What a waste – wet wipe litter up 50% on UK beaches!

babywipe

BBC News

As you know, I don’t really like to throw things away and this headline today reminded me why I chose to use reusable nappies and wipes.

Here’s the full article from the BBC.

It’s awful to think what we are doing to our environment just for the sake of what appears to be convenience. If people understood the alternatives out there a little better than it might not seem more convenient…

When I first started using reusable nappies I was still using baby wipes. I found that I was popping my nappies in the nappy bin for washing and then throwing away the baby wipes into the dust bin. It seemed a bit odd. So, I did a bit more research and found out about reusable wipes.

I bought a set of bamboo Cheeky Wipes and have never looked back. They aren’t the only solution out there as there are plenty of other brands and some people make their own, or buy cheap flannels from the Pound shops. You don’t even need a special box to store them in – you can improvise. I use a commercial baby wipes box that was given to us as a baby gift.

They are SOOOOOOO much better than a disposable baby wipe. If I do use baby wipes (like if we go away – yeah I’m not perfect!) I find I need to use a lot of them to clean a mucky bum. Is it just me or do they seem to smear everything? With the bamboo reusable wipes, you tend to just need one or two. Then they just get wrapped up in the dirty nappy and popped in the nappy bin for the next wash.

girl hero fabricI use reusable wipes for hands and faces too. Again I just tend to use one wipe for each meal rather than a handful of baby wipes. I have a couple of little double zipper wet bags for them – clean wipes in one side, dirty in the other. They are from My Little Patch, who make to order in all sorts of fabrics. I have one in a sort of ‘biff, bang, pow’ material and another in ‘girl hero’. The ‘girl hero’ one has Wonder Woman on it so I was smitten!

Actually, one thing I did find when I was still using baby wipes. If they go through the washing machine by accident, they come out as lovely clean wipes. I actually used to reuse them as wipes (dampened) or as liners in the cloth nappies. They would actually go through the washer several times before they started to break up…

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Tangled wool solution – recycled, fantastic, elastic bands!

I have finally found a good use for something that I avidly save rather than throwing away… OK, I don’t like to throw things away. Fact. I buy spring onions from the local supermarket and they always have a blue elastic band holding them together. I always, always save these little elastic bands. My kitchen rammel draw is full of the little things. It’s handy to have elastic bands at hand, but I have lots of them!

I’ve used them occasionally in crochet, if I need some elastic. But there are still lots of them, just sitting there, looking for a new purpose.

Zombie tea cosyToday I had some free time so decided to have a bit of a tidy up. I have a box in which I store my almost finished/just started projects. So if I’ve just sold a zombie tea cosy, then I’ll start to make up a new one, so its all ready to go when the next person wants to give one of my little zombies a new home. The problem is, I very often get side-tracked, either by a new order, or something else I’d just like to try out… yes, you’ve guessed it – this box is bursting at the seams and has lots of wool in there. Lots of little bits of wool that I use for finishing off.

Because I keep stuffing things in there, then rummaging around for some half-finished piece of work, the bits of wool continuously get tangled. It’s annoying.

Well I sorted it out today. Moved out the wool I’m not actually using and put it in one of the wool boxes and then attempted to tackled the ‘tangle’. Basically it’s lots of those small balls of wool. All tangled together. Again.

Wool boxSo, this is where I had the light bulb moment. I popped one of my fantastic elastic bands around each the little balls. Job’s a good ‘un. The wool isn’t tangled, and I get to use something that I felt like I was hoarding because I couldn’t bear to throw stuff away that should be useful πŸ™‚

Oh, there are still quite a few of these elastic bands left, so I either find another use, of just simply buy more wool…

Real nappy stories, or “Really, and she poos in that?”

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I like to reuse and recycle and don’t really like to throw things away.

When I was pregnant I came across a couple of mentions of reusable nappies so I looked into it a bit more. The more I looked the more I realised that I didn’t like the idea of having a bin full of dirty nappies clogging up my rubbish and going off to refill. Not to mention the plastic and chemicals.

Did you know that if Henry VIII had worn disposable nappies, that they still wouldn’t have broken down in he landfill yet?

Anyway, times have really moved on from when I was a baby and nappies were a terry square, a pin and some crackly waterproof cover. It can be quite bewildering looking at all the different types. As I was a novice to all this I originally went for AIO (all in ones) as I thought they’d be easier. I later tried some pockets (PUL outer with inserts) and found they were as easy to use and dried a bit more quickly. I use 2 parters (PUL shell and fitted bamboo nappy) at night as they are more absorbent and last her the full 12 hour (plus).

I struggled a bit for the first 2 months as the BTP (birth to potty) nappies I had really didn’t fit my long skinny baby very well. I wish there’d been more information around to help me as I should have been able to cloth bum from newborn. I later found out lots of suggestions for cheap newborn solutions. I eventually managed to find some cheapie velcro nappies that I could adjust a bit more for a snug fit and we moved properly away from disposables.

Real nappiesBut, it’s now been a year of using them!

We use the odd disposable now and the – like if we go away and visit family – but I really like the idea of how I’ve saved all that rubbish going off to the tip. And the nappies are really cute. And, my little girl looks really cute in them πŸ™‚

I’ve had some interesting comments along the way including “does she poo in that?”, “you’re brave”, “how cool are they!” and “wow, Batman nappies?”…

I’ll try and post more on this and other greener things I do like my reusable wipes!

 

Tell Eric Pickles that allotments must not be sold off!!

Allotment_beforeIf you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I have an allotment. It took a long time on the waiting list to get my allotment and when we did get it the poor things was full (and I do mean full) of brambles and household rubbish.

It’s taken a lot of hard work and love and attention to get our allotment into something that resembles an allotment. We grow a lot of different things there and I even managed to get down there and do a spot of weeding when pregnant. I fully intend for my little girl to come down with us and get cracking on the weeding as soon as she is able. OK, I know this may take a while as she’s only 4 months old…

Well, it insenses me when I see what fat cat Tories like Eric Pickles are trying to do in selling off allotments. There are already massive waiting lists for one of these little plots.

Allotment_afterThe current government keeps releasing information on how people need to get more exercise and eat more vegetables – well isn’t having an allotment the perfect way to do this? Even a small plot can give you a good work out and produce some good quality veg. Not to mention the massive sense of achievement it can give, nurturing and caring for those plants. Growing plants is also used to help people with depression for just this reason.

So, I’ve just signed this e-petition – Tell Eric Pickles that allotments must not be sold off!!

So get on there, sign it, and tell Eric Pickles to “get off our land”!

It’s Earth Day today – recycle, re-use, replenish, restore, reduce,re-make, revive!

Earth Day 2013As most of you know, I love a bit of recycling and don’t like to throw anything away as there’s always a use for it. It might be an entirely different use, and it may end up nothing like it origianlly started as, but its better than chucking it!

So, it surprised me that I didn’t know it was Earth Day until I say a couple of people Twitter about it, so I looked it up.

To celebrate it I’m not going to recycle an old blog :), but tell you about three things I’ve been applying a spot of ‘RE’ too.

1. With the weather being nicer we’ve been able to get down to the allotment. I grew loads of Jeruselum artichokes last year and with the rain we had, the flower stalks grew to about 12 feet. I’ve chopped them all down and they will be reused as bean poles next week.

2. The tortoises need a secure and safe outdoor area for when the summer finally arrives. We’ve been making one out of some old pallets that a friend gave us and an old wooden children’s sand pit from another friend. We found an old piece of glass from a window frame in our cellar and that’s going to be their conservatory.

3. We made some soup. In our fridge we had some veg starting to go past its best, so it’s been turned into soup. There was even a little bit of leftover saag aloo to add some extra flavour to it. Of course all the peelings go into the box for composting at the allotment.

What 3 things can you do to recycle, re-use, replenish, restore or reduce?

Make do and mend – don’t throw it away!

Make do and mendI hate to throw things away.

I like to think it’s because I was a child before the true throwaway society of the 80s really started to take hold. You know what I mean? Once things started to be made to be replaced…

I’m terrible with clothes. There never seems to be a reason to throw anything away. If a button falls off then use the spare. If there’s not a spare can you re-jig the buttons so you can use a replacement where it won’t be noticed? Like the cuffs – you can get away with using similar or statement buttons there. That’s another thing. I save all my buttons. Spare buttons all get put in a tin. If I have to buy a new set of buttons, I save all the old buttons. Why would you throw them away? There’s nearly always something the salvage from clothing – removing sleeves, turning into a skirt, shortening etc!

It’s the same when I get presents for birthday or Christmas. I save the gift bags and re-use them. I save the trim as I’m sure there’s going to be a use for it. I’ve got another box that’s full of trim and ribbons from all sorts of things (posh chocolate boxes have fab ribbons). Also, I save Christmas cards and cut them into tags to put on pressies at Christmas.

AllotmentWe’ve got an allotment too and it’s full of things we’ve re-used. We bordered the beds from things we salvaged on the plot – and believe me there was a lot of crap including 12 huge gas canisters. The council wouldn’t take anything away so we re-used as much as we could and took the rest down the recycling plant. All the borders shown onΒ  the piccie are made from things we’ve re-used either from the allotment, the house, or when friends have been getting rid of things like bricks. Even old DVDs and CDs (free from Sunday papers) make good pigeon scarers!

When I go to the garden centre the first place I look is that sad little shelf or corner where all the half price plants are left to die. You know the ones I mean? The trays were one plant has died, or the big plant that hasn’t been watered properly and looks half dead. Well they’re the ones I buy. Most of my garden is stocked with plants that weren’t at their best when I bought them. There’s something quite cool about buying these half-dead plants and making them look all lush and healthy again πŸ™‚

What do you save and recycle? What can’t you bear to throw away?