Mams Day: Ethical Gift Guide

MEMO for those of you that may have forgotten; Mother’s Day is just two weeks away.

Here are some ideas on what to get those important women (Mam, Auntie, Gran, Mum, Grandma, Mommy, Mother, Sister, Neighbour, Great Aunt… whoever it is) in your life.

How about a candle from the Recycled Candle Company – Made from 100% recycled wax that’s collected from hotels, restaurants, churches and the public.Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.44.00.png

Or a piece of jewellery from GingerHaze – Handcrafted silver jewellery made in Birmingham by my friend Krissie. She makes beautiful unique pieces from recycled silver and gems she has collected on her travels.il_570xN.1312628702_2g5p

Finally chocolate from Chocolarder – Who source their beans directly from the farmer, making sure the quality is good and that the money they pay is going to those who do the real work.Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.41.50.png


P.s Mam, don’t worry, no spoilers here (or are there?!)… Although you’re that psychic you probably already know what we’ve got you!

Beeswax Food Wraps

My war on plastic has amazingly rubbed off onto my Mam. Just yesterday she was showing me her new jazzy KeepCup (reusable coffee cup). Another of her recent sustainable swaps has been ditching cling film for Cling Cloths.


Aside from my Dad accidentally popping one in the bin as he didn’t realise they were reusable, she’s been very happy with the cloths. Using them on cheese, bread, fruit, packed lunches… basically anything you tend to reach for cling film or a plastic bag to keep fresh.

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Cling Cloths are handmade in the UK from locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and allows food to breathe naturally keeping it fresher for longer. They are reusable (DAD!), non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, water resistant, biodegradable and NOT PLASTIC!

Initially the cost may put you off, but when you weigh up how many rolls of cling film you buy in a year against a pack of reusable beeswax wraps, it actually works out cheaper.

In March I’m moving in with my parents, so will no doubt have many more tales to tell on how they’re becoming more ethical and sustainable in what they buy and do.

Keep up the good work Mam and Dad! xxx

Ho Ho Ho Hospitality


How many of you will be going out at least once over Christmas for food or drinks?

I’d put money on most of you.

While you are out laughing, joking, enjoying yourselves with friends and family… think about the people serving, preparing and cleaning up after your food and drinks. At this time of the year those people don’t get time off work, time with their loved ones, time to cabbage out in front of the tele after eating their body weight in sprouts.

Until 3 and a half years ago my boyfriend was a chef. It’s not just those that are working over Christmas that miss out, it’s also their husbands, girlfriends, children and parents. I found that out first hand.

But it’s not just at Christmas that we should turn our attention to those that work in hospitality. It is an industry with a very high turnover in staff. The contracts offered to employees verge on illegal. For instance, take the next 7 days, a Chef de Partie in a hotel could work the following shifts on a £17k annual salary.

  • Wednesday – 6am-3pm
  • Thursday – 10am – 10pm
  • Friday – 10am – 11pm
  • Saturday – off
  • Christmas Eve – 5am-3pm
  • Christmas Day – 8am – 8pm
  • Boxing Day – off
  • Wednesday – 10am-10pm

That’s 62 hours (taking into account a lunch break which most do not actually get). That works out at £5.30 an hour. Considering the national minimum wage for over 25’s in the UK is £7.50 and the maximum weekly working hours are 48… it’s pretty shoddy isn’t it?

I often write about slave labour, workers being exploited and unsafe working conditions. Many of the issues I write about are concerning overseas, mainly developing countries. But this is happening right here in the UK, on our doorsteps, and it is deemed ‘acceptable’.

We even watch programmes about it! We see Masterchef and Gordon Ramsay. We see kitchens operating under pressure, the use of violence and abusive language. Yet there seems to be no urgency to change the industry.

Don’t get me wrong, not all kitchens are like this. Some employers pay their staff well, give them decent hours and treat them right. But for the majority, long unsociable hours, low pay and uncomfortable working conditions are the norm.

So this Christmas (and the rest of the year) when you go out to eat or drink, treat those that serve you with the respect that they deserve.

The Magic of Twitter

Last night I was aimlessly scrolling through Twitter, when a purple and white patterned teapot caught my eye…

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It turns out, I have this teapot (a hand-me-down from my parents when I moved out) and barely use it. So I messaged Marks & Spencers to let them know I had a lid and was happy to part with it.

One day later, the teapot is wrapped up and ready to be posted.


Social media often gets bad press, but this week, it has definitely done good!

I hope this lid brings happy tea brewing to it’s new owner, an early Christmas present from one stranger to another.

Happy Blogiversary toooo meeee!

A year ago today I embarked on my Bella Green journey and published my first ever blog post.

To mark to the occasion I’d like to take some writing space to thank those who have supported, followed and inspired me to continue. At times it has been tough. Making time to research and write whilst juggling a job, the gym, learning German and a social life (aka beer and binge watching Netflix) hasn’t always been easy. But your kind words have jeered me along.


Photo credit: Taken by Fiona (sister) – Recycled business cards Moo  –  Fairtrade and organic cotton Christmas jumper ‘Bah Humbug’ Twisted Twee

Since starting the blog I have changed how I consume ALOT.

  • I no longer buy stuff I don’t need
  • Only buy cruelty free and natural beauty products
  • Think about packaging and plastic ALL THE TIME
  • The majority of clothes I buy are either locally made, vintage, second hand or ethically made
  • And I buy organic, fairtrade and package free food where possible.

Keeping a blog reminds me to think, who made this, where has it come from, what are it’s effects, how was it made?

My five favourite posts this past year have been:

They were the most interesting to research and satisfying to write.

Next year will definitely be a different one for me. Full of changes. I will be moving in with my parents for a few months and have a HUGE, exciting adventure up my sleeve. The blog may morph as time goes on, but always at the heart of it will be sustainability.

If you would like to work with me or put forward a topic for me to cover, please let me know!

I’m now about to have a ‘Fake Christmas Day’ with my family. Lots of food and Secret Santa presents await. I hope you have a great Sunday.

Love Anna x

p.s it amazingly is a WHITE CHRISTMAS!


Christmas Gifts: 10 Ethical Ideas


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  1. The most ethical gift of all is the gift of Nothing. Often we are given gifts that we do not need, nor want. The gift of nothing saves money, prevents waste (both gift and packaging wise) and puts more emphasis on having a good time, rather than a materialistic Christmas.
  2. If you have a large family or a big group of friends Secret Santa is a great solution. Instead of giving many pointless gifts you give one meaningful one. My family are doing this for the first time this Christmas. We have each picked a name out of a hat and set a budget of £10. Unfortunately the whole ‘secret’ part of Secret Santa has failed a little bit, but it is the thought that counts…
  3. Make Smthng Week runs from 2nd – 10th December. It follows the mass consumerism of Black Friday and encourages people to Make Something. Why not bake some mince pies, make a cushion or toy out of old clothes, fix a broken game, paint and oil an old bike?9bccce7e78018250c8f3f5b773b0ced1.jpg
  4. Instead of giving something, Do Something. It is better to collect moments not things. Treat your loved ones to a meal out, or a trip to the theatre, or a spa day, or a weekend away. Me and Fiona (my sister) have done this for the past few years. Last year it was a trip to Warsaw, the year before a trip to Budapest, this year we’re going to go to the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library.
  5. Buy from a Charity shop or give a charity gift. Oxfam have some great suggestions, for example you can shelter a refugee for £15 or for £9 buy a tap to provide safe water. This year at work, instead of doing Secret Santa, we are each buying a toy and donating it to Cash for Kids.
  6. Purchase an Ethical Product. Ethical Superstore is a great site to go to for all sorts of gifts ranging from beauty products, to chocolates and gadgets.
  7. This time of year there are Christmas Markets left right and centre. Visit these markets and Shop Local. When you support an independent shop, small business or local store you are supporting someone’s dream. House of Habit Jewellery and Sweet Memory Lane are two of my favourites.Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 17.35.18.png
  8. Head to Etsy and Shop Handmade. I may (or may not…) have gotten my Secret Santa gift from here. Similar to shopping local, by buying something handmade you are supporting a person rather than a corporation. It means much more to know that time and effort has gone into the item, rather than it rolling off a production line.
  9. Books are a favourite at Christmas. It’s always best to try and buy second-hand books saving money and trees. For new books use a local independent shop or head to Hive to buy online.
  10. Get someone a Subscription. Subscribe someone to a monthly delivery of socks, natural beauty products or curry spices. Check out The London Sock Exchange they not only deliver new socks but recycle old.hero-box-ginger_1920x.jpg

5 Fairtrade Faves

Happy Friday guys!

October is Fairtrade month, so here are five of my Fairtrade favourites:

  1. Bananas – I have at least one banana a day, they couldn’t NOT be top of my list. Always make sure they are organic AND Fairtrade (good for the worker and the environment).e39735728ce807279bf68871862cce30
  2. Jyoti Fair Works – Earlier this year I bought a beautiful skirt from Jyoti who are a German-Indian fair fashion label. Seriously check them out because their designs are great and they do some amazing stuff with their workers and supply-chain.
  3. Divine Chocolate – Not just tasty and Fairtrade, Divine scored really highly with Ethical Consumer magazine on their supply-chain management, company ethos, environmental reporting and animal welfare.Divine - Jenny Botwe_Anidasonyame 750x482
  4. People Tree – I’ve got a few People Tree items in my wardrobe now. They are very reasonably priced and stylish, great for wardrobe essentials.fullsizeoutput_fe0
  5. Honeystreet Handmade – You might remember that I’ve written about these guys before, their body butters are just brilliant. wftd6

Well there they are.

Hope you have a great weekend! xxx