Cat’s Green Tulip Christmas Shopping List

Cat's Christmas Shopping List.jpgI love packing our customer’s orders – sometimes they look (and smell) so gorgeous it inspires me to think which of my friends and family an order would most appeal to! Getting to know the products gives me a real sense of familiarity with them and I have some firm favourites.

Here’s my list of who I am buying for this Christmas and what I have chosen. It was so difficult, at times I realised I was choosing all my favourites – mentally shopping for myself!? Oops, it’s a bit of an occupational hazard at Green Tulip!

For my adorable, young-girl cousin

My cousin’s daughter is 18 months old and just adorable! Just learning to walk and talk and express her own opinions.  She loves dogs and animals and exploring the beaches near where they live in West Wales. I chose:

My First Camera (£11) This cute ‘first’ camera should be a real hit.  Really smooth and chunky to hold, with kaleidoscope lens, pushable shutter button and a dotty wrist strap.  She will love asking friends, pets and family to say ‘cheese’ for her!

A Fluf organic candy stripe backpack (£28) which actually also doubles as a lunch bag. Cute and compact, it makes a perfect hands-free lunch kit bag and is a great size for independent children who like to be in charge of carrying their own essentials!

Plan Toys Happy Puppy (£17) a gorgeous wooden pull-along puppy with a flexible neck and body, and uneven hind wheels giving him a cute, wobbly walk.  Perfect for this little dog lover!

Recyled Wool Mermaid/Princess Puppet (£5) fantastic wool character puppets, hand made in Canada from upcycled clothing, so each puppet will always be the same shape, however no two mermaids will ever be the same! These are great for encouraging imaginative play and making up stories. The mermaid puppets have real character – a full head of hair, bra top and of course a fishy tail!

For my gorgeous, grown-up girl cousin

My cousin is 25 yrs old and loves the outside, yoga, cooking and enjoying life!

As a vegan, finding gorgeous looking and delicious chocolate can be a challenge, but not with Cocoa Loco’s Organic Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Stars (£4.50) These heavenly stars are made from Cocoa Loco’s velvety smooth dark chocolate adorned with tasty pieces of freeze dried raspberry. A lovely treat!

As a gluten free vegan, she is having to experiment with what she can eat and a lunch container would be a great gift for her, as she is a busy teacher who wants tasty food that suits her diet. A Slice of Green Two Tier Rectangle Lunch Box with Mini Container (£22) is perfect to fit a full and varied lunch.

For her glam side, I think a Natural Gift Company Sparkling Natural Gift Set (£20) is a really nice treat. Packed with a pink fizz candle, and prosecco bath melt, lip balm and soap, a night on the fizz that won’t result in a hang over!

And finally, for relaxing after a hard day at school, a warm bath with Living Naturally’s Coconut Milk & Rose Bathtub Tea (£8.50) is just the job to calm and rejuvenate.  100% vegan, natural, organic and free from SLS’s, parabens, mineral oils, artificial additives and fragrances.

For my velvet-soft cat – Meg

My beautiful, long-haired black cat, Meg, loves treats, toys and cuddles – no surprises there!

Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Cracker Treats (£3) are tempting treats, bursting with freshly prepared turkey, chicken liver and cranberries. Made in the UK from natural wholesome ingredients. 🐱

I love to snuggle up on the sofa with Meg and relax, so I guess this is more a present for me, but I don’t mind sharing! A ReSpiin Recycled Wool Throw  (£45) is perfect for us both.  Made responsibly in India from recycled wool clothing, the colour is a result of the original wool fabrics – no dyes are added. It is beautiful and soft- just like Meg – and also won’t show too many of her hairs!

Beco’s Freddie the Fish Cat Toy (£5) is a very bright goldfish who is soft yet durable due to his thick skin and double stitching.  He is made from an eco-friendly fabric made from recycled plastic bottle caps and (just to make him irresistible) he is stuffed with North American catnip!

It’s back to work packing those Christmas orders for me now! Happy Christmas!

Meet the Author - Cat


Kate’s Green Tulip Christmas Shopping List


Kate's Christmas Shopping List - 2 dogs

We have so many gorgeous, lovely gifts at Green Tulip and as they all have to be photographed for the website, I spend quite a lot of my time thinking ‘Oo, I’d like this’. But of course, I don’t buy everything I like (I’d be broke!) just make a mental list of those I ‘need’ and pass on the list to my family for Christmas and birthdays. Which got me thinking about all the lovely things I could get them for Christmas! So here are a few of my favourites:


Husbands like cycling, DIY, walking the dogs, beer and cooking the occasional hot curry! At least mine does, but I’m betting there’s a few more out there… So here’s my choices for him (and I really hope he’s not going to read this blog!).

  • The Lucky Buddha Beer Glass  (£10) has been creatively reformed from a used Lucky beer bottle. Lucky is a light, Asian-style lager brewed and bottled in China and the bottle famously features an embossed Buddha design. Perfect as an accompaniment to the curry!
  • The Thought Cycling socks (£6) are made from sustainable bamboo fabric which  is naturally thermo regulating, so as well as keeping feet warm, these socks can just as importantly keep feet cool in the heat. No more sweaty feet 🙌
  • Of course with all the cycling, DIY, dog walking and cooking, he’s going to need to keep clean, so Soap Daze Black Pepper & Ginger Soap on a Rope (£8) is perfect for the shower and the sink. And it’s retro – ‘soap on a rope’ will deliver a laugh as well as a great present!
  • Sourced Life’s Upcycled Truck Tarpaulin Washbag (£24) is a ‘one of a kind’ for your ‘one of a kind’!! Every wash bag is a true ‘one-off’ due to its upcycled material and may show signs of wear with rugged markings from a past life hammering the highways of Europe – we call it character!


I love my dogs 😍 and I start thinking about what to get them for Christmas way before anyone else.  We have the tradition that the youngest goes first when unwrapping presents on Christmas morning, the dogs agree with this as they are the babies, mayhem ensues and we end up laughing (and videoing) so much that our presents get forgotten for a while! Here are a few of the gifts I have decided to wrap up for them this year.

  • Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Cracker Treats for Dogs (£3.50) are bursting with freshly prepared turkey, cranberries and thyme.  Includes a sprinkling of cinnamon – a wonderfully warming anti-inflammatory that helps boost energy, circulation and brain health. Perfect for 8 year old Poppy so she can keep up with Barney!
  • Beco Rope (Medium £5) is a 100% natural rope toy made from durable cotton and sustainably sourced hemp.  Hemp is naturally antibacterial and can therefore help to keep teeth clean. It also has short fibres that are easily digested if swallowed.  And it’s great for playing ‘pulley’ which is Poppy and Barney’s favourite game.
  • The Beco Bone (Medium £10) is a vanilla-scented dog bone with hole to fill with treats for hours of fun. And as it is made from sustainable rice husk rubber, it is sturdy, eco-friendly and non-toxic. Important for young Barney who likes to test his toys to the point of destruction!
  • After all the fun and excitement of Christmas day (every day for our 2 pooches) bedtime relaxation is essential with Lily’s Kitchen Organic Bedtime Biscuits. (£3) They contain probiotic yoghurt as well as organic chamomile and passion flowers to aid calmness for a good night’s sleep.  They are also hypoallergenic and wheat/gluten free with no chemicals or anything artificial. From 4 months, so perfect for baby Barney 🐶


A tough one- not to choose for, but how to limit the choices! My mum loves painting, baking, gardening, chocolate, walking the dogs and looking after her grandchildren (I’m fairly sure about the last part!). Here are just some of the lovely gifts my Mum can expect this Christmas🎄

  • The beautiful Paper High Purple Leather Journal  (£15) with leather thong closure and criss-cross stitch binding detail at the spine, has recycled cotton paper pages, hand made from rags left over from the Indian garment industry. A lovely gift for sketching or jotting down notes.
  • Manumit’s Silk & Linen Stripe Scarf  (£10) in grape is Fair Trade and made from a mix of a soft linen/silk blend and slubby pure silk, making it extra soft and comfy to wear. A perfect way to dress up any outfit.
  • Our Natural Gift Company Ultimate Lavender Natural Gift Set (£26) is perfect for my mum as she loves the calming fragrance of lavender. Packed with gorgeous, natural lavender goodies, hopefully she will be serene when the grandchildren come to visit!
  • She is also partial to the occasional chocolate, so I think she will love these Cocoa Loco Organic Sloe Gin Truffles (£6.50) Six smooth and rich mouthfuls of Sloe Gin and chocolate heaven made with a subtle Sloe Gin ganache and dusted in deliciously sweet raspberry. An unusual and sophisticated Christmas treat.

Happily, I now have a comprehensive Christmas list, which I am about to make public, so apart from the dogs who can’t read, there is no changing my mind. Although with these gorgeous Green Tulip goodies, I don’t think I’d want to!

Watch out for the other Green Tulip team member’s Christmas shopping lists which will be coming over the next few weeks!

Happy shopping!

Meet the Author - Kate

Green Tulip’s Green Fingers!



At work, I deal with beautiful and ‘green’ products- photographing and researching them and it’s a very pleasant way to spend time in the office! But as soon as I get home, the gloves go on and the gardening begins!

If you live in the countryside, or are lucky enough to have a garden in a city or town then the chances are, you have learnt a bit about gardening! It also won’t have escaped your attention that there is a ‘growing’ movement towards using your outdoor space to grow your own food. This is actually a ‘regrowth’ as until the 1950’s/60’s British gardens were often the primary source of fresh fruit and veg for the family home. And we all remember the ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign during the Second World War where gardens, parks, school grounds and even the moat around the Tower of London were all turned into allotments to support the war effort.

I have grown fruits and veggies since I was a child at middle school. And even though we have moved many times, I have always managed to find both the space and the time. Now we live in the Wiltshire countryside and have a lovely big garden so it’s easy to find the space, and I make sure I have the time!  But please don’t think it can’t be done elsewhere!

Why Now?

So, why should we do it now?! There are a lot of reasons why NOT that is for sure: There’s plenty of good quality food in our supermarkets, with huge amounts of variety to choose from. We are busier than ever with work, social life, children, and all the activities that our modern lives and budgets can afford. We have apps that can deliver fresh, organic food to our doorsteps at the click of a button. Our gardens and outdoor spaces are shrinking.

Well, to counteract this let me give you a few reasons why we should-

  • It’s fun, trust me, it is!
  • The whole family can get stuck in. There is no upper or lower age limit on gardening. Younger people will learn so much from managing to grow, harvest, cook and eat the produce. Older people will benefit from time outdoors and the extra bit of exercise and achievement
  • Most spaces can be adapted to different abilities and mobility- see this post from the Ability Superstore.
  • You can garden pretty much anywhere; be radical- grow radishes in your window box! Vertical Veg have ideas on how to get started in any small space- patio, balcony, windowsill. And this blog will show you how to make a pocket garden for a wall or fence


There are so many benefits – here’s just a few of them:

  • Healthier for you- homegrown has more nutrients and will be fresher.
  • Healthier for your environment- you may choose to garden without pesticides , good news for your insect friends!
  • Physical activity is boosted.
  • Save money at the supermarket.
  • Encourage children to try new fruits and veg.
  • Learning new skills helps keep your brain sharp.
  • Gardening has been linked to improved mental health and well being, this leaflet from Thrive explains more.
  • Community gardening or sharing with neighbours builds a sense of community. Excesses & gluts can be shared with others, you will always end up with more if you are prepared to share! We delivered courgettes around our street and came back with, apples, jam, & homemade biscuits! Yum!

How to get started

You will need to dedicate a space, get some simple equipment- not much- a trowel, a bucket some plant pots and a pair of gardening gloves will do for a start! And you will need to decide what you want to grow! Easy veggies and fruits to grow include:

  • Salad Leaves. Crunchy fresh leaves with a fantastic range of textures and flavours.
  • Spring onions and Radishes.
  • Potatoes.
  • Peas.
  • Mint.
  • Broad Beans.
  • Runner Beans.
  • Onions.
  • Strawberries.

You can pick up seeds or seedlings from supermarkets, homeware stores and garden centres, or, like me you can have a catalogue delivered and circle all the ones you want like a child just before Christmas! Local seed swaps are great if you want to try out before spending lots of money, check your local paper or online magazine for dates.

For a complete beginners guide to starting gardening, The Royal Horticultural Society is the place to go. This guide has all the information you need, and the internet is at your (green) fingertips!

Growing your own vegetables will make you a happier person- as one of my favourite quotes says:

Gardening is cheaper than therapy ... and you get tomatoes!.jpg

We will be adding blogs as the seasons go on to help you decide what to grow and what to make with the fruits of your labours!

Meet the Author - Kate

Don’t just Organic Your September: Organic All Year Round!


Has the current Soil Association campaign ‘Organic Your September‘ piqued your interest? Here’s what you need to know:

Why choose organic?


The Soil Association  has all the answers, here’s a list of the main reasons:

  • It’s naturally different – Studies show higher levels of some nutrients and lower levels of pesticides and chemical residues in food.
  • Know what your eating – GM ingredients, hydrogenated fats and some artificial colours and preservatives are banned under organic standards.
  • Combat climate change – Organic farming offers the best currently available, practical model for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.
  • Protect British Wildlife – Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds, butterflies. There is up to 50% more wildlife than on non-organic farms.
  • Reduce exposure to pesticides – The best way is to buy organic as they will contain overall fewer pesticides.

The future of the organic market looks healthy.   The UK organic market is now in its fifth year of strong growth and worth £2.09 billion. Total sales of organic increased by 7.1% in 2016!

How to go Organic


We all have to stick to a budget and deciding to go organic has to be affordable. Here are a few ideas to help increase your organic purchasing without breaking the purse strings!

  • Budget supermarket chains are expanding their organic ranges, whilst keeping the prices low.
  • Organic box schemes like Riverford Organic  give a good choice of fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, all at market prices.
  • Look for accreditation, The Soil Association is the main accrediting body for organic products in the UK.  Have a look at their website to see what their organic criteria are.
  • Buy less meat; organic meat may be more expensive than cheap supermarket factory farmed meat, but it is better for us, better for the environment and much tastier too!
  • Try swapping to organic on as many products as you can – and prioritise those that you choose. Here is a useful list of the so called ‘Dirty Dozen’ which are foods containing potentially higher levels of pesticides.
  • Keeping your food alive! Once you have bought your organic produce – do also consider using a beeswax wrap to help store and keep your food fresh.  Beeswax wrap is reusable and makes an excellent alternative to plastic film wrap.
  • Don’t forget about household cleaning and clothes washing. Our organic soapnut shells are both organic and wonderfully economic as they can be reused many times.

Organic gifts

What better way to tell someone you care than to buy them a gift that is good for them, good for the environment and beautiful too? Our favourites include:

  • Dark Chocolate Organic Lip Balm made with 100% natural, protective and nutritive oils, butters and plant wax.  Containing protective and nutritive oils, butters and plant wax, enhanced with organic soapnut extract, chickweed, calendula and marshmallow – A handy little tin of organic chocolate for your lips!
  • ‘Organic Surge’ this range offers great value, natural skin care products made from nourishing ingredients and fragrant organic essential oils and are 100% free of harsh chemicals. The Clove, Orange & Geranium Foaming Bath contains sensual patchouli and spicy clove-bud, which help to de-stress and revive the body and mind, while natural aloe vera soothes the skin – And it smells amazing!
  • And for the little ones…This adorable Organic Cotton Octopus Rattle is the perfect size for little hands to shake! He looks very cool with his green, pink and blue pastel stripes and large googly eyes, and has eight legs which are perfect to grab hold of to chew on!

Organic All Year

We hope we’ve inspired you to ‘Organic Your September’ but also your October, November and on! You can visit the Green Tulip website to find out about all the ethical categories we work to and also check out our Pinterest page for lots of organic inspiration.

organic pin

Meet the Author - Cat

Back To School – Surviving The Packed Lunches!

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At this time of year, parents all over the country are starting to think about uniforms, PE kits and shoes. Is everything properly labelled? Does anything fit anymore? Just where exactly did the PE kit get dropped on the last day of term?!

However one thing is for sure – if you ask parents what they like most about the holidays it’s not having to prepare packed lunches every morning! Juggling breakfast, shoe search and tie tying with hunt the lid for the lunch containers is not anyone’s idea of fun! We start off the term full of good intentions and matching lunch box lids, but it can quickly slide back into chaos! We have put together a few tips to help you survive the start of term and keep the mornings calm (ish!)

Create a ‘lunchbox cupboard’


Taking some time to put together a ‘lunchbox cupboard’ can really take the stress out of putting lunch together in the morning. Keep your bulk snacks and any treats in there, making sure you have enough to last the week, and simply transfer to a small container in the morning and pop in the lunch bag. By planning ahead, you can avoid last minute purchases of crisps and chocolate bars simply to pad out lunch, saving money and waste.

Get your equipment right

It really helps to have the right equipment! And if your children like it too then you never know, you might even get a hand putting their lunch together (no guarantees!)

Try these for a full lunch set:

  • U-Konserve insulated food jar. These insulated food jars add a whole new dimension to packed lunches as they allow your children to take along a hot meal to school, perfect for when the days start to get a bit chilly! Ideal for including warmed up leftovers from supper the night before too.
  • U-Konserve nesting trio with their brightly coloured lids, you should have no trouble finding the right one. What’s more, if you do lose the lids (it happens, a bit like disappearing socks, we know!) you can buy replacements. Perfect for packing yogurt, fruit salad, pasta salad, crisps, hummus, and lots more!
  • Fluf organic snack pack. This fun set of two reusable snack packs is made from high quality organic cotton, has a water-resistant, food-safe lining and easy, velcro closure. Each one has space on the back to personalise with owner’s name. Ideal for snacks, mini bagels and sandwiches.

But how about a drink? We all know how important it is to stay hydrated at school. Classrooms can be warm and concentration can dip in the afternoon if your child is thirsty – probably from galloping around the playground at lunch time!

  • Qwetch insulated stainless steel bottle is a handy size for smaller children at 260ml, perfect for little hands, easy to open and drink out of and will happily keep drinks cold for up to 7 hours. And, best of all, easy to keep clean- no valves or plastic parts to trap the drink and go a funny colour..urgh!
  • The Qwetch 500ml stainless steel bottle comes in turquoise and green and is perfect for older children who will easily drink a half litre a day at school. Keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours, so they could take a tea or hot chocolate on colder days. A leak-proof lid means no spills on school books!!

And to carry it all in:

  • The Fluf Lil B is as the name suggests, a little back pack!  Made from thick, organic cotton with a yellow, water resistant, food safe lining with interior pouch pocket and chunky zip closure.  Cute and compact, it makes a perfect hands-free lunch kit bag and is a great size for independent children who like to be in charge of carrying their own essentials!
  • Keep Leaf organic cotton lunch bag is insulated made from high quality, thick organic cotton canvas on the outside and is perfect for lunch or snacks
  • Fluf zipper lunch bag  is a reusable lunch bag made from thick, organic cotton with a yellow, water resistant, food safe polyester lining with interior pouch pocket and chunky zip closure. Fun and colourful cactus design, printed on both sides with low impact, azo free dyes.

What makes a good lunch?

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So now you have the lunch kit – time to think about what to put into it! A balanced selection makes a good lunch that will give your child the energy to concentrate throughout the afternoon. Variety will make sure they don’t get bored with the same old sarnie and a snack! Plenty to drink will keep them alert and hydrated throughout the day too. Instead of plain old sliced bread, why not try;

  • Bagels or pitta breads- cheese and ham or cream cheese and cucumber are favourite fillings.
  • Wraps- ham and lettuce or chicken and red pepper rule in our house.
  • Homemade mini pizza- look at this fantastic & easy recipe.
  • Pasta or rice salad with tuna tuna/chicken or beans for a vegetarian lunch.

Our friend, The Lunchbox Doctor has come up with 5 ways to make packed lunches less of a chore and you can read all about it here.

As tempting as it is to buy mini packs of biscuits, crisps and treats to pack into a lunch box, it can be just as easy to provide healthier alternatives that will be cheaper and produce less waste.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Mixed fruit and nuts (if your school allows them) are great for bulk buying, and make a sweet treat that is packed with fibre and protein to keep the energy levels up all afternoon.
  • Pretzels, crisps and biscuits or chocolate are ok for a high energy treat, as long as the meal is balanced. Try buying large packets and splitting down into individual portions. Better still, if you have time, make your own. Some good recipes for biscuits and other lunch treats are on our sister site, A Slice of Green’s Lunch Box Ideas Pinterest board.
  • Fresh fruit can be easily bruised, but putting strawberries, blueberries or sliced oranges into a small food container will make sure it arrives fresh and appetising.
  • Yoghurt is another lunch favourite for younger children. Save money and lower the sugar content by providing a container with natural yoghurt, flavoured with a drizzle of honey or a handful of soft fruit. Just don’t forget to pack a spoon!

Lunch Box Ideas

We hope a few of these tips and ideas will help the transition back to school next week. Just need to remember to get the alarm clock set now!

Meet the Author - Kate

Plastic Free July- The Roundup


Now we are well into August, I thought I’d take the time to reflect on the successes and challenges from my first Plastic Free July.

Setting Up

The challenge seemed quite simple: Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.  “Single-use” includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging…basically anything that’s intended only to be used once and then discarded. I have always been interested in reducing waste and trying to find the most sustainable way of doing things, but this was a real opportunity to test my commitment – and that of my family! Luckily we were already well set up with reusable water bottles, coffee cups, lunch boxes and shopping bags (well, you know where I work!). All I needed was to purchase a reusable straw (I have sensitive teeth- ouch!) and to persuade husband and 2 boys that this was going to be fun!


The First Few Days

Goodness me, what challenges life threw at me in the first week. A teenage boy’s paintball party on a hot day, a camping weekend and bbq for 25 people and a family day out to a military parade on the hottest day of the year! I quickly learnt that it would be better to concentrate on everyday life and get that right first. But we did make it through the paintball party with only one person feeling the need to buy a bottle of cola, so I’m taking that as a win! 🙌

After a fractured first week, I decided to tackle the ‘top four’ and make sure we could all achieve this. The top 4 are plastic bags, bottles, takeaway coffee cups & straws; the worst polluters in daily use.


The Successes

Once we had settled down, it became an easy routine to remember.

  • Put bottles of water in the fridge at night, ready to pick up to go to work, school and days out in the morning.
  • Prepare snacks and lunches in reusable containers, again ready to grab and go the next day.
  • ALWAYS have a reusable shopping bag in the car, handbag, pocket. We had a rule – If you don’t have one, you can only buy what you can carry in your hands. It worked.
  • Take your coffee cup with you, or have a sit down cuppa in a cafe…your choice ☕️
  • Ordering drinks – refuse the straw as you order. You may need to repeat this several times and just keep going until they get the message.

This was surprisingly easy, and actually fun and saved money. So a win/win for everyone. This is now our established way of doing things and won’t change now the challenge is over!


Other successes will be harder to reproduce in the cooler months. I grow a lot of veggies in my garden, meaning there was very little I needed to buy. As the garden runs out, I am investigating packaging free ways of buying fruit & veg. They do exist, even in small towns and villages. Markets, packaging free veg in the supermarket and the local greengrocers all have options. We may need to change our eating habits to only eat what is in season and grown locally – but should we really be expecting fresh strawberries in January anyway!?

The Challenges

‘Mum, can I have some apple juice/an ice cream/some biscuits/ a packet of crisps please?’ ‘Ah, well you know we are doing Plastic Free July so….’ As a result I really had to get making & baking.

It’s the wrong time of year to be pressing apples, so we made do with reducing our intake and buying one bottle of Biona Organic apple juice a week which comes in a glass bottle. We also had lots of blackcurrants in the garden , so I thought I would try my hand at making some cordial. It was so easy, it barely even needs a recipe, but you can find a good one here. And it was gorgeous, it even looked pretty (the mess in the kitchen was less pretty) I felt like I had achieved ‘earth Mum’ status!


We (I) also baked choc chip cookies, made ice lollies in molds and even baked some loaves of bread. Our Pinterest page has some fun recipes to try:

Many of our groceries come in plastic packaging, and we have no bulk or unpackaged stores anywhere nearby, so that aspect still needs addressing in our household. We returned all soft plastic to the supermarket, where they recycled it, and reduced and recycled where possible. Our recycling bin was certainly not empty, I was pleased to see it was reduced though ♻️

The Surprises

Making friends! Yes I found myself talking to random strangers in the supermarket who overheard me asking for loose meats wrapped in paper, and in the market where I had to keep giving them the plastic bags back and in the pub where I had to beg for the children’s drinks to come without straws! Fellow zero-wasters are out there, and you will find them once you start looking!

Another surprise was how much my children were engaged with the idea, they adapted to the new routines with ease and accepted the restrictions without too many complaints. I don’t know if they will become earth warriors, but the foundations are laid and the example is set, so I am proud of that.


What’s Next

As a family, we will be building on this experience, keeping the aspects that worked and looking for solutions for those that didn’t. Keep following to find out more ♻️💚🌍

If you are interested in finding out more about Plastic Free July, and how you can get involved either now or next year, check out their website. I will be back again, next year with even more challenges and achievements!

#PlasticFreeJuly #ChooseToRefuse

Meet the Author - Kate


How to travel in comfort and style this Summer!


The opportunity to travel can be amazing.  New sights, sounds and smells can be a feast for the senses.  But getting to your destination can sometimes leave you feeling frazzled. Whether you are travelling alone for business, or planning your family Summer getaway, we have put together some tips to help you complete your trip with ease, and in comfort and style!

Creating a home from home

When travelling, taking a few ‘home comforts’ with you could make all the difference to how relaxed and happy your stay is.  Here are our tips for light-weight items you might like to pack to make your base a home from home.  These are all designed to appeal to your senses to turn a bland, hot or noisy hotel room into a relaxing haven.


When arriving in your hotel room hungry and thirsty after a long, grimy journey a cup of tea is probably just what you need. However we all know the hotel’s dusty teabags just won’t cut the mustard, so how about taking your favourite teabags with you?  They are light to transport and give a refreshing taste of home.  Concentrate on the smell of the tea as you brew and drink it and let it refresh and reinvigorate you.

Similarly, a taste of something fresh can have the same effect. Maybe try taking fruit, muffins or chocolate with you in an insulated bag with an ice pack?  You can then treat yourself to a taste of home as you travel – it will pep you up far more than salty aeroplane food!

Hotels often charge a fortune for the bottled water in the mini-bar.  Keep plastic-free and hydrated on the move with our refillable bottles (as long as the tap water is safe to drink of course).

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Smell is one of our most important senses and plays a big part in our mood.  Try an invigorating shower with a lemongrass shower gel to perk you up.  Or, if its relaxation that you are after, bathing with your favourite bath melt and turning down harsh hotel bathroom lighting in favour of a trio lavender tealights on the edge of your bath can set you up for the evening ahead, or a great night’s sleep.  Close your eyes and concentrate on the comfort of the water and the soothing aromas.  You can also try our Relaxing box – which has a selection of lovely things and is a ready-made kit to improve your trip!


Choose carefully when selecting which bag to take with you when travelling.  We recommend a cross-body style, which will be comfortable on your shoulder, leave your hands free, and is roomy enough to take everything you need – whilst staying zipped up and secure.

When packing to go away make sure the items you take work hard for you.  A light, Summer weight scarf is a brilliant example of one such item.  This one above is generously-sized and silky-soft – made of breathable bamboo viscose, derived from sustainable bamboo fibre.

  1. Position it to protect your body from the hot sun, when sunbathing or waiting at the airport or station.
  2. Make a make shift (but lovely) bikini top – or opened out and tied around your waist as a sarong for the beach.
  3. Roll it up, or keep it around your neck, as a travel cushion – when you need to grab some sleep on a flight or a train.
  4. If the curtains where you are staying prove inadequate – try using your scarf as an eye mask.  This style can easily be washed whilst on the move and will dry quickly.
  5. Change the look of your outfit and maintain your body temperature when travelling in and out of air-conditioned rooms and into hot environments.


Technology has revolutionised how we listen to music.  We can now take our entire music collection with us digitally on our phones (as well as our entire book collections)! But it’s not just filling our hotel rooms with familiar music that can help us to relax when travelling – try an audio book or downloading an entertaining pod cast to transport you.

If you prefer absence of sound, taking some ear plugs with you might help you block out all those unfamiliar overnight sounds of hotel doors banging and other guests chatting in the corridor, and take you to a more chilled out place.  Or download a ‘white noise’ app to soothe you to sleep.

We hope some of those tips help enhance your travel experience.  Wherever you are travelling this Summer, have an amazing and relaxing time!



Meet the Author - Cat