Posts Tagged ‘Eco easy’
You may recall that a little while ago I wrote an article about TV soap stars and their green habits. In the article I suggested that maybe if more of our soap stars were seen ‘being green’, maybe this could have a positive effect on us their audience, here’s the article.
Well, this article was picked up by the The Weekly News, Scotland’s most famous Sunday newspaper, I have since been interviewed and here now is my article in this week’s paper. I hope you enjoy it.
(just a note, their is a typo midway – can you spot it?)
It would appear I am not the only one to be re-appreciating the benefits of the having my milk delivered to my door each morning. Fellow blogger and food lover, Neil Goddard, is appreciating the easy green benefits of having his milk and groceries delivered daily by his local milkman. Here’s what he’s found out:
Not so long ago your average milkman was an old fashioned way of shopping, the preserve of the greying members of our communities. What could be greener than your average milkman? Electric vehicles, re-cycled bottles and locally sourced produce. Out of interest I checked where the milk I sometimes guiltily buy from the local supermarket actually comes from. A dairy in Glasgow apparently, which is only 200 miles away! There’s a cow in the field next to my house.
The evils of supermarkets!
In our search for greener living one thing we are all aware of is the need to start sourcing more produce locally. Certainly when it comes to most of my shopping I prefer the traditional butchers and bakers. The local butchers is very proud of their green credentials and always displays the (former) names and addresses of the bits of cow and pig that I buy – so if the cow in the field next door goes missing, I’ve a good idea where to find it. Too much information, for some people maybe, but I find it reassuring to know that locally sourced is really locally sourced. Yet I have to admit that when it comes to some of the daily essentials I’ll nip to the nearest supermarket, and for a long time one of those has been milk. Enter the trusty milkman.
Recycling the past
Milkmen have for years been seen as the original recycler. Glass bottles are used something like 20 times before being sent off to be recycled – a process which uses far less energy than recycling plastic. In addition when it comes to transport – well the trundling electric milk float has not yet trundled off the mortal coil – or the mortal milk round. Electric vehicles were far more common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries than many people realise. They were re-placed as improvements in the internal combustion engine were made – but they remained the vehicle of choice for those operating smaller delivery rounds. The dairies customers just love the ‘green’ aspect of the business. A quick trawl of green forums will show that people are beginning to re-discover the pleasure – and you can tell it is a pleasure from the posts – of having dairy products delivered by this most traditional and personal of methods.
What’s on your milk float?
Seeing the trend amongst many of us to have our shopping and groceries delivered – a trend that has really taken off with the rise of the internet – the dairies decided to muscle back in on their traditional way of doing business. By diversifying their product range from the straightforward dairy option they have been able, in some areas at least, to establish a whole new range of services. One dairy offers product lines of up to 250 items. The range covers many things you would expect – milk, eggs, cheese, yogurts – but also a massive new set of items that you might not. Vegetable delivery, pet food, cereal and bread are just some of the additional products you can have delivered to your door any morning of the week you choose.
The early bird catches all kinds of things
Next day delivery comes as standard with your milkman. While the supermarkets offer some excellent delivery slots I’m fairly certain they don’t offer ‘five o’clock tomorrow morning’. As I write this (just after four in the afternoon) I’m vaguely aware of a distinct lack of cereal and dog food in the cupboards downstairs. I could order online from the supermarket – and I may well still get it tomorrow evening but the cost of delivery would be too great to even consider this. Alternatively I can ‘nip’ to the shops this evening – but why bother when I can order as late as nine tonight and have the goodies before I’m awake tomorrow. Without a delivery charge! That’s where those established rounds come in to their own. Delivery is free and it’s always next day. The milkman is a bit of a mythological creature. If you sleep badly you may hear the whine of an electric float sometime around dawn, but you rarely see them in person. However, unlike other delivery services you always get the same guy (or gal). The service is personal, friendly and unbelievably reliable.
Faced with all that competition the Milkman could have succumbed and become just a quaint story from the ‘old days’. As it is, they have proved that evolution is the key to survival and they are now giving the supermarkets and other grocery delivery services something of a run for their money – albeit a slightly slow electrically powered run. I’m glad that these guys have fought back and are providing a seriously green alternative to other forms of online food shopping. With the focus that many of us have on green ways of living today I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually it is the supermarkets that will eventually be found in museums – and not these chirpy chaps and chapesses.
Neil Goddard is a blogger and social media enthusiast who writes for the milk & grocery delivery website milk&more. With a healthy focus on being frugal and a not so healthy focus on great food, Neil is a strong supporter of his local suppliers and milkmen.
With the arrival of the Beckham’s new born girl dominating our news, here is my latest article for At Home magazine, showing how beautiful, ever-lasting ‘baby shower’ and ‘christening’ gifts don’t have the cost the earth – literally. It’s all about being easy green and kind to our purses…
A little while ago I was very fortunate to have been invited to an exclusive dinner at celebrity chef Aldo Zilli’s restaurant, Zilli Fish, to savour some of his delicious food, whilst also hearing about the benefits of frozen food, courtesy of our hosts The New Ice Age.
The New Ice Age (which is the consumer campaign for the British Frozen Food Federation) aims to demonstrate that not only is frozen food healthy and a quality option for the British consumer, but it is eco-friendly, taste good and creates less waste.
The event showcased a range of mouth-watering dishes created using frozen food, yet it was left to us to correctly identify which ingredients in our meal were made from frozen and those which were not. To read more about the event, Aldo, the dishes and the benefits of favouring frozen, please pop over to my At Home column where I reveal all.
As well as discussing and enjoying the benefits of frozen food, I also bagged myself an exclusive interview with the main man, Aldo Zilli. With my love of getting more for my money, saving time and reducing waste, I asked Aldo what his favourite ‘waste-saving’ tips were. Aldo had some great advice, plus he also revealed what his ideal ‘waste-saving’ kitchen accessory invention would be – to say I was very pleased with his idea is a huge understatement… as you will see.
This week, I decided to restart something I’d always enjoyed – I rejoined my singing group.
I’ve been in my local singing group for nearly 9 years now, the group meets up every week and is lots for fun, but since the sudden death of my dad two years I had stopped going, as I just couldn’t control my emotions every time we sang.
Anyway, after seeing a fabulous Twitter singalong posted up by the lovely @debsylee (they were all singing Abba songs) I realized how much I was missing my weekly ‘feel good’ session, so I made to decision to return and I’m so glad I did.
However, rather than return to sing the songs I already know, the group has a new medley of songs which I quickly need to learn in preparation for a local show and to be quite honest, they are all very new to me.
That got me thinking.
I believe that learning a new song and learning to live a greener life has quite a few parallels. Not sure what I mean, well let me explain:-
You hear the tune for the first time or the message
You have an instinctive response to whether you can do this or not
If you can, you listen more intently to the rythmn/message and see how it works for you
Before you learn the words you hum along to the tune – you begin to understand and appreciate the message
You learn the chorus and start joining in at this point – you decide to make one small, but significant change to your lifestyle
You learn the verses and can sing the whole song – you make this small change a part of your lifestyle
You add expression and tone to develop your sound – you add further, regular changes into your lifestyle
You sing the song with passion, commitment and it makes you feel good – your daily routine has many ‘green’ changes incorporated in it, all of which add value and make you feel good.
As with all things in life, not everyone is at the same stage of learning the song, or even on the same song sheet. Others would love to sing, but don’t think they can, some prefer to listen to other sings.That’s life.
But for me, I love singing, I’m not the best, but I’m having a go, because at the end of it all, I know that it will enrich my life and also, hopefully, that of others.
What are your thoughts on this, do you see green living as something that you can learn to incorporate into your daily routine, or is it instinctive to you? Is it something that could add more to your life than takes, or do you feel it’s not for you, just yet? I’d really like to hear what you think…
We all know that product placement in our television shows can positively enhance a company’s sales figures. So much so, that in the US and now this year the UK, companies pay millions for their product to appear (if but only in a fleeting glance) in our favourite primetime shows and soap operas.
But rather than products, what if our favourite characters could positively influence how we live more sustainability? What if Roy and Hayley Cropper started growing their own vegetables to sell at Roy’s Rolls, or Declan Macey. on Emmerdale’s Home Farm Estates installed solar panels on all of his properties – do you think it’d make choosing green even more mainstream?
Well, funnily enough I’m not the only one to be thinking of this, in fact EDF Energy has gone as far as to work out who is the greenest soap on television.
Taking into consideration all of the positive ‘green’ actions of each soap family, such as taking public transport, lift sharing, cycling, recycling, hand washing dishes, cooking without appliances, taking a shower (instead of a bath), using local market and deducting their negative actions including driving, using a computer, tumble dryers, hairdryers, leaving the lights on etc, during a period of one month, researchers were able to calculate who was the greenest soap of them all.
Here’s what they found….
Following its success at the BAFTAs, EastEnders has also beaten off soap rivals to be named as Britain’s ‘greenest soap’ according to research commissioned by EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012. The study shows that characters in Eastenders, who share their E20 post code with the Olympic Park, are taking more action to reduce their on-screen carbon footprint than those from any of the other soaps analysed.
With millions of viewers tuning in to watch the TV soap families to witness the dramas of their daily lives unfolding, the lifestyle choices some of these characters are making could help set a precedent for a greener way of life.
The Mitchell family are named by the study as Britain’s greenest soap stars, with the programme’s Shirley Carter crowned the ultimate green soap character. The research, which looked at four of Britain’s best loved soaps, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, was conducted to encourage Britons to think about the ways in which they use energy in their everyday lives.
Below are the top five green soap families and characters:
1. The Mitchells/Shirley Carter – EastEnders
2. The Dingles/Zak Dingle – Emmerdale
3. The Websters/Rosie Webster – Coronation Street
4. The Mitchells/Ronnie Mitchell – EastEnders
5. The Barlows/Ken Barlow – Coronation Street
Each soap’s characters were monitored for one month and judged against a set of green criteria. These included their use of public transport, how many times they used electrical appliances, remembering to switch lights off and using lower carbon forms of transport such as walking or cycling. Their positive and negative ‘eco–activities’ were measured and compared to reveal Britain’s greenest soap family.
Jim Poole, Director of Residential Customers at EDF Energy, said: “While the research takes a light-hearted look at energy efficiency, EDF Energy is serious about helping Britons live more sustainably – that’s why we founded Team Green Britain. By highlighting the green actions of the TV soap families we hopes to encourage people to make more sustainable choices in their own everyday lives.
Mo Shapiro, behavioural psychologist added: “This research from EDF Energy highlights that television soap operas could be reflecting an increased interest in sustainability and green living in Britain. Despite the growing influence of social networking in our lives, television certainly continues to exercise a significant influence over our behaviour and personal habits including being environmentally active. I would hope that seeing our favourite soap stars being environmentally aware will, in turn, have a knock on effect on the viewer’s lifestyle choices.”
Households in the UK are estimated to spend around 8% of their electricity bill just powering appliances on standby. EcoManager, available exclusively from EDF Energy, allows consumers to both monitor the electricity consumption of appliances, and switch them off remotely, helping people to take steps to save electricity and reduce their monthly energy bills.
Commenting on the Eastenders win, Jim Poole added “Team Green Britain was founded to help people reduce their carbon footprint ahead of London 2012. It’s therefore great to see that the famous TV characters from London’s East End are already doing their bit to reduce their impact on the environment before the Games takes place on their doorstep. To help them further we’ll be sending one of our EcoManager devices to the set, making it easier for the characters to ensure that electrical appliances in the Queen Vic are turned off come closing time”.
Those looking for other ideas to help them save energy and money can visit www.teamgreenbritain.org. Founded by EDF Energy, Team Green Britain is a community which aims to help people work together to tackle climate change. The initiative is now comprised of over one million members and by following the advice from Team Green Britain, people can save up to 20% on their bills, producing a potential saving of around £166.
 Energy Saving Trust, 2010 : http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/About-us/Media-centre/Energy-saving-statistics-and-facts/Other-consumer-electronics
 We’ve based that saving on a typical EDF Energy customer with typical energy consumption, supplied on our standard tariffs, who reduces their household’s annual energy consumption by 20% through energy saving measures. ‘Typical energy consumption’ means an energy consumption of 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas each year.
What a busy last couple of weeks it’s been. There has been lots going on and I just wanted to share with you just a few things that have been happen lately.
First of all there was the announcement that this blog is a finalist for the MAD’s, as you can read in the previous post. As I type there are just two weeks left to vote, so if you’d like to vote for me that’d be great – here’s the link again – I’m on page 5 ). I’m thrilled I’ve been shortlisted and will be keeping my fingers crossed that I win. The announcement won’t be until September, so there will be quite a wait until I know – I’ll just have to be patient.
Secondly, my next product which I’ve been working on for a little while is now ready for pitching. I am really excited about this product, it’s fresh, funky and fun – plus of course, it is easy green. Now it is fully protected the pitching can begin. I will keep you posted on our progress – unfortunately I can’t say much more at this time, but when I can, I will – promise.
And thirdly, it’s been confirmed that I will shortly be doing some presenting work – sharing my easy green living tips on film! This again is really exciting, I’ve been hoping to get some presenting work for a little while and this is the perfect opportunity. Not only will I be sharing my passion for easy green living, but I’ll be sharing my love of eco-friendly gadgets for the home. I’ve got some great gizmo’s in mind, so will be trying to get hold of those for demonstration purposes.
So that’s pretty much it, aside from my regular column for At Home magazine, contributions to www.thenewiceage.com, my reviews, ongoing sales of Count On It labels, new product development, radio appearances and celebrity dinners (more on that soon) life’s been pretty quiet ;0)
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be my year for winning a MAD award, but despite that I had a fantastic time and met many wonderful people, including fellow finalists Karen Jones from All About the Boys, Becky from Babybudgeting, Laura from LittleStuff and of course, our lovely winner, Lisa Pearson from MummyWhisper who won our category, she was a well-deserved winner. So, thank you everyone who nominated me, voted and took the time to read my blog, it is very much appreciated. Big thanks too, to Sally Whittle the force behind The Mads who organised everything, you did an amazing job and to Sarah Wolf from Miglio Jewellery, who adorned us all for the evening – thank you.
Anyway, as they say ‘when one door shuts, another one opens’ well the next door that has opened for me, is that I have been shortlisted for Red Magazine’s prestigious Red Hot Women Awards 2011!
As you may imagine, I am thoroughly overwhelmed by this, plus the line up of nominees is incredible, to find out more and to see who I’ll be alongside you can read more here.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON…
So, the big day is nearly upon us, the MAD Blog Awards 2011.
Now, as you may already know (or have just read below) I have been selected as a finalist for the Best Small Business Blog for this very website that you are on, www.queenofeasygreen.co.uk
This is very exciting for me, as not only is the MAD’s a prestigious award which recognises parenting blogging on a national level, the Queen of Easy Green website is not yet one year old! So to be nominated alongside bloggers who are experts in their field, is a great honour.
Anyway, the big night is tomorrow (30 Sept) at the TalkTalk Customer Experience Centre, London and as you would imagine with a room full of social media savvy people present there will be living tweeting using the #MadBlogAwards hashtag, you can also follow the awards live on the MAD Blog Awards Live Blog , plus, if that isn’t enough, there will be photos on Flickr and video’s of the awards ceremony uploaded on the Mad Blog Awards Youtube channel. Now if that isn’t enough media interaction, I don’t know what is. Though is anybody AudioBoo-ing, maybe I will….?
So, do please send me your virtual good wishes, I hope that an award does come the Queen of Easy Green’s way, however if it doesn’t I promise now to adopt the gracious smile and applaud-look!
In the meantime, if you’d like to see who else who is in the running, here’s a short video of all finalists.. enjoy!
I am very proud to announce that I am a finalist in national parent blogging awards, the MAD’s.
To vote for me (and to help me win) please visit here and click ‘vote’ on my page – I’m on page 5.
You may have already seen, but I am going to officially announce it anyway …. I have been nominated for the MAD Blog Awards.
In case you are not sure what the MADs are, they are the blog awards that celebrate great British families and their blog and I have been nominated in the The Best MAD Small Business Blog category, which celebrates those Mums and Dads who balance raising a family with growing a new business.
This award recognizes, as they put it ‘the fearless MAD Bloggers that have struck out on their own and have run their small business (turnover <£500k) this year – and use blogging to document their new venture, alongside their family life.’
As you will know, the reason I set up this blog was to share my eco easy tips, advice, reviews and news and to also give an insight into what green changes I am making as a busy mum with two young children. The aim: to show that if I can do it, anyone can.
My site is also about exploring what everyday issues we all face as busy mums when it comes to greening our lives. Sometimes being green can seem too difficult to do, or just too labour-intensive and that is why, as the Queen of Easy Green™, I aim to take these problems and develop practical solutions. Products which are eco-friendly in their design, and which also make a positive impact on our time, money and waste. Eco-easy or eco-nvenient solutions as I have coined them.
Initially inspired by a problem that I encountered when feeding my very young children, I came up with my first product, Count On It® labels. Tired of how much food I was needlessly throwing away, I invented a scratch off memory jogger label to help busy families like mine get the most out of their food and reduce the amount of food and money they were throwing away. The product was an instant success. You can find out more about my Count On It® story here.
I continue to get my inspiration for further eco-products from listening to what you, my audience of busy mums, tell me about running their home and family. With two more products in development, I aim to bring to market a range of Queen of Easy Green™ products all designed to save you time, money and waste in the home – watch this space. Oh, and if you want to me to find a practecol (practical/eco! ) solution to a time, money or waste issue you encounter in your home, let me know, maybe I can help.
The other reason I blog is to share my business story, what events I’m in involved with, where I’m writing, speaking and what products I am working on.
In addition, I love supporting other eco-entrepreneurs, those who run eco businesses, invent eco products and also champion green schemes, so you’ll also find me regularly showcasing other innovative products and ideas that I find along my way. (If you have an eco business that you’d like me to feature, or know someone who has, pleased drop me a line)
So there you have it, a brief outline of why I blog and why I’ve been nominated.
The MADs will be judged on the number of votes each nominee gets, so I’d like to ask that if you like my blog and would like to vote for me, that would be wonderful.
It’s really straightforward:-
1. just click on the I’m Nominated ‘The Mads’ badge at the top right hand side of my site,
2. then enter my website www.queenofeasygreen.co.uk into the category’s Parent MAD Blogger of the Year and also the
3. The Best MAD Small Business Blog category
Thank you again for taking the trouble to nominate me, it is really appreciated.
If you want to de-stress and ‘green up’ your kids parties, you’ll love my latest feature for At Home magazine. Full of easy green tips and advice, you’ll not only be sure everyone will have a great time, you’ll keep some money in your purse too.
Here it is At Home with the Queen of Easy Green™
Following on from my Earth Day pledge, here’s a little ‘how to’ video I made, to show you just how easy it is to make your own eco-friendly seedling pots. A must for those who are really keen to get ‘growing our own’.
The first of what I intend to be many, as the Queen of Easy Green™ I will be sharing my savvy, easy green-living tips and advice on my video ‘do-torials’ (as in ‘you can do it’ tutorials – like what I did there?).
I’ll also be featuring my little chaps too, they’re full of eco-ideas, so hopefully you can get your little ones involved too.
Finally, if you have any suggestions, or features you’d like me to cover, please let me know, I love a challenge.
And another thing I must tell you, to encourage you to get growing your own, not that I’m sure you need it, my friends at Cono Sur have re-launched their The Green Cooks website and are rewarding the UK’s urban farmer (that’s me and you) by running a competition – ‘Show what you Grow’.
Entry is easy – simply upload a photo of you and your home-grown fruit and vegetables to the website– the muddier the better – and Cono Sur will send the top three uploads each week a bottle of Cono Sur wine and a recipe suggestion using your seasonal ingredients that will go perfectly with the wine.
The website is also packed full of recipes, eco-living tips, food and wine matching recommendations plus plenty of ideas to eat seasonably.
Good luck, oh and if you win, please let me know I’d love to feature you on here too.