Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of sustainable living, saving money, lifestyle and travel. It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Views & Ramblings

  1. Restaurants That Compost Their Rubbish Removal Are a Hit With Consumers

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    Waste is big news at the moment and one of the worst rubbish removal problems we have is uneaten, unused food waste. It is estimated that world wide, about one-third of all food produced ends up wasted! Moreover, most of this wasted food ends up in a landfill where it produces carbon dioxide and methane, both major contributors to the greenhouse effect. Methane gas also bubbles through the ground, sometimes causing dangerous explosions far from the landfill.

    Restuarant waste

    Restaurants often produce so much food waste, they can't keep enough rubbish removal bins, especially during their busiest seasons. However, a few UK restaurants have decided to make as part of the central theme, an effort to compost their food waste to keep it out of the landfills. In fact, most of these same restaurants go a step further in trying to produce less food waste.

    Silo, a restaurant located in Brighton, has placed as a center attraction, as soon as you walk in the door, a special composter, called a digester, to compost all their food straps. It's specially equipped to "digest" meat, dairy, and oil, unlike most garden composter or garden compost pile where these items are typically excluded. Beyond the composting of food scraps, their plates are made from recycled plastics, their drinks are served in recycled jam jars, and they even mill their own flour and brew their own beer. Their restaurant furniture is made from rustic repurposed materials that serve as a constant reminder to their dedication to getting as close to zero waste as possible. All of these efforts combine to create a lot less rubbish removal and they very proudly boast about it -- and they should!

    Poco, a restaurant with locations in London and Bristol, not only composts their food scraps, they take avoiding food waste to a whole new level! For starters, they actually keep track of the food that is left on their patron's plates. If a particular menu item gets left on their plates too often, they take that item off the menu so they don't generate as much rubbish removal with the food they serve -- smart! The owners of Poco also choose their vendors in large part based on who can deliver with the least amount of packaging. This is better than recycling your packaging -- when you have nothing, or at least a lot less, to recycle! On the Poco website, they proudly state, "95% to 100% of our waste is composted and recycled."

    Other UK restaurants follow a similar ethos to minimize their rubbish removal as much as possible. These include The Modern Pantry located in London, the Tiny Leaf also located in London, and the River Cottage HQ in Devon. Of all of the methods used to minimize rubbish removal in restaurants, composting is the most successful in terms of the volume of rubbish diverted from landfills.

    FERN, which stands for Food Establishments Recycling Nutrients, is an NGO based in Lebanon with a mission to reduce the food wasted in restaurants. On World Food Day last year, they hosted a lunch that was made entirely out of food left over from that day's breakfast buffet. How's that for no rubbish removal of food! They also consult with restaurants all over the world to help them learn how to reduce their food waste and how to compost their food waste rather than tossing it in the rubbish removal bins where it will likely be taken to the landfills. FERN facilitated an experiment with ten McDonald’s in London, who agreed to separate out their food waste so it could be taken to a composting company. The experiment was a huge success and has been highlighted to show other restaurants what's possible.

    Judging from the consistently high scores and high praise these restaurants get on their online reviews, they are among the most popular restaurants in their respective geographic areas. Consumers flock to them not only for the quality of food they produce but for social commitments they've made to keeping food and other items out of the landfills and reducing their waste overall. While some of them bill themselves as "zero waste" restaurants, they probably don't quite reach that goal but they do seem to attempt to get as close to that noble goal as possible.

    Clearabee, a rubbish removal company with a shared ecofriendly mission, has been promoting their services to restaurants, not with the goal of taking their food waste to the landfill, but rather with the goal of keeping it out of the landfill! One of Clearabee's top missions is to divert as much rubbish from the landfills as possible. To this end, they find places to LEGALLY take the rubbish they clear for recycling, upcycling, or reuse. In the case of food, composting is the best way to recycle it!

    This is really "food for thought" and takes me back to my childhood where we used to rolle our eyes at my Mum for wanting to recycle everything or compost the leftovers. Little did I know that my Mum was ahead of the trend! Shhh don't tell her that though!

  2. Starting the year the frugal way

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    We are at the end of the first week of January and I am starting as I mean to go on, saving on the right things so that we can indulge in the fun things. I have written a post this week about 40 things I would like to do this year and some of them are not cheap, so my attempt at making some savings will go towards our adventures this year.

    Here is how I have got on this week:

    1. Eating out of the freezer.

    Before Christmas I bought a ridiculous amount of food and whilst we have obviously eaten all of the fresh stuff, there were other bits and pieces that have been put into the freezer. Now I cannot claim that we have had Michelin star meal this week and there have definitely been some random collaborations but it has reduced the shopping bill and eased the pressure on my freezer.

    2. Savvy sale shopping

    My daughters have got a fabulous circle of friends but this often means lots of party invitations and like their mother, they love to give nice presents. So I have set to work in the sales this year, finding fantastic branded gifts at half the original price. They will go into my present cupboards so there is no last minute (expensive) panic buying when the birthdays roll around.


    3. Not buying in the sale

    I realise that this sounds like a complete contradiction to number 2 but I am terrible for online shopping and the pull of the sales is akin to an addiction but I walked away from the laptop. I have said "do I really need it" and asked myself "did I want it when it was full price" and if the answer is no, then I am recognising that it is just my desire to have parcels arriving rather than me actually needing to buy it!

    4. Taking / making lunch

    I know that this is an old one and whilst I very often take my lunch, having given up sugar I have found that I am regularly buying "Coke Zero" or "Pepsi Max" while I am out and about, which isn't really cost effective. So I have bought in bulk from the supermaket and stashed a supply in my car. The bonus is, at least if I break down I won't dehydrate either ;-)

    5. Starting a penny jar

    I used to do this years ago and put all my loose change into an oversized bottle and empty it out once a year. Inspired by a blog post from Emma at Mums Savvy Savings I am going to give this a go this year. 


    Are you starting January with renewed enthusiam?

  3. 40 things to do in your 40th year!

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    There "may be" a big birthday this year and while I am still feeling 19 in my head, I realise that as I hurtle towards being 40 there are some things I would like to have achieved / completed / indulged in* (*delete as necessary).

    So if you are looking for ideas for your own bucket list, take a look below and let me know what you would add!!


    1. Go To Scotland
    2. Try Glamping for at least one night
    3. Visit a Castle
    4. Go To Italy
    5. Do a Mud Run
    6. Go to the London Dungeons
    7. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz / Claridges or somewhere like that
    8. Go to a West End Show with the girls
    9. Get a piercing
    10. Visit my Nan’s sister in Somerset
    11. Go to Cheddar Gorge
    12. Try Oysters
    13. Get a new hair style or colour.
    14. Learn something new
    15. Have a makeover and stop using the same techniques I have been doing for past 10 years.
    16. Go to a drive in movie
    17. Conquer my fear of heights by “attempting” Go Ape
    18. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
    19. Do something good for someone who doesn’t know who I am.
    20. Break my habit with sugar
    21. Be the fittest / healthiest I have ever been
    22. Buy (and drink) a really expensive bottle of champagne and don’t feel guilty about it
    23. Do an “escape” room challenge
    24. Do a digital detox for an entire weekend
    25. Travel First Class
    26. Master a cocktail
    27. Update my will
    28. Try a new drink and enjoy it at GONG in the Shard
    29. Book a day off to spend by myself
    30. Write a letter to my 50 year old self and save it in a time capsule
    31. Do an indoor skydive
    32. Go skating on an outdoor ice rink
    33. Dine in a Michelin star restaurant
    34. Buy fresh flowers more often and not always the same ones.
    35. Wear something bright and step away from always wearing black
    36. Go to a music festival …. Or at least watch live music somewhere new!
    37. Take the girls to their first concert
    38. Try Pilates
    39. Go paintballing
    40. Have a party with all of my favourite people


  4. Wave Racers Sky Loop Rally Christmas Giveaway

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    We talk a lot about girls toys and activities on the Lilypad, mainly because I have two girls (makes sense eh?) but we don't want to leave the boys .... or indeed the adrenalin fuelled girls out, so we are talking cars today! 

    Not being entirely savvy as far as boys Christmas wish lists are concerned, I didn't know that zooming onto everyone’s Christmas list this year are the Wave Racers, the revolutionary new wave technology aimed at ages 6+. Players can race on their own or against friends with expandable track sets, providing hours of fun for any racing enthusiast!  YW211131-Skyloop Rally_preview

    I remember my brother having car racing tracks when we were kids but they were nothing like these. The Wave Racer cars are capable of reaching sensational speeds and the track sets feature a number of different stunt capabilities offering young racers the chance to perform stunts and tricks such as 360 loops, side by side racing and mid-air jumps! The innovative new range allows you to activate your racer by waving your hand over the sensor. The faster you wave your hand, the faster your Wave Racer will go! 

    Image 2

    Complete a full 360° vertical loop at ultra-high speed with Skyloop Rally. 

    Skyloop Rally (1)

    There are a number of Wave Racer sets to choose from but the features of this one include:

    • Tracks can be combined with other Wave Racer Sets
    • Revoluntionary wave technology
    • The longer the players wave their hand, the longer the car will run for
    • The faster players wave their hand, the faster the cars speed
    • Contents: 24 track pieces and one Wave Sensor Car
    • Assembled dimensions: 59.5L x 43.5W x 26H cm
    • Batteries required: For car 2 x AAA (Not included)

    The Wave Racer range is available to buy now from Smyths Toys and Toys R Us with an RRP from £19.99 - £49.99 but we have the chance for you to win one .... all you need to do is enter below.

    Win a Wave Racers Skyloop Rally RRP £19.99

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Wave Racers Skyloop Rally
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 09/12/2017 at 12am