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Sustainable Home & Garden Services with CEO Samuel Collett - Valiant CEO Cultivating Sustainable Living with Willow Alexander - London Daily News Introducing Willow Alexander: Your Modern Housekeeping Partner - London Daily Post Willow Alexander's Quest For A Greener Future - Tech Bullion Willow Alexander: Cultivating Sustainability in Home & Garden Management - News Break Redefining Home & Garden Care: A Conversation with Samuel Collett of Willow Alexander - London Daily News
3 Ways to Stay Sustainable this Halloween
The most horrifying holiday of all is here! It’s time to dust off the old witch hat and enjoy an evening of terrifying treats, cackling cocktails, horrendously bad horror movies, or whatever scratches that scary itch. While we’re all getting in the spooky spirit, it’s important to remember while Halloween is a lot of fun, it’s still a commercial holiday. This means that every year, millions are spent on sweets, costumes, pumpkins and more, with very little mind paid to the environmental impact of these purchases and where they end up after the fun is done. We’ve put together a couple of ways that you can cut down on the environmental costs of your Halloween shopping and make the most out of anything left over, letting you enjoy your night of frights guilt-free! Reusing your pumpkin A simple walk around your neighbourhood after Halloween will make it clear just how many pumpkins are either swiftly disposed of after the 31st of October, or are simply left out to rot. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Pumpkins are perfect for use in a variety of delicious dishes. Whether you want to brew up a hearty soup made with roasted pumpkin puree or an outstanding autumnal risotto using cubes of cooked pumpkin flesh, you’re sure to be impressed by how versatile this vibrant vegetable can be. You can even scoop out the seeds inside and roast them for a healthy snack packed with antioxidants. One of the best ways to put your pumpkin carcass to good use is to drop it in your compost bin, letting it become great fuel for growing out your garden. You can also ensure it gets used well by getting it in your food bin in a compostable bag, where it can then be picked...
Going Green: 7 Top Trends in Eco-Friendly Home and Garden Products
From strategies that can make a home more sustainable to examples of sustainable household items. We all have growing concerns about climate change and the impact of human activity on the environment, many conscious consumers are looking for more eco-friendly options in their homes and gardens. Here is the Willow Alexander roundup of our favourite trends in sustainability, eco-friendliness, and carbon neutrality for home and garden products in 2023 and beyond:   Plant-Based and Non-Toxic Products Mindful shoppers are becoming more aware of the potentially harmful chemicals found in many household products, such as cleaning products, fertilisers, and pesticides. As a result, they're seeking out products that are safer for their families and the environment. From laundry liquid, our online shop has a variety of household products that are free from harmful chemicals and are made using plant-based ingredients.   Water Conservation As the world continues to face water scarcity issues, more and more of us are prioritising water conservation. A great idea that requires relatively very little work is a rainwater harvesting system. Our “bountiful garden” blog outlines how to set up a rain barrel to collect rainwater from your roof, which can then be used for watering plants, washing your car, and other non-potable uses. blog. Other favourite ideas include low-flow toilets and showerheads, as well as drought-tolerant plants. Energy Efficiency With global events like the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the rising cost of electricity is driving consumers to be more conscious of their energy use and carbon footprint. To increase energy efficiency, many are turning to products like the Nest Learning Thermostat (developed by Google), which learns your schedule and adjusts the temperature accordingly, helping to lower those ever-rising energy bills. Always wondered what the hoo-ha was about LED vs those old-fashioned incandescent light...
Buy Well, Buy Less: The Mindful Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Shopping
When it comes to making purchases, we are often so focused on immediate gratification that we tend to forget about the longer-term impacts of our decisions. But now, more than ever, it’s important to consider the quality and sustainability of the products we buy and the impact they have on our planet. From materials sourcing to your shopping cart – this is the journey of a sustainable product and why YOUR buying decisions matter!   In a recent EY study, we’re paying 56% more attention to the environmental impact of our spending and 30% of us will prioritise buying more second-hand goods. Built-to-last items are becoming increasingly popular with sustainable shoppers as it’s an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to reducing our environmental impact. By investing in products that are designed to stand the test of time, and by being mindful of how much we consume, we can drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce and the associated carbon footprint. Here’s what to consider about the far-reaching implications for the supply chain, and a product’s journey to the consumer from an ethical and sustainability point of view:   Better quality products that save you money in the long run We all have stories from our parents or grandparents who held on to obscure and adored household items for the duration of their lives; products that can withstand the test of time. This means that you will have fewer repair, replacement, and upgrade costs in the long run, saving you a significant amount of money (and hassle!). But it goes deeper than that - investing in longevity also means that you are reducing the demand for cheaper, low-quality products that may need to be replaced more frequently, which contributes to the wastefulness of our current consumer culture....
Creating a Kind and Inclusive Workplace: Willow Alexander’s  Approach to Corporate Culture
Willow Alexander is proud to be a carbon-neutral Home + Garden brand that places care at the heart of everything we do. We believe that taking care of our clients, team, and the environment is essential to achieving our goals, and we are committed to making it a central focus of all our actions. While many businesses may be aware of their impact on the world around them, we believe that it's not enough to simply acknowledge it. To truly make a positive impact, we need to act with a conscience and make intentional choices that support a cleaner, greener, and happier planet. Our journey to being different Our passion for climate awareness and sustainability is ingrained in our work culture, and we have been working tirelessly to ensure that our values are reflected in everything we do. Since embarking on our sustainability journey in 2018, we have invested in new technologies and practices to manage our services and take care of our team. Some of the steps we have taken include making our vehicles electric, using battery-powered tools, and implementing a paperless office. These changes have enabled us to become a carbon-positive workforce by 2020 and receive our internationally certified carbon-neutral certificate in 2022. But our work doesn't stop here; we are continually seeking ways to reduce our emissions and be the best possible business for our clients, the planet, and most importantly – our employees. Embedding inclusivity and compassion into our culture Willow Alexander also recognises the importance of creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all our staff. We are committed to creating a safe, equal, and kind office environment that is also inclusive of LGBTQ+ and POC individuals. Our flexi hours allow our employees to manage their lives on their terms, as we believe that positivity is...
Business with a Purpose: How the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Can Inspire Positive Change
In September 2015, the United Nations launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of ending poverty, protecting the planet, and enabling universal access to economic benefits and opportunities. The SDGs are designed to be a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for everyone, and businesses have an important role to play in achieving these goals. By aligning their operations with the SDGs, companies can create a positive impact on the world, while also achieving long-term success and profitability.   So, what does this all mean? One of the key benefits of aligning with the SDGs is that it provides businesses with a roadmap for sustainable growth. The goals cover a wide range of sustainability issues, including poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and more. All the things we want to be improved in society, right? By aligning their operations with the SDGs, businesses can identify the areas where they can have the most positive impact and focus their efforts in these areas.   The power to the people As conscious customers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions, they are looking for companies that are committed to sustainability. By aligning with the SDGs, businesses can prove their commitment to sustainability and appeal to customers who care about the environment, social, and ethical issues. The same is true for employees, who are increasingly looking for employers who share their values and are committed to making a positive impact on the world     Inspiring positive change Last year, just one of our Willow Alexander electric vehicles from our garden maintenance fleet travelled over 5,280km to perform over 1872 customer visits, that’s: 1872 lawns mowed 1500kg of waste recycled 2000kg of green waste composted. This...
6 Surprising Benefits of Living a Sustainable Lifestyle
As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, many people are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. As society makes a conscious effort to minimise its carbon footprint and preserve natural resources, we recognise that our happiness is interconnected with other people and the natural environment. Dr Catherine O’Brien pioneered the movement towards sustainable happiness - “happiness that contributes to individual, community, or global well-being without exploiting other people, the environment, or future generations.” On the journey to making more sustainable life choices, people feel healthier and more connected. Here’s why:   1. Increased mindfulness Living conscientiously now brings you back into the present moment. By embracing sustainable practices, we have become intentional about the choices we make and have considered the positive or adverse consequences down the line; choices that prioritise the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. With the cultural shift away from consumerism and material pleasures to a lifestyle with greater connection and holistic fulfilment, we have become more mindful and more in tune with the world around us.   2. Greater appreciation of nature Sustainable lifestyles go hand-in-hand with spending more time in nature and the outdoors, with a greater sense of connection to the environment. Society is spending more time in parks, choosing to cycle to work, and delighting in home-grown food gardens. It runs full circle: the more time we spend outdoors, the more environmentally conscious we become. Taking the time to appreciate the beauty of nature and become aware of the impact of your actions can help one to actively practise gratitude and mindfulness.   3. Become part of a community (again) With many local and worldwide initiatives organised around cleaning, planting, and recycling - living an eco-friendly lifestyle often involves taking part in activities that bring people together. In...
How to Clean Your Home Using Bicarbonate of Soda
You might be familiar with bicarbonate of soda as an ingredient in the kitchen, but did you know it can be used as a natural, eco-friendly, and cost-effective cleaning agent in every room of the house? It is an effective cleaning agent that can remove dirt, grease, and grime from surfaces without the need for harsh chemicals or abrasives. Bicarbonate of soda can also be used to remove odours, making it ideal for use in bathrooms and kitchens. With its natural properties, bicarbonate of soda is an ideal choice for those looking to clean their home without using harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your home, yourself, and the planet. Here are 8 ways you can use bicarbonate of soda around the house!   1. Unclog Drains Clear a stubborn drain by pouring down half a cup of bicarb followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Cover with a wet cloth or tea-towel to contain the fizz, wait for a minimum of 10 minutes, and then flush with hot water.   2. Remove Limescale from the Toilet If you live in an area with hard water, it doesn’t take long for limescale to build up in your toilet bowl. Easily remove it by directly pouring in 1 cup of bicarb, followed by 1 cup of vinegar and leave it to fizz. Once the reaction has finished, give the bowl a good scrub, and then let it fit for another 30 minutes minimum. Flush away and enjoy your sparkly new loo!   3. Refresh Stove Tops Rejuvenate your sticky stove tops by making a paste with bicarbonate of soda and some warm water. Scrub over the grimey areas for a couple of minutes, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.   4. Remove Stains from Chopping Boards Are...
Plants to Add to Your Garden to Attract Wildlife Throughout the Year
Having a diverse range of wildlife in your Garden can be extremely beneficial for your plants, your outside ecosystem, and the planet. Did you know you can create a garden that entices visitors year-round? By carefully selecting the right varieties of plants you can attract birds and pollinators to your garden all year.   January Lonicera x Purpusii (Purpus Honeysuckle) A shrubby honeysuckle that has fragrant white flowers that provide vital nectar for early bumblebees.   February Viburnum Tinus (Larurustinus) An evergreen shrub with Winter flowers that provides nectar and pollen for early pollinating insects.   March Anemone Blanda (Violet Star) The amethyst-coloured flowers of this spreading perennial bloom in early Spring and are a magnet for bees of all kinds.   April Pulsatilla Vulgaris (Pasque Flower) A small herbaceous perennial with flowers in shades of pink and purple that attract bees and butterflies.   May Camassia Cusickii ‘Zwanenburg’ (Camassia) A bulbous perennial with elegant spires of deep blue-purple flowers that are very popular with pollinators.   June Cistus x Cyprius (Rock Rose, Sun Rose) An evergreen shrub that blooms flowers which attract bees and butterflies for several months.   July Borago Officinalis (Borage) An annual with leaves and striking blue flowers, favoured particularly by bees.    August Echinacea Purpurea (White Swan/Coneflower) A herbaceous perennial that provides late summer blooms and attracts a wide range of butterflies.   September Sedum Spectabile (Ice Plant) This long-flowering perennial is irresistible to butterflies and bumblebees.   October Sorbus Commixta (Rowan) This deciduous tree blooms white flowers that develop into red berries loved by birds.   November Pyracantha (Golden Charmer) An evergreen shrub that produces orange autumn berries that attract birds and white spring flowers popular with bees.   December Ilex Aquifolium (English Holly) An evergreen shrub which produces masses of berries excellent for...
Sustainable New Years Resolutions
As the New Year approaches, many people try to make resolutions to improve their lives and the world around them. While there are many kinds of resolutions you can make, one area that is particularly important to consider, for our futures and the future of our planet, is ways in which we can be more sustainable. Sustainability resolutions can be anything that aim to have a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy, but should also be achievable. Here are some ideas for easy sustainable New Year's resolutions that you can consider.   Start Composting Composting is a great way to start your sustainability journey. It is an eco-friendly way of managing our waste by reducing what we send to landfill, and making use out of our rubbish. You can also use compost to create a natural fertilizer for your garden or plants.   Reduce Single Use Single use plastic is everywhere, from packaging on our groceries to your morning coffee “on the go”, but there are easy steps we can take in 2023 to reduce our use of these harmful plastics. Try to invest in, a reusable takeaway cup, a water bottle, and cutlery, as well as a reusable shopping bag.   Grown Your Own Food Either from seeds or scrap, growing your own food is so much easier than you might think. Start with something simple, like herbs from seeds or propagate from the lettuce sitting in the back of your fridge. This year will be the year you eat your own harvest, whatever it may be!   Watch your Water Consumption Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth and shortening your showers by a couple of minutes soon adds up! In 2023 try to be more aware of how much water you’re using, and how...
Sustainable Gift Wrapping Solutions
Gift wrapping is one of many festive holiday traditions, but it can also generate a lot of waste. Consumers in the UK use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year and throw away what equates to 108 million rolls of wrapping paper (GWP Group). It is a huge contribution to the 30% rise in waste that occurs every year over the Christmas period. Gift wrapping is a beloved holiday tradition, but it can also generate a lot of waste. If you want to make your gift wrapping more sustainable, there are several options to consider. Here are some ideas for eco-friendly gift wrapping:   Reuse Re-use what you already have lying around! Newspaper, magazines, pre-loved wrapping paper, parcel packaging and boxes can make the perfect gift wrap. If you’re feeling like going the extra mile, try personalising plain paper and boxes with paint and pens.   Fabric Wrap Guaranteed to be used again and again, and easily gathered from beautiful fabric of unworn clothes or spare off-cuts, using material to wrap your presents is a great way to save on paper as well as creating a beautiful gift. A lot of Christmas wrapping paper isn’t recyclable, which adds to the landfill at this time of year. By using material that may otherwise be destined for the tip, you’re helping the environment by diverting from landfill in two ways.   A Gift Inside a Gift Wrap your gift in another, functional, gift, like a nice wicker basket, or these multi-purpose Vegan Leather Bags. This completely minimises waste by using something practical, instead of wrapping paper that will be thrown away.   Swap Bows for Greenery Adding a touch of nature not only looks beautiful, but also is kinder to the planet than plastic ribbons. While plastic bows might look beautiful, they offer...
Winter Gardening Jobs
Don’t let the cold keep you inside! Although it might not be the busiest time of year for your garden, there are always jobs to tackle, whatever the weather. Winter is a great time to catch up on gardening tasks that may have been neglected during the busy growing season, and keeping on top of your maintenance you can set the stage for a successful growing season and enjoy a beautiful garden all year round. Here are a few winter gardening jobs that can help keep your garden looking its best   Take Hardwood Cuttings  Hardwood cuttings provide an easy and reliable method of propagating a range of climbers, trees and shrubs. They are best taken from mid-autumn until late winter and often grown outdoors in a prepared trench. However, if you are only taking a small number, you can grow them in containers too.   Protect Plants Vulnerable to Frost Cold, wet, windy winter weather can damage trees, shrubs and garden structures. Improving shelter, staking plants, mulching, wrapping pots and insulating plants will help to prevent this kind of damage.   Prevent Water Sources from Freezing Over The quickest and cheapest method of stopping a body of water from freezing over is to float something on the surface. You can try anything that will move on top of the water, such ping pong balls, tennis balls or empty water bottles. The constant movement of the object will keep air getting into the pond and stop the surface from completely sealing.   Plant Trees and Shrubs As long as the ground is not frozen, winter is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs, giving them plenty of time to establish themselves for the summer.   Feed Birds and Wildlife The colder months can be a tough time for the...
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