This weeks interview has a more personal touch to it, as it happens to be the Director of my own wonderful place of work; the Eden Project! When I began working here, over 3 years ago, I had little knowledge of the world of sustainability, and even less awareness of just how much our life depends on the plants and animals we share this planet with.
But over the years I have learnt so much, and this stunning place – in the heart of Cornwall – continues to inspire me. I know it’s had a effect on the way I see the world and how I live to respect it; so I was intrigued to how other employees feel about sustainability as a result. Well, who better to ask than a key figure behind one of the UKs most popular tourist attractions and educational charities?!
‘Tis the season to sit around the table and share food with loved ones. The one thing about Christmas I can’t be a Grinch about! I love seeing everyone sat around the table, with our personalised napkins (that my mum lovingly sewed for us), and a few candles lighting our smiling faces. We all have our own table traditions; from our “special” cutlery to how we dress it to look pretty.
I love the idea of a big center piece on a dinner table to mark a special occasion, but have always been reluctant to buy anything (and am never creative enough to design something myself) .
Without the risk of sounding like a bit of a stinker, one of the things I love about winter is not needing to do my laundry as often. In the summer months clothes get sweatier, sandier and generally dirtier! But when it gets chilly outside, and my body turns to an icicle, I can get away with wearing outfits multiple times before they need to go through the washing machine.
A few months ago I swapped my usual washing powder to soap nuts, and have recently been experimenting with eco balls (which are awesome BTW!) to use less chemicals on my clothes. But it’s not just the toxins on our skins, and in our water, that excessive clothes washing contributes to.
It’s estimated that every year UK washing machines use £800 million of electricity, and 500 billion litres of water, just to keep up with our obsession for cleanliness. That’s a lot of time, money and natural resources to be spending on a few scraps of fabric to hide our nudity! Especially when you consider that demand for water has doubled in the last 30 yrs; and that by 2025, two thirds of the world population will face water shortage.Continue reading Winter Rest for Washing→
There is a tradition in my house that we always have a roast dinner every Sunday. This tradition, I have to admit, stems from my unnatural love for roast potatoes; in which a Sunday roast is my chance to overindulge in carb heaven.
I have been trying, and mostly failing, to follow my nans amazing nut roast recipe; which is always a hit even with the meat eaters in my family. That was until yesterday, when I cracked jackpot with this chestnut and chia seed recipe. It was a really lovely “meaty2 consistency, and the chunks of cashews made my mouth water.
And whats more, it can even be made in batches and frozen, ready for a lazy dinner another day!! I have kept the quantities fairly loose as I tend to use up whatever bread I have, and work the ingredients around that.
As the late Whitney Houson once sang “I believe that children are our future….” and I have to say that I agree with her whole heartedly .
It’s taken me nearly 30 years to pay less attention to what advertising tells me I want, and more attention to the bigger picture of what I (and the planet) actually need. But what if everyone learnt these values from an early age? What if learning about animals, growing food, and how we all have a chance to make the world a better place was something kids got to explore in a fun and interactive way?
Well that’s just what Hannah, founder of Free Range Learning, is setting out to do. I first came across her work a couple of years ago when she got involved in a free workshop event I organised in Cardiff (with the help of the awesome Green City Events), and was impressed by her enthusiasm, passion and all round fun approach to inspiring children to live happy, healthy and sustainably!
You can watch the video from that event below:
Here’s what Hannah had to say about the work she does, and why she seems to accumulate sacks of empty toilet rolls….
Recently one of my close friends, Kate (who works for the awesome neighbourhood sharing organisations, StreetBank) drew my attention to a thought provoking film: My Stuff. The film centres around 26 year old Petri Luukkainen, a man from Finland who decides to put all of his stuff in storage and only take one item back per day, for a year.
The idea struck a chord with Kate, who believes passionately that we don’t need to own as much “stuff” if we simply opened our homes (and hearts) to others and shared the resources we already have. For Luukkainen, by shedding himself of his belongings, he was able to focus on the things that really mattered. Continue reading Give-a-thing-away-a-day: my advent challenge→
Over the last few months, I have been successfully weaning myself off unnecessary toiletries. Apart from my plastic free lush essentials, toothpaste and a bar of natural soap; I have been treating my body to a relatively product free life. But last weekend I was feeling a little achy, and my skin was starting to look as grey as the cloud outside, so I decided to knock up a quick salt scrub to rejuvenate and relax.