Tag Archives: Low Impact Living

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

Pumpkins Galore

Afternoon all,

Yesterday was a very busy day for me. Why? Because PUMPKIN that’s why!!!

I spent a happy 4 hours cutting up and cooking the huuuuge pumpkin Dad bought back from the allotment.

I first roasted 2 trays to make some pumpkin puree…medium sized chunks took about 40 mins, let them cool a bit and then pureed them in a food processor.

Whilst that was going on, I readied 2 big pans and chopped up the rest of the pumpkin really small and made 2 batches of soup, one of which is in the freezer now and half is still out (we had half for tea last night).

pumpkin soup

And with the puree I made pumpkin muffins…nom!

Here is the recipe I used: http://www.marthastewart.com/355570/pumpkin-muffins

It is American so you need cups for measuring. I used all plain flour because I didn’t have any wholemeal. Ever heard of Easi-yo yoghurt? Where you make your own? Mum had made a batch the night before, so we had homemade yoghurt in homemade muffins with a homegrown squash!!

pumpkin muffins

Tonight we are going to use up the remaining pumpkin squares in a cous cous recipe with lamb koftas…so that is a lot of meals from one squash!

Yesterday I also went to my local library and borrowed 7 books, some of them crafty ones, I think we should all support our local libraries as much as we can. If we don’t, they will disappear! Did you know authors can get paid every time someone borrows their book? Up to a certain amount and so many times I think, but it’s a little extra, right?

I also did a little bit of my crochet scarf on the go, only another 1 or 2 pattern repeats to go I think.

And today? Presents all round!!

My friend Lizzie sent me a pack of stickers and a German newspaper, it’s good to keep up with my languages! So thank you, that was a nice surprise! And Mum bought me a very thick crafty Christmas magazine, which I will be looking at soon.

And what else this week? My foot keeps getting better, starting to walk a bit more with one crutch, although I do look a bit like the penguin from batman doing a weird shuffle thing. And stairs are easier. Less pain, less swelling. Which is good.

All in all, a good few days 🙂

First Pumpkin of the Season!

YAY!

What a happy moment when you realise that in the bag that your Dad is carrying….is a GIANT PUMPKIN!!!

Now it is Autumn. Coz there is pumpkin.

Why so happy? Last year we only had a lonely 1 pumpkin on the allotment and it was very lonely and sad with no other squash friends to talk to. And it died before we could eat it *sad face* but this year there are about 6 I think. And this one is a whopper!

Happy, happy, happy…

Happiness in an orange casing!

Happiness in an orange casing!

As always, please excuse my crappy photography!

So, I will have to see what I can make tomorrow. There will definitely be some soup at some point!! And I have never had pumpkin pie before so that is a possibility if also a clichĂ©! Roasted in the oven…

I know it is a bit weird to get excited over a pumpkin…but that’s just me! I feel like I have said this word a lot in this post. Pumpkin. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! 🙂

Happy Autumn to you all!!

xxx

 

What is a pumpkin’s favourite sport?

Squash!

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.