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Happy Christmas

This month we are
Voting in the Blog Awards U.K.
Making sweet mince for pies
Petitioning Tampax to stop with the plastic applicators
Singing landfill carols
Preparing for a plastic-free Christmas

Vote For Me! You have
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To vote for me in the U.K. Blog Awards. Follow this link and cast your vote
If you want more information visit the site or read my open letter.
Lets tackle plastic pollution at source together.

You’ve Read the Blog now see the film

Was featured by film maker Megan Parkinson in her documentary Plastic Planet A Journey To Zerowaste a nice introduction to some of the U.K. based plasticless and zero waste movements.

This is my section up on You Tube but best to watch it as part of the whole. 

 

Plastic Free Christmas mince-food-featured

As for the rest of December….sigh! But lets not give way! Gird those loins and get busy. My first job is making mincemeat. You can see our sweet mincemeat recipe here.  It”s scrummy,yummy and features our brand new recipe Small Wrinkled Balls Of Christmas Fire! Whats not to love.

Sign On

There’s another petition that you should sign. It’s asking Tampax to stop making plastic applicators. It was started by a Greener Future who say “just along Lake Ontario in Canada my team and I have picked up to 415 plastic applicators we are aware that these applications are not meant to be flushed but it is evident that many users are not following this advice and we would like to stop this problem at source.”
Of course a lot of what actually gets into tampons and sanitary towels the actual fluffy fibre is also plastic so shouldn’t be flushed either. Or, in our opinion, even used to make sanitary products. Thats why we have sourced these #plasticfree alternatives.

Songs

Going out carolling? Here’s a song you might like to learn!

Presents

I am busy buying my passive-aggressive, pointed, eco gifts. These cotton produce bags are for  you, you crazy, double-bagging  freak! No – not really! These are lovely gifts for lovely people …. who doesn’t want to sponsor a hippo? But should you go really hardcore  here are some perfectly good reasons from Unistash to cutdown on presents….
UnstashManifestoUnstash manifesto

More

And as for the other festive stuff –  as we all know by now, plastic isn’t just for Christmas. Sadly. So here are a few tips on how to ensure your festive rubbish can be composted to feed next years plants.

Candles – Design, which wax & buy

Nothing sets the mood quite as well as candles but it is hard to find plastic free candles. Most come in a protective plastic ...
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Christmas Crackers Reusable

As they sound - a cracker that can be used over and over again. Probably not completely plastic free, (those ribbons look synthetic), but ...
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How to wrap up plastic-free

Reusable Wraps Wrapping presents – cloth furoshiki using a square of cloth. Crackle paper made from recycled tents. Disposable Paper As much as we ...
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Sticky Tape

Sellotape gets right up my nose. Everything biodegradable on my presents except for that sticky little glistening strip. Now some of you may be ...
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How to party…plastic free….

Organising a big bash? Nipping off out to buy some paper plates? WAIT!!! Given the choice between washing up and disposable partyware, the answer ...
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Advent Calendars

Covered in plastic and full of trashy sweets, they just add to the huge amounts of Christmas rubbish. So here are a few plastic ...
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How to booze plastic free

Plastic free booze is hard to find....glup!!!!. But as giving up IS NOT AN OPTION...here are our best choices.... The Plastic In Booze Metal ...
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Candied Peel

Needed for fruit cakes, christmas puds and mince pies but not so easy to get plastic free. Here are your options... The Nut Shop ...
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Biscuits homemade Christmas Tree Decorations

While in Spain I visited Lidles and I came across a set of festive biscuit cutters in a cardboard box. They might have them ...
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Mincemeat Sweet

No more jars with their plastic-lined, metal lids for me! So what with Christmas coming I need to make my own sweet mincemeat for ...
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Stuffing

You can't have a roast bird without stuffing. I have tried long and hard to find plastic free ready-made but it eludes me so ...
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Sewing

Apologies for the huge amounts of clothing I posted last month. I am way behind with documenting my  plastic-free, compostable wardrobe.  And while I am sorry, there is no doubt that this month you will be seeing more of my handywork as I try to get write ups posted before the end of the year.

And Finally

Green Elvis has led the building. Happy Christmas one and all xxxxxxxx

 

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November

So… whats happening in plastic-free November?
My new blog theme and some new plugins
A guide to a #plasticfree festive season
How to use those leaves to make seed compost
Try trailing the plastic awareness game?
Updates on the #plasticfree compostable wardrobe
Take Action – sign the petition asking UK retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds

Latest …..Google Verification!

And then there is Google verification. WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?!!! for years now Google has been asking me to verify my site then refusing to accept my attempts to do so. In fact I think it was trying to add my access-code-to-my-header-page<what//the$%6&R.U.asking4> that messed up my last site and led to the recent theme change.
But because I am really STUBBORN and refuse to be beat, I installed this plugin
Google Analytics for WordPressThis Google Analytics for WordPress plugin adds and enables Google Analytics tracking code on your website.Version 1.1 | By praveenchauhan1984 | View details.
So, I am now verified with Google. Is that a good thing? I have no idea! I just add it to all the other Google mysteries that haunt me. Like why I have 2 Google ranks for the same site and how my Google stats never match my WordPress.

Other Blog Business

Another day another theme. My blog was loading so slowly. I tried everything but I think the actual theme was badly compromised – by my own ignorance. I was using Flagman – Retina Responsive News WordPress ThemeVersion: 1.01 By ZERGE. Flagman is Responsive, Retina Ready, WordPress theme.
It was great program, really easy and intuitive to use and a great introduction to fancy themes. All faults were as a result of my own cak handed incompetance.I loaded the wrong stuff, made changes, and at one point even managed to delete all my work. I generally bodged and buggered around till I damaged it in some fundamental way which of course I lacked the skills to recognise and correct. So I decided to start again with a new template. A free one from WordPress Themes. I was planning to reload and return to Flagman but actually I rather like this new look and new theme.

DiscoveryVersion: 2.3 By Template Express a highly customizable, fully responsive and Premium design WordPress Theme. With a focus on simple customization, Discovery allows you to add your own logo, header, featured areas, social media links and much more with a click of a button. This multi-purpose theme has a premium quality design that can fit the needs of any website.Blah blah…

It needed quite a lot of tweaking but the end result is a much speedier load.

However it lacked certain features I had come to enjoy in my paid for Flagman theme. One was the blog map showing all my posts. Useful for readers to navigate their way around the blog and for me to remember what I have written about.

Thanks then to this cool little plugin
WP Sitemap Page Add a sitemap on any page/post using a simple shortcake you paste in a page or post Version 1.6 | By Tony Archambeau.
You can see my site map here…

While searching I found this – a page view count that you can add to show how popular posts are. “the Page Views Count Plugin. Use the Page Views Count function to add page views to any content type or object created by your theme or plugins. Version 1.4.0 | By A3 Revolution” . So as of this month I can see how many visits each post is. Nice. The only page it doesn’t work on is this one which it says is massively popular. Much as I would like to, I really can’t believe I’ve had over 19000 veiws!

Other blog related posts are
Building My Blog – notes on how the blog has developed over time
Does Size Matter – how popular am I and does it matter?

Christmas christmas

Too early for the C word? I know Halloween is hardly over but you need to plan ahead in the plastic free world. For example if you want to make a reusable advent calendar you need to start collecting loo rolls or get sewing. Or at the very least order online. You will also need to get some biodegradable sticky tape, think about making fantastic home made candied peel even some sweet mincemeat. See how to plan a plastic free Christmas here

Then there is the office party (groans!). Given the choice between washing up in the tea room sink, and disposable cups, the answer may seem obvious. However at the end of the night when the black bin bags come out that decision may seem rather environmentally unfriendly.  So we put together some plastic free party tips here.

Leaf Mold

Another C word and one of our favorites. Yes it’s composting. Hooray! You can use all those Autumn leaves to make seed compost. Instructions here

Playing Gmes

The Auroville community in India are tackling plastic waste through education.

“Last year, interviewing experts was part of our research phase for developing a memory style card game which we have decided to call ‘kNOw PLASTICS’. The game educates children about the impact of plastics on animals, the environment and us. If you know of any schools, organisations or teachers then we would be very happy if you could connect us or test the kNOw PLASTICS game. Follow the link to find out what this would entail.

Party Frock? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not quite but here are some shorts what I have made!

And a choir boy shirt
And a frumpy corduroy skirt
a new post on patterns! Get those ruffled shirts!

And an update on my Fair Share Wardrobe

Sign Up

Call To Action Switch The Stick Sign Up

Switch The Stick is a campaign and petition to get plastic cotton buds out of the drains and off the beaches. It has been organised by  Michelle and Natalie (both can be found in the Plastic-Free U.K. directory). They  are asking UK retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds by the end of 2017.

cotton-buds-personal

According to Switch The Stick ” Waitrose and Johnson & Johnson announced they’d make the change to paper, and the Coop and Marks and Spencers sell paper-stem buds. Now we need to make sure the others do the same.

Tesco, Sainsburys, Boots, ASDA, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Superdrug and Wilko are currently reviewing their policies on cotton buds … which is why we need to show them how many of us support the switch to paper!”

They already have over 11000 signitures. If you havn’t done so already do add your name. It’s so easy to change this and millions of fish will thank you
The petition is now on 38 degrees (new link here)
lots more information about Switch The Stick, can be found here 

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September

First an apology. I have moved house and my internet provider didnt move with me. Not through want of asking. So I have been on and off line. Obviously going for a social media detox albeit subconsciously. I am trying to keep abreast but there is only so much time I can spend in Costa Coffee. I dont like leatherette or chains, they get snotty about the amount of wifi I expect for one small expresso. In a china cup if you dont mind! They do! They mind a lot.

I have been trying to get by using my phone but no contract means I have very limited data. Add to that awful coverage and cut outs, posting has been a hit and miss affair. In short sorry for the late and rather scrappy update of #zerowasteweek2016 (read it here), bad spelling, insane predictaive text and missing words.

Here is the rather later September update

Sign up….

Please do support this campaign…..

Michelle and Natalie the best U.K. anti- plastic campaigners I know are running a campaign asking UK retailers to stop making plastic cotton buds by the end of 2017. These pesky sticks wash down the drains and up on the beaches. Heres a quick update

We meet with the large retailers in just 10 days to ask them to#SwitchtheStick!! We need to keep the momentum of this petition goinghttp://switchthestick.org/ Likes and shares are great, but it´s SIGNATURES we really NEED!

If you use cotton buds you can plastic free ones here….

Waste Less Live More Week

From 19-25 September, ” organizations, charities and businesses, (including ME!!!), will be hosting … events and activities which encourage people to waste less and live more. They have kindly suggested over 101 activities including having a bath together. Feel free to join me in the tub but it’s a small tub and I’m a big girl.

And after my Zero Waste Week of eating-plastic-free -but- only-buying- from – supermarkets project I would like to to focus on local shops. Activity Number 46 looks ideal. It is Buy local – Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy.

So for all of WLLM week I will be posting photos of my local shops and businesses and the (plastic-free) produce I buy from them. I invite you to join me. One day in the week, when out shopping, take a photo of your favorite indie, local shop then post it up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all of them.

If enough join in I will combine it with Activity No 17 Have a photography competition and will offer a fantastic prizes Activity Number 39 Make a puppet or sock monkey perhaps or back to Number 77 Share a bath ? – a voucher system maybe?

So Trashionistas what do you think? Will it work? Are you in?

You can read more about it here….

Zero Waste Week

The first full week in September is Zero Waste Week. Zero waste week is organized by Rae Strauss. Each year there’s a theme. This year it is food waste. My zero waste week has been a celebration of loose and unwrapped food. As bought from supermarkets! Is that even possible? Find out how I got on, here.

Free Fruit

Blackberries are ripe – lets go picking. Not a huge fan of the jam but love bramble jelly with ham or cheese!

Subscriptions

I am moving over from Jetpack and other hungry plugins which may affect your subscription to the blog. If you want to continue getting up dates by e-mail, please re-subscribe  here. Many thanks.

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August – Soft Fruits & Fun In The Sun

Well Summer has turned and Autumn approaches. It’s time to begin harvesting and gathering in the frumity. No idea what frumity is but  I guess it is akin to a hey nonny nonny and fertility symbols. So pencil in the weaving your wicker man, plan future blackberrying and and get yourself down the PYO farms where the strawberries and raspberries will be ripe. The joy of #plasticfree soft fruit is beyond words.

There are some useful links here …. and I plan to make this raspberry extract next.

Extracts

Yes, I accidentally got into extracts and flavoured spirits just last week. I am very pleashed with the reshults, occifer….

If you want to give them a go,  lavender is now flowering and can be used to make  floral vodka (think Vladimir Putin in a dress) or flavoured extracts which can be used to…. cant think how else to put this….. but flavour stuff.

But you can use other stuff too. Check here for inspiration on the exciting homemade extracts!

Sun? What Sun!

Don’t forget if you are going out berry picking to slap on your homemade sunblock lotion. If you are lucky enough to see the sun this year that is. Here in Huddersfield it is, and has been, grey and dreary.

Good job I know how to make #plasticless  self tan.

Holidays

Stayvaction? In the U.K.? Check out these windbreaks

Backpacking? You might want to look at the plastic free travel guide.

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June

The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June.

It is organized by the Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK).

The MSCUK is a UK charity “that cares for our seas, shores and wildlife”.

The MSCUK “have a vision of a world where plastics don’t end up in our seas and on our beaches, where they persist and impact our marine life.”

So they challenge you to give up single use plastics for a month (June), and get sponsored whilst doing it. The money goes to support MSCUK projects which are many and very worthwhile.

You can read more about it here

Rest Of The Year

Happy Christmas

This month we are Voting in the Blog Awards U.K. Making sweet mince for pies Petitioning Tampax to stop with ...
Read More

November

So... whats happening in plastic-free November? My new blog theme and some new plugins A guide to a #plasticfree festive ...
Read More

September

First an apology. I have moved house and my internet provider didnt move with me. Not through want of asking ...
Read More

August – Soft Fruits & Fun In The Sun

Well Summer has turned and Autumn approaches. It's time to begin harvesting and gathering in the frumity. No idea what ...
Read More

June

The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June. It is organized by the Marine Conservation Society ...
Read More

January

In this post you can read about News & Events To Do...This Month To Do...Next Month News & Events A ...
Read More

 

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January

In this post you can read about
News & Events
To Do…This Month
To Do…Next Month

News & Events

A Bit Previous
And we have moved again and once again our wifi connection is very poor. Apologies in advance for poor response times and posts at random times. New year has come early because I can get online now. Talking of which…..

Need A Really Easy & Effective Resolution? 

I suggest that anyone in need of a new years resolution should try reducing their plastic trash by just one piece. Perhaps say no to straws in drinks, maybe buy, (and remember to use), some reusable produce bags or find a milkman with refillable glass bottles.This has to be the easiest New Years resolution ever. And so effective. Immediately you are making the world a cleaner place!  Just think if every one of Britain’s 64.1 million people did this!
Try reading quick tips to cut your plastic trash for more ideas and of the Cut Plastic Index for alternatives to plastic products.
Go on give it a go! Just say no.
And do tell me about your plastic free action, here or on any of our social media sites
I will of course continue to boycott plastic and source more sustainable alternatives.

To Do…This Month 

Garden
While it is still a bit cold to be out there, thoughts now turn to the garden and the seeds that need to be sown for the coming year. You need to start planning ahead for plastic free seedlings.
You can buy plastic-free seeds and find instructions on how to make your own paper seedling pots here. Plus other great plastic free garden related products.

Keep On Kissing
Stop chapped lips with this home made lip balm. It really works! With refillable tubes or metal tins.

Next Month 

As ever we are planning ahead as plastic free events need some organising.
February 
Pancake Day
Valentines Day