Thursday, 27 August 2009

Radish of Joy...


My first home grown radish. Very yummy in a salad with my falafel this lunchtime! Thank you radish you were delicious!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Experiments with soap squishing...

So, I'd been hording a lot of the tiny pieces you get when you've come to the end of a bar of Lush solid shampoo that you can't really use cos they're too small and you end up with millions of tiny bits of shampoo crumbled into your hair that you can't get out, but you can't bring yourself to throw away because shampoo bars are expensive and they smell so good! I gathered all my tiny shampoo bar bits into a silicone cupcake case, put this into a pan of boiling water and waited for the bits to melt together to form a great, big, uber shampoo bar.

After about 40 minutes of simmering it on the hob with the lid on and an overnight chill in the fridge I ended up with this....
Which crumbles into my hair and then I can't get it out, and which, as my mother rightly pointed out, I probably used more energy cooking it for all that time than I saved by reusing my shampooy fragments!
But! I wasn't ready to give up on saving my little bits of soap and shampoo bar, so after much google searching I have decided on this method to reuse them both...
1. Find an old sock or cut off the foot of an old pair of tights (I have gone down the tight-y route this time as I just so happen to have a bag full of old tights I am also hording and hoping to reuse!)
2. Every time your soap or shampoo bar gets to the too-small-to-be-usable stage put it into the sock or tight-foot.
3. When the sock/tight-foot is full tie a knot in the top of it to keep the soapy bits in.
4. The sock keeps all the bits from disintegrating on to you, but you can still lather the soap through the sock, either directly onto your hand or body or onto a sponge or whatever else you use in the shower.

I haven't tried it out yet because my tight-foot of soapy bits is nowhere near full enough, but I think it sounds like it'll work! There are lots of other ways of recycling soap scraps all over the internet, but the way I'm using seems the easiest and the the one that uses less energy.

New favorite websites...

I officially have been spending too much time on the internet!!!

But I have been finding lots of inspiration! I especially like....

The nag - sends you a cheerful 'nag' by email once a month to do something good, like switch your bank to a more ethical one, write to your favorite shop to ask them to sell guilt-free (is there such a thing?!) clothes or use reusable containers for your packed lunch. You can also browse through the site and read other nags and take part in them too. The site registers the details of the 'nags' you have participated in and uses it to calculate data - for example "Nag members have got 398 tupperware lunch boxes. That means they're probably throwing away about 41392 fewer bits of plastic lunch packaging a year" (quoted from so you can see the effect of your actions. Very extremely brilliant if you ask me!

My zero waste - does what it says on the tin really, lots of tips on how to live waste free. I'm quite smug in the knowledge that in our house we already do all the things suggested in the 'beginners tips for reducing waste' and the intermediate! And a few from the tips for recycling pros!

Instructables - tutorials posted by clever people, with photographs, to tell you how to make or do just about anything you wish - clothes, food, wooden stuff, metal stuff, garden stuff and I'm especially a fan of the green section!

Think I might turn the computer off for a while now!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

My garden...

It's not quite what I'd hoped for,

I've still not been allowed to dig up the flowerbeds at mums house! But I DO have the top shelf of a weird-shelfy thing we have in my mum's garden and I'm inordinately proud of my miniature garden. Look!!

I still only have two garlics growing, the others are looking a bit sad and mouldy and not-growingy, but I'm still holding out hope for them! I transferred some of the lettuces out of a big pot of them that were overcrowded and put them in a new trough (?) so they can grow big and healthy. In the other side of the lettuce trough I sowed some more radish seeds so by the time I've eaten the first lot the second lot will be ready...yuuum!

Vegan Quaker Oat Biscuit Recipe...and Darlek Cookies

I'm not sure how home baked biscuits compare to shop bought in terms of eco-friendlyness, but in terms of taste home baked stuff usually wins! Unless you're me. I usually have kitchen disasters. Which is why I'm really impressed with my kitchen brilliance today!! I found a recipe in one of my mums books for Quaker Oat Biscuits, which my nan used to make for us when we were little, I then found my dalek cookie-cutter and a beautiful idea was born...Quaker Oat Daleks....

I also did some more traditional circle ones too. I love these biscuits! They really remind me of being tiny and arriving at my nan and grandads after a 4 hour drive and being fed home made biscuits out of a huge, white tupperware box. After my baking spree today I took my biscuits to the garden and ate them in the sun with a smile, remembering my nan. And thinking about how awesome daleks are...
Ingredients -
*5 oz self raising flour
*5oz oatmeal
*3oz margarine
*3oz sugar
*4-5 tablespoons milk (I used water instead because I'm vegan)
*pinch of salt
Method -
Mix dry ingredients, rub in margarine, add liquid gradually until it's mixed to a stiff paste, roll thinly and cut out (this recipe makes about 40 biscuits - for the sake of my tummy I halved the recipe this time!) Cook on gas mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until pale golden brown, then leave to cool until crispy....then eat them all up! They're really nice with margarine spread on them as well.