About Us

Eco Essex was founded in 2018 by Hannah and Sam; two mums with a passion for sustainable living. We aim to provide help and support for everyone, regardless of where they are at in their eco journey.

Co-Founders

Hannah Dalton

Hi, I’m Hannah; one of the founders of Eco Essex. 

I have always been environmentally conscious, my parents have always taught me to recycle, and consider the environment. But when I was expecting my first daughter I really started to worry about the state of the world I was leaving to her. I started with cloth nappies, and everything has come from there!  

Eco Essex was founded by myself and Sam in October 2018.  It started as a group for a few like minded mums to talk and evolved into something much better. We realised we could really have an impact and help people around Essex live a more sustainable life. My particular passions are education, everyday living, and sustainable sanitary products.

I’ve run ‘Intro to sustainable living’ workshops for the local authority, teaching new parents how to live a more environmentally-conscious life, and I’ve really enjoyed running sustainable sanitary workshops for youth and community groups.

I love the work I do for Eco Essex and really have a passion for helping others make sustainable changes!

Outside of Eco Essex, I am a lucky mum of two beautiful Daughters, Beth who is 5 and Alexis who is 18 months.  I work part time for a Bank in the city, and when I’m not working I love travelling the UK with my family. After many years of camping, this year we invested in a camper van, allowing us to travel the country whilst continuing to live our eco lifestyle.

Sam Pitman

Hi, I’m Sam; the other founder of Eco Essex.

I thought I was doing a good job at being eco-friendly; we’d had a Hybrid car for ten years, solar panels, and I used cloth nappies with my children. But after chatting to Hannah and other friends, it soon became apparent that there was sooo much more that we could all do.

Although I am passionate about all things eco, I have a keen interest in supporting small businesses to make positive environmental and ethical choices which I do through our business Facebook group, online workshops and business mentoring.

I’m also keen on supporting the education of our future generations through Sustainable Fundraising meetings for PTAs, and am heavily involved with my own local group, whilst supporting admins from the other Essex groups should they seek it.

Pre-Covid, I was super excited to run our temporary HQ where Eco Essex collaborated with our local group (Rochford) to hold various events, workshops & meetings. Although this was short lived, it gave me hope about what difference we can all make as a group of people working together for a great cause. 

When I am not working with Eco Essex, I am a stay at home mum to three daughters aged 5, and 2 year old twins. They share my passion for nature and keep me equally as busy!

Eco Essex Group Moderators

Grace Darke

Group Moderator

Mother of two young children, born in London and lived in Colchester from the age of 18 with a 6 year gap living in Australia. 

Grace has a Bachelor degree with honours in Animal Science, with a special interest in conservation and ecology, and spent the last 10 years working in the education system as a manager, teacher and writer, developing training packages for tertiary education including higher education. 

Grace left her career this year to devote her time to campaigning for the environment and now coordinates Eco Colchester and works closely with En-form; Colchester’s environment centre, and Route 51; a community social enterprise encouraging sustainable travel and cleaner air.

Samantha Lofts

Group Moderator

I’m a mum of 2 lovely children and work full time in a fast paced job. At a basic level I have increasingly tried to stop purchasing plastic related items such as shampoo and cleaning products and have started making my own. As a family we use refill centres and local fruit and veg stores to minimise our plastic usage and make as much food ourselves as possible. 

I have attended many meetings, protests and groups regarding the Environment, including Climate change strikes with my daughter, and more recently felt the need to do more, such as supporting Eco Essex and Southend Vegan Festival.

Trying to be more eco friendly and sustainable is hard work and at times I can feel quite disheartened and overwhelmed by how huge the problems are, but I am driven by the knowledge that if we, as individuals, do not act now, the future for our children and grandchildren will be difficult and unsustainable.

Kelly Wager

Group Moderator

Mum of 2 toddlers and running two businesses, loves cooking and trying to eat more of a plant based diet.’

Sue Pycraft

Group Moderator

Sue Pycraft is a mother and grandmother in the Southend area with an enthusiasm for repurposing items and optimising second hand items. With this in mind Sue is a keen artisan and one of our moderators for the ‘Eco Essex Rehoming community’.

Local Group Admins

Leanne Dalby

Admin for the Eco Rochford Group

Rochford Eco-friends was founded in October 2019 by a local Counsellor Jo Macpherson. Initially starting out as a Facebook group but due to the Eco Essex HQ being in the Rochford District, we were lucky enough to have had a space to hold 3 community meetings with local residents, with Counsellors present.

Pre-Covid – the HQ venue was used to run local events to support our local eco traders and educate on relevant knowledge such as a demonstration of composting from the SE Organic gardeners, a talk from the local RSPB, an Eco cleaning demonstration from Southend Refills, as well as junk modelling and family friendly sessions.

Rochford are hoping to get a regular venue in 2021 and put together a monthly meeting schedule including, Informal get togethers, Workshops and education, and Local district resident meeting with Counsellors 

Marty Louise

Admin for Eco Benfleet Group

I created Eco Benfleet to share ideas, bring together local eco groups, help people to identify local recycle/terracycle points and to rehome unwanted items. From creating this group I have met lots of like-minded people and have formed an alliance with Eco Essex. Some of the admins of other Eco groups come up with different topics each month that I can use to make relevant posts for Benfleet. For example, this month is about food – sharing recipes, food packaging, food waste, growing vegetables, and Terracycling (recycling items, not generally accepted by collection).

The group is for like-minded people, supporting each other to live a more eco sustainable lifestyle. A place for local people to post items they no longer use, in the hope that others nearby will be able to give them a good home. We had our first Eco Benfleet meeting in October 2020 and we spoke about and got updates from other local groups such as Castle point clean up crew, Benfleet River Care, and Castle point action group. Hopefully it will be the first of many meetings.

Grace Darke

Admin for Eco Colchester

Eco Colchester is a community led group, run by volunteers set up in response to Colchester Borough Council declaring a Climate Emergency.   

The aim of the group is to facilitate and promote community driven ideas and projects as well as to help to convey environmental awareness over a wider and more uniform platform. 

The group has helped to bring individuals and communities across Colchester together and harness their skills and knowledge to support sustainable growth in the Colchester area. 

Back in September 2019, Eco Colchester held its first meeting. We decided to set up a number of focus groups so that we could concentrate our efforts on one area at a time. The outcomes of each focus meeting were merged to form one ‘Community Climate Action Plan’ with action points for the group, as well as suggestions for Colchester Borough Council. 

Eco Colchester registered as a ‘climate action group’ with Friends of the Earth. We have incorporated their action points into our climate action plan. 

If you are interested in joining the team to help with the running of our community and want to help us inspire more people, please contact Sam at ecoessex@gmail.com