Spring Clean-Up

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Now the snow’s melted and Emma’s stormed off elsewhere, it’s time to embrace Spring with a clean-up at a beach near you. The Marine Conservation Society has a fantastic database of events all over the country on pretty much any day you fancy. So sign up, wrap up and pick up pronto. A feeling of smug satisfaction will see you through.

If you’re keen for a day off work, why not get your office involved? Replace a team-bonding conference in an airless Travelodge with a day’s volunteering at the beach. Your employers will think you’re an awesome human being, and your colleagues will love you for the free seaside ice-cream. If you’re the boss, mine’s a mint choc chip.

All That Glitters…

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Anyone who’s ever spent any time with children knows that they have zero taste. You might think that handmade wooden easel is absolutely darling but they will undoubtedly prefer the purple and orange plastic contraption with LED wheels. So telling kids they can’t use glitter any more because it’s a microplastic, fish-killing abomination will fall on deaf ears. What to do?

The trouble with glitter (and sequins, for that matter) is it’s made from tiny bits of plastic that stay in the oceans, rivers and lakes for years and years and years.  Fish such as tuna and filter-feeders like oysters and mussels are just wolfing it up along with their normal food. And then it goes up the food chain, ultimately ending in us.

As any parent knows, glitter is not suitable for a child under 3 years because they might eat it. It turns out they’re eating it anyway. We all are. For lunch.

Luckily, the glitter ball can still keep turning thanks to a number of more eco-friendly glitters made of cellulose (from wood pulp) with low levels of toxic heavy metals. Available from a number of online retailers:

Eco Glitter Fun 

Eco Stardust

The Mermaid Cave

 

The Last Straw

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It’s funny how a ground swell of public opinion can hit you personally in under a week. On Monday, my friend who owns a coffee shop asked me to pick up some plastic straws at Ikea. By the time I’d got them (Wednesday), the news had gone crazy over plastic cotton buds. By the time I delivered them to her (Friday), plastic straws were over. And now it seems ridiculous that we were ever using them.

Paper straws cost cafes about 2p whereas plastic are basically free. We say, suck up the 2p or don’t suck at all.

If you feel a kid’s birthday is incomplete without straws, try Kikkerland for loads of colourful, eco-friendly options.