Oceans of Optimism

We are whaley optimistic at City to Sea. Every day we see news breaking, stories unfolding and people breaking new boundaries. Whether these are lapping up alongside our communities or flowing through continents on the other side of the world, we know that there is OCEANS OF OPTIMISM out there and we want to share this with you!

Optimism, we think, is contagious. So, help us turn the tide on plastic pollution and share these stories with friends, family and colleagues today.

Staying grounded

The Court of Appeal has ruled plans to expand Heathrow Airport “unlawful” on climate change grounds, in one of the most important environmental law cases of a generation. In the words of Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth, “This judgment has exciting wider implications for keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions.”

On the back of this, our amigos at Ecotricity alongside George Monbiot and QC extraordinaire, Jolyon Maugham from the Good Law Project, are legally challenging the government to review out-of-date planning policy that supports development of new fossil fuel projects, in-light of legally binding net zero by 2050 commitments. You can read more about this here.

At City to Sea HQ we have also done a little “let’s save the planet” dance on hearing the news that the scheme to expand Bristol airport has been rejected following protests that it would exacerbate the climate emergency, damage the health of local people, and harm flora and fauna.

image of a sign at a climate strike

Greta News

For anyone who have been living under a rock – Greta Thunberg came to Bristol to support the youth school strikes. And we were there in the crowds as thousands of thousands flooded to Bristol to hear what she had to say.

“We will not be silenced because we are the change, and change is coming whether you like it or not. This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power. I will not be silenced when the world is on fire.”

WE can all become Greta’s megaphone by sharing her words. Join us and amplify her voice!

Cho-choosing a reusable bottle at stations

We’re working with Network Rail as part of our Refill campaign to install water fountains in every Network Rail managed station in the UK. Thanks to them joining the #RefillRevolution , we’ve managed to stop the use of three million single-use plastic water bottles over the past two years.

Refill stations are now at all 20 of Network Rail train stations. Network Rail had recorded one million uses of the fountains as part of National Refill Day 2019 and this month revealed they had collectively been used a further two million times since then. Download the Refill app to find your nearest Refill Stations.

A #BloodySuccess

Scotland is poised to become the first country to end “period poverty” by providing free sanitary products to women of all ages in the country.

Free menstrual products are already available to students in high schools, colleges and universities in Scotland. And a bill passed by the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday will make pads and tampons free across the board.

At City to Sea we delighted at the news and are working to make sure that as many of these products are plastic-free or reusable as possible. Hey Girls, the award-winning East Lothian based social enterprise company set up to tackle period poverty are already a major provider in the Scottish Government’s initiative to provide free sanitary products all pupils and students, to be announced this week.

Let’s see if we can get the rest of the UK to follow suit!

Getting to the bottom of plastic pollution

We are flushed with excitement that one of the big players, Andrex has achieved Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification for its washlet wipes range.

Whilst we would always encourage people not to use wet wipes at all and stick to good old loo roll where possible, this is a big move because it means they are 100% plastic-free and break down like toilet paper in normal sewage conditions meaning they won’t block sewers causing spills which can pollute our oceans.

Our Campaign Coordinator, Jasmine Tribe welcomed this news saying “This is a simple step that means consumers can use products and be confident that they won’t be contributing to environmental problems like fatbergs…This has also set the standard, if Kimberley Clark can take up the Fine to Flush certification, then there is no reason why all other wet wipe manufacturers can’t as well.”

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING POSITIVE YOU CAN DO?

  1. 1. Sign up for Plastic Free Journal our monthly newsletter filled with news, tips and advice on living with less please.
  2. 2. Donate to City to Sea and help power our planet-protecting plastic pollution campaigns.
  3. 3. Know why we at City to Sea are backing the Teach the Future plan and take a resolution to amplify the voice of the younger activists standing up for our shared oceans. We think this is whaley important.
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Plastic Free Christmas presents

Plastic-Free Christmas

Here at City to Sea, we believe in enjoying the festive season without the unnecessary excess. To make having a Plastic-Free Christmas just that little bit easier (because life’s complicated enough), here are our top tips for a Christmas that doesn’t cost the Earth.

The true cost of Christmas

For some it’s still the most wonderful time of the year…but it’s also possibly the most wasteful. In the UK, we get through a whopping 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging over the Christmas period – and that’s just for presents! When it comes to Christmas cards, we send enough that if we put them side by side, they would wrap around the world a dizzying 500 times.

Sparkly or shiny wrapping paper might look exciting, but most of the time it’s not recyclable. Every 1kg of wrapping paper is associated with 3.5kg of CO2 emissions! As a nation we use 227,000 tonnes of decorative paper every year, which amounts to as much carbon as around 250, 000 return flights from London to Australia. Try swapping wrapping paper for scarves or use brown wrapping paper and string for a greener alternative.

Plastic-free Gifting

While Christmas is undoubtedly a magical time for children, that magic often doesn’t make it into the New Year. Research suggested that by March, 41% of toys will be broken or kids will have become be bored of them – this means they’ll either end up in the back of a cupboard somewhere or worse, in landfill.

Swaps are an amazing thing to do all year round to reduce your waste, but especially come in handy around Christmas. Whether it’s toy swaps, clothes swaps or anything in between, you can avoid buying new and make sure you aren’t adding clutter to your house all at once. It’s simple – just bring along any unwanted items and swap them for something that you can give a new home. If you can’t find any near you, why not take it upon yourself to start your own? At work, at school or at a local community centre, spread the word and get swapping!

 

Give the gift of presence instead of presents

We think that being there to spend time with your family and friends is the greatest gift that you could give at Christmas, and making memories together goes a lot further than a shiny new present. In return let your loved ones know that their presence is all that you want for Christmas and that you or your kids don’t need any novelty items, gadgets, bath sets or toys under the tree this year.

Another great way to have a plastic-free Christmas is to give experience gifts instead of items, which can also be a great way of trying out something new (although avoid the high carbon race track days and flying experiences).

You could always give something back while you gift with a charity gift or donation? If that takes your fancy then consider a donation to City to Sea to help power our planet protecting campaigns!

If you still want to buy something brand new, why not go for the planet-friendly option and check out our plastic-free shop. You could encourage that stubborn family member to start their plastic-free journey with a lovely zero-waste set. If they’re still hooked on plastic drinks bottles, why not get them a stylish Chilly’s bottle? Did you know that when you buy a Chilly’s X Refill bottle, Chilly’s donate £10 towards our work here at City to Sea? It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Plastic-Free Christmas Dinner

Plastic-free christmas Feasting

Mince pies, mulled wine and Brussel sprouts…It wouldn’t really be Christmas without all of the amazing food and drink would it? This year plate up a flavoursome feast but ditch the plastic that usually comes along with it.

Stock up on your dry goods at your local zero waste shop. Just take along your containers and fill them up with nuts, grains and whatever else you might need. Not sure where to find your local shop? Take a look at this store locator to find one near you.

Who doesn’t love boxing day leftovers? Make sure to cut down on food waste and keep all of your uneaten food. Remember – forget the cling film and go for plastic-free reusable food wraps such as these ones made from bees wax.

Eating and drinking seasonally, locally and organic are also fantastic ways to take care of the planet in your daily life, but especially at Christmas. Why not try visiting your local greengrocers for your fruit and veg, or find an organic box scheme.

You could also stock up on some organic booze to really get the party going. We love Vintage Roots because with every crate purchased, 10% of profits will be donated back to City to Sea.

Plastic-Free Christmas Wreath

Deck the halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, but remember to steer clear of plastic decorations whether it’s tinsel, plastic baubles or an artificial Christmas tree. If you already have some from previous Christmases got themsome second hand then not to worry, but avoid buying any of these new.

Crackers at the Christmas table are a pretty wasteful tradition that results in huge amounts of waste. Most Christmas crackers are non-recyclable and are by definition single-use. The toys inside often will just get swept straight in the bin – talk about a throwaway culture. In the UK alone we get through a whopping 154 million crackers. That’s a lot of plastic. So, if you don’t feel like they’re essential, perhaps you could give them a miss. Alternatively you could have a go at making your own or go for a greener brand.

If you are buying a new Christmas tree, go for a real, locally grown one. To save buying a new one every year, you can make sure the tree still has roots so that it can stay alive for years to come and keep it in the garden in between Christmases. If you do get one that will die after it’s been used, make sure you dispose of it sustainably by either making sure it’s composted or in a chipping scheme. Alternatively you could try and get your hands on a second-hand artificial tree and give it a new home.

Plastic-Free Christmas Food

Party time

Christmas means it’s party season! It’s the time to get together with friends, family and colleagues to let your hair down. Having a plastic-free Christmas doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on fun.

Scroll back up to the ‘Plastic-Free Feast’ section to recap on eco-friendly booze and food.  When it comes to serving up your food and drink, avoid using disposable items. Swap plastic plates and cutlery for proper chinaware or go for food that you can hold while you eat such as wraps. Move away from plastic cups and go for proper glassware instead. For larger parties where this may be more challenging, not to worry - Waitrose offer a free glass hire service  and if you purchase your drinks from Majestic, they lend out glasses for free as well.

If you’re having your party catered, try to choose a sustainable caterer or if you’re not sure where they stand give them a ring and ask for your food to be free of cling film and other single-use items.

Want to dress to impress? Go second hand and check out your local charity shops, vintage shops or sites like Depop to give someone’s old party dress or shirt a new lease of life. Remember to avoid buying any new clothes, especially those on the cheaper, low-quality side or items with sequins or glitter. You could also get hands-on and have a go at crafting your own plastic-free Christmas jumper!

The golden rule is to buy less and value what you already have a bit more.

Material things aren’t what makes Christmas so brilliant, it’s the beautiful moments spent with people you love that make this time of year so special. Let’s make this festive season really fantastic by cutting down on needless plastic!

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Black Friday – try #BuyNothingDay instead

Black Friday is the worst expression of the consumerism that damages our planet and drains natural resources. Don't get sucked in by bogus bargains.

At City to Sea, we believe in buying less and shopping second-hand wherever we can.

Each year, we make a note of Earth Overshoot Day – this is the day when the world's population starts to consume more resources than our planet can regenerate in a year. In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day was on the 29th July – less than two thirds of the way through the year. This date is getting earlier every year, making it crucial to break the world's shopping habit as soon as possible.

If it looks too good to be true – it probably is

Black Friday bargains can look very tempting – but they're not always as good as they seem. Often, big retailers use poor quality materials specifically for Black Friday.

If you really have to buy new goods, always try to find reusable, good-quality, long-lasting products that meet your requirements exactly. Black Friday is the opposite of this! It encourages rampant consumerism, based on our love of bargains. Ignore the hype and buy only what you need.

Making better choices

Black Friday has huge negative impacts on the environment, as well as on local economies and our wellbeing as individuals.

If you can't resist buying something over the weekend, why not visit your local charity shops – you really will find bargains there. If you prefer shopping online, try second-hand or swapping sites like Facebook Marketplace or local community groups. Visit Depop for creative fashions or look into smaller, ethical businesses, like the ones featured on our website. Unlike Ebay, Amazon and Apple, these organisations are also more likely to be paying their fair share of tax.

Instead of splurging on so-called bargains, you could support craftspeople and artisans, small ethical businesses and brands that deserve to be valued. Talented, dedicated people who are trying to create beautiful, unique products using renewable resources.

There are many smaller brands and initiatives (such as repair and reuse projects) that deserve to be valued. Like clothing brand Patagonia – on Black Friday 2016, Patagonia donated 100% of sales* to organisations working to create positive change. Or REI, who are organising #OptOutside clean-up events across the US for Black Friday 2019.

Best of all, buy nothing. Look out for the hashtag #BuyNothingDay, which is used by businesses and organisations that are avoiding Black Friday, including fashion and footwear brands such as Pachacuti, Elvis & Kresse, Raeburn, allbirds, Everlane, Veja and Ecoalf.

*100% of purchases made in Patagonia® stores and online at patagonia.com and patagoniaprovisions.com

If you really want to part with your cash, why not donate to one of our campaigns and help fund our planet protecting campaigns!

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Plastic pollution floating in water in front of a power plant

How does plastic contribute to climate breakdown?

We are in the midst of global climate breakdown, and Plastic production is a major and growing part of the crisis.

In 2019, the production of plastics (aka the plastics industry) will add more than 850 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere - the equivalent of 189 coal-fired power plants! By 2050,  the accumulation of these gases will account for up to 13% of the total remaining carbon budget. (That’s the amount of extra carbon the planet can tolerate before tipping global warming over 1.5 degrees - the danger line.)

Plastic is one of the most greenhouse gas intensive industries in the manufacturing sector - and the fastest growing. Greenhouse gas emissions from plastic are and accelerating climate breakdown, threatening our ability to maintain a survivable climate.

Our planet cannot afford plastics business as usual. We have to turn the tide.

Microplastic floating in the ocean

the cost of a plastic planet

Nearly every piece of plastic that exists in the world originated as a fossil fuel. And GHGs are emitted at every stage of the plastics lifecycle, from its extraction and transport, refining and manufacture, through to waste management. Single-use packaging is one of the largest and fastest-growing areas of the plastic economy, but the issue is more than just single-use plastic. The very production and lifecycle of plastic is a greater threat to our planet than many realise.

What’s more, plastic pollution is also contributing to the problem. While earth’s oceans have absorbed up to 40% of all man-made carbon since the industrial era, early stage research indicates that the infiltration of microplastics into our seas is disrupting their capacity to act as a natural carbon sink.

Our plastic addiction and the global climate crisis are two sides of the same coin.

Urgent action is needed

There is much talk of recycling and bioplastics, but these are often false solutions that distract from the main aim of reducing plastic production. We need to focus on reducing the production, reusing what we can and only then explore effective recycling. We need to:

  1. 1. Stop our addiction to single-use, disposable plastic.
  2. 2. Halt the development of more oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure and seek to keep fossil fuel reserves in the ground and in line with climate science.
  3. 3. Build zero-waste communities through reducing waste and reuse, and support circular economy initiatives.
  4. 4. Force polluters to pay for their impact on the environment.

We need to turn off the tap before it’s too late. This is a climate emergency. Be part of the solution.

A plastic bag floating in the ocean

City to Sea and climate change

At City to Sea, we see climate breakdown as the most important issue threatening all species, including humans. We also acknowledge that this threat is driven by human activity. Specifically, we note the IPCC’s warning for the dire need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for the need to act now. This means we cannot and will not tolerate business as usual.

As a result, City to Sea will actively:

Highlight how the plastics industry is currently a major driver for climate breakdown.
We will boldly challenge the industry’s narratives underplaying its environmental impact and work to reduce the industry’s contribution to climate breakdown.

Stand in solidarity and offer support to other organisations working on the climate crisis.

Ensure climate breakdown is taken into consideration when developing all other policy positions.
And specifically oppose any policy that will significantly hamper efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Commit to reducing our direct environmental impact.

If asked, never fail to speak out loudly about any organisation that is significantly contributing to GHG emissions.
Or those who are refusing to work to reduce GHGs in-line with the IPCC or if they are hindering positive climate action.

Cilmate protest sign that read system change not climate change

Take Action

To learn more about how plastics contribute to climate breakdown, and why we must act now, read the full CIEL Plastic and Climate report.

Support City to Sea and our Campaigns so we can help prevent plastic pollution at source, and connect everyone's actions to our oceans.

Plastic Free Journal is here to help you get closer to a plastic free life, with tips on reducing your plastic footprint, news and interesting reads.

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Strike with us, for the oceans

City to Sea are responding to young people’s call for everyone to join them in their monthly climate strike this Friday. We are encouraging staff and supporters to take to the streets to stand in solidarity with students fighting for our planet’s future.

Will you join us and thousands of students, businesses and organisations?

Climate Change is the biggest threat to our oceans. Unless we take urgent and far-reaching action now to limit warming to 1.5C rather than 2C we will see a catastrophic impact on our oceans. And there is BIG plastic elephant in the room here. Rising plastic production will account for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s about the same as the entire current emissions of the transportation industry – planes, trains, cars, buses combined.

Without tackling our plastic addiction, we cannot tackle the climate crisis.

Wherever you are, pack your water bottle, make a banner and join your local strike. If you can’t join us on the streets then support us online by posting messages of support using #ClimateStrike.

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Why we should connect our actions to the ocean every day

June the 8th is World Oceans Day! A whole day dedicated to the three-quarters of our planet covered in saltwater. A whole day to remember the source of every second breath we take. So, inhale oxygen from the forests, exhale CO2 for them to (hopefully) reabsorb, inhale oxygen from the oceans, exhale CO2 for them to (hopefully) reabsorb. Cool huh? I say hopefully, for as we well know, forests and oceans are under serious threat, and their capacity for absorbing and sequestering CO2 from our fossil-fuel intensive lifestyle is severely compromised.  

“Scientists and natural history experts the world over agree that there’s more than a commotion in the ocean; there’s a crisis.” – Natalie Fee, How to Save the World for Free (Lawrence King Publishing, October 2019). Pre-order here.

 

Protect what you love  

It’s not just ocean acidification caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere that’s pushing the seas to their limits, it’s overfishing, it’s pesticides and fertilisers from industrial agriculture, it’s melting ice caps and of course, it’s plastic pollution.

So here at City to Sea, we welcome World Oceans Day, not just for the chance to boost awareness of the threats to the big blue, but to celebrate what we love about it too. To remind us to get out there and connect with it. Maybe that’s grabbing a surfboard and playing in the waves. Or paddle-boarding in an estuary or harbour. Or doing a beach clean, a coastal walk, learning to dive or snorkel, sailing, wild swimming, windsurfing, beachcombing, rock-pooling, sunset-on-the-horizon-gazing – whatever floats your boat and makes your relationship with the sea that little bit more personal.  

The plight of the albatross 

At this point, I should probably fess up that I’m the world’s most unlikely ocean ambassador. You may have assumed I was an ocean-loving, sea-faring woman whose love of the sea made me do what I can to protect it. But actually, I’m not. Well, I kind of am now, but I wasn’t four years ago. In fact, I was scared of the sea. I wouldn’t go on it, or in it and you pretty much had to drug me to fly over it. But something happened in 2014 that changed my life – and helped me form a real, tangible relationship with the very thing I was afraid of.

Strangely, it’s mostly down to an Albatross. A bird I’ve never seen and until five years ago never had an affinity with. I was scrolling through Facebook one day and a trailer for a film about the Laysan Albatross living on a group of Islands in the Pacific Ocean came up on my feed. But the film wasn’t about how magnificent these birds are; it was about how their chicks were dying from eating a diet of plastic. The adult Albatross swoops down from the sky to the sea to scoop up fish close to the surface – and mistakes floating colourful things like plastic bottle tops, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes for fish … which they then feed to their chicks. A third of these crazy beautiful, fluffy chicks are, starving to death in their nests with their bellies full of plastic

Connecting our actions to our oceans 

When I saw it for the first time, and every time since, I felt a deep sense of grief. It triggered a pain in me unlike anything I’d ever experienced when seeing human-caused environmental issues. And I think it was something about seeing everyday items that I used – my brand of toothbrush, ink cartridges, bottle caps – causing the death of something so beautiful – that woke me up to what I was doing … And I knew at that moment I couldn’t just sit back and allow this to happen. So from that day, I set about doing something about it, and City to Sea took shape.

Now for the weird and wonderful bit. I had a strange and unfathomable experience during my first crowdfunding campaign – a series of nine consecutive, immersive dreams in which the ocean gradually revealed itself to me. It was as if the moment I tangibly put my energy and focus on the thing I was scared of, and did something for it, it reached out back to me and did something for me too. It was life-changing, deep and profound. After that experience – a forming of my relationship with the sea – I actually wanted to get in the sea! So I started surfing and learnt to enjoy and appreciate the 71% of our planet that is ocean

 

Sea the change.  

I don’t think for a moment we are all destined to ‘give up our day jobs’ and start something new, but the reality is that we do all need to shift the focus of whatever it is we’re doing towards protecting what’s left of the environment. To make sure the 20 per cent of marine mammals remaining in the oceans recover their numbers. And that plastic pollution gets better, not worse.

Given the right conditions, oceans can regenerate. Rewilding the oceans, as well as the land, can help sequester vast amounts of CO2. Marine protected zones can help fish populations recover and thrive. And governments can implement deposit schemes, bans and taxes on single-use plastic to prevent it from polluting the seas.

We all need to do our bit. And while we’re doing it, why not head down to the coast from time to time to rest, play and dream our way into a healthier future, for you, me and the seas.

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A singing celebration of our ocean

Students at Horfield School in our hometown of Bristol, are celebrating World Ocean Day with a bit of a twist. They’ll be singing their Song of the Sea in celebration of the ocean and are challenging schools across the country to learn the words and sing along with them in a bid to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution.

We first heard the song at the launch of the Polly Roger, Hubbub’s plastic fishing boat here in Bristol and knew we had to do something to help them in the quest to save our oceans.

The inspiration for Song of the Sea came when assistant headteacher Kirsten Cunningham attended a Science STEM summit with students and other schools from across Bristol and North Somerset. Here, the children spent a day learning about the ocean and the problems of plastic pollution and the team leading the STEM project challenged every school to make a difference.

“As we are passionate about Performing Arts, we decided that we’d make a difference through music and send a message as a song. We challenged our pupils to write poems about the ocean, the words from which inspired the lyrics for our song. Our aspiration is that as many schools as possible sing our song, to send its message as far as possible” – Claire Alsop, Horfield School

The song is suitable for whole-school singing, or with a smaller group such as a school choir. The resources are all contained in the description on the school’s YouTube, with a link to a free downloadable score, lyrics sheet and backing track. The video also has subtitled lyrics so children can sing along with the video.

We will be singing the #HorfieldSongoftheSea on June 7th, to mark World Oceans Day for Schools, and we hope you’ll join us!

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Tallulah Rendall releases stunning new music video in support of City to Sea.

This week, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with the stunning Tallulah Rendall, an amazingly talented singer-songwriter and sound therapist who has dedicated the video for her new single – Holding on to Love – Be The Change, to City to Sea!

 

Nominated for the Woman of the Future Arts Culture Award in 2014, hailed as ‘London’s most creative woman’ by AOL, and celebrated by Latitude Festival for her “voice of an angel” – Tallulah was one of the first artists to introduce crowdfunding in 2006 with her first EP, Without Time. She has since crowdfunded, released and toured four albums worldwide: Libellus (2009), Alive (2011), The Banshee And The Moon (2014), and now The Liminal (April 2019).

Feeling a symbiotic connection to City to Sea and their mission to prevent plastic from littering the world’s oceans, Tallulah welcomed the opportunity to collaborate, as she explains:

City to Sea invites each of us to explore our own relationship with plastic and environmental awareness through campaigning for policy and behavioural change. I love the rawness, heartfelt and sometimes even playful approach they use to engage us with this conversation. Personally, I feel passionate about supporting systemic change in our individual and collective relationship to both plastic and the environment. I believe in music’s ability to inspire change and if I can add my creative voice to something as vital as City to Sea’s mission and help more people engage with protecting our wildlife, rivers and seas then that is both an honour and a privilege.

Tallulah’s thought-provoking music video features exquisite time-lapse footage shot by 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year, Rufus Blackwell, as well as footage from the recent Extinction Rebellion protests in London. The video highlights the plight of the oceans amid the escalating plastic pollution crisis. An emotive cry to unite and make a stand, the video invites viewers to take responsibility for their plastic consumption, with a clear call to action: “You can be the change. Say no to single-use plastic, say yes to the future.”

City to Sea founder, Natalie Fee says:

We’re all about awakening active hope, championing practical solutions and inspiring positive action – and we love doing that creatively! I’m a huge fan of Tallulah’s new album, The Liminal, and we thought it would be potent to combine our voices and work together to spread the word that we can – and are – making a difference. With serious threats from the plastic industry to boost production there is a real danger that plastic pollution in our oceans could double by 2050. So we need to get the message out there, through art as well as emails, petitions and the news, that we can stop this from happening. Tallulah’s music fits wholly with our ethos – we can be the change.

 

Co-produced with acclaimed Berlin producer Aaron Ahrends, Holding onto Love, Be The Change reflects Tallulah’s intention to use her music as a conduit to inspire change, as demonstrated by previous songs such as We Don’t Want War: written in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, all sales from this track were donated to Save The Children.

Explaining the concept behind her new album, The Liminal, Tallulah explains: “The ‘Liminal’ is an energetic, unquantifiable space which I attune to when I meditate or create. My deepening relationship with this connection has inspired me to believe in our human capacity to live an expansive life in harmony with ourselves, the planet we live on and each other. It is my passion to inspire and support this awakening in others through sound and creativity.”

We’re super proud and excited that Tallulah has chosen to work with us, and we hope you enjoy the single as much as we do! To view tour dates and order the album visit Tallulah Rendall’s website: www.tallulahrendall.com

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Get a wriggle on – the refillable lunch box revolution is coming

Brits are famous for our love of sandwiches. In fact, we eat a staggering 11.5 billion of them a year. And while at City to Sea we would never speak foul of a good ploughman’s, we do have an issue with the plastic pickle that it leaves behind. It is estimated that we use more than 1.2 billion metres (745,000 miles) of cling film every year – enough to go around the circumference of the world 30 times over.

This is one of the reasons we were so excited to see Wriggle, the independent food app, launch their reusablelunch box. The ‘Bring Your Own Lunchbox’ scheme encourages customers to bring along their own lunch boxes to local eateries, cutting down on single-use takeaway packaging. Similar to what our award winning ‘Refill’ campaign does for water, participating eateries have a sticker in their window letting passers-by know they can go in and fill up their lunchbox at ease.

With plans in Parliament to ban all but the most essential plastics within 25 years, more and more eateries are transitioning towards a circular, reusable and more sustainable business model. To give just one example, Boston Tea Party led in 2018 stopped using throw away coffee cups. One decision has resulted in thousands upon thousands of cups saved from littering our natural environment.

Last month the Global Action Network launched the #Longlivethelunchbox sticker scheme, similar to refill, mapping the venues that will accept reusable lunch boxes. It has never been easier for hungry customers to choose to be part of the refill revolution. Increasingly, those eateries relying on business models using single use plastics just no longer seem to cut the mustard.

Our amigos over at Wriggle have gone one sustainable step further though. The latest Wriggle box is made from bamboo. The body is bamboo, comparable to the bamboo coffee cups which are made from surplus bamboo from the chopstick industry and mixed with a plastic resin like melamine. The lid is bamboo wood with a thick elastic band as a holder.

OK, so this might not cause panda-monium (geddit) outside the City to Sea offices, but this does have the potential to make a real difference. Research shows that one of the big issues stopping people from carrying reusables is that they feel uncomfortable being the only ones in a shop or café asking for a refill. By ‘normalising’ behaviour through stickers, posters and more people taking par, it makes refilling your water bottle or lunchbox more acceptable and feel much more normal. By Wriggle creating a box and their food outlets selling it, plus other locations putting up the #Longlivethelunchbox sticker it sends a green light to what is accepted behaviour.

At City to Sea we have seen first-hand how the refill revolution spreads. When we launched the campaign in 2015 we had a handful of Refill Stations signed up and today we have over 17,000 locations in the UK alone with over a hundred thousand people using our Refill App. Wriggle have hit the refill nail on the head by creating a lunch box that is both beautiful and practical. It becomes a source of pride and something people are keen to associate with.

Alongside legislating single-use plastic out of use we need to be building beautiful and practical reuse refill schemes. And Wriggle have kicked off 2019 perfectly. What is important for social norms to really change is the volume of people refilling and businesses offering refills. And with every sustainability change it always takes the pioneers to lead the way.

So, get a wriggle on and join the refill revolution.

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Using Photography to help Protect Our Oceans!

Last year plastic pollution exploded in the mainstream media after Blue Planet was aired, creating a snowball effect of action and activism from communities across the UK. An issue that was previously too easy to ignore, hidden beneath the waves, was suddenly bought into full view.

Video and photography have played a huge role in building movements since cameras were invented. They touch the heart as well as the mind, sharing a moment with hundreds, thousands, millions more than would have been able to experience it first hand.

Photo by Justin Hofman

Here in the UK the British Wildlife Photography Awards is using photography to help celebrate and raise awareness of British wildlife in all it’s diversity, in the knowledge that:

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, 1968

This year is the BWPA’s 10th anniversary and to mark it they are making 2019 the year of the Coast and Marine category! For 2019 this category has expanded to include all UK coastlines and has four separate categories: Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland and the Coast of Ireland.

The BWPA are particularly keen to keep plastic pollution at the forefront of the media’s attention so they’re encouraging entries (in any category) that show the impacts of plastic pollution here in the UK. Many people are starting to notice the effects of plastic on our home shorelines, but still associate harm to wildlife with animals like turtles and whales which we don’t exactly consider to be British! Plastic pollution is a very real and dangerous threat to native birds, seals, dolphins and other UK wildlife, so lets make it more widely known!

Photo by Neil Phillips in the BWPA

You have until April 6th to enter your photo/s here. Oh, and there’s also the chance to win £4,000 and have your image exhibited at 8 venues across the UK… Go, go, go!

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