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Painting the Town Green

Painting the Town Green

Delphis Eco catch up with Paint The Town Green: London's first environmentally friendly decorating company with its own range of fine eco paints.

The decorating and paint company based in South West London was founded in 2007 by Phil Robinson. The Daily Express once described Paint The Town as "a new species of tradesperson", not only is Paint the Town a high quality decorating service, but they also make their own environmentally friendly non-toxic paints to go with it.

And the paints they offer are stunning, all named after songs inspired by founder Phil's love of music and time in a band. There's even a featured "gemstone and minerals" paint collaboration with interior design royalty, Nicky Haslam. 

I sat down with Paint The Town's Jo to find out more and to see how she got on using Delphis Eco's products in the showroom. 

Delphis: I love that you’re being referred to as a new species of tradesperson” - can you explain that a bit, what do you think is meant by that?

Jo: This was very much what Phil set out to do. He considers it a privilege to go and paint a person’s home - how his company behaves is of the utmost importance. The team are efficient, polite, tidy and work to a really high standard. The aim is to cause as little disruption as possible to a person’s home whilst it is being redecorated. In this country there is a bit of distrust and sometimes even dislike around tradesmen and it has given some professions a bit of a bad name. When he launched, Phil wanted to break the stereotype of plumbers and decorators being ‘hairy oafs’. This ‘new species’ was more around the high level of service the company provides. The fact Paint the Town Green was also London’s first environmentally-friendly decorating company meant that it did offer something genuinely different too.

Paint The Town founder Phil Robinson 

 

 

Delphis: Tell us about the Nicky Haslam collaboration - exciting! How did that come about?

Jo: Phil met Nicky on a project in Northamptonshire and their conversation turned very quickly to a collaboration. Nicky liked the fact Paint the Town Green were eco. He says, ‘An environmental conscience is important’ and he had always wanted to design his own paint. The colours are the colours he has loved all his life but which he has never been able to find in the shops. Nicky called his collection ‘The Stones’ as he wanted to go for earthy, natural colours but also he knows the band The Rolling Stones personally and it fitted with the company’s original collection where all the paints are named after songs.

 

The the team with Nicky Haslam at the launch of "The Stones" collection.
Nicky and Phil discussing the collection

Delphis: We are super interested in the naming of the paints relating to songs. What is it about the colour that makes you know which song it relates to? How do you name them?

Jo: It was a very time consuming process that took a lot of thought but was great fun. Phil wanted to come at the colour-naming process from a different angle and have a theme that ran throughout. Some of them came more easily than others, these were mainly the literal ones - Purple Rain, Powder Blue, Fade to Grey etc. But actually the ones he’s most pleased with are the ones that are a bit more “cryptic” but convey what he’s trying to say with those colours. These include Dignity, Pictures of You and Charlotte Sometimes. Phil likes to think these names trigger the imagination by describing the colours in a more metaphorical way rather than just saying ‘Pea Green’.

 

The paint catalogue with all the unique names

Delphis: Why were you disappointed in the paint that was available? Which lead you to create your own.

Jo: It was after Paint the Town Green founder Phil got married and was doing up his house. His wife was pregnant and he started to worry about the fumes she was inhaling so he looked into eco-friendly paints and started trying products that would not be harmful to her. He realised that the only way to get what he really wanted was to create his own as at that time eco paints were niche and of varying quality. Paint the Town Green uses an Icelandic factory powered by natural underground steam. The quality of the paint is uncompromised. The opacity, flow and colour are all great.

 

 

Delphis: How did becoming a parent change your household needs?

Jo: Becoming a parent means your household staples change and you are more conscientious about what you buy. Stock piling nappies and wipes in the early days makes you think about landfill a bit more! You are more mindful too about clean and bacteria-free surfaces. With a little one in the house you do think twice about what you are using. However products that are effective and can help save you time are important too.

 

Delphis: What does sustainability mean to your business?

Jo: Sustainability for Paint the Town Green is decorating the home without harm to the environment or to the people in it. The Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1992) defined the definition of sustainability as, "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Really, it is all about acting now in a way that will preserve this world and setting the bar for the next generations.

 

 

Delphis: How have you found Delphis eco compared to other cleaning brands?

Jo: It’s happened to us all where people have tried to do the right thing but the quality of the product simply hasn’t been up to the mark. Delphi's eco however was a delightful surprise. Using the multipurpose spray on our showroom windows was like stepping into a TV advert. Any marks on the window came off with ease and it left no smears which was impressive. Great too to not feel like you were inadvertently inhaling any nasties. Paint the Town Green will move to Delphis eco for our showroom cleaning products for sure now.

 

Delphis Eco featured on Paint The Town's instagram account

Delphis: You’ve got some pretty cool clients on your books, Marc Jacobs’ Mayfair store, Damien Hirst’s gallery… how did they hear about you?

Jo: It’s all been word of mouth really. Until the company launched the retail aspect of the company last year (allowing people for the first time to buy our paint rather than it just being available as part of the decorating service). Paint the Town has done very little marketing or advertising. When Phil launched the company in 2007, he had the philosophy that if you deliver above and beyond expectations people will recommend you to other people and that’s what has happened. The company has been lucky enough to be approached by some high profile commercial clients (as you allude to) as well as some prestigious residential projects. Obviously it’s thrilling to work for high profile companies and characters but it’s come about by treating every client as if they are an A list celebrity and that will never change.

 

  

 

Delphis: What do you say to people who need persuading to go green?

Jo: People don’t need so much persuading these days as educated, although there is a bit more of a movement afoot. For example, people are just cottoning on to buying local. Making choices like these are not only better for you but also better for the environment. When it comes to paint, people don’t realise that toxins can be released from traditional oil based paints for years after they have been applied. People are used to the idea that they are what they eat but they are not quite there yet in terms of what they wear or surround ourselves with in the home.

To find out more about Paint The Town Green head to their website here

 

 

 

 

 

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Surfer's Against Sewage's Emily Haggett often finds milk bottles washed up on the coast line, I asked her what she thought of us creating recycled packaging out of them

Surfer's Against Sewage's Emily Haggett often finds milk bottles washed up on the coast line, I asked her what she thought of us creating recycled packaging out of them

After our recent launch of Delphis Eco's 100% recycled plastic packaging, we caught up with Emily Haggett who spends her time campaigning for plastic free coastlines in her role at Surfer's Against Sewage (SAS) to chat to her about plastic pollution. 

Emily Haggett - image credit: Mike Newman.

Emily, who grew up by the sea graduated with a MEnvSci degree from the University of Southampton. She tells me that was where sustainability was first brought to her attention. It was during her internship with Surfers Against Sewage in her penultimate year of university that lead her to being offered a job after she graduated. Emily is now he Plastic Free Coastlines Project Manager for SAS and she runs their ongoing campaign Plastic Free Coastlines. Their aim is to reduce people's reliance on single-use plastics, a goal we share. 

Plastic Free Coastlines Campaign - credit: SAS.

We've all been transfixed by Blue Planet II (Sunday nights, 8pm BBC 1) and the effects of plastic pollution is inescapable. David Attenborough gently narrated the heartbreaking story of the pilot whale carrying her dead calf. The suspected cause of death? Plastic pollution poisoning the mother's milk.

Image credit: BBC.

It's no longer an option to sit back and ignore the problem. Plastic pollution is now everywhere, it's in the fish you ate for lunch, it's broken into the sand you walked on over the summer, it's clogging seas of desert islands never before touched by plastic. 

Emily explained to me how tiny beads of plastic deposit amongst the sand, "plastic is such a versatile material, it is lightweight, durable and can be turned into pretty much any shape. As a result the trade of plastic around the globe is massive. Plastic is transported in it's raw form - as 'nurdles'. These are essentially tiny plastic beads of all colours, and when transported to their destination can be melted down into the desired product. Billions of these nurdles are transported every day and many are often spilled into the sea. We often find thousands of nurdles on our beaches, they are tiny so quite hard to see but once you spot them you cannot unsee them. The other type of plastic we see are 'secondary micoplastics'. These are smaller pieces of plastic that result from the degradation of larger plastic debris in our oceans. And this ends up on our beaches."

Plastic nurdles, image credit: onthestrandline

The Ellen McArthur Foundation recently estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. A stark fact that could become reality in just 33 years time. 

When we talk about single-use plastics, "we are referring to those items made out of plastics that are designed to only be used once. Things such as plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic coffee cups and lids etc". On average these items are used for just 20 minutes and then end up in our environment indefinitely. 

In the US and the UK we throw away 550 million straws every single day.  Eight to twelve million tonnes of plastic are then dumped in our oceans per year. During Recycle Week as part of our shock initiative, we shared the viral video of a sea turtle having a straw removed from its nostril by marine biologists. The video is labelled as 'containing scenes that some may find upsetting', ironic that we're still being shielded from what we are doing to the ocean.  The eight minute video is excruciating to watch, with the turtle being held down, bleeding and gripping its eyes tightly shut. 

Image credit: Youtube

It's now estimated that green sea turtles are 50% more likely to ingest some form of plastic than they were thirty years ago. 

I asked Emily about a time she'd seen plastic affecting marine life in her role with the SAS or via her passion for surfing. She told me it's all too often. "Unfortunately, It's common to see dead sea birds in the tie line that have become entangled with plastic debris from the ocean, such as fishing nets or packaging. Surfers spend a lot of time in the sea paddling out to catch waves. I think I could count on one hand the amount of times I've actually been in the water and not seen any plastic. I regularly have plastic water bottles floating past me, crisp packets and plastic bags. It's pretty upsetting because this is the habitat for thousands of marine creatures and we are ruining it through out consumer culture habits. In Cornwall we have lots of wildlife, including seals. Frequently seals get entangled in plastic such as ghost gear (discarded fishing nets) and packaging, thankfully in Cornwall we have the Seal Sanctuary who rescue and free the seals, releasing them back safely."

Image credit: SAS.

Emily's runs the SAS campaign which sees communities linking up to reduce their use of single-use plastics to avoid them ending up in the ocean. The Plastic Free Coastlines project asks members of the public to sign up as 'Community Leader' for their area and they try to achieve goals that the SAS set them. Once all the objectives are obtained the community can be granted 'Plastic Free Coastlines Approved' status, and the area is added to the SAS online map that visitors and tourists can view. The SAS currently has 120 community leaders across 80 communities in the UK - impressive. I'm proud when Emily tells me that my home county of Devon just passed the Plastic Free Coastlines motion last week!

I was interested to learn more about the SAS beach clean ups that happen bi-annually. Emily told me, "If anyone wants to find out if a beach cleans are happening in their area, head to the SAS website - sas.org.uk  to view their map. This year saw us run the largest Autumn Beach Clean week with over 12,300 volunteers cleaning over 350 beaches across the UK. Our amazing volunteers removed 13,913kg of marine pollution which included over 11,450 plastic bottles". What an amazing effort. 

Image taken from SAS Beach Clean up gallery (sas.org.uk)

I asked Emily what she thought of Delphis Eco buying recycled milk bottles and re-blowing them into packaging that can be reused over and over. She said, "This is really innovative way of reusing recycled milk bottles - it's something we often find on our beaches due to improper disposal. It's fantastic to have this message being spread in an inner city area such as London where it's often easy to disconnect from issues such as marine plastic pollution. Many people don't realise, but often plastic litter found on our coasts starts its journey being dropped as litter inland in cities such as London where it blows into nearby rivers and water course and then is funnelled out to sea, where it causes damages to the environment. If once  used, this packaging is either reused or recycled and correctly collected to prevent this happening it seems like a really good idea."

 

 

With thanks to Emily Haggett. 

To find out more about SAS and the work that Emily does head to www.sas.org.uk, or to explore the full Delphis Eco range and recycled plastic packaging visit www.delphiseco.com

 

 

 

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Dorset primary school inspired by Recycling week and Delphis Eco trip promote refill scheme in the hope of ending single-use plastics in businesses.

Dorset primary school inspired by Recycling week and Delphis Eco trip promote refill scheme in the hope of ending single-use plastics in businesses.

Poundbury is the latest town to join in with the Refill scheme that has been sweeping Dorset, with aims to help reduce the number of single use plastic bottles. Businesses that sign up to the scheme agree to fill up people’s water bottles for free, encouraging people to have a reuseable water bottle rather than reaching for a disposable plastic one.

 The project is locally being run by Litter Free Coast and Sea, who have been working with Damers First School Eco Club, and Dorset County Council Sustainable Schools to get Poundbury refilling.

Damers First School got involved after being inspired by National Recycling Week in September where the whole school took part in their classrooms. Four children had the chance to go to London to meet Mark Janovich, CEO of Delphis Eco who launched the first 100% UK Post-Consumer Recycled Bottle. They also had the chance to meet Prince Charles's Sustainability Officer at Clarence House, who spoke about Prince Charles's Plastic Ocean work. Edd Moore, Eco Club coordinator, said ‘From all this the children wanted to do their bit locally to help cut down on the use of plastic that is so much harm to the environment and marine wildlife.’

The Damer's pupils proudly holding Delphis Eco's new PCR packaging with our CEO, Mark Jankovich. 

The Eco Club wrote to local businesses in Poundbury, explaining about the Refill scheme, and why it was important to get involved. After one afternoon, they had signed up 18 businesses in the town, with more wanting to get involved since.

Alison Jay, Sustainable Schools Project Officer at Dorset County Council, said ‘This brilliant scheme will make a real difference to people in Poundbury and to the environment. It just shows what a group of confident and knowledgeable children can achieve. They are just the sort of champions the world needs, and a great example of an Eco-School working in the wider community to make a difference.’

There are now over 100 Refill stations in Dorset, ranging from more obvious venues such as cafes and coffee shops, to slightly more obscure ones such as a publishing company and estate agents. Charlie Wild said ‘Single use plastic bottles are still one of the most common items of litter we find on litter picks and beach cleans. It is a simple switch that will make a big difference – both here in Dorset, and further afield.’  

The lovely handwritten letter written by Sophie of Damer's.

Each business proudly displays a ‘Refill here’ blue sticker in their window to show customers it’s OK to ask. To make it easy to find your nearest #Refill station, all the Dorset businesses who’ve signed up are mapped on the Refill Britain App available for free for iOS and android smartphones. Simply tap the app, search for your nearest station, and get refilling!

 

To discover more about the Refill stations in Dorset, visit www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk

 

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The tube of magic: Bio Fizzy Tablets explained

The tube of magic: Bio Fizzy Tablets explained

 

 

goodbye fatberg...

bio fizzy tablets gobble up fat in just 5 days 

Delphis Eco's Bio Fizzy Tablets consume a thick layer of fat and in just 4 days; leaving the drain fully functioning, clean and odour free. 

 

Case study:

Hertford Junior School in Hollingdean, Brighton, accumulated substantial fat deposits created a 'fatberg' in one of its drains. This blockage caused noxious sewage smells in parts of the school. 

The solution: 

To use Delphis Eco's Bio Fizzy Tablets on an intensive basis for several days to reduce the fat build up and begin to clear the drain of smells. On day one, 4 tablets were dissolved into a bucket of tepid water and poured into the drain. 

 

 

The results:

In just 5 days the thick layer of fat was broken down and dissolved using a total of just 16 Bio Fizzy Tablets. The fat has been consumed and dissolved using friendly bacteria and will continue to consume fat wherever it finds it. This will enhance the flow across the entire drain system. 

 

To buy your tube of Bio Fizzy Tablets click  here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day

Monday marks World Kindness Day. At Delphis Eco we embody kindness in everything we do. 

 

Kindness to your skin and people - our products are less toxic and nasty than many other comparison brands, 

 

Kindness to animals - we have never and will never test on animals.

 

Kindness to the environment - all of our products contain specialist ingredients that are 'readily biodegradable', which means they biodegrade within 28 days. 

 

#ItsCoolToBeKind

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Product test: X Factor Spot Cleaner

Product test: X Factor Spot Cleaner

At Delphis Eco we are all about wellbeing and kindness, one of the reasons that here at Delphis Eco HQ we all sit on yoga balls - it's better for our posture, balance and focus.

The orders team hard at work on their yoga balls.

Once in a while it's time to clean our chair of choice and it can be a little tricky. Luckily we had our X Factor spot cleaner on hand to slice through the dirt. X Factor is perfect for tough stains, biro marks, red wine spills and more. 

Here's one that's got a little grubby, and we've helpfully put it next to some flowers for a comparison of what clean looks like. 

A close up of the grime. 

 

Our spot cleaner: X Factor getting to work.

 

To get your hands on a bottle of X Factor click here.

 

 

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In honour of Remembrance Day this year, Delphis Eco are donating £1 to the Royal British Legion for every box we sell.

In honour of Remembrance Day this year, Delphis Eco are donating £1 to the Royal British Legion for every box we sell.

In honour of Remembrance Day this year, Delphis Eco are donating £1 to the Royal British Legion for every box we sell. The Royal British Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. That’s £1 per box for an entire week, and it couldn’t go to a more worthy cause. We’ll also be observing a minute’s silence on the 11/11/17 in our offices – no phonecalls, emails or business. #BoxForBritain

 

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Celebrate Bonfire Night the greener way

Celebrate Bonfire Night the greener way

This Bonfire Night Delphis Eco offer 3 tips on how to have a greener bonfire...

Bonfire Night is great fun but the emissions created are much larger than you might expect. The government stated in 2012 that celebrations of November 5th had a worse effect on the UK's air quality than emissions from the country's waste incinerators for an entire year. 

We are promoting a greener bonfire by sticking to a few simple pointers: 

1. Try to only burn dry, clean and natural materials.  These could be products such as untreated wood or waste from your own garden. 

2. Don’t burn any manmade materials such as plastics, oil, rubber, or anything with a chemical or plastic coating, as these all produce huge amounts of pollutants.

3. Small switches – such as steering clear of firelighters and using dry leaves for kindling – will massively reduce the amount of smoke your fire produces.

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Halloween treats

Halloween treats

In celebration of Halloween mess and sticky fingers we're baking up a storm at Delphis Eco HQ. These pumpkin and orange cakes are a perfect way to incorporate seasonal pumpkins into your cake cupboard. Instead of just creating pumpkin lanterns try our halloween treats with the recipe below! 

 

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking or small roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch.
  2. To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp of the juice till smooth and creamy, then set aside in the fridge. When the cake is done, cool for 5 mins then turn it onto a cooling rack. Prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the rest of the orange juice while still warm. Leave to cool completely.
  3. If you like, trim the edges of the cake. Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen, then, using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. If you’re making the cake ahead, keep it in the fridge then take out as many pieces as you want 30 mins or so before serving. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Once baked, simply wash hands with our Delphis Eco hand soap and wipe the surfaces down with our multi-purpose cleaner, or if for super tough stains - our specialist X Factor will do the trick. 

 

Happy halloween! 

 

 

 

*Recipe found at BBC good food. 

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