Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Don't forget that if you want to do the environment a little bit of good this Christmas and you haven't sent all the cards in time for the postman to deliver them then take a look at e cards. I mentioned this last year too but no reason why I shouldn't send a reminder. I choose http://www.care2.com/ecards/ and they have a lovely range of free e-cards. There are some other fabulous sites where you have to pay on a monthly or yearly basis and if you are going to make it worthwhile then check them out. Of course send a few cards and look after the post offices but"play your cards right" and you will achieve the perfect balance
The holidays are practically here and all I want to do, like everyone else I'm sure is to relax and chill out. I'm writing this in the city at a very busy WiFi café sipping my hot chocolate and watching people pass by or pop in with hands full of weighty bags, no doubt full of presents. One nice surprise is that I am drinking out of a completely compostable takeaway cup. Lovely. Nice to see some people have their heads screwed on. Now I know where to come for my morning coffee before the dash to college (or work if that ever comes my way) and not feel guilty because I am gathering yet another take away (or throw away) cup. Of course it would be better to sit down with a washable cup or glass but its the next best thing for those of us always on the go. Hey even the Christmas shopper can take their fix with them til they wind down on the big day itself.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I have been pretty busy at college these past few months and my bag is full of books, bought and borrowed. I am seriously tampering with the idea of purchasing an e reader, the Kindle to be exact although of course there is a wide variety out there now including the iPad and its rivals. Part of me wants to save my back everyday, the other part says that if I can get some of these books as a download from the net then I am saving on paper. However the other side of me hates buying more plastic and encouraging its production. It is a dilemma although the reader is winning presently because of the amount of books I seem to need. This time I want your feed back on what is best to get. Do you have an E-reader and are you better off now for it or are you a stickler for a physical book. It has to be said that with all this technology, we cant really be looking after the local shops either. What do they do when people don't need them any more and turn to the Internet? Should we have a heart or should they just get with it? Gadget girl or not, I have a conscience and this is a tough one?
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Its not the first time I have written about the local market and its not likely to be the last. As you know I am very much in favor of them but for the last few weeks our local market has dwindled down to only 3 stalls and it really didn't look great. I go as much as I can to support them but they cannot live off my measly few pennies. So last week I was disappointed although not surprised to hear that they were packing up. So sad. Local fresh produce on the door step and we still seem to run to the supermarket for preserved and processed items. I had interviewed them twice on the radio to see if we could boost sales but alas, it was not to be.
I was delighted though to hear that they are going got put their heads together and try to revamp it with more stalls. There was a great buzz to begin with, with many stalls, but some of those left when they were offered places in larger indoor markets. Can you blame them? Well, forgive me but yes I can a little. If you commit to something then doesn't that mean that you stick with it? I dont want people to lose money but I think that for some of the stalls, they were lured away very easily.
"No point in crying over spilled milk". So, they are doing the next best thing by picking themselves up and dusting themselves off and getting back to the drawing board.
Can I please ask just once more, that if you have a local market, look after it. Do buy in the local supermarket as well as we dont want to see empty shops in our towns closed down and looking a sorry site but people in these markets are bringing you the best you could possibly get and with out this competition then the supermarkets win, takeover and charge you all sorts for God knows what. We have a Supervalue, Dunnes and Lidl in Charleville and now there is talk of a Tesco............HELLO, what will happen to our local small shops that have been trading for years? Do we not want any individuality anymore?
"You never miss the water till the well runs dry".
Sunday, September 4, 2011
No I'm not being rude. I was in the local supermarket recently and have started to ask for "proper" ham for our lunchtime, homemade sandwiches. Having learned that butchers and other people in the meat business inject the Lord knows what into our ham and other meat I am now specifically asking for the most natural ham supermarkets provide. So the last time I went up to the meat counter to ask for 8 slices of it and she asked me which ham I wanted (and me being a little sleepy still with brain not quite awake) I replied " the one without crap in it please" I realised immediately that I sounded a little rude but she didn't pick up on it. She was not baffled by my request, she knew immediately which ham I wanted. This is good isn't it? Well I suppose so but at the same time I thought, wow she must know that most ham contains injected fluids or as I put it unnecessary "crap". I mean she knew exactly what I meant and there was only one ham there that was in its "natural" state among a wide choice of the same type of meat, so although I am pleased, I am concerned too that there is so much meat that is interfered with and lets face it, there are a lot of foods that are preserved in many ways that we would probably be shocked to hear about
Perhaps we all need to be asking for food to come "without crap please!"
Saturday, August 13, 2011
|Click the picture to go to Eamonn Ryan's website|
I met a Eamonn Ryan the other day who is the owner of a company called complete alternative energy. I wanted to interview him for a radio show I was doing about energy in the house on a slightly bigger scale than just recycling, switching off lights etc. He was telling me about a device that is similar to solar but uses more energy from out side than just the sun. He even took me to a house nearby to meet a family who had just had the system installed. I was impressed by this alone as I knew then that there was nothing to hide and he was happy to show me the this system, happy for me to talk to the clients and there fore he had belief in what he was selling.
|The panel on the roof is smaller than a |
|Diagram of the pump and panel|
It does cost a few grand and the price depends on how many pumps you are getting I'm sure but in Ireland there are grants for this to help and if you do the sums correctly, you are definitely hanging on to your pennies for the long term.
Please check out Eamonn's website by clicking the top picture and you can even ring him for advice on getting the pump and panel fitted and there is no pressure on you to buy. If you like you can join a mailing list to get tips every month for nothing. Please take a look to see if you can make a change like this in your house and if you are living too far away then maybe Eamonn can find someone fitting this system in your area to make things easier. I am happy to recommend Eamonn from what I have seen myself and from the satisfaction of the clients of his that I met.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
...got out today and tidied the garden. I dont like overdoing it as I like to allow nature to enjoy the long grass and the wild flowers that grow from it but it was time for a clear up and so nice to be out in the sun and getting a little vitamin D. I have been following Gardeners World lately and in their July magazine they were on the hunt for butterflies. I must admit that they are very scarce in Ireland this year and even though I bought 2 shrubs especially to attract them into my garden I am afraid I haven't seen one butterfly. I did however find plenty of caterpillars munching away on my cabbages though last week so I am wondering, as with the flowers and other wildlife and the summer we've been having are they just a little late? If so then maybe I have something to look forward to but I hope my Buddleia (which is a butterfly favorite) will hold for them and not have died off. I do put it all down to climate change and wonder what the future holds?
Have you seen any butterflies this year? Are you trying to attract them into your garden? Let me know.
|Beautiful Buddleia but where are the butterflies?|
Have you seen any butterflies this year? Are you trying to attract them into your garden? Let me know.
Monday, July 11, 2011
...satisfying than finally being able to sit down at the table and eat some of the produce that you have been growing all summer. My cabbages need a little more space now so I thought I would dig one up and try it out. It was delicious and then I picked the few strawberries I had (granted there weren't many but it is only the first year) and they were gorgeous. I can honestly say that I never knew how good strawberries really tasted until this year and I have been eating supermarket ones all my life. I feel quite proud that there are no chemical sprays on them or preservatives and while I am in no position to feed myself long term it is still very satisfying to see and taste the results. I have a few other things that I hope will fruit shortly but if they dont it wont deter me. Not now that I know what can be done with a little nurturing. I'm afraid my taste for supermarket food will soon be lacking and I will turn my nose up at what they offer me in a while Ha! I would encourage you to grow something if you have never tried it. Ok so it's getting late in the summer now but herbs on the window sill would be lovely and sooo good for you.
Wouldn't you like a little satisfaction for dinner?
Sunday, July 3, 2011
What a gorgeous day today is as was yesterday. We have just finished mowing the lawn and intend to have dinner soon outside. Heaven knows when the opportunity will come again. Anyway I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been cutting the grass and if you have been doing the same, where are you putting that cut grass? Hopefully you are putting it to good use by placing it in your compost heap. While you have finished working nature will carry on so that you can have a lovely compost in the future. If so, you are not paying for it to be carted away and giving compost mixture to another source for free. If you haven't got a compost bin or heap then take a look at starting one up if you have a garden. You can place peelings, grass, paper twigs and leaves into it and after a certain amount of time (depending on the type of heap you have and the amount of turning you do to it with a garden fork) then you will have lovely compost for your plants and flowers over the next year or two. If you do pay for the bin man to pick it up then chances are he is using for himself or maybe it could go towards making compost that could be sold on. I dont know for sure but I cant imagine someone isn't making good use of it. Are you paying for it (again) when you buy it from the garden centre next year? Think about it and see if you can save yourself a few pennies and when all that is done get outside and enjoy the sun and the garden with a nice cool drink. Cheers!
To get your composting mini guide click here from the Limerick County Council website.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
| If we reduce the unnecessary wrapping then |
there us no need to worry about where it goes after the shopping
Nothing drives me more mad than having to buy produce with a plastic wrapper. Yes, of course there are exceptions to the rule such as buying a pound of mince that simply cannot be thrown into a basket unwrapped for obvious reasons besides the fact that you would get some very odd looks, and also probably end up being quite ill. I went to my local supermarket today to get all the bits and pieces that are not so readily available in my own small town. I buy all my meat in the local butchers and visit the farmers market when I can but you know how a trip to the supermarket is unavoidable still. I try to buy as much fresh fruit and vegetables as I can so that I can stay away from the frozen food and ready made dinners. I'm not a fan unless I'm in dire straits! I made a vow to myself that wherever possible I will buy all of my fruit and vegetables loose so that I keep away from the plastic. It was impossible today. Absolutely impossible. The leeks were packaged and so were the mushrooms, lettuce, potatoes and everything else I needed. Oh, with the exception of 2 tomatoes and 2 onions which I found for myself. What is it with supermarkets? None of these items need plastic to grow and they come from the ground-yes soil or even MUD you could say. Its hardly to keep them clean. Most of the wrapping advises washing before use anyway. I was really mad today that I couldn't even make the choice of picking up loose veg over wrapped. Ok so there were brown bags in which to place loose mushrooms but they were gone, and all other types of which there were plenty were wrapped, and I could have had loose carrots from Spain instead of Ireland but my other half prefers new carrots and he eats so little veg anyway that I buy whatever he'll eat in order to give him the nutrients that keep him well. Anyone trying to look after a family would do the same. How long is it going to take before the supermarkets and the government (and the people in between) use their heads and make the change? It's so easy and without as much wrapping we have less to throw away and that includes food. I mean I might need 5 mushrooms for example but have 10 or more in a pack that usually go off in the end as I dont need so many.
Here is a challenge for you;
- Next time you go the the supermarket let me know if you were given the choice to pick loose fruit and veg over packaged. If you buy packaged take everything out that doesn't need a cover to stay fresh and see how much wrapping you have acquired at the end of the shopping run. Just put it on your table and look at how much you have.
Could you change the way you shop? Will you ask the supermarkets to allow you to choose loose, fresh foods?
I really would like you to comment on this post and let me know your opinions. Dont mention brands of supermarkets but maybe by doing this other readers will follow suit in the battle against plastic and unnecessary waste. Its up to you to do your bit.
Friday, June 17, 2011
I saw this little beauty quite a few months ago and lets face it alot of these items disappear just as fast as they come but this intrigued me. I picked it up to take a look at the ingredients but couldn't find any. I wondered was this because there is something in it that the manufacturers would rather I didn't see or was it that the ingredients were so simple that they are afraid I'll be able to concoct it myself. Either way I read that it is eco friendly and as this mighty "Doktor Power" product from JML that is supposed to clean a multitude of items it ended up in my basket. Here is how it got on.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Has summer passed me by? Was I asleep? No apparently not. Its June 11th and its cold. I am still in my winter gear and not impressed. I know I am not alone. I have spoken to many people this week who, having switched the heating off for the summer months have now switched it back on and I must admit I am there with them. I have even lit the fire once or twice in the past two weeks. So where am I going with this? Well you can be a little bit wise with the heating if you keep the following in mind....
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I was at my mother in laws this weekend and we had the usual catch up on what has been going on since we last met. She knows that I have my blog and radio show and asks how I am doing. Somewhere along the way we got onto electricity and the cost of. She has one of the old house meters and has been noticing lately what electrical goods in her house are using the most electricity in seemingly large amounts each time she uses them. Here are the main 3 items that stood out.....
Thursday, June 2, 2011
...well it would appear that my lettuce have taken a turn for the worse as you can see below.
These have been growing since mid April and to be honest you wouldn't think so. They have been fed, loved and .... over watered, OOPS! I only realised this when I decided to put them in bigger pots to try and give them a boost only to find that they were drenched and then I understood what was wrong. Disappointed? Yes. Giving up? No. Well I dont know if they'll pull through but I'll do my best to turn it around. I mean I never professed to be a pro at this but I have certainly learned from it. I feel like someone from the Neolithic (but in modern surroundings!) they didn't have libraries and gardening books to teach them-neither could they read but that is beside the point. They learnt how it all worked by trial and error and so will I. Mind you I have had much more luck else where if you want to see....
|"Lettuce have a look"|
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I'm always encouraging people to recycle and be self sufficient whenever possible....as if you hadn't noticed already! I do however put my money where my mouth is .....theoretically speaking as cash is not exactly growing on my cherry tree. So the sun came out today, for a change, and I thought it was time I started on the back garden. I have the berry bushes, herbs and other plants ready to go but they need me to dig a trench and get going. So I thought it was about time I popped over to the parents and asked for my share of compost that we have been working on over the past 2-3 years together. I wasn't sure if it would be a success or not. Would it be too wet or even have broken down at all? I dont know why I was so pessimistic as I had followed the instructions, so to speak, all along. I knew that the top half of the compost wouldn't have broken down as we continually top it up and I didn't expect too much out of it either but I was really happy with our family efforts as I was able to shovel out a very nice amount of perfect compost. There were plenty of worms in there and squirmish or not, I knew that this was a really good sign as it's these little chaps that do all of the work
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
I've looked at some areas locally that people might like to visit but as always there are those of us who love to travel abroad and so if you want to travel but not forget the environment, there are ways of doing this too. We went to Berlin last year and I thought it was one of the best holidays ever and we booked the Circus Hotel because it had the environment in mind from the work GO!
|Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz, Berlin|
Thursday, May 12, 2011
|Some of the Team from St. Josephs Foundation, Charleville Co. Cork|
I met up with Mary Hayes recently for an interview for my Natural Instincts show on BCradio and learned about some of the work that the Green Committee who are service users based in St Josephs in Charleville are doing. To say that I was highly impressed is an understatement and so I am dedicating a whole blog just for them because they most certainly deserve it. These guys and girls are on an environmental mission and not only do they tell us how it should be done but they practice what they preach and I have the photos to prove it....
Sunday, May 1, 2011
|Doneraile Park, Co. Cork|
Thursday, April 28, 2011
|Click to hear Natural Instinct Show and Agenda 21, Tree planting.|
|Ted Bradley & Tommy Kavanagh at the park in Charleville|
Sunday, April 24, 2011
|Hornet's nest and one busy wasp at the entrance|
|"Mmm Quite a lot of berries here then"|
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|The cost of colour|
Thursday, February 10, 2011
|The Glucksman Gallery|
Friday, January 28, 2011
|Thatched roof & stone walls of a house on the Aran islands.|
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Nothing nicer than a good long soak in the bath to unwind and clean up. This week my hubby and I have been discussing baths. Why? Well because we need a shower actually. Still not got one but saving hard now to get tiles and doors and all of that so that we can save water and stop having to put the immersion on each time. Anyway, my other half had a strange conversation with friend who said that he always has a shower when having a bath so that he isn't wallowing in dirty water. My first question is: " How dirty is your friend getting into the bath if he is wallowing in dirt in his bath?" and my second question is "How precious?" From here a larger discussion came about and he discovered that many of his friends do the same. Forgive me but, there are many problems because of this. Firstly, what a waste of water! I have a bath or a shower (when I get to a shower) and not both. I am not so dirty that I am lying in disgusting water and yes, I do wash my hair in that water. If I need to, then I rinse my hair in water from the tap via the extended shower from the tap or a jug or something. I can promise you I am clean. I realise that every one is allowed to have their opinion but I strongly advise thinking about what you are doing if you are like my husbands friends. In many cases we are too clean now and get rid of the friendly bacteria as well as the bad and cant fight off simple colds. "Chaps and chapesses", let me tell you that we need some bacteria.We are constantly on the antibiotics and now even they dont work so well. We want organic and natural substances for our bodies but over washing means we are no longer 100% natural ourselves. When the water was turned off this winter how did we cope. Very well thank you because we had to. Our parents and grandparents had a bath once a week on a Saturday night in preparation for mass the following morning and they survived perfectly well. How do I know? Because we are here to prove it.
Bathing regularly is a luxury that not all countries have. Our water is clean although perhaps not as clean as it was as I feel we abuse it. Lets appreciate what we have and use it sparingly.