Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

A is for…

Ok, it’s April and, as far as I remember from last year, it’s AtoZ time! I haven’t seen anything about it this year but I reckon it’s still running and it was fun last year. So I’m going to go for it. You post one letter every day, missing out Sundays and finishing on the last day of the month. So here goes…

A is for….. Abel & Cole!

There has been a revolution in my world. Following my instructions few days ago, to try and reduce my air miles while shopping, I made sure that nothing I bought had been flown in from other countries. It was difficult because the cold weather prevents very much from being grown in England at the moment but I did it and it was fun because I had to be more imaginative with the ingredients I did find.

Then I spotted an Abel & Cole catalogue someone had given me because they order with them. Abel & Cole are a company who source local products and deliver to your door. They started in South London with fruit and vegetable deliveries and now do a whole load of stuff. You can get your meat, fish, eggs, milk, yoghurt, food cupboard stuff, etc from them, plus things that aren’t food, like bathroom and kitchen products, toilet roll, cleaning products…. The list is endless. Most of the products are organic with but some of the meat, you have the choice of organic or non-organic. Another fabulous thing about them is that when you’re ordering online, you can check the product information to see what country it is from. And even the things which aren’t from the UK, aren’t flown in so you know you’re shopping has zero air miles. Phew!

So I took the plunge and ordered from them. When ordering meat, I included venison because I know there is a deer cull at the moment and I don’t like the idea that perfectly good food is being wasted.

My vegetables came covered in dirt which, sucker that I am for anything farmer-ish, pleased me immensely.
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All my things were delivered in cardboard boxes that I was told to fold down and leave out when my next delivery is due. All the packaging was labelled to be recycled or given back to Abel & Cole for reuse.

And suddenly, I found myself falling in love with Abel & Cole. I just love them. I can’t help myself. I tried not to fall for all the cutesy notes about recycling and the stories about where my food had come from or the note telling me that I could log on to my online account and find recipes for the things I had bought. But I fell. And I have fallen hard.

Then a whole new world opened up to me…. The world of NOT SUPERMARKET SHOPPING anymore! A thing I’d never considered. And I am very excited! Today, in fact, I am going to a farm about half an hour away to go to their farm shop to see me over until my next Abel & Cole delivery.

I love the idea of seeing where my food is coming from or having a more direct link to the people who produce it. I have logged onto the websites of the farms and fishermen who provide the things I am getting through Abel & Cole and it’s really refreshing, knowing about who is feeding me!

So far, I haven’t been to a big impersonal supermarket for five days. Let’s see how long I can go for.

A little catch up

Do not fear, readers, I have not forgotten about my Trying To Be Useful project. It’s just that sometimes the things I am instructed to do are not enough to carry a whole post. So after I was asked in one book to go and de-litter my local park, my other book instructed me to pick up one peice of litter every day so I have been doing that for the past week. I then deposit the litter into a recycling bin, if it is recyclable.

Simon Gear, in Going Greener, also told me to “Support my bald-headed hungry friend” and to be generous when people I know are doing crazy stuff to raise money for a worthy cause. As luck would have it, my friend, Peter, is running the London Marathon in April for the Stroke Association. Easy peasy. I logged on, donated some money and had another day’s good deeds done.

Other things I have been advised to do are more long term goals as they require more money and a trip to get them. I’m aiming to get either an owl box or a bat box for the garden, or both. I’m pretty sure I can get them in the Kew Gardens gift shop and I’ve been meaning to join the National Trust for ages, cause I love the idea of being able to swan into lovely places by just showing a card, like I live there, almost, kind of. So when the weather is nice enough, I will join the National Trust, spend my days off in lovely parks and buy a good owl or bat box, or both.

An instruction I received on another day was to take 5 minutes at the beginning of each day to drink my morning tea in the garden and appreciate the plants and animals there. I did it two days in a row. It was chilly but I donned a big jumper, hugged my mug of tea and admired the lavender lining the lawn. This morning, however, it is snowing. We haven’t got it very badly, compared to other places, but I still didn’t fancy standing in it shivering. So I stood in the kitchen and looked out of the window at the garden.

So all in all, it’s going quite well. I’m still taking my own shopping bags with me to get groceries. I don’t put my vegetables in plastic bags before I weigh them. I buy Ecover products. I’m getting there, little by little.

I had a total brainwave the other day and was like. “Danda! Let’s get a chicken! It would be so amazing. We’d have eggs whenever we want them!”

A withering look from Danda answered that one. I’m still working on it….

P.S. Happy birthday Dad!

Laura to the rescue!

Yesterday, I resolved to get back to my promise to be more useful. Life took over a little at the weekend. But now I have my superhero outfit on again and I am totally on it. So here were my missions for the day.

Shop for something green – try the environmentally friendly option of something you usually buy.
(The Difference A Day Makes by Karen M. Jones)

Use organic toiletries
(Going Green by Simon Gear)

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Thankfully, they’re pretty similar and I needed to go shopping anyway, unless I wanted to feed Danda some quince jam and eggs for dinner.

Off I went, to my favourite Waitrose, and crossed my fingers that they wouldn’t let me down. And it went well, everyone. It went well. Check it out.

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This one isn’t too much of a revolution in my home, actually. When I took it to the bathroom, I almost laughed because the pack of toilet tissue that is currently sitting there is the exact same one! I’m not a stranger to being environmentally aware so I must have, on a subconscious level, whilst mindlessly pottering about shopping, grabbed it because I saw it was recycled paper.

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The next thing was conditioner, which I’ve needed for ages. I keep forgetting what it is I need and when I get to the shop, I pick up a shampoo, guessing it must be that. So I have about five shampoos and almost no conditioner. Yesterday, I finally remembered to get the right thing and looked for something organic, on the advice of Simon Gear. I found one called Avalon Organics, which I’ve used before, and then another one with a foreign sounding name and a useful list on the side. If the list is to be believed, it lacks all the usual crap that makes toiletries so bad for the environment. It was pricey (almost a third of the cost of my entire shopping!) but it’s one of those things I don’t buy often and what’s the point of having money, if you’re not prepared to try and do something useful with it.

Next I went to buy a card in a different shop and saw a chance to be environmentally friendly again.

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Now, Danda is a man who drinks a lot of coffee. And a lot of tea. Every day. All day. A lot of liquids. Very often. And he buys them at local coffee shops. All those paper coffee cups add up. More often than not, he brings them home and recycles them but it would be better to avoid using the paper cups altogether. So I saw this flask in the shop and got it straight away, knowing that Danda would be filled with glee at the prospect of joining me on my world-saving mission. Upon returning home, I presented him with this beautiful ceramic flask, a potential revolution in his coffee-drinking world. Excitement and apprehension flitted across his face…

“Don’t you like it? Should I have got a different colour?”

“No, I love it. I just know I’ll break it. I’ll try not to. But I’m clumsy. We both know this is true.”

I had to admit that it is perhaps true. I mean, I haven’t even told you all the story yet of him making dinner on Thursday and managing to somehow throw my entire plate of food across the kitchen floor. We crossed our fingers and decided to give it a good go. So far, he has had it one day. Let’s see how long he can keep it.

And lastly, a follow up from my second day of world-saving…

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This lovely renewable energy company sent along some info and contracts and will get started imminently. Excited!