TGI Friday’s is skipping plastic straws!

I was the first to speak to the CEO of TGI Friday’s about their plastic straw usage. That conversation helped prompt their actions to remove plastic straws at Friday’s UK. 🙌

With over 80 restaurants, serving literally thousands of people on a daily basis, this is a huge victory for preventing plastic pollution – at source!

So, why was I working in TGI Friday’s, a huge high street chain?

When we were starting out at City to Sea it was all hands on deck, but we didn’t have much in the way of budget coming in. So having just moved to Bristol and after 15 years I went back to waiting tables. Which was a shock to the system, I remembered it being easy?! Hard work yes, but in an easy way. It wasn’t. If you underestimate waiting tables, you’ve never done it!

During my interview at TGIs in 2015 I let my manager knew I was preventing plastic pollution, she was really encouraging and Friday’s welcomed me to the team. Giving me all the flexibility I needed to work on City to Sea. It also gave me the opportunity to encourage change, on a massive scale. So when Karen Forrester, the CEO was paying a store visit in 2016 I made sure I was there to chat with her … (I wasn’t missing that chance!) Karen was attentive took on what I said and we then conversed over email.

I then followed up that conversation with her manager, area manager and the right people at HQ, and now in just a couple of weeks single use plastic straws will be a thing of the past in TGI Friday’s UK!!

There’s always more large restaurants can do, but this is a fantastic start and may prompt other large chains to follow, and TGI Friday’s across the globe … How can they not?!

It’s a fantastic example of how conversations, with the right people really can inspire massive change. Aim high, and watch as plastic pollution prevention ripples out … Individuals actions add up, I’m a huge champion of that but I learnt in Portugal by going to the “top” we can inspire change on a big scale, making it easier for people, or normal for those they might not even know about plastic pollution Have a think … who could you talk to?

I left TGI Friday’s last Summer, after two years of waiting tables in the evenings and at weekends. I’m grateful to TGIs for all the support they gave me, and the friend’s I made there. Not to mention them ditching single use plastic straws!! 🙌🙌🙌

Remember; every refusal adds up, so does every conversation …

 

Read more about it here. 

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Speaking with Rob Greenfield

I’m a big fan of Rob Greenfield, so it was a dream come true, to not only hear him speak (twice!) but speak with him, and put him up for a week!

Rob’s an adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference. He is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world.

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Check him out, he’s a total inspiration, with more projects than you can shake a stick at! He’s doing it all, cycling across America on a bamboo bike not plugging into any power, wearing a months worth of rubbish around New York, living in a tiny house, as well as putting out videos that go viral, sharing the good work of others. He really lives it, he is a dude making a difference.

So to hear Rob speak in Totnes arranged by Earth.Food.Love was great. To make the chance to speak alongside him in Bristol, and put him up and get to know him was awesome! Food Cycle wanted to host him, so we got together and put on an event, and they put on the food.

It was quite something to have such an experience speaker such as Rob to give me such praise.

Your talk was engaging, with the right balance of personal story, emotion and solutions.

There were people there from Greenpeace, who were equally positive. It seams I’m getting the hang of this public speaking lark!

It’s really an honour to be able too, to people and let them know my story, and how living PALL with less plastic is possible and what we can achieve. To do that alongside Rob Greenfield, was a dream come true!

Remember, every refusal adds up.

And every person we tell, those refusals can add up and ripple out …

Speaking alongside Bea Johnson at Zero Waste talk

“Phenomenal” was not a word I expected to hear of my 30 minute talk at a recent Zero Waste event. Especially coming from Tracey, the Managing Director of Bristol Waste. I even had to repeat it to make sure I’d heard it right! I had, she assured me.

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photo Kelly Cooper

I jumped at the chance to speak alongside Bea Johnson at a Zero Waste event put on by Eqo. I’ve spoken at smaller events, but to an auditorium that’s sits 200 people – twice! That was new ground, alongside no other than Bea Johnson who’d flown in from America.

It was an honor to be able to tell my story, how I came to live with less plastic in 2008 right up until my role as Creative Director at City to Sea working with national retailers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 21.38.23 Not heard of Bea? She’s the Zero Waste don! I have up-most respect for Bea, she’s hard-core minimalist. Think perfect white house, pintrest perfect kitchen, a dog that matches the decor and a wardrobe of clothes she can fit in a carry on suitcase. She has a best-selling book and has inspired countless zero waste shops to spring up. She really is one of those women who has her shit together!

Perhaps that’s why I find it hard to resonate with her?! I love charity shop shopping till my wardrobe aches. As kids there wasn’t much money for clothes, charity shops weren’t a thing in the 80s and as teenagers then, would have been horrified at the thought! We were mimilist by default, not choice. As an adult, I enjoy, love in fact! The choice, variety and bargains charity shops bring me.

My kitchen cupboards are a muddle. At one point we had five street cats. Since being PALL I’ve lived in over 10 different houses, in three different countries. Sometimes I struggle to see my bedroom floor, let alone get around to painting one white! Blogging took me years, in the same time Bea’s had become a book.

Bea said, “we vote with every penny we spend.” 

We have very different ways and reasons for living with less, but how we spend our money unites us.

Our differences are part of the beauty. We live with less how it feels right for us, there is no right and wrong. (Though of course, there’s been times I’ve wondered if she has it more right!)

I was really excited to meet Lizzie Outside. Her natural way of talking and her ease really inspired me. As did her story. Her reason for raising awareness of plastic, cancer. It was cancer that led her to become a voice for plastic pollution, and an adventurer leading her to paddle board the length of the country. We had a chat over lunch, and I hope to meet up with her again. lizzieThe day was presented by Zero Waste blogger and YouTuber Kate Arnell. She has a great channel full of tips and advice. She let me into a secret, it takes a lot of works and takes to have a YouTube channel! kate-arnell-2016

Remember, every refusal adds up. What ever way you choose to do it.