weekend links

Ten Things

Hello! I have read a lot this week so it’s been hard work picking the best 10. Let’s cut the chit chat and get to it!

This week’s links:

1. Firstly, did you see Climate Change: The Facts on BBC One on Thursday evening? If not, stop what you are doing, go and watch it on iPlayer and come back and tell me what you thought of it. I watched it, and then watched it again – David Attenborough was superb, and hits the nail on the head time and time again.

And if you’re not in the UK, you can watch the programme on YouTube instead – it’s too important to only be available in the UK.

2. Greenpeace is calling on the UK Government to declare a climate emergency now and act on it. You can sign the petition here. At the time of writing, over 143,000 people had signed it, leaving it just 7000 signatures shy of the 150,000 target.

3. It was reported that half of the UK population is willing to pay more to avoid plastic packaging, with half of all respondents saying they would be happy to pay an extra £2 a week – £104 a year – for their food shopping if all the packaging used was eco-friendly and did not include any single-use plastics.

Whilst it’s great that so many people are serious about cutting back on plastic, what struck me most from this was that we’ll never solve anything if plastic reduction is only open to those that can afford to cut plastic from their lives. £2 a week extra is huge when you don’t have any money. Reducing plastic packaging on products, in theory, should be cheaper in some cases as pointless plastic packaging is removed from products – and the Government should be taking stronger steps so that it’s more expensive for manufacturers to produce items wrapped in plastic. That’s my rant for this Sunday.

4. Greta Thunberg is incredible – watch the speech she made at the EU Parliament:

You need to listen to us, we who cannot vote. You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren. What we are doing now can soon no longer be undone. In this election, you vote for the future living conditions for humankind. And though the politics needed do not exist today, some alternatives are certainly less worse than others“.

Something to mull over before we all head to the polls in May for the European elections.

5. Climate campaigners may sound naive. But they’re asking the right questions.

6. I had to applaud this Facebook post made to the Tesco Facebook page after one shopper got annoyed about why all their swedes were shrink-wrapped in plastic. I would have linked to the original Facebook post, but Tesco deleted the post after it was shared over 10,000 times and rising – perhaps not liking the bad publicity the post was generating. However, it’s a useful reminder to constantly call-out businesses and politicians over failure to act on plastic and climate change despite the rhetoric they spout.

7. Like a phoenix from the flames. Some serious good news.

8. As Attenborough says, we all should eat beef and lamb less, and eat more plant-based foods. Think plant-based is another word for expensive? Hopefully, these £1 vegan meals (that look so incredibly delicious) can convince you otherwise! There’s even a book: Vegan One Pound Meals that is very much on my wishlist.

9. Emma Thomson was criticised after flying from LA to London prior to taking part in Extinction Rebellion. This is a fantastic response.

10. Finally, do you feel like the polystyrene packaging that comes with large appliances is unavoidable? Hopefully, it won’t be unavoidable for much longer, thanks to the wonder that is the mushroom.

That’s it from me – have a good one!


Home and Garden

Why You Shouldn’t Throw Things Away In The Name of Sustainability

why you shouldn't throw things out in the name of sustainability

In this sustainability sphere of the internet, something I feel that isn’t said often enough is, quite simply, don’t throw things away in the name of sustainability.

When I write about ethical fashion I always say that the most ethical clothes are the ones you already own. The same runs true for all other aspects of your home – the most sustainable items are the ones you already have.

There seems to be some eco-pressure, perhaps stemming through social media – to have beautiful ‘sustainable’ homes where not a scrap of plastic exists. This popular zero-waste account certainly makes it feel that way, and I also freely admit that I share the bits of my house on the blog and Instagram that are the most “on brand” with Moral Fibres. The reality is that there are things in my house that don’t fit in with the eco-friendly ‘aesthetic’, but actually are sustainability superheroes and don’t get the attention they deserve.

To name but a few:

  • In my kitchen drawer, you’ll find swathes of tomato stained and oil stained Tupperware tubs. Rather than throw them in the bin and replacing them with “eco-friendly” metal or glass tubs, you bet your life that I am using those tubs until they reach the end of their life. We are replacing them as they break, with glass ones, but I fully expect to have some plastic Tupperware until I’m 85. I don’t care how nasty the old plastic ones look – the most eco-friendly thing to do is always use and reuse what you have.
  • In a related category, we have heaps of plastic storage boxes, some bought a decade ago, that I’m not prepared to throw away simply because they are made of plastic. I’m using them and proud, but going forward if we need to buy any more will look for alternatives.
  • Likewise, plastic utensils. We have some. I’m not replacing them until they break.
  • Under my sink, you’ll find a collection of plastic carrier bags. These enter our life through one way or another, but again, these boys get used and used again. Apparently, plastic bags should be used four times in order for it to be more environmentally friendly than a single-use plastic bag. Meanwhile, paper bags need to be reused 3 times, and cotton bags need to be reused a staggering 131 times before they are more environmentally friendly than a single-use carrier bag. I reuse and reuse and once they are done I’ll use then for landfill waste.

I could go on about home my house isn’t visually some kind of utopia of sustainability, but I don’t beat myself up about any of these. It’s easy to be led to believe that living completely without plastic is the pinnacle of sustainable living, but in truth, you can’t shop your way to sustainability. Things like flying less, and eating a more plant-based diet, will have a more positive environmental impact than binning perfectly good Tupperware for things made from more sustainable materials.

By all means, switch to more sustainably produced alternatives when items need replacing, but in the meantime use your old plastic Tupperware with pride, tomato stains and all. Reuse any plastic bags that come your way. Don’t feel any guilt – you’re doing a super job, even if it isn’t particularly photogenic.