Category Archives: Re-use


Here is a link to a fascinating article about reducing our plastic use in June.

The challenge is not to use disposable, single use plastic for either a day, week or month in June, with the aim of using environmentally friendly products and containers instead.

Some things are impractical, I’m afraid to say (anybody know how to get hold of toothpaste without using a plastic tube or container?!) but others are much easier.

  • Use cloth carrier bags for shopping
  • Take a lunch box to work not buy plastic wrapped sandwiches
  • Use a re-usable drinks bottle (which would probably be plastic anyway!)
  • No ready meals
  • Reuse plastic bags for veg (that you would buy loose in supermarkets e.g. mushrooms)
  • Buy glass milk bottles
  • Refill bottles where available (Ecover washing up liquid etc.)
  • Don’t use clingfilm/ plastic wrap – put food in a container
  • Be selective with what food and drink you buy

It does seem to be all food and drink doesn’t it? I am going to try this in June I think. But I work in a restaurant, so it will be hard to get away from single use plastic there!

I think the key to reducing your use and the recycling of plastics is to be aware of what is coming into the house in the first place.

Just a quick thought for today, Ellen xx


Grannies in Neon

After a pretty emotional week with a family funeral and sorting out elements that go with that, I have finished my crochet cushion. It’s been quite therapeutic actually, to throw myself into something and focus only on that and not other things which have been floating about in my mind.

I had the idea for this little project the week before last and it just grew from nothing out of nowhere. All other projects were paused or put on the back burner as this one took over. It’s like a book that you just can’t put down, only with yarn and a crochet hook. But those are the best projects aren’t they? So utterly engrossing that everything else becomes irrelevant.

I have always wanted to do a neon something, I’m not a neon person btw so the bright colours are something of a revelation for me. I think it looks quite funky. I used Stylecraft Special DK for the pink, orange and yellow, a green from somewhere beginning with h (haribo/hasbro?) but I threw away the label, and the black is from Boyes – it’s own cheap brand of DK wool which is actually really soft for an own label make.

I made the squares and sewed them together and then on each end added some granny stripes so it ended up looking like one long rectangle. And it made me think – a blanket with neon squares in the middle and granny stripes around the edge would be A M A Z I N G!!

The first pics are the ones as it is now, with a 56cm x 56cm cushion pad in. The pic with four pics is when I tried it with a 46cm x 46cm cushion pad which was a bit too small.



Neon Granny Awesomeness

Neon Granny Awesomeness


I accidentally snapped a bit of the black yarn on one of the granny squares as I was sewing them all together…which wouldn’t have been a big deal to make another one EXCEPT I had already crocheted most of the squares together and it would have taken HOURS to unpick it all.


I glued it with PVA glue to stop it unravelling and it seems to have worked. It dried clear btw. But I have to admit…that is the first time I have ever GLUED my crochet together!!!!!!


My first cushion, I think it’s a success. Proving that not only can crochet and craft help with creativity and spontaneity and generosity, but also with mindfulness and dealing with grief and emotions and so on.

Have a good weekend Ellen xx



Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner.

Whether you agree with it or not (and I do not) it means that Christmas is almost here.

I think it is really funny seeing grown adults scrapping it out for a TV or DVD player or even a WASHING MACHINE because it is a little bit cheaper. The scrambles, the fights, the insults, the pushing people over and trampling them…people you are ridiculous!

Do you NEED that new TV? What will do with your old one? Re-use and recycle I hope…

Think about the amount of STUFF you have, stuff you want, stuff you see on TV or in other adverts, stuff other people have that you think you need to keep up with the Jones’s.


Over the past year, I have been slowly getting rid of those possessions which I haven’t used in ages, or which take up too much space, or that don’t fit…

And it’s much better. Roomier. Better energy.

So, this Friday will not be a mad scramble for me. Nope. I will buy NOTHING.


(Or that’s the plan anyways!)

I realise that is not for everyone, so here is a little link with some Black Friday advice for those of you who feel they have to get in there with their boxing gloves on…

Not long to go now people….

100 ways to save the Earth

100 ways to save the Earth


  1. Get rid of your TV
  2. Get rid of your tumble dryer
  3. Re-use grey water (from baths, washing the dishes etc.)
  4. Install rain water harvester
  5. Eat local food
  6. Eat and buy Fairtrade
  7. Recycle glass
  8. Recycle plastic
  9. Recycle batteries
  10. Recycle paper
  11. Recycle cardboard
  12. Recycle cans and tins
  13. Donate things to charity shops
  14. Upcycle items
  15. Use freecycle to get and get rid of
  16. Use eco cleaning products – like Ecover
  17. Use eco body products
  18. Compost food waste
  19. Get a wormery
  20. Mend, fix, repair, re-use, re-love
  21. Don’t use Air Con – or reduce use
  22. Turn down thermostat
  23. Use re-usable razors
  24. Don’t use a hairdryer / limited use
  25.  Use tote bags instead of plastic supermarket bags
  26. Use local markets / farmers markets / butchers / fishmongers/ green grocers etc.
  27. Banish the junk mail – sign up to the mail preference service
  28. Buy / build a bird table and box
  29. Buy / build a bat box
  30. Buy / build a bug hotel
  31. Plant bee friendly plants and flowers
  32. Only boil the amount of water in the kettle that you need
  33. Buy Forestry Stewardship Commission (FSC) wood products
  34. Cook in bulk and freeze to save energy and money
  35. Buy sustainable fish
  36. Eat organic
  37. Plant organic seeds in allotment
  38. Recycle aluminium foil
  39. Use a lunch box instead of foil, cling film or plastic food bags
  40. Cycle when you can
  41. Use local library
  42. Eco- friendly car / hybrid / electric car
  43. Send electronic invites
  44. Send electronic Christmas cards etc. / re-use last years cards
  45. Buy recycled paper and stationary products
  46. Unplug electrical items when not in use – don’t put on standby
  47. Pick up litter around your local area
  48. Use eco light-bulbs in EVERY light fitting
  49. Volunteer with environmentally friendly organisations e.g. The Wildlife Trusts / WWF / National Trust
  50. Online activism – sign petitions, retweet / re-blog relevant issues, write to local politician
  51. Donate to green charities and local ones too
  52. Carbon offset flights
  53. Try not to fly of can be helped
  54. Ask for green gifts
  55. Go on eco holidays
  56. Buy fewer newspapers and magazines
  57. Wear organic clothes / fair trade clothes / hemp underwear!
  58. Wash clothes on a lower heat setting
  59. Fundraise for eco charities
  60. Get houseplants to clean the air and provide link to nature
  61. Green / charity signature on e-mail (mine is linked to Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation)
  62. Recycle electronics
  63. Don’t wear nail polish – chemicals!
  64. Cut down on waste – how about a bag a month in total?
  65. No wrapping paper / tags / disposables
  66. Recycle old glasses – opticians often take old spectacles to give to 3rd world countries
  67. Have a Buy Nothing Day (at least once a month)
  68. Candles to be made / bought with natural beeswax
  69. Eat vegetarian option once a week (at least)
  70. Have a No Media and Electronics Day (at least once a month)
  71. Stay informed of local and environmental developments
  72. No more disposable make-up and baby wipes
  73. Re-use envelopes, cut up cereal boxes for shopping lists and then recycle, no post-it notes
  74. Recycle old mobiles
  75. Go foraging (make sure you know your nature first!) for nuts, berries, apples, wild garlic, herbs etc.
  76. Go beachcombing (where allowed, sometimes you are not allowed to remove things from beaches)
  77. Visit local and regional places in your home country – eco tourism, boost your economy and appreciate what is on your doorstop
  78. No Styrofoam – evil! Pack things with popcorn or toilet rolls or fabric scraps
  79. No plastic / paper plates and cups etc.
  80. Eat seasonal
  81. Leave excess packaging at store
  82. No cut flowers – grow your own or give a houseplant as a gift
  83. De-clutter regularly – recycle, give to others, swap things, donate things and feel happier
  84. Don’t use dry cleaners – chemicals!
  85. Have weekends at home with friends – crafternoon tea and make things together, swap things with friends
  86. Sign up to local LETS TIME BANK
  87. Visit Learn new vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time
  88. Recycle ink cartridges from printers
  89. Sign up to Earth Hour with WWF
  90. Use recycled and biodegradable bin bags
  91. Buy free-range eggs or keep your own chickens
  92. Solar panels, wind turbines, water bore holes…
  93. Learn a new skill – willow basket making, keeping bees, sewing class, bread making
  94. No fast food chains, ready meals, no microwave meals and NO MICROWAVE!
  95. Don’t dig up your front garden, keep the plants. A lot of concrete= not a lot of life
  96. Use your local Post Office and Leisure Centre, cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops – use them or lose them!
  97. If you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!
  98. Pass on any of your skills or hobbies to next generation
  99. Join campaigns – or make one!
  100. Get involved and spread the word!


Just some ideas, could easily think of 100 more.

How about reading about what is in the stuff that you buy and the food that you eat (I mean the chemicals)? What about healthy eating, exercise, organic pet food, organic cotton, eco friendly toys, eco paint with no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds which can cause cancer), not upgrading mobiles etc the minute new ones come out, making things last…the list is endless.


Stash busting

Stash Away!

This week I have realised something. I HAVE A LOT OF YARN!

I have a set of 3 plastic storage drawers full of yarn and fabric. And a bag full of yarn. And another bag of wool. And there is some in a box on top of my wardrobe. And some on my desk on top of my crafty books. And more dotted around the house.

So it’s time to whittle it away. I used up all the wool which was in one of the bags doing a giant granny square blanket. There were only three half used balls of wool but because it’s variegated it looks like there were more colours. It’s big enough for a baby blanket but maybe I will get another ball or two to finish it off for a proper lapghan.


I also used up a couple of cotton balls I got free with a magazine. I made a couple of re-usable make-up remover pads and some granny square coasters (still need blocking).




I think I need some goals to get motivated for the rest. So, By next Thursday (when my cast comes off – yay!) I will have done the following:


  1. Finished crochet WIP – the only project outstanding, a red top started years ago
  2. Finished my big cross stitch project
  3. Finished reading David Copperfield


Doesn’t sound like much but they are all dragging and can’t wait to finish them off once and for all. And if I finish the top then that is one bag less that is on the floor all the time!


So that’s all for now folks, see you soon


Ellen xx