- Numero uno!
Before you comment on why doesn’t a disabled person just buy a metal or wooden straw, or use a paper straw, answer this. Do you have one of those bamboo toothbrushes? Have you recently measured the mould growth? Do you carry around your own cutlery EVERY time you grab a coffee? Oh you don’t use a straw to drink hot drinks? That’ll be why you think paper straws are the perfect solution.
99% of my mobility aids contains some sort of plastic. My wheelchair has plastic trim, my crutches half plastic. I have a plastic pirate themed orthotic brace for my foot. I have a plastic bath seat. I have a plastic toilet stool (not my stool, that’s organic. Hashtag: poo emoji 💩)I have a plastic gripper grabber, plastic fans, plastic pads, plastic sheets (sometimes). You cannot plastic guilt trip a disabled person. Most of our furniture is plastic. It’s not a style choice like some funky 70’s LA interior design magazine or hipster Bakelite revival.
- Section iii.)
Telling a disabled person they can carry a straw about with them or trying to tell them how they can best adapt to their own disabilities, is a bit fucking stupid. No one know’s a disabled person’s capabilities and adaptabilities better than the disabled person themselves, or their primary carer. Swallowing can be an issue for some disabled people. People with physical disabilities and mental/neuro disorders alike. Just cos you have a granny with arthritis doesn’t mean you know what’s best for Tam’s C1 spinal cord injury and resulting impairment. With all your best intentions, just gonnae no?
- Part IV)
A disabled person most likely has a kit, a bug out bag if you will. I have medicine, patches, pads, a tool kit, a water bottle (aforementioned star wars container with Jedi grip), spare clothes, waterproofs, a hand pump, and a scarf (to double as a blanket) all in the back of my wheelchair. I also have to remember my phone, my wallet, my disabled parking badge, my crutch, my keys, my bag for life and my trolley coin token thing cos there is no way I have a pound coin cash, and you want me to remember to take a straw so you feel better about the banning of plastics? No bother I’ll just die of thirst in the supermarket queue while the lassie helps to pack my 20 PLASTIC bags for life. Not only does remembering such a shitload of stuff impact my cognitive issues, it can be stressful and expensive.
please don’t take this article too seriously. If you want to find out more please go check out the amazing work @jamieszymko is doing in highlighting the issue.
Today’s 12 Days of Christmas challenge is arguably the most challenging, but we are sure you can do it.
Did you know that in the top 10 of UK’s most endangered species are hedgehogs, turtle doves, red squirrels but also that 6 out of the 10 are in fact insects?
Insects play a vital role in our ecosystem. Not only providing food for our birds and other small mammals, but also pollinating plants, trees and grasses.
The most vital insect in this process is of course the bee. Honey Bees, wild and domestic perform around 80% of the planet’s pollination. The humble bee is facing great challenges right now. Whole hives decimated by disease. Bee keepers in the US reporting up to 50% losses. They need our help.
By protecting the environment and habitat of these wild animals, we can help them survive and thrive as us humans encroach ever further into their spaces, so today we are asking you to plant something to help feed our insect friends.
You don’t have to have a lot of money or a lot of space to plant something. If you have some outdoor space, order some free seeds online, save a sapling that will otherwise be cut down or crushed by traffic,or plant some bulbs. If you have no outdoor space, you can still grow things in pots – even old margarine tubs will do – on your windowsill. You can grow herbs to use in your kitchen, or bulbs to grow as gifts for next spring. You’ll get the satisfaction of nurturing something, and our creepy-crawly friends will thank you for it.
On the 9th Day of Christmas Ungagged are bringing the focus back to your local community.
Another nice easy one to do today, and it really will make at least your little corner of the world a nicer place.
Wherever you are going today, whether you’re off to work or to the shops, on the school run, or even just taking a little walk down your street, take a bag with you and pick up any rubbish you see lying about the place. It doesn’t matter that it’s not your rubbish, it’s your community.
This is another of those small acts that can have a large impact. You won’t only be improving the look and feel of your community, and reducing the impact of human wastefulness on your local wildlife, but you may also inspire others to do the same, or shame litterers into taking their trash home for recycling in future. Either way you’ll get to go to bed tonight knowing you did a good thing.
Continuing our 12 Days of Christmas- 12 little ways you can make the world a better place.
Bet you’ve got a whole house full of cardboard boxes and plastic packaging now, haven’t you? I know I have– plastic wrapped around wrapping paper and christmas cards, all the usual plastic packaging around our fruit and veg but supersized because we have to get enough food to feed an army, just in case. And dont get me started on plastic toys imprisoned in plastic packaging with plastic cable ties all wrapped in cellophane. Do toy manufacturers think that Barbie is going to escape from her box and run off with Darth Vader or something?
Having so much packaging is annoying for us, but it is deadly for our marine life. Plastic doesn’t dissolve in the oceans, it floats around until it becomes microgranules or is ingested by marine life. There’s currently over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. It’s poisoning our fish, choking sea turtles and being ingested by dolphins who can’t digest it, so with their stomachs full, they starve. Festive, huh?
Luckily, there is lots you can do to help. From the simple things like taking a reusable shopping bag out with you, reusing or recycling whenever you can and even giving up rubbish bags in favour of tipping your waste directly into the wheelie bin to save on plastic getting into landfill sites.
If you have children you can reuse plastic bottles in all sorts of ways, by making them into bird feeders, bath toys or using them for junk modelling. If you don’t have children, pop into your local nursery or primary school and ask if they need any donations of clean bottles or boxes or plastic tubs for their arts and crafts lessons.
There are entire islands of plastic in our oceans. Luckily there is a fantastic organisation called The Ocean Cleanup which is working tirelessly to remove the plastic from our oceans and protect our marine life. Visit their site for info on how they are fighting to protect our oceans, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see how you can help, and where to donate to the organisation.
It’s the first day of Christmas and we’ll be marking the next 12 days with little ways you can carry the festive spirit on by making the world just a tiny bit better.
The birds in your garden are cold this time of year as well, and food can be hard to come by. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to help get our feathered friends through the winter though. The RSPB has some brilliant advice on what to feed the birds in your garden here.
In the winter months birds can find it hard to find fresh water too, so don’t forget to leave them a drink as well.
If you’d like to do even more to help,you could do some of your January Sales shopping through Songbird Survival – a charity that commisions research into Britain’s declining songbird population. Or you could become a member of the RSPB for £4 per month. Perhaps the ideal Alternative New Years Resolution? Very little effort so nice and easy to stick to, you’ll get a quarterly magazine and unlimited entry to over 100 nature reserves in the UK, and you’ll get that warm feeling of knowing you’ve helped protect our garden birds. You can sign up or find out more here.