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We’ve all experienced that heart-stopping moment when we lose sight of the person we’re with. Maybe they’ve wandered down the next aisle in the store or disappeared behind a statue. Even if it’s just for a split second, it can be terrifying. Now, imagine if that person is a child or a vulnerable adult.

Our natural reaction would be to call out their name while frantically searching the area. However, simply calling out their name may not be enough. Other people in the area may not know what the person looks like, making it difficult for them to assist in the search. This is where “Looking Loudly” comes in.


Looking Loudly is the act of repeatedly calling out a description of the person rather than their name. By providing a detailed description, you enable others to actively help with the search. For example, calling out “fair-haired girl wearing blue jeans, pink unicorn top, and sparkly boots” is much more informative than simply calling out a name.

Not only does Looking Loudly increase the chances of finding the missing person quickly, but it also gets others involved in the search. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you can’t locate the person you’re with, remember to Look Loudly and provide a detailed description. It could make all the difference.


Poem: Broken Wheelchair.


My wheelchair is broken, it’s out of commission
I can’t get around, and it’s causing frustration
I need it to move, to get from point A to B
But now I’m stuck, and it’s just not easy

I can’t roll down the hall, or explore the outdoors
My mobility’s limited, and it’s really a bore
I’m missing out on so much, it’s really not fair
My broken wheelchair is causing me despair

I called up the repairman, but he’s booked for days
So in the meantime, I’m stuck in a daze
But I won’t give up, I’ll stay strong and persist
I’ll find a solution, I won’t be dismissed

So here’s to my broken wheelchair, to this little setback
I’ll rise above it, I won’t be held back
I’ll keep pushing forward, through thick and thin
My mobility won’t be stopped, I’ll always win.

wheelchair all alone in big room.
Photo by Patrick De Boeck on

The Ripple Effect of Poor Housing


The problem of substandard housing goes beyond the walls of one’s home. It has a significant impact on an individual’s overall well-being, both physically and mentally. For those with disabilities, inadequate housing can impede their ability to access basic facilities and navigate their living space, affecting not only the individual but also their loved ones. Additionally, the resulting health issues can place a strain on the NHS and social care budgets, leading to increased costs. It is crucial that we address the issue of poor housing to ensure that everyone has access to safe and suitable living conditions. By doing so, we can improve the quality of life for individuals and reduce the burden on healthcare and social services.

If you reside in the United Kingdom & your housing conditions are unsuitable or unsafe, there are resources available to assist you. One such organisation is Shelter. They provide support and guidance to individuals who are experiencing housing difficulties. If you are facing homelessness, struggling to pay rent, or living in substandard conditions, Shelter can offer advice & assistance. Don’t suffer in silence – reach out to Shelter for help.

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Diving into The Evolutionary History of Whales


I have always liked whales, and used as a teenager to collect anything whale or dolphin related such as ornaments, or jewellery. There are plenty of whale and dolphin themed gift ideas here

Whales are magnificent creatures that traverse the vast expanse of the world’s oceans, communicating through intricate and enigmatic sounds. Their sheer size is awe-inspiring, leaving me in wonderment.

If you also love these enormous yet graceful animals, then you may well be interested to read this article:

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Technology v Attitudes.


The advancements in technology have undoubtedly improved the lives of people with disabilities in countless ways. However, despite these improvements, the physical world remains largely inaccessible to many individuals with disabilities. This is often due to the actions of people rather than nature itself. While we have created incredible forms of transportation with a wealth of knowledge and skill, most are not wheelchair accessible. Although trains can be made accessible, we still rely on the goodwill of others to deploy ramps and leave wheelchair spaces free for those who need them. Additionally, cafes and restaurants often fail to provide enough space for individuals with visual or mobility issues to manoeuvre around comfortably. Stores continue to use lights that flicker, causing discomfort for those with sensory conditions such as autism. These are just a few examples of the many challenges that individuals with disabilities face on a daily basis.

Astronaut with the planet earth behind them.
Photo by Pixabay on

It is clear that attitudes need to catch up with the significant technological advancements we have made. Only then will we be able to create a truly inclusive world for all. By recognising and addressing the barriers that exist in the physical world, we can work towards creating a more accessible and accommodating environment for everyone. It is our responsibility to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not left behind in the wake of technological progress. By doing so, we can create a world that is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.


Accessible play for all.


Play is an essential part of childhood, and every child deserves access to it. Unfortunately, many playgrounds and outdoor activities are not designed with accessibility in mind, leaving children with disabilities or impairments unable to participate fully. This lack of inclusivity can cause feelings of exclusion and isolation in children, which can have long-term consequences on their mental health.

The Importance of Accessible Play

Play is crucial for a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. It helps them learn important skills such as problem-solving, communication, creativity, and teamwork. Play also promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles. However, many children with disabilities or impairments face barriers when it comes to accessing play.

These websites have some great ideas, and advice.

Another post about access:

Sipping Away: A Guide to Different Kinds of Drinking Straws

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In recent years, there has been a push to reduce single-use plastics and waste, and one of the items targeted has been the ubiquitous plastic drinking straw. However, the use of paper straws as an alternative has faced criticism for being less durable and less practical than plastic. Thankfully, many companies and individuals are searching for alternatives to paper straws that meet the same environmental standards without sacrificing convenience. In this article, we will explore various alternatives to paper straws, examining their benefits and drawbacks, so that you can determine which option is the best fit for you.

Introduction to the Problem with Paper Straws

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to eliminate the use of single-use plastic items, including straws. While paper straws are often touted as a more environmentally-friendly alternative, they are not without their own drawbacks. In this article, we explore alternatives to paper straws.

Why Paper Straws are a Problem

While paper straws are biodegradable and compostable, they are not as durable as traditional plastic straws. As a result, paper straws can quickly become soggy and unusable, leading to the need for more straws. This increased demand for paper straws can lead to deforestation, as trees are cut down to produce the paper.

The Environmental Impact of Paper Straws


In addition to the potential for deforestation, the production of paper straws also requires significant amounts of water and energy. Furthermore, if paper straws are not properly disposed of or composted, they can still end up in landfills or oceans, contributing to environmental pollution.

Reusable Straw Options

One way to eliminate the need for single-use straws altogether is to invest in reusable straws. Here are some options:

Metal Straws

Metal straws are durable and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely.

Glass Straws

Glass straws are another durable option that are easy to clean and come in a variety of patterns and colors.

Silicon Straws

Silicon straws are flexible, making them a good option for children or people with disabilities. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely. These are the type I use myself

Bamboo Straws

Bamboo straws are biodegradable and compostable, making them a good eco-friendly option. They are also durable and can be reused multiple times.

Stainless Steel Straws

Stainless steel straws are durable and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also easy to clean and can be reused indefinitely.


Edible Straw Alternatives

For those who prefer a more unconventional option, here are some edible straw alternatives:

Pasta Straws

Pasta straws are made from wheat and are biodegradable and compostable. They are also a fun alternative that can add a unique touch to drinks.

Rice Straws

Rice straws are edible and biodegradable. They are also a popular option in Asia and are becoming more widely available.

Seaweed Straws

Seaweed straws are edible and biodegradable, and can add a unique taste to drinks.

Candy Straws

Candy straws are a fun and edible alternative to traditional straws. They come in a variety of flavors and are sure to add some sweetness to any drink.

Chocolate Straws

Chocolate straws are another fun and edible alternative. They can be used to add some sweetness to hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate.

Bamboo and Other Sustainable Alternatives

In addition to bamboo straws, there are other sustainable alternatives to paper straws. Here are a few:

Straws Made from Wheat Stalks

Straws made from wheat stalks are biodegradable and compostable, and require fewer resources to produce than paper straws.

Vegetable-Based Straws

Vegetable-based straws, made from materials like potato starch, are biodegradable and compostable, and are a good option for those with corn allergies.

Palm Leaf Straws

Palm leaf straws are another biodegradable and compostable option, made from the fallen leaves of the areca palm tree.

Corn Husk Straws

Corn husk straws are made from the husks of corn, and are biodegradable and compostable. They are a good option for those looking for a more sustainable alternative to paper straws.

Metal and Glass Straws

If you’re looking for a reusable option that can last for years, metal and glass straws are a great choice. Not only do they eliminate the need for disposable straws, but they also add a touch of elegance to your beverage experience.

The Benefits of Metal and Glass Straws

Metal straws are durable, lightweight, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be made from stainless steel, titanium, or even bamboo. Glass straws are another option, and they are perfect for those who want to see their drink as they sip. Both metal and glass straws are easy to clean and maintain, and they come in handy carrying cases for on-the-go use.

Cleaning and Care for Metal and Glass Straws


Cleaning metal and glass straws is easy, and can typically be done by rinsing with warm water and soap. For tougher stains and build-up, a pipe cleaner or specialized straw brush can be used. It’s important to properly dry the straws before storing them to prevent bacteria growth. Metal straws can also be cleaned in a dishwasher, while glass straws should be hand-washed.

Silicon and Rubber Straws

For those who prefer a softer touch, silicone and rubber straws are an ideal alternative to paper straws. They are flexible, bendable, and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

The Benefits of Silicon and Rubber Straws

Silicone and rubber straws are perfect for those who prefer a softer and more comfortable experience when sipping drinks. They are also easy to clean and can be cut to fit different size cups and tumblers. Additionally, they are great for people with disabilities or medical conditions that make it difficult to use harder straws.

Cleaning and Care for Silicon and Rubber Straws

Silicone and rubber straws can be cleaned in a similar way to metal and glass straws. They can be rinsed with soap and warm water, and a specialized straw brush can be used for tough stains. They can also be sterilized in boiling water or a dishwasher.

Innovation in the Market: Straws Made from By-Products

As the demand for eco-friendly products grows, companies are finding innovative ways to produce sustainable straws. Straws made from by-products like wheat, rice, and sugar cane offer a unique and effective alternative to paper straws.

Wheat and Rice Straw Options

Wheat and rice straws are made from the stalks of the respective grains, which are left over from harvest. These straws are biodegradable and can be used for hot or cold drinks.

Sugar Cane Straws


Sugar cane straws are made from the fibrous stalks of sugar cane plants. They are sturdy, biodegradable, and can handle both hot and cold drinks. These straws are a great choice for those looking for a sustainable option that is not only eco-friendly but also supports farmers.

Best Practices for Choosing an Alternative to Paper Straws

When choosing an alternative to paper straws, there are a few key factors to consider.

Evaluating Environmental Impact

It’s important to look at the environmental impact of the straw you’re choosing. Opt for straws that are biodegradable, reusable, or made from sustainable materials.

Choosing a Straw that Fits Your Lifestyle

Consider your lifestyle and habits when choosing a straw. If you’re always on-the-go, look for straws that come with a carrying case. If you’re looking for a softer touch, silicone or rubber straws may be a better option than metal or glass.

Maintaining Your Alternative Straw


To keep your alternative straw clean and hygienic, make sure to clean it thoroughly after each use. Store it in a safe and dry place to prevent bacteria growth, and replace it if it begins to show signs of wear or damage. With proper care, your alternative straw can last for years and significantly reduce your environmental impact.While paper straws may have been a step in the right direction, there are now many alternatives available that are more durable, practical, and environmentally friendly. Whether it’s a metal, glass, or bamboo straw or an edible straw made from pasta or seaweed, there’s bound to be an option that works for you. So, the next time you reach for a drink, consider ditching the paper straw and trying out one of these alternatives instead. Your taste buds – and the environment – will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are metal straws safe?

Yes! Metal straws are safe to use and have been used as an alternative to plastic straws for some time. However, it’s important to note that metal straws can conduct heat, so it’s recommended you don’t use them with hot beverages.

Can edible straws be reused?

No, edible straws are meant to be consumed after use and aren’t reusable. However, they’re a great alternative for those who are looking for a more eco-friendly option.

Are sustainable straws more expensive than paper straws?

In some cases, yes. However, the price varies depending on the material and brand. While some alternatives may be more expensive up front, they can be reused and last longer, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

What’s the best way to clean and care for reusable straws?

Photo by Sarah Chai on

Most reusable straws can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a straw brush. However, some materials (like bamboo) require more gentle care. It’s important to follow the care instructions for your specific straw to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

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Inclusive Gardening 101: Designing a Sensory Garden for All Abilities

Creating a wheelchair-accessible sensory garden is a wonderful way to provide an inclusive and engaging outdoor space for people of all abilities. By incorporating a variety of plants, textures, scents, and sounds, a sensory garden can stimulate the senses and promote relaxation, mindfulness, and well-being.

To ensure that the garden is accessible to wheelchair users, it is important to consider the layout, pathways, and surfaces. Wide, smooth paths with gentle slopes and non-slip surfaces can make it easy for people to navigate the garden independently. Raised garden beds and containers can also be used to provide opportunities for wheelchair users to participate in gardening activities.

In addition to being a beautiful and therapeutic space, a wheelchair-accessible sensory garden can also serve as an educational tool for children and adults alike. By learning about the different plants and their sensory properties, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the benefits it provides.

Overall, creating a wheelchair-accessible sensory garden is a meaningful and rewarding project that can bring joy and enrichment to many people’s lives.


“Safe Plants for a Sensory Garden”

A sensory garden is a wonderful way to engage all of your senses and create a peaceful and relaxing environment. However, it is important to choose plants that are safe for everyone, especially children and pets. Here are some suggestions for safe plants that you can use in your sensory garden:

  1. Lavender – This fragrant herb is known for its calming properties and is safe for both humans and pets.
  2. Sunflowers – These bright and cheerful flowers are safe for everyone and can add a pop of color to your garden.
  3. Mint – This refreshing herb is safe for humans and pets and can be used to make tea or added to recipes.
  4. Marigolds – These colorful flowers are safe for everyone and can help repel pests from your garden.
  5. Lemon balm – This citrus-scented herb is safe for humans and pets and can be used to make tea or added to recipes.

By incorporating these safe plants into your sensory garden, you can create a beautiful and enjoyable space for everyone to enjoy.

Breaking Barriers: How Advanced Technology is Changing the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities

New technology is revolutionising the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with innovative solutions to overcome their challenges. From wheelchairs to housing and speech devices, these advancements are making a significant impact on the quality of life for those with disabilities.

Height adjustable worktops in kitchen.

One of the most significant advancements is in the field of mobility. Wheelchairs have come a long way from their early designs, and now feature advanced features such as power-assisted wheels, lightweight materials, and customizable seating options. These advancements have made it easier for people with disabilities to move around independently and participate in everyday activities.


Another area where technology is making a difference is in housing. Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular, and they offer a range of features that can be customized to meet the needs of people with disabilities. These features include voice-activated controls, automated lighting, and temperature control, and even smart appliances that can be controlled remotely.

Speech devices are also improving the lives of people with disabilities. These devices use advanced technology to help people with speech impairments communicate more effectively. They can be customized to meet the specific needs of each individual, and can even be programmed to recognize and respond to specific voice commands.

In conclusion, new technology is transforming the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with innovative solutions to overcome their challenges. These advancements are making it easier for people with disabilities to live independently, participate in everyday activities, and communicate more effectively. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting developments in this field.

Poem – The train rumbles along


The train rumbles along
Fleet off the hot and delicate flying,
Hopped on a young young hillside,
Painted the morning with a power;
Shadows of time say my present reason,
Stewards of the richest form;
Build the own cabin with the throne;
Gloom and the weather I push with night

Inspired by Sara Teasdale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Philip Freneau


Steam Train. Photo by Pixabay on