Jump to Recipe In the hopes that I can have my sewing friends over again soon, I’ve been brewing various concoctions with which to ply them, including naturally carbonated drinks made with my turmeric bug. As with a ginger bug or sourdough starter, microbes on turmeric and in the air, even on your hands, transform simple…Turmeric Bug for Naturally Carbonated Sodas
Until the pandemic, fast fashion had become the social norm for most of us. With cheaply made clothes being so widely available and high street trends changing so rapidly, it is no surprise that many wore them a handful of times before throwing them away.
On average, clothing and textiles will make up roughly 2 per cent of your annual footprint. However, the footprint of fast fashion buyers is thought to be five or ten times that. The good news is that we can still get our shopping fix and look fabulous without destroying the planet. Here is some ideas to slower living
Right in our little village we have Edit Secondhand. The best thing about shopping second hand is that you are not directly supporting things like animal cruelty, child labour and you are saving beautiful garments from going to landfill. Another practical aspect with this store is that it specialises in quality, luxury brands so the items should all be built to last: the definition of sustainable!
If the items are out of your price range, there are plenty of great online second-hand shops including Brighton based Beyond Retro and Oxfam.
REPAIR AND REWEAR
If your clothes need repair, don’t throw them away. You have options. There are quite a few repair cafes not too far from Cuckfield. For example, Horsham Repair Café offers a free monthly repair service and – with the help of their textile volunteers – you can even learn how to do some creative upcycling for yourself. Even closer we have Hassocks Repair Café every fourth Saturday of the month, and one in Burgess Hill due to open once restrictions allow.
Although unlikely you will see any clothes swap events in the flesh until the coronavirus pandemic is over there are new digital options available. Swopped.co.uk offers a point system whereby you can gain points for items you send in and spend them
BUY ETHICALLY SOURCED
New online shop Cuckfield-based Blossom & Roar focuses on offering brands that are sustainable and practice ethical retail. These are beautiful designs from small and independent companies. Your wallet will a lot lighter after shopping here but as fashion queen, Vivienne Westwood, famously said, “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”
GET SOME ADVICE
If you are planning on a spring clean and a complete wardrobe overhaul, there is a local service called Finely Tuned Wardrobe that offers styling advice and a reselling service with sustainability in mind. For the latest advice and news on ethical fashion, it is always worth checking out Ethical Consumer. This magazine covers more detailed insights broad range of topics from the slow movement to how current consumer trends affect our planet.
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These are just some ideas to get started with slower movement in fashion. There are too many to mention in one post just as there are too many shops and organisations moving away from fast fashion. Perhaps the above suggestions seem a bit overwhelming but even if you just made one change, you would be reducing waste in landfill and subsequently carbon emissions.
If sustainable fashion is something you are passionate about, we would love to hear from you or do feel free to comment below.
By Vicky Koch
***REPOST FROM FACEBOOK GROUP: SUSTAINABLE STEPS***
It is well known that cooler temperatures are more environmentally friendly. This is a post about the pros and cons of various washing temperatures.
HERE ARE THE SUMMARY POINTS:
– Since 2013 washing machines have had a 20 degrees wash function- Washing at 30°C instead of 40°C saves around ~38% of the energy required and at 20°C instead of 40°C saves ~62%.- It is estimated that if the UK changed from 40°C to 30°C for their washes this would reduce the CO2 footprint the same as taking 400,000 cars off the road.- Many new detergents are formulated to work at low temperatures and you may get just as good a clean- Higher temperatures may be required for stains and soiled clothes- Higher temperatures can be damaging to clothes and reduce their lifespan- always check the care labels!
Firstly it is important to note that the cleaning ability of you washing machine is related to more than the temperature. It is also dependant on the laundry detergent, length of cycle and cycle speed (agitating clothes helps remove stains). Newer washing machines are able to clean clothes at lower temperatures due to improvements in technology alone.To help remove spot stains you may consider treating them before the wash with undiluted detergent on the location of the stain. Vinegar can also be used in washing to help brighten colours and remove stains (search the group for more info on this). The sun is also a great stain remover- leaving clothes on a sunny window or out on the line is great (and free).
WASHING AT 20°C
Which found that stain removal was worse at 20°C compared to 40°C, but that switching to a liquid detergent helped with this. There is a large energy saving to be had when washing with this temperature and for everyday clothes it may offer adequate cleaning and save you money. It is not advisable to only wash at this temperature, as it may promote mould growth in the washing machine. So having a mixture of wash temperatures and regularly cleaning your machine (seals and drawer included) is advisable.
WASHING AT 30°C
30°C is recommended for all delicate clothes. It also has a role in preserving the colours of coloured clothes. This temperature may not be adequate to remove blood staining. 30°C is a good consideration if you have clothes which are lightly soiled and just need a freshen up. It is also worth considering for your regular clothes washes. If your clothes have had light use then hanging them up rather than leaving them on the side or leaving them outside may freshen them up and reduce the requirement to wash them.
WASHING AT 40°C
Although washing at 40 degrees is better for heavy soiling, it does take its toll on your clothes. It can cause colour fading, shrinkage and damage certain fabrics. Therefore for bright and dark colours considering 30 degrees may make your clothes last longer.I would also like to add here that I contacted Ariel and asked them about the enzymes in their biological washing powders (I’m not advocating Ariel here, they just have a responsive customer service). Enzymes are proteins and each is specific to a certain molecule (e. enzymes for fats will not work on starches). Above certain temperatures enzymes are damaged and no longer work (denaturing). They told me that above 30 degrees their enzymes are denatured, so washing at higher temperatures will not improve your washing powder. Enzyme activity breaking down stains will not happen above 30 degrees (any activity that occurred will be at the cold filling temperatures or washes under this temperature).
WASHING AT 60°C
60°C was found to deliver “slightly better cleaning” than 40°C, especially relating to greasy stains. Caution is advised as heat can actually ‘set’ stains. It is generally recommended to wash bedding and towels at higher temperatures such as 40°C or 60°C, although it should be noted that this temperature is not going to kill all bacteria.
by Grace May
Image by Cotton Bro at Pexels
According to an Independent article detailing the average middle-class family of four’s carbon emissions, the biggest source of carbon emissions (16 tons per year) comes from our general consumerism, whilst a meat based diet produces all of 12 tons of carbon per year. Though these numbers don’t account for the pandemic and are a rough estimate that will vary family to family it does give you some idea of our own impact.
So what can we do differently? The good news is that it does not take much to live more sustainably. There are lots of things that can be done and most of them are very easy to do when you consider how much time we spend at home these days. So here are three ideas that we hope will inspire you.
Did you know that lemon and vinegar both make for excellent cleaning agents? Using these means less waste from packaging, less harmful chemicals being put into the water system and you get to save a little money too.
Some easy recipes to start you off can be found on Ecotricity’s Post: Sanitise Your Home the Natural Way
Did you know that the food scraps that you throw into the bin does not get the opportunity to decompose? This is because they get buried under the ground with the rest of the landfill and compressed with no oxygen. The solution to this is to compost at home.
According to BBC Good Food’s How to Compost Food at Home, two popular systems are the Boyakashi Composting System and Worm Composting. You do not need a big garden for this – in fact Boyakashi composting is done indoors – and you won’t need much more than a few small bins with lids.
I am sure you already have a reusable water bottle, it is an accessory that most people have these days. The metal ones double up as a flask which has been great for hot drinks on winter walks, hasn’t it? Have you been finding other ways to reuse and repurpose things though?
As recommended above, refilleries are a great way to step closer to zero waste. You just need to save your jars, bottles and tubs and fill them with your grains, cleaning products, coffee beans and even sweeties. Not only are you then drastically reducing your single plastic use but it is an opportunity to support local shops as well.
Reusing plastic bags has become increasingly popular as has buying reusable tote bags. However, another popular option is to use trolley bags for big shops. It is especially good for those that like to organise their shopping. Also great for those that like to scan as they go.
There are so many things that we can do that make such a huge impact. We would love you to share with us the little things you have been doing. Anything that has worked or perhaps something you thought would work that hasn’t!
In the meantime, here is a carbon footprint calculator that helps measure your impact on the planet. It is pretty eye opening and thought provoking. There is also a chance to offset your carbon emissions if you wish.
If you want to do something to help the environment but can’t budget for those expensive ethical brands, solar panels or electric cars, there are still LOADS of things you can do that don’t cost anything at all. It is the little things that make a difference, after all, isn’t it?
Turn off the Lights 💡
A flick of a switch sounds simple doesn’t it but actually it can be quite a challenge especially if you have kids in the house! Yet even if you are becoming more mindful, that is a good thing. It doesn’t have to be a success/fail operation. By becoming a bit more aware and switching them off even a little bit more, you will be saving on your electricity bill and reducing carbon emissions in the process. Other small ways you can save on energy at home would be to dry your clothes on the radiators instead of the tumble dryers; to turn down the heating a little bit then use blankets, slippers and hot drinks to keep warm; and/or to turn off taps whilst you brush your teeth. These are all just small, easy ways that won’t cost you much. Obviously they won’t work for everyone. Of course, there are sometimes you need to turn up those radiators or use the dryer for times sake. However, just a little tweak in our behaviours can make such a big difference.
Treat yourself to a reusable cups, there are some gorgeous ones on the market for any taste. Take them to your local coffee shops for your hot drinks so they don’t have to use disposable ones. I have heard that Sussex Coffee Trucks are selling some but if you hear of anywhere else, let us know!
Perhaps you don’t like hot drinks, in which case you could make sure you carry a water bottle on you. There is a theory that if you pair new habits with old ones it will be easier to do. One idea would be to attach a water bottle/reusable cup to your lists of musts whenever you go to get your wallet, keys and phone.
There are refill stations across the country where you can fill up your water bottle free of charge. To find out where these are you will need to install the app via https://www.refill.org.uk/. The first place to offer refills was Tom’s Food back in 2018. Though I am sure if you asked in any shop in Cuckfield, they would refill for you.
If you are rolling your eyes because you already have both of these containers and never leave the house without them, why not buy some for your nearest and dearest? If you do, please comment below as to where you got it. Got to love a recommendation!
Another great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If you only need milk, bread and eggs, there are plenty of places in the village that stock these. Perhaps there will be more in the future. Recently, places across the world are doing their best to create 15 minute cities. In short, this is the idea that all our necessities will be within a 15 minute walking distance (or a brief bike ride away).
I recently posted a poll on the facebook group, Cuckfield Gossip (image below) to find out what people wanted and was not only surprised by the amount of responses but also by the speed they came. The most wanted establishment being a bakery followed by a butchers and a delicatessen. Of course there were those that did not think it would work as it has been tried before. However, there is an argument for a local bakery or produce shop working if enough people carry on working from home post pandemic. There are also more people than ever clued up on why it is important to drive less.
There are so many ways to take little steps towards sustainability that you can end up getting a little overwhelmed when you look into it. The three ideas above are just that: ideas. They may not fit in with your lifestyle. For more ideas, check out some of the references below:
Let us know your thoughts or if there is anything you would add.
By Vicky Koch