A – Z of Spring Cleaning

A - Z of Spring Cleaning(1)

A - Z of Spring Cleaning(2)

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What is a Blogger?

What Is A Blogger_

When I say to people that I blog, most of them assume that I just write and publish to the internet but there are a lot of other things bloggers like me do aside from writing.  Today I am sharing with you what a blogger is.

First and foremost a blogger is a writer, we write about lots of different things.  There are blogs that people write about gardening, mental health, reviews on products, books, fashion and beauty.  You name the topic and I’m sure there will be a blog post written about it somewhere on the internet.

We are content creators, we are constantly thinking about things that would be interesting to write about and things that fit into our blog niche.

We are photographers, taking photos of things that we can add to our posts, and alongside that we are image editors, tweaking our photos digitally to enhance the lighting, shadows and making the most of the subject we have chosen to capture.

We are graphics creators.  We use different software’s to create page banners, logos and other items that we can add into our posts and social media channels to make them more visually appealing.

We are editors, writing posts and then re-reading them and checking them for grammatical and spelling errors, often re-writing parts of sentences and even whole paragraphs to make them easier to read.

We are social media marketers.  We share our blogs on different platforms in the hope that other people will want to read the posts we have written.

We are website designers, choosing how our blogs look to the outside world and how they operate.  We run checks to make sure that links work and things appear as they should and where they should.

We are schedulers.  We often work out a schedule of posting that fits in with the rest of our lives, sometimes this is easy to do and other times it can be hard.  Some people choose to blog daily and others work to a one post a week schedule.  We can be driven by self-imposed deadlines and try our hardest to stick to the schedule we have.

We are “stats” people.  Many of us are interested in the stats we generate, from page views to likes, comments and follows.  We like to keep tabs on this information and try to make sense of it.

We are readers and researchers.  We are always reading about things to do with our subjects and are interested in any new developments.  We research our topics to make sure that our facts and writing are correct and that our thoughts and arguements are well rounded.

We are not takers and makers.  We often have books full of ideas and thoughts, things we can do and things we need to do, things to look into and ways to improve.

But above all, we are human.  We make mistakes and we have days where we don’t want to get out of bed or leave the house.  We have lives outside of our blogs, we shop, we meet friends for coffee, we cook and eat food.  And we are all unique in what we write, what we post and what we do.

Simple Swaps to Become More Eco Friendly

The easiest way to become more eco-friendly is to analyse the things you use on a day-to-day basis and seek out versions that are more environmentally friendly.  Here’s a list of things you may want to consider switching to…

  • Shower Gel in plastic bottles to bar soap.
  • Shampoo and conditioner in bottles to solid versions.
  • Cleaning products to more eco-friendly versions.
  • Plastic toothbrushes to wooden ones.
  • Vacuum cleaners to sweeping brush.
  • Plastic wrap for silicone wrap or beeswax wrap.
  • Plastic carrier bags to canvas totes.
  • Plastic single use drinks bottles for re-usable ones.

You could switch plastic wrapped food items, particularly plastic packaged goods, to loose dried goods that can be packaged in your own re-usable containers or look for goods that are packed in glass or tin that can be recycled or re-used.

Cut down on the amount of electric and gas that you use by turning things off instead of leaving on standby, or by turning your heating down a few degrees or off completely when you don’t need to use it.  When there is a chill in the air, put on more clothing or wrap up with a blanket instead.

Try to grow some of your own veg if you have the garden space or apply for an allotment to grow things in.

Buy local produce where possible, markets are a good place to start as they are usually stocked with local farmers produce and can work out cheaper than buying from a supermarket.

Check each piece of rubbish that is entering your bin to see if you can re-cycle it, you may be surprised at what you can put aside to recycle.

This is only a short list of suggestions…what other things can you think of to help becoming more eco?

Ways to Become More Eco-Friendy

Becoming more eco-friendly is not just about reducing the amount of plastic that we use, nor is it just making sure that we re-cycle or re-use items as  much as possible, there are so many other things we can do to help the environment and reduce the impact that we have on it, and there are ways that we can help other earth inhabitants to not just survive but to thrive too.  And each little step we take to help our environment goes a long way towards helping us and Earth to survive.

Earth Day, this year, was about raising awareness, and putting into action, plans to Protect Our Species, from tiny insects to larger animals, and there are so many ways we can do our bit to help.

Bees are one of the many declining insects in our world, without them and other insects, we would have no food supplies, we rely on these little creatures to pollinate crops that give us our food.  With no insects we would have no corn, no salads, no crops, no coffee…nothing.  We can help to increase their numbers in lots of different ways – planting bee friendly plants and flowers, encouraging insects into our garden spaces by making insect houses and reducing our use of pesticides.  There is plenty more that we can do from inside the house too, things like reducing the amount of aerosols we use, a good example is to switch from spray canned antiperspirants and using block deodorants instead (I’m especially fond of Lush’s Sunflower Deodorant), using less harsh chemicals when cleaning our homes by making our own cleaners or choosing products that are less harmful to the environment.

Being a more conscious shopper can also help the environment.  Choosing to source and buy more local produce will lead to less carbon emissions, support the local producers and encourage them to plant more crops which, in turn, will encourage more wildlife to stay in the area and survive.  Think about how far the items you buy have had to travel to get to you and take steps to reduce the mileage travelled by each product you buy.

Choose products that will last longer, opt for garments that have been made from materials that are not as harmful to the environment, and where possible, try to steer clear of fast fashion or outfits that you may use only once.  If clothing is ripped or has a hole, opt to mend it rather than replace, and if a garment is dirty or stained then learn the tricks and tips to get stains out rather than add it to landfill.  If that isn’t possible then see if you can salvage parts of it and re-make into something else you can continue to wear or use for a time.

Reduce food waste, create a meal plan and buy only what you need.  If you cook too much food for a meal see if you can use it in another meal or have the leftovers for lunch the following day.  i regularly have pasta and will then have it cold the following day for lunch with a salad.  Freeze leftovers and have them at a later date if you don’t fancy eating it the following day.  If you have foodstuffs that are nearing their expiry date and you know you are not going to use them up, see if friends and family would like to have them instead, or, see if you can invite friends and family over and use the items in a feast.

There is so much more that we can be doing for the survival of all species if we just use our brains more and think about what we are doing.  I’m sure that there are lots of other ways we can become more eco-friendly.  What tips do you have?  Let me know in the comments….

Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching and takes place on 22nd April.  This day sees people taking part in all sorts of activities that aim to spread awareness, start a movement to get things done, and take action against things that are harming our planet or that will help species to survive.

Many people will start or sign petitions, others will hold a local area clean up day, some will hand out leaflets about how we can take steps to help the bees, some organisations will help promote green living, reduce plastic, educate on things we can re-use or recycle.

This day is a day to take steps to help our planet.  I intend to take a bag out with me and pick up any litter I see, brin it home and re-cycle it or dispose of it in the proper manner.  If we all did this on a day to day basis there would be less litter getting into our sewers and waterways, less then making its way to the sea, and there would be less damage being done to the eco-system, fewer animals being killed by our selfish, lazy ways and our streets would be cleaner environments for us to live in too.

What will you do this Earth Day?

Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Consumption

In the lifestyle we lead today many of the items we come into contact with on a daily basis are designed to be used once and then thrown away, from plastic packaging to cups, bottles and food wrappers.  A lot of the waste we produce is made of plastic and with plastic being one of the biggest problems the environment has, it is one that we need to work on to reduce.  Today I am going to give you some easy ideas that you can choose in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we throw away.

When Shopping.

Take re-usable shopping bags with you, or re-use the plastic ones that you already have.  With many plastic bags only ever being used once, and for a total of just 12 minutes, it seems obscene to just use once and then throw away.

When buying tinned goods try to avoid purchasing those multi-packs that are wrapped in plastic to keep them together.  Instead, buy single cans where possible, or look for cans that are packaged together with cardboard as it is easier to re-cycle.

Choose loose veg and fruit where possible (it can work out cheaper too).  Buy (or make) some produce bags to put your fruit and veg in or just place them, loose in your cart.

Eating Out.

I always carry around a set of my own cutlery just incase I decide to buy food when I am out and about.  This means that I don’t have to use plastic cutlery that comes with many fast food items.  I have a small pencil-case that I keep them in and, once used I put them back into the case to be washed at home and returned to my bag.

Think about whether drinks you buy really need a straw.  Where possible, refuse the straw and if you really do need one, think about buying a re-usable straw.  I have stainless steel straws that are perfect for most cold beverages.

When I am in work, I make my own lunch at home the night before and pack it into a lunchbox that I can re-use time and time again.  This helps me, not only to eat more healthy, but to save money too, because I’m then not tempted to buy a pre-packed sandwich meal deal (with crisps and a bottle of pop).

Buy a re-usable travel flask or cup.  Most coffee shops will be happy to use your own cup for drinks so long as it is clean and in good condition.  Sometimes places will even offer you a discount if you use your own cup.  Or, if you have time, why not sit and enjoy your hot drink in the cafe in a proper mug?

At Home.

Cut down on your use of cling film.  Assess what you use cling film for and have a look on-line for other alternatives, for example, if you use cling film to wrap food items, why not give wax wraps a try?  Or for heating food in the microwave (or for covering leftovers) these silicone food wraps are brilliant.

Swap plastic dish brushes with wooden ones.  I really like the design of this one, not only can you re-cycle the whole thing but, you can re-use the handle and buy replacement heads for it.

Be mindful of what you throw away.  Where possible re-cycle.  In my area, we are lucky enough to have a re-cycling collection each week that runs alongside our normal refuse collection.  I have 3 containers – one for glass, plastic and metal and a bag for cardboard waste that I put on the kerb weekly for collection, however, even if you don’t have this sort of scheme running where you are, you can still re-cycle.  Look online for your nearest re-cycling facility and sort your waste, dropping it to the centre weekly.

There are so many other ways to reduce the plastic that we consume daily, these are just a few ideas to help you along the way.  What other ways can we reduce plastic?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

What is Bohemian Style?

Bohemian style, in terms of interiors, is bright, patterned and full of visual interest.  The style is laid back, with elements from different cultural backgrounds – think Indian, African and Egyptian, all blended together.

The styling of an interior is often bright and richly coloured with decorations of wood, brass, silver and gold.

Furnishings are often decorated with throws that are patchwork, crotched, embroidered and in jewel tones.

Mirrors are used, not just as the typical place to check yourself out, but to bounce light around and to add interest to areas.

Contrasting textures are used, suede mixed with velvet and leather, faux fur and satin elements, all added to play with the senses.

Furniture tends to be ornate, low, carved coffee tables, sofas with intricate designs up the legs, beds with fabric swathed across four-poster struts.

The bohemian style lends itself nicely to artists and creative types who want to surround themselves with items that inspire.

I think I could fall into the Bohemian style, that and being a Maximalist!

Earth Hour

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Earth Hour takes place on the 30th March at 8:30pm, and the great thing is that it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, this is a rolling movement that is set to take place globally so when it hits 8:30pm wherever you are, you can take part.  All that is asked is that from 8:30pm, for one hour, electrical items, like lights, wifi, plug sockets and other non-essential items, in your home are turned off.  Just by taking part, for this one hour we can make a difference in our world.  Read more at the Earth Hour website here.

I am planning on turning off all my electrical devices (even my phone and laptop) and lighting candles and just sit and be.  Last year I took part and I was amazed at how quiet the house was, there was no humming of lights, no computer fan, no buzzing from electric flowing from sockets to devices, and there was something quite peaceful about unplugging from everything while making a stand to help our world.

Will you join me in making a difference?

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What is Upcycling?

upcycle meaning
Definition taken from Google

To upcycle or upcycling has become a pretty trendy thing to do but, when you think about it, generations before us have been doing the same thing over and over again.

To upcycle today has a huge meaning, from taking broken furniture and making it into something completely different (for example a chair turned into a side table) or just to sand something down and re-paint it.  Even repurposing things is a form of upcycling, like turning a dresser into a home office space.

Upcycling does not stop at furniture either, clothes can be upcycled from jeans and dresses into bags and tops, old blankets into cozy jumpers, plastic bags into rugs…the list is almost as endless as our imagination.

The definition talks about creating a product of higher quality or value than the original and the meaning of the word value is not one just of monetary value but of emotional value too, taking something that you dislike and adding your own touch to it and making it something that you are proud of and like, something that fits your life and style.

For me, upcyling is about adding my own personality to something, from chairs and lamps to my desk and storage space, clothes and accessories, and making things stand out, become unique and a piece of artwork in its own right.

What do you consider to be “upcycling”?