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Interview with Lewis Robling - his eco-piphany

Coconuts
Image by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

The Beagle Button is a sustainability tech start-up. We have designed a tool that helps you shop more sustainably online. Whether it's plastic free, recycled, vegan, ethically sourced or any other of our carefully selected metrics, we'll find you recommendations for better alternatives when you shop online. We aim to make sustainability accessible and affordable for everyday items, from furniture to shoes. It might seem difficult to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle, but that is not the case. You simply need the right tools and a little inspiration.

We have decided to share with you our sources of inspiration, in the hope that they will do the same for you. We have chased up the people and companies that inspired us to create the Beagle Button, and are revolutionising sustainability. We are very grateful that Lewis Robling agreed to being interviewed.

Lewis Robling

We had the pleasure of talking to Lewis Robling, the founder of Cocabana Ltd. This company makes eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products. The coconut bowls, bamboo straws and reclaimed wooden spoons sold by Cocabana are all 100% natural. The company encourages people to live a more positive and conscious lifestyle by replacing single-use plastics with long lasting products. The brand aims to promote healthy living, environmental awareness and build a community of like-minded ‘coconut heads.’ They have a beautiful ethos!

Lewis hasn’t always worked in the sustainability sector. In fact, he is currently a rugby player for the Bedford Blues, a profession with no links to the environment. Learning of his career in sport we were intrigued to know what pushed him to found his company in 2019. We asked him what his eco-piphany was, the moment of revelation that kick started his sustainability journey. He said his first eco-piphany was back in 2017.

Cowspiracy is an eye-opening Netflix documentary. It exposes the often-ignored environmental consequences of the animal agricultural industry. When Lewis watched Cowspiracy in 2017 he was compelled to go veggie for a month. A year later he was reminded of our impact as humans on the environment when he met his vegan girlfriend, Steph, and listened to the Simon Hill Plant Proof podcast. Together, Cowspiracy, Simon Hill and Steph’s stellar cooking proved to Lewis that he should go plant-based, and this time for good. He became vegan for his health, fitness and the planet. 2017 was the start of Lewis’ sustainability journey.

Cocabana only sells products that respect the planet. This is clear when you go onto the Cocabana website and learn about coconut as a sustainable material. There is even a video showing you how to care for your coconut bowl. If you’re stuck for recipes the Cocabana Instagram page provides constant inspiration for healthy living. Take a look!

We also asked Lewis what his top sustainable-swaps were. He recommended long lasting everyday items instead of those that are throwaway. Lewis carries around a keep cup so he won’t need single use coffee cups, he tries to buy upcycled material clothing instead of fast fashion, and he uses tote bags in place of plastic bags. Lewis pointed out that these items are only be ‘more sustainable’ than single use items if they are used over and over. A tote bag is only sustainable when used hundreds of times. His top tip was buy a tote that you love, one that you will remember and want to use.

We are so grateful to Lewis for taking the time to speak to us here at the Beagle Button. We love that he has proudly gone mad for coconuts. Companies such as Cocabana are inspirational, as they are both sustainable and have been built from the ground up. We are proud to say that we are growing everyday, and hope to have success similar to that of Cocabana. Feel free to check out our Instagram or Facebook pages (@thebeaglebutton), and don’t forget to sign up online for the Beagle Button tool. We are currently in the beta phase of our product launch, so we'd love to hear your feedback!

Our interview with Lewis is the fourth in a series of interviews. In this series we plan to ask each interviewee what their eco-piphany was. How did that moment change their life? And what are their top sustainability swaps? We look forward to sharing other interviews and blog posts from this series soon.