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The ethical survival guide to festivals

Posted by Peter Leatherland on 16th July 2014 with 0 comments

Glastonbury When we think of festivals the term that comes to mind is ‘unadulterated fun’. There’s nothing quite like spending a few days camped in a field with friends listening to your favourite music.

Even if your experience is strictly U-rated, there’s something wonderfully rebellious and bohemian about festivals which sends our minds back to the 70s. Suddenly a floral head garland and a band T-shirt combination seems like the best idea ever. Is that a native American war bonnet you have there? Well bring it on.

Yes, we certainly view festivals through rose-tinted glasses and are more open to embracing a free and easy lifestyle than at any other time of the year. However, when we think about the reality of being in a probably mud-bogged field for four days, with no electricity or proper bathroom, suddenly the fear starts to set in.

If we’re being honest, festivals – while brilliant – can be like a bit of a test in endurance, especially if it’s your first time.

Everyone needs to know a few tips and tricks before they go to ensure they get through the experience in one piece. Luckily, there are a few ways you can maintain a degree of ‘home comfort’ while preserving the au natural, earth-loving bohemian spirit of the festival.

Survival tip one: Keep clean organically

The worst thing about being at a festival is the lack of a readily available shower. By the end of day two you probably wouldn’t say no to someone pouring disinfectant over you and if it rains you purposefully put your head in the firing line in the hope it will make your hair a bit cleaner.

There is a better way, however, and more and more people are cottoning on to the benefits of ‘dry’ shampoo and body wash. Nilaqua No Rinse Shampoo will be something you can’t live without if you’re heading to a festival this year. In a handy travel size, this shampoo is free from alcohol and parabens. With this product you can give your hair a good scrub without water and the mild non-irritating formula will leave hair soft, clean and free from residue. All you have to do is apply the liquid and massage to a lather. To get rid of it, towel dry. This means more than a quick rub – you need to be thorough to avoid streaks and residue.

The Nilaqua Waterless Body Wash works in the same way. This mild, non-irritant formula is free from alcohol, pH balanced, and doesn’t contain SLS or parabens. What’s great about this wash is that unlike wipes, it won’t dry out skin. This makes it the perfect way to stay clean, especially if your skin is a bit sensitive.

Survival tip two: Harness the power of the sun

The sun is your best friend at festivals. Not only is it the only thing that probably stands between you and your tent being washed away, it is your connection to the outside world. We’re not talking about shadow signals, here.


There is now a wide array of solar-powered chargers that can help to keep your mobile powered up and ready to go throughout the festival.

The FreeLoader is a small portable charger that will power most handheld devices, from iPods to PSPs. This means that you can ensure you’re entertained during any festival downtime you may have – i.e. queuing for the bar.

Survival tip three: Pack a cool box and fill it with fruit

At a festival you will be functioning on a few hours sleep and, let’s face it, food that isn’t exactly winning when it comes to nutritional value.

This means your body is going to be more vulnerable to illness, tiredness and, if you’ve engaged in a spot of social lubrication, hangovers. The only way to ensure you’re in the sort of shape you need to be to enjoy the festival to the full is to make sure you’re getting essential vitamins and minerals.

A top tip is to fill a cool box with lots of great fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, berries, avocados and carrot sticks – basically anything you can eat on the go.

The post The ethical survival guide to festivals appeared first on Ethical Blog from Ethicalsuperstore.com.

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6 Places You’ll Find Hidden Plastic (That You Probably Didn’t Realise)

Posted by Lindsay Miles on 15th July 2014 with 0 comments

Whether you’re taking part in Plastic Free July (meaning you’re attempting to use no single use plastic for the whole month of July) or you’re just interested in doing your bit for the environment, wanting to be able to compost your waste, or recycle it, rather than sending it to landfill, chances are you’d rather have a little less plastic in your life. After all, it’s extremely persistent in the environment, it leaches toxins, it cannot be truly recycled (only downcycled) and it harms wildlife, particularly marine birds, mammals and fish.

Plastic is everywhere. As well as the obvious plastic, it often sneaks into our packaging in unsuspecting ways so we don’t suspect we are still buying it. Most of us want to do the right thing, but making plastic-free choices can be difficult!

Here’s 6 places that you’ll find hidden plastic, and some ideas for alternatives so you can lighten your plastic load:

Cardboard Coffee Cups

All takeaway coffee cups are lined with plastic. Even those ones that look like they’re made from cardboard. Think about it – how else would the liquid not pour straight through?! If you’re still not convinced, pour some coffee into a cardboard box and watch what happens! This plastic lining means they can’t be recycled, either – so they head to landfill.

The alternative: dine in and use a proper cup, or bring your own reusable takeaway container.


Teabags are made with plastic. All the major brands use plastic, except Jacksons of Piccadilly. They either make up the mesh component, or are used to seal the bags. (Find out more about plastic in teabags). It may not seem like a big deal, but the UK Tea Council estimate we drink 65 million cups of tea EVERY DAY in the UK, and 96% are made using teabags. Not so insignificant when you think about it like that, is it?!

Alternative: If you want a truly plastic-free cup of tea, you’re better off switching to loose leaf.

“Foil” Packaging

This is the shiny metallic packaging used to wrap packets of crisps, chocolate bars and biscuits. You know the ones – “foil packed for extra freshness”! However, it’s plastic. Genuine aluminium foil feels like metal, and when you scrunch it up it stays scrunched. This is nothing like metallic packaging which is much lighter in weight and springs back when screwed up. It may be shiny, but it’s still plastic.

Alternative: look for chocolate bars wrapped in foil and paper, both of which can be recycled. as for crisps, you may have to try making your own!


Tetrapaks are the cartons that hold milk and fresh juice, and yes, they contain plastic. Some people are under the impression that it’s waxed cardboard, but actually polyethylene is used. Tetrapaks can be recycled, but the plastic component will not be made into new Tetrapaks: food packaging needs to be made with virgin plastic to avoid contamination risks.

Alternative: Look for milk and juice bottled in glass, because the bottles can be reused or recycled.

PLAs and Corn-Based Biodegradable Packaging

PLA is a type of plastic made from corn – so it’s still a plastic. It’s sold as a greener alternative to conventional plastic as it’s not made from fossil fuels, and it’s widely touted to be compostable. But there’s some things you shoud know about this. PLA plastics are only compostable in commercial composters where temperatures are consistently high. They won’t break down at home, and they definitely won’t break down in the anaerobic conditions of a landfill. (Follow the link to find out more about biodegradable plastics.)

Alternative: avoid single-use packaging altogether, and bring your own containers for tkeaway items.

Personal Care Products

Do you have any products in your bathroom that contain “microbeads”? Because if you do, those beads are made of plastic. Scrubs and toothpastes are the most common. These beads get into our oceans, and because they are hydrophobic, bind with toxic chemicals like PCBs, DDT and flame retardants. They get ingested by fish, and then pass up the food chain to our dinner plates. 5 Gyres is campaigning to ban microbeads – you can read more about their campaign here.

Alternative: Read the labels! You can also look for scrubs that contain natural ingredients like apricot kernels or oats…or make your own.

Now I want to hear from you! Were there any surprises there? Anything you didn’t know about? Is there anything that I’ve missed off this list? Leave a message; I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Lindsay Miles is a sustainable living advocate: a writer, workshop facilitator, speaker, blogger, events co-ordinator and all-round people-and-planet lover! She believes that sustainability isn’t just about big picture stuff like “saving the rainforests”; it’s as much about the little things we do and choices we make every day. Find out more at www.treadingmyownpath.com.

The post 6 Places You’ll Find Hidden Plastic (That You Probably Didn’t Realise) appeared first on Ethical Blog from Ethicalsuperstore.com.

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