A visit to London’s first zero waste store

Bulk opened at the end of August and has been doing a brisk business ever since.

London’s first-ever zero waste store is located on Kingsland Road in Hackney. The storefront is simple and subtle, with one small sign indicating its name, Bulk, and an attractive window display of fresh pastries, loaves of multigrain bread, and baskets of beautiful produce to draw in curious passersby.

Inside, Bulk feels like an oasis, far from the four lanes of rushing traffic just outside the door and the flashing, gaudy signs of neighboring stores. This is zero waste land, after all, a place where conscientious shoppers come to escape the trappings of consumerism and buy products in their purest form.

Bulk window© K Martinko

I went to see Bulk this week, having written about its launch several months ago. I met Ingrid Caldironi, the founder, and her new business partner, Bruna. Together, we talked about the zero waste scene in London, how Bulk is doing, and what the future holds.

People have been wonderfully receptive, Caldironi told me. Saturdays are the busiest shopping day, with some people traveling an hour and a half on the train to buy food. Those who walk in unprepared can purchase bottles or bags, or use a jar from the donated ‘jar bank’. For the most part, though, people have read about the store online and come equipped.

I am impressed by the variety of products. Bulk sells loose eggs, cheese, olive oil, vinegar, dry goods, spices, coffee, dog food, toilet paper, and solid oils and butters, among other things. Caldironi is diligent about sourcing within a 100-mile range, although a few imported products come from France and the Netherlands — “no bananas flown in from Dominican Republic.”

Bulk store floor© K Martinko

organic eggs© K Martinko

When asked about health and safety regulations, so often touted by Canadian supermarkets as the reason for not allowing customers to refill their own containers, Caldironi said no such rules exist in Britain. She did extensive research and was inspected by the health authority, which loved her concept.

“It’s not about regulations. It’s about the supermarkets’ own policies. There’s nothing in health regulations that says we can’t refill, or that it’s unsafe, or that it’s unhygienic.”

Caldironi also takes pre-sale packaging into consideration. Most dry goods come in paper bags; olive oil comes in tins; and cleaning products come in refillable plastic jugs. This means Bulk cannot be called a ‘plastic-free’ store, but Caldironi said that’s not the point: “Our goal is to shorten the supply chain in order to reduce the overall amount of plastic.”

zero waste sign© K Martinko — The funky custom-made sign that hangs above the till

Not everything has gone smoothly. A crowdfunding campaign failed to meet its target, and the current location is only a pop-up, its lease expiring at the end of this year, but Caldironi remains optimistic. She has secured a new commission fund that will allow her to get a lease elsewhere, but still needs to raise money to equip a larger space.

Once she gets that, she plans to outfit the store with reclaimed fabrics from the Royal Opera Company and install countertops made from upcycled yogurt pots. The new space will include a composting facility and a room for community workshops.

How did her zero waste journey start? Surprisingly, Caldironi formerly worked in marketing for the oil industry, “helping convenience retailers set up shops in service stations.” After reading an article about Lauren Singer (founder of Trash is for Tossers), she wanted to live differently. Eventually she quit her job to open Bulk and is now “living the perfect life.”

Ingrid & Bruna© K Martinko — Ingrid & Bruna, business partners in zero waste

But she realizes that zero waste shopping alone won’t save the world. The biggest problem is design:

“It’s absurd that people pay to hold rubbish that’s the end product of an item manufactured by a company. [It’s the company that] should be responsible for it, not the people who are paying taxes for all the infrastructure required to recycle it.”

Until then, her store will smooth the way for the many shoppers who do wish to reduce their trash and who deserve retailers that support that goal.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-home/visit-londons-first-zero-waste-store.html

What I’ve noticed during a week of wandering around London

It is interesting to see which environmental actions are prioritized in foreign cities.

I have spent the past week in London, England. The official reason for my trip was to attend the Lush Prize awards ceremony, but now I’m exploring the city for several days on my own. I spend my time writing in the morning, walking the streets in the afternoon, and meeting friends in the evening. It’s a good, albeit temporary, interlude in my usually house-bound family life.

Because I live in a very small town in rural Ontario, it’s always fun to spend time in a large city. Life is exceedingly different in a city, especially a European one; and with the environmentally-conscious lens through which I tend to view everything, it has been interesting to see what London is doing well on the planet-protection front, and what things have impressed me less. (These observations are not in-depth, but merely casual.)

London appears to have a bipolar relationship with plastic. Some bars and restaurants are progressive, with signs reading “This is a no-straw establishment!” And yet, I discovered that these same places hand out disposable plastic cups into which patrons are expected to pour their unfinished drinks while meandering down the street to the next bar. (Can you tell how I spent my Friday night?)

Borough Market© K Martinko

Poking around Borough Market, where there’s a sign at the entrance urging people not to use plastic water bottles and try the fountain instead, I noticed that food vendors serve their delicious concoctions in non-plastic containers. My paella came in a wooden bowl with a compostable plastic spoon (that was a disappointment, even if it’s compostable). Others were eating pad thai out of paper boxes and sandwiches in paper wraps. There was no Styrofoam in sight in the communal eating area, which I thought was great.

But then I went into Sainsbury’s, a grocery store near my hotel, later that day, and was horrified by the produce section. This is what I saw:

plastic-wrapped veggies© K Martinko — Plastic-wrapped vegetables and fruit at Sainsbury’s in London

This is why I’ve been subsisting on clementines for the past three days, as they’re the only fruit that does not come shrouded in plastic. I’ve never seen anything like this in Canada, except for the occasional box of fancy imported heirloom tomatoes or prepared salad greens.

Even the Fairtrade bananas are wrapped! It’s terribly unfair that ethical shoppers must choose between human or environmental exploitation, never avoiding both.

plastic-wrapped bananas© K Martinko — Bananas at Sainsbury’s: Choose between human or environmental exploitation!

That being said, there is an impressive array of vegan and vegetarian food options in this city. While I am not vegan myself, several of the other writers on the media team covering the Lush Prize were, so we ate at a number of fabulous places.

Mildred's London© K Martinko — The media crew in front of Mildred’s in London

Mildred’s is a classic, of course, and we enjoyed a hearty vegan brunch at high-end Mexican chain Wahaca (which has a separate vegan menu). Another memorable meal was a six-course vegan tasting menu at an adorable pop-up restaurant called Pride Kitchen in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden. (Go to Neal’s Yard if you’re in London. It’s exquisite.) We also dined at Farmacy, a funky health food spot in west London that TimeOut described as what Jay Gatsby’s new home would look like “if he had fled West Egg for the beaches of Bali.” Whether it’s fine dining or fast food, this is a seriously vegan-friendly city.

I cannot talk about London without mentioning transit, of course. I am in love with the tube. The subway system here is easy to navigate and the trains run frequently. My only complaint is that, when paying fares with cash, it is extremely expensive. A one-way ride from Southbank to Notting Hill cost me £4.90, which is a horrifying CDN$8 (US$6.40). I quickly got my hands on an Oyster card, which is a smartcard charged with credit that costs 50 percent less per trip.

Piccadilly© K Martinko — Street view near Piccadilly Circus

But even better than the tube is walking. London is glorious for walking — except when I need to cross a street, at which point I freeze because the left-side driving still confuses me and I feel like I’m going to die at any moment. The vehicles drive fast and there are a lot of them. Nor is jay-walking illegal, so people dash across streets constantly. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but when I’m on a sidewalk, all is well.

All in all, I get the sense that, in ways such as transit and veganism, London is further ahead than Toronto when it comes to environmental awareness; but in other categories, such as the dreadful plastic packaging in grocery stores, it lags behind. I suppose one must take the bad with the good.

I still love this city and would happily live here, should the opportunity ever arise. In the meantime, I’ll squeeze as much juice out of my remaining days as possible. More stories to come!

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/travel/what-ive-noticed-during-week-wandering-around-london.html

Re: 100 ‘Decolonise Palestine’ posters appear in London for Balfour centenary

Some 100 posters have appeared all over London’s transport network, as part of a “guerrilla” advertising campaign to protest against the Balfour Declaration centenary.

The “Decolonise Palestine” posters are an initiative of activists’ group London Palestine Action, who said it was “a direct response to Transport for London’s banning of planned Palestinian adverts”.

“This attack on Palestinian voices, on an occasion that marks the start of the settler colonisation of Palestine, will not go unanswered,” the group added.

“As the UK government welcomes Israeli war criminals to celebrate the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian voices will not be censored,” the statement continued, “and we will not stay silent over UK support and facilitation of the oppression, murder and expulsion of the Palestinian people.”

Each one of the 100 posters “represents a year of UK-instigated colonisation”.

Read: Balfour celebrations a reminder that the colonial past is not past

Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171103-100-decolonise-palestine-posters-appear-in-london-for-balfour-centenary/#comment-3598173737

UK – Britain’s First-ever Holocaust Memorial to Be Built in London

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/uk-britains-first-ever-holocaust-memorial-to-be-built-in-london/

A Satanic Fashion Show Took Place Inside A Church At London Fashion Week

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Today, the word “Illuminati” is so widespread and associated with ‘conspiracy’ that it has become satirical in its own right. Yet even as a subject of ridicule, the prevalence of occult symbols in the mass-media is undeniable.

Take this showcase at London Fashion Week, for example.

Hosted at St. Andrew church in London, the avant-garde fashion show was the creation of Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu.

As you can see, Findikoglu’s display of costumes and apparel was nothing less than an ode to all things occult.

It’s about as ‘in-your-face’ as it gets, with satanic sigils, Masonic pillars, checkered tiles, eyes of Horus, pentagrams — you name it. Naturally, responses ran wild among conspiracy communities.

Masonic artwork and symbolism.

The well-known occult decoders over at the Vigilant Citizen had a lot to say about it as well:

The backdrop is basically a mish-mash of Masonic-inspired imagery. On each side are the Masonic twin pillars. Between the pillars is the letter G inside an inverted pentagram. Underneath it is the all-seeing eye inside a hexagram. There is also the Masonic square and compass in there. To top it off, the runway was a checkerboard pattern. Here’s a classic Masonic painting for comparison.

They go on to explain how the fashion show was a re-creation of what is known in occultism as a Black Mass: “Historically, a Black Mass is a ritual characterized by the inversion of the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and the desecration of Christian objects for Satanic purposes. The fact that models walk around a Church wearing devil horns recalls the concept of Black Mass.”

Findikoglu Responds to Backlash

Dilara Findikoglu is the Turkish fashion designer whose London Fashion Week display garnered attention for its blatant occult symbolism.

In response to public backlash about her glaring occult references, Findikoglu told Dazed Digital that her show had “no religious, Illuminati, [or] secret society meanings.” She explained:

A lot of brands use similar symbols as I do, but I think my whole theatrical hair and make up made people think that it was a Satanic ritual. Actually all the church people really liked the show and thought it was very beautiful.

They personally came and thanked me at the end of the show. The show I did has no religious, Illuminati, secret society meanings… All the symbols I used were for positive purposes. I am a creative and I am not trying to offend anyone. I understand people can be sensitive, but I think all these hate email and attacks I am getting from Christians show who really is wrong – if there is such a thing as right or wrong.

People are so ready to hate each other and find a victim to throw heavy negativity. But isn’t religion supposed to say we should spread love? I think this whole idea of religion is so corrupted and this is a very good example of it.

When the Diocese of London was asked about the controversial show being hosted within the church, a spokesperson told Dazed they “were not aware of the content or design before the show took place” and that it “does not reflect the Christian faith of the Church. We will be looking at our booking process going forward to ensure this does not happen again.”

What Do We Take From This?

It is clear there are two polarizing ways of looking at Findikoglu’s exhibit, and all occult symbols, for that matter.

So let us consider the two sides.

Let us consider that all of these occult allusions in pop culture are merely coincidence. Let us consider that, by chance, the people in charge of these artistic projects have chosen the eye, the pyramid, the checkered tiles, the pillars, compass, skull and bones, and every other occult symbol out of simple fascination. Let us consider there is nothing more to these symbols than our own over-analytical projections of fear and separation.

On the other side, let us consider that there is truth to these occult symbols. Let us consider that a group of people in power are influencing and communicating a message through the many forums of pop-culture today, and that we are the unwilling subjects of a dark agenda.

Where does that leave us?

It brings us to the point that is most important in this discussion.

While we know awareness is a necessary component of change, and we see the power of this taking place right now with the unravelling of elite pedophile rings and sexual abuse in Hollywood, there is another element that is often overlooked in the realm of these topics. Regardless of what side of the story we buy into, both sides act as the same thing — a distraction from what really matters.

And what really matters is that the collective takes back their power from giving it away to the external — the Trumps, the secret societies, the corporate news stations — and start recognizing that real change starts within.

It is when we stop looking outward and focus our attention inward that we begin to see the truth. And the truth is that we only have the power to change ourselves first and foremost. Only we have the power to step out of the mind and into the heart.

It is a simple and powerful choice, one that we must make every day moving forward. From there, and only there, will we truly create the ripple of change that our world needs.

Are you up for a REAL challenge?

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Watch the daily videos, complete the worksheets, and enter to win a trip to Toronto to meet the CE team at their Luminous Retreat Centre.

Change starts within. Are You Ready?

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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Collective-evolution/~3/2spO2It5Mkk/

UK – Bibi Netanyahu To Visit London Next Week For Balfour Declaration Centennial

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/uk-bibi-netanyahu-to-visit-london-next-week-for-balfour-declaration-centennial/

Firework explodes inside London bus, sending passengers diving for cover (VIDEO)

The video, taken by a passenger sitting towards the back of the bus, shows people screaming and ducking for cover as the firework bounces off the walls and ceiling, sending sparks flying.

Steve Burton, TfL director of enforcement, said: “This idiotic behavior is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated.

“We are working with Metropolitan Police to ensure appropriate action is taken.”

No one was injured in the incident, which happened on York Way in King’s Cross last Saturday evening, according to the London Ambulance Service.

Once the firework had fizzled out, the video shows two young men jumping off the bus to chase down the perpetrators.

One man is heard yelling: “What the f***? I swear to God.”

Passenger Apostolos Filis told ITV News: “It was really sudden. No one was expecting the attack. They started attacking cars and bikes but then went on attacking the bus.”

The Met police said the “anti-social behavior” is being investigated by officers from Islington policing patrols.

It comes after terrifying footage emerged of a similar event in August which saw a hooded man setting off a box of 70 fireworks at the Hello Pizza takeaway in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

The workers were forced to throw themselves over the counter and take cover at the back of the shop.

The fireworks then engulfed the takeaway shop with smoke, at one point obscuring the view of the CCTV camera.

The incident caused damage to the shop but none of the employees were injured.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/uk/407301-firework-london-bus-explosion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

The worst of Times: Establishment paper keeps up attack on RT over London tube ads

A commenter under the Times article itself poses perhaps the most pertinent question: “What happened to our world-famous sense of humor?

The thrust of the piece is that the Labour Party has asked broadcasting regulator OFCOM to look at the RT ads, which pose ironic (that is a key word here) questions such as ‘The CIA calls us a propaganda machine. Find out what we call the CIA,” or “Missed the train? Lost a vote? Blame it on us.”

Labour’s Tom Watson is quoted as saying the ads amounted to a “tacit admission that RT is the mouthpiece of the state.” He also admitted they have an ironic tone.

What he doesn’t admit – in fact what no one seems ready to admit – is that RT, not Russia, has been directly accused of being or doing those things. Responding to accusations is not really admitting anything, is it?

Perhaps we could put this in the language of the schoolyard. It might be easier to visualize exactly what is happening here…

Bully: “You’re a propaganda bullhorn.

Target: (Sarcasm) “Oh yeeeahhh, I’m such a propaganda bullhorn.

Bully: “Oh my god, they admitted to being a propaganda bullhorn!

The Times said RT declined to comment about the complaint. Why respond to a complaint to OFCOM via the Times?

RT did respond to the paper, to fill in a few factual gaps, and the paper used them. Yep, it used the response that RT apparently “declined.

There was no opportunity given to respond to the ongoing campaign being waged by the paper against RT, though.

In case anyone’s interested, here’s what RT would officially like the chance to say:

The Times’ unhealthy obsession with RT, as evidenced by almost daily publications about our channel, appears to have reached truly troubling levels, when they are willing to blatantly lie about RT declining to comment, simply when they get a comment that doesn’t fit their hysterical spin. We wonder what the UK print regulator might have to say about that.

The outrage caused across Britain by these ads has clearly been off the scale. The Advertising Standards Authority has reportedly been inundated by an avalanche of a single complaint. One WHOLE complaint.

The Times has it in for RT. It’s a nice easy target, and in the last fortnight alone there have been upwards of five stories printed in its pages about the organization.

It has in-depth investigative pieces like ‘MPs are regular guests on Putin’s pet TV channel.’ Clearly they’re disgusted that RT would seek to get balance in its coverage by asking MPs what they think about stuff. Horrifying!

Or what about this headline? ‘Kremlin backs revival of Peter Cook’s subversive comedy club.’ The Russians are coming, and they’re coming with comedy!!

RT is constantly accused, not least by the Times, of being part of some kind of ‘hybrid warfare.’ Well you know, just two days ago Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson took a clearly staged question in Parliament which allowed him to criticize RT. At the same time the Times (widely known as the paper of the Establishment) has been publishing its own RT hit pieces.

So… what is the definition of hybrid warfare?

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/uk/407191-underground-ofcom-times-adverts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Mylkman: London’s car-free, plastic-free, plant-based "milk" delivery service

Growing up in England, bottled milk deliveries—brought to you by quiet, slow electric “milk floats”—were a common sight in most towns. Those days have gone. But one company aims to bring it back, albeit with an intriguing twist:

Mylkman delivers 100% vegan nut “milks” straight to your door in plastic-free, reusable glass bottles. And it’s doing so by bike. (There is, according to Huffington Post UK, talk of bringing back milk floats too.) The mainstay of deliveries appears to be 100% almond ‘mylk’, with a minimum 12% nut content, but the company also offers coconut ‘mylk’, cashew ‘milk’, and even spiced flavors like pistachio and sweet chai or tumeric. All are preservative and additive free.

Currently, deliveries are limited to central east, north and south London, as well as being kept in stock at a Bulk Market zero waste store in Dalston. (See Katherine’s write up of their Hackney location.)

As someone who has slashed my cholesterol through more plant-based eating, and who recently discovered that vegan cheese doesn’t have to be awful, I’d be intrigued to try their offerings. It’s encouraging to me to see plant-based foods that are being marketed not as “replicas” of dairy products, but rather wholesome, relatively unprocessed offerings in their own right which anyone—vegan or not—might enjoy.

As I write this, I should note that there appears to be a Mylkman delivery service in Los Angeles too. It’s not immediately clear to me, however, if the two are related.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/mylkman-londons-car-free-plastic-free-plant-based-milk-delivery-service.html