Are you"green"?

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Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:17 pm

I know since the recession being green has dropped off the agenda and isn't as fashionable as it was but I know it's still important to lots of people. So is being more environmentally friendly important to you or is it a nice idea but too expensive? What green stuff do you do (I include growing veg, upcycling and making stuff in this).

Erm that's it really! Just wanted to chat about all things green.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:29 pm

I think we are quite green, excluding the cars!
We recycle everything we can, have 2 green cone food digesters and 2 compost bins
I am the energy police about stuff being left on and using more water than needed
I tried growing veg last year and it was a disaster but am going to give it a go next year
I am also cutting down the amount of meat we have and increasing the veg since meat production is the biggest producer of co2 emmissions apparently
I am happy to buy secondhand and also freecycle anything we dont need anymore
would love more tips tho!
oh and all the bulbs are energy savers
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:29 pm

The environment has been of interest to me since I was a teenager and we learned about global warming at school. I remember being outraged and really upset at how we treated the earth and it changed me a lot.

I think it's a great way to save money too, because it's as much about what we don't do as well as what we do. And I know people say it's pointless when China are building coal fired power stations all the time. But for me it's just about doing what I think it right and that's that, if it's a waste of time it doesn't really bother me as it's no hardship, it's living as I see fit and I believe it benefits my life so that's enough for me.

I don't think we're as conscientious as we used to be, for example, in our old house we didn't have a kitchen bin because there was very little to throw away as pretty much everything went into the compost bin, we don't have one here yet (haven't touched the garden since we moved other than mowing the lawn). We do all the basic stuff like walking about the place, Dan cycles to work when it's not too windy - cycling along the prom with crashing sea isn't a good idea, lol. We hate waste so try to make the most of anything we buy, try not to buy single use items, hire or borrow things if we can, repurpose things and all that stuff. Thankfully our house already had cavity wall and loft insulation but we have a way to go with some other things. We shop local as much as possible. So I think we're probably light green. Hopefully we'll grow some veg next year and really get tighter with this kind of thing. Moving house has been more of a shift than I thought.

Our big downfall would have to be the car, our friends and family live miles away so we use the car a lot, but when we do go out we try to make sure it's for longer journeys only and we double up on errands to make the most of being out in it. Not ideal but that's that.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Would you recommend a green cone? I know someone who has a Bokashi (sp) but I'm not sure what to go for.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:47 pm

I am really happy with ours as you can put all food waste in it unlike a composter where you are limited a bit
The only running cost is the enzyme stuff you have to buy to sprinkle on before the stuff goes in the cone but it isnt that expensive and lasts for ages
Once you have dug the hole the only maintenance is every couple of years you dig it up, anything that is still in it gets dug into the ground and you just put the green cone back and start again
The only reason we have two is that we are a large family so i use 1 one year and move onto the other one the next then go back and dig over the first one and use it the following year if that makes sense, I rotate them.
Since we have got the compost bins as well my wheelie bin hasnt actually been full and we have fortnightly collections like most people so i am really pleased.
I forgot to add before that i am making our cleaning products now(when what i have runs out)
and also going to use natural skin care, honey oats etc when my huge stock pile is finished but saying that my girls are loving our nights now when we make face packs and sit about looking like zombies with all kinds of concoctions on our faces
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:15 pm

Thanks, that sounds good, especially for a lazy person like me. Having a normal composter will be good for us as we can put the contents of the bunny litter trays in, which will reduce the amount of stuff that goes in the bin by about 87%. When we composted the litter tray stuff we only had to put the wheelie bin out every 4 collections but now we put it out every time, but it's mainly rabbit stuff.

Will discuss a green cone with Dan.

Making my own cleaning products was one thing that didn't work for me. I found I was buying vinegar and bicarb every month at a cost of about 80p a month whereas I've had a bottle of Bio D multi surface cleaner for over a year and that only cost me £2. I do have a bicarb spray for getting rid of smells though.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:40 pm

That Bio D sounds good where do you get that from?
So far i am happy with my laundry gloopy stuff, vinegar as softner and rinse aid in the dishwasher
I have a spray bottle with water and vinegar for my windows but am still working my way through
cleaning stuff that i use for the bathroom, kitchen and floors so i will have to see how it works out when
that stuff is finished
Something else i use for damp and smells is cat litter. I have a couple of bowls of it in my bathroom some in the bottom of my bin and its great if shoes start to whiff a bit just pour some cat litter into them stick them in a bag tie it shut and leave it for a few days
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:47 pm

I use cat litter in the bin and stuff too, makes a huge difference. I just get Bio D from the supermarket but I think they sell it at Oxfam too.

Bought loads of bottles of Method laundry liquid when it was cheap at Home Bargains, I use it anyway so thought I'd stock up so I'm making a note of how many washes I get from each bottle. The Sharpie I'm using to mark the bottle was a freebie too so feeling extra frugal with that one!

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  dolly blue on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:51 pm

I try my best to be green, compost, grow veg, cut down cleaning products(or is that just not cleaning so often Laughing )
Try to do all shopping when out, live in the sticks so I knock up a loaf rather than get the car out and drive 3 miles to next village.
Biggest downfall would be all our cars/vans but we don't use them all at once Laughing , taken up campervaning so that uses more fuel but we are not flying anywere.
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:00 pm

I think thats a great way to cut down on using stuff Dolly Very Happy maybe thats why im not getting through mine very quickly Embarassed
I love freebies too alec nothing warms the heart like a little free something
My DD came back from her friends with 2 carrier bags of clothes for herself the other day and we were both delighted, i did make sure her friends mum knew she was giving away what looked like half her wardrobe Very Happy
I know some people are funny about recieving secondhand clothes but i dont mind at all and when my DD has grown out of the things i will either use them for material to make something or give them to charity so someone else will get use out of them....im starting to sound like a right old scrooge now Laughing
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:03 pm

Anything that's done with joy can't be Scrooge like.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  TP on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:24 pm

We have one green recycling bin which goes out every fortnight, takes paper, glass, cartons etc. Its always full, makes you realise how much you used to throw away in the main bin.

i wish we had a free garden waste collection we dont you have to pay for it. Its a nuisance. pale Do other people have them?
We use carrier bags as bins.

We walk to badminton now its not too far and saves using the car.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:26 pm

Yes we have green, garden waste, bin and recycling collection one week and normal bin the other week. It was very exciting to get a green bin as we didn't have a garden in our other house, only a yard.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  TP on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:59 pm

live near a canal so the ducks get all leftover bread.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  froogs on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:51 pm

I am green.. if I can afford it. My shopping ethics go out the window if I have to be creative with the money we have. If we're better off I will buy items that are more sustainably sourced or kinder to our environment.

I do recycle though. I watch our water, gas and electricity consumption (but probably more motivated by having to pay for it)

So yeah I feel I am 'green' but sometimes financially I can't be as green as I would like.

I would love to build and energy neutral house and be self sufficient but I think to be totally self sufficient you have to have money behind you too. (that sounds like a contradiction but i know what I mean)
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  TP on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:34 am

recycle clothes or take them to a charity shop.

Warning dont use clothes for cash or any of those schemes where you bag up clothes and they are collected and they say they will pay you. They dont and you dont see your clothes again. Its a clever scam. Shocked

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:39 am

TP wrote:recycle clothes or take them to a charity shop.

Warning dont use clothes for cash or any of those schemes where you bag up clothes and they are collected and they say they will pay you. They dont and you dont see your clothes again. Its a clever scam. Shocked

I agree, and not that I want to tell people things they already know but charity shops sell clothes textiles and shoes that aren't in a fit state to sell to a rag merchant so you can donate them too and they won't go to waste, they bring additional income into the charity.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:57 am

I know exactly what you mean froogs I would love to build a house like that too and be self sufficient but like you say it costs money and land, lots of it.
i am definately going to try harder wiht my veg growing next year so any tips would be appreciated, I def dont have green fingers even houseplants dont like me Sad
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  mesh on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:00 am



ohhh it sounds like we are all doing our bit.

I have 3 compost bins and 3 water butts in the garden and next year will be growing more onions, garlic, limited veggies and salad stuff. I have a good sized herb bed and enjoy using this. I walk to most places or take the bus but I have to walk a mile to the nearest bus stop! and I live 20 miles from a major town eg Cambridge, bury St edmunds or Saffron Walden or Newmarket. I have cavity wall insulation and double loft insulation, cylinder jacket (all thanks to the council) and all my pipes are lagged. When I need to run errands, I lump them all together, for instance, today I met a friend for coffee in town (wetherspoons coffee and stamped card buy 5 get one free) so I saw the doc, library, collected mahuge box of apples for freezing, did a shop and checked out the charity shops. I had the car today as OH has gone off in a hire car on company business. we have a normal waste bin and a recycling bin, no need for a compost bin as I compost all that I can Very Happy even thought of getting a wormery but as I have so many of them in the compost bins thought it would be a bit of a waste of time!! So extreme is my green recycling I have a shredder.....

I try and batch cook and after this weekend I should have enough freezer meals for two weeks in advance. I have trained in furniture restoration so I enjoy recycling furniture but OH is not too keen on some of my previous creations so I tend not to do this too often but enjoy painting on furniture. I sell my old clothes on ebay and any excess furniture on facebook local page. I like changing the intended use of linens to use elsewhere and try to buy old lace tableclothes and embroidered cloths and say use them as cafe blinds or roman blinds.

In the CS today, I bought a johnsons baby plastic box (the one with a handle) and the assistant whom I knew asked what I was going to use it for and I said a sewing box.... good idea she said. There arent many skips left outside houses sround me but if there were, you can bet I would be having a nosy in them! Shocked

In my previous job, I had to travel all over the east side of the UK and into London and I knew where all the CS were and the best ones were in the more affluent places.

As you can tell, my garden is my passion and I have planted the garden to encourage wildlife. Even in gardening I will take cuttings, root them and plant them as oppose to buying new plants. I have even been known to take cuttings as I have been out walking.

I know where to go foraging for blackberries, apples, pears, walnuts, plums, sloes and cherries just wish I could find more.

Hmm having read this, I sound a right of crusty and I promise Im not! honest! think I will stop now as I seem to have got a bit carried away......

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:06 am

Nooooo Mesh, you talk as much as you want, looks like some of us are going to come to you for gardening advice! Like you, my grandma would take cuttings of things when she was out and about, she always had scissors some kitchen roll and a food bag with her "just in case".

I'm trying to straddle having a nicely designed garden with one that's easy to maintain and good for wildlife. We have had birds nest in the garden this year (blackbirds) and we occasionally see a frog hopping through. The "bones" of our garden is good, whoever planted it obviously knew what they were doing as whenever one thing goes out of flower something else is coming in. Next year will be the year. It looks a little wild as we were going to cut everything back when I found the nest so we just left everything - think we left it a bit too long as the birds are all coming back now!


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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  froogs on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:17 am

I've fruit bushes in my garden. Red and blackcurrents, blackberry, rhubarb and strawbs.

I also have had great success with peas this year and currently have some leeks growing. I do what I can in the space I have, and I'm still learning.

I would love an allotment but after harrassing the council it's just not going to happen.

Mesh you carry on. Love reading every body's words on here and I was the queen of wild blackberry picking a few weeks ago. I wish I knew more about foraging.
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:22 am

I would love to know more about foraging as well we pretty much just do rasps and brambles Embarassed
I am just so scared that things i think are something would turn out to be something else and i would poison everyone!
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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  alec eiffel on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:23 am

We have a blackberry bush and to japonica quince bushes. There are loads of blackberry and sea buckthorn bushes on the dunes too. Haven't seen anything else about the place - although I don't know what I'm looking for.

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  mesh on Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:44 am


Ok you've opened the gates so heres a bit more......

I have been married twice, still with the 2nd.... but the first one was my childhood sweetheart and his family were farmers and we ate what we grew and shot (sorry if this sounds cruel but its a different way of life). we would shot pigeons on the fields (try and stop them from eating the seeds) and we would freeze the pigeons and sell them (heres the best bit) to a french HGV driver and the money we got would pay for more shot! how good was that for recycling?

I still miss having chickens and my owns pigs and sheep to fatten up. Beef was from the farm next door. Sorry to offend the vegetarians.....

I learnt so much from the outlaws on foraging and recycling and bulk food cooking, I can russle up a meal for 8 hungry blokes from mince, spuds, veggies, pastry and make them feel happy on a bitter winters day - ta ex MIL.

am not sure about you ladies, but I tend not to tell many people how I live my life as It can be construed as extremisim and although I dont think I am, others are not so open minded.

Mother taught me to sew, knit, embroider and a neighbour showed me how to decorate when I was 14. Last year was the first time I had a 'man' in to paint my hall, stairs and landing and it hurt to pay him £300! I have laid laminate flooring, replaced a roof on a shed, installed a washing machine, 2 kitchens (with OH) and dont want to do that one again!! The old kitchen units were reused in the garage.

Like you guys, I give some of my old clothes to CH for rags/money but am saving some of them to make a rag rug. I got the hessian from a CH and also the hookie thing to do it with.

I give old t shirts to the OH for use in the garage and they also make good floor clothes. I dont make my own laundry gloop am not sure about this. Has anyone done this and is it effective? I will have a go at making my own cleaning fluid but not until tother stuff is used up.

well I think thats enough for now.......

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Re: Are you"green"?

Post  lollyfin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:55 am

Mesh you are brilliant
i am going to give you one of my fav smilies
Oh we are going to love picking your brain. I know what you mean about not telling peeps tho I am the same i told one friend about Approved Foods and she thought it was weird buying out of date food like that, another person i knew said she thought it was awful the way people bought reduced items in supermarkets and how she woud never eat anything that had been reduced. My opinion is shes an idiot why pay more for the same thing Laughing
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