THE WHOLESOME TRUTH – WELCOME TO MY BLOG

Proprietor Sally Hayes

Hello, I'm Sally Hayes and I run Tod Almighty.  I've started this blog because I want to offer some back-story on why we sell what we do, why we think some of our suppliers are brilliant, and ideas for living more sustainably.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  You can reply to any of the posts below (but replies are moderated to avoid spam) – I look forward to hearing from you!

Sally


Posts in the category of 'Reducing waste'...


Some of Tod Almighty's refills for household detergents, etc.
Some of Tod Almighty's refills for household detergents, etc.

Microplastics and Minimi

This month’s (July and August 2021) ‘Ethical Consumer Magazine’ was looking at refills of household detergents, etc., which of course we sell a lot of in the shop. We stock mostly ‘Miniml’ household detergents as they are environmentally friendly, vegan and kind to skin, and they are a local company with a ‘closed loop’ system whereby they collect the empty barrels and take them back to wash and refill, rather than recycle. 

I love ECM and always read it from cover to cover, as do a lot of our customers. However, this month I was horrified to read that not only was Miniml rated lower in ECM’s charts than expected, but that they said Miniml’s washing up liquid contained microplastics!! You can imagine I was straight on to Miniml to ask them if this was true. Scott from the company assured me that on this occasion ECM had made a mistake, their products DO NOT contain microplastics and ECM had changed their report on their online magazine, to which unfortunately you do need to subscribe to read in full. See https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/home-garden/shopping-guide/ethical-laundry-detergents




I’ve checked and they are right, ECM has changed the part about microplastics to… "As well as potential microplastics, there may be liquid polymers in your cleaners. Liquid polymers are not plastics, but they are also poorly biodegradable and remain for years in our ecosystem with unknown consequences…. Companies that got a best rating for [not using] microplastics and liquid polymers were: Bide, Bio-D, ecoleaf, Friendly Soap, Faith in Nature, Greenscents, Miniml, Planet Detox, SESI, Sodasan and Sonett.”

They also increased Miniml’s rating from 13 to 15, making them joint third best in the market, and above others like Ecoleaf. So, considering they are quite a bit cheaper than a lot of their competitors, and they refill rather than recycle their containers, I think that is much more acceptable. Phew! As we have been asked a few times about it by customers, I thought I would post to the blog to reassure people that Miniml is indeed pretty ethical and environmentally friendly.

 



Some of the plastic free items in the shop
Some of the plastic free items in the shop

Plastic Free July

Imagine! The world has been entirely plastic-free since whale-saviour Tim Minchin gave us all a musical aide memoire to sing before departing for the shops, and we now take the month of July to celebrate that fact and pay tribute to the dolphins who helped us to make it to our enlightened and entirely renewable times. Wouldn’t that be nice? But no, not yet, the world’s arteries remain clogged with the cellophane lids off meal deal pasta salads, and our arteries are becoming increasingly clogged with tiny particles of the same.

Plastic is one of those problems which seem so huge and unsurmountable it’s very difficult to look at them directly as it is just too depressing! But there are lots of new initiatives popping up that combined together can help us as consumers to really have an impact. You probably have heard of things like reusable coffee cups, bamboo toothbrushes, refills of washing up liquid and laundry liquid, wooden washing up brushes, jute shopping bags etc etc. We’ve been selling stuff like this for a while and we have never found so much passion and determination among our customers to use them to reduce their plastic waste. And running the shop I have been repeatedly delighted to find that suppliers are addressing the packaging issue as well, with stock items like little glass bottles of essential oil now arriving in shredded paper packaging rather than bubblewrap, and Optibac probiotics FINALLY arriving in little glass jars rather than plastic tubs (thank you thank you Optibac!). So although there are lots of feelings of despair and helplessness around the state of plastic pollution, especially in our oceans, there are also reasons for hope. And Plastic Free July exists to turn that hope into action – to be, as they put it “part of the solution” and join the many millions of others reducing their plastic waste.




Started in Australia in 2011, the Plastic Free Foundation wants people to commit to new plastic-reduction techniques throughout the month of July. No straws, bringing your own mug to the cafe, refillable porridge oat dispensers – that sort of thing. The movement survived the Coronavirus pandemic and is back this year with the message that even “when things were out of our control, we could have control on something, and it was our own behaviour.” And if nobody asks for or buys the alternative, there will be no alternative. Of course there is a long way to go, but as the Plastic Free July website says: “We don't need one person doing it perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly.” For more inspiring stories look on their website, www.plasticfreejuly.org

It’s tempting to not want to open our eyes and look at the state of the world, it’s tempting to feel overburdened and keep the blinkers on. But if seeing what is really happening and feeling the pain and holding the problem in our brains for a moment longer than is comfortable leads to a tiny improvement in our own personal relationship with plastic waste, then we’ve done our bit for the day.

I know how depressing it can be at times, but there is a lot we can do as individuals, while we wait for the powers that be to get their fingers out. Tod Almighty is a “reduce plastic waste” shop (please note, NOT a “zero waste shop, as I don’t think that’s really possible) where we offer a wide range of refills both of wholefoods and detergents that you can fill your own containers with, thereby bypassing packaging altogether. You can refill that washing up liquid bottle dozens of times before it falls apart,and think of the reduction of plastic in the environment just from that one little thing. And it’s cheaper. Drop in and see what else we can offer.

(Thanks to Georges for his input in this)




Everyone loves a washing up brush!
Everyone loves a washing up brush!

 



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