Category Archives: eco

Guest post: Why to use more eco friendly products

Today more and more people decide to take up actions which are beneficial for our environment or at least to use products which will cause none or minimum damage to the nature. Actually it is something great that people become more conscious about their well-being and about the living world. We have only one planet to live on, right? We have to preserve it for as long period as possible. For this purpose, nowadays many manufacturers take advantage of the whole situation and try to promote their eco products convincing us that it is all about the environment. The truth is that everybody take care of their own interest but indeed going green can make a large impact- on our own lives and nature itself.

Living a green and healthy life is actually not something hard to achieve. You can simply start with changing what you eat or to run more frequently, for example. However, the easiest way to start changing your life and at the same time contributing to our environment is to change the products you use in your household. Fortunately, people have already realised that that the products they use are dangerous not only for the environment, but for themselves as well. When one’s health on the line, then change is possible and necessary.

hoome

Your home is your temple, in order to keep it clean and safe for you and your family, there are a few steps you can take. Unfortunately, there are various materials and tools common to many households that can simply put your health in danger. Great majority of the products we use in our every day life contain harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients and many more bad-for-our-health compositions. You probably did not know but the laundry detergent, for instance, which is one of the most toxic products we use.

Even though the nature responsible products has positive impact on the nature and our health, it is still not enough to change the mind of the rest of the people. One of the main reasons because of which people avoid using eco friendly products is their price. Yes, if you want to use such products you have to overpay a little bit more but you will surely preserve your health so we think it is worth the price.

In order to protect yourself and your family, Flat Cleaning Services advise you to use organic cleaning products. They do not contain artificial additives which put our health at risk, they do not contain harsh chemicals as well. What is even more, they do not contain perfumes and synthetic dyes which as you know can lead to serious health problems, allergic reactions or outbreaks. Inhaling these chemicals while cleaning may lead to serious damages on our well-being. Every time you use organic and eco friendly cleaning products, you, your family and the environment are safe and well-preserved.

natural products

The environment has been seriously damaged over the last few decades due to the usage of detergents containing various dangerous chemicals. The use of such has been inspected in details because of their toxic effects on the nature and its fauna. Save our planet and choose the green life- start choosing environmentally products which can help reduce the toxins and poisons that harm our environmental world.

The good news is that many manufacturers are willing to go green and keep on promoting their natural products aiming to protect Mother Earth and at the same time to satisfy people. The best option is to start using organic products that contain only natural toxin-free ingredients. They are safe for you and for our nature.

Guest post by Margaret Ellis

SaveSave

A Bright Future for the Next Generation

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in the #brightFuture Challenge. I received a free Unilever bag including a bottle of Persil Non-Bio Small & Mighty Liquid, Dove DermaSpa body lotion and a body wash and a bottle of Domestos Bleach, all brands that I know well and trust.

Unilever products

I certainly want my children to have a bright future, so I try to teach them a mantra I learnt from my parents to reduce, reuse, recycle. Some of it falls on deaf ears, particularly with regards to the huge number of toys we possess.

However they do like to join in with planting seeds, although unfortunately none of us seem to have green fingers, so we certainly couldn’t become self-sufficient, but we did have plenty of raspberries this summer plus some tomatoes and I just picked the last few alpine strawberries of the season. Alongside our gardening efforts, of course we have a compost bin.

growing strawberries

We sometimes enjoy a crafting session together, for which I’ve added lots of bits and pieces to my crafting stash via reuse. So magazines, wrapping paper, ribbon, bubble wrap, boxes all end up there.

And we’ve been using cloth shopping bags for years, long before the plastic bag tariff was introduced. My favourites are personalised with the boys’ artwork. And with shoulder straps, it makes it easier for the boys to help carry shopping home when we walk 10 minutes to our local small supermarket rather jumping in the car.

Unilever bag for life

Talking of bags, I rarely need to buy bin bags, as there always seems to be a constant supply of plastic bags arriving in the house, either from food or packaging on review products. Okay the bags may be a lot smaller, so I’m taking them out to the wheelie bin much more frequently.

And of course we try to follow all the easy energy saving tips like washing clothes at a lower temperature and on a short cycle, turning lights off in unoccupied rooms, closing the curtains, turning the tap off whilst brushing teeth.

Right now, I’m wearing a jumper to avoid putting the heat on for a few more weeks.

Fact File:
Unilever’s brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.
This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.
Furthermore, Persil has backed a global initiative ‘Learning for Tomorrow’ partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.
Building on the aim to improve lives through small steps, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials and resources that help young people develop a positive relationship with their appearance. The project has now reached over 19 million young lives.

Some interesting figures:
Six out of ten parents saying that they have started to live in a ‘greener’ way at home at the suggestion of their children.
83% of children continue to feel optimistic about their own future and 59% feel optimistic about the future of the environment.
Most parents (between 70-80%) believe that, compared with themselves, their children will live longer, have a better education and better job prospects, and will enjoy life more, even if they will have to work harder to reap the rewards of the greater benefits ahead.

I’d love to hear what you do towards achieving a better future for the next generation.

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever. This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own.

Simply Washing review and giveaway

In a household with 2 young boys, my washing machine is in use several times a week. For starters, there is muddy sports kit and lunch dropped on their school uniforms. Then when we go out for a pizza, my requests for them to use the napkins are ignored. Instead greasy fingers are wiped down the front of their clothes. Also son1 has an annoying habit of rubbing himself against the length of a brick wall whenever out walking near one, which doesn’t do any favours to his clothes.

Simply washing tabs

So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to review Simply laundry products. How would they fare against my washing challenges? I received a pack of 24 Simply Pure Allergen and Fragrance Free Laundry Soft-tabs and a pack of 24 Simply Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Soft-tabs for free.

Luckily our family is mostly free of skin conditions or irritations apart from very occasional flare-ups, mostly during the height of the pollen season. But for those of you who this is more key for, both packets are endorsed by the National Eczema Society. Both packets also indicate that they are phosphate free and they endorsed by the Vegan Society since they are not tested on animals.

Now I usually put my detergent directly into the drum, but for the purposes of the review I was advised to put the tab at the back of the drawer. I thought I did this correctly but my first load failed as the tab was still in the drawer after the wash. Instead I had to remove the drawer entirely from its housing in order to put the tab right at the very very back as per the photo below. A bit fiddly really, as fingers can’t reach that area otherwise, but I assume that must be the only area the water reaches in my drawer. I’ll probably stick to my normal practice of popping it directly in the drum in future.

washing

So instead my second load was the real test. This was dirty school clothes and you can see from the before and after shots, that I was pleased with the results using a Simply Sensitive tab. I’ve also been happy with the effectiveness of Simply Pure, which is fairly similar to Simply Sensitive with the addition of also being perfume free.

washing

I have a water purifier fitted, so I don’t normally need to use any fabric conditioner. This proved to still hold true for both products.

These products are available to purchase online from Amazon. The Simply Pure Allergen and Fragrance Free Laundry Soft-tabs currently retail at £14.98 for a pack of 48 and the Simply Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Soft-tabs at £14.58 for a pack of 48. They are also available to purchase in store from Sainsbury’s and Holland & Barrett’s. You only need one tab per load so that is about 30p per wash. They are also available on Amazon in larger packs of 100 or 200 tabs, which work out cheaper per wash.

I would happily recommend both these products, although they are more expensive than some other brands.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a bulk pack of either 100 Simply Sensitive or Simply Pure laundry soft tabs. courtesy of Simply to one lucky winner.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your tips for dealing with bad stains or coping with skin conditions.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Ethical fashion style choice for Autumn including £75 giveaway

I was really pleased to be offered the chance to select a free item of my choice from the Autumn / Winter season of Nomads Clothing to review. Spoilt for choice, I spent quite some time browsing the lovely collection on their website. Nomads are a fair trade ethical womenswear fashion brand including some organic items, so I decided to narrow my selection down to the organic categories.

In the end I selected a plain teal t-shirt from the range of organic tops http://www.nomadsclothing.com/organic/tops as I thought it would go very nicely with my recently purchased new pair of blue jeans from Marks and Spencer.

The t-shirt is organic cotton and retails at £30. It also comes in 4 other colours – grey, plum, smoke and rust. And you can vary the style, since it has roll-up sleeves.
organic clothing

Dispatch was quick and the t-shirt was well packed. I was delighted to feel how soft the organic cotton felt to touch. And I was correct. It does go well with my jeans. I am very pleased and highly recommend you take a look at Nomads. Also it washed and ironed well.

organic clothing

organic clothing

organic clothing

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition courtesy of Nomads to giveaway a £75 voucher to one lucky winner. The prize also includes free postage and packing worldwide.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers of 20% discount off your order. Please quote the code BLOG20 when you place your order.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite product from Nomads Clothing range? You may sign up to their mailing list here.

You can find Nomads on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

ORGANii Mouthwash Review

Oral hygiene is very important. Most people will get gum health issues at some point and a lot of us are unaware that it is the biggest cause of tooth loss. Each time I visit the dentist now I get told that my gums are starting to recede and that I may be prone to gum disease. Brushing alone only cleans 25% of your mouth and I get reminded about flossing and mouthwash, both of which I’ve been doing for years.

So I was certainly up for trying a different brand of mouthwash to my usual. I’ve been sent a free bottle of citrus flavour ORGANii mouthwash to review.

ORGANii mouthwash

ORGANii mouthwashes are currently priced at £5.95 for a 500 ml bottle and come in two flavours (citrus and eucalyptus).

ORGANii is not a brand I had come across previously, but all its products are organic. The mouthwash is formulated with organic aloe vera juice, which made me more interested to try it, as I’ve heard a lot of good things about aloe vera juice recently.

For instance I have a friend who has been drinking aloe vera juice for the last couple of months. Her skin complexion is noticeably clearer, although she does admit that it doesn’t taste very nice.

So forewarned about the taste of aloe vera juice, I gave the mouthwash a try. Result – no problem with the taste at all. I found the citrus flavour very refreshing. Admittedly I was only having a capful at a time and not drinking it. Which brings me on to my next comment. The bottle says to pour a small amount into the lid, then swill around mouth. That makes me shudder at the thought of potential mouth germs multiplying on the lid for over a month. I would much prefer it to say pour into lid, then into a glass for hygiene reasons.

Organii mouthwash

Note it says on the bottle that the product is not suitable for children under 6, however I’m not ready to offer my older children mouthwash yet. Also on this point, I think it should really have a childproof cap, even though it does warn you to keep out of reach of children. Toddlers could easily attempt to drink the bottle if they succeeded in getting hold of it whilst your back was turned, especially if they have watched the parent putting the product in their own mouth.

However putting these concerns aside, it is very competitively priced, has a great flavour and doesn’t contain any controversial nasties like artificial preservatives and added colourants that may be present in other brands.

I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and haven’t noticed any difference in plaque and tartar build-up from my usual brand. But I am impressed how natural it is, so I would be very happy to buy this product.

ORGANii products are available at independent health stores nationwide and online at www.ORGANii.co.uk

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Guest Post: J’s Mallard Engine – A Quacking Design

Guest post by my sister and nephew.

My sister passed on the information about taking part in the competition for the Festival of Thrift. She’d been chatting to my mum about it and she knew my son J would want to take part. J loves trains and a day doesn’t go by without him making something. The day we heard about the competition was no exception; he had been making a cement mixer out of a cardboard tube.

Mallard Engine at National Railway Museum

I told my son J about the competition and he knew what he wanted to make right away; a Mallard engine. J has known all about the Mallard for ages, from his train story books and we saw it this summer at the National Railway Museum in York. This engine is the fastest steam engine ever. On 3 July 1938, the A4 class locomotive Mallard raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record. That record still stands.

We got started the next day, by making the curve for the front of the engine from book packaging. J taped this onto another small box. We found picture of the Mallard on the internet and I showed him how he could cut his loo roll diagonally for the funnel. We had a piece of black foam which had come home from preschool as part of another construction. J chopped some up into circles to make bumpers and had the idea of making it into coal to put in the tender. He cut the top of the top of a box to make his tender .

We looked around to find what we could use for wheels. J wanted to use the old sellotape roll as a big step for the driver to get into the engine so he stuck that on. He had lots of milk bottle tops, which he coloured in with a permanent marker pen. These got glued on near the end.

mallard engine

Now it was onto painting. J carefully looked at how the engine has a black front and drew this onto the engine before painting it. He painted his boxes, but his tender box was too shiny to paint, so I showed him how he could turn it inside out. When it was all dry he glued on his milk top wheels. He didn’t have enough wheels so he made some more from the book packaging.

J designed the coupling, but thinks that the tender should be closer. He finished the engine with some stickers and I helped him pick the letters.

Mallard Engine

When I asked J what he thought he said “It was rather good. I like the colour of it. I like it.” J loved making his Mallard. He had wanted to carry on making carriages and tracks, but this week he started school.

Mallard Engine

Mallard Engine

Festival of Thrift

Disclosure.  This post is a competition entry to the Festival of Thrift Blogger Challenge. The Festival takes place in Darlington on Sept 26th / 27th.

Help! Too many toys – more storage needed

Recently I re-read my blog post on decluttering from over a year ago and had a wake-up call. I haven’t really made much progress. More action required, especially with regards to the ever-growing number of cuddly toys residing here. I’m sure we have enough to populate a small country. And the boys won’t hear of reducing their ranks even by one.

Qwerkity jumbo storage bag

So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to review a large storage bag from Qwerkity for free. This is a jumbo sized bag which will be ideal to house some of the bears. And luckily son2 has agreed with me sort of. Bless him, he said “Yes Mummy we can move them into there from the bed when you’re washing the duvet.” I do admit it does take me ages evicting the large number he fills his bed with, but that wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I was thinking of more permanent storage for some of the other bears scattered around his room.

Qwerkity jumbo storage bag

Jumbo storage bag – big enough to hide behind

The bag measures approximately 60cm wide by 30cm deep by 45cm high and is very eco, being 90% made from recycled plastic bottles. Surprisingly it doesn’t actually mention this point on the website, which I would have thought worth promoting. It can be zipped shut, very useful if you’re using it for storing bedding. And it can be folded flat when not in use. It currently retails for £5.99, so very good value. It also comes in 3 other designs. I definitely recommend this bag.

Qwerkity is not a brand I had come across previously. But looking at their website, I discovered that it is in fact an umbrella name for four brands, namely Presents for Men, Gifts for the Girls, Essentials and Travel Paraphernalia. They offer unusual, practical and fun gifts for people of all ages from children to grandparents. Do take a look.

Qwerkity jumbo storage bag

They also sent me a voucher for £5 off a £40 spend.

I’d love to hear what product you like best on the Qwerkity website?

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own. 

From bouncy castle or deckchair to a new bag!

wyatt & jack are a company who create sustainable bags and accessories from re-purposed beach deckchair canvas and retired bouncy castle vinyl pvc. What a fabulous eco upcycling idea. Take a look at their website, they have a great range of products and they have sent me a free mini pouch to review.

recycled Wyatt and Jack mini pouch
It was carefully packaged in tissue paper, sealed with stickers rather than sellotape. Easy to peel off, so that the wrapping could be saved for a future crafting project with the kids. Another eco plus mark. And it even came with a stick of rock, which I found hidden inside when I unzipped the pouch. What a nice touch and in theme with its seaside history.

recycled Wyatt and Jack mini pouch
I could immediately see that my mini pouch had been fashioned from deckchair canvas rather than bouncy castle vinyl. And it is of a size (22cm x 13cm) whereby the pouch could have so many different uses, for instance make-up bag or kids wash bag. And I loved the little story on the label.

recycled Wyatt and Jack mini pouch

However the use has already been decided for this particular mini pouch. Son2 wanted it as soon as he saw it. So it is now a pencil case for son2.
recycled Wyatt and Jack mini pouch

The mini pouch has now been replaced this season by the new slightly larger Starsky Clutch which looks just as fab. I love how each of these items is unique. No two are ever quite the same. And their tagline is great, that they are all made in Britain by the sea! Also if you live near Bembridge, there is the opportunity to have a bespoke item made by booking an appointment at their shop.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway an Anton Everything Purse to five lucky winners. This is an exclusive promotional item which is not currently available via their online shop, but to give you an idea of how much it can hold, I have been told that it is fairly similar in size to the Starsky Clutch. And since each item is unique, it will be a surprise as to what colour and design you might win.

Plus the rafflecopter option to subscribe to the wyatt & jack newsletter also gives you the opportunity to get a free product, because for a limited time only, wyatt & jack are offering a free Starsky Clutch (current price £22.95) when you sign up to their newsletter. I don’t know how long the offer is open, so be quick!

anton everything purse

The anton everything purse

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear of any repurposed items you either own or have seen.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

A new lease of life for calendars

I’m a firm believer in upcycling, reusing and recycling where possible, so when my mum said she had bought a packet of 2015 calendar tabs and did I want some, of course I said yes please. Just what I needed to give a new lease of life to some of the lovely calendars that the boys have made.

upcycled calendar

originally made for 2012 by son1

upcycled calendar

originally made for 2013 by son1

upcycled calendar

originally made for 2014 by son2

These calendar tabs are available in packs of 10 for just £1 from docrafts, a company that I have reviewed products from on several occasions.

calendar tab

Regular readers of my blog may remember my earlier reviews of docrafts products. I’ve had fun making Christmas decorations, a Roald Dahl decoupage card and gift labels previously.

The docrafts website has loads of creative inspiration for crafting projects, plus a wide range of products for sale. It also has a busy crafting forum. Do take a look.

Disclosure. This is NOT a sponsored post. My mum purchased this product. All opinions are my own.

Upcycling

I love the idea of upcycling however I am not very skilled at DIY. So when I saw the upcycling competition being run by Claireabellemakes in association with Able Skills, I initially was stumped as to what to blog about. Claire has made a Metallic Desk Tidy which visually reminded me of the Desk Tidy I made as a child for my dad out of loo roll tubes. He used it for years. None of my current craft projects are upcycled, although the boys sometimes make models from old junk. I have kept some tiles, with the idea of using them in a mosaic, but that is unstarted.

junk modelling

Then I had a great idea to show you photos of the extra shelves in my wardrobe and cupboard. I use these for shoe storage and cd’s respectively. Please excuse the mess in the cupboard. It is in the boxroom and is where I hide anything I don’t know where else to put. The shelves are home-made from pieces of chipboard I think. I admit I didn’t make them myself. They were already in the house when we moved in.

shoe storage

cd storage

But I am on the lookout for something old and unloved that I can upcycle into a planter for my garden. Maybe an old bath perhaps. I was very taken by the idea of using old boats as flowerbeds that I saw in the summer and blogged about here. In our garden at our previous home, we used old railway sleepers to edge the flower beds.