10 Easy Eco-Living Ideas For Spring!

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Spring has finally sprung, even here in Yorkshire! To celebrate the longer days and better weather I’m having a good Spring Clean and getting some stuff sorted – Including looking at ways we can be a little kinder to the environment. I have to admit to being really quite lazy, so I’ve found that if I want my new eco-habits to stick then they need to be easy to do and keep up with. So, I’m going to share some of my super-easy eco-friendly living ideas to make your Spring a little greener!

Turn off the lights – as the days are longer, make sure that everyone in your house got the memo that we do not need to replicate Blackpool Illuminations and that natural light is best – the lights stay off! You’ll save loads of energy and money too!

Get an Eco-egg! A what now? I hear you yell! An eco-egg is a small egg shaped thingy that you put in your washer, it contains two types of environmentally friendly minerals that when in contact with water create oxygenation in the water and all the little air bubbles losen and help remove the dirt! It is so easy to use just fill it and it can be re-used again and and again and again! By using an eco-egg you can eliminate a HUGE amount of chemical & soap based pollution, no to mention all the plastic containers and it is mcuh more economical that detergents, so you’ll save some money too – bonus! Eco-egg can be refilled and re-used almost indefinately and it washes well for a standard wash (I have been using one for a couple of years). For help getting really dirty clothes or stains clean, eco-egg also do a booster gel. A super-easy way of making the laundry a bit quicker for you and cleaner for the environment.

Put a re-useable bag in you coat pocket and bag, so you never need to buy a plastic bag again.

A tumble dryer is tempting if you live in a climate like the one we enjoy here in Yorkshire – we get ALOT of rain, but, they really guzzle energy and all the hard-earned pennies that costs, so get some ecozone dry cubes! They reduce drying time for clothes in a tumble dryer, soften clothes without needing chemicals or single use dryer sheets and reduce wrinkles and creases, meaning less ironing. All resulting in less energy usage, chemicals, products and cost!

A washing line or airer in your garden, on a balcony or in a sunny window, can save a massive amount of energy and money and it also means you don’t need to find the cash and space for a dryer. An airer will last for many years and it folds down to nothing when not in use.

Switch to solid shampoo and conditioner bars. I made the switch last year and I’ve never looked back. There’s an increasing range of solid shampoo and conditioner bars to suit all hair types and they’re inexpensive too. We’ve saved at least 30 plastic bottles in the last year from using solid shampoo and conditioner bars and my hair looks better too!

I use this plastic free solid conditioner bar by alternative, it smells great and works really well, also I have sensitive skin and this does not irritate it – which is good. The conditioner bar lasts about 4 months (I store it in an aluminium tin, which is rust free, in the shower). So it’s really economical and eco-friendly!

Put a recycle bin upstairs – it’s a forgotten recycling goldmine. It’s amazing how much we can recycle from upstairs. Plastic bottle and containers from toiletries and cosmetics, cardboard loo rolls, waste paper.

As the warm sunny days return, it’s time to bust out the picnic gear, for Picnics and BBQs save your money and the environment – stop buying single use plates and cutlery. Invest in some cute eco-friendly bamboo based reusable picnic-ware, the planet will thank you. It’s much more stylish and who really wants to eat with bendy plastic forks and soggy paper plates?

eco-friendly bamboo picnic cutlery

Swap from single use makeup remover cloths and cotton wool to reusable cotton or bamboo facecloths and make up remover pads. If you find flannels and washcloths too rough or thick, then try using some cotton hankies, they are fine, gentle on the skin, they wash well and they’ll last for years.

It’s salad season, so we’re buying more fruit, veg & salad, but it can go off quite quickly and that’s a massive waste of resources and money. So instead of grabbing random plastic wrapped fruit and veg at the supermarket, why not switch to an organic fruit and veg box from Riverford. They are dedicated to sustainability and have almost no plastic packaging, all their fruit and veg is organically grown and they have loads of delicious recipies ideas to help reduce food waste – great for your tum, pocket & the environment!

Go for a walk, rather than taking the car or bus. As the days are longer and finer, make the most of it and get some fresh air and excercise. Walk or bike to work, it will help keep pollution in check, you’ll be super-fit and it’ll save a bit of cash too!

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to help you do a little more for the environment and it should be also be said that all of these will help you save money too – an added bonus!

Thanks & Enjoy

sarah x

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Creating Is Good For The Soul.

Please note that my blog contains affiliate links and if you purchase through them I receive a tiny commision from the seller, this helps pay my bills, so thank you for your support!

As I write this; we’re 10 weeks into isolation, my dad’s health is failing, my mum has dementia, I used to visit them 3 times a week and for the last 2 and a half months I have not seen them, it is very, very hard. However, we have to carry on and so I’d like to share what we’re doing.

Aside from spending a lots of time on the phone to mum and dad, I am eating my own body weight in chocolate and re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (both of which have done their bit to maintain the spirits). I’m also attempting to channel my creativity into my reclaimed vintage bead earrings and writing this blog and as Johnny’s also feeling pretty rubbish he’s doing the same with his art and it is helping….

The earrings I created from vintage recycled and reclaimed beads.

We’re also doing colouring-in, it’s a great way to relax at any age and a good family activity. I’ve also made lots of pom-poms and some cushions, As we face each day, a little time spent creating something feels like a small acheivement and it’s great to have a few wins at the moment.

It feels good to create something…… the slow, tiny sparks of inspiration gently easing the worries and anxiety, opening up the mind to reveal a world outside of our daily concerns.

So keep the faith, I say and go create something, anything: a cake, a poem, a picture, a cushion, a mudpie, take your pick ….

Keep physically distant from others & stay safe.

Thanks & Enjoy

Sarah x

The Vanished Bride – A Book Review.

My lovely mum bought The Vanished Bride for me, ‘it was a bit of a risk’ she said, this is because I have opinions on most things and I tend to express them quite clearly to my nearest and dearest. Mum knows how much I adore the Brontes and their work so she was a little concerned that the book would pass muster. As mum explained all this (this is the first Bronte related item she has bought for me that I have not chosen myself – EVER!), I shared her concern. Over the years, I’ve read LOTS of Bronte, Holmes and Austen related fiction and some of it can feel a bit weak. I think it’s because the original authors themselves have such clear voices and a true ability to draw you into their stories. However, Mum and I need not have worried – The Vanished Bride is a fantastic read!

The story of The Vanished Bride is written by Rowan Coleman under the pen name of Bella Ellis – A very neat Nom De Plume for a writer of Bronte fiction! The story is the first part of a collection called The Bronte Mysteries. The story is based around the Bronte Sisters and follows them as they investigate the mysterious dissapperance of a recently married bride, living across the moor from their Parsonage. The story is well paced, with a splendidly intreguing plot and it presents engaging characters, of course it does, this is Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte we’re talking about here and they are well observed and feel right, so well done Bella Ellis for that! The story takes much of what we know about the Brontes and their world and delicately weaves a gripping story into it.

I am not going into the details of the plot or story, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but, it definately passed my litmus test, it’s a very scientific test and consists of two questions:

  1. Did I binge read it? YES!
  2. Would I read it again? and YES again!

I enjoyed The Vanished Bride so much that I was disappointed when I finished it, I really loved it and will definately read it again, once my daughter has read it – I think she’ll enjoy it too!

I recently noticed on facebook that Bella Ellis has written a second Bronte Sisters mystery called The Diabolic Bones, this time we find the Bronte Sisters investigating the horrifying and macarbre discovery of childrens bones found within the walls of Top Withens Hall, home to the ‘scandelous and brutish’ Bradshaw family. The book is due to be released in September 2020, I have it on my wish list already and I think you should too!

Finally, it must be said that I firmly recommend reading The Vanished Bride, if you haven’t read it already. Bella Ellis tells her stories with a voice as clear and true as as the Brontes themselves!

Thanks & take care

Sarah x

PS: There are affiliate links in this post, if you click through and then buy from the site I get a very small commission. This helps me pay for the blog expenses and my bills, so you’ll be supporting me – thank you!

Johnnyinthe56.

Johnnyinthe56 started painting again in 2016, after a break of 25 years, inspired by a painting session with his daughter.

Fusing his love of Pop-Art and graphic novels he creates ink and acrylic paintings inspired by his huge range of interests and passions – a conversation with modern life.

The conversation encompasses, but is not limited to: football – specifically Leeds United, sunrise, audiences, Kurosawa films, gaming, animals, extream weather, baseball, Japanese culture, space exploration, Hunter S Thompson, grafitti, film noir, true crime, Jaws, architecture, David Lapham comics, portraits, nature and cost of fame, music, tatoos, the sea and more.

The artwork of Johnnyinthe56 is for sale and can be purchased online here.

Thanks & Enjoy

Sarah x

A Digital-ish Bronte Trip…

For many Bronte fans & super-fans a trip to the Bronte Parsonage at Haworth is the trip of a life-time, but sadly, at present none of us can travel. So as I am really missing the Parsonage and love all things Bronte, I’ve created a kind of digital / book tour of the Bronte Parsonage & Haworth. I wanted to share with you some of the places, books, dvds and websites that are worth a visit and hold real history and importance within the lives and stories of the Bronte Sisters.

First off, lets take a look at The Parsonage Haworth – Yes, I’m starting with the obvious, but, when you visit the Bronte Parsonage, you can really take your time and absorb and notice all the wonderful little details that speak of who the Bronte family really were. As the legend of them grows, we can lose sight of them as real people, a little bit, so it is really incredible to be inside their home environment and so close to their personal belongings, that allow us to glimpse the real individuals behind the myths.

Please note that some of the links in my blog are affiliate links, this menas that if you make a purchase through themI receive a very small commison, which helps me pay my bills, so thank you for your support.

Like the Bronte Parsonage, the book – The Brontes is a fantastic insight into the Brontes and their lives, it’s written by Juliet Barker. She writes really well and was curator at the Parsonage for Six years and her book is based on first-hand research of the Bronte manuscripts and documents, it is a compelling read for any Bronte fan!

The exterior of the parsonage is really amazing, it is relatively unchanged, from when the Bronte Sisters lived there. From here we see the views and environment that the Brontes lived in and it’s really atmospheric creating a very solid impression of where their inspiration for their work came from. A visit to the church, St Michael’s that was so central to the lives of the Brontes is not to be missed and this is where the Bronte memorial can be found.

Next stop Haworth Village, not to be missed, it’s sits right on the Parsonage’s doorstep and most of the buildings that you can see and visit today were there when the Bronte Sisters lived. You can stay in the village or if you only have time for a day trip go for a quick pint or a meal at the Black Bull, it was one of Branwell Bronte’s favourite haunts, so a great place to get in touch with his character a bit. Take a quick stroll down main Street and enjoy some more of views that influenced Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s writing. Haworth History Tour and a great way to get a feel for Haworth.

The Moor & Top Withens – If you’re feeling energetic then a walk of the moors is a must. This is where all of the Brontes were at their most relaxed and they desparately loved the moor. Please be careful the moor is vast and it is remarkably easy to get lost up there, so please go with an organised tour or with an experienced guide, wear appropriate clothing and footware and take survival essentials, don’t just wander off up there. The Brontes At Haworth is a great book for planning walks and getting local history.

The Moor is a magnificent place and you can feel the sense of freedom the Bronte Sisters felt up there. If your heading to the moor, then Top Withens is a great destination to make for. It’s believed to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte and it really feels like Wuthering Heights!

Finally, a shameless plug for my blog piece A Potted History of The Brontes and if you’d like some Bronte gifts then check out my Bronte inspired creations.

I know it’s no substitute for the real thing, but, I hope you enjoyed this little digital / virtual tour of The Bronte Parsonage and Haworth.

Stay home & stay safe.

Thanks & take care

Sarah x

Sign up for our blog! It’s a bit: lifestyle… travel… jewellery… Bronte… eco… art… literature… wellbeing & more…

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