We all need to do our bit for the environment, which is under increased pressure from mankind’s actions. While doing things like pushing for more progressive policies and limiting your travel are good starting points, the basis for any person who wants to improve how they interact with the environment is their actions within the home. The good news is that this isn’t so difficult; far from it, in fact. Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested things you can do that’ll make your property a bona fide eco-friendly home.
There are plenty of advanced things you can do to do your bit to save the planet, but the best things are nearly always the simplest. Or rather, it’s best to make sure you’re taking care of the basics before you begin looking at other ways you can help the earth. For example, things like taking shorter showers, turning off your electrical items when they’re not in use, and recycling all your waste that can be recycled can all be considered essential.
When we want to improve your home, we usually head to the store, see what’s available, and then take what we like home, where it’ll stay until the next time we want to change something about our home, at which point the process is repeated. But did you know there’s another option, one that’s better for the environment, your wallet, and also looks cooler than most things you can find in the multinational shops? It’s called upcycling, and it allows homeowners the chance to give their home an updated look with a twist. An upcycled table and chair set, for example, can look much more interesting than a brand new set, which will have used up plenty of natural resources during the manufacturing and shipping process. You can even upcycle yourself -- all you need is some time and a can of chalk paint.
No-one’s asking anyone to live as if they’re living in the 17th century, when everything probably was better for the environment. It’s just about thinking about the true cost of living in a comfortable home. We might be tempted to turn up the central heating when the chilly weather arrives, but we’ll be using up a lot of energy (and usually efficiently) if we do so. Instead, take a look at wood heaters, which can be viewed here. These warm your home just as well, but, since they use wood - a renewable source - have less of an impact on the earth.
Grow Your Own
If you've got a garden, then why not look at growing your own vegetables? It’s easier than you think, and can be a lot of fun -- plus it gets you into the outdoors, too, and they taste better. Best of all, it’ll show you that how you consume food is within your control. There’s no carbon footprint if you grow your own vegetables and then eat them for dinner -- and it’s highly rewarding! I've just bought myself some seeds to grow some veg this year so I'm very excited to get started!
Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce follows Emmy, a young woman in wartime London, as she takes on a new job as the typist for a woman's magazine agony aunt.
It already sounds amazing, right? Well the reality is even better.
It starts with Emmy finding an advert for what she thinks is her dream job working at a newspaper, which in turn will help lead her to her hopes of becoming a war correspondent. But it turns out that's not quite the case when she finds herself managing the letters to and from Mrs Bird, an agony aunt with very specific (and old-fashioned) instructions on what are and are not acceptable topics for publication (there's a whole list of forbidden terms!)... also Mrs Bird is a little scary in that old school formidable matriarch way.
But when Emmy feels a tug on her heartstrings at one particular letter that Mrs Bird has deemed unacceptable, she decides to do something risky; she writes back, pretending to be Mrs Bird! EEK!
Alongside her professional travels, Dear Mrs Bird follows Emmy as she navigates her personal life. She starts with a fiance off at war, who dumps her to marry a nurse (via telegram!), which leads to her temporarily swearing off men before meeting the brother of one of her superiors at work (another soldier); it's not exactly a whirlwind romance but hey it was the 40s and he was fighting in Europe, what do you expect?
I loved the friendly and conversational feel of the book that still managed to never dimish the terrible realities of living through the Blitz, even through the sad parts of the story. From her dilemnas at work to her love life, her relationship with her best friend Bunty and her opinions on the war itself, by the time I finished reading, Emmy felt like a real friend, someone I'd been sitting down having a conversation with.
It's wonderfully written and AJ Pearce builds up the world of wartime London beautifully as well as creating characters that you can't help but take into your heart.
I know I'll be coming back to read Dear Mrs Bird again in the future and would be delighted to see a sequel!
Like most pet-parents I'm always buying things for my dog. Is he spoilt? Possibly. Do I care? Not really. And Aldi's latest Specialbuys range is perfect for our furry friends.
The full range contains:
There's so much to choose from with this latest range of Specialbuys (available instore and online now) that it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, I've put a few things to the test for you....
Above you can see the products my dog and the birds in the garden have been making the most of. The fat ball feeder is a great way to make them accessible to the birds rather than hanging them in the nets they sometimes come in.. I can actually see it from where I'm writing this and there are 3 Sparrows pecking away.
I love the look of the pear shaped bird seed holder, it looks really great hanging in the garden and again, the birds seem to love it. It also doesn't drop seeds all over the floor like others I've had.
The washable boot mat is a must-have for anytime mucky paws are in the car, and it really does clean easily. We've got ours inside the back door at the moment as it gives the dog more grip on the tiled floor, but for road trips it'll definitely be coming with us.
The cosy pet blanket was an instant hit, with the dog curling up happily on both sides since he got it. I appreciate the fact it should be pretty easy to clean as well, and again, it's perfect for road trips.
Finally, the nylon dog chew toy. Our dog isn't really a big chewer so I wasn't sure what he'd think of this but because it smells (and I assume tastes) of bacon he's pretty content to just lie on his new blanket licking it. He likes it so it gets a thumbs up from me!
As always with Aldi, everything is high quality and really well-made. The birds are happy in the garden, my dog is happy in the house, and that makes me pretty please too. I'd definitely recommend heading either instore or online to checkout the pet Specialbuys for yourself, I know I'll be picking up a few more things myself.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
* This post does contain PR Samples. All thoughts, opinions & images are my own.*
I'm always looking for ways to make my skincare routine quicker and easier, and if it also makes it easier for travel then that's a bonus, so when I saw these MUA Pro Base sticks I couldn't wait to try them out and immediately headed over to Superdrug (they were on offer at the time).
There are 4 in the range: Makeup Remover, Softening Facial Oil, Smooth Set & Prime, and Soothe & Cool, and it was only the latter that I decided not to try out simply because it's not something that has a purpose for me.
But here's what I thought of the 3 I did put to the test:
Overall, I like the concept and I think they made a good choice with the 4 areas they targeted. The Soothe & Cool stick should be great for the summer, the Makeup Remover is perfect for on the move, and the Softening Facial Oil is great for a quick fix. It's only the Primer that I have to give a thumbs down to, but that could work better for someone else.
Let me know in the comments if you've tried these sticks yourself, or if you have a similar product to recommend!
The February theme is called "Let Love Grow", which is a really nice message, and sees Birchbox partner with Not On The High Street for this month's box.
Let's take a look....
Overall, I was really happy with this month's box, everything included was full sized and although I wouldn't choose the scent of the body wash for myself or the brush I can get some use out of all the items.
Also included in the box were 3 gorgeous postcards which I love and have already started using and a 15% off code for Not On The High Street that I look forward to making the most of.
The February 2019 Birchbox gets a thumbs up from me!
I pay for my Birchbox subscription myself and all thoughts, opinions & images are my own.