Monday, 4 September 2017

Tea for terrible

More and more is coming out about the tea industry's practise of adding plastic to tea bag material, which appears to be a universal one. I buy loose tea in general, but use tea bags at work because of its brewing convenience and I then compost the bags. However, I recently wrote to the producers of the tea I buy, Planet Organic, asking what their tea bag material comprised of. They admitted to adding synthetic fibres to natural ones and, interestingly, made this assertion:
"After the natural fibres have decomposed, the sythentic fibres which will
only degrade very slowly may remain as a fibre matrix. When this is exposed
to mechanical wear ( for example restacking the compost ) the synthetic
fibre matrix ruptures and disintegrates into small fibre fragments which can
assist with soil quality."
I was, of course, very quick to ask for clarification on how plastic might aid soil quality, but am still waiting for an answer several weeks later. It appears the tea industry isn't prepared to take responsibility for their plastic footprint and would rather focus their energy on presenting false information thinly disguised in quasi-scientific polysyllabic jargon. For goodness sake, how stupid do they think we are?
Needless to say, I now drink loose tea at work.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Are you up for the challenge?

Plastic Free July allows you to sample removing single use plastic from your life, and the beauty of the challenge is that you can make it hard or as easy as you want.
Go to the Plastic Free July website to sign up for a day, a week, or a month. You get to choose the type of plastic you want to remove from your shopping over the month.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Worms that eat plastic?

Does this sound too good to be true? I'm no scientist, but I can't believe any organism can sustain itself on synthetic material. How does it work? I would love an explanation.
If it is the breakthrough that it has been heralded as, hurrah! It could be an incredible solution to cleaning up plastic pollution.
However, what I want to see is a breakthrough in plastic and, preferably, single use alternatives. Most of the plastic pollution iniatives are focused on the end of the line, not the start of it, which is where we (desperately) need to be looking.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

DIY deoderant - more effective than anything you can buy

I can't rave about this deoderant enough. I've never had one work anywhere near as well, and I've used all sorts; commercial anti-persperants, through to all-natural, store bought  products.

It's dead easy to make:
Melt 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, mix in two tablespoons of baking soda, and add 10 drops of lavender oil.
Pour it into a jar and keep stirring, otherwise the baking soda will sink to the bottom. Once it's set, you just use your fingers to apply it to your armpits. It will last all day (at least).

What's in it:
Coconut oil - lots of vitamin E (great for your skin)
Baking Soda - this is the deoderiser, and it is very effective (sprinkle some in your smelly shoes)
Lavender oil - antibacterial and antifungal properties
There is nothing nasty that your skin can absorb, like you
get in anti-persperants. However, you will sweat. It only
stops that sweat from smelling.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Plastic-free cleaning

Most of us who have the desire to use less plastic, are also interested in using fewer chemicals. The good news is that is easy to be both plastic and chemical free with cleaning products.

Hot water
I only clean my wooden floors with hot water. There's no need for any additives, though it is sensible to use an antimicrobial, like vinegar, around toilets. Remember, it is normal and beneficial to have bacteria in our homes if managed well.

Cream cleanser
For basins, showers and baths I use a home-made cream cleanser, the ingredients of which I can buy in bulk, free of plastic packaging:
Mix several teaspoons of baking soda with a good dollop of eco dish washing liquid. Stir to make a paste. Simple!

Is perfect for areas where we typically use antibacterial products. Vinegar has antimicrobial and antioxidising properties. Its acidic nature allows it to break down sticky residues, and mineral deposits like lime scale. I use vinegar for cleaning the toilet and disinfecting my chicken coop, and can source it in bulk.