How Can We Help The River Friends?

As The River Friends is finished off and getting ready for printing, we wanted to look at ways in which we can help the planet over the summer holidays.

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River Friends

“Suzy Swan and the river friends live on a beautiful river. They all love the river very much, and have such fun playing together each day. Unfortunately, the careless actions of the people visiting the river have polluted it and made it dangerous for the animals who call the river home. The friends create the River Patrol, and everyone wants to help, apart from Ollie the Otter. However, one day Ollie learns that he needs the help of his friends more than he realised.”

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Mr Leafy and Friends
  • Pick up your rubbish!

This may seem very obvious, but even with lots of bins around and ways to recycle easily available, people are still throwing rubbish on the ground. This rubbish then contaminates the land, and can get into our water systems. As in The River Friends, our water animals, like otters and swans, can get caught in this rubbish. By taking your rubbish home, or recycling in a bin, we can easily prevent a very dangerous source of pollution.

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  • Save water by not running taps too long

It is so easy to keep tabs on how much water we use, but also super easy to waste it! The more we use, the more pressure is put on water reserves and on our rivers, which means creatures like fish, frogs, otters, newts and herons struggle to survive. Why not place a measuring cup in the sink while your child is brushing their teeth, then show them how much water they have used? Then, the next time they brush their teeth, turn off the water while they brush so that they can compare their water usage. That way you can all see how much water really gets used!

  • Recycle!

These days recycling has been made really easy in most places, as councils and local authorities provide bins and bags that we can put all of our containers and packaging in. If you and your family use something that is recyclable, why not play a game and guess which bin it is meant to go in? Perhaps try colour coding the bins and creating a star reward system. If you recycle a “blue” item, you get a blue star. The more stars you get, the higher the reward! Maybe the grand prize can be an unpackaged item, like a bath bomb or fun soap.

  • Reuse

Your family probably have lots of clothes, toys and books they don’t use. Maybe you are into Netflix now and have lots of DVDs you don’t want, or CDs you don’t play. There are lots of things you can do with them, such as take them to the charity shop or donate them to charity. Perhaps you can make some art from the old CDs that gets hung in the house, or you can create new clothes from your old ones. Cut the legs off jeans to make a skirt or shorts and use the leftover material to make doll’s clothes or stuffed toys for your pet! They don’t mind if they are stuffed with rags and made into odd shapes.

  • Ask for alternatives

If you are in a cafe and you are offered a plastic straw you could ask for a paper one, or if they want to give you your sandwiches in a plastic bag ask if they have a cardboard box. Better yet, carry your own bamboo coffee cup for takeaway drinks, and bring your own lunch containers and paper bags so that you can put leftovers into something reusable and recyclable.

  • Take your canvas bags

One of the biggest problems we have had over the years in our waterways has been plastic bags. These are particularly dangerous, as they can get trapped in reeds and twigs and then trap ducks and swans. Once a bird is trapped they will struggle to get out; add the danger of looped handles and you have a deadly pollutant that will not break down. When you go shopping always refuse plastic bags. Try to put fruit and veg into your trolley loose, or take your own paper bags with you at the supermarket. If you are shopping in town, a canvas bag is a really sturdy and eco-friendly plastic alternative, and it folds away to almost nothing.

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One of the best things we can do it try to use less in the first place. Turn off lights and games consoles, make sure TVs aren’t on standby – all the usual things we have been told many times. We don’t need to buy trainers every season, or new clothes every year. We can make more, buy less and use less very easily. You don’t need to go without to make informed choices every time you buy something, and with more and more recycled, reusable and ethical items available out there, we have lots of choices we can make to help our River Friends.

A few of my previous clients

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  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis