Author

Laura Fitzpatrick

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This month we’ve heard that Glastobury has banned their vendors from selling food and drinks in single use plastic – a rule that one of our favourites, Deershed, has had in place for a few years now, but pleased to see a leading mainstream festival making this important change. We are also pleased and very ready to be saying goodbye to the winter coats and hello to our festival wardrobes. With so many festivals out there these days, we’ve tried to locate those with an environmental ethos… take a look at our top sustainable family friendly festivals of 2019.

We live in a world where most people rely on modern technology to survive. How many times do you walk along the street and see people engrossed in their smart phone? Even homes are now becoming smart with the advent of systems such as Hive and the increased use of virtual personal assistants like Alexa. Not everyone wants to embrace the technological age though; simpler times can have great appeal. This why going rural and off grid has gained popularity.

There’s no denying the fact that the British winter can be extremely cold, with last year’s temperature plummeting well below freezing. The Arctic conditions had the country preparing for its coldest winter in eight years and the soaring gas prices were no help either. All of Britain’s “big six” energy companies announced price increases last year because of rising wholesale costs. According to an Ofgem 2018 report published on Reuters, gas and electricity bills now cost nearly 5% of the average UK household budget.

We’ve all taken steps to improve our health and detoxify ourselves. We go to the gym, cut back or eliminate sugar from our diets, stop eating processed foods, and invest in purchasing organic foods, such as produce, milk, and eggs. While we think about our bodies, though, how many of us take a step back and think about our homes? There are toxins lurking everywhere, from flooring to cleaning products.

As the long, hot summer fades and the autumn gets ready to step in with its free display of stunning colours across our woodlands, countryside and gardens, the retailer’s displays have already been transformed. Barbeques, garden furniture, summer dresses and beachwear have now been replaced with festive teasers. Shelves are stacked with Christmas tableware, decorations, and kids’ toys.

We took a lot of time deciding on our summer holiday this year, leaving it to the final moment because of our amazing UK heatwave! In a last minute fizzling out of our delightful weather, we opted for a short flight to Mallorca – an island we’ve never been to but would satisfy our sun, sea, sand and kite surfing requirements! 

Selecting a hotel isn’t always an easy task, the filters don’t allow you to request ‘green’ hotels on mass, or find a hotel without any large pink inflatable flamingos (don’t get me started on the unicorns!) After a good bit of research we went with the Iberostar Playa De Muro – a hotel with a mission to reduce single use plastic. 

Sat right on the beach front of the Playa De Muro coastline, this hotel was a perfect location for a family holiday. The sea is a beautiful turquoise and you can walk out for what seems forever without it getting very deep which was great for our five year old. The sea was typically flat in the morning, allowing us to paddle board and as the wind picked up in the afternoon it became ideal for the other half to go wind surfing at the local windsurf school down the beach.

The hotel itself has been recently renovated to a high standard – the first room we were given was little bigger than a shoe box, but after a word with reception, we were kindly moved to a more suitable room that would accommodate both adults and a child, oh and our bags of luggage of course!

In the room, glass bottled water was provided as well as soap wrapped in paper. Shower gel, shampoo etc in packing branded as 40% less waste, but as waste nonetheless we didn’t open these and used what we’d brought with us.

Pool and beach towels were provided and it was made trickier to change them by taking them back to a towel reception between certain times. Hopefully this reduces resources by preventing people from simply ditching the towels in their rooms and picking up new ones each day. 

After a long day at the beach and pool we were thankful for the beautifully positioned Dunas bar, overlooking the sea. A perfect spot for a cocktail. Night one I almost let out a shriek when my mojito came with a plastic straw wrapped in plastic packaging! Nooo!!! There was actually a sign at the bar detailing their environmental campaign to reduce single use plastic (should’ve taken a picture) and drinks were arriving with a single use straw. Total fail! Interestingly by day 5 of our stay all drinks were being served with paper straws – I hope this is continuing! 

What we would’ve liked to have been told on arrival is that there is an area for left beach toys; from inflatables to buckets and spades – guests would really benefit from making use of what has been left by others rather than purchasing more single use plastic on mass from the shops across the road! 

Overall, this large hotel is making more bold moves towards reducing single use plastic and we hope to see them continue this into the future. Good luck! 

When it comes to festivals and being sustainable, we have a long way to go. So much plastic, from drinks through to food vendors is rife and when you’re locked in a festival environment for the weekend, there’s often few alternatives out there. So, when Deer Shed announced that they were getting #DrasticOnPlastic at this year’s festival, we travelled down to Thirsk in Yorkshire to see what it’s all about.