March Wishlist

March wishlistI am really enjoying keeping a wishlist on a regular basis. There are so many things that I would love to have but can’t ( just yet) normally because of lack of funds and then there are also items I want which I want to get to replace something I already have ( but obviously I wouldn’t throw something away before it needed to be, that would be wasteful) I find it great to have an idealistic wishlist as it allows me to think about what I really need, what I really want and what I really can live without. As always all these items come from an ethical back ground that I support whether eco friendly, from an independent business or fairly traded.  Number 1 is a bit of a cheat as I have just bought it, It’s a blusher from BM Beauty that uses all natural ingredients. I don’t use a lot of make up so I think it’s pretty reasonable that I could slowly replace all my make up and I would be happy to with BM Beauty as I’ve found the blusher amazing. I have started to gain some temp work through an agency and would like to have some neater tops and jewellery for interviews and work plus I would like a backpack that’s good lucking but can fit more in it then my handbag so I can shop while out an about (bonus points for not using plastic bags) I would love this horseradish vodka from Godminster as I really enjoy a good bloody mary and want to make some really tasty spicey ones for friends and family the morning after the night before. Lastly I would love this piece of art

1,2,3,4,5,6

Compost DIY

compost binI am always looking at more ways in which I can reduce the waste coming out of the home so that the fullest bin is the recycling ones and the black bin is never full. Depending on your local council,l recycling can be easy but a lot of councils including our own no longer do green recycling so we have to get rid of it in another way (or pay for the privilege). If you have a garden the best way to get rid of your organic waste is to compost it and reuse it on your own garden once its matured. The process is slow but it means you can give back to the earth Lion King style as the circle of life. Here is a little guard to how and what to compost.

I was wrongly informed once that a compost bin needs lots of air and holes in the side, this does not work in my opinion. You need a bin of some kind which is well insulated especially in the winter and has a lid on the top. You can buy one, make your own or sometimes you can get one free from your local council. I like the standard black ones with a lid on the top and a small door at the bottom to get the finished compost out. As they are black they absorb the suns rays and keep it warm which is key to producing compost quickly.  The compost bin should be in a sunny or partial shaded spot so it gets the most sun and kept warm. It should be placed on open soil or turf and away from water courses or standing water

whats in my bin, with an added dose of beer dregsNow for the fun part, what to put in. There are a two basic rules to follow if you want to create the best compost and get rid of your organic waste in a sensible way without adding to the landfills.

1. Add anything that was once living- but avoid cooked foods, meat and dairy as they can attract vermin

2. Make your pile a mix-  you should use roughly equal parts brown and green mix

Green mix are used as activators to give life to the compost and break the mix down quickly, these include: grass clippings, leaves, young weeds, vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, animal manure

Brown mix creates the bulk of the compost but breaks down slower then green, its best shredded and broken into smaller pieces before being added, it includes: untreated woods, hardy weeds,  newspaper, brown paper and cardboard

A few added tips I found is to keep the compost moist but not sopping. My favourite way to add moisture is with the dregs of a beer barrels which I have lots of access to :) The nutrients in beer add to the compost and get it going again, it definitely improves the quality of your heap. Crushed egg shells are another good additive, rich in nutrients and hair & nail clippings are gross but great for it. No point in adding anything to your bin if you could add it to your compost instead. one last hint is that once your bin gets noticeable full (our compost bin was there when we moved in and was already pretty full of garden waste) don’t worry that you won’t be able to fit any more in. Our compost bin is full every time we put a bag of waste in (about once a week) but there is always room the next time we put it in so you can see that the waste is slowly degrading into the heap so keep topping it up.  Compost takes a long time to make but if your in it for the long haul it will result in a wonderful mulch for your garden and the perfect way to get rid of your organic waste.

Lorna

x xxx

p.s. One last tip, stir the mixture up with a stick every once in a while it aerates it which gets it going again

Bringing in a little Green

Christmas basket close upJanuary is always a time to re think and reorganise your life and for me this year its no exception. I have signed up for Apartment therapy’s January Cure which helps you with little prompts throughout January to complete projects you want to get done and organise your house after the craziness of December holidays. As part of the cure each weekend they say you should buy flowers to enjoy. I love flowers but I do find I feel bad for wasting money on what isn’t an essential item. Instead of buying flowers I’ve decided to buy living plants as an alternative. Each plant or collection of plants cost the same price as a simple bouquet (for smaller plants) but it will last as long as you take care of it for. I am also quite interested in the health benefits of having houseplants, as an asthma sufferer (though not totally convinced of the diagnosis nowadays) and general sniffler I want to see if having air purifying plants and therefore more oxygen will improve my respiratory health. herbs

Beautiful

I got both these for Christmas, I got the herb planters from my mum so hopefully they will start sprouting soon and I got this gorgeous basket from my sister in law Verity and her boyfriend Johnny! These definitely inspired my green start

Dracena Little Cacti

This palmy dracaena is suppose to be a brilliant air purifier, taking up all the nasty chemicals that can be present in our house and the set of three cacti are just the cutest little things ever! I had to get them. They will be moving home to the bedroom once I have made some planters for them. more to be revealed soon.

Lorna

x xxx

In the World: Ethical Superstore

When I talk to people about independent and ethical shopping I often find it can be bizarre ground for a lot of shoppers as we all get use to shopping in a certain way and by nature we don’t like change. For me one of the biggest problems I find is that independent shops don’t label prices consistently or visibly enough and items aren’t always laid out how you would normally find them in your bog standard supermarket or on their website. For more people to be encouraged to shop with the little guys or the eco conscious these retailers need to make it easy for others to transition. A perfect example of this is the ethicalsuperstore.com

ethical superstore shopping

The online retailer specialises in a whole range of products from clothes to food, gardening to beauty all items of which are either fairly traded, organic, eco friendly, promote health and wellness, educational,  locally produced or charitable. These are all worthy causes that I care about so it makes the perfect place for me to find exactly what I want without failing my principles. Each item page has a thorough description of the ethics behind its production or company, each of which you can find out more about on its own page and browse its other products. The clear layout of each page means you can find out the relevant info you might want and see customers reviews at the same time to inform you on its positives and negatives.

ethical superstore brands

I love that the ethical superstore is set up just like a supermarket website as it is really easy to navigate and more often then not they will have the products your looking for as they have such an extensive range of items. They display prices visibly and even offer bulk buying discounts on  most of their food products. They also have offers and sales just like any other store as well as their clearance sections for homewares and clothing making the shopping experience exactly the same as you would find it in any big box store except you can rely on the products being ethically sourced. My only criticism might be that I  wish the free delivery order didn’t have to be as much as £50 but that is because I like a bargain. I think this is definitely the way ethical retailers should go to encourage more people to look at their wonderful products and get them to make the switch.

Lorna

x xxx

15 uses: Cardboard boxes vol 2.

It’s been a while since I did a 15 uses so I hope your ready to get crafting! Since I’ve just moved I’ve bought a lot of furniture to fill the house and with that has come lots of big cardboard boxes so that has inspired todays collection as I have plenty of materials to play with. I have found for you 5 Christmas ideas, 5 furniture ideas and 5 costumes ideas because it doesn’t need to be Halloween to dress up!

cardboard christmas

Cardboard Christmas

1. Those little scraps of corrugated cardboard that come in packing would make great creative decorations for the tree. In love the brown and can see it translating well to snowmen, robins and mini trees very well. Just need a bit of glue, ribbon to hang and a good imagination to put them together

2. This is so cool! Advent calendar made out of different boxes and scrap cardboard. could be pricey to fill with toys and sweets individually but you could put in them fun ideas to do like a DVD for a movie night, Christmas carols to sing or personal notes giving thanks to family memberts

3. Really fun easy ornaments, cardboard circle and coloured string or yarn. Cut a cardboard circle out, make small slits around the edges and then wrap string around it, through the grooves, to make star shapes. I am definitely going to make these

4. A cardboard Christmas tree. I am going to do this for our tree this year so watch our for my own tutorial

5. A reindeer head. A fun twist on the class stag head above the fireplace and no reindeers have to die in the making of it. Would love to do this too if I have time

cardboard costumes

Cardboard Costumes

1. A cute inventive airplane, probably very popular this year after Disney movie Planes was released. Doesn’t look simple to make though

2. Transport is quite popular with cardboard costumes and this fire engine is really cool. Make sure the straps used to carry it around are comfortable. Elastic is a good bet and would be easy to get in and out of

3. This Lego costume is so easy and simple.  A plain box with plastic cups stuck to the front, spray painted and add matching coloured clothes

4. This crocodile head is a cheap costume if you have the right coloured clothes already, can easily be adapted for other animals as well. Dinosaurs are similar but more fun!

5. The easiest costume but requires a lot of ink. Big flat piece of cardboard with a square cut out for your facebook ‘profile picture’ and add in your details.

cardboard furniture

Fab Furniture

1. You might consider cardboard a weak material but put together in the right way it can be very strong, as with this letter shaped chair. Glue many pieces together and the whole item will be sturdy. The more the merrier and stronger.

2. I love the cartoony look of this bedroom, would look cool in a student or kids room but may look a bit too childish for an adult home, but each to their own.

3. Some cardboard is better then others. You can get ready reinforced cardboard depending on the object it’s packing. We had our cooker replaced and it came packaged in right angled strips of very firm cardboard. These would be perfect for a bookcase like the one above to support the weight of magazines and books

4. This little table makes use of the circular tubes you get posters and prints delivered in. The legs would make it very sturdy and the corners strong.

5. The tutorial to make this chest of drawers is amazing and the result is fantastic. Do take a look.

I look forward to doing some of these! Any of my readers going to try these? would love to know and see the finished results. Check out Instagram Makersmeadow to get sneak peaks before the blog.

Lorna

 x xxx

Everyday Etsy: Green & Clean

This is a lovely collection of beauty and bath products from Etsy that are all eco friendly and eco conscious. As I said in my last green everyday Etsy, It’s hard to change everything in your day to day straight away to get to a more green life,  so replace one product you have when it runs out with a green or ethical alternative and do that for all your products and you’ll soon have the best items that are good for you and the planet.

Green & Clean

I personally have stopped buying face wipes and instead bought crocheted wool pads like these from Deer Season and a cleanser from Lush Fresh Farmacy which is brilliant and gets my skin really fresh and free of makeup. When you’ve used the wool pads a few times just chuck them in with your wash and use again.  Though I love Lush i’d love to try the make up remover from Conscious Skin Care, I love their packaging and the information about the products. It’s sometimes hard to decorate in the bathroom as it always seems such a functional room so this beautiful soap dish would be a lovely little edition from Prince Design UK.

Go green and stay clean

Lorna

x xxx

Everyday Etsy: Going Green

I recently haven’t done any shopping posts and I want to refresh them a little before I got back to posting them. I feel I got too obsessed with the look of them and create a cohesive board with simply colour was a sure fire way to include items I may not of whole heartedly loved. For my next shopping lists I am going to focus more on products that are great and fit for use as well as gorgeous and this starts with a list of products to help you move towards a greener life.

 

Its not always easy being green and sometimes you might feel you don’t know where to start when it comes to helping the environment out. You can’t simply change everything you do in your day to day or chuck out all  your household goods and replace them with eco alternatives. I think I much better way to tackle environmental problems in your home is to take one step at a time. This green shopping list shows you normal everyday items but the eco alternative. Swap your usual product for one of these every week or month and eventually you will have transformed your home into a green haven. My favourite idea from this selection are the reusable paper towels by MamaMade which are wound up in a roll and have snap on poppers so you can rip off each section as you would traditional Kitchen roll. Just whack them in the wash after use and you’ll save money and the planet. Click on the photo to see the full list.

Lorna

X xxx

 

15 uses: cork

My 15 uses projects often require plenty of small objects to create impressive pieces which means saving up your waste for a long time, which is cool, but its very satisfying to have the items you need here and now. luckily now I work in a pub I have abundant access to lots of bits and bobs, namely bottle caps and wine bottle corks. So today I am showing you some clever ideas for cork in the garden, for practical home uses and for a lovely bit of decoration or art. A good glue gun is all that’s required for most of these projects

cork gardening

5 cork ideas for gardening

1. Simple and easy, write the name of your plant on the side of a cork, stab the cork on to a wooden skewer and you will always know what you planted and where

2. A little bit  of imagination and you can build a little house for all your feathered friends. You could create a simple box but the cottage is much more interesting

3. Hollow out the centres and create little planters for small succulents and air plants

4. Carve corks into little toad stools to plant round the garden to invited fairies in, you can even paint the tops red with white spots

5. You can use cork like you would pebbles to decorate flower beds and keep weeds down but if you whizz them up in the food processor they make great mulch to mix into your soil and help plants thrive.cork decorate  5 decorative uses with cork

1. Hanging hearts are simple to make with a glue gun instantly adding decoration to a room

2. This shop has used corks with coloured ends to create an interesting display, could adapt well to a small business especially one with a green ethos

3. Far a way I know but never to0 early to think about Christmas, plus this will give you a chance to collect corks to make this cute little tree

4. Who ever did this has got some skills, all you need is a gizzilion corks and an eye for colour and shading. good luck if you attempt a portrait of this scale.

5. A simple letter monogram can be used in a bedroom or at a party, you could even do a whole word and spell out the birthday persons name

cork practical

5 practical ideas for the home.

1. A basic rectangle bath math made from corks, brilliant but I imagine you want to make sure it gets a good airing every couple of weeks

2. a perfect little gift for those who work around water, screw and glue in place a loop screw into the top of the cork and attach the keys. I like them decorated as this little muscle man but plain can suffice or painted in a block colour.

3. Group lots of corks into a circle and secure with cable grips and you have an effective and eco friendly trivet for hot pans. You could glue the corks together as well to secure them further.

4. The classic cork craft, a notice board to stick all those receipts, business cards and post cards on.

5. A cork board tray for serving wine. perfect match especially if you collected the corks single handed or is that single glassed

cork board

I actually went for the boring practical option of a notice board simply because the pub needed one for the smoking area, but I think it comes up rather well especially with the chalk board beneath for more messages. Happy Crafting!

Lorna

x xxx

Yes..Yess.YESSSSS

The name refers to a delightful set of hair products that make your hair super glossy, soft, vibrant and even give you an orgasm!…..Well i pretty much doubt that along with all the other claims that; Herbal Essences, Loreal, Elvive and any other of those multi-million pound corporation with a 6 figure marketing budget and Eva longloria as their front model make. The basic function of Shampoo is to clean your hair. The best advice i would give for general thriftiness is to buy a own brand product because it will clean your hair and will not cost £3 plus for basically the same product.

big brandsBut arn’t they better quality the more expensive they are?

-NO, is pretty much the basic answer. The more expensive they are the more chemicals seem to be added and that can’t be good for your hair or scalp. The product will strip away natural oils and build up on your hair, potentially making problems worse. As Pat Thomas wrote on the ecologist ‘shampoos amount to a kind of chemical warfare on your scalp’.

-Once again you are paying for the advertising and the shareholders horrific salaries when you spend that much on a product. If you looked at the  cost of mass producing these items you would find it extremely low compared to the retail price

-They don’t care about the chemicals they put on your body so why should they care about the environmental impact of their products or their packaging. Many of the big brands still use animal testing and their packaging is not recyclable by most councils in the UK

cruelty free shampooSo maybe i’ll go for the cheaper option, but will it be greener?

-Not necessarily, but some cheaper products are not tested on animals and have packaging that’s easily recycled. Check the labels on the product and if in doubt you can always ring their help line and ask. Check your recycle bins/center for what plastic your council recycle

-You could instead choose alternative products, many of which usual have the same price tag/more then the big brands but can be naturally made, free from animal test, vegan, organic or fairtrade. The Bodyshop has a wide range even though it is a big brand but Lush is my favourite for on the high street beauty without a terrible environmental cost simply because their products work. There are also brands that are stocked in health shops and online, like Weleda and Faith which are also really great natural products

– You can also think about packaging when buying an item, plastic that can be recycled, glass bottles(maybe a bit pricey) or no packaging at all. Lush sell  solid shampoos  just wrapped in a paper bag which you can reuse or recycle and their plastic packaging is recycled and you can give them back to them when your done for it to be recycled again. Pretty nifty.

Do you use any eco shampoo you’d recommend?

Lorna

X xxx

In The World: Earth Homes

If only i could live here

Now i would like to say that i am not an expert on Earth homes and know generally very little about their construction and maintenance but it’s a topic and idea that really interests me. So what is an earth home you might ask. Generally speaking it means a building that is not for living underground but for people to live with the ground. Most are constructed into a bank or covered with a thick layer of earth with one long south facing wall with plenty of windows. They have many benefits both environmentally and financially with little problems claimed. As green issues become more important on the political agenda, these homes seem a promising solution to the ecological problems associated with preexisting conventional homes.

 

Like an eco log cabin

The benefits

-Insulation: The mounds of earth covering them act as a blanket and their constuction means they are like air tight boxes so no drafts. It’s architectural shape means it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter
-energy and money saving- The insulation reduces heating bills. They are particularly suitable for using renewable energies.
-Protect the environment- they blend into the countryside, use up less green space then a above ground home, the mud roofs can all be planted on adding to insulation and provide you with a food source.
-Wind, Earthquake and fire protection- Their sloping construction and semi underground style means they are better protected from wind and earthquakes( though not a worry for everyone it doesn’t hurt to know) As most are built from concrete they have amazing fired protection.

bit to minimal for me

The Problems

-As they are sealed boxes essentially, humidity and therefore mould and mildew can be a problem. An air filter/dehumidifier could help with this
-Though very light at the front, rooms at the back and bathrooms tend to be dark. solution: Dome skylights or artificial lighting.

Considering these are the only problems significantly outlined by people it seems a minimal thing considering the two problems are both faced by many people in their current houses. We have a quite major problem with damp on some of our walls because of an external wall and our living room’s light tends to be dull except for in bright sunlight at midday. Therefore Earth Homes aren’t perfect but their pros far out weight the cons. If your considering building your own home and are worried about your eco footprint then this could be the option for you.

Lorna

X xxx