Thursday 30 December 2021

Eco News in Scotland

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Here's some positive eco news for the end of 2021 with a Scottish twist!

Mini Ski Model, Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

πŸ’š 1) Luna the Dog's Epic Walkathon

Michael Yellowlees from Dunkeld and his Alaskan husky Luna set off on a 9 month 5,000-mile journey across Canada. Equipped with a guitar and a handcart, the pair raised thousands of pounds for the rewilding charity Trees for Life

Michael aimed to raise awareness on deforestation and the £40,000 funds raised will help to plant trees in the Caledonian Forest, stretching from the West Coast of Scotland to the Great Glen. (Scarily Luna went missing part way through the journey but was gladly reunited with Michael along the way!)

πŸ’š 2) Don't Ditch It - Repair It!

A new repair shop called ‘Remade Network’ was opened in Glasgow. In an interview with the BBC, Ross Cameron, store technician says he's fixed a lot of general household goods since he started.

"We've had music boxes, clocks, hairdryers, record players, radios, hedge trimmers and mowers - everything under the sun in terms of electrical stuff," he explains.

They also repair clothes and broken ornaments, laptops, tablets, iPods & phones. A brilliant way to preserve items and prevent them being added to landfill.

Eagle over Water Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

πŸ’š 3) The Eagles Have Landed!

Eagles returned to Loch Lomond after 100 years. Per the BBC, ‘It is believed that this is the first time sea eagles have settled at Loch Lomond since the early 20th Century.’

Following a re-introduction of white tailed eagles (otherwise known as sea eagles), there are now believed to be 150 mating pairs across the UK.

πŸ’š 4) Yell Yes If You Want To

On the island of Yell in the Shetlands, cars are being powered for the first time by tidal energy. Tidal energy was mostly used to power homes, but a new charging point has been installed to power up cars too!

πŸ’š 5) Up, Up & Away!

Inventor Rod Read from Shetland has produced a portable DIY wind turbine called a kite turbine initially made from scrap materials including a bicycle wheel. Small enough to take on camping trips too. Ingenius!

Dandelion in Breeze Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

πŸ’š 6) Shell Got Shelved

Shell has announced it is pulling out of the controversial Cambo oil field, located approx. 75 miles to the West of the Shetlands.

πŸ’š 7) Orkney Leads the Green-volution

On 2nd November 2021 (during Cop26 in Glasgow time), ITV aired a TV program about the green projects on the Orkney Isles. 

Did you know that Orkney produces around 130 percent of its energy needs through renewables, with 1 in 12 households in mainland Orkney making their own power supply (either by home turbines or solar panels)? Electrical vehicles are also popular with many charging points around the island.

In Shapinsay a wind turbine converts excess energy into hydrogen which can be used on the ferry MV Shapinsay & also for Orkney council’s hydrogen vehicles

Meanwhile, Orkney hopes to test the 1st hydrogen powered passenger plane, ideal for hopping between islands! Plus, what could be better than using hydrogen to run a sustainable gin distillery?

An energy convertor using the power of waves in the Scapa Flow has been developed & a tidal turbine called O2, located in the Fall of Warness, 
is being used to power around 2000 homes. (Unlike solar & wind, tidal power is more reliable as a regular source of energy.)

And finally, on the small Isle of Westray further North, a community owned wind turbine was installed, with excess power sold back to the grid. The profits from electricity are fed back into projects on the island, including affordable housing and a community garden and golf course. What a lovely idea!

Trees in Glass Ball Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

πŸ’š 8) Community Joins Together To Support Nature

A community in Scotland bought 5,200 acres of land belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch, with the aim of turning the area into the ‘Tarras Valley Nature Reserve’

The group Langholm Initiative successfully raised £3.8m by crowdfunding. Per Positive News, ‘Peatlands and ancient woods will be restored, native woodlands established and a haven created for wildlife including hen harriers.’

Langholm hopes to raise another £2.2m, with plans to increase the nature reserve to 10,500 acres in 2022.

πŸ’š 9) Rewilding Loch Ness & Beyond

The Affric Highland Initiative, in consultation with Rewilding Europe and Trees for Life are aiming to restore nature to 500,000 acres of landholdings, stretching from Loch Ness across to Scotland’s west coast. 

The charity 'Trees for Life' have so far established nearly two million native trees across the Caledonian Forest.

πŸ’š 10) Healing Nature One Tree at a Time

Check out this wonderful video on the importance of rewilding made by the Scottish Rewilding Alliance (sound on).

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance are calling for rewilding of 30% of Scottish land and sea by 2030. Bravo!

Check out our good news section for more positive news.


Thursday 25 November 2021

Festive Dreamin'

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint This Christmas

Collect Moments not Things Image by lilartsy from Pexels

This time of year can be joyous but can also be stressful, not only for us but also for the planet. Thrown away toys, unwanted gifts, plastic packaging, excess food waste, the list goes on. But we can do better. Here’s some thoughts on how to reduce our use of resources AND make ourselves feel better at the same time!

Reduce – it’s so easy to get into the habit of excess buying. A poster on a forum had some good ideas. Buy your child something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

For older members of the family maybe set a limit so you don’t feel you have to spend lots, no more than a tenner perhaps. Or make your own items that they enjoy like bath salts for a bath enthusiast or your own biccies for that someone with a sweet tooth. Try these 100 Homemade Gift Ideas for some inspiration.

If you do buy gifts, why not buy from a charity shop catalogue, you know your gifts are also helping charity, or look to sponsor an animal maybe.

To reduce food waste keep an eye on use buy dates. Best before dates are usually safe (even after the date) but use by dates you want to keep an eye on. I try to write on a white board which things need eating as a reminder or bundle left overs in the freezer for later in the week.

Food waste can often be composted but it does produce methane, a greenhouse gas so reducing waste can reduce our carbon footprint.

There are some food waste apps that help to reduce waste you can try.

Check my reviews for some eco products too for some ideas of less wasteful products to try or check out some of our home made items for sale.

Reuse – it’s OK to reuse old wrapping paper, or even use brown wrapping paper tied in string. You can find ways to brighten it up. Be creative and inventive! 

Try this site for some eco friendly gift wrapping ideas.

Natural Wrap Materials by Boris Pavlikovsky from Pexels

Recycle – frustrating I know, we try so hard to recycle but it can be very complicated. To get an idea of what recycling symbols mean check out our blog post.

RecycleNow is also a great site to guide you along the way.

For anything tricky to recycle like toothpaste tubes and cat food pouches, take a look at Terracycle to see if there’s a recycling point near you.

Rekindle – is there an old hobby you lost sight of? Maybe a favourite walk you used to do you haven’t done in a while? It’s OK to take time to do more for Planet You. 

There’s no point running around totally stressed out and have little time for you. If you have a large bunch of people young and old to cater for, work out which jobs folks love to do best and play on their strengths. It’s less of a task if you enjoy it!

Recoup – let’s face it, some of the best things in life are free. Fresh air, warming sun, crispy leaves, trickling water – if you have access to these things enjoy them. I love a nice walk on a cold crisp day at Christmas. Even better when you can snuggle up when you get home!

Rejoice – Grab ya fave music, radio is usually free and lifts your spirits. Or grab that book you never got around to reading. Why not check out our list of eco friendly books too? 

Instead of full throttle take a step out and breathe a little. (Believe me, this is something I have to remind myself to do regularly). 

If you’re feeling bad about reducing your gifting this Christmas, take a look at Martin Lewis’ tips on why it makes sense to take a step back. 

Check out too this lovely idea of the repair shop for preloved teddies. They deserve some love too! 

Christmas Ted Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

Happy Christmas!


Useful links for an eco friendly Christmas:
πŸŽ„Homemade Items for SaleπŸŽ„

Thursday 4 November 2021

Is Cop 26 a Cop Out?

 Cop 26 –
A Cop Out or Copping On?

verb To wise up; to employ common sense or logic; to understand the situation.

Plane Photo by Pixabay at Pexels

I don’t know about you but I feel a little sad that humans come together to find ways to heal the planet, whilst at the same time using the very thing (plane fuel) that will damage the climate. An example is the modes of transport used by world leaders and their counterparts to attend Cop 26 – the climate change summit held in Glasgow this year.

Air fuel emits greenhouse gases high up in the atmosphere where it often stays. If private jets are used, the carbon footprint is much higher (per passenger) than commercial flights. If they do use commercial flights, business and 1st class seats emit more greenhouse gas per passenger due to the larger seating area they take up onboard.

So, how much do we think will change, how quickly can it happen and can they reclaim back the carbon they used whilst travelling to the summit in the first place? 

Probably some things WILL change BUT probably much too slowly to make a difference. They are already in debt with the planet so using up even more carbon emitting fuel, to congregate together to talk about how we can STOP damaging the environment, seems really strange to me.

I’m as much to blame as anyone, I drive around in a car and have taken flights myself – I don’t think any of us claim to be angels, but I do wonder whether there were better ways to make a difference and make agreements but in a much greener way?

Earth on Phone Pic by Daniel Frank on Pexels

Some statistics!

Policy actions and the efforts of industry have led to improvements in fuel efficiency over recent years. For instance, the amount of fuel burned per passenger dropped by 24% between 2005 and 2017. 

However, these environmental benefits have been outpaced by a sustained growth in air traffic, with passengers in 2017 flying on average 60% further than in 2005.

The aviation sector creates 13.9% of the emissions from transport, making it the second biggest source of transport GHG emissions after road transport.

✈ If global aviation were a country, it would rank in the top 10 emitters.

✈ Someone flying from Lisbon to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating their home for a whole year.

An article from the BBC stated that non-CO2 emissions such as nitrogen oxides also cause detrimental affect - they persist for longer at high altitudes and cause a warming effect to the planet.

For example a plane from Madrid to London emits 118kg of CO2 per passenger, however if non CO2 emissions (secondary conditions caused by nitrogen oxide) is then included this totals 265kg per person, in comparison to just 43kg per passenger if the journey was undertaken by train.

Hope Peace Love Care Live Pic by Disha Sheta on Pexels

A Little Personal Viewing

One good thing so far about the climate debate is the increase of programmes on TV to help us learn more about our contribution to environmental decay. I realise that I am spouting about damage to the environment whilst typing in my computer and talking about television both of which uses electricity. 

Our electricity supplier is 100% green energy (so they say) but the TV and laptop themselves used up resources in their production; in fact all of us are taking from Mother Earth every day by eating, drinking, breathing and washing our clothes.

But I have found the TV programmes to be very eye opening and they triggered my desire to make some changes of my own and hence create this blog.

Recent programmes have included ‘Celebrity Trash Monsters’, where celebrities carried around their plastic waste around their waist for two weeks, including waste created by their families. Was quite a shock for anyone who regularly eat take-away to see just how much waste is generated by one family alone.

Another thought provoking programme was ‘Joe Lycett v The Oil Giant’, which had quite revealing information on Green Washing tactics used by oil and energy companies, who are huge polluters themselves.

‘How We Forgot to Save the Planet’ is another show that I intend to watch soon.

More on these programmes available on channel 4 catch up can be found at:  

Kudos goes to BBC for the coverage of the 'Earthshot Prize - Cleaning the Planet', with Prince William & Sir David Attenborough. 

Episodes covering Cleaning the Air, Protecting Nature, Preventing Waste & Reviving the Ocean are available on BBC iplayer at:

Be Kind to the Planet Pic by Olya Kubruseva on Pexels

It's a Wrap!

It’s encouraging to see that the UK government is introducing more bans on plastic items – following on from the ban on plastic cotton buds and straws, in unison with WRAP they are now focussing on throw away plates, single use cutlery and polystyrene cups.

The plastic tax is also set to come into effect April 2022, where a product has less than 30% recycled content.

More on government approaches to plastic waste can be found at:

Tree planting and sea-grass planting schemes have also been encouraged. Recently, a ‘Green Recovery Challenge Fund’ created by DEFRA, Natural England, the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency have granted £80m (£40m per funding round) to help kick start environmental projects.

Some of the projects supported include wildlife trusts, community forestry areas and Chester Zoo; to help create a wild nature corridor to restore wetlands and wildflower meadows.

The fund also supports delivery of the 'Ancient Woodlands and Trees' programme. This £4.6 million, 15 month programme of activity will make a difference to the condition of ancient woodlands. The Woodland Trust and the National Trust are working in partnership to deliver the programme.

The government say:
‘The fund is supporting a range of nature conservation and recovery and nature-based solutions projects, which will contribute towards the Government’s wider '25 Year Environment Plan' commitments, including commitments to treble tree-planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament and restoring 35,000 hectares of peat.’

So we’re going in the right direction but I do wonder if 25 years is quick enough considering the alarming rate of knots that we are adding to carbon emissions in our every day lives. Trees take decades to mature, so as speakers are saying at the climate support conference, now is the time for action rather than words.

As 15 year old Earthsot Prize Finalist Vinisha Umashankar points out:

‘Today I ask, with all due respect, that we stop talking and start doing".

Hands in Heart Formation by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels

Let’s hope we haven’t left it too late!

Monday 20 September 2021

Positive News Autumn 21

 Positive News September 2021

Some good news stories to keep us in the mood!

Butterfly on Flower by L Hilton

1.     First Baby Beaver Born

The National Trust released 2 Eurasian beavers in Somerset and just 18 months later a new pup was born, the first in 400 years! 

Beavers became extinct in the 16th century but recently reintroduced to help with flooding defences. It didn't take long for the introduced beavers to get into the groove (see what I did there?)

2.     Pine Martens Make a Comeback

The first pine martens born in England for 200 years have been caught on camera. Eighteen pine martens were moved from Scotland to the Forest of Dean and three of the females have since given birth. 

Beavers and pine martens dwindled due to hunting and loss of woodland. It is great to see moves to bring them back but we must protect them for the future.

              Irish Baron Rewilds Estate

An Irish baron, Randall Plunkett turned his 1600 acre estate in County Meath, Ireland into a refuge for nature.

Cattle, sheep, crops and lawns are no longer part of the estate but shrubs, trees and flowers are taking shape. Many trees have been planted by the local wildlife, Plunkett recalls.

Before, the estate had just three types of grass, now it has 23. “I didn’t do it, the birds did.” 

Trees regenerated and multiplied – oak, ash, beech, Scots pine and black poplar. “I see a lot of saplings growing that I haven’t planted.”

4.             Jays Planting Trees 

A research centre in the heart of Cambridgeshire was left to re-wild for 60 years. They found shrubs and trees were planted, not by man, but by the local wildlife including thrushes, jays and squirrels. 

52% of the trees in Monks Wood are oaks and jays love to cache oaks, thereby planting a tree. Good work, hey?

5.             Shire Horses Mow Cambridge Uni Meadow

The wildflower meadow at King’s College, Cambridge was harvested this year with the aid of two Shire horses. The horses cut the meadow on Monday 2nd August. 

The bales will later be used to create more wildflower meadows across the city of Cambridge.

Bee on flower by John Hunter

6.             Cows Digesting Plastic?

Scientists in Vienna (Austria) found that bacteria living inside a cow’s rumen can digest certain plastics, including those used to make single-use packaging. 

The results of the study found that three different types plastics could be broken down in “hours” by the rumen liquid. So we can stop blaming them for belching methane, eh?

7.             English Moor Used as CO2 Sponge 

Peatland in the West Pennines near Manchester is being used to soak up CO2. The peat had dried up due to over grazing and wildfires so banks were created to help trap water and improve the condition of the moor. 

In good condition peat bogs can absorb twice as much carbon as forests.

8.             Football Going Green 

A Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea game was billed as the first major net-zero carbon football match. 

Tottenham Hotspur is currently the greenest club in the Premier League, using reusable cups, waterless urinals, veggie alternatives and green energy supplies.

Forest Green Rovers site is run on green energy, serves vegan food, has an organic pitch and electric car charging points.

Other clubs are looking at solar power, LED bulbs instead of flood lighting and providing public transport to reduce car traffic at the match.

More in the link below.. 

9.             Travel by Rail and Plant a Tree

Positive news reported of a new company called 'Tree Hugger' where for every rail ticket bought a tree is planted. 

The green travel company has joined forces with the Royal Forestry Society and the Royal Scottish Forestry Society to optimise the planting. A new app is being developed soon.

10.             Be Free and Go Fly Free!

Meanwhile a new company called 'Byway' was launched in 2020. After the public reviewed their ways to travel due to Covid restrictions as well as environmental concerns the founders noticed a rise in travellers wanting a slower way to travel.


Here's Some Ways to Help the Planet:

1) Truckers Clean Up:

Did you know there is a Facebook page called 'Truckers Cleaning Up Britain'? Truckers often see discarded rubbish thrown into laybys and have grouped together to share their clean up ventures as they go.

2) Insurance for Nature:

If you're looking for home, business or charity group insurance, why not check out this company that supports nature? They are also offering a 12 month subscription to Positive News magazine, so a win win!

3) Restarting Your Electrics:

Do you love to fix things? Are you in need of something fixing yourself? Check out the Restart Project for some ideas on events that may be happening near you. You can also host your own event too.

Beautiful Butterfly by L Hilton

Check out my other feel good stories at: 

Thursday 29 July 2021

Deodorant in a Jar

This is my 22nd review on plastic alternatives.

Scoring system:

❤ = Will keep, I love it / πŸ‘€ = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Twenty Two - Native Unearthed Deodorant Balm

OK, I have to own up. In my bid to buy something with no plastic (especially as we're now in Plastic Free July) I tripped up buying a product in a glass jar not realising the lid was plastic!

I'm feeling quite bad as my reviews to date focus on plastic alternatives, but I decided that in the theme of reduce, reuse, recycle that I would include it in my reviews. 

The product is reduced plastic in that its main base is glass, can be reused after (I plan to make salves, deodorants and toothpastes in the future, so this product with a screw top lid is ideal) and once done with I will of course recycle the glass. 

Black plastic is notoriously difficult to recycle, as automated sorting machines use scanners which struggle with black plastics, so I will be mindful of this & try to reuse the container as much as possible.

So onto the product review!

Native Unearthed is a British company that produces deodorant balms using natural ingredients. I sheered away from deodorant balms in the past as I didn't fancy applying greasy products under my arms. But this was surprisingly smooth and almost powder like on the fingers, so you don't feel greasy at all.

Native Unearthed Deodorant Balm in a Glass Jar

They say to apply a pea sized amount, warmed between the fingers and although this seemed too little to make a difference I realised after a few hot, humid days that even a small amount was more than adequate for the job.

The product I bought was sage & lavender scented made with natural ingredients including shea butter, arrowroot, coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, lavender and sage. 

A product I had previously tried in a cardboard tube pulled on my skin as I applied it and had no detectable scent, so was more delighted with this brand.

Plastic reduced products can be a little pricey so to bring the cost down I bought it from Holland and Barrett during a store promotion. 

My Verdict?

Reviewers said they found the scent too strong and preferred the Coconut & Vanilla one. For me the lavender was great with an uplifting, flowery scent. Once applied the scent is more subtle and when warmed into fingers it glided onto my skin nicely. 

The manufacturers state the product can last 4 months. I have used mine about 3 weeks so far & still have more than 3/4 left, so I can certainly believe it will last a long time.

So my verdict is definitely a ❤ love it from me. 

Have a Happy Summer! 🍦🍨🍸

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Plastic Free July

Welcome to Plastic Free July!

Plastic Free July was started in Australia ten years ago. In 2020, an estimated 326 million people across the globe took part in the challenge from 177 countries.

This Plastic Free July web site is a great resource for you to try, and can give you tips on how to make changes in the home, with your pets, on holiday, at work, during festivals and so much more. 

My Own Journey

Read how I made some changes to reduce plastics in my home life - it isn't perfect but I've enjoyed trying out different things. 

For those starting out on their own journey we have several reviews on plastic free items such as: 

πŸ’šplastic free razor

πŸ’šwax wraps

πŸ’šbamboo toothbrushes

πŸ’šshampoo bars

πŸ’šhomemade cleaning sprays 

and so much more.

Check out our eco product reviews and make your own section for some ideas. 

Also check out some of our own homemade products for sale.

Looking for books to help you on your plastic reduction journey? 

See our top ten eco books for adults and list of ten eco books for children.

At the moment I am trying a new deodorant in a glass jar.

Lovelier Planet Articles

Articles to have a quick read while you're here πŸ‘€

πŸ’šSchools and Plastics

πŸ’šCompanies Making the Change

πŸ’šWhat Does BPA & PLA Mean?

πŸ’šRecycling Codes Explained

πŸ’šMicroplastics in your Wash

πŸ’šLife of a Plastic Bag

Help Me!


Thursday 3 June 2021

Positive Eco News Summer 21

Positive News June 2021
New 'Feel Good Stories' to give us hope for better things!

Butterfly on Flowers by Pixabay at Pexels

1. Big Fish, Small Pond

The UN estimates that 640,000 tonnes of discarded fishing gear are dumped out to sea every year. 

Three American surfers had the idea of turning discarded fishing nets into skateboards and sunshades by starting a company called Bureo in Chile, South America. 

The plastic content of the nets is melted down to make the new products. Ben, David and Kevin have decided to expand their product by also producing surfboard fins made from recycled fishing nets. 

Compared to the production of traditional skateboards, the method reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. The wheels are 30% vegetable oil and have a 100% recycled mechanism. 

Once finalised, the boards come in the shape of a long fish with coloured scales. A great idea to turn a discarded item into something new.

2. Retask the Mask

UK Marine biologists in Cornwall set up a company called Waterhaul, turning discarded fishing nets into eyewear and equipment. 

A recent crowdfunder called Retask the Mark was launched by the group to turn melted down facemasks (sterilised & treated with high heat at the Royal Cornwall Hospital with each block using 6000 masks). 

These are then mould injected to make litter pickers, which are used by beach cleaning groups such as Surfers Against Sewage, Keep Britain Tidy, The Wildlife Trusts and Beach Guardian. 

Those who pledge £15 or more can even receive their own litter pickers..

Fantastic idea!

3. 9th Millionth Tree Planted at National Forest

Following this year’s planting season the National Forest has reached an amazing 9 million trees!

Forestry Minister, Zac Goldsmith, was scheduled to plant the tree, but as the country’s still in lockdown, they had to think of a creative way for the landmark tree to be planted.

Instead, they bought in a new ambassador for the National Forest to plant the milestone tree: Shaun the Sheep!

Minister Goldsmith goes on to say:

“I am pleased to announce an extra £2.26m from the government’s Nature for Climate Fund which will enable the National Forest to double its tree planting aspirations for this year, bringing all the benefits of trees to even more people.”

The National Forest is situated in the heart of England spanning 200 square miles across parts of Derbyshire, Leicester & Staffordshire.

4. Nature for Climate Fund

The Department of Environment has announced in December 2020 a new £12.1 million fund, to plant over 500 hectares of trees in ten Community Forests for this year (2021).

Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest and the Chair of England’s Community Forests, said:

"Our Trees for Climate programme will plant millions more trees around England’s town and cities, targeted at areas where they can make the greatest difference, in particular to local quality of life and levels of health and wellbeing."

A £640 million Nature for Climate fund, will help to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025, alongside peatland restoration and nature recovery.

5. Rewilding London

The Wild West End project in London encourages residents to nurture green roofs, flower walls, foliage patches, putting out planters, as well as beehives and boxes for bats, birds and butterflies.

This map shows some of the pockets of green:

A London ornithologist says he is delighted to see the Black Redstart bird sightings are on the rise, one of Britain rarest birds.

🌼Check out our homemade wildflower seedballs🌼

6. Airbnb your Allotment!

Per a Positive News report - The National Allotment Society reported more than 300 per cent increase in applications in some areas. One allotment in Leeds now reportedly has a waiting list of 170 years!

Architect Conor Gallagher had a great idea of creating a platform called Allot Me - anyone wanting a green space can connect with those who can rent out their back gardens or spare plot of land, through the site for around £15 to £30 a month.

More info:

Beaver in Water Photo by Magali GuimarΓ£es from Pexels

7. Have a Beaver’s at This

Following successful introduction of beavers to Devon last year (see our good news June 2020 report) the Wildlife Trust have introduced 20 more beavers. 

The Wildlife Trusts are releasing the tree-gnawing, river-damming animals in Derbyshire, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Montgomeryshire, having already released them in Dorset earlier in the year (2021).

Beavers in the UK became extinct in the 16th century due to hunting for their fur. Beavers can help with wildlife & may even prevent flooding as the water is pooled rather than free flowing, 

After a 13 year research study by Stirling University, Scotland, they concluded that:

'Pools created by dams had 20 times more aquatic plant life, and the number of species in the surrounding habitat was 28% higher.'

8. Waste not Want not - HP Using Ocean Waste in their Products

In 2019 Hewlett Packard released a notebook called Elite Dragonfly using ocean-bound plastic bottles. 

According to their site, ‘To date, HP has sourced more than 35 million plastic bottles or more than 450 metric tonnes – of ocean-bound plastics from Haiti for its products’.

The Elite monitor display contains the equivalent of more than three 16 oz. plastic bottles whilst the Elite Chromebook is made with a top lid of 75% recycled aluminium, a keyboard made from 50% recycled plastics, and speakers with ocean-bound plastics.

Meanwhile, their HP Tango printer is made from 30% post consumer recycled plastic.

Click here to download HP’s’circular economy report:

9. Hollywood Actor Pledges $43 Million for Wildlife Protection

Leonardo DiCaprio has announced he'll be pledging $43 million (£30.2 million) to help protect the GalΓ‘pagos Islands.

DiCaprio posted on Twitter saying: "More than half of Earth's remaining wild areas could disappear in the next few decades if we don't decisively act."

The project should bring the pink iguana, the Floreana giant tortoise and the Floreana mockingbird back from the brink of extinction, and to ensure the people of the Galapagos thrive with the wild.

10. Feel Good Volunteering Projects

If you're feeling enthused and want to do your part I have added some volunteer projects you can get your teeth into below:

During 2020, TCV worked with 51,000 people, transforming 900 green spaces, planting 50,000 trees and giving 340,000 trees to community groups.

They delivered 31,000 volunteer days with a further 13,000 days of green space connections - through volunteering, training courses, nature engagement and education sessions.

b) For plastic free projects in your local community why not check out: 

c) Fancy joining a Beach Clean? Head over to

Like what you've read so far? See more feel good stories at: 

Blue & Orange Starfish on Beach Photo by Mark Walz from Pexels
You're a Star!

Friday 23 April 2021

Review - There's no Planet B!

This is my 21st review on plastic alternatives.

Scoring system:

❤ = Will keep, I love it / πŸ‘€ = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Twenty One - There's no Planet B

There is no Planet B book By Berners-Lee

For a late Christmas present I treated myself to a book called There’s no Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee. I bought the latest version which was released in January 2021.

I remembered seeing the author Mike Berners-Lee on the TV show called 'Feast to Save the Planet' about the impact of our food on the environment.  I’m a lover of statistics so felt encouraged that I would learn lots, & lots I did indeed learn! I have added some quotes from the book below with some of my interpretations.

“It’s not what we do, see or have that matters but how much we appreciate it.” p141

The tendency in today’s society is to have it all, do it all and want more of it. But can we appreciate the amount we do have without pushing for ever better (but also more wasteful) things? We need to find the right balance of having just enough & not pushing for more. Businesses need to learn from this too as they are often the ones driving our wasteful society.

“Human impact = impact per person x no. of people.” p169

How many people think ‘there’s no point me doing anything if everyone else is not bothering’ but if all the folks who wanted to do something make a start then as a collective it does make a difference.

Per person, our own little bit of impact can benefit the planet as a whole, but be careful as this can apply both ways, bad as well as good! By doing nothing we are creating a bad impact so any little bit in the right direction really does help. In other words, do start to make changes no matter how small they are & build on them. You could influence others to do the same!

Save Nature, Future & Your Soul Banner - Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

“12 billion careful people could live well on the planet, whereas 1 billion careless people couldn’t.” p262

Our planet can survive even with a bulging population but only if those very people take care of Earth’s precious resources. If not then the planet would have trouble even with 1 billion of us. Us humans are intelligent enough to realise that all is not well but realising is not enough, we need to create the action needed to change our ways. But, it can be done!

“If all the world’s discarded plastic was cling film, it would be more than enough to wrap the whole planet.” p63

Well if that doesn’t get you started in cutting back on plastics nothing will!

Plastic Wrapped Earth Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Some changes I made

During my 50th year on this planet I decided to make some changes in reducing plastic

I am not claiming to be perfect, my house does still have plastic products in it, but I have tried to make the switch in many ways (more soaps, shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, non plastic razors, recycled bottles, re-using old bottles with re-fills, making my own products & more). 

Click here to see how I made some switches. I hope it will provide some inspiration to others who want to make a start too.

I highly recommend reading 'There's no Planet B', it really will get you thinking & is packed FULL of information from start to finish. It is indeed a love ❤ from me. Happy reading!

Meanwhile let’s give the Earth a bit of TLC, because, where would we be without her?

Mike is also the author of the books ‘How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ & ‘The Burning Question’ (a book about climate change).