10 ways to make a difference TODAY!
From 2 minute beach cleans, plastic free shopping and donating your old clothes...
The Beehive offers a beautiful shopping experience with good quality second-hand clothing, donated from the community; for the community.
But, The Beehive is not just any shop. At the very heart of The Beehive is a place where women who can’t afford clothing can be referred by local services to come and get clothes for free. They are not a ‘charity’ shop, but are a place of dignity and beauty where paying customers and referred women, share the very same boutique experience. The only difference is that when the clothes are scanned into the till, their referred women’s total clocks up to £0.
DO YOUR BIT: The Beehive relies on the community to donate their un-wanted clothing, jewellery, shoes and accessories, so donate items with the knowledge they will end up in someone else’s life. You can drop off donations at The Beehive during opening times: Monday-Friday, 10am – 5pm (They are closed on Sundays).
Gift Aid: If you are a UK tax payer, The Beehive can claim gift aid on anything you donate. For every £1 we sell your items for, we can get 25p back from HMRC. It all adds up! All you need to do is fill in a quick and easy form which you can find on their website or in store.
The Beehive are currently trying to get their stockroom functioning, and so need of crates to help with organisation. They need your help to sponsor a crate! Each crate cost £3.30 which you can purchase through their website.
2. Big Forest Find, Bedgebury
Join the biggest survey of England’s forest wildlife
Like the idea of a great family activity that helps towards saving the planet? ‘Course you do! The Forestry Commission is inviting people to join the biggest ever survey of England’s forest wildlife as part of its centenary celebrations. By downloading the free iNaturalist app, you can easily record your wildlife finds and help protect and provide habitats, now and in the future.
Taking place across the UK in the nation’s forests, such as our very own Bedgebury Forest, volunteers and visitors embark on a journey of discovery through England’s wooded landscapes.
From birds and butterflies to insects and plant life on the forest floor, the information recorded will paint a better picture of England’s forest biodiversity.
DO YOUR BIT: Download the free app iNaturalist to discover and record wildlife t on your next visit. Whether you’re a seasoned naturalists or a budding wildlife enthusiasts, what better way to get your kids outdoors and teach them about saving their planet and how to do their bit?
3. Feel Good Fridays, FLOW Tunbridge Wells
Yoga with a difference
At FLOW Tunbridge Wells they have a new charity class called ‘Feel Good Friday’, kickstart your weekend with this upbeat and positively charged yoga session with Founder of Flow, Lucy Parker. 25% of the income made from the class goes straight to Nourish Food Bank so move, breathe, enjoy some strengthening yoga poses and help someone in your community! On the First Friday of each month they collect toiletry items for Nourish to be distributed to their clients. This class is suitable for all levels apart from absolute beginners to Yoga.
Nourish is a registered charity that provides short-term emergency provisions and support to individuals and families in need within the borough of Tunbridge Wells, South Tonbridge and the surrounding areas.
DO YOUR BIT: Join in and feel good every Friday by enriching your practice with the knowledge that you are helping your local community. Bring toiletry items on the first Friday of each month to be donated to Nourish.
Sustainable and ethical luxury
Elvis & Kresse create stunning lifestyle accessories from reclaimed materials, transforming seemingly useless wastes and combining them with highly skilled, traditional craftsmanship.
Some of the materials they use include fire hose, parachute silk, printing blanket, leather, coffee sack, shoe boxes, tea sack and auction banners.
In 2005, they learned that London’s damaged decommissioned hoses were headed to landfill and Elvis & Kresse was set up to save it. For over a decade none of London’s fire-hose has gone to landfill and over 200 tons of material has been reclaimed. Furthermore, 50% of profits from their Fire-hose Collection are donated to The Fire Fighters Charity.
In 2017 the Burberry Foundation partnered with Elvis & Kresse to tackle the global problem of leather waste. This Five-year partnership will see at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from Burberry recrafted into new luxury items, designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.
DO YOUR BIT: Shop with Elvis and Kresse to indulge your wardrobe whilst doing good.
5. Beach Clean Events Across Kent, Various locations
Operating at various venues across Kent and the UK, Beachwatch Beach Clean Events are organised by volunteers to bring equipment and instructions to help clean up our beaches. All you need to do is register to volunteer and turn up!
The Thanet Coast has #2minutebeachclean stations all around the main beaches – giving everyone a chance to join in on their own quick clean up! These stations have been placed around the coast to encourage any beach users to spare two minutes to carry out their own beach clean, and also act as a reminder that looking after our beaches is everyone’s responsibility! Beach station ‘A’ frames provide the equipment required, as well as important information on keeping safe whilst cleaning, before returning the equipment. Residents and visitors can help by taking along their own reusuable long life bags (to fill & empty in the large bins nearby) or take old carrier bags to help with cleans if you have ones to donate! Please help stock up the bag holders if you have some spare. On finishing the beach clean – people are encouraged to take a quick image of the litter they collect and share it on social media, to help spread the anti-litter message, and show the good work that they are doing! Tag #2minutebeachclean, #ThanetCoast and @
To find where 2 Minute Beach Stations can be found during the main summer season, click: thanetcoast.org.uk
DO YOUR BIT: Find out more information and sign up to Beachwatch Beach Clean events using the following link: mcsuk.org/beachwatch. See where 2 Minute Beach Stations are located near you and join the trend to keep our beaches clean by using #2minutebeachclean, #ThanetCoast and @
If there are no 2 minute Beach Stations nearby, try starting your own trend. Take your own bags and litter pickers (or a pair of garden gloves and get stuck in with your hands). Happy cleaning!!
FOR ALL YOUR PLASTIC FREE SHOPPING NEEDS…
6. The Eco Pantry, Chart Farm, Tues & Thurs 9am – 4pm, Sat 9am – 3pm
Plastic free refill shop
The Eco Pantry are a plastic free refill shop based in Seal Chart, Sevenoaks with Pop Up’s at local Farmers’ Markets in Kent. They offer a one-stop-shop for loose dried foods, cleaning products, toiletries & so much more; helping you to fill up your kitchen cupboard whilst reducing packaging.
DO YOUR BIT: Shop a little more sustainably by following these easy steps! Bring your container. Weigh the container. Fill it up! Weigh again. Label and pay. Easy peasy.
The Eco Pantry are open Tues & Thurs 9am – 4pm, and Sat 9am-3pm. They also attend Tonbridge, Aylesford and West Malling Farmers’ Markets.
7. The Zero Waste Company, Tunbridge Wells, Mon – Sun
Encouraging a zero waste way of living
The Zero Waste Company is the first completely plastic free store in Tunbridge Wells! Their aim is to provide a zero waste environment for customers, offering refill stations on bulk goods, household and personal toiletries, as well as ethical vegan make up, perfume and accessories.
They work with a local farm to offer fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, and a zero waste florist for beautiful flowers without the cellophane! They also offer great coffee and breakfast, bring a cup or container (or use their compostable ones) and take away, or hang out in store in their comfy seating area. Whether you are looking for an eco solution to your shopping or a place to chill with some like minded individuals, they’ve got it covered.
DO YOUR BIT: Bring your own containers (or buy some in store/use their free compostable paper bags) and fill up on what you need: Choose your container/Bring your own, Tare it, Fill with seasonal goods, Weigh, Label then Pay and enjoy!
8. Bare Bazaar, Ashford, Fri & Sat 10am – 5pm or shop online
Food, but nude…
Bare Bazaar is a zero waste, plastic-free alternative grocery in Ashford. They sell a range of household and toiletry products like plastic free deodorants, beeswax wraps and reusable baby wipes and unpackaged food including beans, pulses and legumes, herbs and spices, rice and pasta, and cereals. Just bring your own containers (or have they paper bags and recycled containers on hand), fill them up with your goodies and pay by the weight. They’ve even got a Veg Box that they make each week, full of surplus fruit and veg available on a Pay-As-You-Feel basis!
DO YOUR BIT: Find Bare Bazaar at the Coachworks, Ashford, or you can order online and choose to have your products delivered in eco-friendly packaging or drop off your own containers to be re-filled.
Whilst you are there you can browse Made By Kent’s lovely gift selection by talented local craftsmen, pick a bunch of flowers, buy some cake, artisan bread or have a cup of coffee to go (bring your own cup!) and most importantly, you can feel good for reducing your plastic and supporting your local community.
10. Contain Yourself, The Eco Pantry, Seal, Tues & Thurs 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-3pm
A refill station to help you use less plastic
Contain Yourself is a refill station for toiletries and household cleaning products with the aim of reducing plastic waste. Bring your own bottles or purchase glass bottles to re-fill with the vegan, cruelty free and natural ingredient-based products on offer. Based in Tunbridge Wells but travelling around Kent, you can find Contain Yourself at markets and pop up events in Kent and East Sussex. They’ve just announced that they now have a permanent home in Southborough’s High Street, it’s not opened just yet but keep your eyes peeled.
DO YOUR BIT: Make sure to follow Contain Yourself on Facebook so you can catch them at Pop-Ups, they release the dates in advance so you can be prepared and remember to bring your own bottles and empties!