Friday, 27 August 2010

What I bought this month...

Pale blue wool
TV magazine x 2
2 chilli plants and a pot of thyme

I bought the wool from the charity shop, I wanted some more for a cushion cover I'm crocheting but I ended up not using it, it's very pale blue so I might use it to crochet snowflakes to decorate with at Christmas.  Mum usually buys the TV magazines, but I did a couple of times this month.  The birkenstocks were 2nd hand off ebay - £5 woohoo!  And the plants were in the sale at the garden centre - the chillies have about 30 ripe chillies on each, and more green ones, they were 99p each which is cheaper than buying that number of chillies from the supermarket/veggie stall, so I got them)  The thyme is huge and organic and was 25p!

I got rid of an old pair of school shoes (my feet have been the same size since I was about 14!) to make way for the birkenstocks.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Wisdom - Mum bought some wisdom toothbrushes, the plastic on the blister pack is unmarked and therefore unrecylable...

Dear Wisdom,
A member of my family recently bought a packet of Wisdom toothbrushes and I couldn’t find any information to help me recycle the plastic part of the packaging. I have been unable to find a recycling number or symbol moulded into the plastic, or any information about the type of plastic used printed on the cardboard part of the packaging. As you may know, it is very difficult to recycle unmarked plastic, as plastic recycling facilities are only able to accept the types that they know are able to be processed by their machinery. I am very reluctant to buy items wrapped in plastic that I cannot dispose of responsibly (ie. By not sending them to landfill) and would like to know what type of plastic the packaging is made of and to request that this information is made clearer on the packaging in future.

I would also be interested to know if your company has an environmental policy, as this is not displayed on your website. I would also be interested to know if Wisdom has any recommendations for disposing of used toothbrushes responsibly, if they are recyclable in any way and if your company has any plans to help customers reduce the waste created by replacing toothbrushes, either that are in place now or planned for the future.

I look forward to your reply,
Yours Sincerely

As of yet Wisdom haven't got back to me...I'm going to resend the email and see what happens.

ASDA  Last month I wrote to ASDA about the plastic used to package their own brand cake/ice cream decorations and sprinkles, they did get back to me to let me know what type of plastic it is (although I couldn't see it on the pots when I looked, I'll have to look again next time I'm there...)
Thank you for your message.
Good Morning Susie,
Thank you for your patience whilst I have been looking into your query. I have received some information from our supplier which I would like to share with you. There is a number on each decoration pot (on the bottom). This number is an indicator to which type of plastic it is. If it has a 1 it is made from Poly Etherene Terephtharate.If it has a 5 it is made from Polly Polytherene.If it has a 6 it is made from Polystyrene. Our supplier has said all sprinkle pots are made from Poly Etherene Terephtharate. The cake decorations with a flip lid are made from Polly Polytherene and our jar decorations are made from Polystyrene. I hope from this information you can decide which product you would like to use. Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact ASDA and if you should require anymore assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
Kind Regards ASDA Service Team

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


My friends and I took a lovely (very wet) walk today to lane next to a reservoir at the bottom of a hill where some blackberries grow....

It was great fun, I've never been blackberrying before!  I have load of blackberries (and we left lots for the birds to eat of course!)  They're mostly a bit too sour, so I think I might mush them up with some sugar and make blackberry fruit leather in my food dehydrator, I don't like cooked fruit, so I have to find something to do with the blackberries I can't eat in the next couple of days. 

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Magic in my garden...

There have been faries in my veg plot...

And a spikey friendly little visitor...

Hope you're having a magical weekend!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Garlic Harvest and How to Preserve Garlic...(also garlic pinkness!)

I was did some gardening this afternoon (you know those days when you don't really plan on doing gardening, so you wear your clean trousers and a white vest top, then you start noticing weeds and then five minutes later you find yourself armed with a hoe and a trowel, flinging soil about while trying to keep your clothes clean, it was one of those days today...)  I noticed that most of my garlic plants had gone completely yellow and brittle and dead looking, so I decided to dig up the remainder of the bulbs.


Oh aren't they so pink and purple and lovely.  They are quite small but you can't have everything!  I think after the past two years garlic-in-pots failures I've definitely learned that they don't like it and I shall find some nice real ground for them to go into next time.  Still, they are pink, so at least that's happy!

Now I have to find some way to preserve all this garlic - I was planning on plaiting the stalks together and hanging it up somewhere (or round my neck a la le french) but half of these don't have stalks and none of them really have a fully formed skin around them, so I don't think they'll keep very well like that.  There seems to be three main ways to preserve garlic - pickling, drying and freezing (has anyone tried any of these methods?  I'd love to know the results!?)  I dislike le pickle, so I can discount that straight away. I think I'm going to try to freeze it this time - I'm going to let the garlic dry out a bit (apparently when the garlic loses moisture the flavours inside get more concentrated and I want my garlic to be garlicky!) then crush it, mix it with a little oil (to stop it completely sticking together), put it into a jar and put it in the freezer.  Before I preserve the garlic I have to wait for it to get more garlicky, so I'll update with how this garlic freezing plan works when I do it!

This site has lots of information about the health benefits and sciencey bits about different types of preserved garlic as well as how to preserve garlic and store it in lots of different ways.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Scary Plastic Statistics...

I just came across this on Easy Eco to Go blog and it gave me the shivers, I knew we had a too much plastic problem but I can't believe it's so much, it actaully makes me feel sick!  So I thought I'd share it with you...

Use Less Plastic from TakePart on Vimeo.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Eco Audit...

Well, I've been having fun playing with the new blogger thing were you can made tabs at the top of your blog.  In one I've written a little bit more about me, in one there's a show-offs gallery of things I've made and in the other is called 'eco audit' (I completely forgot the work for audit for ageees while writing this and it was really frustrating!  I was about to call it eco-check-of-things-that-i-already-do-and-still-need-to-do before I remembered the word!).

I think it's going to be a really long and laborious task, but I've started making an honest list of everything I use and it's been a real eye-opener seeing the amount of un-green items I, a person who considers themselves to be quite green, still use.  It's also given me lots of motivation to make more changes...I look at things and think, 'hmm why am I still using that, I'm sure I can easily find something better'...and so now maybe I will!

I haven't finished my eco-audit by a long way yet, I think it's the kind of thing that might go on forever!  But if you have the time to do one yourself  (you can even copy and paste the one off here and fill it in with your own things if you like) I would definitely recommend it!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Garlic harvest (ish!)

Today as I was watering my garden I noticed that my garlic was not looking happy, it had gone all yellow and droopy and sad looking!

I planted the garlic in rows, so I knew that there were some plants missing, I think the tops might have rotted off or something equally as sad.  So I had a dig about where the missing plants were and found these! They're not as big as I'd hoped they would be but I'm quite pleased that they've made themselves into little cloves, last years garlic just made small, solid bulbs with no separate cloves inside.  I planted them a bit late in the season and in pots, I think next time I'll be more precise with my timings and try to find some ground to grow them in.

And they're pink!

Even though the others look so dire I've left them in for now, hopefully the underground garlicy bits will grow a bit more before the overground leafy bits completely die!

Has anyone else done garlic this year?  How has/is it going?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Garden Goodness...

I've been having very happy garden times and have lots of things to pick and eat, which makes me feel very grateful and like I want to have a harvest festival like we did when we were at school and skip around a maypole (hang on, are maypoles just for may? hmmm)

I have chilli's that are starting to go red!!!  Despite the fact it's been mostly freezing here, I think I have the greenhouse to thank for these!
I have 8 bell pepper plants, and the biggest two are making little fruits!
I've got tomatoes!
I've got courgettes (you can't see them in this picture, because I've picked them :) but I have 2 courgette plants and I've had at least 8 fruits so far this year)
I've got lettuce and spring onions!
I have a peaaaaaaaaaaa!
And I have lots of cabbages and cauliflowers! Yey!
I've had the dehydrator out to store some of this produce for the winter, I've never used dried veg before but I think I can put it in stews and things that need to be cooked for quite a while (or soak them before use, obviously) and I did some windfall apples that next door gave me (they're very sour cooking apples, which I soaked in lemon juice so they're now super sour!)