Sustainable shaving, finally? The Skarp laser razor – 21st century shaving

Sustainable shaving has been on my radar for a while as part of my plastic reduction exercise. Solutions were not great and could hardly be called solutions (eg ‘do not shave’). The best solution I found was on the Zero Waste blog.

And now a hope of change. A potentially disruptive idea, Gillettes of the world better be watching, if this works! This laser razor looks like such a great and cool concept (sci fi razor!), if I was not broke at the moment, I’d totally get it. Laser burning through hair? Hell, yeah!

Their Kickstarter here, they are overfunded 20x but looks like still not too late to jump on the wagon. My hopes for the possibility of sustainable shaving are live again!

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UK supermarkets will charge for plastic bags from October… good riddance, use it as an opportunity to reduce plastic in your life

Has your heart not sunk when you’ve seen this image widely circulated on social media? We are destroying the world, one plastic discard at a time. I came to realise that I can not wait anymore for anyone else to start doing something – supermarkets, manufacturers, retailers, government don’t care or can’t be in the position to change things. They have large businesses which need to bring consistent profits to shareholders, so their formula of ‘spend less – extract more’ will remain. And government is too busy with more important projects, like war and dealing with the results, like the unfolding tragic refugee crisis.

It’s up to you and me and us, individuals, to do something.

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It’s important to try. Be bold, – says a 20 year old who is trying to clean up the ocean

Well done, SBS Seoul Digital Forum, for having over Boyan Slat and talking to him about his exciting project – the largest ocean cleanup in history.

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A drinking straw, made out of straw. A Kickstarter project you will want to fund #sustainability

I think this project is so important that I will only mention this one today. I have a little child and he likes drinking with straws. I’d love to make this part of our lives more sustainable and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do so, hence I went ahead and funded it. Projects like this need our support, because who else will make our planet more sustainable if not ourselves? If you would like to see less plastic on this planet and/ or use straws, please support.

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Litter picking, DNA, Mad Men for not-for-profits and yes, tampons #sustainability

Some interesting impact & sustainability stories that were on my radar this month. 

Creepy ads use litterbugs’ DNA to shame them publicly, brilliant campaign. Creepy or necessary? Littering in the area where I live became so unbearable recently that I joined Street Friends and now pick litter around the area each Sunday. The glamour! I wish I could identify those who throw nappies in the birch alley or those who think clearing out their car onto the street is a good idea! 

Having just left a media agency, I continue to keep an eye on the industry, and ran into this media agency, which is like no other, working only with charities. Some interesting impact stories and ideas on their blog if you are interested in impact, charities, campaigning or advertising and marketing in general. 

Finally, tampons – a product we don’t talk about often in general, here Guardian takes it a level up and looks into how unhealthy and unsustainable they are. 

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Join the complaining revolution! Resolver, free escalation tool from MoneySavingExpert  

This news definitely falls into ‘I shoulda thought about this!’ category. Not sure how everywhere else but in the UK often the only way to get a decent customer service level (not at the ‘delight’ level, just normal, that we pay for) from the utility companies, banks, mobile phone companies, authorities and other organisations and businesses is to complain. Profusely. In an organised way. 

I am telling you, it’s the only way. I had personal experiences with Virgin, Halifax, BT, the property management company HMLAndertons, Southeastern where the service I was receiving was so appaling that I had to go through various levels of escalation and in some cases track down their CEOs and complain, or report the case to the ombudsman. Hours, days of precious life energy spent to restore some fairness and make the big guys do what I pay them for. 
How exciting it is then to hear that MoneySavingExpert launched a Resolver complaining tool which drafts letters to all of the above and more, sends them, monitors replies and escalates to ombudsmen if necessary. Now if only we had more of the US legal culture and it could liaise you with a relevant lawyer to initiate a lawsuit for compensation, it would have been complete. 

I’ll let Martin & Co do the talking: 

‘Our aim’s always been to cut your bills and fight your corner. Yet complaining isn’t always easy for everyone – they often ignore or fob you off. So often it takes a certain type of person to get their due. Now we want to level the playing field…

  • resolver Resolver – helps you complain for free to 3,500+ firms & public bodies. The free Resolver tool* is a unique new automated complaints system, to take out the pain and cost. It works with energy, finance, legal, leisure, motoring, retail, food, travel, telecoms, water and other firms. Full help in our Resolver guide, but in brief:

    – It tells you your rights. 
    Select your issue and it gives you the lowdown.
    – Drafts a letter.  You get to make a bespoke version of one of 44,000 templates, incl the bit most people forget: what resolution do you want? Alternatively, you can call and it will record it.
    – Monitors replies. It will keep an eye on whether there’s been a response and prompt you to act if not.
    – Escalates if needed. If you don’t get a resolution, it works with many ombudsmen & regulators – eg, the Financial, Energy, Parking, Flights – and some even take complaints directly from the system.’

Well done, guys! This should be quite an impactful initiative. Looking forward to using it! 

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Marketing to multiple allergy sufferers – where is the food? 

Among my family and friends, there are several multiple allergy sufferers. Most of them are children. A person with multiple allergies would be allergic to many things, often the food basics- eggs, nuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish. Here are some stats: 

Food allergies are on the rise in developed nations, but scientists aren’t sure exactly why this is happening. Between 1997 and 2011, food allergies in children increased by around 50%. Eight foods account for around 90% of all reactions, including wheat, milk, shellfish and peanuts.

UK specific stats here

An estimated 10 million adults suffer from more than one allergy (Mintel, 2010). 50% of children and young people have one or more allergy within the first 18 years of life (Journal of Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2009).

My little nephew has multiple allergies (eggs, soy, dairy, nuts). For his third birthday, I wanted to get him a dessert that he could eat. Continue reading

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