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World Earth Day 2019


World Earth Day 2019.  All over the world people, communities and companies are taking steps to raise awareness of environmental issues to encourage people to make the changes needed to protect our planet.  If you watched Climate Change : The Facts, the documentary by David Attenborough that was shown last week then you will know that now, more than ever before, it is time for us to act. 

The actions we take every day are not just going to affect the planet in hundreds of years when we are long gone, the effects are happening now.  If we carry on at the rate we are, by 2040 it is estimated that the planet will have heated up by a further 1.5 degrees celsius. The consequences of this are severe flooding, making millions homeless, increased poverty, droughts and a mass die off of coral reefs.  Whilst you may think these issues are related to countries in warmer climates, this is incorrect.  The United Kingdom is an island, and a small one at that, many areas of the UK would be at high risk of flooding and could even end up underwater.  Warmer climates could also bring a risk of new diseases, carried by insects that live in these climates.  

We know that the government need to do more, we need policies, guidelines and potentially taxes on the worst contributors to climate change but we all need to do more too. 

Here are a few of my suggestions, overall I think it is about taking a step back.  We owe it to our grandchildren to live like our grandparents.  A return to local shopping, local and seasonal produce and less processed and packaged goods could make an enormous difference to their future. 

1.  Check your products for palm oil

Palm oil is a cheap product that is found in many, if not most of the prepared foods, soaps, shampoos, household cleaners on sale.  Palm oil is the leading cause of deforestation of the rainforest as the oil palm trees are cut down for their fruit.  This deforestation is perhaps the biggest contributor to climate change. The supermarket Iceland made a pledge to have no palm oil in their own brand products by the end of last year so this could be a good place to start for palm oil free food staples. For body, hair and skincare we recommend Weleda, Green People, Dr Hauschka and SKN-RG.  All are free from palm oil. We are also very proud to be a stockist of Viridian, the worlds first certified palm oil free vitamin company.

2.  Reuse

Plastic is a huge problem.  I am currently reading the book by Will McCallum, How to Give Up Plastic and this is scary reading. At current estimates between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year. That is nearly a rubbish truck every minute.  Our oceans are full of single use plastic that takes centuries to break down. We simply do not have enough room on the planet for all of the plastic we are using and discarding.  Recycling is one option but the best way is to reduce or reuse.  The biggest change for me for this has been the single use coffee cup.  For probably 15 years I had my take away coffee, naively thinking the cup could be recycled.  We now know that is not the case and so the reusable coffee cup has to be the answer.  If you forget your resuable cup, another option is the compostable vegware cup that is on offer at some of our local independent coffee shops in Bramhall (make sure you use the correct bin, it must go in food waste not cardboard recycling).  Aside from coffee cups, refillable water bottles, glass storage containers and cotton shopping bags will all help reduce the waste.  We recently launched our Faith in Nature refil service for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel so can bring your bottles along to be reused.

3.  Shop local

Using the local greengrocer, butcher or baker means less impact on the environment. Local shops usually bring fresh from the farm or the market so there is less need for all of the packaging to prolong the life of the food as is is shipped around the world or the country (and your food will be fresher) and less air miles are needed for it to get to you.  Try to take a look at where your food has been raised or grown, the nearer to home the less impact.  You will usually have the choice at local shops as to how to package your goods so if you choose to use your own bags or containers to save on packaging then you can do.  

4.  Eat less meat, especially beef

Cattle emit methane which is a potent green house gas that has been found to contribute to global warming.  Until recently the consumption of meat and intensive farming was on the increase. Campaigns such as Veganuary have seen huge numbers of people making the switch to a plant based diet.  You don’t have to be completely plant based but cutting back on the meat you eat will make a difference.

5.  Choose ethical brands

There are some brands out there that have used sustainable practices from the beginning.  These brands have made a positive impact on the environment and the lives of many people in the communities they work with. We are proud to stock Viridian Nutrition, Dr Hauschka and Weleda.  We are also always looking for new brands that share these values. Most recently we became a stockist of UpCircle, a unique and innovate company that has made body scrubs and face care products out of used coffee grinds that would have been going to waste.

We don't have to be perfect all of the time but we do all need to be aware of these issues and take responsibilty where we can.  We look forward to sharing more news on our sustainable brands and packaging innovations very soon.

World Earth Day 2019. All over the world people, communities and companies are taking steps to raise awareness of environmental issues to encourage people to make the changes needed to protect our planet.