Reduce plastic waste #1

Remember my new years resolutions? The plan for 2016 was to reduce the amount of plastic used in this household of ours.

If you are not collecting your plastic seperately, I recommend you start doing so. It really is an eye opener to see how much plastic one collects during a week, a month…..

we collect our plastic seperately and at the moment it’s enought to fill a plastic bag a week. I take this to the shopping centre to throw it away in a special container. But, collecting our plastics seperately so they can be recycled is one thing…. now it’s time to start reducing the amount of plastic that enters our household (and that wille leave it again eventually). But let’s do this step by step.

Step 1: try to avoid replacing plastics (and make your own stuff)

If I run out of something that’s packed in plastic..let’s see if there’s an alternative to replace it. Like, for example, deodorant. I ran out of my storebought, chemical, packed in plastic deodorant, and decided it was the perfect occasion to try and make my own, rather than running to the store to get myself a new one, in a new plastic container that would sooner or later be discarded.

I have heard many positive stories of home made deodorant, so, why not?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I used a recipe I found on the blog Leven zonder afval ( living without waste).

All you need is a (re-used) glass container coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch (optional: glycerine and scented oil). I understood the glycerine helps to make it smoother, but since I didn’t have any, I skipped it.

All you need to do now is mix 4 table spoons of (soft) coconut oil with 3 table spoons of baking soda and 2 table spoons of corn starch, plus a few drops of your favorite scent if you wish. Stirr, well, store in your container and make sure you have clean hands, or a clean teaspoon every time you take some of this mixture out of the jar. You just need a small amount per armpit, so this little jar should get you quite far.

You can keep your deodorant in the bathroom, but on hot days,  it can turn quite liquid so you might want to store it in the fridge.

And PS: it works! It works really, really well.

now, let’s see which other steps we can take…….

 

 

Advertisements

DIY playdough

When the kids where younger, I often made their own playdough.

Now they are older, they play with playdough less often, but it’s still a success during the holidays! This time I made a cinnamon scented pink batch. Fun ( and a few quiet moments for me) guaranteed!

 

You will need: one cup of salt, 2 large cups of flour, 2 large cups of water, 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1,5 teaspoon cream of tartar, a large pan and a wooden spoon. Optional: foodcolouring, scents).

playdough2.jpg

Put all ingredients (except the foodcolouring) into the pan, and stirr above medium heat. Stirr well!  Within a minute or two you will see your mixture changing into a playdough-like ball.

Remove from pan and place on your workspace. Allow to cool, kneed thoroughly and add foodcolouring according to taste.

Now, let’s play. When done, store in an airtight container and use again and again.

playdough

You can use this recipe for very young children too. They love to feel, kneed, smell, touch….taste….., and you don’t have to be afraid they put anything poisoness in their mouth if they decide to taste it!

Christmas decorations

It’s that time of the year again; time to bring out the Christmas decorations!

Not the most fashionable ones perhaps, just the ones that make us happy, and that make our home a comfy colourful welcoming place.

 

thrifted christmas angels

Our Christmas decorations are thrifted:

thrifted plate

Fairtrade:

fair trade christmas decorations.jpg

Made by the kids, throughout the years:

kid craft decorations.jpg

And handmade by me:

handmade christmas

 

That Christmas tree is hard to photograph, but you get the idea I  guess: branches collected in the woods, dried, and tied together, hung on the wall and decorated.

 

…and it ain’t Christmas ’till I’ve had time to crochet some stars!

Some more crochet and a pattern

Yesterday I completed the crochet shawl for the #swapwithamessage I wrote about earlier, and sent it along in the mail, I also added some tea and a few little gifts to spoil oneself. I hope it will all find a good destination!

Anyway, I really enjoyed working on this shawl, and was pretty pleased with the pattern I used. I made it up along the way, and I’ll try to share it here with you.

swap with a message

For the shawl, I used 2 skeins of Scheepjeswol softfun batik, and a 4,5 mm crochet hook.

But the pattern is open to variation. Just remember to start with a chain of a multiple of 4 +1, and you can use any yarn you like, and make your shawl as wide and long as you please.

So, here we go:

Start with a chain of a multiple of 4+1, you will need a chain with a length of about 30 cm to make a comfortable shawl.

Row 1:  chain 3, skip 1, and crochet a cluster of  1 double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet in the next stitch. Skip one, and crochet one double crochet in the next stitch. Repeat until the end of your row.

Row 2: chain 3, skip the first double crochet and in the first cluster, crochet a cluster of  one double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet. Crochet on the double crochet in the next stitch, working around the back of the double crochet in the previous row, as shown in A.

Row 3: chain 3, skip the first double crochet and in the first cluster, crochet a cluster of  one double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet. Crochet on the double crochet in the next stitch, working around the front of the double crochet in the previous row, as shown in B.

PS: a clear instruction on how to crochet around the front or the back of a double crochet, to create a rib stitch, can be found in this youtube tutorial.

crochet shawl tutorial

Now, continue repeating row A and row B until your shawl has reached the desired length. Work away any loose threads, and sew the edges together to create a cowl, as I did, or just keep it like this and perhaps add some fringes

Good luck!

Don’t forget to show the result of your shawl when using this pattern! You can tag me on instagram using@marieke_thisgreenadventure, or just leave a message below.

Use what you have crafts #3

I finished crocheting the red granny ripple blanket which was my previous ‘use what you have’ project, pictures will follow sometime soon.

Since I love making blankets, I soon started a new project. This time I am cheeting a little. All colours are leftovers from myself and others, but I needed something to bring it all together, so I bought some white yarn for this project. I like the bright colours, and the pattern I choose. I don’t know whether there’s a name for this stitch, it’s something I made up along the way but I am really happy with it. The blanket seems twice as thick and is very stretchy…perfect for wrapping around little babies!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Perhaps later on I can write a little tutorial?

Noodles in a jar

Are you also fond of noodles? Easy to take along to work, hot and spicy, warm and tasty… it’s a perfect snack or office lunch.

Those packages of noodles are also packed in multiple plastic sachets, and are filled with E-numbers you don’t want to know you’re eating….

I found a healthy, greener…and tastier!…. alternative: noodles in a jar!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All you need is a  500 ml glass jar, a family size package of noodles, spices and vegetable stock, and fresh vegetables.

Before you leave for work, fill your jar with fresh vegetables that don’t require long cooking ( sprouts, frozen peas, leek, paprika, carrots, use your imagination…and whatever is available in your kitchen).

Add a big teaspoon of organic vegetable stock, and spices to taste. I usually add a spoon of curry powder and some extra black pepper.

Then, fill your jar to the top with noodles. You may need to break them a bit to fit in.

If you’re in a hurry in the morning, you can also prepare this the night before and keep it in the fridge.

At work all you’ll need is a bowl, a spoon, and some boiling water. Pour the contents of your jar in a bowl, add hot water until your noodles all well covered. Cover and wait for a minute or so, stirr, then eat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy!

Use What You Have crafts #2

I’m still keeping my promise to work with materials already at hand. Yarn left behind by migrating owners or passed on to me by a previous owner who apparently ran out of time or inspiration to make something with it….and all the leftovers from my own previous projects….

I am still surprised by all that I find lying around, and by the surprising patterns and colour-combinations they make me make….

This is the start of a sweet little babyblanket. 100% cotton, and with a pretty retro look & feel. I love it already……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*********

Ik houd me nog steeds aan het plan om alleen te werken met materialen die ik al in huis heb. Garen  dat ik kreeg van migrerende eigenaren, of van eigenaren die het aan tijd of inspiratie ontbrak om er nog iets van te maken…. garen dat overbleef na mijn eerdere projecten….

Het verbaast me nog steeds hoeveel ik tegenkom, en wat voor patronen en kleurencombinaties ik er mee kan maken….

Dit is het begin van een babydekentje. 100% katoen, lekker retro en heel geschikt voor in de maxi cosi of kinderwagen. ik ben er zelf een beetje verliefd op……

**********