Almost everything that’s made with cotton, soy or corn can be substituted by hemp

Hemp is becoming big business, and it has nowt to do with unwashed hippies in kaftans. It’s also not because your aunt has just discovered smoking a doobie twice a week helps her arthritic pain. That’s marijuana, an entirely different strain of cannabis.

There has been a shift in perception around hemp in the last few years. A huge range of products is now being made from it.

Witnessing this boom, though, the first question that came to my mind was, “is hemp sustainable?”.

Okay, it would struggle to fare as badly as cotton, the world’s dirtiest crop. But our…

It’s even possible for a crafts klutz like me

Furoshiki for two small boxes
Furoshiki for two small boxes
(Image by Caroline Bunting-Palmer)

Last Christmas I sat and wrapped presents, in my typical last-minute style. I’d bought some beautiful and ethically made wrapping paper a few years before and it was still going — I guess you could say I’m a stingey gift giver. 🤷‍♀️

But whilst I eked out the last of it, I realised it didn’t actually matter that I’d bought some high-quality, sustainable paper. It wasn’t important at all.

Because it was completely unnecessary that I’d bought it in the first place.

I was wrapping gifts in paper that the recipient was just going throw away a few moments later…

The ultimate guide to coping with the restrictions of a lockdown when all you want to do is travel the world

(Image by Te lensFix from Pexels)

I first travelled for more than a week when I went to Iceland in 2017. Coming back to the UK three months later, I never fully settled.

In 2018, I began a long-distance relationship with a friend I made on that trip. Now, annual leave and my holiday fund were put towards making trips to the US, and spending time together when he came here.

Figuring out plans

By June 2019, we were looking at how we could be together more, and I was considering what I wanted out of life. It took time and soul-searching. Ultimately, I was frustrated with being stuck…

Or, trying new zero-waste things during a lockdown

Homemade toothpaste, a bamboo toothbrush, a potted plant
Homemade toothpaste, a bamboo toothbrush, a potted plant
(Image by Caroline Bunting-Palmer)

Did you know, we throw 1.5 billion empty toothpaste tubes into landfill every year? When I found this out, I got even more fed up that I was contributing to this non-recyclable waste.

Related Post: I have more stats, plus easy tips on how to create a zero-waste bathroom at The 5 Easiest Plastic-Free Alternatives for the Bathroom

I started buying natural charcoal toothpaste in a glass jar from Georganics. The taste and texture were different from conventional toothpaste but took only a couple of days to get used to. There was…

Have you heard of the eco-friendly search engine?

An upwards view at a canopy of green trees
An upwards view at a canopy of green trees
Looking up into the canopy (Image by Inactive. from Pexels)

Most of us jump straight on Google when we want the answer to a question.

Sure, Google makes our lives easier and we usually prefer it over its rivals. But imagine if there was a search engine that performed at the same level, and it was doing great things for the planet…

Meet Ecosia

What makes Ecosia special is that they plant trees when you use the site. And the more searches you carry out with them, the more trees they plant. Ecosia estimate that it takes around 45 searches to plant a tree…

Why you’ll find some of the best vegan food in a town with no vegan restaurants

Reading Town Hall
Reading Town Hall
Reading Town Hall (Image by Leonid Andronov from Shutterstock)

Vegans in Reading are not short of plant-based options. The town has always been ahead of most other places in the UK for vegan food. And in the last few years, things have only gotten better.

I huff and sigh if I’m out in town for a meal and I have to ask waiting staff whether something on the menu is vegan. This is how easy most Reading restaurants and bars now make it to eat plant-based.

It’s almost like we’re real people and…

Redefining responsible waste disposal

A person holding a metal bowl and walking through some containers and bins
A person holding a metal bowl and walking through some containers and bins
Cleanup (Image by JJ Ying from Unsplash)

We hear the terms ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ all the time when talking about effective waste management.

But what’s the actual difference between the two terms? And what implications does this have for the environment, when we’re preparing for materials’ end of life scenarios?

Consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact, and companies are realising the demand for more eco-friendly packaging. Both ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ are highly marketable terms for companies.

But they don’t hold the same meaning, and it’s vital we don’t treat them as if they do.

Learning the difference is important so…

A conflicted traveller explores more eco-friendly flying

eco-friendly flying with a miniature-sized plane and airport scene
eco-friendly flying with a miniature-sized plane and airport scene
Airplane with very low emissions (Image by NilsW from Pixabay)

Our ancestors could only dream of the freedom and opportunities of taking a plane trip. Nowadays, as money and time permit, we can reach the furthest corners of the globe whilst mostly sitting on our bums.

On the other hand, flying has a deeply concerning effect on the environment. The aviation industry emits 2% of our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. This means in 2019, 915 million tonnes of CO2 were produced by flights. And that doesn’t account for the other greenhouse gases planes expel, which all trap further heat in the atmosphere.

Conversations with a beginner gardener, part 1. What’s it really like to grow your own food as a newbie? 🌽

A person holding a basket of vegetables — growing your own food
A person holding a basket of vegetables — growing your own food
Growing veggies (Image by HQuality from Shutterstock)

The modern Western world’s approach to food production is problematic, to say the least. Our food industry has evolved into a system fraught with issues.

To start with, over a third of food produced in the world for humans every year is wasted. And food packaging was the second most common item retrieved during annual beach clean-ups by the Ocean Conservancy in 2018. Then there are the transportation costs for both the end-consumer and the planet.

We can’t carry on…

The introverts’ guide to comfortable but effective activism

Activist with green climate protest sign which reads, “It’s Not Easy Being Green!” — Kermit the Frog
Activist with green climate protest sign which reads, “It’s Not Easy Being Green!” — Kermit the Frog
It’s Not Easy Being Green (Image by Markus Spiske from Pexels)

Being an introvert can be tough. Society seems to praise extroverts and the most forceful voice in a room is often heard first. Common introvert qualities are overlooked at times.

Being introverted and giving a sh*t about social, political or environmental issues is even tougher.

I’m an introvert and I struggle with activism that involves going to big marches, loud protests or performances.

Just the idea of cold-calling a politician to confront them about policy change brings me out in a cold sweat. …

Caroline Bunting-Palmer

Celebrates and encourages the small ethical changes we can all make. 🌿 Freelance blogger and copywriter at ✍

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