Environmental stewardship

Here’s the facts:

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(Image: Vizu Organics)

Unless we pass on environmental stewardship to the next generation, our efforts die with us.  And never too young…..

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Here’s a sweet photo of three-year-old William Mosley collecting rubbish on the beach, so disgusted was he by “very silly humans” dropping litter in the streets and everywhere. You can read his story here.

At this age, children are enthusiastic and absorb new ideas like sponges. Live green in your family today and it becomes a way of life for these adults of tomorrow.

But teenagers are every bit as fun to recruit for the green drive: they are vociferous, outspoken and looking for crusades.  Here are four fun things you could do with teenagers:

  1. Visit eco-restaurants for bonding time. Read our Green Spaces review for ideas.
  2. Experiment with making green skincare products.
  3. Repurpose old clothes together. We made a cloth shopping bag from a holey old dress!
  4. Beach clean-ups and BBQ on the beach. We all love a good party.  Please follow us here and on Facebook to be kept informed of our forthcoming party (in Sept/Oct). 

The cost of small things

Last week, we made four circuits round a particular block in Phuket Town trying to find parking so that we can buy ribbons. Think about the hydrocarbons burned in our quest to buy those pretty things.

Moreover, those pretty things, if you think about it, are synthetic materials (polyester, nylon, and polypropylene) and harsh dyes. There is nothing natural or organic about those ribbons at all – they cost a mere THB50 per roll, so chances are that they were manufactured in some sweat shop with slave labour.

But we need those ribbons!

Do we, actually?

I managed to salvage these from old clothes that are headed for the recycling bin. And these “ribbons” are much prettier, if you ask me. I wish I had thought about that sooner.

The thing to do is to get into the repurposing mindset and delete the word “BUY, BUY, BUY” from our modern psyche. 

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How green can you go?

A couple of days ago, we went on an eventful trip to Phuket Town to look for eco-packaging for Jane’s biscuits (her contribution to the Ride 4 Kids bake sale).

Our destination (after a loooong stopover in Boat Lagoon for a spot of clothes shopping) was Gerbera House right in the middle of Phuket Town. This old-fashioned shophouse, spread over two higgledy-piggledy floors, is a proverbial treasure trove of baking stuff. You could literally find anything here.

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And as with everything in our society today, plastic is always the cheap and convenient option…..hmmph!

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Our preferred choice wasn’t so available: we couldn’t find simple brown paper bags of the right size. So should we buy doilies and wrap the cookies in them, and tied with ribbons?

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As we were in the shop debating our options, the friendly traffic police clamped us!!!!! Apparently, even if you are legitimately parked (i.e. in a parking bay on the right side of the road), it is a clamp-able offence if your car is facing the wrong way!!!

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Well, we certainly didn’t run into this happy chappie (shown on the right), reported in Phuket News 😦

So off to the police station on the tuk-tuk to pay the THB500 fine, back to the car via motorbike taxi this time, before rushing back to school!

Yes, it does sound like a palaver, but we had a fun day out, learned something new and had a good time overall.  And really, this is what we are trying to promote with Simple Green Planet: the little things you do everyday that slowly moves you towards a different – and more green – way of thinking.

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Please follow us by clicking the orange icon on the left of this page to stay tuned to our escapades ….. and join us!

*NOTE: Nikki came with us and she survived 😀

 

Your hair and the environment

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My waist-length hair is one of my few concessions to vanity, and as my daughter also has long hair, we go through one (plastic) bottle a week of shampoo, unless we can get our hands on industrial-sized version of our usual brand (not easy in Phuket; we rely on family and friends to courier them over when possible).

And because I live in a hot country and I run and cook everyday, I wash my hair several times a week. The hair products that work best for me are from Aveda, a company that prides itself in its natural ingredients as well as its environmental leadership:

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However, not all of this company’s products come in glass bottles. Some, like my Shampure shampoo and conditioner, are in plastic bottles. Looking at my empty plastic conditioner bottle this morning, I wondered about alternatives.

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I recalled my daughters’ and niece’s favourite shop: Lush. When the first Lush store appeared in the UK, the girls were besotted with the brand. My niece said that her greatest ambition was to work for Lush. Reason: you feel like you are stepping into a delicious store each time you enter a Lush outlet.

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A google image search on Lush yielded this colourful and tempting montage:

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The youtube clip below shows how Lush’s shampoo bars are made. Each bar is good for between 60-100 uses. Which means, you are saving on average 3 bottles of shampoo with each bar….3 bottles less for the landfill and oceans each time you buy a bar! And aren’t they just delicious 🙂

Please follow us by clicking on the orange icon on the left of the page. We will be posting more about homemade cosmetics and cleaning products.