5 FREE Eco Apps To Help Save The Planet

5 FREE Eco Apps To Help You Save The Planet

When it comes to be eco conscious there are many easy ways we can all make a difference from reducing food waste, carpooling to saving energy. Technology can be  a fantastic way to keep track of our efforts and connect with like minded people. Here are some of our favourite eco apps which can help lighten our ecological footprint .

Olio Ever thought that it would be great to be able to give away some of your leftovers or surplus homegrown apples instead of throwing them away? Well, look no further.  Whether you have got food or want food, the Olio App is here to help share unwanted food so it does not end up in the bin.

OLIO is a free app that connects neighbours with each other and with local independent shops so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could include food nearing its sell-by date from shops, cafes and markets; spare vegetables from the allotment; cakes from an amateur baker; or groceries from household fridges when people go away or move home. Users simply snap a picture of their items and add them to OLIO for neighbours or local shoppers to collect.

Available on both iPhone and Android.  Find out more here.

vinted

Make clothes last longer by giving them a new lease of life. Declutter your wardrobe or find great bargains on this secondhand marketplace.  Beyond clothes you can also swap or sell shoes, accessories, beauty products for both women and men. There are also a kids’ sections for clothes, toys, furniture, car seats etc . . .

Available on both iPhone and Android.  Find out more here.

The Darwin Challenge

Modern intensive meat production has devastating impacts on the planet and animal welfare. Choose to eat less meat and go flexitarian.

The Darwin Challenge app has been created for those  who have one or more meatfree days a week. This life-giving app rewards you, by showing you how your meat-free days are improving your health and your world. Small acts, big impacts.

darwin challenge

Available on iPhone. Find out more here.

Bla Bla Car

Why drive on your own when you could travel with others? Carpooling takes traffic off the road, save money and reduce impact on the environment.

BlaBlaCar is the leading carpooling platform in Europe: they connect people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats. In the UK more than 12 million people share a ride on BlaBlaCar every quarter.

Available on both iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

JouleBug
Make your everyday habits more sustainable, at home, work, and play.  Join a community, earn points to compete in challenges, or simply play your friends.

Have fun while lowering your energy bills and reducing waste !

Available on both iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

Do you have a favourite eco app? We’d love to hear about it!

 

Save

Advertisements

10 Tips To Ditch The Plastic In Your Life

Plastic Bottles shutterstock_696170941

Light, versatile, durable and easily manufactured, plastic is seen as a super practical material. It has gained  so much popularity that you can find it everywhere, from the polyester in the clothes we wear to the microbeads in our skincare.

Over the years we have become addicted to the convenience of plastic, and little by little insidious plastic waste has taken over cities, countryside and oceans. The problem has reached such proportions, that it is now estimated that eight million tonnes of waste plastic ends up in the sea each year.

The infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a collection on non biodegrable debris) is a chilling reminder that our addiction to plastic has gone too far.

What’s more is that fish, shelfish and marine wildlife feed on this waste so humans who eat seafood ingest 11,000 pieces of microplastic each year. Additionally it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

The good news is that by making simple changes in our daily lives we can all help reducing plastic pollution.

10 Tips To Ditch The Plastic In Your Life

 

Refill – Forget plastic water bottles, or disposable coffee and tea cups. Switch to a refillable water bottle or insulated refillable cups to keep hydrated throughout the day without generating huge amount of waste. You will also save money as coffee shops charge less for refilling customers’ cups while tap water is of course much better value than bottled water.

Shop At Your Local Farmers Market – you only have to walk the aisles of your local supermarket to realise that food packaging has gone completely mad. Plastic is convenient to wrap fruits and vegetables as you can more easily add a barcode on top of it. Shop at your local farmers market instead using reusable or paper bags.

Ditch The Straw – there is little advantage to drinking with a straw really, unless maybe you are unwell and stranded in bed. Plastic straws end up floating in the ocean and represent a real danger to wildlife (check out the video below showing the fate of a sea turtle). If you have to use straws, switch to a paper straw or a reusable metal straw.

Pack Your Lunch – forget individually packed sandwich, salad, fruit or yoghurt. Buying your lunch is wasteful and (once again) expensive. Cut down on plastic waste by bringing your own food in stainless steel or glass lunchboxes . It will be cheaper and healthier too! Take it a step further in restaurants by bringing in your own containers for leftovers.

Buy Loose – buy cereals, grain, pulses etc… in bulk and store them at home in glass containers. You can even bring your own containers in shops such as Planet Organic to refill.

Switch to Reusable Produce Bags– say goodbye to fruits and vegetables plastic bags by using reusable produce bags. Washable and reusable some can also be used as laundry wash bags or cosmetic bags!

And Reusable Shopping Bags  – the plastic bag tax has been brilliant at reducing plastic bag usage. Still there are occasions when you simply forget your reusable bags and end up buying plastic instead. I always keep one of these Envirosax below in my handbag, car or pocket to avoid being caught out. They quite comfortably hold two to three plastic grocery bags and have been tested to hold at least 20kgs – 44 lbs. Once folded they hold in the palm of your hand.

 

 

Get Your Milk Delivered In Returnable Glass Bottles – take a look around on bin collection days and you’ll quickly notice that plastic milk bottles make up for a lot of packaging waste. Sign up for milk delivery and get your milk delivered in reusable glass bottles instead.

Beware Of Food Containers & Trays – take away and frozen food is often packaged in plastic or polystyrene. When shopping for convenience food, make a point of choosing products packaged in paper only.

Wear Natural Fibrepolyester fabric is another big ocean polluter resulting in microplastics entering our food chain. Choose natural fibre such as cotton instead.

GreenPan Ceramic Non-stick Cookware

Sofia v800

GreenPan is back by popular demand!

The patented Thermolon™ ceramic non-stick technology is heat resistant up to high temperatures. This means that GreenPan™ has an extra safety feature; if you overheat your pan, even up to 450/850, no toxic fumes will be released and the coating will not blister or peel.

 

 

Thermolon™ is also a better heat conductor than traditional coatings. This results in superb searing and crispy frying.

 

Choose from two 5-piece cookware sets. Both are currently available at a discounted price.

Sofia v800
SOFIA 5 PIECE COOKWARE SET – SRP £150 Your Price £99.99
Vita Verde Black and Grey v800
VITA VERDE ‘SOFT GRIP’ 5 PIECE COOKWARE SET – SRP £120 Your Price £60

 

9 Websites To Help You Shop For Local Food

9 Green Smoothiesv8002

In spite of a strong farming heritage,  40% of Britain’s food is currently brought in from overseas which is both bad for the environment and the economy. Supporting local businesses and producers is one way we can make our money go further, boost local economies and build communities.

Here is a round-up of British websites that will help you source fresh, local, seasonal produce from local farmers’ markets, farm shops, producers and independents. You can use this list for your weekly shopping as well as when you are on holidays.

Local Foods  – nationwide web directory of Farmers’ Markets, Farm Shops, Pick Your Own.

At The Farm Gate – nationwide database linking UK farmers, small holders and related local producers with people who want to buy direct and support the British farming and countryside industry.

Big Barn – nationwide local food website including a  local food map for producers as well as a marketplace of over 500 vendors.

Food Assembly – launched in France, Food Assembly is now in the UK. Choose from a wide range of local products and collect your order from your local Assembly. Producers set their own prices and receive an income that is both fair for them and good for the local economy. Nationwide.

Hubbub – do your weekly shopping from local independents. You can place your orders from different local shops on Hubbub website. Hubbub then consolidates from all the different suppliers and makes one delivery to you. London only.

Hampshire Farmers Markets – not-for-profit, community interest organisation supporting producers of Hampshire.

London Farmers’ Markets – meet London’s farmers, fishermen, growers and bakers who all share a passion for home grown products.

Food Finder SW – supporting West Country’s produce this app (iphone only) lets you search for your favourite West Country food and drink and see how far you are from the nearest retailer.

Fresh N Local – also based in the West Country, this website helps you find local traders and farmer’s  market in the area.

This article was originally published by The Flexitarian

Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives

Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives


EWG
(Environmental Working Group) has just released its “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives “.  According to EWG “More than 10,000 additives* are allowed in food.  Some are direct additives that are deliberately formulated into processed food. Others are indirect additives that get into food during processing, storage and packaging”.

The “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives ” aims to help consumers identify food additives with serious health concerns, additives banned or restricted in other countries as well as other substances that should not be in food. Even though they are allowed in food, some additives are linked one way or the other to health concerns such as cancer, allergies, eczema, hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD, reproductive function etc…

The “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives ” follows in the footsteps of EWG’s yearly Shopper’s Guides to Pesticides in Produce™ (“Dirty Dozen Plus™” and  “Clean Fifteen™“). It gives a detailed description of each additive, including the health risk(s) they are associated with, which types of food they are contained in and how best to avoid them.

You might wonder why if they are so bad, those additives are allowed in food? This comes down to loopholes in the legislation. In the US the designation is called GRAS or  “Generally Recognized as Safe”.  Other similar designations are in place in the EU.  This is of course controversial as even though a substance might be linked to health issues it still can be allowed in food if present at “safe levels”.

The Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites (found in cured meat)
  2. Potassium bromate (found in bread)
  3. Propyl paraben (found in tortillas & muffins)
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) (found in crisps and preserved meat)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (found in cereals)
  6. Propyl gallate  (found in cured meat)
  7. Theobromine  (found in chocolate)
  8. Secret flavour ingredients (found in processed food)
  9. Artificial colours  (found in processed food)
  10. Diacetyl  (found in yoghurt and cheese)
  11. Phosphates  (found in processed food)
  12. Aluminum additives  (found in processed food)

While it is impossible to avoid these additives entirely, you can limit your exposure by cooking fresh food and avoiding cured meat as well as processed food. Make sure you also read food labels carefully and eat organic food whenever possible.

Additional websites you might want to visit:

  • Food Intolerance Network which provides fact sheets, shopping lists and general information on food additives, preservatives etc..
  • Explore E Numbers where you will find helpful information on good & bad E numbers.

This article was originally published on The Flexitarian

Lunch Ideas For The Lunchbots Bento

The Lunchbots Bento is the ultimate lunchbox. Made of stainless steel and 60% larger than Lunchbots‘ classic containers it is ideal for a large sandwich or salad, a sushi combo, veggie burrito, or other favourite meals to go. Refill it over and over, save money and add zero waste to landfills.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Trio

Only food grade stainless steel comes into contact with your food.  There are no linings and no toxins.

The Lunchbots Bento is suited for larger appetites and available in different combinations: Bento – UnoBento – Duo or Bento – Trio. The compartments enable you to mix and match your lunch options. For children and smaller appetites we recommend Lunchbots‘ classic containers.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Duo

The Lunchbots Bento is best for dry foods. If you want to add a soup, stew etc.. we recommend the Lunchbots Insulated Jars which have a water tight lid.

Lunchbots Insulated Food Container - Dark Blue

Here are some healthy lunch ideas:

Rainbow Salad Wrap by Jamie Oliver [vegetarian]
Carrot & Houmous Roll-Ups by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Curried Quinoa Wrap by Lunchbox Bunch [vegan]
Creamy Greek Salad Wrap by Kitchen Treaty [vegetarian]
Cool Refried Bean Wrap by Veg Kitchen [vegan]
Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad by Food Network [flexitarian]
Tortellini with Pesto & Broccoli by BBC Good Food [flexitarian]
Broccoli Lemon Pasta by Marin Mama Cooks [flexitarian]
Vegetable Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce by Archana’s Kitchen [vegetarian]
Macaroni Slice by Good Food [flexitarian]
Sweet Lentil Salad & Green by Love & Lentils [vegan]
Lebanese Lemon Parsley Bean Salad by Cookie & Kate [vegan]
Zesty Black-Eyes-Pea Salad by A Dash of Soul [vegan]
Veggie Chilli by Jamie Oliver [vegan]
Vegetable Stew by Woman’s Weekly [vegan]
Green Club Sandwich by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Mediterranean Sandwich by The Flexitarian [vegan]
No-Chicken Coronation Sandwich [vegan]
Better-than-Tuna Salad Sandwich by The Fig Tree [vegetarian]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich by Tow Peas & Their Pod [vegetarian]
Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies by MOMables [vegan]
Tangy Couscous Salad by BBC Good Food [vegetarian]
Three Grain Grilled Vegetable and Feta Salad by Naturally Ella [vegetarian]
Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine by Food & Wine [vegetarian]
Asian Quinoa Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod [vegan]
Classic Hummus, with variations by VegKitchen [vegan]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by BBC Food [vegan]
Three Easy Dips for Kids by BBC Food [vegan]
Broccoli Dip by Real Simple [vegetarian]

 

Earth Day 2014: Go Meat-Free One Day A Week

Reblogged from The Flexitarian

Earth Day Meatless Monday

Happy Earth Day! Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated every year on April 22nd. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilise the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year’s official campaign is Green Cities to help cities and communities around the world accelerate their transition to a more sustainable future. The Earth Day website has detailed information on what is happening where and how you can take part.

If you would like to go one step further this Earth Day why not take the Meatless Monday pledge? Going meat-free one day a week is a simple and effective way to help the environment.

As the global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is forecasting global meat production to increase by 65% within the next 40 years.  To understand the issues surrounding the meat industry you have to look at the intricate web that is the meat supply chain. In order to meet the growing demand for meat, animals are reared intensively, producing a huge amount of waste. Meat production generates high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which contribute to global warming. Through flatulence and manure, livestock produces methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), two very potent greenhouse gases. Did you know that in terms of GHG emissions “the consumption of 1 kg domestic beef in a household represents automobile use of a distance of ~160 km (99 miles)”.

Livestock is fed with grains which require land to grow. The meat industry requires around 33 percent of total arable land. Additional space for livestock and crops is usually created through deforestation. Deforestation impacts GHG emissions. Forests act as carbon storage as they use CO2 to grow. Once the trees are cut, the CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Deforestation adds more atmospheric CO2 than the sum total of cars & trucks on the world’s roads.

The meat industry also puts a huge burden on water supply. From the irrigation of feed-crops through production chain to the final consumer product, water is needed in large amounts throughout the meat production process. The numbers are again staggering: 15,415 litres of water are required to produce 1kg of beef in comparison to 287 litre of water for 1 kg of potatoes.

In the words of Meat Free Monday “One Day a Week Can Make of World of Difference”! So join us and go meat-free at least one day a week! Find out more about The Flexitarian Diet here or browse our meat-free recipes.

Happy Earth Day!

 

Asbestos Awareness Week 2014

A few weeks ago we were contacted by Heather Von St. James, a mum who against all odds survived mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer linked to exposure to asbestos.

According to Abestos.com, the United Kingdom possesses one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world, largely because the UK government permitted the use of asbestos long after other countries outlawed its use. People the most affected by the disease are the ones who have worked in the shipbuilding or building industries. Mesothelioma affects people who have been in either primary or secondary contact with asbestos. While asbestos use in the UK in now banned, any structures erected or renovated prior to 2000 are likely to contain asbestos. The UK government provides some useful links on how to deal with asbestos in your home here.

Asbestos is still not banned in the US. Heather Von St. James has made it her mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. Here is her story:

At age 36, just 3 ½ months after giving birth to my first and only daughter, Lily, I was given 15 months to live. It was a diagnosis that absolutely shattered my once perfect world with my brand new baby.

In November 2005, I was diagnosed with a rare, deadly cancer. It was malignant pleural mesothelioma. The more I researched this disease, the more hopeless I became. I quickly found out that mesothelioma kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis, and here I was with a brand new baby. The thought of leaving her and my husband Cameron alone in this world was unbearable. After undergoing various tests, it was determined that I was a candidate for a new type of surgery known as an extrapleural pneumonectomy. This surgery required the removal of the affected lung, half of my diaphragm, and the lining of my heart. We knew the surgery was risky since it was so new, but like any mother would, I decided that I would do anything it took to continue to be there for Lily.

The surgery was in Feb. 2006 in Boston. It was extremely hard being away from Lily during that time but I knew that what I was doing was going to make it possible for me to watch her grow up. The surgery was successful, it was a grueling and hard recovery, but thankfully I’m still here 8 years later and cancer free.

Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. I was exposed to asbestos second hand through my father’s work clothes and developed mesothelioma years later. My father worked in construction while I was growing up and unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home on his jacket- the same jacket that I would wear outside to play and feed the rabbits. The rate of second hand exposure in mesothelioma patients is rapidly growing, and sadly, asbestos is still not banned in the US!

Asbestos can still be found in older homes, schools and in the workplace. Over 30 million pounds of this deadly substance is still used each year in the United States. April 1-7 is Asbestos Awareness Week and I’ve made it my mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.  I hope you’ll join me!

From awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life.

Asbestos Awareness Week 2014 is running from April 1st to April 7th.

Learn more here and help Heather share her story.

Asbestos -Did You Know Facts

Gifts For Your Eco Valentine

Celebrate your love for each other without putting an additional burden on the planet. Choose an sustainable eco gift from our Valentine’s selection.

When choosing our products we consider both care for the environment and respect for the people producing them, giving as much thought to how those products were made as to how they look.
Here are a few hand-picked ideas:

seasonal english flowers
Seasonal English Flowers from £18.95
Organic Underwear by Augustine London
Organic Underwear by Augustine London
Organic Underwear by Do You Green
Organic Underwear by Do You Green
Organic Underwear For Men
Organic Underwear For Men
Heart EarthLust Bottle
Heart EarthLust Bottle
Love Sign
Love Sign
Heart Photo Album
Heart Photo Album
Sari Journal
Sari Journal
Rustic Leather Photo Album
Rustic Leather Photo Album

 

Keep Leaf – New Plane Design

keep leaf plane design
We love this brand new Plane design from Keep Leaf. Available as an Insulated Lunch Bag and matching Reusable Sandwich Bag.

Keep Leaf Reusable Sandwich Bags are the ideal alternative to disposable plastic baggies and wraps. They are made from 100% cotton exterior with waterproof liner to help keep food fresh for longer. Easy and secure velcro closure. Ideal for sandwiches, snacks and most food items.

The insulated lunch bags are made from high quality, thick organic cotton canvas and are the perfect antidote to the many cartoon character lunch bags on the market!

A wide range of prints is available to suit both adults and kids.

Click here to view our Keep Leaf range

Go Waste Free With U•Konserve & Kids Konserve

U•Konserve & Kids Konserve waste-free lunch packing and food storage products were a natural outgrowth of what two women saw as a critical need that required immediate attention. With the premise that any business they undertook had to help the environment in some way, it didn’t take much imagination to see how they, as parents of young children, were contributing to garbage landfills, pollutants and sending the wrong message to their own children. How could they set an example of conservation for their children and empower them to be examples of change for the future?

Calculating the amount of lunch trash being produced each day at their own schools shocked them enough to begin more research into reusable products that would dramatically cut down on our Earth’s ever-growing garbage pile. Focusing on how school lunch programs operate opened their eyes and propelled them to create U•Konserve & Kids Konserve.

U•Konserve & Kids Konserve‘s products are unique:

  • Reusable and Waste-Free –  designed to reduce the staggering amount of trash that ends up in our landfills and oceans every year because of food packing.
  • Sustainable Design – use high-quality, non-toxic materials designed to be durable and long lasting, and to minimize waste throughout each product’s life cycle.
  • Non-Toxic and Non-Leaching – tested by independent labs to meet strict safety standards, all of our products are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead.
  • Recycled Materials – they only use recycled cotton, and all of the insulated fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Functional and Practical – products are designed for kids and adults, ideal for lunches, travel, picnics, takeout, salad bars, refrigerator storage and more! They’re leak-proof, easy to clean, and easy to pack and store.

View full ranges of U•Konserve & Kids Konserve.

Green Living – 5 Ways To Recycle Your Bra

organic_underwear_bra__21439

Is your lingerie drawer needing a make over? Here are 5 ways to recycle your bra so you can make space for some new organic underwear without guilt!

1) Against Breast Cancer: Against Breast Cancer gets money for your unwanted or unloved bras that is used for research to improve detection and survival from breast cancer. They work in partnership with BCR Global Textile who help small businesses in Africa, through their textile project they are preventing valuable textiles going to landfill giving them a new lease of life in developing countries across Africa where bra’s remain too expensive to produce.

2) Oxfam Big Bra Hunt: Oxfam recycled your unwanted bra sending them to Senegal where they are sold by Oxfam’s local social enterprise Frip Ethique making a real difference in the fight against poverty.

3) Breast Cancer Campaign: with a similar partnership with BCR Global Textiles, this charity supports research projects across the UK and Ireland in the fight against breast cancer.

4) Braid: Braid main current project is  to help the women in Tanzania from the HIV projects to use the capital from the bra sales to set up their own businesses.

5) Uplift Bras: based in Australia collects new and second hand bras and sends them wherever they are needed. In disadvantaged communities a bra is often unobtainable or unaffordable. Often the bra received through Uplift will be the only bra that woman owns.