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

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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 News of August 2018

Climate Change

Earth At Risk Of Entering ‘Hot House’ State From Which There Is No Return, Scientists Warn – One of the possible futures for our planet if we are not rapidly doing something to prevent it.

Rising Heat Will Cost The Poorest Countries Billions Of Dollars A Year – Heath exhaustion doesn’t happen to only us living in Europe or the US where we are not used to such warm temperatures, it also happens to those who are used to them.

Hotter Climate Means Hungrier Insects Will Munch Millions More Tons Of Crops By 2050 – The one thing we didn’t even think about climate change.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Social

New Passport Checks For Families Are Sexist, Backward Step – In a modern world where we think we are moving forward with feminist issues we stumble upon new ones when legislations fight other crimes.

Why The World Needs More Female Leaders In Health Care – Whilst they occupy the most roles in health care females only have a small portion of leadership roles.

Reversing Burundi’s Pregnant Schoolgirl Ban Is Not Enough, Activists Say – Although a great start as the girls will have greater potential to earn a better living for their families in the future, it is still not concentrating on sexual exploitation.

Diversity In Sustainability – Addie writes with great enthusiasm and good points why sustainability should matter to everybody, not only white women.

This 9-Year-Old South African Author Has a Message We All Need To Hear – It’s so inspiring to see young children to take such initiative and show their enthusiasm to learning and bettering themselves as well as others lives!

Fake Foods Are Threatening South Africa’s Most Vulnerable People – Yes you read it correctly, fake foods or counterfeit foods are allegedly being sold around South Africa to the poorest population with serious health implications.

How Bikes Helped Cut Malaria Deaths by 96% in This Zambia District – As simple a thing as bikes can help poor nations and communities to get access to health and other services.

Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Intelligence, Study Finds – So we should probably do something about it.

 

Plastic

Iceland Is The First UK Supermarket To Sell Plastic Free Chewing Gum – And by this, they do not mean the packaging but the actual gum that you chew. Who would’ve thought that it is even legal to have petroleum-based substances in our consumables? Now you definitely don’t want to swallow it.

Decomposing Plastic Revealed As Hidden Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

UK Plastic Pact Is Central To Forming A Circular Economy – In the mids of all the plastic fears this article tells about a pragmatic approach to tackle the plastic problem. Although, it discusses the circular approach it still doesn’t pinpoint how customers will be involved in it, or how they will make sure no toxic chemicals will be left in the recycled plastics.

This Is The Single Greatest Cause Of Ocean Trash – Lately, we have been hearing about cigarette buts and there is a reason behind it. Maybe it would be time to regulate this.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Recycling

Down With Upcycling? – With so many companies using waste products to make new products are they just using new sources of materials or are they thinking of the whole lifecycle of the product until the end?

 

Food

EU Households Waste Over 17 Billion Kg Of Fresh Fruit And Vegetables a Year – That is an astounding number and we all should start checking whether we actually eat all of the fruit and veg in our households.

Glyphosate Found In Breakfast Cereal In the US – Also found in the UK (especially in bread) as farmers keep using the pesticide before harvest so it is more likely to stay in our food. Buy organic to keep away from the carcinogen and if you want to help affect change in this in the UK you can donate money to Soil Association.

 

Fashion

France Is About To Ban Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Clothing – The idea is that the stores could give the clothes to charities and although this would be a great idea, I don’t think the volume of clothing that would go to charities would do good for either of the industries, I can almost see history repeating what happened to fashion outlets. It is important to do something about the volume of clothing that is thrown away by retailers and brands, but I am not sure if gifting them to charities is the way to go forward.

Why This Factory Is Making Its Factory Wages Public – An excellent initiative that will hopefully be shared by many other brands and bring even more visibility to this problem. Although, I don’t think it should only be factory workers wages, everybody in the company and the supply chain to provide a proper comparison.

Everlane Is Launching ‘Clean Silk’ In a Move Toward Greater Sustainability – The company’s plans are great and I am impressed with how they are reducing harmful chemicals from the production, however, not sure why there was no talk about using peace silk, only organic, which would’ve made the silk even more sustainable.

Shoppers Are Buying Clothes Just For The Instagram Pic, And Then Returning Them – This article talks about a deep-rooted problem in the fashion industry to which Instagram, OOTD and a new outfit for each pic are a fuel. If clothes can be even more disposable than before how can we ever change the fashion industry?

Adidas Launches FW’18 Collection Made Of Recycled Polyester, Organic Cotton – It’s great to hear that the brand is making changes to their ranges, however, this range is designed by Stella McCartney, I would like to see them changing completely to more sustainable materials!

Stella McCartney Evasive On Unsold Stock Issue – For a company that supports sustainability I am surprised and saddened that it is not more transparent on their own supply chains.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Ecosystems

Effects of Overfishing On Ocean Health – This describes very well the different problems overfishing has on marine life and it’s ecosystems.

Why Are Elephants Important To African Ecosystem – Although I’ve always thought they are important I never quite knew how important they are! Let’s save them all!

Climate Change’s Latest Casualty: Cute, Tiny Puffin – Unfortunately with the ocean animals are finding it harder to find their food and have to travel longer to get to their source of nutrition.

Scientists Just Discovered A Coral Reef Off The Coast of South Carolina – And it needs to be protected against oil and gas industry!

Top Performing Microbes Could Be Key To Sustainable Agriculture – Taking an example from nature at it’s best!

 

I think I might need to start doing these weekly as there are so many links to go through. What do you think weekly or monthly?

With love,

Lii

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us?

Whenever I find a new fashion brand or a shop I am always excited by the imagery and marketing message they are telling me. It is obvious the modern successful brands are good at providing a persuading brand image. They get me wanting a new piece of clothing or buy into their message and it is only after the sustainable fashion movement became a driving force that we’ve learned how the fashion industry works and what we are supposed to be looking for when choosing a new product or a brand to by into. But how available is the information to the general consumer? Not very, as many companies rather through around green buzzwords rather than back them up. In the last 5 days, I’ve stumbled upon 3 new brands which sounded interesting and I had to message all 3 of them questioning the information missing from their sites and confirm whether they are as sustainable as they claim to be.

It is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and many companies like to hide things that we consumers wouldn’t like to see or we might stop buying from those brands.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

ANIMAL CRUELTY

The public outcry after we saw the tortured angora bunnies in a Chinese factory. Did those companies really not know what was happening to those animals, or were they hiding this from their consumers? Animal cruelty still happens throughout the fashion supply chains.

Leather is a very much unregulated trade, unlike fur, because the consumer presumption is that leather is always a by-product. It is often not so, especially if it’s something else than cow leather. Animals might’ve been kept in poor conditions. Fur on the other hand, due to consumer outcry, is strictly regulated even more so than wool industry. Wool, which is one of the greatest fibres can be cruel to animals. The animals can be kept poorly and shearing them is not always stress-free. In addition, some of the sheep have been bred to provide certain wool for the consumers use.

Look for brands that are selling cruelty-free products, who talk about how they treat their animals. The smaller the brand the better, as with big quantities they don’t have the time to take care of their animals.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

TOXIC CLOTHING

Do you know if your clothes are good for the environment or to you? There is a lot of information about how the production of clothes in many cases is dangerous to the labour and how the factories pollute the surrounding waters and the environment. Companies and factories have tried to keep this a secret, but the truth has come out. However, what is less talked about but as relevant is how the toxins might still be in the clothes we wear every day on our skin. You wouldn’t put toxic beauty products on your skin so how is clothing different? It is not.

When attending a talk in Berlin during a green fashion week about innovative textiles I heard a woman ask why aren’t we just coming up with a new textile which is originally good for us rather than incorporating good ingredients into textiles that are not so great?

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

I hadn’t before this thought about how toxic our clothes could be to us and it horrifies me know the way we think about fashion. I’ve come across many young women who want to find fashion that is brightly coloured, sequined, tight, different and CHEAP. Cheap clothing comes from Asian factories which do not have as stringent laws against chemicals as in Europe. The bright colours so sought for are the result of chemicals added to the die. And to transport these clothes without mould and wrinkles into our stores they are sprayed with chemicals. Manmade fibres are made with petrol based fibres that are full of chemicals and cotton is grown with pesticides. All these chemicals still exist in our clothes when we wear them and through friction and heat, they get absorbed by our skin.

We want these clothes and the companies hide these facts from us. In Europe, the law only requires companies to tell what fibres the clothes are made from, not what chemicals were used to make them. However, those chemicals can affect skin irritations, allergies and other more problematic health conditions. Some chemicals often found in our clothes: pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame retardants, other carcinogens and lead.

Read more about toxicity in clothes from Leotie Lovely, World Threads Traveler, Mochni and Eluxe. In fashion look for brands that produce clothing with toxic free dies and garments made closer to home require fewer chemicals to travel with.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

WASTE

It is widely known that the clothing we throw away becomes waste, but as recently reported to surprised and outraged consumers, companies burn the clothes they have produced too much off. It was Burberry that was under fire lately, but Burberry is only one of the many many big fashion corporations that do this. And it is not only clothes but fabrics and materials as well. When interning for a fashion company even I saw it and couldn’t fathom the waste of all the beautiful fabrics that many of us interns could’ve used on our Uni courses. And this is not talking about the waste that accumulated from designing (all the paper and energy), sampling (fabric cut offs, sample garments) and the production (fabric cut offs, thread etc.). And although that is the waste the company accumulated, you are paying for the waste. The garments are priced to cover for the waste materials as well.

Look for small brands that make fashion in small batches. This reduces the waste they create and supports their trade.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

SALE IS ONLY AN ILLUSION

It should be a common knowledge by now that outlet’s do not really sell designer clothing, but rather poorer quality clothing that they can attach a designer label on. The fact that the design labels have agreed to this is astounding, as those clothes still represent the brand even with the poorer quality.

However, what is not as commonly known are the discounts in stores. They claim to be to sell off the rest of the stock before the next season’s clothing and where that might’ve been the original reason and still one of the reasons, the bigger reason is consumers want the discounted items and wait for it. When much of the stock is sold at the discounted price the original price is steeper so that the stockholders will still get their share from the sales.

Support small brands that might not do so many sales, but who also rarely overprice their products. The customer service you get from them is also priceless!

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

CONTRADICTION TO MARKETING MESSAGE (OR GREENWASHING)

  • Using sustainability as a marketing tactic to sell products.
  • Companies providing a good message, but not doing the work behind the message.
  • Marketing a new innovation but not telling the whole truth.

Fashion companies are very skilled at branding and marketing an image that consumers want to see. That image sells, but only few will look behind the image to see whether the message is true to the core. Since sustainability and ethical fashion has become somewhat of a trend movement many companies have seen the potential to make money out of this by either selling a message that they are doing their bit for the fight (and really are not) or selling products with positive messages about saving the planet or feminism, with products that are more harmful for both. Beyonce’s Ivy Park line has been under scrutiny for promoting empowered women, but seemingly not empowering the women who made the clothes. SZA promotes sustainability and dumping plastic on clothes that are made by Champion, a company not so sustainable or one producing without plastic. Even though the proceeds go to fund the charities fighting for these problems the merchandise should not add to the problem. And then there are the feminist t-shirts that are made by women who are definitely not empowered.

Then there is the other side where small companies are trying to innovate something new and promote themselves tot he bigger audience with their innovation but leaving out information. I have been so excited to hear about fashion made out of waste products such as milk, apple waste, banana, lotus flower and seaweed. All renewable and sustainable options, however, not all are what they are marketing. Fabric made out of seaweed only actually has 4% of seaweed and the rest is cellulose, lyocell. However, at least Seacell does provide this information when looking for their specs, whereas other companies don’t. Bags cannot be made 100% out of apple waste, they need a binding agent, however, we do not read about that even though the company claims to be transparent.

Look for the information the companies tell you and question it. Ask them questions about their products and depending on their answers you can see how open they are about their products or whether they still want to hide something.

 

Ethical and Sustainable fashion is not all about making the world a better place. It is also about making better decisions for yourself and your health.

 

Unfortunately, companies are not happy to reveal information that is not entirely positive and often we might be sold something that isn’t entirely true. We can’t always blame the faces for what fashion industry is like, however, if we all question how the clothes are made, who made them and what chemicals were used to make them we might see change. Remember to share your findings with others, but to also be kind to those brands who are striving and working to be better. It is time for the fashion brands to stop hiding behind the closed doors!

Pictures by Godisable Jacob.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii

Sustainable News Of The Month May 2018

What people are doing around the world

45,000 Norwegians Join Massive Beach Clean Up – Since 2011 Norwegians started a custom when they go to clean up their beaches in growing recognition of the ocean pollution. Every country should be doing this and not only have one day a year but much more often!

Fed Up With Plastic, This Man Got Kenya To Ban It – Such an inspiring story about a man who didn’t stop but worked until he got his wish and made his country better for it!

Hawaii Lawmakers OK Ban On All Sunscreens Harmful To Coral Reef – Excellent and hopefully this will make people recognise how they might harm the coral reefs!

A Team Of Female Engineers Brought Running Water To This Guatemalan Village – Instead of going to celebrate spring break they decided to help a community and making their life easier, making especially women’s lives easier. How amazing!

Sustainable News Of The Month May 2018 - byLiiL

Social

This App Hopes To Reduce Child Marriages In Bangladesh – A place where especially girls are still forced to marry when they are children. Let’s hope this is coming to an end with this app!

Malawi Just Made It Easier For Women To Run For Office – Malawi is striving for equality and has reduced the price women would pay to apply for office by 25%.

Sustainable News Of The Month May 2018 - byLiiL

Fashion

Reimagined Future For Sustainable Nanomaterials – What our future will be made of and what future designers will be working with, as long as it will be made sustainable!

Calling Into Question Ethical-Sourcing Certificates – Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of unethical practices and therefore shopping trends are changing towards more ethical, however, can they really trust all the certificates out there?

How Apparel Sector In Vietnam Promoting ‘Business Sustainability’ Concept – As an answer to Rana Plaza Vietnam is changing their manufacturing to be more social and increasing employees wages.

Can Transparency Alone Transform the Fashion Industry – Is one of the topics discussed at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Very interesting!

Brands Take Note: Gen Z Is Putting Money Where Its Values Are – Again, not surprising, but I am so happy to see that a growing number of people is thinking about their values when shopping.

Aquafil-H&M Collaboration, Cotton-Dyeing Process Making Textiles More ‘Effective’ – A new innovation into cotton fibre making it more absorbent when dyeing, therefore, requiring fewer chemicals and water in the process.

Sustainable News Of The Month May 2018 - byLiiL

Food and Environment

Extend The Sugar Tax – With the UK’s introduction of sugar tax, many companies are replacing sugar with other additives which aren’t any better for us.

How Safe Is Chrolinated Chicken? – It appears that it’s not very safe, but it required research to confirm it.

Soil Pollution Is The Next Major Hurdle In Combating Climate Change, Expert Says – I am not surprised by this, but I am surprised by how long it has taken to take this seriously!

“Deforestation-free” Palm Oil Is Not As Simple As It Sounds – And when it comes to sustainability nothing seems to be, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. But check this article for why it is not so simple.

Black Rhinos Make Triumphant Return To Chad After Being Killed Off – And I wish them luck and hope they will be well protected there!!

Shocking Study Shows One Third of World’s Protected Areas Degraded By Human Activities – It is the sad reality we live in and only understanding them will we be able to change things.

Sustainable News Of The Month May 2018 - byLiiL

Other

The UK Might Ban Wet Wipes To Cut Down On Plastic Waste – As part of their 25-year plan, one of the UK governments plans is to cut down on single-use plastics.

How Michelin Is Finding A Second Life For Tires – One way when I am impressed with a company that purchases another company. Michelin bought another company not to greenwash their own but to gain the knowledge of how to recycle their tires.

Every Google Search You Do Contributes To The Climate Change – “That’s because Google relies on a vast physical infrastructure of servers, routers, and cables that all depend on electricity to operate, according to Quartz.”

 

 

If you have any other articles you might want to share, please share them in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii

 

Sustainable Chania

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

CHANIA

Chania is a beautiful town in Crete, which is an island of Greece. The island is fairly big and offers long coastlines with sandy beaches, beautiful mountain ranges towards the centre of the island, farmlands, wildlife and ruins to remind of its rich history. It is favoured location to holiday, especially for the Scandinavians and German. You can see the island filled with tourists from April to October walking leisurely pavements among cats that are napping either in stores or on the streets, which the island is full of.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Tourism is the islands main income followed by farming, and both of these occupations employ a big number of the island’s population. However, unemployment is still strongly prevalent, especially among the millennials. There is no proper benefit system and the government is not working to encourage people to get work. Nevertheless, the island does not really see any crime and the atmosphere is quite relaxed all around.

Greece has a history of corrupt politicians and the people do not trust them, therefore try to avoid paying taxes in many cases. However, that is part of the problem as there is no money then to support the country. On the island, you might see many different ways the companies avoid paying taxes. Sometimes they do not provide you with a receipt at all and most tourists don’t dare to question this practice. Some might give you a receipt for half of your meal and write the rest by hand on a piece of receipt paper. Some receipts look like receipts, but might not be. To make sure you help contribute to the local economy you can check your receipt for the following VAT number.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

FOOD

Most of the food you’ll eat in Crete is made out of local produce; either locally grown fruits and vegetables, freshly fished seafood or locally grown meat. Crete is famous for its healthy diet and it’s locally grown olives and olive oil, as well as cheese such as myzithra, which is delicious! Organic farming is a growing practice and you can find several farms which offer you a glimpse of organic farm life and an organic meal, however, these are mostly out of town.

Seafood is very common in Crete and every morning or even during the day you could see fishermen on their small boats sailing out to fish and then sell their gain to local people and restaurants and then sell the rest on the markets. During the day and especially evening you can see individuals fishing quietly in the harbour.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Wine is the most common accompaniment for meals. Most restaurants will offer house wine made by themselves, but there are many wineries in Crete as well, in addition to few beer breweries. Venetian harbour is full of restaurants that offer various cuisines, however, I found them to be too touristy for my taste and rather ventured to the narrow streets of the Old Town to find a place to eat. We were lucky enough to have a taste of home-made food as well as try a couple of great restaurants:

  • I would definitely recommend Tamam with their great selection of greek food with some delicious vegetarian dishes, their greek salad was massive and filled me for several hours! I wasn’t the only one who loved the restaurant, as we walked past it every day several times, we noticed it was almost always full and during the evening time, it was difficult to get a table if you hadn’t booked one in advance. Tamam pride themselves on sourcing high-quality food from local farmers and their workforce which is loyal and some even reach their retirement age by working in their restaurant, which is a great thing to hear from a company in Greece! You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 25-30 euros.
  • Semiramis had a beautiful traditional Greek setting and a quiet location with great greek food selection. This is mostly an outdoor restaurant, but on a cooler weather, they have a tarp that covers the dining area. Semiramis also prides themselves on sourcing their food from local farmers, but also for their entertainment during the evenings with local bands playing Cretan music. You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 30-35 euros.
  • Tsalikis is a taverna under the hotel Melanis and is a bit outside the city centre area but alongside a beautiful beach. It is a seafood restaurant located in the perfect place to look at the absolutely gorgeous sunset. We sat looking at the sunset for over an hour whilst the ocean hum next to us quietly making the evening feel very calm and serene. They offer absolutely massive portions of food which are meant to be shared and they offer a big variety of fresh seafood. The owner of the restaurant is very friendly and the atmosphere in the taverna is quite relaxed. You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 20-25 euros.
  • Kormoranos cafe situated just off the Venetian harbour on Theotokopoulou was my favourite place to get my breakfast. They offered various local pastries, greek yoghurt with local fruits and honey, as well as omelettes and sandwiches. Greek coffee was served in nearly every cafe, but Kormoranos was one of the only ones that also served Cretan mountain tea, which is delicious! You could also get fresh juice and local deserts. The service was very friendly and the street quiet with a view to the sea.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

SHOPPING

Cretans continue the tradition of pottery making, weaving, needlework, woodcarving and leatherwork, which you can see in many shops around the island. However, to recognise the products made by Cretan’s or sourced from Taiwan or China to be sold to tourists can be tricky, as everything is marketed as handmade. I saw many leather sandal shops selling their sandals for 20 euros and commenting on how they were handmade, which might be true but doesn’t sound like ethically or artisan made products. Most artisans had their shop alongside their workshop, which is one way to recognise local artisans, also the price was a good way to recognise what was made in Crete. Many tourist shops offered cheap touristy products, to be fair that is what most tourists would buy and that is how the shop owners would make the money. Whereas artisan stores or boutiques were a bit more hidden but offered beautiful treasures with definitely higher prices.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Theotokopoulou had a few beautiful little boutiques with artisan made pottery, jewellery and other items, as well as design-led shops. Although, I would visit the street because of its charm. It is quiet and beautiful!

Kondilaki was a street full of touristy shops, artisan stores, a couple of ethical stores as well as a couple of restaurants. I really like the Elephant Store and a couple of other stores right next to it, the names of which unfortunately I don’t remember any more.

I loved the shop Memorabilia with its design-led and very clever products, which was situated on Episkopou Chrisanthou.

Many shops offered clothing that was printed locally and even more offered local beauty products made with locally grown olive oil. So far my favourite brand which I tried was BIOselect.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

ACCOMMODATION

Most sustainable accommodation options would be based out of Chania in small villages where sustainable tourism is starting to grow with the village and farm experience see Vamos and Agreco. If you want to stay in town, however, there are some better options.

Airbnb – Renting other persons flat or a room in a flat is always a way to get to know the town as though you belong in it. You see better how people live there and you are providing a person with an income.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Villa – There are plenty of villa’s to be rented all around Chania. These are self-serving and if you book one that does not promise room service and cleaning every day the better option it is.

Small hotel – I had difficulty finding a hotel that had definitely sustainable credentials, but I had several hotels that were owned and run by a local person. The hotel is their life and they treat it in that way. They offer good service to their guests and by leaving a “do not disturb” sign on your door you make sure they won’t change your sheets and towels too often. Check Casa Veneta.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

TRANSPORT

Before travelling to Crete we did our online research into Chania, what to see and about the public transport, but outside of sights that are meant for tourists, there was little information (or we just weren’t able to find any). Many tourists rent a car for the trip, which is fairly easy, as there are many car renting companies about and they will bring the car to you even to your hotel. However, there are quite a few problems with the car renting companies from some companies providing cars with broken parts or others charging your credit card additional amount a few months later. As this resulted in untrustful customers many car renting companies now offer to rent for cash which is very easy and straightforward. However, electric or hybrid cars were rare as there aren’t really any charging spots for them, although this may be changing in the future.

Chania is a fairly small city and you can walk nearly everywhere within it. There is a bus station in the centre of Chania where you get good information on bus journeys and buses leave around every 20 minutes to different popular locations, so there is no need for a car unless you want to travel at your own pace and into locations that are not as easy to reach with a bus. Bus fares are fairly cheap, the airport bus takes around 30 minutes and costs less than 5 euros per person, whereas a taxi from the airport to city centre is around 25 euros. In addition, drivers in Chania are fairly erratic with speedy driving and not always paying attention to the rules. We didn’t see any car crashes, but to a drivers eye, it was scary to think of driving among those drivers. So if you decide to take a car to drive in Chania be careful and make sure you follow the road rules.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

WHAT TO DO

  • Walk around the old town and Venetian harbour – Crete is an island full of history which can be seen in Chania pretty well. The island was occupied at various times by Romans, Ottomans, Venetians and the ancient Minoans. The city’s architecture and ruins still carry many signs of the ancient times alongside its modern culture. The whole city is relaxed and oozes you to take it easy and enjoy your life. You can find restaurants or cafe’s on almost any street in the old town, and gelato can be bought long until midnight. The Venetian harbour is gorgeous at night time, although I have to warn that every restaurant will try to talk you into having a drink or food at their establishment.
  • Lighthouse – Lighthouse is one of the main attractions in Chania and can be seen from the Venetian harbour. If you want to see the harbour better have a walk to the Lighthouse, which is free but can take a while. You can see small fish in the water and the ocean humming on the other side. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes as the walk is longer than it looks and the road is not smooth, but it is a beautiful view!
  • Ruins – There are ruins all around the city and going out of the city. Walking around the old town you can see a Mosque and old Harbour fortification. On the east side of the city in Souda, you can find Ancient Aptera and if you continue further towards Stilos you’ll find Archaeological sit of Azoires. On the south side of the western Crete there is the Ancient city of Lissos, and in Kissamos you can find an Ancient city of Polyrinia and Archaeological site of Polyrrhenia. There are many more if you search a bit online and each of them will show you a little part of the history of the island.
  • Archeological Museum – There is one in most big cities of Crete, the one I visited was in Chania. It exhibited relics and findings of archaeological digs around the island and especially around Chania. It was filled with a lot of history and I was surprised at the detail of items people made 4000 years ago! It is also a great place to hide if it is starting to get too hot outside.
  • Orthodox Cathedral – The main religion on the island is Orthodox and the island has orthodox churches dotted all around. Many of them really small, some really beautiful! The cathedral is right in the centre of the old town and is worth a visit to see the history and the beautiful building.
  • Visit the Market – There is a market at least once a week on Minoos where you can find fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese and other food ingredients.
  • Go to the Beach – There are several beaches in Chania, the famous tourist beach is Nea Chora, which is not too far from the city centre and has a bunch of cafes and restaurants right at its side. Koum Kapi beach is on the other side of the old town and close to the Market. It is a beautiful beach, but very small. There are also Kladissos, Aptera, Chrissi Akti, Agioi Apostoloi and Agii Apostoloi.
  • Botanical Gardens – Build out of aches of the 2003 devastating fire, stand botanical gardens right at the root of the White Mountains. It offers a beautiful trek in nature, relaxing with local and foreign plants.
  • Boat trips and Watersports – There are several different boat trips available for tourists who want to see the ocean from a glass bottom boat, or go to a near small beach to go snorkelling, diving or just swimming. Paraglyding trips are offered at some of the beaches as well as luxury boat rides. Please be considerate of the wildlife!
  • Stargazing – The island of Crete is great for stargazing. If you are not in a centre of a city there is much less light pollution and you are able to see the star constellations with a naked eye. Did you know, most of the constellations we know today come from the ancient Greeks, so where better to learn stories about them whilst looking at the beautiful Universe? Check trips here.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

 

I hope you got as excited about this charming little city as I am!

With love,

Lii

 

Favourite Instagram Pictures of March and April

I seem to have forgotten my favourite Instagram pictures from March so I have added them to the April ones. This spring I have been dreaming of light and warm spring and summer days and I think it shows in the posts I like. In addition, I have been enjoying all the empowering messages online, especially to do with feminism and sustainability.

 

What were your favourite Instagram pictures this spring?

With love,

Lii