Switching to more sustainable alternatives

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I’m always looking to make sustainable switches now I’ve learned about going Zero Waste. Here are a couple of examples. I’ve used up the last of the green nylon scourers I always used to purchase without thinking. Instead, I’ve bought these cloths from E-Cloth. The large grey one is a e-cloth – Non-Scratch Scouring Cloth and the smaller one is a e-cloth – Washing Up Pad. I will see which works best for us and then probably purchase a couple more, as I only do hot washes once a fortnight.

On the other side, I am using up the last of my disposable feminine care products. Since I can’t use 1 Pack of Mooncup Menstrual Cup Size B 1 Pieces or the like for health-related reasons, I’ve decided to put my newly learnt sewing machine skills to the test. These are only my 3rd project and I found sewing round corners took some getting used to. I sewed my first one inside out (bottom right of picture) but since it won’t affect the function- I didn’t bother to unpick it.

I found lots of links by searching the topic ‘pantyliners pattern’ on Pinterest. I happened across this blog from there: https://sites.google.com/site/shewhorunsintheforest/008 I read through a few other sites, but this was one I felt I could attempt with my basic sewing skills and that I also felt met my needs. You will see from Pinterest that there are loads of ideas out there. I just downloaded the pattern and drew round it with a Sharpie. I was lucky enough to be given loads of winceyette off-cuts by my Mum who was downsizing her lifetime hoard of material. So these all hold memories of childhood PJs and nighties for me! Weird huh?! I bought metal poppers from my nearest haberdashers and Bob’s your Uncle! I am very pleased with the result- it’s satisfying to know I made these and there won’t be anymore paper/ plastic ones going to landfill everyday.

Next stop is to make proper sanitary towels, but I will need to buy some additional material for that. I will keep you posted with some more of my switches soon. In the mean-time, I’m heading back to my sewing machine! Chow for now.

Goodbye Hi-fi!

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6 months ago, I said I was going to get rid of my hi-fi and I didn’t manage it. Although I did let go of my iPod instead. During the intervening months I had used it about twice and since moving, it had sat in its box for 3 months untouched. That was enough to confirm to me, that it did indeed need to go!

I popped it on eBay and made a very fair return on it, seeing as it was now 5 years old. It had been very well looked after and was like new. I got just under half of my original spend back, so much better to sell it now than when it had further depreciated or become obsolete. I’ve had the odd pang of regret, but I just remind myself that I didn’t use it.

I’ve been using either my iPad, iPhone, computer or portable radio as alternatives and the speakers are excellent on these devices. I have treated myself to a £20 portable CD drive (via Amazon, paid for with Swagbucks!) which means I can upload all my CDs to iTunes (my Macbook Air doesn’t have a CD drive). The next move I can see happening, is for all my CDs to go. Then I would have an obsolete hi-fi stand to get rid of too, unless it can be repurposed! ha

This was definitely one of the harder things to let go, but I’m so glad I did it. Let me know how your decluttering efforts are going.

Received Wisdom- Part 2

OK, time for a few new tips

  1. You know when you get a hole in one rubber glove but you throw both away. Keep the good one and a) hope it’s the opposite of the one that springs a leak next time or b) take a tip from my mum and turn it inside out! Et voila- a matching pair. (I’m guilty of not following this frugal tip because I don’t like the feel of the rubber side next to my skin).
  2. Don’t buy sugar coated cereals- they are a waste of money. If you want to- you can add sugar yourself or better still, cut down!
  3. Save any plastic bags you do get and use them to line your waste paper bins. Not entirely compatible with becoming zero waste, but better than buying them!
  4. Cycle- it’s free, green and great exercise. Why not choose your bike over short car journeys?
  5. Making meringues or another recipe that only calls for egg whites? Don’t throw the yolk away- often biscuit recipes will only call for the yolk. Have a look online and you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. If you’ve got the oven on anyway, then you’re being extra economical.

And here’s one that I learnt recently on-line- it makes no difference whether you wash your clothes or hands in hot water because it’s the detergent and friction that does the job of cleaning. I’ve been washing our clothes at 20 degrees instead of 40 degrees and I haven’t noticed any difference! I’ve not yet been brave enough to try it on towels or bedding which I still wash at 60 degrees. I guess some habits die hard, but maybe I will change this over time. I do want to do these hot washes though because I’ve heard it’s good for your machine- otherwise it gets clogged up with powder residue. I also currently refuse to believe that it would be healthy or safe to wash dishcloths and toilet cleaning cloths at lower temperatures.

Perhaps someone will put me straight though?