5 things I have done today to help the planet… [Day 002 – 16 May ’19]

So it worked, I’ve now completed Day 2 and done another five good deeds for the planet.

And number one on today’s list, for me is a pretty big score.

One million plastic cups saved. Bang. Armchair activism at its best.

Thank you Waitrose – good work.

Here comes five…

1.  No More Plastic Peach Tea

Last weekend we were in Abergavenny in mid/south Wales.

Abergavenny is one of the few towns in Wales with a Waitrose store – a more upmarket supermarket with a large range of organic products.

It also has a nice litte cafe and as it was lunch time we decided to have some refreshments.

I chose peach tea. It was served in a disposable plastic cup with an unasked for straw.

This rather suprised me as by the entrance was a sign saying that Waitrose are working towards eliminating disposable coffee cups as part of their progressive sustainability policy. They also have a specific policy section on their website entitled ‘Prioritising our plans for plastic‘.

I had seen in the cafe other drinks such as orange juice being served in glasses. The peach tea was an open and shut case. Ditch the plastic cup.

So Monday morning I went into action.

I tracked down the appropriate Customer Service department, explained the folly of the situation, and after one phone call and four emails I got the commitment I was looking for…

“We will be working hard to ensure all our cafes from now on will be serving peach tea in a glass with an optional straw.”

Waitrose have 123 cafes across the UK. If they each serve an average of 25 peach teas a day for 360 days a year…

That’s over a million disposable plastic cups saved each year.

Result! Back of the net. Job done. Armchair activism in action.

With all due smugness I am just a little bit proud of this.

Now I just need to follow up and check they follow through. If you are near a Waitrose with a cafe have a peach tea and let me know how they serve it…

2.  A Vegan Day

I’m not a vegan – I keep chicken keeping homesteader.

But I am a vegetarian. I have been since doing a Vegan special edition of The Alternative Lifestyle Show last April with @teamsteem, @ura-soul, @lenasveganliving, @choogirl, @krnel, @freedompoint and others.

And I am an ‘almost-Vegan’ – it is only a few eggs and a bit of cheese left to go.

I do like to have at least half the days of the week as totally vegan days.

Today was one of them.

And I ordered a new vegan cookbook too… ‘15 Minute Vegan: Fast, modern vegan cooking

3. Greening up the kitchen

There are quite a lot of throw-away cleaning items used in the kitchen – scourers, cleaning cloths, washing up brushes.

Many of them are plastic based.

While it is tricky to avoid the disposable nature of the items, at least we can make some amends if they are made of recycled plastic.

I have just picked up a range of items that fit the bill from Eco-Force.

The scourers and sponges are made of recycled plastic and foam, the cleaning cloths are recycled and washable.

The washing-up brushes (not shown in the photo) have detachable cleaning heads so you only throw away the heads and reuse the handles.

We will give them a go, and report back.

4. Little mouse – charge yourself

To cut down on wires on my desk I prefer to use a wireless mouse.

My most recent one used a single AA battery.

I could have used a rechargeable battery and even charged it in my solar battery charger. But that is a bit of a hassle and never lasts very long.

Now I have got a rechargeable mouse that just uses a usb cable to charge off the PC.

This is the Cimetech mouse I got today…

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078K6LGHL

5. Donation to Denmark Farm Conservation Centre

I was going to donate to Extinction Rebellion today but my donation was blocked by PayPal.

I don’t know if this was a temporary glitch or PayPal not liking Extinction Rebellion. I will try again tomorrow.

In the meantime I donated £10 to Denmark Farm Conservation Centre.

This is an organisation in west Wales that does some great conservation and environmental education work.

They also run excellent courses – I have been on quite a few there.

You can combine their courses with a stay in their super eco-friendly Eco Lodge if you fancy a break in the Welsh countryside while you learn a new skill.


This is my second five for the planet.

I am not sure I will be able to repeat my ‘Waitrose Win’ too often.

But I will keep on trying…


[ all images by @pennsif ]