weekend links

Ten Things

carrot cake oatmeal

Happy November!  I love this week of the year, packed with Halloween and fireworks and other such delights.  Daylight savings though, I could really take or leave that nonsense.  I’m still trying to get used to the time change.  Just me?!  

This week’s links:

1. The big news this week is that wildlife populations are declining at a rapid rate. This was the very best article I read on the subject: capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’.

“The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations”, while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption”. No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity” appears 14 times, and “consumption” an impressive 54 times.  There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: capitalism… Although the WWF report comes close to finding the words by identifying culture, economics, and unsustainable production models as the key problems, it fails to name capitalism as the crucial (and often causal) link between these things. It therefore prevents us from seeing the true nature of the problem. If we don’t name it, we can’t tackle it: it’s like aiming at an invisible target“.

2.  Other equally big news is that the City of New York is suing Exxon Mobil, saying it deceived shareholders by deliberately downplaying the expected risks of climate change.

The litigation, which follows more than three years of investigation, represents the most significant legal effort yet to establish that a fossil fuel company misled the public on climate change and to hold it responsible. Not only does it pose a financial threat to Exxon that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars or more, but it could also strike a blow to the reputation of a company that has worked to rehabilitate its image, framing itself as a leader on global warming“.

3.  Remember the kids suing the US government for inaction on climate change?  Encouragingly, that the case may now head to trial.

4.  Some of fashion’s biggest brands are (finally) addressing the plastic crisis.  The signatories include brands responsible for 20% of all plastic packaging produced around the world, suggesting that this Commitment has the potential to enact real change.

5.  Need an excuse to keep drinking coffee or to keep eating chocolate?  Let me be of service – here’s how drinking coffee and eating chocolate could help save a colony of endangered birds.  You’re most welcome!

6.  This is an interesting article clearing up the debate between paper and plastic packaging.  

7.  Apparently men are doomed, and they are going to take women down with them.  The answer?  As always: weaning ourselves off plastic.  

8.  One way to reduce food waste: use it to make soil healthier.

9.  Keeping clothes out of the bin is the holy grail of sustainable fashion – how close are we?

10.  Finally, I plan on baking the baked carrot cake oatmeal from Green Kitchen Stories (pictured above) today.  The cold weather and dark nights are making me crave hearty foods right now, and I’m sure this is going to fit the bill.

See you next week!


ps: did you catch this week’s post on how to shop online ethically?  It’s been a popular one!

Arts & Crafts, Life & Style

How to Make a Cushion from a Jumper

how to make a cushion from a jumper
how to make a cushion from a jumper
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I love a bit of upcycling.  Not being the craftiest person on the block, upcycling old clothes always stumps me a little bit, so thankfully today, the lovely Juliet Bawden from the blog Creative Colour is here to teach us how to make a cushion from a jumper. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to be too crafty to be able to turn your old jumper into a cosy cushion.  All you need is some very basic sewing skills – you don’t even need to have a sewing machine!  

You Will Need

1 Sweater
Sewing machine (optional)
Seam ripper*
Tapestry needle* and wool
Clothes Shaver* (optional)


1. Wash and dry your jumper, and if it’s particularly bobbly, use the clothes shaver on it to remove the bobbles.

2.  Using the seam un-picker, open up the side seams, as in the photo below.

3.  Cut two rectangles from the front and the back of the sweater, and with the two right sides facing, pin together so that when pinned together the sweater is now inside out.

4.  Using a 1 cm seam allowance, sew the rectangles together around 3 of the sides.  Leave what was the bottom of the sweater open, as the welt (the bottom of the sweater) will have a neat un-frayed edge.  For the sewing, if you are not using a sewing machine, then I would recommend using a back stitch to give more durability.

5.  Turn the cover inside out, so that it is now the right way up.  Insert the cushion pad, and close with an oversew stitch, and you’re done!

6.  Cosy up on the sofa with a cup of tea, and a good book.

I am going to be trying this for sure!  I have a lovely jumper that my youngest daughter has almost grown out of.  My eldest wore the same jumper too, and I’m really loathed to part with it, so I think would make a brilliant cushion when it no longer fits.

Any more upcycling tips?  Let me know!

ps: if you liked this post then you might like this post on no sew clothing DIYs, and this one!