Tag Archives: recycling

Reducing Waste – Net Bags

10 Jan

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Rhonda over at Down to Earth recently blogged about reducing throw away waste and it motivated me to continue trying to reduce the stuff that we regularly dispose of.

I was especially inspired by the net bags she has made for holding vegetables, fruit and nuts in shops instead of using the clear plastic, or paper bags.

We generally get recyclable paper bags when we go shopping, but reusable ones are even better!

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2009 Resolutions

4 Jan

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This time last year I was blogging about my resolutions for 2008. We were still fairly new to the idea of simple living then and my resolutions reflected that. There were big changes to be made and as a result, our eagerness made some of our resolutions a bit naïve.

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Birthday Shoes and Birthday Food

26 Aug

Do you like my birthday presents?

The purple shoes are from the hubby. Apparently they are organic and recycled, but that’s beside the point because I love them!

The bag is gorgeous too. It’s handmade by people who suffer from leprosy in India, and it’s such good quality. The fabric is lovely, thick and strong, and should last for ages.

 

 

I realise I am a little late in posting this, but this time last week Josh and I were tucking into my Mexican birthday dinner. Tacos, nachos, wraps and dips, mmmmm.

I absolutely loved one part of it so I wanted to share it with you. It only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and tastes amazing.

 

(picture and recipe from BBC goodfood website)

 
Chilli Chicken Fajitas – serves 2

·        Olive Oil

·        2 chicken breasts, cut into strips

·        2 tsp chilli powder

·        1 Onion

·        1 red pepper, sliced

·        100g green beans

·        400g chopped tomatoes

·        A handful coriander

·        Flour tortillas and sour cream to serve

 

Heat a couple of tbsp oil in a large pan. Throw in the chicken and quickly brown all over, then add the chilli powder and cook for a minute.

Scoop out the chicken, then add the onion and red pepper to the pan and cook until softened.

Tip in the green beans, tomatoes and the chicken, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir through the coriander and roll in warm tortillas with a dollop of soured cream.

Serve with green salad.

 

 

 

 

Typical

11 Mar

Gordon Brown has recently declared that he will use the law to reduce the amount of plastic bags given by supermarkets in the next 12 months…at the same time it was revealed that government departments gave out over 1 million branded bags last year for promotions and marketing…that made me laugh, so typical!

I think it’s a good idea though. It’s turned into a bit of a game for Josh and I now (“tut tut you got a plasic bag?!) and we try not to get any bags from shops.
This is probably helped by that fact that we get our veg in a box and the shop doesn’t offer them unless you specifically ask, but the amount of times that high street shop assistants reach for a bag for something that could easily fit in a pocket or handbag just shows the lack of thought that goes with our throw away society.

It just needs another load of publicity to get people thinking about it, and planning ahead. Go on, take the challenge, and stop this.

Bottled Up

22 Feb

You may have heard all the recent hype and argument about drinking bottled water and wondered what is the world coming to?! Surely we have better things to argue about than bottled water. Well, I agree, but I’m still going to blog about it! 

Now, I have never been one to buy bottled water, except when I’m out and have got nothing else to drink.
There is currently a campaign to try and get people to order tap water in restaurants instead of buying bottled. Perhaps it’s just the fact I never go to fancy city restaurants where they turn up their nose at tap water, but the thought of paying £1 plus (£52 per litre for some brands!!) for a glass of water is ludicrous to me! Especially when a team of wine tasters couldn’t tell the difference between tap and bottled in a recent Panorama documentary!
 

Apparently bottled water causes 600 times more carbon emissions, costs 1000 times the price of tap water and less than 25% of plastic bottles are recycled so I can see why they are promoting it. 

However is it just me or is anyone else uncomfortable with the recent ideas of adding fluoride to water? I understand the potential health benefits (from better dental health to reducing the risk of fractures of the hip and vertebrae in older women) but the fact that some are suggesting links to cancer, Downs Syndrome and osteoarthritis scares me a little.
It’s just seems like another prime example of people going ahead with things without fully understanding the outcomes.
At least I have been able to choose not to use cosmetics and products that combine cocktails of chemicals, the effects of which we just don’t know yet.
But if they change our water, what choice have we got but to expose ourselves to it? I guess this is when having your own water supply comes in useful!

Local Exchanges

31 Jan

I have just discovered Aberystwyth LETS and think it’s the coolest thing ever (apparently loads of people already know about it, but it’s news to me!).

For those also not in the know it’s a UK run trading scheme which consists of local people who exchange all kinds of goods and services with minimal use of cash. “It’s a self-help community initiative which cuts debt and cash costs”.
The Aberystwyth network trade using a currency called the ‘Rheidol’. You get credits for services you offer and buy things with the credits you earn…
In other words I could get paid so many Rheidol for making a cake, which I could then spend on getting my car fixed, which they could then spend on getting their dog walked. Apparently the possibilities are endless!

I am going to talk to Josh about it tonight as there is a membership subscription for the year (£5 or £3 unwaged) but I really think we might join. It seems like such a good idea, to work and meet people in the community, to use your gifts in ways that you normally couldn’t get money for, and to save money on things that are normally quite expensive! 

The website for Aberystwyth is http://www.aberlets.org.uk/ but there are networks all over the country. Search here for them

The Story of Stuff

13 Dec

I have just watched an internet film called ‘The Story of Stuff’. It’s interesting that I came across it today because I was only thinking this morning as I was eating my breakfast, how much ‘stuff’ we have in our flat. Although most of it is pretty much useless except on an aesthetic level, loads of energy and resources must have gone into making them.

On the film Annie Leonard suggests that global corporations have created the current mindset of constantly needing new things, stemming out of the late 50’s when the economy needed to be boosted. She claims that the manufacturers even make the products to

(a) break as quickly as possible without the consumer loosing faith in the company,

(b) to become obsolete as quickly as possible to keep up with technology advancement or
(c) to be replaced as quickly as possible due to changing fashions and trends…because of course, we are only worth the value of the possessions we own(!).

Apparently 99% of products bought in North America are trashed within six months. I simply cannot believe that. I really hope that it is not the same in our household, although our record probably isn’t great either.

It’s simply a matter of changing your mind set I suppose, which is difficult when you have pretty much the whole of society around you telling you that you ‘need’ this or that to make life worth living, or to be seen as anyone important.

The film suggested that the corporations have demanded that our ‘spiritual satisfaction come from consumption’ – no wonder that people are so miserable in today’s society, and that we have the lowest amount of leisure time of any generation since feudal society.

Research has shown that the top two leisure activities are now watching TV and shopping…hmm what a meaningful life we must lead.

We don’t buy much stuff except food because we can’t afford it at the moment, but I really hope that once we are earning more we don’t just go back to buying stuff for the sake of it. Why not check out another way of living…That reminds me, we really need to get some energy saving lightbulbs!