Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets.

It's the time of year for saving seeds, and I like to make these cute little packets to store them in.  

They're a great way to use up or upcycle pretty paper, I use magazines or colouring book pages.  And they're super easy to make, with no measuring or using templates.  In fact it took longer to write out these instructions than it does to make a seed packet!

You will need
A5 paper
scissors
glue

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled

Fold the paper in half then open it out. Cut a centimetre off 3 sides of one half of the paper, starting and ending at the centre fold.

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled

Fold the paper in half again, with the smaller side on top.  Fold the edges over to create a crease, then unfold and cut a square notch in the bottom corner and cut the top into a flap shape.  

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled

Glue the side and bottom flaps down, but leave the top one un-glued cos that's where you'll put the seeds in.  Once the packet is full of seeds you can tuck the top flap in, or glue it down.  Don't forget to label the packet with the kind of seeds and when they were saved too.

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled

Ta-dah!  Finished!  These also make great envelopes.  And you can make them any size you like.

Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled



Make your own upcycled paper seed packets. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #seedsaving #seedpackets #upcycled






Monday, 22 August 2016

Charity shopping - the one with the £3 Lloyd Loom basket!

I was so happy when I spotted this basket in the window of one of my local charity shops with a nice big £3 price tag on!  I ran in and snaffled it straight away!

Charity shopping - the one with the £3 Lloyd Loom basket! secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblog #thriftshop #lloydloom

I've no way of telling if it's actually Lloyd Loom or just Lloyd Loom-esque,  I can't find a label on anywhere to tell me, but I don't mind either way, I like the shape and style of it.  This basket fits in lovely in the conservatory and will be useful to keep my wool in.  My husband has pointed out that not all of my wool will fit in this basket, so I'd better keep my eye out for another!
Lloyd Loom basket £3, Sue Ryder charity shop.

Have you bought any lovely bargains lately?

P.S. Check out my other charity shop posts for more! 


 

Friday, 19 August 2016

How to make mandarin orange ice lollies.

These mandarin orange ice lollies are the easiest things to make, ever!  I don't even want to call it a recipe, it's basically frozen fruit! 

How to make mandarin orange ice lollies. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #icelollies #popsicles #recipe #vegan #healthy #veganblog

You will need
1 can of mandarin orange segments, in juice.
ice lolly molds

How to make your yummy vegan ice lollies
Open the can of mandarin orange segments and use a fork to help you scoop the segments out of the can and into the ice lolly moulds.  

Use the fork to scooch the orange down to the bottom of the mould and try to eliminate air gaps.  Nothing bad will happen if you have air gaps, the lollies just don't hold together so well.  It's probably best to use the push up type lolly mould for this reason, to contain them in case they get a bit fallling-apart-y.  

You can add a little of the juice from the can to each mold too if you like.  

After a couple of hours in the freezer they'll be ready to eat!

How to make mandarin orange ice lollies. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #icelollies #popsicles #recipe #vegan #healthy #veganblog

These ice lollies are loads healthier and cheaper than shop bought ones, especially if you get the orange in juice rather than in syrup - then there's no added sugar. This tin of oranges was £1, so each of my lollies cost 25 pennies!  Incidentally, one small can of mandarin orange segments it enough to fill my 4 silicone push up ice lolly moulds.  Yey!  

How to make mandarin orange ice lollies. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #icelollies #popsicles #recipe #vegan #healthy #veganblog

If you liked this you might also like my 2 ingredient recipe for chocolate milk ice lollies.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016.

This month has been hot!  Or rainy!  I've tried to get some gardening done in the cool evenings, but I haven't done much.  Poor garden, I'm going to start looking after it properly!

This snap pea plant has been excellent this month.  The variety is called 'Shiraz' and I have more growing in the greenhouse for a late sowing.  I'll definitely grow loads more of this next year - they're great in stir fries.

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

My patty pan summer squash finally has a patty on it!  Yey!

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

The front garden raised beds are my favourite part of the garden at the moment.  I think it's because they're easy and things grow well in them.  Although there's some lettuce that's not really growing much.  I've planted some more carrots and spring onions in there this month.

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

My mum was getting rid of this old bin she'd been using as a waterbutt so I took it off her hands.  There's a guttering pipe that comes of the conservatory but doesn't go all the way to the drain, so I popped the butt under the pipe.  It filled up really quickly and now I've got delicious rain water to water the garden with.       

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

Down the side of the house the garden's looking good.  The herbs are rampant, the buddleia is enormous and the raspberries are crazy tall this year!  My two new apple trees are growing well, no apples this year because they're only babies but I hope to get some next year.  Look at that ominous grey sky, that's what I've had to contend with most of the month!

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

I didn't plant any nasturtiums this year, and yet still they grow!  Good job, because they're my favourites.  Can you see my sweetcorn to the right of the photo?  They've had a slow start, and are the second lot I sowed, but they seem to be growing strongly now.

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

Mum gave me a pumpkin in spring, I planted it down the side garden and slugs ate it all up.  Mum gave me a pumpkin last spring, I planted it down the side garden and slugs ate it all up.  So I've taken the hint with this pumpkin mum gave me a couple of weeks ago and planted it in a pot by the conservatory.  No casualties so far!

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

It's a little late, but I had all these packets of wild flower seeds hanging about, so I mixed them all together and planted them in some big pots.  There's loads left so I'm going to scatter some in the garden and look out for some bare patches of ground around town to plant up too!

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

And here's the whole garden.  Not looking it's best I think.  I'm going to get back into doing my 20 minutes gardening a day, so hopefully it'll look a lot better this time next month!

Diary of a suburban food garden, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #suburbangarden #polyculture #vegetablegarden #fruitgarden

How's your garden this month?  


Monday, 15 August 2016

Ethical OOTD.

OOTD is fashion blog talk for 'outfit of the day' in case you weren't sure!  

Ethical OOTD. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #OOTD #ethical #fairtrade #outfitoftheday

I picked up this lovely new dress in the Nomads sale.  It's lovely and soft and cool, perfect for swishing about in on hot days.  It's Fair trade too!  The dress is sold as a midi, but I'm 5 foot 1, so it's a maxi on me! 

It's still available on the Nomads website if you want to grab one for yourself, in this turquoise colour, and there's a terracotta version too.

Ethical OOTD. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #OOTD #ethical #fairtrade #outfitoftheday

Ethical OOTD. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #OOTD #ethical #fairtrade #outfitoftheday

Dress £24, Nomads.  Shoes 2nd hand Birkenstocks.



 
 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Eco review, Greencane paper.

Greencane Paper make eco friendly and biodegradable toilet paper, paper towels and tissues, from sugar cane and bamboo pulp.  Eco friendly loo roll is the kind of thing that excites me, so I was really happy to be sent some to try out! 

Eco review, Greencane paper biodegradable toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #review #ad #greencane #biodegradable #ecofriendly #ecoblog

I was sent Greencane's mixed paper box, which is huge and will impress your postman and make your husband ask where all this loo roll is to be stored!  It contains 32 rolls of toilet paper, 6 rolls of paper towels and 3 boxes of facial tissues.  
Eco review, Greencane paper biodegradable toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #review #ad #greencane #biodegradable #ecofriendly #ecoblog 
Each case costs £23.80, which I think is really good value.  You can also chose to get a case of 48 loo rolls, 24 kitchen rolls or 24 boxes of tissues for the same price.  You can make a one off purchase or subscribe and be sent your chosen box of Greencane paper every 6, 12 or 18 weeks - how handy is that?!

Eco review, Greencane paper biodegradable toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #review #ad #greencane #biodegradable #ecofriendly #ecoblog

I've been using Greencane paper for the last couple of weeks and I'm really impressed.

Toilet paper.
The loo roll is really smooth and soft and strong.  It's so smooth that to be completely honest, when I opened it my heart sank, because it looked really thin and I thought it was going to be no good.  That couldn't be further from the truth, and I think it's probably down to the materials it's made from.  I'd guess sugarcane and bamboo are stronger than wood-paper, so it doesn't need to be as thick.  We usually use triple velvet, and Greencane's toilet paper is as soft and as strong.  Also the rolls are really long and last ages!  We're converts!

Kitchen roll.
I gave the kitchen roll the greasiest task I could find, soaking up the oil when I fried poppadoms.  I don't use kitchen roll often, but it's handy for a few cooking jobs and it stood up to the task really well.  

Facial tissues.
Again, I rarely use tissues as I prefer reusable, fabric hankies, but I do use tissues if I have a cold and Joe isn't a hanky fan!  We've both had summer colds and the Greencane paper tissues have been soft and gentle on our noses.

Eco review, Greencane paper biodegradable toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #review #ad #greencane #biodegradable #ecofriendly #ecoblog

Eco credentials.

Greencane is made from sugar cane fibre (a byproduct of sugar production, one tonne of recycled sugar cane pulp saves 17 trees) and bamboo (quick growing and low impact) and 30% wood pulp. 

The harvesting methods for sugar cane and bamboo are kinder to the environment than felling trees.

The paper's made from GMO free and BPA free materials, and bleached with non-chlorine bleach.

The packaging is plastic free.  The clear part of the wrapper is made from plant based cellophane that will biodegrade in a commercial composting facility.  (The only niggle I have with Greencane is the inclusion of the cellophane panel.  I'd much prefer totally paper packaging, and plastic free tape on the cardboard crate.  However, there's still waaaaay less plastic packaging on the Greencane than on conventional loo roll products.) 

Greencane paper products are made in a nice factory subject to external environmental audits.


Eco review, Greencane paper biodegradable toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #review #ad #greencane #biodegradable #ecofriendly #ecoblog

Keep up with new developments on Greencane's twitter account and buy your lovely biodegradable loo roll from greencane.com.
 

Disclosure - I was sent a case of Greencane paper to review.  I only write about products I like and I like Greencane paper.  All opinions are my own, but some of the photos I've used belong to Greencane.




Wednesday, 10 August 2016

What do vegans eat?

When people find out I'm vegan they always ask me what I eat.  So here are some of the vegan meals, treats and snacks I've been eating lately,

What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog

Linda McCartney vegetarian burgers.  We've been eating lots of these vegan friendly burgers as you can currently pick them up from our local Heron Foods shop for £1 per pack of four.  They're yummy and taste quite realistically meaty.  The real star of this plate is the corn on the cob, I roasted it with vegan margarine, olive oil and a little salt and it was so delicious!

What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog

Biona organic mini fruit bears.   I love these vegan gummy bears!  They're fruity and chewy, just as you would expect them to be!

What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog

Tiger rice cakes with dark chocolate.  These vegan chocolate rice cakes from Tiger are nice.  I've never been tempted to try them before (I'd rather save my chocolately calories for a biscuit to be honest!) but I'd be happy to eat them again.

What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog

Morrisons zesty lemon sorbet.  This sorbet is really zesty, so you only need a small serving!  Lovely and cold and refreshing on these hot sticky days we've been having! 

What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog

Marks and Spencers iced spiced bun.  I rarely go past a M&S without popping in to buy some of these buns.  The icing is thick and sweet and the bun is soft and fruity and they're my favourites! 

Check out my other vegan food posts for more vegan friendly inspiration!


What do vegans eat? Vegan meal and snack ideas and inspiration. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #whatveganseat #veganblog
(Please note - these products are vegan as far as I can tell - items have suitable for vegetarians or vegan labeling, no dairy/eggs in the allergy section and the ingredients list contains no animal ingredients that I can see, please remember recipes sometimes change, please check for yourself if you're in any doubt.)





Monday, 8 August 2016

Charity shopping - the one with all the plant pots.

Charity shopping is one of my favorite pastimes!  Here are my recent buys, 

Charity shopping - the one with all the plant pots.  And the retro Marks and Spencers tray.  And the Pyrex bowl.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #charityshopblog

I've been picking up plant pots for ages to house my growing plant collection.  I'm trying to go for only white or teracotta pots for downstairs, to try to keep it a bit classy!  I picked up the 2 smallest pots on here the other day for a bargain.
Small plant pots, 50p and £1 Help for Heroes charity shop.

Charity shopping - the one with all the plant pots.  And the retro Marks and Spencers tray.  And the Pyrex bowl.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #charityshopblog

Ahhh, another tray to add to my collection!  I have 3 or 4 of these retro Marks and Spencer's trays already and I love this one! 
Tray, £1, Barnardos charity shop.

Charity shopping - the one with all the plant pots.  And the retro Marks and Spencers tray.  And the Pyrex bowl.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #charityshopblog

I've got this pyrex bowl's big red brother and this little blue one is perfect for solving a fridge problem we've been having.  There are two crisper drawers in our fridge and we kept potatoes in the bottom one, but it was too cold and they kept freezing, then going rotten.  Not nice.  I've moved them onto a shelf and into this pretty bowl - no more potato rottage for us!
Bowl, £1, Barnardo's charity shop.  

What have you been buying?  Any good bargains?
 



 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Make one small change, get a reusable water bottle.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change, get a reusable water bottle. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com

This is one of those eco friendly changes that always come up in articles like '10 easy ways to go green!', it's so simple and easy but I haven't been doing it properly.  I've been reusing old plastic water bottles and I had a cheapo flask, but I recently invested in a good quality reusable bottle and it feels so good!

Mine is made by Klean Kanteen and it cost about £20 for a 500ml stainless steel bottle.  It's expensive, but I'm treating it as a long term investment - Klean Kanteens have a lifetime guarantee!  I've been using it for a couple of weeks now, and I've found it keeps my water nice and cool and doesn't give it a metallic taste (like my old Poundland water bottle used to do!) - I'm a convert!  And because I'm proud of my shiny new water bottle I'm more likely to remember to take it with me!

In Britain we go through 30 billion litres of bottled water a year, and as we all know plastic hangs around forever and ever and ends up being eaten by sea turtles and is nasty.  It can also leach harmful chemicals into your drink or food, so it's well worth avoiding. 

Do you use a reusable water bottle?

Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!


Monday, 1 August 2016

Easy green actions and articles, August 2016.



Hi!  Here's our monthly round up of eco friendly articles and online actions, 


photo from huffingtonpost.com.

If these photos of a year's worth of rubbish don't make you want to reduce your waste I don't know what will!



photo from Sudfeh.

If you have a few pennies to spare then think about supporting this crowdfunder campaign to build 'Sudfeh', a non-profit vegan cafe at a University in Palestine.  It would be the first of it's kind and any money made would go to scholarships for young people and to the Palestinian Animal League Solidarity animal welfare charity.

Our new (unelected) Prime Minister has got rid of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  She's merged it in with some other departments, but I think climate change is so important it needs it's own department.  Sign this petition if you agree.

If you're getting ready to go back to school/college/uni then remember to use up last year's school supplies before buying new.

I like this clever idea to cover the city of Phoenix in tree shade, to fight against heat caused by climate change and to make the area nicer!

post these kinds of things on twitter all month, so find me there if this is your kind of thing too!