The Green Familia | The Light Green Shopping Blog for Families.
TGF is a light green resource and shopping blog, with lots of great tips and info to help green your life. We aim to bring you the best green, organic and eco friendly products available, along with green tips and info to help simplify the whole process.
Roadchef, the UK’s leading motorway service operator, has partnered with bio-bean – the first ever business to recycle waste coffee grounds into biofuel on an industrial scale – to reduce its environmental impact.
As a nation, the UK drinks 55 million cups of coffee every day, creating 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds every year, most of which is disposed of via landfill. This is not only a costly form of waste disposal for businesses due to the UK government’s landfill tax but is also damaging the environment due to the emission of greenhouse gases.
Used coffee grounds are collected from 28 Roadchef sites by Olleco, a resource recovery company, which transports the grounds to bio-bean’s factory in Cambridgeshire. Here they are cleaned, dried and recycled into useful products for industry and homes, including pellets for heating and Coffee Logs for woodburners in homes.
Roadchef welcomes more than 50 million motorists through the doors of its motorway service areas around the country every year, and estimates that about 7 million cups of coffee are drunk at its sites each year. Roadchef and bio-bean estimate that over 200 tonnes of waste coffee grounds will be collected from Roadchef sites by the end of 2018 by Olleco. Recycling these grounds will save 112 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions compared to disposing of them to landfill.
Simon Turl, Chairman of Roadchef, commented “At Roadchef we are very proud to have partnered with bio-bean on an initiative that benefits the environment. Since working with bio-bean we have already seen financial savings due to a reduction in our waste weight and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”
George May, Chief Commercial Officer at bio-bean, said “It’s fantastic to be able to recycle coffee grounds from one of the UK’s largest motorway services through Olleco’s innovative collection service. This partnership reduces emissions by diverting coffee grounds away from landfill, and Roadchef have even gone one step further by stocking our Coffee Logs at their sites. It’s a circular system we’re proud to be a part of.”
Gavin Millar, Sales Director at Olleco, said “We are pleased to be able to help Roadchef convert their waste coffee grounds, used cooking oil and waste food into renewable energy.”
To find out more about this initiative between Roadchef, bio-bean and Olleco watch this video.
The plastic waste revolution is well under way and Sundried are proud to be a part of it. The hashtag ‘say no to plastic’ is everywhere you go; from Carnaby Street to the mouths of politicians, everyone is talking about reducing plastic waste. While making changes to reduce the amount of plastic we consume on a daily basis such as swapping to paper straws is certainly beneficial, what about the plastic pollution that already litters our oceans and wildlife?
That’s where Sundried comes in. “Their recycled range of activewear gives new life to old plastic bottles which would otherwise be harming our ecosystem and endangering our animals,” says Sundried’s Founder and CEO Daniel Puddick. “By creating activewear out of recycled plastic bottles, we are taking that extra step to reducing plastic waste and cleaning up our planet. My goal is for Sundried to be a brand my daughter will be proud to be associated with in years to come.”
Recycled materials lend themselves perfectly to becoming sportswear as they dry much quicker than synthetic materials and provide natural odour-blocking and UV protection. It’s a process that produces lower emissions than classic materials and we are proud to partner with the Low Carbon Innovation Fund to work on keeping a low carbon footprint in everything we do.
UK-wide fun-filled wild festival celebrates nature 16th – 17th June
Experience the magic of sitting in your own bird’s nest, take an exhilarating all-night moonlit ramble, hunt for glow worms, build dens or join a seashore safari! Wildlife Trusts across the UK are offering around two hundred nature-tastic events during the first ever Big Wild Weekend which runs from June 16th – 17th 2018.
The weekend marks the middle of 30 Days Wild – The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge – which dares people to do something wild every day during the month of June.
If you’re in Derbyshire, try sitting in a bird’s nest with HandMade Theatre and enrol in hatchling college where you’ll learn all about native birds. Connect with nature through open air yoga, and dance; enjoy music, campfires, and toasted marshmallows.
Mendip-dwellers can join a dusk-to-dawn expedition looking for owls, glow worms, nightjars and stars with nature and astronomy expert, Chris Sperring. Elsewhere, create art from marine litter or try your hand at worm charming! There’s even pond dipping for grown-ups – why should children have all the fun – or hedgehog discovery for everyone!
Lucy McRobert, who leads 30 Days Wild forThe Wildlife Trusts says:
“Big Wild Weekend is a chance to relax, press the pause button on busy lives and have fun in some of the most beautiful wild places in the UK. There’s a wildlife experience for everyone, from badger watching to open air yoga. Find out what’s on in your local area!”
Find full details at www.wildlifetrusts.org/big-wild-weekend. Many events are free, some have charges and for some booking is essential. Please check with the relevant local Wildlife Trust for further details.
“Some species survive in isolation, including maidenhair fern on a wet Arnside rock face, whilst the majority are lost due to hunting, mismanagement, and habitat loss with the landscape impoverished and our experience of it contracted as a result,” project manager Jamie Hodge said. “Reintroductions or restorations could take place on Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserves such as Foulshaw Moss, Meathop Moss and Whitbarrow. The project may also work across Natural England sites, including the North Walney National Nature Reserve, and within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding National Beauty.”
For the past three months researchers have surveyed the suitability of various habitats, and consulted with local and national species experts to identify where the project could bring maximum benefit; now the team are asking for opinions at a series of events to demonstrate interest and help focus on which species should be brought back should a second bid for funding be successful. An onlinesurvey has recently been launched where we hope to capture peoples’ views on wildlife and conservation.
“We’re really keen to get views from all walks of life, so as well as Countryfest and the Rusland Show we’re also going to Haverigg Prison and community growing spaces in Barrow-in-Furness to give as many people as possible the chance to hear more about the project and get involved,” Jamie added.
We will be running the following consultation events across the project area. These will take place from 10am – 4pm and will include opportunities to talk to the project team, ask questions, share knowledge and experience of local cultural and natural heritage, and take part in family-friendly (and fun!) growing activities and crafts. Contact Claire Cornish or James Hodge if you would like to know more.
Grizedale Visitor Centre, Grizedale, Ambleside, LA22 0QN, (Saturday 23rd June)
This summer, Cuddledry – creators of the multi award winning handsfree towel are set to make a splash with the launch of two brand new designs.
With an exciting revamp to their adorable toddler range, the much loved Cuddleroar will be joined by two new characters – the Cuddlebunny and the Cuddlepanda.
Fans of the super soft and cuddly bath towels will love the new range, which caters for happy little tub splashers aged one to six years. All three beautiful designs will be available in the two new sizes, 1-3 years and 3-6 years, providing luxurious and practical bath time fun for all.
With a commitment to providing high quality, eco friendly products, Cuddledry have once again used their signature bamboo and cotton mix to create a silky soft fabric that is 60% more absorbent than normal bath towels. As with all other bamboo products in the Cuddledry range, the Cuddlebunny and Cuddlepanda are unbelievably soft, naturally antibacterial and oh so cute!
The new toddler range celebrates bath time, transforming it from one of the most potentially stressful times of the day, and instead bringing smiles and laughter to bathrooms all around the country. Designed to keep little ones warm and cosy, the new loveable characters encourage imaginative play and make getting out of the bath just as much fun as getting in!
The new toddler towels will cost £29.99 for 1-3 yrs and £34.99 for 3-6 yrs.
If you are lucky enough to have a basement, then remodeling it is likely to be one of the most cost-effective projects you can undertake for adding value to your home. Although it might make the project a little more challenging, if you wish to fully reap the rewards of a basement remodel, then going green is the recommended option. This will provide you with improved energy efficiency, a healthier indoor living space, and the satisfaction of using renewable materials such as recycled glass and bamboo flooring that will reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a few tips that will help you with your initial planning.
Does going green mean higher costs?
You might be surprised to learn that many green, sustainable products are cheaper than their more traditional non-green alternatives. Even if you encounter some initial higher costs, the fact that you will enjoy lower utility and energy costs means you will save money in the longer term. Rather than going just go on up-front costs, it is better to take a longer-term view.
An essential aspect of going green is the creation of healthier living space; an important consideration in basements where there is always the danger of damp which can be detrimental to health. Damp encourages the growth of harmful molds that can cause severe respiratory damage; add to that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by many non-green building and furnishing materials, and poorer levels of ventilation associated with basements, it is clear that by not going green you could create a potentially hazardous environment.
Based on these factors, the first objectives of your green basement remodeling project should be:
Address any potential dampness problems as the priority.
It is easy to check the moisture level in your basement with inexpensive instruments you can buy or hire. If there is a moisture problem, then your priority is to reduce the amount of moisture entering the basement. Ensure that all your existing gutters work correctly and consider extending them. Also, check that the gradient around the house slopes away from the building by a minimum of six inches over the first ten feet.
If problems remain, the next stage is to waterproof the basement and possibly install a drain. This isn’t beyond the expert DIYer, but you might well need some professional help.
Ventilating your basement
The two ways of ventilating your basement are natural and forced. Natural ventilation implies open vents or windows that provide a continuous flow of air through the space. This isn’t always easy to achieve so many basement conversions require a forced ventilation system.
This uses extractor fans and vents to create the required air changes. Note that if your project is located in an environment where radon is a risk, a mechanical ventilation system is probably mandatory. A typical system would use a silent extractor fan connected to air intakes at various positions in the basement, and the extracted air would be expelled externally. You will also need adequate air inlets.
Selecting greener building materials
Many building materials have significant recycled content, for instance, structural steel is 90% recycled, and recycled aluminum requires 90% less energy to produce than primary (virgin) aluminum. Reused materials such as reclaimed timber may be even more beneficial.
A sustainably harvested material is one that is replaced at the same rate as it is used. While hardwoods from sustainable forests are an example of this, their extended growth cycle limits their sustainability credentials.
Far better are rapidly renewable materials that grow quickly, usually from the original plant. Bamboo and cork oak trees are the most important of these with their products being used mainly for interior finishes. For instance, hardwood bamboo floors are great for basements and cork has excellent insulation properties.
Even when there is no sustainable alternative to traditional material, it is essential to ensure it doesn’t contain toxins and dangerous VOC’s such as formaldehyde.
As the old saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, why not create a vintage inspired garden using upcycled outdoor furniture and accessories from Scaramanga.
Offering a wide selection of reclaimed items that are brimming with character, Scaramanga’s unique selection is perfect for adding some individual flair to your plot.
If you’re planning on creating an outdoor treasure trove, opt for antique pieces like theVintage Red Railway Lamp and the Red Vintage Water Tank.
Whereas the Green Wall Mirror is great for giving the illusion of space if your garden is small. Just hang on a shed or outside wall and open one of the doors to create a little intrigue of what’s inside…
For the green-fingered gardener, the Vintage Thums Up Soda Crate and the handmade Clay Pots would make interesting planters for filling with herbs or wildflowers.
But if you’re looking for salvaged furniture to bring a sprinkle of charm to your courtyard, the Vintage Table and Bench Set in blue is perfect for a retro setting. Or opt for the Vintage Metal Drum Table and Storage for an urban space.
Whatever you decide to pick for your patio, you’re sure to find an extensive collection of beautifully weathered outdoor items at Scaramanga.
1. Clay Pot – £20.00
2. Vintage Red Railway Lamp – £80.00
3. Red Vintage Water Tank – £250.00
4. Old Blue Storm Lamp – £25.00
5. Vintage Bench – £225.00
6. Original Metal Chai Glass Holder with Glasses – £27.50
7. Antique Padlock – Extra Large Iron – £26.00
8. Large Vintage Metal Bucket – £25.00
9. Green Wall Mirror – £160.00
10. Vintage Thums Up Soda Crate – £25.00
11. Vintage Metal Drum Table and Storage – £210.00
12. Vintage Table and Bench Set – £600.00
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace UK are conducting a survey of major UK grocery retailers, their use of single-use plastic packaging and their targets to reduce it. The results, due in the autumn, are expected to reveal the volume of single-use plastic packaging each retailer puts onto the market every year, their targets to reduce plastic packaging, and their approach to tackling plastic pollution across their supply chains.
The detailed survey, which is believed to be the largest ever survey of UK grocery retailers and plastic, has been sent to the 11 largest supermarkets by market share and grocery retailers with more than 1000 stores across the UK. The results will provide a benchmark for current commitments and actions on curbing plastic pollution.
As well as collecting data about volumes of plastic and reduction targets, the survey intends to look at how retailers are planning to meet their targets, and to reveal some of the challenges faced by retailers and solutions that are being developed. The results will also highlight where further innovation is needed.
Sarah Baulch, Senior Ocean Campaigner, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said:
“Single use plastics and packaging are a major contributor to the plastic pollution that is having a devastating impact on our oceans. Retailers need to take a lead in reducing the amount that they’re putting into the market. Our survey will highlight those supermarkets who are demonstrating leadership by reducing their plastic footprint and conversely those who are lagging behind.”
Elena Polisano, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace UK, said:
“Supermarkets selling masses of throwaway plastic packaging should be making great strides to stop their plastic from clogging up our oceans. Major grocery retailers have a huge role to play in cutting the overall amount of throwaway plastic being produced, making sure non-recyclable and problem plastics are off the shelves by 2019, and switching to truly sustainable solutions. We’ve set this supermarket challenge to encourage retailers to go further, faster, to curb ocean plastic pollution.”
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace UK plan to carry out this survey annually to encourage improved performance on reducing, reusing and recycling plastic packaging.
The supermarket challenge calls on UK retailers to:
1. Introduce transparency by publishing yearly audits of single-use plastic use
2. Set year on year targets to reduce their single-use plastic footprint
3. Urgently eliminate unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic packaging by 2019
Urbancyclo, a new Oxford UK based product design company with a green conscience and a passion for bikes, is announcing the launch of its first product via the Kickstarter crowdfunding website in June.
The company’s revolutionary Quicktwist™ stem is the original ‘click and twist’ handlebar system and the only guaranteed way to beat the bike thieves. According to government statistics 60% of bike thefts occur at night, on the street, near the owners’ homes. The stem’s unique, patent pending, design allows the ‘bars of a bike to be rotated up to 90° to reduce the width by up to 70%, making it easy to bring your bike in off the streets overnight and keep it safely in your hallway, for example.
The stem can be fitted to almost every road, commuter and hybrid bike in a matter of minutes and is expected to retail for around £68 GBP.
The company is headed up by myself, Ed Williamson, and Andy Bullock theinventor of Quicktwist™, who also mentors at Oxford University with the Saïd Business School, working with international MBA students on branding design and communications. All Urbancyclo products are engineered by the third member of ‘Team Urbancyclo’, Adrian Ward, an ex-Formula One design engineer (Williams and Benetton) who also works on the prestigious Automotive Sports Design masters course at Oxford Brookes University.
Urbancyclo are aiming to raise £70,000 GBP to fund the initial production run of Quicktwist™ stems and everyone that registers their interest online at www.urbancyclo.com will have the chance to win one of the first stems off the production line.
Paul Killoughery MD of Bio Collectors’ in Mitcham Surrey, with MP’s from the EFRA Select Committee
Nappies, fatbergs, rubbish due to recycling waste costing a fortune to clear
People who cause blocked sewers through flushing away inappropriate items and substances should pay fines to compensate for the clean-up costs.
That’s the opinion of the UKs waste management agency which says that man-made blockages cost water companies millions of pounds every year, cause floods and are a potential health risk.
According to the BusinessWaste.co.uk agency, incidents that can be traced back to particular individuals or businesses should be pursued by the law in the same way that polluters are prosecuted. From nappies to huge ‘fatbergs’ of cooking waste, there is a human element behind every blockage that needs to be made aware of the impact of their actions.
“It’s not just the parent who routinely flushes soiled nappies and wipes down the toilet,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “It’s the company that flushes away chemicals and sediment which is just as likely to waste other people’s time and money.”
“And now the household who is washing away the dirt and scrapes from food containers which are to be recycled down the drain instead of in the bin, needs to be immediately re-educated”
BusinessWaste.co.uk found that Thames Water spends £12 million every year clearing drains of blockages, across 55,000 separate incidents; while Severn Trent say they attended 1,700 sewer blockages in the first for months of this year in the city of Nottingham alone, at the cost of £1.1 million.
“It’s a national epidemic, and people just aren’t getting the message,” says Hall. “Unfortunately, a lot of people think of their drains as some sort of magic waste disposal unit where their rubbish is flushed away and becomes somebody else’s problem.”
Individuals, employees and company directors all need to take responsibility to ensure that drains and sewers are kept clear. BusinessWaste.co.uk says that public drains should be used for water, toilet tissue and human waste only. Particularly problematic for drains and sewers are:
Cooking waste – fat clumps together and causes ‘fatbergs’ which eventually completely block sewers. One under London this year was 80 metres long and took workers four days to break down
Nappies – notorious for blocking drains and sewers
Wet wipes – made of plastic fibres and do not break up in the way toilet paper does. Even those marked “flushable” on the packet cause blockages
Industrial waste – prone to block drains and put sewer workers at risk
Recycling waste from washing out food containers – putting this down the sink instead of the general waste bin causes fatbergs
Calling for fines for the worst offenders, BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says that deterrent law should be backed up with better education and help for householders.
“Some water companies give away free fat traps to customers so that fatbergs don’t start in their drains. These simple ideas should be available to everyone. Companies can buy industrial-sized drain traps, so they have no excuses either.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk says that time is running out to ensure that the UK’s drains are clear for expected winter rains.
“If this coming winter is going to be anything like the last, we’re going to need our drainage systems working at capacity, not blocked with nappy-filled fatbergs.”
“It’s not just the water company’s job. It’s your job too.”
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