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Muddy meets Amanda Keetley

We caught up with the coast-loving, director of Devon Environment Foundation for a nosey in her beach bag - and tips on how to be more sustainable, naturally.

Say hi to Amanda Keetley, Executive Director of the local charity, Devon Environment Foundation. An environmentalist and marketing expert, she also co-founded Less Plastic CIC, and has campaigned to reduce plastic pollution locally and globally since 2015, including writing a book to help people reduce plastic waste in their organisations, called ‘Plastic Game Changer’.

She believes now is the time to go beyond ‘minimising our negative impact’ and to be more ambitious ‘maximising our positive impact’ by doing all we can to give back to nature to repair the damage we’ve collectively caused.

The Devon Environment Foundation turbocharges nature regeneration by funding grassroots projects that protect and restore nature in Devon, enabling them to replicate and scale to maximise their impact.

She lives in Kingsbridge with her husband and teenage sons, loves coastal dog walks, beach cleans and is a keen sea-swimmer. So, with the temperature hitting 28+ degrees (and Muddy being nosey) now seemed the perfect time to catch up with her to find out how she stays sustainable when she’s down the beach.

Spill the beans, Amanda! What’s in your beach bag?

Klean Kanteen 

Insulated TKWide 32oz (946ml) with Chug Cap, £36.95

To avoid buying drinks and snacks in disposable packaging, I never leave home without a hot drink in my plastic-free flask, and some nuts and dried fruit in my stainless snack pot. Not only is this better for the planet, it’s usually the healthier and cheaper option too.

Dicky Bag

Midnight Blue Dicky Bag from £24.95

A hands-free dog poo carrier transforms dog walks. The leak-proof, airtight, insulated bag attaches to the lead so you can carry the poo in it until you find a bin. It’s been designed to hold poo bags, however as a plastic activist I prefer to repurpose newspaper or the paper wraps from our ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet paper to pick up and wrap the poo before placing in the Dicky Bag for safe keeping until we find a suitable disposal place.

Wild Swimming Towel

Hammam towel from the Outdoor Swimming Society, £25

I love this light weight hammam towel from the Outdoor Swimming Society – it’s perfect for chucking in your bag to be ready for spontaneous dips, and also doubles up as a picnic blanket, or even a scarf / shawl if the weather takes a sudden chilly turn.

Cotton Tote Bag

Less Plastic Tote, £12

A versatile cotton reusable tote bag that can be used for shopping, beach trips, or any day out. There’s a selection of Less Plastic / More Nature designs to choose from but any reusable bag will do. Top tip: have one bag you reserve specifically for mini beach cleans so you can give back to nature by spending a few minutes picking up ocean plastic at the end of every beach trip, emptying your finds into the bin or recycling when you get home.

Beauty Kitchen Skincare 

Seahorse Plankton+ Really Radiant Moisturiser, £20

It’s not sun protection, but this organic, vegan face moisturiser made from micro algae and seaweed is my absolute favourite beauty product. I particularly love that Beauty Kitchen products come in glass jars and they encourage customers to return them after use for reusing and refilling. The company gives back by donating a percentage of sales to the Seahorse Trust (based in Devon!) and Plastic Soup Foundation.

Vivobarefoot trainers

Primus Lite II Womens in Apple Blossom, £115

When I can’t literally be barefoot, then Vivobarefoot minimalist trainers are the next best thing. Super comfortable and lightweight, the company also has very high eco credentials, a Bantham connection, and is one of Devon Environment Foundation’s key partners.

Stay Wild Swimsuit 

The Odyssey One Piece, £170

Stylish, sustainable swimwear made from ocean plastic designed to flatter every female body type! 😊 It’s expensive, but really well made and will last the test of time.

A good book

These are some my faves and, if you’re looking for help to cut plastic in your workplace, then mine!! 

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, William Collins, £9.99
Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm by Isabella Tree, Picador, £7.99
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake, Vintage, £9.34
😉 Plastic Game Changer: How to Reduce Plastic in Your Organisation to Make a Difference to Plastic Pollution’ by Amanda Keetley), Less Plastic, £9.99

Fancy doing your bit for Devon’s environment?

If you want to help protect and restore nature in Devon, a donation to the Devon Environment Foundation is a brilliant way to support a wide range of local grassroots projects and help them to amplify their impact.

Find out more about the projects DEF has supported to date here and join the Devon Nature Club here.

Join a group beach clean with Till the Coast is Clear who offer organised clean up events on foot, or on ribs/kayaks all through the year.

Find more ideas here

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