Come and See Me at UK Aware (and would you like a free ticket?)

The only green expo you need
The only green expo you need

Hi all,

I realise I’ve been conspicuous in my absence lately – don’t tang me – I’ve been way past busy!

And regular readers here will know I advocate a proper work/life balance – that’s essential to keeping your sanity and making all the pieces fit.

Actually, I’ve only hopped onto the computer to take a little stroll up email mountain and the computer’s on a timer – 10 minutes and I’m off; the Easter holidays are for grown ups too you know and right now, I’m surrounded by a thousand pieces of lego and excited children. I’ve got a bank and a roof garden to design and construct – so I’ll be brief…

Next week, I’ll be packing a bag to head to UK Aware at London’s Olympia.

Here’s a little blurb on the gig.

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Are You Ready For a Little Purple Gossip?

Gossip that's 'good' for you and the environment
Gossip that's 'good' for you and the environment

Every month millions of mobile phone handsets in perfectly good, working condition are discarded and sent to Britain’s growing landfills as mobile phone fashions come and go.

Eco-conscious shoppers everywhere might be interested in Purple Gossip, a new website offering a wide range of recycled phones and accessories.  Not only can you get your hands on recent mobile phone models, but you can also feel virtuous about helping to save the planet.

By reducing the number of new phones made and distributed they are actively contributing to a decrease in the volume of raw materials taken from the earth to make new ones, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases too.

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Don’t Have a Rubbish Mother’s Day!

And when you've finished with it, sling it in the compost bin!
And when you've finished with it, sling it in the compost bin!

It’ll be here before you know it missus!

I thought I’d get in quick with a rubbish-free card solution and with a yummy idea to get the day started on the right foot too.

I’ve also allowed you a stack of lead time to send this article to any fellas you know who might be glad of the inspiration – ehem….

Here’s how to make your mum feel special with a fruity home-made card and a very special breakfast in bed!

To celebrate the special event which takes place on Sunday the 22nd March, Tropical Wholefoods, pioneer of sun-dried tropical fruits, has come up with a delicious breakfast menu for mum, which can be announced with a home-made card made using dried fruit.

These unique designs include sun-dried pineapple, chewy banana chips and apricot kernels to form a smiley face. Another card uses the same dried fruits to make a colourful bunch of flowers.

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A Bagging Update

Celina on the stitch
Celina on the stitch

Hi all, Only a shortie, it’s been a busy week here in the Smith Word Shed…

Friday morning I got together with my Crafty Group and we made our first batch of Morsbags!

I found a fabulous blue and white throw in the RSPCA charity shop that set me back the princely sum of £1.50!

We turned it into almost 8 washable cotton bags!  I say almost, we had 3 others cut and ready to sew, but ran out of time to play…they’re reserved for another day.

We all had a great time, drank copious amounts of tea, poked in the odd ginger biscuit and chunk of chocolate and the all of our creative spirits were exercised!

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A Very Social Solution to Killing Off the Plastic Bag!

Grrr...there's even bags for the boys...
Grrr...there's even bags for the boys...

I came across an incredibly inspirational company last week called Morsbags, with a delightful strapline of ‘Sociable, Guerrilla, Bagging’.

‘What are you on about now, you crazy woman’, I can hear you from here you know!

I’ll tell you, I haven’t felt this excited and sane about a project in a long time…

Perhaps the story is best told by the creator of Morsbags, Claire Morsman.

A young female minke whale was washed up in Normandy France on April 6th (my birthday) in 2002.  This was in the contents of her stomach.

  • 1 x plastic/aluminium crisp packet
  • 2 x English supermarket bags
  • 7 x various coloured dustbin bag bits
  • 7 x transparent plastic bags

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Happy New Merry and The Great North Swim

Doing a little 'wild swimming' with my friends
Doing a little 'wild swimming' with my friends

A-ha!

We’re here!

Happy New Year and all that associated malarkey 8) .

I hope your Christmas break was filled with thoughts about how you could be more resourceful with the rubbish you found yourself wading through.  If like me, you managed to miss the bin men, you’re probably still harbouring a stack of recycling for the good truck and a couple of bags of rubbish film and irritating plastic for the bad truck – boy that stuff annoys me.

I’ve had a tremendous break away from all things with plugs on, including computers and it has done me the world of good, but for the latter part of the holiday, I found myself itching to grab a pen and paper and have been merrily scribbling my rubbish thoughts for the blog and for the new book too!  It’s just all too exciting!

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Farewell rubbish people (and don’t waste water)!

More precious than oil and beer (just).
More precious than oil and beer (just).

Hi everybody. Thomas here is say that, well, this is the last time I’ll be here. For those of you who don’t know me (I have tried to keep a low profile), I’m the guy who originally put this blog together for Tracey on behalf of Sawday’s and  have since been the behind the scenes person who does all the administration and moderation that comes with a popular blog such as this one.

Tracey once described herself as the spontaneous/creative one, while I was the borderline obsessive compulsive/creative one. That pretty much sums us up rather nicely since Tracey comes up with the brilliant ideas and daily posts, and I’m the one who fiddles and tweaks with everything to get it all as functional and consistent as possible.

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How To: Organise Christmas Clothes Swap Party

Gorgeous and organic from Natural Collection
Gorgeous and organic from Natural Collection

Need a new LBD but money’s too tight to mention?

Then take my rubbish advice and squeeze in a quick Clothes Swap Party!

I was chatting to a batty friend over the weekend who informed me that her office Christmas do was coming up and that she had ‘absolutely nothing to wear sweetie!’

Now her definition nothing to wear translates into the reality of having a wardrobe bulging with slinky numbers, but they’ve seen the light of day twice in the last year and if she wore them again her social standing would clearly suffer irrepairable damage.

I suggested she get in touch with a mutual chum of ours who was facing a similar dilemma.

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Philosophies of a Downshifter: thinking about the ‘good life’

Downshift your time commitments and enjoy more 'life'
Downshift your time commitments and enjoy more 'life'

Earlier this year, I made a connection with a delightful gentleman by the name of David Frayne.

He was conducting research on one of my favourite subjects, downshifting, and I put him in touch with a few of my contacts.

Following on from my recent piece about the Menmuir family, I thought you might also be interested to read David’s very insightful conclusions from his study.

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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”