Families, Whole Family

Climate Week 2013

climate week logo

climate week logo

As I mentioned yesterday, this week is Climate Week.  Now, Climate Week is all about inspiring others to be greener.  You could say that it’s like that every week here on Moral Fibres, so I thought I’d bend the rules a little and do something a bit different.  I already consider myself to be fairly green, but there are some things I do which aren’t so green, and I thought I’d hold myself accountable here on Moral Fibres.  I know we all have our own un-green habits, so here are mine:

Waste Food

wasting food

This is probably the biggest un-green thing I do.  Quite often vegetables rot in the fridge, or leftovers which I haven’t frozen sit for longer than is fit for human consumption.  Sometimes bread goes off in the bread bin.  We used to get a weekly vegetable box delivered with local seasonal veg.  We found however that we had no control over what vegetables we received so it was hard to plan meals in advance of receiving the box, so quite often things went off.  We switched to fortnightly deliveries but even then we still found it hard so we cancelled our box.  Now I buy seasonal British veg from Earthy in Edinburgh when we need it.  Still, there’s been a single solitary leek in my fridge for longer than I care to admit…!

We’re trying to be better at reducing the food we waste, but we could be much better.  We could plan meals, batch cook meals at the weekend, and freeze leftovers straight away rather than putting them in the fridge.  We already compost vegetable peelings, rotten vegetables, tea bags, egg shells etc, for our garden, but we could also get a bokashi bin for all non-compostable food waste, liked cooked food.  Watch this space (edited: I’ve made progress!  Check out my food waste tips I’ve discovered since writing this post!)

Shopping at Tesco

There is a Tesco Metro beside my work.  I quite often find myself popping in there for lunch and bits and pieces even though there are lots of little delicatessens and independent shops that really could do with the custom.  Tesco is one of the evillest supermarkets, and I always hate myself for going in there.  I should really stop giving them my custom – I think I’ll give it up during Climate Week and take it from there!

Using the Tumble Dryer

To be fair on myself, I’m pretty good at not using the tumble dryer in spring and summer (unless we’ve had a spell of terrible weather).  However, come autumn and winter it seems like my tumble dryer is never off.  With a baby, and two adults we seem to generate a lot of dirty washing.  Our house is very small and there isn’t a lot of room for clothes horses.  I’ve rammed our tiny kitchen with as many clothes horses it can hold (to the point where we get tangled in them!) but still there isn’t enough drying space, so unfortunately the tumble dryer has to go on.  It’s A rated, but it still doesn’t ease my guilt.  If we had a garage or porch I’d dry clothes in there, but alas we do not.  I’ve tried drying my clothes outside in winter, but living in Scotland, they often come back in just as damp as they went out.  I’m not sure what the solution is here to be honest.

Having Long Showers

Showers use less water than baths, but not when I take a shower.  Oh no.  Twenty minutes is about average shower length for me (what can I say, I like to make sure I’m super clean!).  I could easily reduce the amount of time I take in the shower, and also fit an aerator.  I just haven’t yet…

Charging my Phone Overnight

If my phone is low on battery (which it often is – these pesky smartphones with zero battery life) I’ll plug it in and charge it overnight.  This means that when it has finished charging it’s still switched on and using electricity.  I really should get into the habit of charging it during the day so that I can see when the battery is full and switch off the plug as soon as it’s done but I always seem to forget until bedtime.

What could you do better?    Let me know in the comments below – I promise we won’t judge and you’ll feel better for sharing!  And are you doing anything for Climate Week?

You can also follow along with Climate Week on the #climateweek twitter hashtag.

Garden, Home and Garden

Seeds to Sow in March

seeds to sow in March

seeds to sow in March

It’s Climate Week!  If you haven’t heard, Climate Week focuses on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain.  It is hoped that the power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will then inspire many more people to take their own positive steps towards greening their lives.

One great way to take real positive action is to grow your own vegetables – bringing your food miles down to zero!

If you’re a novice gardener here are some pointers of what seeds to sow in March.

Seeds to Sow in March Outside:

what to sow in March


Seeds to Sow in March Undercover:

March sowing ideas

Sowing undercover means in a greenhouse, however if you don’t have a greenhouse or don’t have space for a greenhouse (like us) a simple cloche (a plastic dome) or mini polytunnel will suffice.  We use plastic food pots rather than buying cloches to recycle and save money.

Seeds to Sow in March in Heat:

what should I sow in March

To sow in heat you can buy seed propagators which run on electric, however we just plant seeds in pots and sit them on our windowsills.  It does mean for a couple of months we are overrun with plant pots however your efforts will be rewarded later in the summer when you have a substantial bounty of fresh vegetables that you’ve grown with your own fair hands!

It’s not just about the vegetables in March though.  Sowing some flowers, such as marigolds and nasturtiums at this time of year is also beneficial by way of companion planting.  These are good at discouraging pests from eating your precious seedlings, as well as being good at attracting pollinators, such as bees.

What seeds are you sowing this March?

Look out for what seeds to sow  in April next month.  In the meantime, happy growing!