5 things I have done today to help the planet… [Day 002 – 16 May ’19]

in steem •  last month  (edited)

So it worked, I've now completed Day 2 and done another five good deeds for the planet.

And number one on today's list, for me is a pretty big score.

One million plastic cups saved. Bang. Armchair activism at its best.

Thank you Waitrose - good work.

Here comes five...

1. No More Plastic Peach Tea

Last weekend we were in Abergavenny in mid/south Wales.

Abergavenny is one of the few towns in Wales with a Waitrose store - a more upmarket supermarket with a large range of organic products.

It also has a nice litte cafe and as it was lunch time we decided to have some refreshments.

I chose peach tea. It was served in a disposable plastic cup with an unasked for straw.

This rather suprised me as by the entrance was a sign saying that Waitrose are working towards eliminating disposable coffee cups as part of their progressive sustainability policy. They also have a specific policy section on their website entitled 'Prioritising our plans for plastic'.

I had seen in the cafe other drinks such as orange juice being served in glasses. The peach tea was an open and shut case. Ditch the plastic cup.

So Monday morning I went into action.

I tracked down the appropriate Customer Service department, explained the folly of the situation, and after one phone call and four emails I got the commitment I was looking for...

"We will be working hard to ensure all our cafes from now on will be serving peach tea in a glass with an optional straw."

Waitrose have 123 cafes across the UK. If they each serve an average of 25 peach teas a day for 360 days a year...

That's over a million disposable plastic cups saved each year.

Result! Back of the net. Job done. Armchair activism in action.

With all due smugness I am just a little bit proud of this.

Now I just need to follow up and check they follow through. If you are near a Waitrose with a cafe have a peach tea and let me know how they serve it...


2. A Vegan Day


I'm not a vegan - I keep chicken keeping homesteader.

But I am a vegetarian. I have been since doing a Vegan special edition of The Alternative Lifestyle Show last April with @teamsteem, @ura-soul, @lenasveganliving, @choogirl, @krnel, @freedompoint and others.

And I am an 'almost-Vegan' - it is only a few eggs and a bit of cheese left to go.

I do like to have at least half the days of the week as totally vegan days.

Today was one of them.

And I ordered a new vegan cookbook too... '15 Minute Vegan: Fast, modern vegan cooking'


3. Greening up the kitchen

There are quite a lot of throw-away cleaning items used in the kitchen - scourers, cleaning cloths, washing up brushes.

Many of them are plastic based.

While it is tricky to avoid the disposable nature of the items, at least we can make some amends if they are made of recycled plastic.

I have just picked up a range of items that fit the bill from Eco-Force.

The scourers and sponges are made of recycled plastic and foam, the cleaning cloths are recycled and washable.

The washing-up brushes (not shown in the photo) have detachable cleaning heads so you only throw away the heads and reuse the handles.

We will give them a go, and report back.


4. Little mouse - charge yourself


To cut down on wires on my desk I prefer to use a wireless mouse.

My most recent one used a single AA battery.

I could have used a rechargeable battery and even charged it in my solar battery charger. But that is a bit of a hassle and never lasts very long.

Now I have got a rechargeable mouse that just uses a usb cable to charge off the PC.

This is the Cimetech mouse I got today...


5. Donation to Denmark Farm Conservation Centre

I was going to donate to Extinction Rebellion today but my donation was blocked by PayPal.

I don't know if this was a temporary glitch or PayPal not liking Extinction Rebellion. I will try again tomorrow.

In the meantime I donated £10 to Denmark Farm Conservation Centre.

This is an organisation in west Wales that does some great conservation and environmental education work.

They also run excellent courses - I have been on quite a few there.

You can combine their courses with a stay in their super eco-friendly Eco Lodge if you fancy a break in the Welsh countryside while you learn a new skill.


This is my second five for the planet.

I am not sure I will be able to repeat my 'Waitrose Win' too often.

But I will keep on trying...


[ all images by @pennsif ]

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had to remove my upvote for this one....

to give it a full 100! :)

WAY TO GO!!!!

wow - that's exciting to see! I've had a similar day where I had a bit of a tough situation that ended up challenging my heart in good ways.

not sure where it will lead - but starting with thinking... weighing... measuring - it's always a good start!

thanks for showing us all that challenging yourself .. and then DOING... IS possible :)

cheering you on @pennsif!!!

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of course my friend.
Follow Right now!

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Thank you for the upvote Leah.

Challenges can be a good way to keep motivated and keep doing.

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Happy to support your journey already!!! But today's just needed that extra boost cuz it was just so cool!

And yep I agree! I love that when we start posting things on Steemit we add in a little accountability for ourselves!

The world is watching ( or... You know.10 subscribers at least are... Hahahaha) but the point is... You're being public about doing something... And putting it out there for the world to see and catch that fire too hopefully!

It does add a bit of pressure, but in a good way, as long as we remain in control!

That's always my struggle hehhee

Keeping a tight hold on the reins, so that I steer where I want to go, and not the other way around !

Proud of you for DOING

But after watching you for these past 2+ years, I'd expect nothing less!

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  ·  last month (edited)

Thank you Leah.

Starting this challenge is also making me think more about all the things we do in our daily life. Can we do them better, can we do them more sustainably.

Getting the brain cells working a little bit harder.

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i agree totally - its what i've been talking about too. how when we get INTO that mindset - the brain really does open up to things we hadn't seen before.

its just training that brain to get on the right track!

the more we practice that type of thinking, and immerse ourselves into those subjects - it really does start a chain reaction!

its like that with all things, isn't it? hehehe just sinking in and committing to it!

its kinda the whole heart behind Spunkee Monkee LOL starting the kids EARLY by training them to think differently. small actions, daily, over time add up to BIG changes.

so start now! :)

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Tuning in the brain, and training it to spot opportunities and solutions is definitely what we need to do more of.

This is great. I ought to do some posts on little things we do to be a bit greener. I posted the other day about changing habits and that is largely what it is about. It is partly not taking how things are for granted.

We have a tap in the kitchen at work that needs a good twist to totally shut it off. It takes ages to get anything fixed and I'm always finding it running a bit, so I put up a post-it asking people to turn it off. Maybe that will help.

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Hi Steve. Yes, every little change helps. Lots of littles make a big!

Do you fancy joining in the #five4theplanet challenge?

If everyone was "almost vegan" or even just cut their animal product consumption dramatically, the impact on the animals and planet would be phenomenal. Nice work.

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Totally agree. People just dropping meat and dairy out of their diet for one day a week is a good start.

Ooh I like that you have recycled scrubbers. That's one that I still use, is dish scrubbers, even though I am really close to zero waste. I tried too the ones made out of - coir, I think? - but they fall apart REALLY fast and don't work very well besides.
It's not like I toss a scrubber very often, but it is still a plastic thing that eventually gets thrown away and can't be recycled and I haven't found a replacement for. I'll have to see if those recycled ones are available here too.
Regarding your customer service adventure, I like to do things like that too, because I figure, even if they don't care that I write/call, if a bunch of us start doing so, they'll pay attention. So the other day, I had a new idea besides my usual writing to companies about packaging or calling pols about policy. Here's the post I put on FB about it, lol. I c&p'd it for the email text.

"So because of that docu bringing up the divest movement, combined with this other docu I watched recently where this guy was talking about investing in the environment as sound business practice, it got me thinking. We should all encourage insurance companies - I'm specifically thinking like homeowners insurance that has flood coverage, or does fire coverage cover wildfires? - things like that, to invest in restoration projects. Although, health insurance should be interested too, since environmental destruction causes poor health, although in most places besides our backward ass country, that isn't so much a "business" to begin with.
So I just emailed Geico (which apparently offers homeowners flood insurance - I thought they just did cars but I was wrong):
"Hi Geico,
So I understand y'all offer flood insurance. Might I make a suggestion that y'all invest in things to slow climate change, in order to save yourselves money in the long run?
You know better than me that claims from things that are climate-change-related are only going to increase in years to come. It would make good business sense for you to invest in slowing that process as much as possible.
Real solutions that work, like restoring soils, planting trees, or even I dunno, offer grants to poor folks to get solar systems to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. This would all save you more money than you're paying up front to fund it.
Please consider doing what will help the whole world AND your business model. Thanks."
...I'm going to keep contacting insurance companies, one at a time. Join me if you think it's a good idea! :)"

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This is a great idea about contacting insurance companies on this.

I am going to check the UK insurers. Thank you for the idea.

I'm still going through my last pack of plastic scourers, but I'm wondering about luffa for when they run out. I'm hoping to get seeds to grow it myself. I've started using cotton rags for dishcloths now, instead of buying them. I realised I always have plenty of rags, so why keep buying dishcloths!

Good win on the peach tea! I think sometimes it's just a case of getting out of the habit with straws. I don't even like them, so it annoys me when I get them unasked for.

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Is it easy to grow luffas? I have seen seeds in the UK but no idea if they would make it here.

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I haven't actually tried yet, but I get the impression it would be similar to growing anything else in the curcubit family. How do you go with courgette and pumpkin where you are. Or heat can be tough on them, but we usually get something. I find cucumbers the hardest, unless we have a wet summer.

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I need to buy that rechargable mouse too...

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It seems to work well. I would definitely recommend it.

Great post. One nit: not eating cheese and eggs (or meat for that matter) isn't going to have any positive impact on the planet if you end up consuming monocrop based protein sources instead.

I would like to suggest, instead of replacing cheese and eggs with monocrop based protein for a day, you could explore entomophagy for a day.

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My delivery of insects arrived today. Look out for a review post soon.

What awesome contributions that help! I hope you had a lot of enjoyment doing these activities. Do you have any Steem to sell? I was trying to buy Steem using Netcoins but it was a fail. I am just waiting to get my funds returned to my bank account and was looking to buy $100 CAD using PayPal or etransfer if i could find someone willing to sell. @lyndsaybowes mentioned you might be the person to talk to about this. So, i am very glad to come accross your post tonight!

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Hi @yogajill - I've messaged you on Discord.

You've been visited by @nateonsteemit from Homesteaders Co-op.

I've seen places use paper straws too. They work alright and aren't plastic. I like this idea, is it a thing, or is it something you've just started up?


Homesteaders Co-op

A community marketplace of ethical, handmade and sustainable products available for STEEM, SBD (and USD): https://homesteaderscoop.com

follow: @homesteaderscoop

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Hi Nate. This is just a little personal challenge I have started to see what I can do each day.

If anyone else would like to join in they would be most welcome.

Great going @pennsif! I especially love to hear how you are inspiring businesses to make small changes that can have impact. If we look at the problems it feels like mountains, but the solution is one step at a time. Great work, keep it up!

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Thank you. I am finding this challenge extremely interesting, satisifying and rewarding. Especially when little victories like the peach tea on come up.

Awesome! The more we remember we are a part of nature and not above it the more we will treat it with respect. Great work!

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Thank you. Every day a new challenge.

Awesome I will try those sponges and another kitchen cleaning staff from Eco Force.

I eliminate all cleaning chemical from the kitchen and bathroom and my next step will be sponges.

I'm proud of you because every little effort matters and can make a huge difference.

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That is great. Let me know what you think of the Eco Force products when you use them.

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