Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Lily's Kitchen cat food review

This is Daisy!  She is 6 now, and I've had her since she was 12 weeks old.  I didn't meet her until the day I got her.  A girl at work was looking for homes for four kittens, but I was just going on holiday, and there wasn't time to go round and see them. So I just agreed to have whichever kitten was left when I got back.  In other words, it was fate.  I now think of her as my lucky dip cat.

In the past, I've fed her supermarket own brands, and now she mostly gets Go-Cat.  But in an effort to (a) shop more ethically, and (b) rely less on supermarkets, I'm trying out some better alternatives.

Go-Cat is made by Purina, and scores 0 out of 20 on Ethical Consumer's ratings table for cat food.  A big fat zero.  My bad for buying the stuff, that's for sure.  The good news is that things can only get better.  So I'm starting to mend our ways by trying out Lily's Kitchen, which scores a reasonable 12.5.

The good: I can buy Lily's Kitchen at my local high street pet shop.  I got the fish flavour, and it does smell like there's plenty of actual fish in there.  Crucially, Daisy really likes it. 

The less good: it is very expensive.  I've worked out that if I feed her the recommended daily amount for her weight, it will cost me around £275 a year.  It also comes in small packets which will last 5 days at the most.  This means that I'll have to buy several packs at a time, or start walking to the pet shop on a more regular basis.  The packaging claims to be biodegradable (good), but I'd be disposing of around 73 packets a year (less good).

The verdict: if it was up to Daisy, we'd stick to Lily's Kitchen.  However, the steep price and the inconveniently small packet sizes have left me unconvinced. 

The quest continues...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Aldi achieves cruelty-free status

Good news today - Aldi has achieved Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty Free International for their own-brand range of household cleaning products.  They will be following up with certification for their beauty and personal care products, by all accounts.  So more good news on the way for the furry ones!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

(Slightly late) May and June favourites

In May, I discovered Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask from Lush.  Although they call it a mask, I pretty much use it as a scrub.  Such a rich, sweet coffee scent, and a lovely gritty texture.  It is just gorgeous...

Sludgy goodness...
In June, I renewed my subscription to Ethical Consumer magazine for a second year.  This is an invaluable resource for anybody wanting to make more ethical choices in everyday life.  EC provides product guides from the best to the worst, analysing the performance of companies against a range of ethical and conservation concerns, including, say, their stance on climate change or workers' rights. 

At first, I went for the online subscription option, but I found that I just didn't engage with the magazine when it was on the screen.  Then EC contacted me and asked if I wanted to switch to the print version.  I said yes straight away, and I much prefer the printed magazine.  It is sent in a paper envelope, not a plastic cover (as are most subscription magazines).  I find that I refer back to the paper copy a lot more, and EC seem keen for the magazines to be passed on to people who might not otherwise subscribe.  This way, they can take their message to a wider audience. 

I wouldn't be without it now.  It is so helpfully in a really practical way.  For example, I normally buy supermarket cat food, but looking up EC's table on this product has been an eye opener.  But the solutions are right there in front of me, so it's a matter of checking out the alternatives and making the change to a better product. 

(Providing the cat will agree to eat her shiny new ethical chow, of course...)

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Doing better....

A few weeks ago, I was on the train and I got a coffee.  I got a black coffee, and was therefore a bit surprised when (a) the lady on the trolley offered me a wooden stirrer (for black coffee?), and (b) gave me an extra disposable coffee cup in which to store my unnecessary stirrer.  I tried to refuse these items, but this lady was just so insistent.  I was pretty taken aback, but then I had to say to myself, what am I actually doing, buying this coffee in the first place???  Really, what?  I'm sitting here thinking, how wasteful etc, but the truth is, I have caused this waste.  I've bought a coffee knowing it would involve a disposable cup that would be used once then binned.  Then I'm put out because it involves slightly more waste then I'd envisaged? 

So that's it - no more buying a coffee on the train for me.  Yes, it's convenient, yes, it's nice to have a coffee on a long train journey, yes, it's easy to give in and do it just this once.  But if I think this sort of waste is bad, then I have to stop contributing to it.  I have to do better than this.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Simple catnip toy

No photos, but this catnip toy is so simple that none are needed.  Basically, get an old sock, but one without holes in.  Pour in some loose catnip, knot the sock at the ankle end, and give to your cat.  Providing your cat is susceptible to catnip, they will love it. 

With loose catnip, which I got at Sainsbury's, you can put more into the sock each time its potency fades.  You can also wash the sock once it becomes ingrained with cat slobber, which is a very good thing.  It's always tempting to buy your cat those cute little toys from the shops, but they don't need them.  They don't really care, and they get bored quickly anyway, so it's best to keep it simple (and inexpensive). 

Till next time...

Monday, 1 May 2017

April favourite

My favourite product of April has been the glorious chilli peanut butter by Biona (purchased at the Green Shop in Berwick-upon-Tweed - see post below for a link).  This is the best chilli peanut butter I've tasted.  Absolutely delicious on toast.  Love it.

The Green Shop, Berwick-upon-Tweed

This (link below) is a fabulous shop in Berwick-upon-Tweed, in Northumberland.  It has a great range of organic and otherwise eco things, including food, drink, clothing, make-up, toiletries, household bits and pieces, fresh veg, toilet roll, tooth brushes, etc.  All sorts of things, really.  If you live in the (far) north of England, or even happened to be passing close by on the A1, it is well worth a visit - I can't recommend highly enough.