East Lothian honoured

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Companion of the Bath awarded to Dr Philip John RYCROFT (Dunbar) Director General, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. For services to the UK’s Devolved and Coalition Governments.


OBE awarded to Derek Meldrum EDMUNDS Specialist Volunteer Tribunal and Court Adviser, Haddington Citizens Advice Bureau. For services to the community in East Lothian.


See the full list of New Year Honours at the official website.

A Flowery Christmas

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What exactly is “ethical consumerism”?

At it’s simplest, it’s shopping with a conscience.  In reality it’s making purchases (or abstaining from making purchases) in accordance with your personal values – in other words, putting your money wear your mouth is.

Think “F.L.O.W.E.R.Y”


Since 2011, East Lothian has been a Fairtrade County.  Fairtrade products are available in all supermarkets nowadays – look for the Fairtrade label.  For a wider choice of gifts and homewares, look in speciality shops such as Earth Matters in North Berwick or The Small World in Prestonpans.


The Internet “bargain” won’t seem such a great deal when your local shop has closed down – and do you really want to support huge organisations that don’t pay their taxes and treat their workers dreadfully.  Support your local community by shopping locally and if they don’t have what you are looking for, tell them!

East Lothian Council are running a Christmas Shop Local campaign in conjunction with over 100 local retailers.  Shoppers have a chance to win a share of a £1500 prize fund.

Enterprising independent retailers in North Berwick launched a High Street Gift Voucher scheme (available to buy year-round from etc.. 62 High Street, and are redeemable in the majority of shops along the North Berwick High Street)

No local bookshop? No problem!  Hive is a network of independent bookshops.  Delivery is free (either to your home or collect from a bookstore of your choice).


Organic food is defined as food which is produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods on organic farms (i.e. where no pesticides are ever used).

East Lothian is a farming county as we are blessed with several outlets selling organic products.  Take a look at the East Lothian Food & Drink Directory for your nearest retailer and look out for the Soil Association logo which guarantees a product is organic.

Organic farms are wonderful for wildlife as the pesticide-free environment provides homes for bees, birds and butterflies.  If you love all creatures, great and small, you will want to ensure that your toiletries and cosmetics have not been tested on animals so look out for the Leaping Bunny logo – it is the only way to be certain that a product is cruelty-free.


…did it come from?

The more steps there are between a producer (whether that’s a farmer or a jewellery maker) and the consumer (that’s you!) the more likelihood there is that someone (possibly even a child) has been exploited.

Handcrafted items have no place in a pound shop!

And remember…the longer the supply chain, the larger the carbon footprint so the planet suffers too.

If in doubt, give it a wide berth.


It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a plastic toy made in China isn’t good for the environment but what about wooden gifts?  When buying wooden toys, look for the FSC mark which shows that it meets Forest Stewardship Council standards governing responsible stewardship of the worlds forests.

Do you really need to buy gift wrap? Use what you already have: newspapers, maps, posters or even a scarf or piece of fabric and tie with a ribbon!

Recycled, Regifted, Reused

Have a trawl around charity shops (Changeworks have produced this excellent charity shop map) for some new or nearly new bargains.

For that special vintage item, Sam Burns Yard, Prestonpans, takes some beating.

Or why not re-gift something you already have but don’t need or use?


You have opinions, you have values, you have favourite causes.  This is a chance to support all the organisations that you love, have an affiliation to, admire and would be sad if they weren’t there.

Many charities have online shops selling everything from wristbands to gift memberships.

Local enterprises often have gift vouchers (or even shares).

Increasingly, charities are turning to “virtual gifts” as a way of fundraising.  In Oxfam you can “purchase” a goat, chickens or even a toilet!

Of course you can always make your own gifts, there are, handmade, make your own book of vouchers for babysitting, gardening or dishwashing – let your imagination run wild.

Follow @lothianloop and share your ethical shopping tips.

Emergency details

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Print copies off now (i.e. before you need it!), add your contact details and give copies to your vulnerable neighbours.

Click to open: emergency_contacts (pdf)




Ready Scotland



08457 741 741




08457 90 90 90




08454 24 24 24

Traffic Scotland



0800 028 1414

Transport Scotland



0141 272 7100

SP Networks (Electricity)


Not on twitter

0845 272 7999

SGN (Gas)



0800 111 999 (emergency)

0845 070 1432 (helpline)

East Lothian Police



999 (emergency)

101 (non-emergency)

Scottish Water



0845 601 8855




0844 556 5636

East Lothian Council



01620 827827

Met Office



0870 900 0100

Scottish Fire – East



999 (emergency)

0800 0731 999

(home fire safety visit & smoke detector fitting)

My phone no:



Check on vulnerable neighbours