The sustainable living journey so far: May 2019

It’s been a bit of a rocky road for this website blog over the last few months. Real life got so busy that some well intentioned plans fell by the wayside for a while. Most of our communication with the outside world about the sustainable living journey so far reverted to Instagram and subsequent feeds onwards to Facebook and Pinterest.

The good news though is that some priorities have been shuffled around. The daily job scenario has changed just enough to buy some more spare time back and, well, the blog is back! Continue reading “The sustainable living journey so far: May 2019”

Photo update!

Our #backyardchickens needed a wind shelter facing away from the alley. Got some willow rods on order to GROW them one but that won’t be ready this season. Using what I already had – an old mini greenhouse! I’ve taken out the wire shelves and some of the internal poles to make it more perchable, and fixed it to the frame of the run. Also moved in some old wood for enrichment. Yes, I spoil them. #grow #mend #reuse #blog
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Photo update!

After a precautionary soak in boiling water, I have now replaced the 3 piece plastic and plastic foam #waterfilter in our #tropicalfishtank with loofah. The key to fitting, by the way, is to carve with a bread knife. It certainly functions well enough: let’s see how it goes. Internet research says a few months before it needs to go in the compost but of course this is not a widely publicised use for it. #zerowaste #blog #lessplastic #thinkdifferently
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Photo update!

Last year we switched to #vinegar mix #cleaningspray and haven’t looked back. Nor have we died from plague, as leading commercial cleaner adverts would like to imply! We have been scenting it with essential oils, spearmint for choice. Today I’ve started an experiment to see if soaking orange peel in the undiluted vinegar really does scent it. Day 1. 568ml of white vinegar (bought in a glass bottle for choice). 1 orange peel ( which will be added to as more are eaten!) #zerowaste #mend #reuse #reduce #blog
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Photo update!

It’s a cold rainy day. It seems so hard to remember the drought and water restrictions last summer: but I need to prepare for the same again else we may struggle to water our crops as we increase what we #grow.

This morning I made some time to take some measurements and look properly for the first time as to where our down pipes are at the back of the house, which is where all the growing will be happening. The main roof only has one, which comes down by the alley: making it unhelpfully located for #rainwaterharvesting . It does pass right by the flat roof that serves as a balcony though! So I could put 2 interlinked 200l butts up there. The water pressure would be great but not sure if turning it on and off will be a massive effort. Mainly this idea seems dubious due to the weight factor: water is heavy.

Moving on: the small roof down pipe is by a clematis arch and seats that we actually don’t use. I’m thinking that’s the prime site for some interlinked butts.

Did you know in the UK that some councils provide subsidised water butts and compost bins? Have a look at getcomposting.com – our postcode gives us access to 200l water butts at £30 each (and discounts for multiples of 2) complete with diverted kits, taps and stands. They also sell kits to connect butts for £6 in my area – I worked out last night that I could daisychain together and store 800l of rainwater for about £120.

I can’t find any cheaper way of getting that much storage in one go unless I get a food grade IBC carrier (1000l) – but that doesn’t include a diverter and the only reasonable place out the back to put it is currently not near a down pipe. I’d need to get some guttering work done to enable the IBC and that’s not in scope yet.

So although it seems a shame to ignore the main roof for now, I’m going to focus on doing something affordable and achievable. #blog #sustainability
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