6 articles Tag environment

The Most Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas

The phrase “ecological consciousness” has been added to our vocabulary in recent decades. The abundance of material goods, their reckless and short use, the multiplying and growing landfills, and the destruction of the environment lead humanity to a dead end. The solution is a greener and safer life. There are some simple moves you can make in your daily life to gain greater ecological awareness. Even buy eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones. School supplies, a friend’s birthday or celebration, even if there is no reason for it, you want to make a gift and because you have an ecological conscience, you want your gift to be ecologically similar. So let’s explore some of the most eco-friendly gift options for our loved ones:

Create experiences

Offer experiences instead of material goods. Give your loved ones experiences that will benefit them either by relaxing, entertaining, or teaching them something valuable. Some ideas are a relaxing massage, a yoga or dance class, movie or concert tickets, an online course or an escape room walk. The choices are dozens, but the result is invaluable to the recipient. In the end, no material good can compare to a truly intense experience.

DIY Gifts

A more original, memorable and personal idea is to make something for a gift, with materials you already have without having to throw them away or buy new ones. Some relevant suggestions are to cook a delicious meal, make your loved one’s favourite dessert, make a body scrub with sugar & oil, make an ornament, or create a video with memories that will speak directly to the recipient’s feelings. DIY will not only offer you perhaps the most economical solution, but by making the gift yourself, you make this whole gesture more personal and even more important.

Eco-friendly products

If you decide to give a gift as a gift, prefer it to be ecological. This may mean it is plastic-free, reusable, zero-waste or digital. For example a glass water bottle, stainless steel straws, a bamboo toothbrush, natural & cruelty-free soaps and cosmetics or an ebook. However, among all these fantastic options, one stands out among the others: a piece of jewelry made from ecological materials.

This particular gift not only manages to utilize old recyclable materials creating a new beautiful result but also manages to give a unique character to its holder. Jewellery that has nothing to envy from other industrial products comes to steal people’s hearts with their exceptional beauty. Make such a special gift today to your loved ones, conveying the spirit of ecological consciousness and creation. Find the perfect gift of handmade recycled glass jewellery by MiNiMis company at great and economical prices.

We all love to make and give gifts. But these gifts do not have to be expensive or costly to the environment. Above, we discovered together simple, easy, alternative and ecological solutions for the presents of your loved ones. To make their lives and our own a little better by protecting our environment and spreading happiness all around.

Recycling Considerations For Your Small Business

If you run any small business type or freelance from home, you might already notice some waste products from your process. 

Working strictly on a computer produces very little in the way of recyclable by-products, but there is still a correct way to dispose of old technology. 

Let’s look at some of the ways you can boost your recycling and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Bin and labels

Having several bins that are clearly labelled can help everyone in the company dispose of waste correctly. 

If you only have things like paper, plastic and regular waste – this is even easier to achieve. 

Often a colour coded solution can help ensure that the right waste ends up in the right place. Or a simple well placed, and clear label on the lid of the bins. 

If you run a larger company with a lot of paper waste, it is worth consulting with a recycling specialist with recycling machines. This solution can ensure that you are doing the best job. 

Company Culture 

Make it part of your company culture to ensure that recycling and being more eco-friendly in general is high on the list of company values. 

If recycling and/or reusing becomes part of the company goals and ethos, you will notice a significant increase in recycling. 

Engage often with staff so that they are aware of changes and schemes that you will be taking part in as a company. 

Make all recycling options easy to access and clear to all new hires and those who work within the company. 

World Days

Several globally celebrated days are designed to raise awareness of recycling and the positive impact suitable on the world. 

Get your team – no matter how small – in initiatives and activities for the day. Here are a few that are worth exploring. 

Check out the associated websites, and see if there are local activities you can get involved in. 

Knowledge

Are you aware of everything that can be recycled? Most people think about the basics like paper and plastic, but there is an extensive list of things that can be recycled. 

  • Cardboard
  • Paper – colour paper, confidential paper, envelopes, flyers and leaflets, magazines, newspapers
  • Plastic bottles, lids and some other plastic containers
  • Electrical items, although it is best to contact a recycling specialist for this one
  • For food waste, you can opt to make compost, or a food recycling bin (this will depend on your local authority)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Batteries
  • Printer cartridges
  • Furniture 

Most often, you will need to rinse the glass and plastic if they have food residue.

Each of these items should make its way to a licensed recycling centre or a professional recycling business. 

Businesses create a lot of waste, often without noticing how much could be recycled. Help your small business do some global good by being recycling aware. 

Is your business still growing? Here are Five Ways to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level.

Reusable Shopping Bags and other Small Changes You Can Make for the Environment

Reusable Shopping Bags and other Small Changes You Can Make for the EnvironmentWhile there’s no doubt that the vast majority of global pollution comes from the mega-factories which produce the world’s retail offerings, there are still things that we can do which will contribute to a cleaner environment for ourselves and future generations. Small things which won’t have too much of an impact in terms of cost or effort, but will definitely contribute to a safer planet. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Reusable Shopping Bags

It’s been quite a while since the supermarkets implemented their ban on free plastic bags for shipping with, but many people still spend the extra 10p for one, rather than bringing a reusable bag. In many shops, if you invest a couple of pounds in their branded totes, they’ll often replace them for free if they break, of if you want to be even more adventurous, there are some gorgeous personalised reusable shopping bags if you shop around. Top tip – keep them in the boot of your car when you aren’t using them and you’ll have them to hand when you shop!

Reusable Coffee Cups

If you’re someone who likes a daily latte, you’ll probably be aware that the disposable cups offered in many places aren’t the greatest thing for the environment. More than 1 billion coffee cups from 720,510 trees are made each year in Australia alone, and that’s just one small corner of the planet. There are even cups made from materials which look like plastic but are in fact bamboo, or other eco-plastics, making your impact on the environment even less.

Homemade Cleaning Products

It’s way easier than it sounds, especially considering white vinegar and baking soda clean pretty much everything. Making your own cleaning products not only reduces packaging waste from regularly buying them at the store, but it also saves you from using harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals on your everyday surfaces. Going Zero Waste has some great recipes for DIY cleaning products, including an all-purpose cleaner, a tub scrub and even all-natural bleach (yes, this is possible!)

Ditch the Drinking Straws

If you love drinking through a straw but don’t want to have the impact on the environment of disposal plastic straws, you should seriously consider investing in a stainless steel or copper straw. Many restaurants are also transitioning from plastic straws to more eco-friendly options, such as paper straws or even straws made from pasta!

Say Please to the Bees!

If you make packed lunches for your spouse or kids and end up using things like cling film or plastic bags for wrapping the food, you’re probably putting a LOT of single use plastic into landfill. Beeswax wraps are an amazing, hygienic alternative to plastics, are better for your health and you can even make them yourself at home.

Do you have any easy hacks or swaps that you use to make your life a little more eco friendly? Do you have a gorgeous reusable shopping bag that you love more than your Mulberry?! Leave me a comment below letting me know!

Easy Ways to be More Environmentally Friendly in 2019

Many more of us are now looking to lead a much more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Whether this be going green altogether, or to simply save some money. Here we cover some of the easiest ways to live more eco-friendly this year.

Saving energy

One of the most simple ways to living more environmentally friendly, but also the most effective. This being energy conservation, so turning your electricals off once you have used them is the key factor. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also could save you a lot of money over a long period. This could include turning your refrigerator down, using energy efficient light bulbs and only using your dishwasher or washing machine when these are full.

Reusable packaging

For businesses this is a growing factor, but should also be taken into account for individuals when packaging their everyday items. You should look at using reusable packaging such as at PPS, for when moving house, which is something many of us will have to do on multiple occasions throughout our lives. This means that far less waste is being produced.

Go paperless

Another very effective way that both individuals and businesses can move to. This is going paperless. Letter boxes are continually full with flyers and bills, so simply changing to paperless can make a big impact to reducing the amount of paper that is used. This means contacting banks to request to only be contacted via email and opting for only paperless billing. The same for other bills such as phone, gas and electric. You should also look at unsubscribing from the different unnecessary catalogues that you may be part of.

Food shopping online

Yes food shopping online has many benefits to the environment. This is something many people are moving to due to living such busy lives. You may feel lazy in doing so or want to select things yourself, but this can do wonders for the environment. This is eliminating car trips, which is of course associated with carbon emissions. You can also request no bagging to even further the eco-friendly experience.

Rubbish Clearance Waste Management Improved By Clearabee

Besides a rubbish clearance bin, most UK citizens have a “single stream” recycling container in which they put all their recyclables. This includes everything from plastic juice bottles to discarded toys. Paper, plastic, and glass are all mixed together. Other countries, such as the United States, use single stream curbside recycling too because citizens tend to be lazy so they prefer not having to separate out the different types of recyclables they bin and the government doesn’t force them to. However, this convenience comes at a huge cost.

Single stream recycling is usually picked up by the same bin men as pick up the rubbish clearance bins. They simply throw it on a different truck or a different part of the truck. However, it is a problem that much of the household rubbish ends up in the recycling bin and vice versa before they even pick it up. Further, the rubbish clearance will often contaminate the recycling to the point it cab not be processed as recycled items. For example, if oil or grease gets on cardboard recyclables, it cannot be recycled and will end up going to the landfill anyway. This is the same reason that greasy pizza boxes cannot be recycled, although people often mistakenly put them in the recycle bin.

The single stream recyclables are taken to a materials recovery facility where it must be sorted in various ways. In some case, people actually remove certain items as the recyclables come down a long conveyer belt. In other cases, optical sorters, infrared sorters, and magnetic sorters automatically sort the waste removal while humans watch over the process and spot errors. Although this works amazingly well, the process is not perfect.

Susan Collins, the director of the Container Recycling Institute, a charity group based in the United States, reports that twenty-five to forty percent of the single stream recyclables actually get taken to the landfill. This is due to contamination and other issues in the sorting process and due to what happens in the recycle bin at home before it even gets taken to the materials recovery facility. As she puts it, “You can’t unscramble an egg.” In other words, once certain materials get mixed, you can un-mix them to sort them for recycling different types of materials. For example, if glass breaks into bits during transport, and contaminates paper recyclables in the same bin, these items may not be able to be sorted well enough for the paper and glass to both be recycled in the way they need, so they both may end up in the landfill.

Private on demand rubbish clearance companies, like Clearabee, in the UK seem to be the best equipped to deal with the problems associated with sorting (pre-sorting) and contamination. Further, they seem to reduce this problem just be how their process works and where they take the rubbish clearance they pick up. Luckily for ecofriendly oriented UK citizens, Clearabee has quickly grown to be the largest private rubbish clearance service in the entire UK, outcompeting the next largest similar service by a long shot.

The Clearabee teams are trained to pre-sort and then group together similar materials from different households and businesses. They then use technology to determine the nearest places that will accept each type of material for reuse or recycling, instead of taking these items to the landfill. They also put a preference on reusing materials over recycling them as reusing items is even more ecofriendly than recycling items.

Some customers of Clearabee are willing to help out and do a certain amount of pre-sorting before Clearabee picks up their rubbish clearance, although the Clearabee service does not require this. For example, one household doing some spring cleaning, may separate out the clothes, toys, glass bottles, and household items. This can help Clearabee get these different items to places where they can be reused or upcycled.

Over their eight years of being in business, with Daniel Long at the helm, Clearabee has strived to improve their reuse and recycle rate. Right out of the gate, given their mission, motivation, and business plan, they reused and recycled more items than any of the waste removal services hired by the local councils. Today, they have improved upon their original percentages and they now reuse or recycle about ninety percent of everything they clear! This percentage is on par with some other European countries like Finland, Sweden, and Germany who are considered the best recyclers in the world. They are approaching closed loop recycling and Clearabee isn’t that far off this mark either.

Clearabee has become a leader in sustainability on a world stage. Many UK citizens seem to use their service in part because of how ecofriendly their services are compared to any other service in the UK. Doing business with a socially responsible and environmentally friendly business is becoming increasingly important in one’s decision making process on which business to chose over another. Clearabee’s practices make that an easy choice for all the people they serve in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Why We’re Sticking ‘Two Fingers’ Up at Damaging Cleaning Products

I’m starting to get to that stage of pregnancy where I want to begin the nesting process. Cleaning is not something that comes naturally to me, but I’ve definitely started to get the decluttering bug and I keep getting random “I must scrub that skirting board…” type thoughts jumping into my head whilst sitting in my armchair.

Having an asthmatic child means that I try to be selective about the products that I use, which is why when I saw the following video for Two Fingers cleaning products, I was intrigued (as well as bowled over by cuteness because I L.O.V.E. sloths!)

This is the blurb that attracted me in the first place:

“Everyone recognises that we live in an environment that is constantly under threat from the things we pump into our skies, bury in our land and pour into our rivers and oceans – and everyone knows that we need to change.   At Two Fingers their whole approach is about protecting the environment by preserving precious resources, respecting the need to conserve, and doing everything possible to minimise the impact of excessive packaging, transport and distribution.

Their entire range is ONLY made from ingredients derived from natural, readily biodegradable, renewable and sustainable botanical resources, principally plant and vegetable derivatives. All their products are non-hazardous and have never been tested on animals.   So say Two Fingers, to dirt, to waste, to toxic cleaners!

Two Fingers cleaning products are unique in that they transform plant and vegetable based ingredients into particles called micelles, which disrupts the bonds of material to not only clean, but disintegrate dirt and oil. These micelles are much smaller than that of typical soaps and detergents and (here’s the clever bit) they surround dirt with detergent making the dirt more soluble and lower the surface tension so the dirt comes away from the surface with a simple wipe of a cloth.”

Knowing that not only will the products be safe to use around the home, given that it’ll have an asthmatic and a newborn in it, is a huge relief, and knowing that the company has strong policies when it comes to the environment is an even bigger ‘tick’ in Two Fingers box. I also noticed this in the FAQ section of the site:

Are Two Fingers products safe to use around pregnant women, young babies/toddlers and animals?

The combination of low volatile organic compounds/no fumes, a neutral pH level, no known Carcinogens or other health effects mean our products are a safe choice for use in the home. You can even wash your fish tank with them – just don’t forget to take the fish out of the tank first!

If you want to know more about Two Fingers Clean, watch the video above and head over to the site for more information.

Post written in collaboration with Two Fingers Clean