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It can be difficult to remember all the products we need to recycle on a daily basis, there’s a bin for everything from plastic to cardboard and more; but, where do we put our batteries? Batteries contain important resources and chemicals including lead, calcium, zinc, lithium and mercury; meaning they aren’t suitable for general waste.
12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided if the country can meet its target of recycling at least 45% of batteries by 2016, so this is the year to start changing your habits and help the environment. All single use and rechargeable batteries, button cells and battery packs are marked with a crossed out wheelie bin symbol to show that they should be recycled rather than put in the bin. Most supermarkets and shops that sell batteries are now required to provide a collection facility for used batteries; you will usually find a small box for putting used batteries in by the entrance or at the till points in store. Contact your local authority to see where you can recycle batteries near to you: they may even take part in kerbside pickups of batteries with your recyclable waste. You may not realise it, but as mentioned earlier these important resources and chemicals that are contained in batteries can be recycled and reused elsewhere. A lot of batteries contain at least 40% zinc: the zinc concentrate recovered from batteries is reused by zinc smelters, and for electrolysis in industry. After you’ve recycled your used batteries, why not consider the purchase of rechargeable batteries for household electrical items that require frequent battery usage? I thought I’d share another ethical What I Wore post as the novelty of being able to wear regular clothes still hasn’t worn off 3 months in!
This Pistill Dress from Gudrun Sjoden is a new favourite – super soft and really easy to wear.
The Annie Parka from People Tree was something I received during my pregnancy, but I found that wearing a parka whilst pregnant was not the most flattering, shall I say.
Firstly, in case you missed it, this post from Ethical Consumer magazine on Are Any High Street Shops Ethical? Am I A Fool To Expect More Than Corporate Greenwashing from Lucy Siegle is an interesting read about H&M.

Despite the fast nature of the fashion industry, high street shops have been painfully slow on the pick up of fair trade fabrics. While fair trade produce has earned itself a dominant spot on the supermarket isle, the demand for ethically made clothing lags behind. UK shoppers spend a whopping ?8,643 million per year on ethically produced food but a measly ?648 million is spent on ethical clothing.
It seems to have taken the most fatal garment industry incident ever followed by consistent pressure from campaigners to convince many high street shops to accept some responsibility for their supply chains. It has now been nearly three years since the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing over a thousand people.
A feeling of outrage that no companies would be held accountable for the building collapse also led to the creation of the Bangladesh Accord. This contract has been signed by nearly 40 major clothing companies such as H&M, Topshop, Next and Primark.
Notably, Gap and Asda refused to sign the Bangladesh Accord and instead chose an alternative scheme.
A report from Friends of the Earth found that out of the top ten retailers in the UK, H&M had the second largest land and water footprints. For example it has been praised for its work towards improving wages in its supply chain and aims to procure 70% of its cotton from sustainable sources by 2020. However, our ethical score does not just reflect the company’s work in the clothing sector. With the high street still so far behind ultimately we would encourage people to shop in smaller ethical retailers. Our front garden is tiny but we really needed somewhere to store firewood through the winter and our bikes. Our hallway had a space above the door before leading into the kitchen and being a dark area of the house, it didn’t have any negative affect on lighting by adding a small cupboard above the door.

By putting some clips on the inside of one of the kick plates and a handle on the outside, we now use this area for storing things like cleaning products and paper towel. Bike sheds are mostly really ugly and do take up a lot of space but by building a frame on the top and planting a roof garden, it has added real beauty to the front garden and has given us invaluable storage space. It’s now a fantastic little nook for storing things like Christmas decorations and camping gear. It’s nice and deep and has three drawers you can pull out which are filled with tins, jars and oils. You can use our ethical shopping guide to alternative clothing to find the most ethical fashion retailers. My other half and I have found loads of inspiration online and have come up with quite a few of our own ideas too.
Instead of just sealing it up and putting something pretty inside (I do love something pretty) we built a wooden frame, sliding runners and then screwed down old leather suitcases for the drawers. The contents of these three pull outs used to fill 4 cupboards and you could never see anything hidden at the back.
This unwanted attention intensified when Avaaz released an ad campaign featuring the CEO of H&M alongside a young Bangladeshi woman who was crying.
We got the idea from here but if you have any questions on how to do this just drop me a note for full instructions.

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bike shed living roof garage

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