Silo in Brighton has pioneered zero waste dining in the UK – centred around using healthy ingredients in their entirety, being intuitive in their approach to creating meals, cutting out food miles, reusing wherever possible and eliminating waste. Launched in 2014, Silo, housed in an industrial-style building in Brigton’s North Laine area, accommodates a restaurant, bakery, […]
This blog seems to be becoming more and more “eco-friendlier than thou” and “I hug so many more trees than you” and less about hand making stuff. But I’m not sorry. It’s all going to come together. I swear!
Recently, I started researching living more economically and frugally. And I’m happy to report that it is working. In the past I have lived pretty frivolously and sometimes beyond my means. My husband is amazing at budgeting and living within his means, and I had to come clean a few months ago about semi-secretly blowing his (and my) means on stupid crap that I thought I needed (or just really really wanted.).
So, I scaled back. WAY back. We began living pretty minimally ( or as minimal as you can live with 400 skeins of yarn hiding in your upstairs linen closet). I abruptly stopped spending money on anything other than what was absolutely necessary. And I started noticing that money was piling up! I found that we had $300 stashed away where we chucked our change and leftover bits of money! And so much more in the bank!
While researching how to save the most money while grocery shopping, one day in June, I came across the idea of buying things in the bulk bin section of the grocery store or coop. The idea is that you save money by not having to pay for packaging. This is not totally new to me, having grown up in a moderately crunchy granola household. “But”, I thought, “it’s time to give this a try when grocery day comes along again” (I go twice a month).
At the same time, I was trying to purge our house of plastics, which have been shown to cause a plethora of awful side-effects, and I had a shadow of an idea that they may be terrible for the environment. But they also break much faster than glass or metal, so are not a good investment for us.
I realized one day how much trash the two of us (mostly me) were generating. It must have been a side effect of my research, but as I was taking out another big bag of trash AND recycling to the garage, it struck me that I’d just done this two days ago. There are only two of us! We had generated enough trash to fill half of a huge garbage bin in FOUR days! This was still less than some of our neighbors, but this time that didn’t make me feel any better (EVERYTHING is a competition).
Two weeks and one whirlwind of zero waste youtubers, blogs, documentaries, and books (from the library) later and we were (very slowly) on our way to zero waste life (but really more like way-less-waste. I am far from having this totally figured out.). Two days ago I realized we’d been using the same trash bag for almost two weeks and it wasn’t even full! Progress.
I’m really excited for this, but at the same time sometimes the more research I do, the more depressing it gets. Humanity is pretty steadily using up this planet and abusing our natural resources like it’s going out of style. And Americans are at the very front of this trend.
When it first struck me that I can’t save the whales… or the albatross (albatrosses?) or the world all by myself, this is what came to mind.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 -The Holy Bible
And that’s what has given me hope. I believe in the God that created this earth that provides everything we need. And by living in a way that doesn’t abuse our precious natural resources or the beauty of this earth, I am glorifying God. I can’t do a whole lot. But I can do whatever I can do, and hopefully others will see it and get inspired.
Here are some links to great books and documentaries if you’d like to get started!
The Clean Bin Project (Documentary)
The Story of Stuff (Short Documentary)
Zero Waste Home (Book)
Plastic Free (Book)
Hey guys. It’s been a very long time. Lots of adventures and goings on. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about tonight. There are more important things. They involve sheets, towels, kitchen counters, linens, floors, pots and pans, etc.
I have found a glorious new obsession.
It started in Iceland.
Tayo and I adventured in Iceland about a month ago. We saved up for a while and got cheap tickets, an affordable air bnb, and blew most of our money on sightseeing and cheese. While we were there I learned some valuable life lessons. Our apartment was tiny and awesome. So there wasn’t much room for a lot of stuff and if things weren’t tidy and straightened up, you very quickly felt claustrophobic. I am one to let things pile up and then after two weeks, begin to lose my mind and tidy in a fit of rage. But in Iceland, I tidied up a little every day and things were, for the most part, clean and neat. Every day. I now watch “clean with me videos” on youtube and salivate over new cleaning supplies. I love getting out of the shower and into clean pajamas and then into a freshly made bed. I can’t think of a better feeling! It gives me so much energy to wake up to a clean kitchen and clean dishes and a just vacuumed carpet and polished floor. An organized refrigerator gives me joy. I love coming home after working all day and my home is clean! Or having people pop in and I don’t have to panic and shove all the bits and pieces under a couch! I even love the act of cleaning. It’s not a pain in the butt to do a little every day and I would much rather that then let it pile up. I just love it.
When it came to laundry in Iceland, there was only a small washing machine. No dryer. I figured it was one of those fancy washer-dryer combos, but as I sat on the floor of the bathroom, in front of the washing machine, google translating the Norwegian washing machine, I realized, there was no dryer. I’ve used a dryer most of my life except now and then when New England was warm enough to hang things outside. But I still had to google, “How to dry clothes indoors, without a dryer”. I found all sorts of wonderful advice on hanging clothes indoors to dry to save energy and money! Not only that, but hanging clothes to dry extends their life! Dryers rip your clothes to shreds over time! So, I got excited. I did a load of laundry and opened the windows (It was very cold outside, but Icelandic homes are super warm because of the geothermal heating and you have to keep windows open anyway) and hung my clothes in hangers near the window. And it has changed my life! I couldn’t believe how different and wonderful and CLEAN my clothes felt! It seemed to give me energy! There was no going back. That night I opened my Amazon app and purchased a clothes drying rack for about $30. I wanted to feel that good for the rest of my life!!! And I have ever since! Not only that but dryers are an appliance that uses a ton of energy. Icelanders are very aware of this and they even have special “drying rooms” where they hang their clothes. And now we do too. The living room. Fortunately our drying rack folds up and gets put away when not in use. And some things, I simply hang on hangers and that’s it. They dry and then I hang them in my closet like that. It’s so simple and awesome.
I also learned how to recycle in Iceland. Something I did here and there and thought I was pretty good at. But it turns out, Icelanders are much better at this too. Iceland is small and beautiful and doesn’t need to be destroyed by trash and landfills. So they recycle like mad. Here in NC trash pick up is once a week and recycling pick up is twice a month and many times there are only a few bins out for recycling on those days! When we were in Iceland we recycled everything. And it felt really good. That may seem silly, but it was a good feeling knowing we weren’t contributing to a mass of trash, we were helping clean it up. We now recycle like mad and it feels really good to only have to put our trash bin out once to twice a month 🙂
I just love this new lifestyle. I never would have dreamed this is what I would’ve taken away from the Iceland trip, but I’m very glad I did. It’s been wonderful and it has made me so happy and energetic! It feels amazing!
Here is a list of my favorite supplies..
The clothes rack…. here
My favorite detergent… here
My favorite soap… here
My dusting mitt… here
All purpose cleaner… here
All purpose wipes… here
The most wonderful dish soap… here
I am currently sitting in my kitchen, blogging (obvs, hehe) and waiting for a tornado… We’ve been warned there may be one and it would not surprise me at all. This has been the weirdest day for weather. Honestly, when I read on weather.com about tornados and baseball hail and green skies I thought it was probably another case of bring your turtle to work day and let it do all your work (this happens frequently on weather.com)
Earlier today I went to meet my lovely cousin and friend, Jenny (her blog HERE) at Filament coffee, downtown ( I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to live in a place that has this sort of coffee shop. It is what dreams are made of), drink coffee, and crochet a few things. While we were there all hell broke loose. We decided if we were going to get swept away and die, we’d leave this life as pretty happy campers, all caffeinated and caught up.
But we didn’t die, and we are still happy (living) campers.
While we were there I had a pretty brilliant idea. I have 1000 freshly printed business cards in my car that need to get out there in the world! So, whilst sitting around, talking, I crocheted up a few stars (and borrowed scissors, pens, and hole punchers from the barista), hooked them onto my business cards and put them on the community board at the cafe! I hope people find them and love them.
After threat of the storm was over (and whoever was in charge of music at the cafe played “Here Comes The Sun”. Good choice. Applause.) we went on our way and I edited and put up a few more Etsy items!
And now, even though the sky is clear, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for a tornado to hit because I read on weather underground that they come out of nowhere and will most definitely blow all your windows out and all your shingles off, and all of the trees will fall on all your cars and you’d better gather up all your snacks and husband and seek shelter in your innermost bathtub.
Good Luck, Everyone.
Today is the day!!! It took just about everything in me to get this far with my Etsy page, and I am so happy that it is pretty much up and running and even though it needs some tweaks here and there, and definitely more STUFF (coming soon). I am very very very happy and sleepy.
I got up very early this morning and did a bit to get ready for my big photoshoot (not really big…), but realized that my good tripod was missing! So, I ran to my parents’ and got one they had from the 80’s.
Got that set up with my camera, and the light was perfect, but then I realized that my SD card reader was missing AND the cord to connect camera to computer!
With Tim Gunn’s voice in the back of my mind, I grabbed my phone and some string and tape and MADE IT WORK!
I think I deserve an extra cup of coffee now.
Here are some photos that didn’t quite make the cut, and a little behind the scenes type stuff.. The lovely giant green cowl is still in production, but I forgot this as I was taking pictures. No buttons! But I thought I’d get a few pictures of it to see how it did. And it’s my favorite, of course.
The fingerless mittens are also coming. I just could not get a good shot and then I lost my light (I am very thankful for the light that I DID get though).
And crazy face, down at the bottom was when I was really really fed up with static…
It’s disgusting out and my papier mache is refusing to dry for the third day now. I am making something very large that has to be worked on and stored in the garage, which is almost as clammy as outside the garage. I will go into great detail about this project in a later post, for now though, I have picked a project that doesn’t require a lot of thought and drying time. I took my favorite dress that I found at JC Penney about 4 years ago (and is starting to sport some wear and tear…. Holes. It has holes all in it and is beyond repair), and made a pattern with it (out of dollar store wrapping paper we happened to have)! I am feeling very proud and smug.
Very very excited to use this for never ending dresses for the rest of my life. I will use it in an outfit of the day post very soon!
What did you do on this soggy Wednesday?
I hope everyone is having a beautiful Sunday, and snow day if you’re on the east coast like me! Tayo and I have been snowed in for three days now and since there has been no loss of power here (I’m sorry if you did) I have done so much! Papier Mache, building a fireplace for our living room (more on that later), testing new recipes (vegan, because that’s how we do), and drinking a lot of stevia hot chocolate.
This, however, was my goal. Getting a shiny new website/blog set up and then working on getting my Etsy store, Secret City Handmade, up and running again! My goal this year is to be successful in my Etsy business again, even when it gets boring and “businessy” at times. I love designing, making, running, marketing, exploring, and whatever else have you of running a business with all my heart and soul.
Please bear with me as I try and navigate WordPress…. It make take some time to get it looking pretty and all. This is pretty wild for me, coming from Blogger ( TheMarketDarling.Blogspot.Com). But what makes you uncomfortable makes you stronger, right?
In slightly bittersweet news, this is the end of the road for The Market Darling, my longtime Etsy business and blog. It was a beautiful run and taught me everything I know about running and loving a business. What started out as a band name, nine years ago, became a blog and then a shop for me and I loved every minute of it. Secret City Knits became my second Etsy business and then the most successful. It was also my favorite. I found I had more than a knack for crochet and then knitting! At which point it became Secret City Handmade. There are a few other things you’ll find here and on my etsy shop eventually, too, as this blog and the shop evolve and grow.
I’m so excited to begin this adventure!