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Plastic-free MasterChef – yes from the telly!

Very excited to be featured in a write up on plasticfree catering by the by the Hungry Gecko AKA Jackie Kearney.

Plastic free family travel

Jackie and family, (husband, Lee and twins), spent a year traveling in Asia during which they bought no bottled water. She is kind enough to say she was inspired by our plastic free travels. Which probably means we banged on relentlessly about our Steripen.

MasterChef

You might think that was achievement enough but so inspired was she by street food in Asia that she incorporated it into her own cooking creating a fantastically tasty range vegetarian and vegan fusion dishes. For those of you who done believe that is possible – well she was top 4 finalist in BBC One’s MasterChef 2011, has worked with, (amongst other great chefs), Yotam Ottolenghi and was runner up for Best Main Dish at British Street Food Awards in 2012.

Street food in compostable disposables

But it don’t stop there. After MasterChef she got a retro silver trailer and started selling her food on the mean streets of Manchester.

It gets better. Her street food is served in compostable disposables.

As she says “From day one with my street food work, I have only ever used cardboard food trays, unbleached recycled napkins and cutlery made of corn starch (at one time I offered wooden cutlery but some people don’t like the taste). Obviously it’s highly frustrating when you take part in an event and other traders are dishing out their food on the cheapest polystyrene trays imaginable. Personally I think these food trays should be banned. Full stop. No arguments. There is simply no need to use such rubbish, and those traders that continue to do so should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

Go girl!

Get the book….

Her food is so good she got a book deal. Here it is – you can of course buy in on Amazon but why not visit a bookshop.

If you really cant cook, you can buy Jackie does her own range of sauces.

Eat with Jackie

You can try her food at festivals and events. Or even book her for your event. How classy to have the silver Zeppelin serving food at your wedding?

Manchester folks can join dining club and enjoy a five course Asian inspired fine dining menu in Jackie’s South Manchester home. Or get her to come and cook for your dinner party.

Plus pop up events.

All relevant info is on her website.

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Sew Plasticky Obsessed – guest post

Was delighted and rather flattered when the wonderful Offset Warehouse asked me to guest post. This fantastic company sell organic, fair-trade fabrics, proper cotton on a wooden reel (very hard to find!) and peace silk (doesn’t result in the death of the silk worms). They have a great customer service. And they will post your fabric out in cardboard boxes. Plastic free. All round good guys.

And they have a great blog, Sew Obsessed, full of useful posts on how to make your own beeswax wrap or zero waste skirt. And of course there’s my contribution on how to cut plastic consumption – natch!

Sign up and you get loads of useful tips and 5% discount on your next fabric order. Order now and make your own reusable witches hat for halloween!

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Rubbish Diet Guest Post

Was delighted to guest blog for the Rubbish Diet. This great project started as a blog  by Karen Cannard ( also PfreeU.K. member) and is a now a nationwide project. It shows you how to slim you bin by cutting your trash – or, as they say it….

“Welcome to the UK’s dedicated slimming club for bins. Ever get confused about what can be recycled? Not enough space to sort your waste? Fed up with the smell of rotting food in your bin? Just hate wasting things? The Rubbish Diet can help you sort out your rubbish once and for all.

Take our 5 week Rubbish Diet challenge! Get together with your family, your friends, your street… and see how slim you can get your bins. Our team of Bin Doctors and our whole Rubbish Diet community are here to help answer your questions.”

So proud to be part of it. You can read my contribution here.

 

 

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Something Brilliant….

Are you doing something fantastic? Want to shout about it? Encourage others to join in? This is the site for you.

We’re on a mission to inspire the people of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to do more of the little brilliant things that make a big difference.This site is full of suggestions of quick and easy things for you to do.
Take and look and let us know if you’re doing #somethingbrilliant

Find #somethingbrilliant to do! Share #somethingbrilliant to do!

I shared my brilliant plastic free project.

So if you fancy joining me in a bit of plastic-free, Valentines love – I mean loving the planet – I am up on page 1 for a while. The one the misplaced logo and strangely paraphrased write up. But you get the idea!

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henpicked

Happy to have a post about going plasticless featured in Henpicked.

Henpicked is an online magazine “about sharing the wisdom of women”. Any cheek from you lot and you are going home! It started with a group of friends meeting up and talking who “realised there must be a huge number of wise women out there” so created an online forum for “the sort of things that women over 40 would be interested in.”

They don’t exclude younger women or even men “if they have something fascinating to tell us.” Well I am not young, or a man, but I think we can agree I am fascinating so here are my   wise words.

Signing up online is free, you can comment on articles, contribute to the forum even write articles for them. They are fun so why not give em a whirl. And do feel free to leave very enthusiastic comments. On my post that is!

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Keep Britain Tidy

Very pleased to have the blog featured up on the Waste Less Live More website . It is up there alongside some really impressive projects.

The Waste Less Live More Week (organised by Keep Britain Tidy read more about it here ) is a pretty impressive project too. Which is why I was so pleased to be WLLM partner in 2014.

This is what I did to support the program.

It will be running next year so do join in!

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Newspapers

Guardian

So pleased that Plastic is Rubbish  got featured as the Guardians sustainable blog of the week last week. 

You can read the interview her

Guardian green blogs have put together an interactive map to profile all of the sustainable blogs of the week that they  featured on Live Better for the past six months.

Huddersfield Examiner
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Guardian Up North
Featured one of my articles for the Huddersfield Examiner

The Guardian picks up a collection of articles on plastic free living I wrote for the Huddersfield Examiner….

Welcome to the Northerner, Guardian Unlimited’s weekly digest of the best of the northern press.

Now this may sound daffy, but actually the Huddersfield Examiner’s interest in Worm Tea is part of the thriving new North. The paper’s green columnist Kate Armstrong, who lives appropriately in the Huddersfield suburb of Marsh, is delighted with the success of her worm composting bin.

“Those of you kind enough to read these words will know that I bought it four months ago,” she says in that delightfully modest way that you regularly discover in local newspapers. It has been a dramatic period. The bin was theoretically escape proof, but Ms Armstrong’s worms got out and infested her garage. “When my husband discovered them in his drill bits he threatened to sacrifice them on the bird table if a solution wasn’t found.”

She promptly constructed her own worm Colditz and fed its contents on a super-rich diet of festering food scraps. This resulted in a plague of fruit flies and more potential wrath from Mr Armstrong. Kate gave up, capped the mess with some spadefuls of soil and forgot about it until this week. Bingo! When she went for a desultory check, she found the bin standing in a lake of Worm Tea, a digestive juice which is sold at handsome prices on the internet as a superior plant feed and to cure black spot on roses. The worms themselves are now apparently the size of anacondas, and even Mr Armstrong is impressed.

 

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Some Super Blogs

Miss Minimalist
Ecothrifty

I am very honoured to have been featured in some of my favourite blogs including (but not all… I will get round to it!)…..

Miss Minimalist

I love minimalism. I live in a house so empty, people ask if I have just moved in! Being plastic free allows me to cut a lot more stuff… and I got the Miss Minimalist seal of approval.

You can read my post about how living plastic-free leads to a life with less stuff  in her fantastic blog.

You can read about my minimalist life here….

Ecothrifty

Very pleased to be featured in Ecothriftys blog this month. Zoe (the thrifty, eco one), sets herself a different challenge each month. To make it more exciting, you can sponsor her through Do Nation – another great idea. In fact the blog is packed with nuggets of eco gold and is a thoughtful introduction to much current green ideology, documented from the personal perspective of giving-it-a-go.

Some challenges have been hugely successful and have become full scale life choices, others… well let’s just say the no poo wasnt a high point. Which makes it all so readable!

But less about her and more about ME!!!! You can read my interview in her blog right here. It’s great!

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The Observer Ethical Awards

Last night I had a great time at the Green Oscars….whaoh there, before you get too excited, it was only as a guest – not to get an award! This Observer organised bash is to honour worthy projects and environmental initiatives.

When I was invited I thought it would be held in some kind of derelict-factory, refurb, pop- up space in the bad lands. Inside it would be all polished concrete with a stage made from pallets and old park benches cunningly upcycled by Kevin Mc Cloud into seats. It wasn’t. It was held in OneMarylebone.

one marylebone

“Beautifully refurbished to the original designs of Sir John Soane, the Grade I listed venue boasts 3 unique spaces plus landscaped garden, moments from Regents Park. The grandeur of One Marylebone has attracted blue-chip brands from avariety of industries with a focus on fashion, beauty and the arts.”

WHAT????

As you may know I am currently living in a van. Which means that my wardrobe, (never dressy), is now severely limited. The dress code on the night was sustainable style. While my van wear may well be sustainable, there is no style involved. I have a dress of sackcloth and some brown, flat, Roman-style sandals. At best I look biblical – and I mean more Moses than Delilah! I admit as I approached One Marylebone last night I was nervous.

Turns out I need not have worried. The venue was lovely and not as overwhelming as it looks on the website. It is a tastefully converted building on a nice intimate scale. Even a van dweller like myself felt at home. And while the sackcloth was at the less dressy end of the spectrum, there was a diverse range of outfits on display.

The awards themselves were great and featured some fantastic projects. It must have been hard to choose the  winners.

I loved seeing what were once considered alternatives becoming mainstream – and that fact being not just acknowledged but celebrated.

I am sure there will be some  accusations of green washing. Of the sponsors – can an airline ever be considered environmental (Virgin), what about Ecovers use of synthetic biology?

And charges that while change is happening, is it really  fast enough and  big enough? Is this just  fiddling as sea levels rise?

And there is some understandable bitterness. I have been involved with cooperative housing and community design schemes for more years then I care to reveal. Many of the pioneers  I worked with, the first wave hippies and greens, have become  disillusioned because they have seen great projects fold for the lack of support. And the swinging cuts in council funding means another lot will go to the wall.

And then of course my personal plastic grievance. I look in my eco-goody bag to see most of the environmentally aware products still come in plastic! Come on guys – plastic is not the packaging of a green future!

But is there any point bitching about the past and denouncing others green credentials? Of course there needs to ongoing discussion and evaluation, but there also needs to be momentum, we have to start somewhere. The Observer Awards encourage and acknowledge movements that can then become the basis for discussions.

And good for them say I.biancca It was great  to be there supporting and applauding the people who worked so hard to make theses fantastically worthwhile projects happen.

And to hear Bianca Jagger speak. Not only is what she says always worth listening to, she has a lovely voice.

Trying hard not to diminish Colin Firths contribution by lapsing into drooling. mr d 2Love that he supports the awards.

But, on a personal note, a real highlight was to  meet fellow bloggers, people I know from twitter and other social media who I have long admired and whose support I have greatly valued.

These represent  grass-roots movements  started by one person or family just getting on and changing  what they can – their impact on the planet.They have already changed the world.

It was so great to meet
The always challenging Zoe of Ecothrifty
Carl Legge Seeking sustainability on the Llyn Peninsula
Jen Gale who lives make do and mend
Mommy Emu bringing them up green
Karen Cannard the first lady of rubbish
And of course thanks to Katherine Purvis and the Observer Ethical Awards for giving me the opportunity to enjoy all of the above.

 

Green Parenting

Got a nice write up in Green Parenting this month.

Inspiring people who have gone plastic free

Polythene Pam and Village Boy, a pair of bloggers from Yorkshire have documented their boycott of (almost) all things plastic on their blog Plastic Is Rubbish. They also have great resources on their website for finding out about plastic alternatives, what plastic they cannot live without and why you should consider cutting down your plastic consumption too.

Thank you and we like you too. Not only are there lots of interesting articles but they also attract some interesting advertisers. I was particuarly taken with Honour Your Flow selling woollen reusable sanitary towels.

I have asked them for more info which I hope they send.