Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Welcome to Green Watch

Over the past year I have become increasingly aware of environmental issues. Don't worry, I am no expert and have no intention of trying to tell you how things must be done. I do want to do what I can and encourage people though and I think that everyone can do their little bit starting at home. No trekking off to the ice caps and saving polar bears (although a holiday might be nice!) and no trying to run off to influence politicians all over the world (many of whom have yet to impress me I'm afraid). My thoughts are much easier but will take a little bit of effort and if you would like to join me in the smaller things in life like recycling, composting, saving energy in the home and even better saving money, then I'd love to have you along for the ride. I'll update here with things that I have tried or might be in the process of trying and as I said I'm no expert so any thoughts and comments are gratefully accepted. Come along for the ride, together we can make a great green army!

Scroll down for new stuff.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Crafts and recycling for summer

This image was taken from www.onegreenplanet.org which has great crafty ideas. Click link to view.

Its coming up to that time of year when kids will be off school and despite their excitement you will soon here "I'm bored." Looking through my Facebook page I came across a page I had 'Liked' called greenme.ie which had some crafty ideas which incorporated recycling. I saw that they had used jars and decorated them as candle holders that I thought looked really nice and would be perfect for garden parties that roll into summer evenings. In fact you could use a candle to repel insects while you are out there. It is definitely worth taking a peek on their page which lead you to other green websites. Many ideas may not require you to purchase anything but simply use what you already have and no doubt you can adapt things to suit what you do or don't have. Anyway get nosing and liking the Greenme.ie page on Facebook if you have an account. They can give you great ideas such as I've mentioned and help you consider the what might be done in the home to keep the bills and energy usage down. Prepare and be ready to get busy with the kids rather than sticking them in front of the television this summer. Make it one to remember!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Beautiful day, beautiful compost

There's plenty more tidying up to be done as you can see but if the sun
hangs around that wont be a problem

The final year at college is nearly over and I can tell you that I cant wait to get back to normality. Studying is all well and good but it prevents me from doing all the things I love, like gardening. Still, I took yesterday off and went out into the sunshine and enjoyed the garden immensely. Its been about 3 years now since we started composting and it has been a major help in the garden as well as a money saver. Compost on tap, you might say. This year we bough a new composter, same as the old one but the old one needed emptying cleaning and reviving. We emptied it yesterday and I used it all over the place. What I was most happy with is the fact that it was fabulously broken down and gave me 4 barrow loads. Enough to add to the potatoe drill, the bed where I planted the peas, improving the soil where I have planted cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. It just seemed to go on. Granted its all been used up now as the new composter is only just up and running but I really felt that the effort with it over the past few years really paid off. It wasnt a fancy pants composter and didnt cost alot but was everything and more than I expected. Furthermore, it added to a great days gardening. Lots of the veg is very late in being put out but then that's exams for you. Better late than never and the enjoyment in the sunshine was immense. Here's to a successful veggy patch this year. Cheers!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rechargeable energy

I just recently bought a really good book with great tips for saving money. Some of the tips within the book are very much in line with looking after the environment (although that isn't of course the main object of the book). I for one have a few devices at home that require batteries as I'm sure do many people. However, it was not until last week that I learned that some rechargeable batteries are better than others. No, I don't mean with regard to brand names, I mean with regard to the mAH or milli amp hours. Basically to cut an explanation short, the higher the mAH on the batteries the longer they will last. So, for example I have a voice recorder for college lectures which takes AAA batteries. Apparently, the mAH on some of rechargeable batteries ranges from 600-850 mAH. I thought, "Typical, I bought the cheapest ones in the supermarket and therefore probably lost out" but as it happens I had 850 mAH batteries and was very impressed with myself. I popped into the local supermarket again to check other brands and yes, many of the well known ones are a bit of a disappointment. Furthermore, I checked the AA batteries that are always required around the house: TV remote controls, toys, torches etc, and these too can be anything up to 2500 mAH. While I don't have an expensive charger, it isn't very "green" to just throw my present one out and purchase a higher quality one. If you are thinking of making a purchase it might be wise to research one which might be more efficient.
So firstly:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yes we can!

Its always so satisfying to stand back and be able to appreciate work that you have completed and today was no different. A small group of us have been meeting over a few Saturdays in the town of Buttevant to spruce up the place and entice visitors into our lovely historic community. The are we chose to was at the entrance to the town from the Mallow side where there is lovely stone waling. Inititially alot of it was covered by ferns and weeds as is to be expected at any roadside when it is not cared for. While I am not so o fay with flowers (more interested in veg) other people had the knowledge to guide me. Also many flowers and seeds were brought by one member and it is her contribution that produced such a wonderful array of flowers that you see in the photos. In all honestly it only took a few hours of hard work to achieve this section - usually one hour a week but of course watering is always appreciated at other times if volunteers can make it.

 How pretty and colourful our approach road looks now. Why cant it always be like this? Well because it takes volunteers to give up some precious time and and be part of their community. Its great to be able to get away form Facebook and email, phones and shopping and while away an hour chatting to someone as you pull a weed here and there. This is something that we dont do enough of and it gets us away form the hussle and bussle of what is now very much a stressful life. Not only are you benefiting the area with regards to looks you are encouraging wildlife: bees, butterflies, pollination. Ridding the possibilities of extinction of some precious insects.

Infact we are looking for more volunteers so that we can achieve this throughout the town and the more people we have the more colourful, cheerful and enticing the town will look. So do yourself a favour and be a part of your community wherever you are. Get out in the fresh air and leave the worries of everyday life behind. What ever you think about politics, I think Obama got it right when he said
Yes we can!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bag up a bargain!

LBB = Little Black Bargain!

You will forgive me gents if I have a girly moment although if you stay tuned this may be just as beneficial for you. That credit crunch is crunching louder than if I were eating cornflakes and along with the weather today it is more than a little depressing, especially as I have gone into Gok Wan fashion craze at the moment. To start at the beginning, I like Gok because he talks sense but still has a huge love for fashion. As it is I sway in and out of my love for fashion but at present I'm in, so it is annoying that I can't splash out on new style because I haven't got the cash. I have borrowed 2 of his books from the library and love what he is doing with ordinary high street clothes.  The clothes roadshow he does, showing us how to add bits and bobs very cheaply onto cheap clothes is a total winner...as are the outfits. So today I went out to see what I could get but decided to go into 2nd hand shops which to be fair has been the inspiration of Xpose on RTE last week. Its easy to forget about recycling clothes so, to be reminded of it and to be able to help charities  at the same time (often to do with these shops) gets full marks in my book.

So there I was rummaging around the Irish Cancer Society shop today (close to many of our hearts I'm sure) and hey presto a lovely little cotton dress called out to me. Just my size, a style I always wanted but couldn't get and ....wait for it...a mere €4.10!!! I exaggerate not! Two seconds later a lovely gold bolero winked at me and it  also led me to the counter. It was only €3.50! Bargain bagged. All it takes to winter the dress up is tights and cardi and the bolero is perfect for dressing up jeans or for Christmas.

So now I have promised to go into 2nd hand shops whenever I am in town. Not everything in there is a winner but I appreciated the couple of items I found and loved their price and as well as that I am happy that my few pennies went to a good cause. I also have the satisfaction of getting a new outfit.

The other side of the coin is that if you buy in these shops and want to jazz the outfits up a bit when you get home then you can be adventurous knowing that you only spent a couple of pounds. Change a few buttons or sewing on a few bits here and there and you too can say I've been Gokked...well who's going to know otherwise?

Let me know where you get your bargains from....I'll race you to the counter.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Refreshingly good

I know its been forever since I last wrote on here and I have so much to tell you about. I really need to boost myself and to get blogging asap and get out of this slightly stale (or perhaps lazy) rut. So where better for me to start than at a Green Campus meeting at University. Already the head is down and the mind is on overtime with assignment deadlines. Last year I missed 95% of the campus meetings due to lectures and clashes so when I received an email informing me of this get together I decided that I needed to make the effort and try again. As it turned out I really enjoyed it as we starting brainstorming ideas for the coming year and I'm delighted to say that we are involved in the Green Flag with An Taisce, applying to renew our flag (initially achieved in 2010) for spring 2013. So many activities we need to work on in order to do this and a revival of enthusiasm from the group is needed in order to relight the spark that has undoubtedly dimmed over the past year, probably with the arrival of summer exams.
It gives me that little kick to get back into the "Green buzz" that I had before but its also a reminder that we all slack off from time to time and lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. Also there is the feel that we are already doing everything we can so what more could we be possibly do? Tonight was great because I wasn't on my own but with an enthusiastic group putting our heads together and coming up with great ideas. They may be ideas to improve the campus but we mustn't forget that being Eco friendly isn't all about minding our own pockets or looking after our own lives and houses but spreading outside so that what ever we do makes a difference to the world we live in. If we can give a good presentation at the end of the year to show what we have done to make the campus greener and achieve that flag renewal then I will be proud, as the world will be a better place....even if it is only a little. It all adds up.

Put your thinking cap on and get thinking about what you can do to improve what you have already done. If you have slackened off then hopefully this will get you set up for the rest of the year.

Would love to get any ideas you may have to help with our campus and of course when you post them other people will see them and maybe include them in their goals. All ideas are welcome :) Get commenting!