Saturday, 3 July 2010

Simple Mindedness!

It's been quite a while since I gave an update on my simple/mindful/thoughtful (whatever you like to call it) living efforts. A lot of what I do comes naturally now and I make the mistake of assuming people think the way I do. I can't believe how many people still accept plastic bags at the checkouts. At work, (in collaboration with our environmentalist and H&S guy) I took a compost bin for the kitchen for everyone to put food waste and teabags into. I doubt very much whether half the people here will use it regularly :-( but some is better than none. I also reminded the QS department that there's a supply of plastic bags they can use when they go to the supermarket at lunchtime instead of getting a new one each several times a week! My OH thinks I'm preaching but I see it as an opportunity to make a difference, and no one has ever taken offence. It's also company policy to try to be environmentally aware and do our bit.

I stop ordering an organic box delivery at this time of year because we get quite a lot of produce from our garden, given to us by friends and relatives, and growing wild in the countryside. I could order items from the delivery scheme separately but it works out a lot more expensive so I try to buy organic at the supermarket instead.
This little bag from Onya contains 5 net drawstring veg/fruit bags and I bought them especially to use instead of using the plastic ones provided (I've had only favourable comments at the checkout when I have used them). The only problem is that most organic produce comes already wrapped - I suppose that's so it doesn't get mixed up with the regular produce. It's a little annoying as not all shops use recylable packaging for organic produce.
On a more general note, I've been recording my spending for over a year and can now start to compare similar months. In comparing June 2009 and June 2010, Total spending is £340 down and grocery shopping is £5.33 per week down on average, which doesn't seem much but when price rises are taken into account, is probably quite a bit more. I'm unlikely to be able to reduce this much more while I'm still working and the 20% VAT coming in next year is going to make an impact.
There's much more I could add to this but I don't want to get too long and rambling. Suffice to say, I'm still recycling, reusing and reducing as much as I can in all areas. But still have a long way to go.
Now that's enough seriousness for one day!!! I tried to be helpful and put in a few photos to break things up a bit for you. I hope you've managed to get this far to get a little info on them.
It's Hot Air Balloon season at the moment and with the good weather we've had there's at least one up every weekend. It's early morning or dusk that the conditions are suitable for them so this one was spotted last Saturday morning. Actually we usually hear them first, firing up the gas to get altitude . I'd just had a shower, heard it from the bathroom window, grabbed my camera and headed out the front door wrapped in a towel (not where neighbours could see me!) As I held up the camera the people in the balloon shouted 'hello' and waved. I was back indoors before you could say 'smile please'. I don't think they were talking to me though because a lady walked by walking a dog seconds later. Phew!! My OH took this photo for me!!!
I made another recipe from Fuel for Body and Soul's blog last night to use up the rest of the puff pastry. They are Potato and Chick Pea Rolls. Mine are more like parcels though because, as I said yesterday, I couldn't get Filo pastry. I ate the messy one with roasted vegetables and peas and froze the rest.
I've come up with a little strategy for hopefully making my evenings/weekends more relaxed so I'll share that next time. Only started it yesterday so don't know how effective it will be yet.
Bye for now
Teresa x


Peach Rainbow said...

I think it will take some more time for people to reduce their plastics/polythene shopping bag usage. more awareness and education needs to take place.

I too love my 3 fabric bags but the only problem is when my husband does grocery shopping, he will voluntarily carry the fabric bags but will also bring the shopping bags given at the shop!

wayside wanderer said...

What a great post. I love that these things you are doing are coming so natural and I really like that veggie bags. What a pretty hot air balloon! And those windows in the roof? Are those sky lights? I haven't seen anything like those before.

laura said...

Lovely post teresa....I love how living simply becomes a way of life.

I have a real problem stopping my son and plastic bags, every day he seems to bring one into the house and I'm not sure how to stop him!