Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code

[I was kindly gifted with these bamboo straws in exchange for my honest review.]

After attending the Circular Economy conference I got a better understanding of how recycling and especially plastic recycling works, and why it doesn’t often work, and it has provided me with a better picture of what plastic should or shouldn’t be used for.

Plastic can be a wonderful material for certain uses, but there are many uses for which there are more cons than pros and such is plastic used in food packaging or as utensils. Food contaminates plastic which makes it more difficult to recycle, as the food contamination lowers the quality of plastic that it can be recycled into and therefore single-use plastic often end up on the landfills or being incinerated. How plastic contaminates food is another matter as plastic can’t be tested for everything at the same time, but rather it can be tested for certain “leaks”. Therefore you might want to use compostable or reusable packaging and utensils when possible. One of the great materials used in reusable utensils is bamboo. It provides some wonderful benefits whilst not costing too much to the planet.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Bamboo

Bamboo grows quickly without pesticides and when grown with responsible forestry it can be a fairly sustainable material. Bamboo is free of all the chemicals used in plastic straws and is naturally anti-bacterial. At the end of use, bamboo is biodegradable and can be composted in industrial compost. For straws bamboo is an excellent material, although it often varies in shape, it is durable when properly cared for.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Alternative to Bamboo Straws
  • Plastic – We are used to the feel of plastic straws in our mouths and therefore prefer them, however, this perception can be changed. Nevertheless, plastic straws can be useful for when other alternatives are not suitable.
  • Silicon – Is a great alternative and can be recycled, but is not biodegradable.
  • Stainless steel – It requires quite a lot of energy to produce and can leave a metallic aftertaste, although it could be recycled.
  • Paper – Is a single-use alternative, which could potentially be recycled, however, it faces a similar problem with plastic and food contamination and therefore many councils do not accept them into their recycling.
  • Glass – It again requires quite a lot of energy to produce and it can be very fragile.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

White Springs Bamboo Straws

White Springs want to use bamboo as an alternative to single-use plastic. They pride in creating straws which are compostable whilst still being high-quality compared to many others on the market and truly they are durable, do not crack and feel nice and smooth in your mouth. In addition, they strive to pick bamboo with fairly similar internal diameter. With your bamboo straws, you get two cleaning brushes and an organic cotton bag where you can store them, or carry them with you. You get 8 straws and two cleaning brushes in the pack.

 

My Review
  • I like them, but the thickness is something I have to get used to, it isn’t unpleasant though. I love that they are reusable, organic, made out of natural materials and that they are compostable though!
  • My partner said he felt they brought the taste of wood to his drink, but I found it didn’t affect the taste of my drink in any way, I rather liked it.
  • Cleaning them the brush goes nicely all the way through, however, feels a bit tight. It still cleans the straws very well and airdrying them is fairly quick. They are dishwasher safe as well! From previous experience with bamboo products, I wouldn’t leave the straws soaking in water, as long periods of moisture can create mould. I didn’t experience it with these straws but I am mindful of it.
  • They feel really durable, smooth and nice to use.
  • The bag fits the straws well but doesn’t feel cramped, and I love that I have something to carry them with me if I need to.
  • There is no plastic when you receive your straws. Straws and brushes are in the carry bag and the carry bag is in a neat cardboard box.
  • The straws work very well for most cold drinks, however, for some reason with carbonated drinks they float a little bit and it pushes the bubbles up, although it doesn’t much affect drinking them either.
  • The straws vary in size, but it doesn’t matter to me. Different sizes can be pleasing to different people or different drinks.
  • My kitten was really excited about them as well. Compared to plastic I am not afraid if he plays around a bit with the bamboo as then he won’t be swallowing pieces of plastic. The bamboo is durable enough so he shouldn’t be able to break and eat pieces of it.

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

 

White Springs has kindly offered a discount code for my byLiiL readers, for UK customers only. You can use the code: WS324977 for a single purchase (it is valid until the 31st of December), which you can apply at checkout, and you can order your very own White Springs bamboo straws here. Do check their website out for more information! You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

Have you tried bamboo straws before?

With love,

Lii

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Sustainable News Nr.3

Climate Change

Global Warming of 1.5°C – The already famous report about the future of our planet in 12 years if nothing is changed at the moment.

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That – And this article explains the report in a clearer language, albeit in a bit on the side of fright tactic, however, at this point that might be needed to put pressure on decision-makers to reinforce new laws to protect the environment and reverse climate change.

6 Selfish Reasons You Should Care About The Rainforest and 10 Easy Ways You Can Protect It – Holly writes very comprehensively about the issues we face from deforestation of the rainforest and provides very easy solutions that each of us can do.

Biodynamic Farming – What Is It? – Interesting different type of farming. Can it reverse the climate change or reduce our emissions?

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Europe’s Meat and Dairy Production Must Half By 2050, Expert Warns – Even if we won’t all become vegetarians or vegans we should be consuming meat and dairy at a more conscious level. Do we all really need meat at every meal?

Capitalism and Climate Change – Interesting read into the economics of the future with climate change and sustainability.

A New Frontier In Wind Energy On Native American Land, Cultivated By Six Sioux Tribes – Amazing to read about!

Bill Gates Backs Innovative New Carbon Fee In Washington – “Companies openly opposed to the bill include oil companies, such as BP, Chevron, Phillips, and Andeavor, have raised $22.45 million to challenge it”. It is quite clear who would benefit from this not going forward and it is appaling to see that they are the ones who can put a lot of money to it, money that they could spend on innovating themselves! I wish the bill will pass and many others appear around the US and the rest of the world, we need it!

Confused By Climate Change, Japan’s Famous Cherry Blossoms Bloom Six Months Early – climate change affects more than people and animals, nature as well!

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Social

The True Story Of Fatima Al-Fihri , the Founder of the Worlds First Known University – It is quite incredible to think that the first known university is founded by a woman and not in Europe as well. Women have always been able to do anything they wish!

The Female Price Of Male Pleasure – Great insight into why we shouldn’t always question why did the woman not get out of the uncomfortable situation.

India’s Unplanned Pregnancies Are Down Thanks To Better Health And Education: UN – An example of how caring for women and education can be good for climate change and the economy as well.

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Fashion

The Environment’s New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles Grown From Live Organisms – This is not new, but I am happy to see this being talked more and more about, maybe someday in the future, it will become more mainstream?

Dirty Fashion – Reports discussing the toxicity of fibres in the fashion supply chain and what is being done about them.

Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy – The hidden labour that is hard to uncover and although this article only dives into the problem in Italy, this is the way many it happens in many other countries as well. It is how employees can go underpaid in the UK where a minimum wage has been set.

Study Calls For Microplastic Weighting In Fibre Scoring Tools – This definitely should be done and I am surprised it is already weighted.

Albini Group Collaborates With Oritane For 100% Traceable Cotton Production – And they collaborate with Kering group to show an example of how textile manufacturing can be traceable.

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Other

A Third Of EU Chemical Imports Break REACH Laws, Claims Study – Study conducted by German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found that many companies fail to inform of risky chemicals found in the products Europeans consume. This again is one of the reasons we need to make sure companies are transparent and we should be able to know what our products contain always!

When It Comes To Smartphone Lifespan, Brand Name Matters More Than Hardware – A study found that Apple phones are more likely to be bought second hand than any other brands of phones. The thing they do not talk about in the article is the price of Apple phones, which is the reason why they are often bought second hand. Nevertheless, it brings up an interesting point of view in the sustainability of mobile phones.

 

With love,

Lii

Cork by Grow From Nature

*This post contains affiliate links and if you buy an item using them I will get a small percentage from the sale. I only work with carefully selected partners who I genuinely like.

When thinking about vegan leather alternatives I often think of polyurethane based fabrics which are not great for our environment and in long-term not great for animals either. However, there are other great alternatives such as Pinatex (made out of pineapple waste) and cork, which is personally my favourite alternative.

Cork by Grow From Nature - byLiiL

Cork is a great sustainable fibre which has an interesting story. Cork oak trees grow in Portugal and unlike other trees, they thrive when their bark is peeled off them every few years, whereas other trees die if their bark is peeled off. They grew a different type of bark to protect them from forest fires and they regrow the bark when it’s burned or peeled off making it a renewable resource. It’s also waterproof, fire resistant and can be modified in many ways. To me, it reminds of all the corks used in wine bottles and cork tiles used for some interior design (a look that I’ve really liked), but now also, apparently, as a leather substitute in the fashion industry and quite frankly I really like the look of it!

 

There are not many brands that use cork to make their designs, but the few I’ve seen so far have been very promising. One of those brands I wrote about in the post about my favourite sustainable brands and now I would like to introduce you to Grow From Nature.

Grow From Nature drives their beautiful line of cork accessories by being sustainable, eco-friendly and vegan. They showcase the unique patterns of cork to their and the designs’ advantage in making each item special and in its own way beautiful.

 

They believe that sustainability isn’t the future but that it is the present. That is why they strive to be more sustainable in everything they do. They are very straightforward that there is still a lot of work to be done towards sustainability and explain what they are doing to achieve it. They use an eco-friendly cork from Portugal in all of their designs and actually tell an interesting story about their cork here. Their cork harvesters are paid well and they manufacture all of their designs in Portugal.

Now they are also expanding their range to cork shoes, how exciting!

 

You can check Grow From Nature through here*. Remember to check their Instagram as well!

 

With love,

Lii

Cork by Grow From Nature - byLiiL

Sustainable News Nr. 2

Plastic

Plastic Waste Set To Beat Price As UK Shoppers’ Top Concern – Study – It’s great to see how consumer mindset is changing and the price isn’t always the number 1 priority.

But What Happens If You Use Up All The Plastic? – The short answer is that’s not going to happen.

Even Insects Are Carrying Around Microplastics – It is not surprising how widespread it is, but it is still quite terrifying!

This Fungus Could Be The Answer To The Plastic Waste Crisis – Hurray! Why aren’t they researching it more?

Are Biodegradable Plastics The Solution To Our Plastic Obsession? – Muccycloud dives into this question and explains what biodegradable plastics actually are.

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Groceries

Slavery In The Chocolate Industry – Explains what many big chocolate corporations don’t want to tell you and why we should check more strictly on what chocolate we buy.

FoodShot Global Looking To Fund Innovators Taking ‘Moonshot For Better Food’ – I wish this kind of collaboration at this level would be done across other industries as well.

Fashion

Leading Bangladeshi Textile Mill Regrets Going Green – Apparently, some customers are not prepared to pay even one cent more for buying green clothes.

Rethinking the Business of Fashion – 12 start-ups that are in an acceleration programme supported by the Fashion for Good-Plug.

Lenzing’s EUR 26 Million Sustainable Nonwovens Fibre Facility – Finally nonwoven that is not an oil-based fibre!!

New Plant-based Shoes From Vivobarefoot – Interesting innovation.

Francesco Carrozzini’s X-Ray Fashion: Seeing Through A Toxic Industry – What if all the consumers would be able to feel how people making our clothes feel, would they shop for fast fashion then?

Grow Your Own Vegan Handbag! The Marvel of Mushroom Leather – I can’t wait for this to become more mainstream, it sounds fantastic!

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Recycling

How One E-Waste Recycler Uses Education To Incentivise The Right Behaviours – And more information on e-waste recycling.

Social

What Is Going On In Yemen – Fran writes about a crisis that is less talked on the news but which requires our attention.

50 Girls Hospitalised After FGM In Burkina Faso, Dozens Arrested In Crackdown – Even though Burkina Faso has illegalised FGM the culture is still so ingrained in the practice that the nation has difficulty ending it.

Gender Inequality Is Bad For Men’s Health – It does make sense.

This Incredible Former Child Bride Persuaded Her Country To Ban Child Marriage – So inspiring!

Sustainable News Nr. 2 - byLiiL

Other

California Mandates 2 Largest Pension Funds Factor Climate Risk Into Investment – Excellent, all the banks should be doing that though.

Can China Become Powerhouse In Green Manufacturing? – A very interesting question that leaves us to wait for the future to see if it will.

What Are The Most Effective Water Pollution Solutions – an Excellent guide on what should be done about water pollution.

These Giant Towers Could Clean Toxic Smog In The Wolrd’s Most Polluted Megacity – Air cleaning towers that are self-sustaining, what a great idea, however, I hope they will also consider working on lowering the emission they are releasing in those megacities as well.

 

What news have you read recently?

With love,

Lii

Doing Small Changes Won’t Save The Planet – But It’s a Start

In the world of environmentalism and sustainability, I come across slightly contradictive articles all the time. Most of the articles, blog posts, podcasts etc. are about how we can make changes to be more sustainable, how little or big things we can do, some even guilting us into changing our behaviour. The slightly contradictive articles are a minority but they appear regularly and they question the little changes that we are making and criticise how those won’t save the Earth. I am sure you’ve all read those articles. One of the latest ones that I read was in the Guardian where Monbiot wrote that “We Won’t Save The Earth With a Better Kind Disposable Cup”. So who is right? Is it the articles who encourage people to consider the changes they are making or is it articles who question the better you are doing and rather pushes us to challenge the power or wants all of us to change how we live?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start - byLiiL

In my opinion, both are correct. That is true if the only thing we are doing is changing to a better disposable cup, or just change worse material to a slightly better one it will not save the planet. However, not changing the bad materials at all is also not an option nor is stopping consumption altogether.

Changing the consumer behaviour doesn’t happen in an instant, it takes years if not decades and when the popular media continues to promote a certain lifestyle it gets more difficult to change that. Government legislations against harmful products to us and the environment would help, however, they do not move swiftly either and only seem to make legislations when there is a public outcry on a topic such as microplastics. However, the government seems to only put on a patch on the problem, rather than fix the underlying issue to quiet the population and to change this the population needs to be educated on the underlying issue. This all definitely needs to be done, but it sounds like a lot of work which will take a lot of time, doesn’t it?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

While we wait for it to happen if we do not make changes and innovate better materials we have not made the world any better, but have probably created a lot more waste. When I think about a disposable cup that is made out of plastic and ends up polluting our oceans I would much rather use a disposable cup that biodegrades, even if slowly, however as at the moment there are many innovations coming up to make our current system better and more environmentally friendly, we have the possibility to look into what would be the best option.

One great example of a better product is the Nespresso compatible coffee capsules by Percol. I’ve always felt any Nespresso machine represents the opposite of environmentalism because of the capsules it uses that are fairly wasteful, however, the Percol coffee capsules are compostable and the coffee is Soil Association organic. Also, although I think we should all carry a reusable cup with us, it is not always feasible and therefore The petition to change the disposable cups into better disposable cups is definitely worth signing for those moments that somebody just has to take the disposable cup, but I wish there was another petition to the government to set up waste systems to easier dispose of those biodegradable or compostable disposable cups and another that would start proper education systems to schools and to adults about the change that we need to make to save the Earth.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

Educating people rather than guilting them will help them make decisions on their own and will provide a more worthwhile movement with real change. Guilting people into changing their behaviour doesn’t help, and studies have shown that they can even harm the movement. Writing about consumers doing wrong when they want a better alternative only makes them confused if they are not already familiar with the topic and might make them give up on even trying to be more ethical or requesting change from brands or the government.

By doing small changes and noticing that it works can move people into making bigger changes and to changing attitudes. Let’s not scare them off that path and rather support them with the journey. Make the small changes, such as having a less bad material and promote education on environmental problems and challenging the power and the decision makers. That is how we are going to change the planet.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

What do you think about making small changes or challenging the power?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable reading No.1

Let’s experiment with posting these weekly, at least when I have the time to do so.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

Social

Maybe Your Sleep Problem Isn’t A Problem – Not really from last week, but I thought it was important and interesting. When reading the article and knowing how important sleep is for people I started wondering if the daily schedule of 9-5 is completely wrong and should we have a more relaxed daily schedule in general? I know I can’t handle 9-5 as I feel my brain going to mush, which is part of the reason why I prefer being self-employed.

Living Close To Urban Green Spaces Is Associated With A Decreased Risk Of Breast Cancer – All urban cities should be full of parks and green spaces with all the benefits the research is telling us they provide, so why aren’t they?

Research Identifies All The Different Ways The Sea Supports Human Wellbeing – There is definitely more than we might first think of.

These South African Women Are Using Menstruation Cups To Change The World – And just another proof that when women decide to do something and make others lives better they will succeed!

Migrant Children Could Be Detained Indefinitely Under Trump Administrations’ New Proposal – And they blame it on somebody else of course.

Indonesian Restaurant Law Bans Women and Men Eating Together – Really? This sounds like the government doesn’t trust their citizens nor lets them choose for themselves how well they follow their religion.

Nearly 4 Million Children In the UK Are ‘Too Poor’ To Have A Healthy Diet – A sad reality of food poverty in the UK and I think the government should think what to do about this for a better future for the children when they grow up.

UK Ban On Nuisance Calls From Claims Companies Comes Into Force – About time. These cold calls are not only using energy unnecessarily and disturbing people as well as making it difficult for people to recognise when they are scammed. But where are the instructions on how to put this into practice?

Chief Rabbi Calls On Jewish Schools To Tackle Homophobia – It is great to hear that the heads of religious groups understand that children need to be supported no matter what their sexuality is or what they like.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

Fashion

What It’s Really Like Making Locally – In Finland, locally made and locally sourced clothing is what the consumers are often looking for. Why are we not looking for that everywhere?

Burberry Says It Will No Longer Incinerate Stock – a Great example for the other brands.

 

Ocean

Water Water Everywhere – Clear explanation on how and why water is scarce on our planet and how we could manage it.

Pros and Cons Of Hydropower – Even more sustainable options can have cons.

Norway Pledges To Divest From Ocean-Polluting Companies With $1Trillion Fund – Hurray, I hope to see this from more countries!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Entertainment - byLiiL

Environment

Environmentally Friendly Farming Practices Used By Nearly One-Third Of World’s Farms – And they are being productive, so why isn’t the rest of the farming changing to this practice as well?

Bio-Based Plastics Can Reduce Waste – If We Invest In Both Making And Getting Rid Of Them – And that is what we should be thinking of.

Ditch The Almond Milk: Why Everything You Know About Sustainable Eating Is Probably Wrong – The sustainable choices you thought you made but weren’t necessarily that sustainable.

 

With love,

Lii

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands

Although I follow several sustainable fashion brands from all them I think handbags are my favourite thing to follow and dream about and I only hope to earn more money so I can afford all my sustainable bag dreams. Here are some of my favourite ones.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Elvis and Kresse

This is an absolute wonderful brand which doesn’t stop to amaze me with their design aesthetics. More interestingly the brand has an amazing story behind it. Since 2005 started rescuing end of life fire hoses to provide the materials with a second lease of life and in 2017 they partnered up with Burberry to reuse their leather scraps. In other words, Elvis and Kresse only use materials that were heading for the landfill!

If this didn’t sound amazing enough they are a certified B Corporation and a social enterprise that donates a whopping 50% of their profits to charities among them Fire Fighters Charity. The company tries to be sustainable in every way from running on renewable energy to using rescued materials for their packaging. In addition, they are open and transparent and host workshops in their studio in Kent.

Every time I see one of their bags on Instagram I wish I had it, unfortunately for me, they are a luxury brand with prices ranging from £20 for keyfob to £350 for a duffel bag. I can’t yet afford but at least I can dream of one and one day I get my own Elvis and Kresse bag!

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Eve and Andis

A second brand whose bags I cannot stop admiring on Instagram. Eve and Adis make beautiful bags and other accessories from innovative and eco-friendly materials such as cork, pinatex and eco leather. Pinatex is a material made out of pineapple leaves, cork is a highly renewable material grown in Portugal, and the Eco Leather they get from bio-farm in Germany and it is vegetable tanned without any chemicals. All of their timeless pieces are handmade either in their studio in the south of Germany or in a family owned factory in Spain.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Mollum Vellum

Mollum Vellum is an artisan leather brand from London. They specialise in traditional craftsmanship with traditional tools, which is inspired by the Japanese style leather work. They source their vegetable tanned leather with sustainability in mind from UK and Italy and every piece is handcrafted by them in their studio. Their brand is the model for minimalist and slow design, with all of their timeless pieces.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Maravillas Bags

Is a Spanish brand of vegetable tanned leather and Pinatex bags which is popular due to their bright colours and innovative designs. Maravillas is based in Mallorca where all of their bags are made in the studio with the help of local craftsmen, or in the local trusted factories. They source their vegetable tanned leather from Spanish trusted tanneries. They rejoice in minimalist style and slow fashion principles, whilst using traditional craftsmanship.

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Marina Kleist

Marina Kleist is a cork bag designer based in Hague, Netherlands. Their beautiful colourful cork bags are a great alternative to any leather bag, as they are Peta approved vegan. They use French know how to create all of their pieces in their studio with natural materials that are organic and eco-friendly. The materials are either Oeko-Tex or GOTS certified and I already have several of them on my wishlist!

My 6 Favourite Sustainable Bag Brands - byLiiL

Matt and Nat

This Canadian brand is already world renown for their Peta approved vegan bangs and linings made out of plastic bottles. They are working on making their materials and factories as sustainable as possible and diligently visit the factories in China to ensure high standards and close relationships. They support the dress for success charity. Matt and Nat is definitely one of the front-runners for Vegan handbags and they show it in every aspect of running their business from their HQ being cruelty-free to encouraging their employees to volunteer.

 

What are your favourite sustainable bag brands?

With love,

Lii