It's never been more talked about and it's never been as important as it is now. The environmental crisis that we are in is something that concerns us all, of all ages, across the globe. It seems to be a highly contentious issue but that doesn't mean we should shy away from discussing it and calling out those people that are spreading dis-information and 'fake news'. Here at Knit Kit HQ we take environmental and climate concerns seriously both at work and at play and we wanted to share with you what we can all do to try and make the world a better place for our children.
One of the biggest news themes of 2018 was plastic waste. In 2018 Lou at Knit Kit HQ was commissioned to research and write a training module on Ocean Plastics for Scuba Schools International so she has researched plastic waste extensively and she'll tell you that it's no laughing matter.
There's more to plastic pollution than the problems that we have with the end product which we often have difficulty disposing of. The majority of plastic is made from fossil hydrocarbons which are extracted from the Earth by fracking, drilling and mining. So it's a double whammy - the plastic waste and the destruction caused to the Earth by new plastic production methods. Recent estimates tell us that 6 billion tons of plastic has become waste since the 1950's and of that, 79% is in landfill or the natural environment.
Plastic waste is found across the planet, in every ocean, in the stomach of millions of creatures and even in our drinking water. We are committed as a business and as individuals to do something about this and we hope you will join us in our efforts too.
Our Commitments to the environment.
1. Use as little plastic as possible in our products.
Currently we use a plastic tapestry needle in our knit kits. This is not a one-time use item. We do urge our customers to use and keep this needle for as long as you can (hopefully a lifetime).
We occasionally send products to Amazon for dispatch and we are obliged to pack them in plastic envelopes. We are currently trying to source compostable / recyclable envelopes for this purpose.
Our kit bags also include a plastic zip. We hope that our kit bags are used for a very long time, we have designed them to be high quality and long lasting.
We have chosen bamboo knitting needles for our kits from renewable sources as opposed to metal or plastic ones. As well as being more environmentally friendly we also think you get the best knitting experience with bamboo knitting needles.
2. Use as little disposable packaging as possible.
We want our customers to throw as little packaging away as possible when they receive a kit or yarn from us in the post. This is why we sell our kits in re-usable cotton kit bags.
Buy a kit and you now have something to keep your yarn and work in progress in until you have too much yarn to fit in it! If you want to make a kit again you only need to order the yarn (rather than order the kit all over again) or if you've already got a kit bag then you can head over to kit refills to buy more yarn and a pattern for another project.
We don't use any unnecessary packaging materials when sending out our kits to people - no extra wrapping / tissue paper or plastic packaging.
3. Use packaging that can be recycled.
We send our kits out to our customers in reusable and recyclable paper envelopes. See the postie with an old fashioned brown big paper envelope? That's your order from us.
Lou and I often post items between us and have managed to use the same envelope for months on end as they're incredibly sturdy! Why not keep your postage bag instead of recycling it immediately and send some parcels to pals (think of all the knitting you can send now!).
4. Use only natural fibres
Lou's research really brought the issue of micro-plastics and synthetic fibres to our attention. These synthetic fibres have been found to be contaminating our water systems, including drinking water. We're obviously not a fan of this - who wants a tummy full of plastic fluff? Not us.
We designed our yarn to be 100% merino wool which is 100% biodegradable and can even be chucked on the compost heap to decompose (if you so desire). Many other yarns are blends which mix a synthetic fibre with a type of wool. These are not 100% biodegradable and the synthetic fibres come off in the wash and get washed into the water treatment system and end back up in your water. Not good.
What else can you do in 2019 to commit to helping the environment.
1. Keep using your cotton bags for your groceries and keep those single use plastic bags out of the landfill.
2. Make sure that you and all your family have a re-usable water bottle for the car, school or your desk. Water from the tap is usually good and tasty enough (especially if you're lucky enough to live in Scotland).
3. Try to make small every day decisions to make a change - don't put your bananas or other veg/fruit in a plastic bag at the supermarket - you know you just stick it in the bin when you get home!
4. Recycle as much as you can. It might take a few more minutes to clean it but it's easy and a good habit to get into.
5. Encourage others to do the same as you - your children, your neighbour (my neighbour used to do NO recycling - glass or plastics - until I had a friendly word with him and he's done it ever since). If you are in a public place and they don't have recycling bins then find the person in charge and ask them why not - send them an email or give them a call.
6. Make sure your makeup doesn't have any microbeads in it and if they can't tell you whether they do or not then don't buy it. Disappointingly, my favourite make-up brand couldn't tell me if their face scrub had microbeads in it so I went and got one from a brand that could tell me (that they didn't!).
7. Balloons and plastic straws/cutlery. None of these are essential. If you're in a pub or a restaurant then just tell them you don't need a straw and try to find alternatives to balloons if you need to celebrate something! Let's get rid of these single-use plastics.
8. Don't litter and take your rubbish with you when you're out. If you see someone dropping litter why not pick it up and politely tell them that they dropped something. Let your children and other peoples' children know that dropping rubbish is never acceptable.
9. There are a hundred other ways that you can help in your own way. If we all do a little (or a lot) then we can help keep our planet fresh, clean and healthy.
Do you want to learn more about how you can help the environment?
- The 5 Gyre Institute is a non-profit organisation who want to empower people to act against plastic pollutions through science, education and adventure. Check them out if you want some ideas on how to shop plastic-free.
- The Marine Conservation Society are a UK based charity who work to drive political, cultural and social change in support of healthy sea, coasts and wildlife. See how you can support them or find events you can join in with!
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Inspired? Go Knitting :)