Five Swaps for Living Sustainably

Posted: April 22nd 2022

by Ellie Hunter

Five Swaps for Living Sustainably

Here at Holkham we’re passionate about pioneering environmental gain, low carbon living and stamping out waste. We acknowledge the importance of preserving the natural environment and living sustainably. Our Courtyard Gift Shop has some new stock that we would like to shout about, because every small swap you make can make a difference.

1. Turtle Bag for Small Shops

It’s tempting to pay for that 20p plastic bag when you’re out shopping for a few little things, but the reality is that these bags take 20+ years to decompose. The Holkham Gift Shop sells Turtle Bags, which are small, net grocery bags that you can keep in your car or handbag for when you need them.

Turtle Bags was established in 2002 to raise awareness of the hazards that plastic bags present to our environment. Every year, leatherback turtles travel to British waters looking for jellyfish, but sadly they mistake our discarded plastic bags for their favourite food. Turtle bags aim to be a practical reminder that plastic never goes away.

We support businesses such as these at Holkham because their values align with ours. If you find yourself at our Gift Shop, consider taking your goods home in one of these handy bags instead of a paper or plastic one.

2. Beeswax Reusable Food Bags

The Beeswax Wrap Company creates reusable food packaging, made from organic cotton and beeswax blend. You can easily pack sandwiches, snacks, salads and more, keeping your food fresh and not harming the environment using single-use plastic. Help us keep natural areas of beauty free from litter by picnicking in the park using a few of these!

These reusable bags are sold in our Gift Shop and have been handmade in the British countryside. They are reusable for up to one year and can be cleaned using a mild dishwashing soap. Hang to dry and reuse the following day!

3. Reusable Make Up Pads

Cotton and bamboo makeup remover pads have taken the skincare world by storm recently, helping to put an end to the 11 billion wet wipes used in the UK each year. If you visit the Holkham Gift Shop, consider adding a pack of reusable makeup remover pads to your daily routine and do your part to lessen the impact on the environment.

These pads are soft, easy on sensitive skin, and can be used alongside various cleansing waters and face washes. When you’re finished, simply pop them in your wash basket and re-use!

4. Our waste-free, palm-oil free soap

Our soap, made locally by the Natural Soap Company in Wells-next-the-sea, have a variety of gentle fragrances that capture the aromas of the beach and Walled Garden. These palm oil-free bars of soap are a good alternative to handwash or shower gels: less harmful for the environment and do not come in plastic. Each bar of soap is lovingly handmade and wrapped in paper.

If you’re here on holiday and want an at-home reminder of Holkham Bay, consider buying yourself the ‘Saltmarsh’ or ‘Beach Bar’ soap! For smelly souvenirs of walks through the Pinewoods, try ‘Woodland’ – and if the Walled Garden is more your cup of tea, give ‘Rose Garden’ a go.

5. Seedboms

Bees and butterflies hover around us throughout the spring and summer season and are fascinating to watch. They also play vital roles in our local environment. Butterflies are plant pollinators, and also provide a great deal of population control by eating weedy plants and some species of insects. Bees pollinate plants, helping them to grow and produce food, keeping the cycle of life turning. They also make yummy honey (such as our honeybees on the estate – which we also sell in the Gift Shop).

But how can we help the population of butterflies and bees? By sowing the species of plants and flowers they love, of course! If possible, substitute ready-bought plants using peat compost for a couple of Seedboms.

Seedboms are biodegradable potato starch shells containing seeds of all the right plants to encourage the bee and butterfly population. These are fun and easy to use – a great idea to do with the family. Just soak the potato starch shell under a small amount of water and throw to where you want to grow!

These are an excellent option for families and little ones looking to make gardening a bit more ‘explosive’.



At Holkham, we’re driven by sustainability. Find out more about what we’re doing.

View all latest blog posts here.