About EcoTales

Gloop_01 EcoTales is an environmental production company using the power of media to inspire young people to explore, understand and protect their planet for a better future. We produce inspiring films and run a successful arts led educational events programme. EcoTales began with the making of our five time award winning film “Gloop”, a twisted fairy-tale about the meteoric rise of plastic from its conception to its present day wide-spread use, and carries the message plastic NEVER goes away. “Gloop” has been screened around the world in over 12 countries to scientists, Politicians, festival audiences and countless schools. “Gloop” was the springboard to start our environmental arts projects, helping us to engage schools and families through creative events, activities and challenges to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

Plastic Bottle Flower Jungle at the Royal Holloway University Science Fair!

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A big thank you to all the wonderfully creative kids who joined us at The Royal Holloway University Science Fair on Saturday! We think you’ll all agree their plastic bottle flowers will make a striking addition to The Monster We’re Making Jungle this summer!

The go ahead for The Monster We’re Making’s Urban Recycled Jungle will be determined on the 1st April, so fingers crossed!

A beach clean up with a difference!

This looks like a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you’re in the Chester area this Saturday 14th February, head down to Thurstaston Beach for 1.30. You can join in a beach clean up with a difference.

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Shore Cottage Studio are working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust and will be creating a sculpture from the litter that you find on the beach.  And the sculpture will be making it’s way to London in the summer to form part of The Monster We Made art installation as well as having a permanent home at Wirral Country Park.  We think it’s such a great idea and can’t wait to see what you create from the trash that you find.
It’s free and there’s no need to book.  See you there!

Can I get skincare products that are plastic free?

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Nikki B’s Christmas gift packaging. Even the ribbon is plastic free! And you can choose the colour you want.

Well, the answer is YES!  We have discovered a brilliant range of plastic free cosmetics that are made by a very clever lady who lives here in the UK!  Her name is Nikki B and her commitment to creating outstanding skincare products plus offering a completely plastic free product has impressed us so much that EcoTales have given her our stamp of approval!

We wanted to find out more about Nikki and her epic journey towards achieving a plastic free product.  You can read her interview below.  We think you will agree that she is a very dedicated and impressive woman with a great vision.  She has taken lots of time to find alternatives not only to plastic microbeads (she lets us in on her secret ingredients!) but to the actual packaging, and when you go to her shop you will see she offers plastic free packaging FOR THE SAME PRICE!  Great stuff Nikki B!

Nikki has also let us know that when you place your first order online, you can enter the code NB01 and you will receive her Fragrant Bath Salts for free.  These would be great for stocking fillers!

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What’s your background and what inspired you to create your own range?

It all started with Aromatherapy. I’ve always loved the essential oils and their properties. I believe that they are under-rated, especially the vegetable based oils. They have so many valuable properties and you can see how each oil has different effects on peoples’ emotions and feelings of wellbeing.

Also, being a vegetarian, I looked into what was in a lot of skincare products and I discovered that a lot of ingredients are derived from animals and I personally didn’t want to put this onto my skin! During my baby massage training I remember hearing a comment ‘if it is good enough to eat, then it’s good enough to put on your skin’! It started me thinking about what I was using on my skin and how I could begin to create my products. We like to know exactly what we are eating, and that our food doesn’t contain anything harmful, and I believe this should be the case with what we put on our skin.

I went on a course and started combining my love of aromatherapy with finding an alternative kind of skincare product about 4 yrs ago. It’s taken quite a long time to put together with lots of help from friends and family testing everything!

I’ve now selected a range from this feedback but please bear in mind that when you are using any new skincare product I would like to mention that it is always advisable to ensure that you do a patch test which tests suitability for your own personal skin type.

I also decided I would like to try and offer a range of preservative free products. I thought that it would be brilliant to go completely natural and eradicate any preservatives unless it was completely necessary.

And then I looked into plastic microbeads – what a crazy concept! I feel that it is unnecessary, you just don’t need to buy a product that contains these things. I think people get drawn in through the marketing and advertising and you end up buying things that have potential repercussions to the environment.

If you can find a solution to that you have to give it a go.

So I use essential oils and botanical ingredients and that’s what I love doing. I feel these things are really valuable to your skin and if you can find something that nourishes and nurtures your skin you’d be mad not to use it?

Why is it important to you that no plastic packaging is used?

It stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend who asked me to think about how I might be able to reduce the amount of plastic packaging for my products. I started looking at websites such as Ecotales and this highlighted to me the huge impact plastic has on the planet as well as the potential health implications to us, and I just thought that I should try to do something to make things a bit better.

To see the images of animals suffering from the effects of plastic pollution was enough to get me started on this mission! I strongly believe that if we can all do something towards making a change then hopefully those little changes will make a big difference.

Having said all this, it certainly hasn’t been easy! It took a long time to find alternatives to plastic packaging. But, I like a challenge! When someone asks me what I can do – I like to do my best! And I have explored every route from the product to the bottles they are in, the labels on the bottles and the boxes they are packed in. As far as I can, I source all my packaging from the UK.

Trying to find these things was a time-consuming and frustrating process. It’s not available everywhere. It’s not a case of just going to packaging suppliers and ordering the stuff! I was lucky because the company I sourced my products from had recyclable aluminium. So I had a starting point. But to find plastic free lotion pumps is a work in progress.

That’s why I decided to have 2 options in my product lists. One will offer you the product packaged with absolutely no plastic components, the other may for example include a pipette which has a plastic casing. I am now looking intosilicone droppers so they won’t have the plastic outer case. For the time being, the plastic free option will mean that these items do not come with a dropper and the bottle will be topped as usual with an aluminium screw cap.

I have found it very interesting and reassuring that lots of my customers have chosen completely plastic free products and have fed back to me that they prefer using their oils in this way. They feel it is actually easier to regulate the amount of oil/cream you get out of the bottle. It has definitely helped me to see that I am doing something that people really want.

My next challenge is to go totally plastic free with my labelling! Did you know that there are elements of plastic in waterproof labels and in glue of course.  I am sourcing paperbased, non pvc labels and more environmentally friendly adhesive! Even my ribbon is made from woodpulp!

My plastic free options prove that it IS achievable! I guess my concerns were about whether people would be prepared to compromise, and from the positive feedback I am getting I am learning that they are, and they don’t even miss what they had before! And when you think about what you are doing for the environment it makes even more sense.

What do you use instead of plastic microbeads in your exfoliating products?

Now that would be giving away my trade secrets!!! I use oatmeal and green clay. It’s as simple as that. The consistency is fine enough not to be abrasive but it removes the dead skin cells. It’s a great product and it’s all natural. It is a really good exfoliator, and the way it’s being produced means that no animals are harmed.

It’s all about offering the customer choices and options with them knowing exactly what is in the product. I want to be completely transparent.

All my products are lab tested for stability, so you can be confident that all my products do have at least a year’s shelf life. Even the preservative free ones are suitable for at least one year.

Do you have any more advice for people trying to avoid single use plastic in their skin care regime?

Well the obvious answer is to visit my website and buy my products! There are definitely alternatives out there – you just have to do a bit of research. There is so much on the internet now. Introduce these ideas with your children to make them more conscious and considerate about how what they do has an effect on the environment. If you take a bit of time to investigate alternatives, you will find that you will be getting a better product. Yes, it might be a bit more expensive than what is being mass produced, but personally I find with a good quality product a little will go a long way and the results will be obvious to you as you discover the benefits to your skin and your hair. Give it a go!

Nikki B’s full range can be found here: nikki-b.co.uk.

EcoTales Teams up with QuizTrail for Urban Wild Adventures

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Quiztrail.com, a new outdoor quiz app for IOS, invited EcoTales to write a series of London-based wild adventures. The challenge is under way and our first two trails “Enchanted and Wild in Bushy Park” and “Urban Wanderings with Warthogs and Wild Surprises”  in Regents Park, are already posted on the QuizTrail website.

Each trail takes you on a journey of discovery into our captivating natural world, peppered with magical suggestion to fuel any fertile imagination.  Each right answer unlocks the next question, you will be fascinated by the things you never new. From the secrets of annoying weeds, to magical trees and unexpected creatures. The walks are a wonderful addition to any family stroll, try one and you might just find the quizzical child in you!

The EcoTales Quiz Trails are available to download at Quiztrail.com.

Poetry & Illustration Finalists Announced!

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Well done to everyone who took part in our Poetry & Illustration Challenge. The finalist are now on display in The Monster We Made Gallery . The finalist will now be used as inspiration for our campaign of the same name. From them we will design the characters, settings, slogans, charter’s thoughts and speech and the general feel of the campaign. Finalists work will appear on The Monster We Made website and we will clearly show how elements of the children’s designs have been used.  We hope to launch the campaign around Christmas and the New Year. It is our largest production to date and we are so excited to see the results of your hard work.

No Plastic Day 2015 – Sign up NOW!

Hi everyone!  The blog has been quiet for a while!  But we have been busy…

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At the end of May, EcoTales were asked to join the London Sustainable Schools Forum at Hampton Hill Junior School at their Sustainability, Outdoor Learning and Science Conference.  We spent the day with teachers from schools from all over London and charities and organisations including the Environment Trust, RSPB, The Darwin Society and Fairtrade.

To end the day, we delivered the keynote speech.  Joe was joined by one of our youth ambassadors, Ruby from Stanley Primary School in Teddington.  She told everyone about the amazing year she had had working with EcoTales.  It was clear from the reaction of the audience that the horrors of plastic pollution are still not widely known and it was important that Ruby, aged 9 was there.  The message about plastic pollution is a powerful one, but even more so when we remember that it is our childrens’ generation that will be more accutely affected by its long lasting effects.

Lottie Farrell, Iner la Frenais, Arton Shala 10

At the conference, we launched our No Plastic Day Campaign.  We had a fantastic response and everyone who visited our stand signed up for our challenge which will take place on 24th June 2015.  It will be a day when schools and young people will ask adults to Say NO to plastic for one day, and discover just how much single use plastic we don’t need in our lives!

Yesterday (Sunday 8th June) was World Oceans Day and we joined Thames 21 and Global Ocean in Hammersmith by the banks of the Thames for a shoreline clean up.  By taking part in events like this, we are even more determined to fight plastic pollution. Wouldn’t it be great if groups and organisations were arranging shoreline clean ups all over the country, all over the world!  What a huge difference it would make, and the impact of everyone doing it on one day would be immense!  That’s why we want as many people to join us for No Plastic Day on June 24th 2015.

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And we are going to be working hard to ensure that our No Plastic Day next year will become an annual event and a global one too, and will lead to real change in the way we use and dispose of single use plastic.

Go to our No Plastic Day page on our website and sign up for the challenge NOW!  For more information and to sign up, email us at noplasticday@gmail.com and there is more information for schools on the NPD Challenge page.  You can also donate on our website and by doing this you will be helping us to raise the funds we need to make No Plastic Day a success.

 

Join us on World Oceans Day!

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We are teaming up with Global Ocean and Thames 21 on Sunday June 8th, World Oceans Day, for a family friendly Thames side clean up and recycled plastic art workshops. Help Thames 21 to collect and record litter in the Thames and discover just how much plastic our famous river is hiding as it journeys out to sea. The EcoTales Team and our friends at Global Ocean will be running fun creative art workshops for all ages in a marquee next to the clean up. You will also have the chance to find out all about our No Plastic Day campaign!