5 Subscription Services Good For You And The Environment

reduce reuse recycle

There are some subscription services I couldn’t do without… So I wanted to tell you which ones and why! It’s important to mention this post is not sponsored, my opinions are genuine and purely my own. It’s simply a great occasion to promote companies that make my life easier and contribute to help save the planet at the same time… What more could you ask for? All of these subscriptions are super convenient too: you can skip, pause, change your selected products at any time. You get all the benefits of a subscription without feeling tied in, you stay in control as they’ll remind you of your next order so you can’t forget.

Don’t take my word for it – Use my referral links for each service to get amazing discounts and try for yourself!

Abel & Cole – Organic food delivered to your door

abel & cole

Good for you

They have a huge range of sustainable, organic food and drink that you can choose to get delivered weekly. Every area has an allocated day of the week so you know when to expect your delivery. If you have allergens, they have a “free from” section where you can filter any dietary requirement. But their best service is probably their fruit & veg boxes. You can choose the right size for your household (small, medium or large), fruits only, vegs only, or even if you’d rather get local products only (the “all British veg box”). All these boxes are organic.

If you subscribe, you’ll receive seasonal fruits and/or veggies that will differ week to week, but you can log in and check what you will get. The “dislike list” is also useful to specify what item you don’t want to receive (personally, I don’t like mushrooms) and they’ll replace it with something else!

Worth mentioning their customer service is top notch. One day, I ordered some gnocchi that were not gluten-free. It was completely my fault, I misread the label online and bought the wrong item. I reached out to the team to find out if it was possible to send it back and get a refund. It was unfortunately not possible to send it back but they happily refunded it anyway, what a nice gesture!

Good for the environment

There are many reasons why they’re green. First of all, I love the fact that you keep the box and simply leave it in front of your door for the driver to collect on your next week’s delivery. You don’t have to recycle it, they reuse it again and again until it’s not usable anymore, before they recycle it. They also don’t use plastic, only compostable packaging. They partner with farmers and bakers with a strong commitment to ethically made food. No unpleasant chemicals.

New customer?

Click here to get £10 off your 1st and 3rd planet-friendly shop!

Huel – Complete food for busy lives

huel product range

Good for you

The first time I heard about them, I was not convinced about having a shake instead of a meal. Then I realised how clever the full concept was! This complete food provides you with all the carbs, protein, fibre, fat, vitamins and minerals you need. It has nothing to do with a diet shake or a simple protein powder because it’s real food with a balanced macro-split. They evolved a lot throughout the years and offer a wide range of protein bars, ready-to-drink shakes, powder as well as “hot and savoury” meals. I love the fact they consistently come up with new flavours too. And as you know exactly how many calories each product or scoop contains, it can also help with weight loss or weight management, as well as training for athletes.

My personal favourites? The black edition (more proteins and less carbs), salted caramel flavour, and all protein bars (especially the peanut butter one). Needless to say it saves me a lot of time when it comes to food planning! I have a Huel shake every day for lunch, no cooking required, I just prepare it the evening and keep it in the fridge for the next day. It’s so much healthier than a quick sandwich with a bag of crisps. It’s definitely a must-have for anyone with a busy life (but who doesn’t consider themselves “busy” nowadays?). Also, it’s great value. You save money as well as your time.

Good for the environment

All products have a long shelf life and contain sustainable ingredients. Huel is plant-based (vegan) and contains no animal products. Their mission is to create nutritionally complete food with minimal environmental impact. Their suppliers meet an internationally recognised sustainability standard and help them reduce their carbon footprint. To find out more, you can read their Sustainable Nutrition Report (2020). You’ll find plenty of super useful information in there about why we need to change the way we think about food.

New customer?

Click here to get £10 off your first order.

Mindful Chef – Easy-to-follow recipes for a healthy diet

mindful chef healthy diet

Good for you

I love the fact that everything is gluten & dairy-free with them, it’s the reason why I picked this box over other similar boxes. And all recipes are healthy, up to 650 calories a serving and well-balanced, no refined carbs like white pasta, bread or white rice. You can filter vegan or pescatarian options if you prefer, everyone would find something they like the look of. I owe them a lot as I learnt so much about vegan meals over the past few months!

For example, I wanted to cook with ingredients I had never tried before, such as tempeh, jackfruit, chickpea or even butternut squash. I never took any “adventurous” roads with my food before. But now I realise how much better everything tastes like when I learn how to cook myself. It’s almost like they helped me change my taste buds for good and taught me how to enjoy new flavours.

Their recipes are easy-to-follow, the quantity delivered is really good (sometimes there is even some leftover) and it’s great to avoid the hassle of shopping every single ingredient in the supermarket. You can subscribe for a weekly box or you can stick to just a one-off whenever convenient, there is no commitment. Last but not least, they often add a freebie in your parcel of a new product (always gluten & dairy-free) for you to try. There is literally nothing I don’t like about this service. Did I mention they have new recipes every week and you can order up to 8 weeks in advance?

Good for the environment

The fact that you don’t have to shop for each ingredient is already good for the planet: you get the exact quantity you need for each recipe. Zero food waste! To keep some ingredients cool, they use recycled denim insulation that you can keep and send them back for free, once you’ve accumulated enough.

Bonus and good to know: for every meal you buy, they donate a school meal to a child in poverty.

New customer?

Contact me so I can send you a code to get 25% off your first 4 boxes!

Who Gives A Crap – More than your average toilet paper

who gives a crap toilet paper

Good for you

Or should I say good for your bum? I discovered this brand for the first time when I was travelling in Australia, back in January 2020. I thought the marketing around this product was very clever. Then I realised it was a subscription model to make sure you never run out of toilet paper, how amazing! This is the type of thing you don’t really want to think about, you take it for granted… Until a worldwide pandemic happens and everyone rushes through supermarkets to make sure they have plenty of it. Well the good thing about it is they don’t use any inks, dyes or scents. And the price is right (you could find cheaper in a supermarket but the quality would be “crap”, excuse the pun), not to mention a roll lasts forever!

Good for the environment

Not only they’re B Corp™ certified for the highest standards of social and environmental impact, they also help build toilets for people who need them. Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to toilets and it’s good to be reminded of that sometimes. They don’t use plastic in their packaging and they also sell forest-friendly tissues and paper towels, as well as reusable cloths. Their blog is funny and informative and is worth a read. They clearly care about the world (not just about toilet paper) and partnered with Oddbox whose aim is to reduce food waste. The more the merrier when it comes to eco-friendly brands!

New customer?

Click here to get £5 off your first order.

Smol – Eco-friendly and effective laundry capsules

smol laundry capsules

Good for you

I’ll focus on laundry capsules because it’s the only thing I have used myself. They also do dishwashing tablets, a fabric conditioner and various cleaning product sprays. I will definitely switch over to these at some point, once I’m done with what I already have. Their super concentrated laundry capsules come in either bio (green) or non-bio (blue) options. The latter is designed for those with sensitive skin. Just like toilet paper, you always need this product so it’s good to not have to think about it. Their subscription plan is super flexible, you can edit, pause or skip whenever you want (or simply cancel at anytime). I like the fact the packaging is very secure and fits the letterbox! Also it makes your clothes smell amazing… for a cheaper price than supermarket competitors.

Good for the environment

The environment is definitely at the centre of their attention and it’s great to know they’re using lower levels of added chemicals per wash. Their very clever packaging is obviously plastic-free, using sustainable materials that are 100% recyclable. It’s also vegan as doesn’t contain any animal derived ingredients (important point for me). All products are cruelty-free, only tested on towels!

New customer?

Click here to get a free trial. You’ll receive a box of 9 laundry capsules (you’ll just have to cover £1 for postage).

I got the essentials covered with these eco-friendly subscription services: food, toilet paper and laundry/cleaning products. What other services do you use yourself in your day-to-day life that have a positive impact on the planet?

Big Girl x

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Watch Seaspiracy

seaspiracy on netflix

Seaspiracy was released only 10 days ago at the time of writing and it’s currently the number 1 film on Netflix in the UK. Have you watched it yet? This new documentary has been produced by the same team behind Cowspiracy (2014), which was about the journey of an environmentalist investigating the destructive meat industry. This time, Seaspiracy looks at the environmental impact of fishing.

So far, I thought eating fish was more “acceptable” than meat and less harmful to the planet. But after watching this documentary, I now think it’s actually way worse. Our oceans are in danger, it’s too easy to close our eyes and ignore what’s happening under water because it’s less visible. If you’re scared to get shocking images stuck in your head forever (some are hard to stomach), then at least be aware of what’s happening in the world before fish end up on your plate.

Key facts from the documentary

Taken from the film itself, below are 8 shocking facts about our ocean:

  • 90% of the world’s large fish have been wiped out by fishing
  • Slavery in the seafood industry is reported in 47 countries (abuse and murder are common practise on these fishing vessels, it’s easy to make a body disappear in the ocean)
  • Governments give $35 billion to the fishing industry every year to keep plundering our seas (when only $30 billion is needed to solve world hunger)
  • 250,000 sea turtles are captured, injured or killed by the fishing industry every year in the United States (1,000 turtles die in plastic per year worldwide in comparison)
  • 46% of the Great Pacific garbage patch is comprised of fishing nets (which are far more dangerous for marine life than plastic straws because they’re designed to kill)
  • 300,000 dolphins, whales and porpoises are killed in fishing nets every year, along with 30,000 sharks per hour
  • Enough fishing line is set every day to wrap around the Earth 500 times
  • 3.9 billion acres of seafloor is deforested every year by trawling (in comparison, 25 million acres of forest is deforested every year on land)

I think one of the things that shocked me the most was the fact that there is so much focus on the negative impact of plastic straws, when it only represents 0.03% of plastic entering the ocean. It’s nothing compared to how the fishing industry harms sea life – and therefore our planet. 70% of macro plastic at sea comes from fishing gear.

How can we save the ocean?

On their website, they indicate 3 things we should do to help save the ocean:

  1. Shift to a plant-based diet
  2. Enforce no-catch marine reserves protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030
  3. End fishing subsidies (currently $35 billion per year)

Now I know for a fact it’s not easy to shift to a plant-based diet. But it’s not as difficult as it may seem either. It has to be a decision you feel comfortable with, but when you’re ready you’ll have plenty of resources available online. Seaspiracy created a plant-based meal planner to help you with the transition if you want to join the movement. You can set up your personalised journey there and also have access to many awesome fishless recipes!

Why cutting out seafood is best

Food labels don’t guarantee anything

Another shocking fact is that we simply cannot trust labels or certifications on food packaging. There is no way anyone can 100% guarantee they’re compliant. So when you see “certified sustainable seafood”, “responsibly farmed” or even “dolphin safe” for example, it doesn’t mean it’s actually the case. Because the audit that aims to verify the compliance of the requirements normally takes place once a year, it’s virtually impossible to monitor what’s happening on vessels once at sea. There aren’t people there regularly observing and some are bribed to turn a blind eye. Bearing that in mind, stopping eating fish is basically the only way to make sure you’re not contributing to the damages caused by fishing.

There is no such thing as “sustainable fishing”

Can we really believe large-scale extraction of wildlife could ever be “sustainable”? Commercial fishing drives many other species towards extinction. It’s important to remember that when you eat fish, it’s not only that fish that dies… It’s also the huge numbers of bycatch (i.e other fish and marine animals unintentionally caught and killed in the process). Sea turtles are threatened and endangered because of fishing – not because of climate change, ocean pollution or plastic. The population of sharks, whales, dolphins, seabirds etc, also declines because of the loss of fish. If that trend continues, we will have empty oceans within the next few decades. And if the ocean dies, we die.

It’s not humane in the slightest

First of all, it’s wrong to say fish can’t feel pain. They feel pain in a similar way that humans do. Fish are sentient beings, have a nervous system, memory capabilities, they can experience fear and concern… They can even have social lives and team up with other species to find food. One of the scenes in the documentary forced me to take a break, I was crying too much and couldn’t cope with the images. It was about the way they hunted whales in the Faroe Islands, to me it was quite clear they were clever enough to understand what was going on (the whales, not the humans… unfortunately).

What are the fish alternatives?

You might think it’s impossible to replace fish in your meals but the variety of cruelty-free options we have access to nowadays is quite impressive! When I decided to go vegan, salmon was the only thing I missed… It used to be my favourite food. My Japanese roots undoubtedly influence my food habits and I’m so happy to have found a way to prepare makis without fish (see below). So far, I’ve tried 2 brands: VBites and Loma Linda and now I can say I won’t miss salmon anymore… I lost my appetite for it anyway.

There are so many fish alternatives out there, I’m yet to try many more! Below are a few useful links to get you started:

Hopefully we will see more and more fish alternatives in the coming months or so, everywhere in the world… What’s your favourite alternative so far? If you haven’t tried any yet, would you give it a go?

Big Girl x

Even Mobile Games Join the Fight to Save the Planet

Even mobile games join the fight to help save the planet

I remember when I used to play Angry Birds 10 years ago when it was still new. But then I got my first full-time job and I realised I spent too much time playing games so I removed them from my phone. It stayed that way for many years… Until lockdown happened earlier this year and I remembered how I used to fly these famous birds to destroy these nasty pigs. The game is now even better than it was before. But what if I told you that Angry Birds (among others) can also help save the planet??

“There’s something like three billion people with mobile phones and half of them are gamers. As an industry, we have a massive reach in comparison to other entertainment mediums. We feel like there is an opportunity and increasingly an imperative for us to do something.”

John Earner, Co-Founder of Space Ape

“Play for the Planet”, it’s pretty catchy. How does it work though? It’s not that easy to see the link between mobile games and environment… Well, if you consider that the video games industry is the fastest growing in the world, it would be a shame not to use its reach for a good cause! It’s becoming urgent to act now for the planet, so the biggest names in the gaming industry are acting together to create real-world impact via their most popular games. Now they’re on a mission to create environmental themes and raise awareness by gamifying real topics!

“We’re excited to see the gaming industry throw its weight behind global efforts to reverse the climate crisis. The climate emergency needs all hands on deck. In reaching out to 250 million gamers, we hope to inspire audiences to take climate action.”

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme

I didn’t realise Angry Birds was so invested in saving the planet until I noticed that event on my screen a few days ago – All players from the entire world having to pop as many pigs as possible to reach the goal of 6,500,000,000 (it gives you an idea on how popular this game is). I thought the initiative was absolutely brilliant so I had to share it with you. The link when you tap to find out more is Plant for the Planet.

angry birds for the planet

It turns out Angry Birds has been fighting against climate change for many years already! I’m still unsure how I missed previous campaigns such as Angry Birds Friends: Champions for Earth (“Angry Birds get angry about climate change”) back in 2005. This makes me feel more hopeful about our future, it’s the youngest generations that we need to educate about the impact of global warming and it’s mostly for them that we need to save our planet. This is definitely a great step in the right direction.

So… How many pigs have you popped so far?

Big Girl x

David Attenborough’s Message: A life On Our Planet

A life on our planet

I’ve been waiting for this documentary to be released for a while… It finally got available on Netflix yesterday! As a nature lover, I couldn’t wait any longer to watch it. I’ll tell you why you should watch it too. David Attenborough‘s life is fascinating. He was born at the right moment to be able to travel the world like never before, see the world like never before, show images like never before… But he also witnessed how humans started to destroy the planet, leaving less and less space for wildlife to sustain.

A man’s lifetime

This documentary shows how the planet evolved during his lifetime, what it could become if we don’t act now, but also how we can make changes to save it. It’s a reality check, an eye-opener and it doesn’t sugar-coat anything. It brings tears on your face, shows images that are not for the faint-hearted so you won’t be able to ignore what’s happening anymore. Everyone needs to see this, changes won’t happen overnight but our future looks pretty grim if we don’t act.

“This film is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. The story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet make it right.”

David Attenborough

It’s not a pretty picture

From the moment Attenborough was born until now, the population of our planet has almost quadrupled, while the space left to wildlife has been halved. “We’re replacing the wild with the tame.”, he says. The atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen considerably. The temperature on Earth has increased by 1 degree, which resulted in a loss of 40% of the sea ice we used to have in Antarctica. The evidence is in front of us.

“Our planet is headed for disaster. We need to learn how to live with nature, rather than against it.”

David Attenborough

Endangered species

If you don’t have Netflix, the documentary Extinction: The Facts is also available on BBC player and is quite similar in the way that it also explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all. We gathered the family (which includes me, my partner and our 2 cats) in front of our 65 inch TV to watch it together. Our oldest cat didn’t seem so bothered (as you would expect from a cat) but our 6 months old kitten was more than intrigued… Especially when they showed images of the poor koala trying to escape from the burning forest (see picture below). In this documentary, Attenborough suggests the global warming impact caused by humans makes us more prone to pandemics. We are disrupting our biodiversity.

luna in front of extinctions bbc documentary

It got personal

It’s particularly emotional for me as I was there when Australia had a “dark summer”. I’ve seen fires starting out of the blue just because of scorching temperatures, I’ve been to the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie and witnessed the damages on wildlife. I’ve also seen the grey sky lingering over Sydney and breathed what was probably not the best air I’ve ever breathed… It’s always a lot scarier when it’s in front of you because you can’t pretend the media exaggerates things. It is very real.

So… Have you watched it yet? Who else needs to watch it?

Big Girl x