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.

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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.

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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!

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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

StreetLink

This week has brought us the first frost of the year. I was shocked to wake up Monday morning and have to use my scraper for the car windscreen. Whilst I do love these fresh frosty mornings, it does prompt a thought for those who are sleeping rough on our streets.

There is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation, and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all. Government street counts and estimates give a snapshot of the national situation. The latest figures showed that 4,134 people slept rough across England on any given night in 2016 – a 16% increase compared to the previous year, and more than double the amount in 2010.

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Sleeping rough is horrendous at the best of times, never mind when temperatures are hitting minus figures. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do when you see somebody that is homeless. Personally, I want to help, but I’m not sure giving that person some money is the best way. I know that if I donate to a charity, that money or clothing can go further in helping a homeless person, than giving a person a couple of quid. But how are homeless people found by these charities to receive that help?

A great app, StreetLink, is there for you to record when and where you have seen a homeless person. Dead easy to do. Head to your App Store, search ‘StreetLink’, download and then when you next see somebody sleeping rough follow the prompts on the app for information to submit. The StreetLink team will then ensure the person sleeping rough is connected up with the services, accommodation and support available in their local area to help them away from the streets as quickly as possible.

StreetLink is currently only available in England and Wales. I know I have followers from all over the world, so if you have a similar scheme in your country, please share in the comments section to promote that great service to others.

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Guppyfriend – Microfibres Solution

Plastic is a problem and a lot of the time we think of bottles, bags, packaging. But synthetic clothes (think sports gear, polyester shirts, nylon tights) also cause environmental problems. Every time you wash a piece of synthetic clothing plastic microfibres get into the water stream heading into our rivers and oceans.

The Story of Stuff have developed a brilliant short film on microfibres, definitely check it out! In overview the problem is that there are 1.4million,trillion microfibres in our oceans and rivers which are toxic and are eaten by fish causing them to become sick, which ultimately works it’s way up the food chain to us.

Tonight Blue Planet II is on again, such a great programme. Sadly those amazing creatures are just bobbing around and unconsciously consuming toxic particles caused by us. So what can we do to prevent putting microfibres into our water?

  • Buy clothes made of natural materials
  • Use liquid and less washing detergent
  • Wash less often
  • Use a Guppyfriend!

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Until we completely change our consumption behaviours, the Guppyfriend is a good way to reduce plastic pollution from our clothes. It’s basically a bag you pop synthetic clothes into before putting it into your washing machine, collecting the microfibres. Simple but effective.

Head to STOP! MICRO WASTE, a non-profit organisation in Berlin, to get your very own.

The 27 Club Mixtape

Yesterday I turned 27 and surprisingly did it rather respectably. The weekend started with champagne breakfast, leading to a stop-over in Cheltenham, a lovely bubble bath (don’t have that luxury at home), beer and fried chicken, finally finished reading Frankenstein, then a walk up Malvern Hills, and ended with noodles, Blue Planet II and Stranger Things.

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But turning 27 and having a chilled-ish weekend gave me time to think of the ’27 Club’ and those iconic stars that died way way way too young. So in homage, here is my ‘27 club mixtape‘ which you can listen to and follow on Spotify:

  • Amy Winehouse – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
  • The Doors (Jim Morrison) – The End
  • Rolling Stones (Brian Jones) – Midnight Rambler
  • Friendly Fires (Richard Turner) – Photobooth
  • Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues
  • Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
  • Nirvana (Kurt Cobain) – Lithium

Happy (or emotional) listening guys xxx

Feminism Up

Feminism Up is a monthly online newsletter that aims to encourage discussion around sexism and inequality. It is ran by Kath at Binging on Beetroot and I was recently very honoured to be asked to write an article for it.

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The newsletter comes out on the 1st of every month and I’m sure November’s issue will not disappoint. It would be amazing if you could subscribe to the newsletter. To do it, head here.

Short and sweet post today, but with the #metoo movement I felt it was relevant to share and it is something I feel very passionate about.

Ciao xxx