Homemade Lip balm (and Vaseline)

tube of lipbalm and flower on wooden table

It’s been ages since I’ve made something. The garden and summer holidays are more than enough to fill my days with plenty of to-dos. Recently though, we were getting to the bottom of our tub of Vaseline and I swore I wouldn’t be buying a replacement, so I decided to trial a recipe for DIY (non) Petroleum Jelly that I’d bookmarked over a year ago. The original recipe calls for Vitamin E oil but I didn’t have any so just left it out.

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Eco Foklore, Greenwashing and Misunderstandings

two seedlings growing on a rock

I’ve been writing this blog for over 2 years ago and in that time I’ve learned a lot about the difference between the theory of sustainable living and the reality. In our increasingly interconnected world nothing is straightforward and the distance between us and the nexus of events makes it so distinguish truth from spin. It’s a greenwashers dream!  This might be why I keep seeing the same misconceptions repeated over and over again in the media, both social and mainstream, and it’s amazing just how resilient these mis-truths are and how hard it’s proving to replace them with the truth. As the saying goes ‘A lie will be half-way around the world before the truth had put it’s socks on’

Here are a few of my ‘favourite’ mis-truths and misconceptions. Please feel free to dispel them at every opportunity!

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Creating an Ornamental Garden – Mid Summer Colour

Collection of Red Poppies

There tends to be a gap in flowering from June to July as the lushness of early summer gives way to the more intense heat and light. It can be hard to keep the garden looking fresh during these weeks, unless you succumb to single-season bedding plants, which I try to avoid because of their plastic pots and pesticide saturated foliage and compost. It never ceases to amazes me that at a time when we’re all doing our best to help save pollinating insects retailers sell bee-friendly plants coated in bee-killing pesticides. It’s one thing to willingly spray pesticides on your garden but very few people are aware that the plants they’re buying to help insects may be doing them harm.

Here are some options that won’t have you rushing to the bedding plant section mid summer;

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Sustainable Ethical Kids Clothes

Baby in Romper with Hat

I was inspired to write this post by the impending birth of a friend’s grandchild, which I’m delighted to report arrived this week happy and healthy. He’s lucky to have one of the best grandmas (I’m sure it’ll take a while for her to get used to that title) in the world to love him! When you ask people what turned them onto sustainable living the answer very often has to do with becoming a parent. There’s something so primeval about wanting to protecting our children from all the world’s ills and nowadays the impending threat of the planet’s demise unfortunately must be counted as one of them.  Therefore it’s not surprising to see how buoyant the organic cotton children’s clothing sector is, both at home and abroad.

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Better Barbeques

Big Green Egg shaped barbecue in a field

Our estate had its third Streetfeast this year. A great event spearheaded by two civic-minded neighbours.  Streetfeast is a nationwide initiative to encourage neighbours to share food and time with one another once a year, normally in June. In our estate residents lend their barbeques for communal cooking of food donated by the local supermarket, Supervalu, while others lend marquees, chairs, tables and bunting. Everyone is encouraged to bring some food to eat and to share and this year the quality of the food on offer was spectacular, from quinoa salad to lemon cheesecake! I had to go for a wee food nap in the middle of the event just to help the old digestive system.

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