Where There’s Muck, There’s Brass

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Or maybe this title should read, ‘Where there’s rubbish, there’s dosh’ – potential dosh anyway.

Respected financial journalist Rob Griffin (yes, there are some) and I have been talking money for a few years.  He pens pieces on finance and occasionally I slide in the odd quote from a downshifted perspective.

On Wednesday, the Daily Express published, ‘From Jewellery to Junk, We Can All be in Profit’, an enlightening piece by him on turning our crud into money.

Here’s a nibble.
Continue reading “Where There’s Muck, There’s Brass”

Tracey reads from The Book of Rubbish Ideas

The title says it all really! It’s a video of me reading from the ‘What a pile of rubbish’ section in The Book of Rubbish Ideas:

Rubbishly yours,


Wake Up and Freak Out!

A good friend sent me a link to a short film created by a very talented animator called Leo Murray.

It touched a raw nerve in me for many reasons.  I enjoyed the simplicity of the movie itself and the straightforward explanations of the problems we’re facing with climate change and I particularly connected with the references to the pressure we’re put under by advertisers to buy, buy, buy, as I’d outlined in my chapter on ‘Rubbish Obsolescence’.

I urge you to set aside 10 clear minutes, make yourself a cuppa and sit and watch it and if it leaves as much of an impression on you as it did me, be sure to pass a message onto your friends to watch it too.

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My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 2 (Tips 6-10)

See yesterday’s post for Part 1

Image courtesy of The Green Pen
Image courtesy of The Green Pen

6. Cook a meal using seasonal, local ingredients, preferably organic

It’s so easy to get to the end of a hard week and say, ‘I’m having that take-away because I have worked hard and I deserve it’. The same motivations can also encourage you to buy ready-made, pre-packed options at the supermarket.

However, in a great many cases, it takes you as long if not longer to heat through these chemically enhanced, over-packed delights, as it does to cook something far more delicious from fresh.

You could save a fortune cooking simple recipes from scratch, using quality, raw ingredients and you don’t have to be a chef to put together a few basic, wholesome meals.

Soups can be really quick to prepare and consider using ‘normally’ shaped vegetables from local farm shops, not the perfectly shaped ones the supermarkets claim we ‘demand’.

Food miles are very important. If it’s been harvested locally, it’s probably fresher and more nutritious than something that has travelled half way around the world.


Continue reading “My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 2 (Tips 6-10)”

My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 1 (Tips 1-5)

What do you do with your time?
What do you do with your time?

Some years back my family and I undertook a major downshift. 

It was truly life changing and it got me rooted on the road to simple, green living.

Consequently, I started an awareness campaign called National Downshifting Week (now InterNational) and I wrote a great many articles on the subject.

Recently, I’ve been plotting and planning events for the 2009 campaign and I’ve been re-reading some of my old pieces.  

I came across a great top ten tips list on ways to simplify your life and in these difficult times of credit crunch crisis, I think the information contained in it is more relevant than ever.

Continue reading “My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 1 (Tips 1-5)”

I Feel Like a Right Twitterer!

I'm now on Twitter!

My dear chum Craig McGinty has introduced me to a bit of techno-gadgetry and for a change, I understand how to use it and actually, I quite like it!

It’s known as Twitter and I’ve been ‘Twittering’ for a few days now.  It’s a great way of keeping your finger on the pulse of what the people you like are writing and talking about.

If you want to keep up with what I’ve penned here on the Rubbish blog everyday, you can either tap in the whole web address and come see, or you could subscribe via to the RSS feed (by bookmarking this page) and you’d get a short buzz on your toolbar to tell you when I’ve added a new piece.

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Passion for the Planet receives Green Guardian Award

passion-for-the-planet-logoPassion for the Planet has just received a Special Commendation in the “Green Business” category at this year’s Green Guardian Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise businesses, individuals, schools and projects that are making a positive difference to their local environment.

Passion for the Planet is the UK’s only radio station focusing on health and environmental issues, and their commitment to the environment doesn’t stop there. Sustainability and caring for the planet and its people are also core to the company’s ethos.

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Channel ‘M’ for ‘My God, It’s Early!’

channel-m-logoYou cannot beat a bit of telly for getting a message across and give me a live set any day; pre-recording is for wimps.

So I jumped at an invitation from Channel M to head up to Manchester and sit on the breakfast couch with Michelle and Byron to talk ‘Rubbish’.

They sent me a brief, which was anything but.  It was a packed-out page of A4 covering 8 different rooms and they’d selected 2 or 3 tips from each of them.  This wasn’t going to be a short and sweetie; they really wanted to plunge into the bin!

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Rubbish Interviews: We’re Only Making Plans for Nigel (‘s Eco Store)

Nigel and Nigel from Nigels Eco Store
Nigel and Nigel from Nigel's Eco Store

On a completely unrelated side note, for those of you too young to remember, the above was a fantastic song by XTC.

Back to business: Today I’m talking ‘shopping’.  Eek, shopping?  Yes, well, I’m not a complete non-consumer you know, but I am very selective. 

Nigel’s Eco Store is an award winning online retailer of environmentally friendly products I know you’ll love. Inspired by stylish, innovative and functional eco design, Nigel has handpicked a variety of products and gifts that’ll help you to save money, reduce your carbon footprint and live a more planet-friendly life.

There’s something for everyone including home furnishings, kitchenware, gadgets, office products, kids toys and energy saving devices. All products are environmentally sound, made of organic, recycled and energy efficient materials that will not only look great in your home, but will help to reduce your contribution to global warming.

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Celebrating Women in Enterprise, Sustainably!

It’s always lovely when you hear a voice from the past and the other day, I picked the phone up to hear the effervescent tones of Sharon Kilby.

She’s a hard working downshifter (they aren’t dropouts you know!) and some years back, I did my best to help her migrate to a slower paced life in Italy. 

She’s been thriving over there with her family ever since and she still pens pieces occasionally for the UK press, amongst other things.  This week, she’s back here to promote Women’s Enterprise Day. 

I recorded a short film to pull together my thoughts on being a hard-working woman in business and gave my top tips for adopting a sustainable approach and I thought you guys might enjoy it.

Here’s a little bit more about the event.

Continue reading “Celebrating Women in Enterprise, Sustainably!”