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Do a little good this Christmas...

So, this post is a little different to the usual...less interiors, more exteriors and I'm not talking about re-painting your house or designing your garden. It also may give you an idea or two for a last minute Christmas gift for someone.

Who's been watching Blue Planet II? Marvelling weekly at the amazing things to be found in our oceans? But has anyone felt the panic creep in as soon as David Attenborough tells us about how WE are causing huge changes to the delicate balance with our thoughtless actions? I'm not going to pretend I know all the facts about environmental issues, that's my husbands job, (he's the environmental scientist) but being with him has brought a few things to my attention.

I have always liked to carry water with me in my bag and for Christmas three years ago, my husband bought me a Sigg water bottle and told me that not only was it a Christmas present, but my New Years resolution too - no more buying bottled water - and I haven't since. Bottled water has less strict regulations as to what goes in it than our tap water and is very bad for the environment, not only does it move water from one place to another upsetting the natural ecosystem, but it is then bottled in plastic, which is not good for us and then gets thrown away, going to landfill. Yes, some will be recycled which is much better but that process still uses energy and resources.

Same goes for takeaway coffee cups. I read this article recently in the Guardian which states "More than 2.5m disposable cups have been purchased by the UK’s environment department for use in its restaurants and cafes over the past five years – equivalent to nearly 1,400 a day."

Can you believe that? And every morning I see an advert for a well known coffee brand product "Coffee to Go" which is a whole box of single-use plastic cups with a serving of instant coffee already in them to add water to. I'm hoping no one actually buys this product. Why not buy a pot of the same instant coffee (which I imagine is much cheaper than this product) and put it in a reusable cup?

I bought a reusable Ecoffee cup a few years ago because I was going on holiday and decided that being able to walk down to the beach with my tea to sit and watch the waves would be nice. It is one of the most useful things I've ever bought, I've used it on road trip early morning starts, camping, on the train and even to take down to sit in the park on a nice day. I know sometimes it's not easy to be prepared if you happen to just pop in somewhere to grab a drink but maybe your regular daily routine involves a coffee shop stop or two? Why not take your own cup with you and get them to fill it up instead, apparently some shops give a discount if you take your own cup and that's one less cup to send to landfill (the vast majority aren't recyclable as they are plastic coated cardboard). If you had your own cup, maybe it would mean you could take your coffee with you from home instead. Maybe the UK Environment Department should be buying one for each of their employees so they can set a good example (would be a lot cheaper for them in the long run too).

Ecoffee Cups are inexpensive and made from bamboo fibre which is a strong, fast growing, sustainable material. Their website states that 100 billion single-use cups go to landfill every year. Check out their website for more info, and to buy one of their cups, they have so many lovely designs (even a William Morris series) and they make really good Christmas presents - my husband got one from me shortly after I got mine!

This post is not sponsored in any way by Ecoffee cups or Sigg, I just wanted to put the idea out there. With the 5p carrier bag charge, people have become more aware of how bad plastic carrier bags are (even if it's just the effect on their pockets it still helps), we need to start thinking about other products as well. It can be difficult to use fully eco-friendly products and lead a fully environmentally mindful existence as we all have busy lives, but a couple of little changes could still add up to something big.

(Thanks to my partner in crime for helping me with my facts!)

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