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!
It seems this summer my friends are embracing festivals with their five year olds and I’ve been asked countless times about what to pack. We’ve been on the festival scene since Isabella was potty training, so we’re pretty seasoned in our festival set up. Here’s what we’ve learnt over our last 6 festivals with small kids…
A football club right here in the UK has been named the world’s first UN certified carbon-neutral football club.
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.
We can’t wait to celebrate the start of the school holidays with a family friendly festival tucked away in Yorkshire. In its 9th year, Deer Shed hits the mark for family fun – from music, to theatre and adventures in the woodland, there’s no better place to start the summer season!
What we absolutely LOVE about this festival is that is it taking a very bold step of banning the sale of single-use plastic bottles and straws for 2018! BOOM! They are investing in better recycling infrastructure and pledging to become a completely single-use plastic free festival by 2021.
So what else can you expect from this festival, taking place in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire from 20th-22nd July? Music, theatre, science, arts and of course, adventures.
Timber Festival is a brand new, independent festival set in the National Forest and it’s taking place this weekend… 6-8 July… we can’t wait to get back to nature and reconnect as a family. Here’s our Top 10 things to do if you’re heading there this weekend
- Take a journey into the heart of the forest at dusk in the English festivalpremiere of Tree and Wood, a new interactive performance exploring our relationship to trees and forests by leading artist and producer Jony Easterby, with a team of international artists, musicians, performers and foresters. Tree and Wood explores our relationship with the trees and woods we depend on for our survival both past and present through a journey through a series of installations, movement, song and music. Known for his dynamic and immersive sound and light works across the world, Jony Easterby’s recent immersive night time adventure For The Birds has wowed audiences across the UK.
- Explore all the sides of the moon in the greenfield festival premiere of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon – an incredible seven metre moon sculpture featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and sound by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.
- Join composer and sound-artist Jason Singh on a special listening walkexploring voice and technology to mimic nature and birdsong. Gather sounds and create instruments from ‘found’ nature such stones, twigs, leaves and soil. Discover how Jason uses plants and plant data to create music.
- Take part in a very special Masked Ball.
- Witness an enthralling fire-gardencreated especially for Timber Festival by leading artists, sculptors, designers and technicians pa-BOOM.
- Look out for thrilling aerial acrobatics in the trees, bringing ancient tales to life from Whispering Woods and magical Dream Antelopes who will be roaming the site.
- Take part in tree climbing, slacklining, leaf art and mask making workshops. Join Responsible Fishing to create some seemingly impossible stone sculpturesand beautiful geometric land art
- Have some buzzing adventures with Beekeeping experiences with The Bee Farmerand interactive theatre show Bee Cart from Sheffield’s Pif Paf Theatre. Meet Bee Guides Bombus and Borage for much Bee wisdom and surreal fun. Delve into the world of Bees, learn the pollen packing dance and the waggle dance. Try out their Buzz Pollenator, and maybe even get your nose pollinated.
- Take part in natural wellbeing therapy Forest Bathing
- Don’t miss out on the music too! Headliners include Jane Weaver(performing songs from new album Modern Kosmology), This Is The Kit (performing compelling Alt Folk from new album Moonshine Freeze) and the energetic and joyful Hope & Social.
For information and tickets visit www.timberfestival.org.uk
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We are very excited and pleased to hear that by 2020, IKEA will be banning all of its single use plastic.
The plastic ban will take place across all its stores and restaurants, and includes products such as plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, bin bags, and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.
Here’s hoping more retailers follow suite… #notosingleuseplastic
Now in its 7th year, The Big Feastival is a unique festival experience that blends top musicians with the best food you can think of, along with entertainment to keep the kids thoroughly entertained from morning to night.
Hosted on Alex James’ farm nestled in the Cotswolds, you won’t be disappointed with the music line up with Basement Jaxx, Craig David and Paloma Faith headlining the weekend.
Since becoming a family of three, we have merged our love of summer music festivals with keeping our five year old little lady entertained. Getting the family friendly festival blend right is something we’ve been perfecting over the last few years, so here’s our handpicked top 5 family festivals with environmental consciousness of 2018 for you.
Just So Festival, 17-19 August, Rode Hall, Cheshire
Just So Festival is the perfect place to immerse small minds in creative memory making. It’s the place dreams are made of, with interactive installations wherever you turn. The Spellbound Forest at dusk is a magical place to be – gather around a picture perfect campfire for bedtime stories, drum circles and magic being made. You’ll find babies well catered for with a line up especially for them – we highly recommend baby yoga and story time is a right treat. Don’t miss out of Saturday evening’s Tribal Tournament where costumes have been handcrafted months in advance and the atmosphere is electric. There’s heaps more on the line up since our last visit, so take a look and plan your trip.
Timber Festival, 6-8 June, Feanedock, the National Forest
From the makers of Just So Festival, comes a brand new imaginative creation for 2018, Timber Festival. Set in the depths of the National Forest, is a festival that blends environmental appreciation and the arts. Music will take you from morning to night as you take part in singing the Dawn Chorus or stay awake for a Secret Midnight Gig. For families you’ll find immersive theatre, ariel acrobatics from trees and have the chance to delve into the world of bees and even learn a pollen packing dance. This is a festival to reconnect you with nature and assist you in coming away a more relaxed and energised version of yourself, make sure you get involved in a guided run at sunset and don’t miss out on the eco spa.
Camp Bestival, 26-29 July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
Camp Bestival holds the title as the best UK Family Friendly Festival, so it’s a must to include in this list. You’ll find music, family theatre, comics and amazing food. Headlining you’ll see Simple Minds, Rick Astley. For the kids there’s a UK festival exclusive taking place; ZSL London Zoo: Gruesome Nature Live! An interactive musical show featuring original songs, you can find out the frightful facts about some truly grisly creatures, including who’s got the largest, slimiest eyeball, and which species of animal can endure fire, ice and radiation and even survive in outer space, plus many more monstrous truths.
The Big Feastival is a treat for grown ups and children alike. This festival really blends a grown up festival feel with the most amazing organic food options and music line up, with heaps of activities to keep the kids entertained too. Justin Fletcher kicks off the main stage, with Paloma Faith closes it. Check out our full preview here.