shop update

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The post I have waited so long to do is finally here! After years of planning, years of trying to save and even more of actually saving, we are now ready to embark on a new adventure. I have wrote a little about it before. We’re chasing a wish, a dream and see what we can make of it and what opportunities come our way. Just now, we’re too much in the middle of it all to write more and there are too many things to organize and pack…

If you would like to help us and in return receive beautiful and useful Earth friendly things, go to my shop (I’ll keep updating it in the next few days, so please check often), and for one week only enter the code LighterPacking to receive a 10% discounted. This is valid until September 15th, after that the shop will close for a few weeks or months and I’m sorry to say, postage will be more expensive to the UK…

 

reusable tea bag

If you drink herbal tea for medicinal purposes, chances are you’ll need to drink several several cups a day. The quantity depends on many factors, but at the moment I should be drinking four but I’m lucky if I remember to drink two… Obviously is not enough.

So the solution? Make a big batch in the morning and drink throughout the day. And that’s where this reusable tea bag comes in, made of organic non-bleached muslin cotton, made in India. You can fill it with one or up to seven or eight teaspoons of loose tea (it shouldn’t be pack full so the herbs have plenty of space inside). After use, turn it inside out and wash under running water. The fabric is so thin that it’ll dry in a couple of hours, I usually leave mine to dry on the dish rack. And that’s it, as easy as that!

These bags would also be great for herbal bath (where you fill the bag with herbs and drop it in the bath while the water is running, or if you don’t have time, tie the bag onto the shower head and have a herbal shower).

They are now available in the shop in sets of two!

(zero waste) Lunch / picnic

So far lunch has been the most difficult thing about this decision!

Not the kind of lunch that we cook and eat at home, but the other, the one we pack and eat out. Where before I relied on rice crackers, oat cakes and pasta for quick fixes, now I don’t have that to fall on… Crackers always come wrapped in plastic, even the ones coming from a carbon neutral company I don’t think they are recyclable, at least I had a look and didn’t see the sign.

Besides this conundrum I’m also very lucky to have a fussy child to feed! Well, he is fussier that the other two, so I’m assuming that he is a fussy eater…

So, what to do? First I brainstormed with the children; what do they think we could take for lunch when we’re out? We now have a list of acceptable foods, but the most difficult part is that I have to get in the habit of preparing food the night before, and as we know habits, especially the ones that are good for us, are difficult to implement!  Is not that the food is hard to prepare or cook, is just that is one more thing to do, to plan, to think about…

Anyway, next week is a new week, let’s see how we do with this list and a commitment for new habits.

 

Até agora o almoço tem sido a coisa mais dificil sobre esta decisão!

Não o tipo de almoços que cozinhamos e comemos em casa, mas o outro, aquele que levámos para comer lá fora. Antes quando não tinha muito tempo para preparar o lanche, valia-me as bolachas de arroz, aveia e massas, mas agora não tenho nada dessas coisas porque até mesmo os pacotes de massa de arroz integral ou a bolachas de arroz de uma companhia “carbon neutral” não são reciclaveis, pelo menos eu tentei ver e não vi o sinal.

É que para além disto tudo, eu ainda sou sortuda de ter um filho esquisito com a comida! Bem, ele é mais esquisito do que os outros dois, por isso eu imagino que seja esquisito…

Então o que fazer? Primeiro perguntei às crianças o que é que eles gostam de comer quando fazemos um picnic e agora tenho uma lista de comida aceitavel, mas o mais dificil é que eu tenho que criar o habito de preparar a comida no dia anterior, e como nós sabemos, habitos, especialmente os que são bons para nós, são dificeis de implementar! Não é que a comida seja dificil de preparar ou cozinhar, mas é mais uma coisa para fazer, planear, pensar…

Mas pronto, a próxima semana é uma semana nova e com a tal list de comida e o compromisso de criar um novo habito, vamos a ver como é que corre.

 

reusable produce bags

It has been at least a month since I started using these reusable cotton bags (from my etsy shop) and I haven’t had a negative reaction to it, the  people working at the shops, even in the supermarket, just weight them and go about as if using these is the most conventional thing! It has been a truly positive change all around!

Since we started seriously reducing our waste, I have also been using a drawstring bag to buy bread and other things, and again, people just look inside or ask. I am thankful for people not making a big deal about it and just let me use them. Just imagine if this type of thing became the norm, how much more plastic we could stop from being produced and wasted!

 

Já há cerca de um mês que eu começei a usar estes sacos de algodão (à venda na minha loja etsy) e ainda não tive uma reação negativa por parte das pessoas que trabalham nas lojas, até mesmo dos hipermercados; elas pesam os sacos com as coisas lá dentro como se fosse a coisa mais normal! Tem sido uma mudança bem positiva em todos os aspectos! 

E desde que começamos a reduzir o nosso lixo  a serio, também começei a usar os sacos de pano para comprar pão e outras coisas, e também com esses as pessoas ou olham o que está la dentro ou perguntam. Eu fico agradecida por as pessoas não fazerem disto um bicho de sete cabeças e deixarem-me  usar os sacos. Imaginem só se este tipo de coisa fosse o normal fosse o que toda agente faz, quanto plastico que deixaria de ser produzido e desperdiçado!

 

(aiming for) Zero Waste

Zero Waste

Last year I did my Permaculture PDC at Urban Roots with Lusi Alderslowe. As part of our training the group was asked to chose between a few themes and one day Lusi took us out to Linn Park… I remember an exercise from the work Joanna Macy, the council of all beings but this particular exercise I don’t remember where it’s from.We sat in pairsand answered three questions: If you had a superpower to help the Earth what would you do? The second question was,  what do you think you could do in a year (or was it a month?), and the third what could we do by next week?

My superpower would be to stop the production  every chemical or anything that doesn’t breakdown, for example plastic. Then the second and third question came and I don’t really remember what I said, but I kind of felt that there wasn’t much I could do. I think I only came up with the solution of recycling more and maybe choose to vote for a political party that would endorse policies to reduce toxic waste. I don’t use any chemicals to clean the house and all my hygiene products were natural and simple. Trying to recycle more felt too vague and not enough either. I kind of felt helpless!

Fast forward to a couple of months ago I came across the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (a library copy); something in me shifted and I took action! Sometimes we get so stuck in the normal busyness of life that we don’t see the simple steps we could take until somebody points out to you and this family example gave me the tangible inspiration I needed!

After I read the book, I finally made some muslin bags to use instead of the thin plastic ones and I set out to reduce our recycling and regular bin. For this to work though, I needed to educate my children about it too! I wanted them to understand why I didn’t want to buy some of the things they would ask me to, I wasn’t being mean… So I decided to show them some documentaries on the subject and we started with the Story of Stuff, after we watched all the clips we came to an agreement that we wouldn’t buy anything that could not be recycled or compostable, just to start small… They are so supportive and cooperative! I’m surprised on how well they took this on board, checking everything we buy and asking so many good questions!

Once I started to look, I found an inspiring movement of people reducing their rubbish:  one, two, plus the instagram hashtag.

weekly shopping

Above you can see our shopping for the week. It’s likely that I’ll have to buy more fruit but this is it, more or less:

A large box of vegetables from Locavore; there are quite a lot of packaging this week (top right corner), and though they can all go in the compost, I just send it back in the box, hopefully they’ll reuse it. As soon as we receive the box I put the vegetables in the big plastic box that I have been using for years to store them in the fridge, and the salad leaves wrap it in wet muslin cloth to keep them fresh, and I also store them in the fridge.

This week I don’t really need a lot of dry goods, what I did wanted to buy I couldn’t find at the Harvest Co-op, so I’ll have to take a trip to Wholefoods where the bulk selection is bigger.

I did hesitated to buy those two packs of fruit for smoothies (left), but I’m just about to start (again!) an elimination diet, so I decided not to complicate things too much for myself… besides, the packaging fits our family criteria as it’s recyclable.

I have yet to convince the children and my husband to switch to my powdered toothpaste so I can’t take that off the list, but I think I’ll try this recipe to see if they like that better.

In some ways this change has actually made my life easier! Besides the fact that we’ve reduced our regular and recycling bin a lot, now I actually have a plausible excuse, one that the children understand and agree with, not to buy processed food! That and not having to go to the supermarket is some of the best outcomes.

 

our nature bag

nature bag

nature bag

nature bag

I’ve wanted to start a nature journal with the children for a long time. And for as long, I tried to think about the best way to do it…  I read some posts on Charlotte Mason’s nature study and a few times this page on getting started, but still wouldn’t take the leap. Until I told myself to stop complicating and just do it! Just do it, stop thinking, analyzing, whatever and get on with it!

So I did. I ordered a few things that I thought it would be a nice to have, made a nature bag (which happens to be the same one that I sell in the shop) and as soon as everything was assembled inside the bag, I took it with us, when we went to the woods.

Once there, we found a nice spot to sit, as we usually do, I picked up a leaf and simply, naturally said that I was going to draw it. I took the bag from the basket, the children of course were curious: “what’s that?”. We took time to go throw the things that were inside the bag and then I started drawing my leaf. They soon found something to draw too. Sometimes is me, sometimes one of them who suggests we take the bag with us, and as simply as that we’ve started a nature bag! We do not draw on it every time, but it has come in handy to identify bugs and birds.

Now, I do think that the Handbook of nature study is a great resource, specially if you subscribe to the newsletter, there are printable pages and challenges that look fun and we will be using those too. Additionally, I really like the Charlotte Mason’s take on nature study because of it’s emphases on observation;  what I’m trying to say is, if you are interested to do a nature journal too, get a bag with paper and pencils and go outside! That’s it. Ours has a handy place, hanging in a door in the hallway.

So, what’s inside our bag?

– seawhite Sketchbook ( on the first pictures we were still using Pink Pig spiral drawing sketchbooks, because I liked the hard cover and we’ve used them before, but I found them too heavy, so I switched for lighter one and they work well too)

– coloring pencils, 6B graphite pencil, pencil sharpener, a pen and sellotape

– Small Magnified Insect Boxes and magnifying glasses

– the book RSPB pocket nature wildlife of Britain (For a long time I wanted a pocket nature book that I could take out and one day I saw this one and bought it. I think the session on trees very, very small, otherwise a very good source. Since I bought that book, I’ve had a look on this one and it looks good too is small enough to carry about)

– Because of the book’s small section on trees I bought The tree name trail and garden bugs and beasties

– We’ve some of these identification postcards for a long time, so I thought they were a nice addition to the bag

Já há muito tempo que eu queria começar um diário de natureza com as crianças e durante este tempo todo pensava na melhor maneira de o fazer… Li alguns posts no método da Charlotte Mason, li umas quantas vezes esta página, em como começar, mas mesmo assim continuava sem iniciar o processo. Até que decidi parar de complicar as coisa e simplesmente começar  dito do diário!  Resolvi parar de analisar demais, de pensar demais e um dia comprei umas coisas que pensei que seria vantajoso ter e pronto. Fiz um saco para ter tudo organizado (que por acaso é um dos que vendo na loja) e assim que as coisas  chegaram, pu-las dentro do saco e quando fomos para o bosque, levei o saco conosco.

Quando lá chegámos, encontramos um sitio bom para sentar, como tantas vezes fazemos, eu encontrei uma folha e simples e naturalmente disse que a ia desenhar. Tirei o saco da natureza do cesto da cadeirinha, e eles logo ficaram curiosos, e juntos vimos o que estava lá dentro, eu depois comecei a desenhar a minha folha, e não demorou nada eles também encontraram algo para desenhar. Agora, às vezes sou eu, outras eles que se lembra que se lembra de levar o saco Não desenhamos todas as vezes, mas já foi muito útil para identificar pássaros ou insectos.

Agora, eu não quero dizer que o Handbook of nature study não seja um bom recurso, é, especialmente se subscreveres à newsletter, há desafios e outras coisas que se pode imprimir, que parece muito divertido e nós em breve começaremos a usá-los. E  também gosto muito do estudo da natureza no método da Charlotte Mason, principalmente pela importância que ela dá à observação, o que eu quero dizer é se tu também estás interessado em começar um diário de natureza, arranja um saco, põe papel e lápis de cor lá dentro e vai lá para fora! Só isso. O nosso tem um lugar pendurado numa das portas dos armários do corredor, bem à mão de se pegar quando estámos de saida.

Então, o que está dentro do nosso saco?

– cadernos de desenho Seawhite (nas primeiras fotografias nós ainda usávamos os cadernos Pink Pig porque eu gostei da capa dura e já os tinha usado antes, mas o saco ficava muito pesado, por isso mudei para estes mais leves e funcionam muito bem à mesma)

– lápis de cor, lápis de carvão 6B, um afiador e fita cola

-caixas pequenas para insectos com lupa e lupas de mão

o livro RSPB pocket nature wildlife of Britain (durante muito tempo procurei um livro de  natureza para nos ajudar a identificar espécies Britânicas, mas leve o suficiente para carregar no dia a dia, quando vi este comprei. o unico criticismo que tenho até agora é que a secção de árvores é muito, muito pequena,  tirando isso é bom. Mais tarde vi este livro e também me parece muito completo e leve)

– Por causa do tal capitulo de árvores pequeno, eu comprei o The tree name trail e outro sobre insectos

– Já há muito tempo que temos alguns destes postais de identificação, e achei que seria uma boa adicção ao saco

Shop announcement

to market, to market

to market, to market

to market, to market

I’m really excited to say that I will have a wee shop stall in The Southside Souk this Saturday, May 17th.

Besides my usual products, I’ll have new ones too, please come and say hello!

For more information about the event,  have a look on this facebook page, I bet that after you know all about it, you won’t want to miss it!

See you there!