Blog Tour: ‘Beauty and the Bin,’ by Joanne O’Connell.

Today’s my stop on the ‘Beauty and the Bin’ blog tour. It’s a new middle grade title about reducing food waste, friendship and being true to yourself. Make sure you scroll down to read Joanne’s piece about how to be a young eco-warrior.

Laurie’s home-made beauty recipes are no secret. The secret is that her eco-warrior family get their ingredients from the bin

Laurie loves her family and she wants to join them in making the world a better place, one home-made bath bomb at a time. But right now, she doesn’t want to be fishing her food out the bin. She just wants to go for a hot chocolate with her friends after school and be a normal kid. 

So when a competition comes to Silverdale High looking for the next best ‘Business with a difference’, and the most popular girl in school, wants to team up to sell Laurie’s lotions and potions, she can hardly believe her luck. But can she find success and popularity without losing sight of her true self?

This book perfectly taps in to many of the pressures faced by tweens as they make the move from primary to secondary school and struggle to fit in with the new social rules. Struggling to be yourself, being embarrassed by your family and wanting to be one of the ‘cool’ kids are things that many readers will empathise with. This paired with fact that actually you quite like your family and don’t want to upset them can make life very difficult.

The eco-warrior theme of this story feels very modern. As does the difficulties and pressures caused by social media channels. Funny and enlightening, readers aged 10+ will love this!

Being a Young Eco Warrior

By Joanne O’Connell, author of ‘Beauty and the Bin.

When we hear about ice caps melting or floods and fires that are caused by the climate emergency, it can be frightening. In fact, the situation can seem so overwhelming that it’s easy to feel as if we can’t do anything about it. One of the main messages I’d love readers to get from Beauty and the Bin, is that it’s not too late to take positive action to protect the planet.

Making a few everyday changes at home really makes a difference. For example, did you know that in the UK, households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food each year? That’s enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins! So, why not challenge yourself to be a food waste warrior?

In Beauty and the Bin, a girl called Laurie and her family rescue discarded pizzas and cakes from the supermarket bins. I don’t recommend you go that far! But how about looking in your own kitchen? See if you can spot things that might go off before you eat them. If there’s cheese, how about grating it and putting in the freezer? What about leftover pasta sauce – could you throw in some herbs and veggies and make soup? If there’s a random selection of leftovers, turn them into toppings for toast, or eat them with rice or a baked potato.

Another great food waste hack is to use the whole food. This means each item goes further. Stick broccoli stalks in sauces and soups, roast cauliflower leaves and crisp up potato peelings in the oven, when you’re making mash. And if you have bananas that are too squishy even for banana bread, don’t chuck them away, spread them on your feet! It’s a super-moisturising beauty hack, that’s #plastic-free but it saves the food from the bin.

These everyday actions can seem small in themselves. But there are lots of people across the world who are taking action too, and it really makes a difference.

Thank you for your top-tips for reducing food waste, Joanne. We have definitely been looking at ways to reduce food waste in our household – making soups is one of our favourites. We’ve also tried making potato peeling crisps in the oven and they were delicious!

If you’re looking for some homemade beauty inspo of your own, why don’t you visit the Beauty and the Bin website for recipes and ideas?

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for inviting me to be part of this blog tour*

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