Tag Archives: Environment

Reach For The Sky!

What happens to asparagus if you forget to cut it?

This…!

[Those are courgettes in the round tubs by the way…if you’re interested!]

 

Advertisements

Time at the Allotment

It’s that time of year when things are blossoming and blooming and everything is turning into a gorgeous shade of green. Suddenly, almost as if overnight, trees burst into leaf, fields turn golden and flowers are opening up and everything is light and bright with the good weather.

Today was spent happily weeding at the allotment, some things are a bit behind this year due to the weather, so some places do look a bit bare, but a few weeks and all will be covered and green!

And since Word press is playing up and I don’t seem to be able to caption the pics as I go, here is a brief one beforehand. First up are chives (with Mr Bumblebee photo-bombing the pics), then lavender, strawberries, garlic, redcurrant bush on the right and (tiny) blueberry bush on the left, beetroot, horseradish – which has taken over, and finally rosemary (had no idea the tiny white flowers were so pretty on a rosemary plant).

[These photos were taken with an I-phone and no filters applied – it was a really gorgeous sunny day today! :)]

Plastic-Not-So-Fantastic

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

http://www.lowimpact.org/plastic-fish-oceans-2050-give-plastic/

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

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 http://www.letslinkuk.net/home/theory.htm
  87. Visit http://www.freerice.com 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.

 

Low Impact Living in the City

Good Afternoon people

Thought I would share this blog post with you today. It’s amazing and very inspirational. It’s from one of my favourite websites of ALL TIME called Low Impact Living.

Here is the link to the blog post: http://www.lowimpact.org/low-impact-the-city-1-introduction-how-possible-is-it-to-live-in-a-sustainable-non-corporate-way-in-a-city

Or if that doesn’t work (and I half expect it not to since I am a documented technophobe) then you can look on the website http://www.lowimpact.org and click on the link at the top which says ‘blog’!

The website covers a huge range of topics and basically the idea is you live as green and earth – friendly as you can. Whilst I am guilty of contributing to a consumer driven and throw away society as much the next person, I am conscious of my ecological and environmental footprint. There are some things I do and a thousand more things I could probably do, some easier than others. But, as Dumbledore says in one of the Harry Potter films: we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. (Yes I did just link Harry Potter to the environment).

The blog post which I linked to above is about living a good life in the city. Obviously you are limited in space and there are some things which just aren’t practical – keeping goats in your back yard? But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.

And the picture in the post? I have not just book envy but bookshelf envy…and I don’t say that everyday! In the post there is a list of what the author hopes to achieve in a city environment. And I really love lists. Really, really love lists.

So, what do I do / what have I done?

  • Recycle everything that I can: tins, cans, glass jars and bottles, plastic tubs and bottles, cardboard, paper, shoes, textiles, batteries, ink cartridges, glasses (spectacles)…
  • Bought environmentally friendly products e.g. ecover … but not all the time
  • Re-use and repair as much as I can.
  • Use only as much energy as I need: all the old classics here – lid on pan when boiling water, only fill kettle as much as you need, switch off lights, don’t use standby but switch off at the plug etc.
  • No disposable items such as paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery etc. NO STYROFOAM!
  • Use Tote bags for shopping – as few plastic bags as possible and those that do manage to find their way in get used several times.
  • Use recycled notepads
  • Bought fair-trade, organic and local food and produce
  • Buy eggs locally – a local egg-shed!
  • My dad has an allotment – fruit and veg and compost heap
  • Litter picking
  • Online activism – follow and try to join in campaigns but I know this is a weak area for me
  • Only use appliances sparingly – the iron(!!!!!), let hair air dry, no curling tongs…
  • Non smoker, bio-degradable bin bags, donate to charity when I can, re-use gift bags and tags….and the list goes on.

Of course there is a lot more I could do and want to do but at the risk of list – overload I will save that for another post.

A good book is: ‘sleeping naked is green’ by Vanessa Farquharson. She chose to do something green everyday for a year and blogged about it (love the lists for each month!). Some things were more pressing and vital than others but still a good read.

Another good one is: ‘A good life’ by Leo Hickman. Again he goes ‘green’ for a year and wrote about it. A good person to follow on twitter.

And finally: ‘save cash and save the planet’ by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird,  a Friends of the Earth commissioned book but some really useful tips and I like the case studies best. Because I’m nosy and I like looking at what other people are doing :O

And if they don’t inspire you I don’t know what will!

So, have a read and see what you can do…

xx