your left overs home!
    Reduce food waste by asking your server to box up your food before heading home! This way you’re helping to reduce the amount of food rotting in our landfills while also having tomorrow’s lunch sorted. Feel free to take your own reusable container with you instead of going home with unnecessary single-use packaging.
  3. Trade paper napkins for a cloth!
    Reduce your waste by eliminating paper napkins from your shopping list. We know they’re super convenient in the kitchen but using a reusable cloth is a great way of reducing unnecessary waste.
  4. Make your own nut butter!
    Reduce the extra packaging and unhealthy additives and make your own delicious nut butters. Buy your nuts in bulk, roast them for that extra kick and chuck them in the processor. You don’t even need to add anything to the nuts as they slowly release their own oils but if you wish to anyway you can add dates, salt or some coconut oil for a super tasty home-made nut butter.
    Don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t immediately look like peanut butter – give them time and remember to scrape the nuts from the sides every now and again.
  5. Bulk-buy!
    Reduce the large amounts of packaging on individual products and opt for bulk-buying! Besides the fact that it turns out to be cheaper, it also reduces the transport miles. Take your own reusable bags rather than using the single-use bags available. Buy your reusable bags here for a more convenient shopping experience. The bags are perfect for bulk-buying nuts, seeds, pasta and cereals!
  6. Opt for minimally packaged products!
    Reduce the useless single-use packaging by shopping smart and opting for the less-packaged option. There’s nearly always a plastic vs glass option. Always go for glass! If you can shop at the deli and take your own reusable containers that’s always a plus too!
  7. Use both sides of a paper before recycling it!
    Reduce paper waste by writing on both sides of a paper before chucking it away – scrap paper always comes in handy anyway! Always remember to recycle.
  8. Go old-school and carry a handkerchief!
    Reduce the amount of packets of tissues used! I really think they did things better back in the day. Do you remember your grandparents using a handkerchief ? I even happen to have a friend who has always used one. They’re great for a little sniffle as well as being a reusable alternative to paper tissues. Let’s be honest, how many times have we found open packets of tissues running around our bags or cars? Think of all the plastic packaging too!
  9. Use loose-leaves for your daily cuppa!
    Reduce landfill waste! For any tea addicts out there – we might not always realise that each tea bag is actually made from plastic and not compostable with all the strings, tags & staples! We really recommend loose-leaves and brewing it in a tea infuser for a lovely cup of tea!

There’s lots of ways to make a difference to the amount of waste you are producing and the above are only just a few.  Feel free to comment or message us with more ideas!

We hope that Zero Waste October is going well for you and if you haven’t yet made the effort this month – there’s still 13 days to go (as well as the rest of your life!)

Happy Reducing,

Amy

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Zero Waste October – Refuse

If in case you haven’t yet heard – it’s Zero Waste October! Now we know that producing absolutely no waste is pretty much impossible in today’s world but I can assure you that reducing your waste drastically is most certainly possible and not as hard as you may think.

There’s been a lot of news these past few days about the global crisis we’re facing. The world has been noticing dramatic changes such as melting ice caps and land ice, rising ocean temperatures and extreme weather events. It may be hard to believe but not everyone can see or understand that there is a crisis and that the Earth is at stake. Reducing our waste and being more eco-conscious is a big part of doing our part as citizens so keep reading for some useful tips to help you be a part of the solution!

There’s a few R’s you need to keep in mind; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. There’s a few more but these I find keep me in check just fine.

Refuse what you don’t need. This may be inconvenient at times but it really is the foundation of ‘zero waste’.

Refuse single-use plastic bags; Carry your own reusable shopping bag when popping over to the grocery store. Besides being charged for any bags, you’ll find it convenient to always have your own sturdy bag to carry your shopping. Single-use plastic bags for fruit & veg are probably the worst because they can’t be recycled and are very hard to reuse due to their size. The price sticker usually ruins them anyway as they tear the plastic when removed! This is where we come in – buy your own set of recycled veggiebags to use when shopping for fruit & veg so you never have to use those pesky plastic bags again!

Refuse plastic utensils, cups & plates; If you’re out and about and ordering a take-away, remember to say no to plastic plates or utensils they may offer. Say no to the napkins they offer too and choose to drink from the bottle or can rather than from a plastic cup. Be prepared – grab a reusable container and cutlery and chuck them in your car for unexpected take-away trips.

Refuse straws in bars & restaurants; Skip the straw when ordering a drink. Over 500 million straws are used everyday and these take over 200 years to decompose. Each year, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from ingesting plastic. You can ask for paper or bamboo straws or just drink from the glass.

Refuse single-use plastic containers at supermarkets; Carry your own reusable containers when buying from the deli counter. Nowadays most supermarkets let you do this and they even take the weight of your container into consideration when calculating the final cost.

Refuse over-packaged products; Refrain from buying these in the first place to decrease the amount of waste that actually enters your house.

Refuse plastic toothbrushes; Buy bamboo toothbrushes which are plant-based for more eco-friendly teeth brushing sessions.

Refuse disposable coffee cups; Ditch the single-use coffee cups and carry your own reusable one! There are so many pretty coffee cups nowadays and they’re so much better for transporting coffee to work without spilling!

The above are only a few examples – think reusable water bottles, non-plastic toiletry bottles and there’s also the amazing menstrual cup for the ladies that wish to have a more eco-conscious period!

Refusing single-use plastic is always easier when you’re prepared so go on and grab some reusable containers, bags and utensils and stick them in the car or in your most-used bag to always have them handy!

Best of luck,

Amy

 

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Recycling Symbols Explained

We all know of the importance of recycling but do we actually know what can be recycled and how? Probably not. Below is a brief overview of what we think are the basics in the world of recycling.

The Mobius Loop with a number in the centre and a letter code signifies what kind of plastic the packaging is made from. The code should help you identify whether it’s recyclable in your area.

01 PET
Polyethylene Terephthalate is one of the most common plastics that you will encounter. It’s usually what drinks bottles and tubs are made from.

02 HDPE
High-density polyethylene is another of the common plastics that you will find. It’s often used in toys, kitchenware and cable insulation.

03 PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is what most modern window frames and doors are made from but is also used for wire insulation, flooring and footwear. The logo on plastic will often only have a ‘V’ below the symbol.

04 LDPE
Low Density Polyethylene is commonly used in toys, carrier bags and general packaging.

05 PP
Polypropylene is often used for products that are injection moulded and blow moulded and is widely recycled by thermoplastic-processing methods.

06 PS
Polystyrene is not just that white, fluffy packaging material that gets everywhere, it’s also the kind of material used for CD cases and cosmetic packs.

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The story behind Adidas Ultraboost Parley running shoes

Good for the oceans

The Adidas Ultraboost Parley running shoes are created with yarn made in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans. Some of the yarn features Parley Ocean Plastic which is made from recycled waste, intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean. Parley is the space and network where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. By teaming up with Parley, Adidas single-handedly prevent 11 bottles from entering our oceans, with each pair of Ultraboost created. By intercepting plastic waste on the beaches and creating long-lasting products, Adidas have been able to save the oceans from further plastic pollution. Teaming up with Parley for the Oceans is just one way in which Adidas plan to avoid plastic use, intercept plastic waste and help redesign the plastic economy.

Watch the promotional video below: