The Environmentally Responsible Educational and Lifestyle Company

Monthly Archives: March 2013

angkor rubbish dumps

LESS is most definitely MORE……..

What does this mean – let me tell you. Waste is a relatively new term and problem born from a massive surge in consumption and the production of man-made products that nature just cannot deal with. Nature does not produce waste we do! Our increasing, detrimental, over consumption, need, and want of Stuff & Things. In my opinion landfills and other ways of dealing with waste is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and cause unknown environmental problems. Does anyone really care what happens to the contents of their weekly trash? Where does it go when we throw it OUT, where is OUT?

Ask some one over 60 what they did with their waste?

They more than likely did not have much waste for a number of reasons mostly because they were not living in an era of massive consumption. They did not have corporations and companies paying megga bucks to market products and drive consumer spending even if the consumer didn’t really need the product. Services such as tailors, shoe makers, seamstress were the norm. The quality of products was greater as the material was made by hand and was made to last. They didn’t over spend in super markets as they bought daily what they needed in the local community or had home grown veg and hens maybe?

If their shoe needed a mend they did not toss them OUT they got them mended. These days we can replace a shoe cheaper than mending it. Consumers have driven this trend and in turn created a monster in Waste. We all need to scale back and try to think that Less is More. The ironic thing is we are all better off with Less.

Mentally,  Financially and Environmentally LESS is MORE.

Stay tumed for little ways to change your daily routine and embrace the LESS is MORE Movement

Join in the movement and I would love to know your thoughts #lessismore #clairelewis


 

photo-60So my trusty pink polka dot wellies have sprung a leak so I decided to go shopping for an ECO welly alternative (ps this spell check is very annoying as I have already spelt willies on a number of occasions!)

The following are the brands that I have wished and or lusted after for quite some time e-hem (Hunter) or have found through my research on the search for the ECO Wellington!

I really feel that despite the vast array of wellingtons on the market cheap ones and not so cheap ones you have to keep in mind the qualities that are important to you when purchasing a pair. I know I am in the minority when I view the environment as one of my top priorities when shopping but this is just who I am. I was programmed this way and I hope to God being green is on the list to get into heaven because if it is – I am free rolling!

 

 

 

For me the following qualities are a must:

  1. How Eco friendly the product and the manufacturing processes are
  2. How far does the company go to do their bit – this is a very important quality to me!
  3. How comfortable the product is
  4. How much are they – I will always pay extra for a product that is made well and will last
  5. The Customer Service the company offers – do they care about the person buying their product? Chances are if they don’t they don’t care about much more.

1. kamik – A Canadian company that manufactures locally in Canada. kamik do the most impressive range of boots that are not only recyclable once they reach the end of their lives but they are made from RubberHe 

The Rubber is kamik’s very own made-in Canada innovation. It is an interesting read and I am impressed with the lengths the company processes are centered around being as environmentally friendly as possible. Reusing water within the manufacturing processes and using only recycled water to cool machines etc. I am impressed the only down side is I have yet to find a stockiest in Ireland, but they deliver to the UK.

It seems I have found my ECO Wellington after all 🙂

2. Hunter – I have been in love with these boots for some time and thought it would be Hunter all the way for the next pair.  “Outstanding in Every Field” – Not really, more so the Fashion Stakes! There is not much on their website about their environmental policies or any recycling programs they offer and after lots of persistence via email and Facebook I got some answers!

Do they have a recycling program for the boots for the customer to send after their life time – No they do not. Also since the manufacturing was moved from their birth place Edinburgh to China it is evident from their Facebook pages and also bloggers that the quality has dropped considerably. What was once a life time product is now lasting a few years at max. They do get all of the sample boots collected from their UK offices and sent to ‘waste to energy process’ which feeds the national grid rather than landfill.

They also have Restricted Substance Standards and Guidelines. “We manage a programme to collect information from our suppliers on components, chemicals, supply routes, and test results on a seasonal basis, and we also manage a structured testing programme to ensure compliance with our standards” My only worries here is that they are not open for public viewing so I have been informed this is what Hunter are doing and that is brilliant but I have no idea what the standards and guidelines mean. And also what boundaries are Hunter pushing to make their product more eco friendly as well as a fashion item?

3. Aigle Boots  Produced in France for a 150 years, using natural rubber and each boot is produced by hand. The boots are really smart and look like a pair that would stand the test of time!  Could also be in the running to become the next ECO Wellington!

This post has really got me thinking and I would like to research the Wellington market a little more. I know from my research into my book The Soother Cycle If each child under the age of 4 in the UK alone recycled their soother then a whopping 40 double decker bus loads of soothers would be recycled and saved from landfill. Can you imagine the number of wellingtons that each child in the UK alone uses. Those growing feet need lots of wellingtons and if there was a brand that allowed a trade in on wellingtons for kids wouldn’t that be marvelous and a totally ECO friendly solution. I could start The Wellington Cycle – now there’s an idea!!


This time last week (06-03-13) I was sitting around a table in the heart of London with some great minds.  Bloggers with a GREEN core and the good people from ECOVER to discuss a secret mission! It was an early flight but I was excited to be invited and even more excited to find out what was going to unfold!

The mission was top secret and it had every good reason to be. ECOVER’s Message In Our Bottle was a very exciting pledge. The pledge to close the loop and create a fully sustainable and recyclable plastic. Reducing the amount of raw materials in their bottles which is always a good thing as an eco product more than any other product needs an eco bottle. Generally the customer who buys an eco product has already bought into a personal mission of doing a little bit to save and help the planet. But when you really look at the bigger picture the green customer probably accounts for less than 10% (if even that) of the global consumption of the product. Lets take the product as cleaning products as this is what Ecover sell. Generally when people purchase cleaning products the cost, smell maybe even the branding have huge bearing on the choice the customer makes. Large brands have very large marketing budgets and they use these budgets as it is a dog eat dog world with lots of profits to be made. I fully appreciate that you need to make healthy profits to keep a company viable but what are massive profits to a company when the resources needed to produce them are reducing and the environmental impacts are so catastrophic. Large brands do not spend as much on constant environmental development like the eco alternative brands. And ironically the eco brands do not spend much on advertising!

Every one knows that eco products are a little more expensive but when you equate the little extra cost to the peace of mind that when you clean your loo or pop on the dishwasher the local eco system can at least have a breather. Ecover have been in the driving seat of developing and implementing new environmental products and techniques using their Plant-Astic plastic made from 100% sugar cane since 2011. You can rest assured that you little extra is funding a team of scientists and engineers developing new innovative ways to save our planet, making it easy and convenient for consumers to reduce their carbon foot print.

Imagine paying fishermen to land their haul of sea plastic as well as the fish – this is now a reality! It is a very worthy and clever idea Waste Free Oceans and the fishermen that participate should be applauded. By 2014 each Ecover bottle will contain some amount of sea plastic that was ‘fished’ by fishermen already at sea, hence no extra consumption of raw materials to land the haul of sea plastic.

MIOB infographic_cmyk_final

The other lovely ladies who shared this experience where:

Nicola Baird – Homemade Kids

Melinda Watson –  E for Good & The RAW Foundation

Jen Gale – My Make Do and Mend Year

Lynn Fancy – A Slice of Lemons Cake 

I am not sure if there was a trend with the amount of women to men in the room was a whopping 7:1, are women more interested in protecting out planet?? This is a little thought to follow up on I think. I hope Ecover’s Digital Manager – Peter Rosier  was not too out numbered or too overwhelmed! I really enjoyed the trip, met the good people behind the scenes at Ecover and some very lovely lady bloggers like me! Not to mention Ecover’s Message In Our Bottle….it is a very good green message indeed 🙂


MotherEarth

Mother’s Day is for Mothers right, but who is the Mother of all Mothers – Mother Earth Herself!

She is the wisest living thing at 4.54 billion years of age Mother Earth is constantly teaching us the right way. She gives us life, food, water, shelter, heat, and takes us back into her very being when we die. She gives us beauty to bestow, flowers to sweeten, herbs to cure and most importantly air to breath. She does the very simplest of things which we may or may not take for granted – drying our clothes, watering our gardens, seasons of variation in weather and food.

She is always full of life and can always surprise us. She makes many people rich and makes many people poor. She can give you life but she can also take it away from you. She is master of the sea’s and from a calm sunny day turn to the most angry storm. She should NEVER be taken for granted or for certain. She is always changing and will give us only what we need. We should never try and out smart Mother Earth. She will try and teach us the right ways for as long as she possibly can but she too is at risk of failing as delicate as a flower but as strong as rock there is no knowing how long we can push and take from her.

I feel privilege to have been born a woman giving life and running a home in the most eco/nomical, natural way possible and teaching my children the best ways to live in oder to try and do something to help our higher mother – Mother Earth. If you think your job is hard she most certainly has a tough job to do….

For my Mothers Day ritual I have set the following wishes to be followed out in full – No messing:

  1. A lovingly made card involving everyone else except me! (note to mums this will give you at least an hour of grace 🙂
  2. Breakfast in bed with all my favorites – Porridge with Honey & Vanilla Yoghurt, Spelt toast & Breakfast Tea.
  3.  A plant of sorts or a Tree sapling that can be planted in the garden or on a trek in the hills. This kills two birds with one stone, giving a present to both me & Mother Earth.
  4. Absolutely NO intensely packaged mass produced bought stuff of any kind, no matter how cute or convenient it is!
  5. If you can’t get the plant then some Claire Lewis tried and tested much loved Products that follow the CL Philosophy….such as Voya Handy to Have Hand Creme €15. Irish owned and manufactured & made from as much organic and chemical free stuff as they can pack into a bottle. Sea weed which is hand harvested is one of the products and it does wonders for the skin! check stockest here.
  6. Or some PUKKA Tea in any flavour!
  7. Or a foot massage by hand using Lavender Essential Oils by  The Body Shop (beauty with a heart!) or Lavender Soap hand made by Fragrances Of Ireland they have the most beautiful Organic Lavender Field in Kilmacanogue ,Co Wicklow and have a store right next to AVOCA hand weavers across the road from the Lavender Fields!
  8. All else fails I want a day of Peace & Love!!

The amazingly ethical and Eco Stella the Fall 2013 collection had some more Eco goodies with Biodegradable Shoes!

the CITIZENS of FASHION

details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-24details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-23details at stella mcCartney fall 2013details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-1details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-2details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-3details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-5details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-6details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-7details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-8details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-9details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-10details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-11details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-12details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-13details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-14details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-15details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-16details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-17details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-18details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-19details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-20details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-21details at stella mcCartney fall 2013-22Photo: Alessandro Viero/ Indigitale Team / Gorunway

 

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Hippie

I know from growing up with a green outlook on life since a child, I have heard & have been called the terms, ‘hippy’, ‘tree hugger’, ‘eco warrior’ and all the other terms with green connotations. Not that I have any thing against being called these things its quite the contrary. My main mission in life is to make caring about the environment a main stream affair, not one for the minority with the crusty tree hugger credentials as the planet needs all of the people and companies operating on it to give a toss about how we live and use the earths resources. This is the reason I set up Claire Lewis – ‘Making it Cool to care about the Environment’ and also making it quite normal or dare I say natural!

Without everyone having that tree hugger spirit even CEO’s and Wall Street exec’s then the green ones who walk among us will fail. With this failing then God knows where we will end up, but with statistics like  “Humanity is currently using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide and by 2030 the combined capacity of two planets will not be sufficient to support global demand” – WWF Living Planet Report. I pray that the masses will see that being green does not mean you have to wear baggy pants, drive a VW camper and smoke plants of any kind 🙂 It just means we all need to give a sh1t about HOME.

Some nice reading from Tom Szaky – (CEO of Terracycle) Eco-preneurs Need to Look to Larger Retailers to Create Change – in the Huffington Post

You might also like to take a look at what The Observer Ethical Awards are all about. They are pretty super and have great judges and prizes.