East Bristol Bakery is a PALL paradise.

Within a few days of arriving in Bristol I found this gem of a place, my local bakers, The East Bristol Bakery.

The East Bristol Bakery is a PALL – Plastic A Lot Less – paradise. There is barely any plastic in sight. They lovingly wrap each loaf in soft paper.  (Which, is great to use after to wrap the compost, rather than using a plastic bag.)

Although it´s an amazing place to shop PALL, that´s not the main reason I keep going back. The main reason is the bread is bloody delicious!  I´m getting a bit addicted to the baguette….

When I pop in to get a loaf, I also get a glimpse of what they´re up to due to the open kitchen.  Depending what time of day, I see different stages of baking. Which in itself is interesting.

I´m in and out in minutes – if I need to be. People talk of convenience of big shops, which I don´t get. There is nothing more convenient than popping in here!  They´re even open till 7pm so it´s easy to pop in on the way home from work if you work 9-5.

As well as a wide range of traditional breads, they also make a range of tasty  cakes.

In fact, they just won Bristol Good Food Awards – best local cakes! 

The cakes they put into a paper bag.  They don´t have large plastics bags either. So it´s a case of bring your own bag, or carry the bread in your hands.  We managed for years this way, it´s refreshing to see, we still can!

They also stock local free range eggs, I can take the boxes back and they´ll re-use them (when I remember…) and locally made jams. As well as flour, in case you fancy a spot of baking at home.

I went along with my camera and to ask a few questions. I wanted to know whether the lack of single use plastic is a conscious decision, and how they find not using it.

They explained, it´s obvious to not use plastic for fresh bread.

Condensation is the enemy of crust.

They are thinking about the quality of the bread they make, and making sure it stays as fresh as possible for their customers. Not finding the cheapest packaging.

We aren’t sure if plastics bags would be cheaper, but to us it just doesn’t make sense even if it is.  It isn’t good for the bread or the environment.

One bread they do sell in plastic bags though is the Rye bread. They explained, “Rye has a longer shelf life, and actually improves with age. So we allow it to totally cool before bagging it (no condensations issues), and the plastic bags give them a little home to live.”

I´m no bread expert, I wonder if it could have another home to live rather than a single use plastic bag? I just stick to buying the other loafs, there´s plenty of other choice, but I suppose not if you couldn´t eat wheat… You could always ask them to take the bread out the bag and give it back,  in the hope they´ll re-use it. But still, only one product in plastic. That´s quite incredible!

They accepted the Bristol Pound from day one, over 3 years ago.  Yes, Bristol has it´s own currency!  This is the kind of independent thinking people in Bristol are. It basically means, when people spend their Bristol Pounds here, The East Bristol Bakery in turn need to shop somewhere that accepts the Bristol Pound.  Keeping the money in the local community, and local independent businesses. Amazing hey!

The East Bristol Bakery spend quite a lot of their Bristol Pounds at Essential Trading. Which is where they buy everything other than flour, and is just up the road!

As well as a dedicated team, they´re a friendly bunch of people. Which baffles me seeing as they´re at work at 4am. Ouch!  That´s a bakers life.

I found out this week just how dedicated. When Alex started the bakery in 2012 he literally worked around the clock for months to get it up and going.  Polly, the co-owner was originally a solicitor, but hated the office life so became a baker! One lad moved to Bristol from Reading especially to work here. The other lad found out about the bakery while finishing his travels in New Zealand, and Leonie, decided she wanted to work here while traveling in the Amazon Rain Forrest!

This team of people are dedicated bakers. They are all here for the love of bread, and you can feel that when you visit.

This is something I´ve noticed since I started to PALL. I appreciate things in a way I might not have before. I don´t just run in a shop and pick up a loaf of bland “air” bread. I visit a bakers, or in Portugal the Farmers Markets. And as a result, I get to know the people making it, I make the connection. and I eat much tastier, healthier bread!

Obviously the reason I´m blogging about The East Bristol Bakery is  I can shop PALL here – Plastic A Lot LessBut don´t go for this reason, this is just a happy by-product of this local artisan bakery. Go to experience both the place, and their wares!

Remember, every refusal adds up!

All photography by and copyright of Cassar Photogrpahy

Find more information on East Bristol Bakery here.

and more information on the Bristol Pound here.


Getting on board Plastic Free July

Last week Kate from Plastic is Rubbish asked me what I´m doing for Plastic Free July. I was like…. errr haven´t really thought about doing anything, but I should.

Why not do anything? In the past years since Being PALL July has meant busy working season, so I´ve just carried on as normal, Being PALL – Plastic A Lot Less. Free?  No. I´ll never be free of plastic, but Plastic Free July understand that. Plastic Free July is about Single Use Plastics, not all plastics.

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives and challenges people to do something about it.

I already do a lot about it, but what I don´t do is keep the plastic I do use. I have 101 excuses for this, but a good one I feel, is I´ve lived in about 10 house and a camper van since Being PALL.  I´m not planning on moving anytime soon, and I´m blogging now, so no more excuses!

What I´m going to do for Plastic Free July 2015 is keep all the plastic I might otherwise throw “away”, in this little bin I found at the charity shop today.

The big bins my house´s bin, which was left by the last tenent´s – it looks bigger in the picture. It´s “normal” size.  Mine is the little bin, bathroom size. Ambitious?  Yep! I´m hoping I won´t fill it… but we´ll see!

  • I´m not going to include when my house mates, family etc cook for me.
  • Or when I eat out, what´s gone on behind the scenes, that´s impossible!
  • If I end up being giving plastic when I´m out, I´ll bring it home.
  • I´m not going to do anything different from normal.
  • I won´t hord on too stuff to get rid of in August!

I´ll keep what I collect and share it at the end…

(This July might be the July my 8 year old Mac Book gives up so that will totally bugger it!  I hope not, I hope this machine carry´s on working, even if it has worked like a cart horse the last 8 years and is screaming at me…)

So, what is and who are Plastic Free July?  They are another totally inspiring story from Down Under, and another inspiring story of individual action.

In Brief, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz. After going to a recycling center as part of her job for  the Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC) in Perth, Western Australia was totally blown away.  She turned up to work one day in 2011 and said, “Hey, let´s go plastic free next month.”

Fast forward four years, in 2014 over 14,000 people from sixty nine counties participated and they have gone on to inspire people to live plastic free, not just for July.

Up for the challenge?  You can register here  Plastic Free July  and they´ll send you everything you need.  I´m excited to register now! Be interesting to see what I can learn from them.

The Challenge

The challenge is quite simple. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. “Single-use” includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging…basically anything that’s intended only to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, try the TOP 4 challenge (plastic bags, bottles takeaway coffee cups & straws).

The rules

  1. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
  2. Remember it’s not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don’t worry about being perfect.
  3. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with us at the end of the challenge.
  4. It’s up to you regarding how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution.

So thank you Kate for giving me the nudge I needed.  If you do register, let me know, I´d love to hear how you got on!   I´ll show you my bin in August…

Remember, every refusal adds up!  You may feel you´re alone, but Plastic Free July goes to show, you´re not!


`Tap into Bristol´ and save money.

Yesterday I went to the opening of a water fountain. When it comes to openings, it´s not the most rock and roll I´ve been to, I admit!

But it is exciting, as visitors to Bristol’s Millennium Square can now ‘Tap into Bristol and drink at a free drinking fountain that Bristol Water have installed, to celebrate Bristol 2015 European Green Capital year.

People are encouraged to bring re-usable bottles and use the free water supply during their city summer outings in order to reduce plastic waste and litter – and save money.

Typical Bristol fashion, it looks cool.  There´s huge art work surrounding it by Jody @Digital-Fire so it can´t be missed. There´s also a fancy porthole to show the underground infrastructure. Not sure about you, but I don´t think about what´s going on under the ground when I turn on the tap… it makes a nice change to see some of the workings.

On Bristol Water site they say:

We Brits spend about £1.5 billion on bottled water every year and send the equivalent of about 15 million bottles to landfill each day. Water that comes from UK taps is the most stringently tested in the world, it undergoes daily rigorous inspection to check its quality whilst bottle water only gets checked monthly at source. From a health, price and environment perspective, tap water is just better.

Looking at those facts and figures I can´t believe I was always buying bottles of water… If for no other reason, fill up to save yourself some money!  I have bought a few reusable water bottles over the last 6 years as I´ve lost a couple, but I have spent NO WHERE near what I use to spend on water . This bottle I´ve manged to not lose in 6 country’s, so I´m getting better!

Bristol Water are monitoring the usage of the fountain (with a water meter) if it´s used enough they may be others installed across the city…. So get on down there, have a quick drink, or fill up for free and ‘Tap into Bristol’ !

For more information go to Bristol Waters website Bristol Water Millennium Square – drinking fountain