Once again, sorry about the sparsity of my posts. I’m currently in the process of launching a second blog which will act as a portfolio for my nature writing and illustration. Once that’s set up I will distribute my attention more evenly between the two! Watch this space…
Before moving to London, I was worried I might get distracted from my love of wildlife and all that kind of thing. There are lots of fabulous London things to in London, and I thought I might get caught up with pasty shops at train stations and other exciting diversions. Fortunately, I was wrong! I’m loving the pasty shops, but I’ve spent more time thinking about enviro issues here than I did in Bristol. I’ve also managed to get a job fundraising for the RSPB (amaze), which is making me realise more than ever how important it is to co-operate with the natural world.
Consequently, I’ve managed to give my life a little eco revamp. I’ve always tried to buy things ethically when I can, but I’ve now decided it’s the sort of thing you can’t really do half-assed. There’s no point in buying organic leeks and then hobbling into Primark. So here is a quick run-down of a few nice changes I’ve made to make the world a little less crap:
Like many ladies, I use lots of cosmetics. I have thick, curly hair so I need a million hair products, and my dry skin means I must always have moisturiser at arm’s reach WITHOUT FAIL. I remember reading something about how little we know about the chemicals in our beauty products, and how easily we will smother ourselves without thinking. There has also been an awful lot in the media recently about animal cruelty and cosmetic testing. With both of these in mind, I am now slowly replacing each of my cosmetic items with products from Lush and The Body Shop. I know there are plenty of other companies that produce eco-cosmetics, but I haven’t done enough research yet! Lush are famous for their fresh, natural products and The Body Shop never test their products on animals, and use sustainably-sourced and Fairtrade ingredients.
As I mentioned, I’m starting a new job with the RSPB soon, hoozah! They’re my favourite charity and I can’t wait to get cracking. My job involves being on my feet and moving around London every day, so I decided I would invest in a good pair of sneaker-trainers. I remember hearing that Lily Cole (very interested in eco-activism) had collaborated with a French company called Veja, so I had a sneaky peek and found that they make eco-sneakers using organic Brazilian cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon and vegetable-tanned leather. I was most excited about the wild rubber, because they enable Brazilian people to earn an income from sustainable rubber-tapping rather than resorting to logging.
Needless to say, I bought this delicious pair of Taua Grafite Emeraudes for €69, made in the Ceara region of Brazil.
Free range, organic & seasonal
This is probably the easiest thing you can do to improve the lives of both domesticated and wild animals, yet it’s the one thing people avoid. Free range chicken speaks for itself: chickens deserve to lead a natural, safe and happy life before they’re eaten or while they provide us with eggs. A quick comparison on the Sainsbury’s website reveals that you can buy free range eggs for just 35p more than normal ‘barn’ eggs (caged). As for organic produce, I can’t stress how much of a difference it makes. I’m currently reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, and although it was written in the 1960s, everything she says rings true today. Pesticides find their way into soil, rainwater, insects, wild birds and animals, and our own digestive systems. They kill wildlife and are undeniably dangerous to our own health, yet we feed our children pesticide-coated fruit and veg. Another Sainsbury’s search reveals that organic leeks are a mere 50p more than regular leeks. If you buy produce seasonally, you’ll find it to be even cheaper.
If you think you can’t afford a few pennies more each week, think of the last stupid purchase you made that you could have spent on better food. Mine was a band t-shirt I bought ‘in the moment’.