Monday 9 October 2017

Cool Creatives - because caring for the planet doesn't have to be boring!

Saving the Planet is one of those things on the To Do list that you would happily clean the toilet to avoid. Or the oven. No one wants to clean the oven.  

It's too hard. Like tax returns. Or in my case, shortening a pair of trousers. At least with the trousers I could get them done for me. Cleaning the planet however, requires the cooperation of billions of people. As that's far too hard, it's tempting not bother to trying at all.  

For some, the word 'environmentally friendly' evokes boredom. For others, guilt. That's why I love it when I see people making their lives more eco by having fun and doing stuff they love.

Instead of feeling weighed down by the mission, we should take a leaf out of their book and embrace the challenge to live a more planet-friendly life by being more creative and innovative - or at least supporting the people who are.

These are just a few fabulous people I came across on Instagram who inspire me to think outside of the box:

1. Zero Waste Daniel - a fashion brand which makes all its clothes from 100% scrap material. It has a shop in NYC where you can pick the fabrics and they make it for you there and then.  Check out their amazing clever!

Shopping in charity shops is also a great form of recycling. I used to be put off by the old clothes smell but the good news is you can wash them! ;) 

Try to get natural fibres if you can. The issue I've read about is that synthetic fibres release microplastic when they're washed - I still think recycling has got to better than not recycling though!

2. Kittie Kipper is an eco artist who repurposes ghosts nets and marine debris from the waters of the world. 

Isn't this rug gorgeous?

3. Knopfdesigns is a designer who turns chipped and unloved vintage plates into ceramic jewellery. They're beautiful and affordable and will make great presents. I must remember to check her site out ahead of Christmas!

4. Piera Lizzeri Upholstery - my childhood friend is inspiring when it comes to making and mending. Seeing what she can do, makes me look at old furniture and wonder about their true potential! 

Okay, so upcycling old chairs and sewing scraps of fabric together aren't going to set back global warming tomorrow... but isn't the idea of supporting an ethical, caring industry and owning original pieces that have been salvaged from landfill appealing?

Ever since I read the Greenpeace post 'there's no such thing as away' it gives me pause for thought when I chuck something in the bin.  I'm far from living a perfect eco-friendly lifestyle but I quite fancy living a life which exercises my creativity for the benefit of this beautiful planet. 


My latest book The Hen Party has a little eco twist too...but it's still fun and at just £2.99 for the ebook won't make you feel guilty either! 

Saturday 7 October 2017

Oh, you stupid pointless plastic spoon!

I've opened a new anonymous facebook account from which to run my facebook author page. It means I can still enjoy the safe supportive atmosphere of my page but can avoid being bombarded by news and opinions on my personal page.  

My motivation is a desire for freedom. Freedom from all those emotional reactions that inevitably arise whenever I scroll through my feed.

For instance, it's been hard to avoid reading bitter comments about Catalonia. But what's the point of poking the wound by reading about it all the time?  

"It will all come to pass," my  (Catalan and Spanish) father says, sounding more like the Bible than a whatsapp text message.

Two weeks on and I'm doing well in my quieter, happier world. I'm calm. I'm accepting the world as it it. But then a friend takes me for an ice cream and it begins... the first stirring of emotion as she decides to try different flavours and for each flavour the woman serving has to give her a new little plastic spoon.   

It is as it is, I think, as the spoons mount on the counter. At least I can avoid more unnecessary plastic use by being decisive about my choice. I ask for an almond cone.

The woman serves up it up and before I can say anything, she reaches for a spoon and plunges it into my ice cream.

"I don't need it!" I say, but of course it's too late. She takes the spoon out to throw it away. One second of use and that spoon will now last on the planet a few hundred years. "Oh you're going to throw it away now?" I say helplessly. "I was trying not to use so much plastic."

My friend has finally decided on her flavour.

"You don't need to give her a spoon," I say, "she already has three!"

The woman smiles and says she won't. She probably thinks I'm a bore. But after she dishes up the ice cream she reaches for the spoon because it's so automatic. She stops herself just in time but it fills me with gloom thinking how many she must pointlessly dole out each day.

"If only other people were as environmentally conscious as you," the woman says brightly.

It strikes me as such a stupid thing to say. She's not giving people a chance! She's the one automatically reaching for spoons even though people have been successfully eating ice cream from a cone without the need for plastic for over a hundred years!

Later, as I sit on the beach, trying to listen to my friend, my mind keeps wandering to that spoon. Though there are far worse things happening in the world, many that I would have read about during the day had I been on facebook, it was that little pointless plastic spoon that made me lose my inner calm.

Perhaps because it was so simple to solve and yet wouldn't be solved. Perhaps because it was a crime against nature and nature doesn't have a religious or political agenda. It's easier to be on the side of nature than all these megalomaniacs running the world...  

Clearly it's impossible to shut ourselves off from everything that upsets us. But we do have  a choice in how we deal with it. I'm not going to let that spoon ruin the rest of my week - but I would be pleased if anyone reading this made a point of shouting out 'no thank you' to the ice cream server lunging to give you a pointless spoon!!

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