We challenge you to address your windows

18th October 2013 by

Windows waste plenty of energy and money.  And we know that not everyone can simply swap out their old windows with new double glazed ones.  Instead, we challenge you to address your windows and make a few simple changes in your home.

  • Install draught-proofing products on drafty doors and windows. Block cracks, seal your skirting board with sealant and fit a chimney draught excluder
  • Use stretch-seal, heat-shrink plastic sheeting kits for windows (found an example of this double glazing film here) as an inexpensive and easy way to seal warped or single-glazed windows.
  • Use window quilts or heavy curtains over your windows to keep the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer. An uninsulated drape can cut window heat loss by one-third. An insulated drape can reduce it by hal

And if you are in the market to re-do your windows, check out Energy Savings Trust’s Windows Guide.

How apropos to know that Energy Saving Week is also taking place on 21-25 October, 2013.  Find more energy tips here and get addressing your windows!

 

We challenge you to make something out of that plastic bottle

29th August 2013 by

greenhouseWe generate about 228 million tonnes of waste every year in England alone.  It is in our opinion that every little bit counts.  So instead of tossing that plastic bottle into the recycling bin, ask yourself: can you create something else?

There are brilliant and crafty sites which have this idea in mind. Check them out below.

And take inspiration from Columbia, who have the incredibly large amount of 15,000,000 plastic bottles dumped every day! The Centre for Science and Environmental Awareness tries to tackle the problem here.

 

Don’t forget to contact us and tell us what you’ve been creating with your bottles.

We challenge you to have a staycation

1st July 2013 by

So summer is upon us and the holiday season is quickly approaching.  We understand the importance of taking a break and acknowledge that Europe is at our doorstep but we challenge you to ditch the foreign holiday and try a staycation.

British-Flag-in-a-SandcastleA staycation is a holiday spent in the UK, often close to home. Why do we challenge you with this? We believe there are multiple benefits. Going on a staycation will save you money, help your local economy, is more eco friendly, less stressful, and ultimately you get more time relaxing instead of travelling. If you have a think about it, the UK has an incredible amount to offer from surfing, white water rafting, canyoning, camping (or glamping for those recoiling at the idea), foreign food cooking courses, wine tours (there are actually more than 400 vineyards in the UK), the National Trust holiday volunteering, and WWOOFING.

Try it out, and let us know how it goes. Or have you already had brilliant staycations? Let us know.

Fashion forward?

22nd May 2013 by

I wouldn’t really classify myself as a fashion-forward person. I don’t ‘shop till I drop’, take any notice of the upcoming seasons or Fashion Week and I generally hate wearing anything that has a label in sight. So that said, I would classify myself with more of the ‘make-do-and-mend’ category. Which brings me to my shoe story.
My shoes are falling apart and I wonder where to draw the line of giving them up vs mending them. Let’s start from the beginning.

I purchased the leather sneakers in 2010 from quite an expensive shop. I wouldn’t normally go in there but I was given a gift card. I was already torn from the start because:

a) although I’m not a vegetarian, I try not to purchase items which are made from leather. Most of their stock was leather.
b) I was curious about the ethics of the company.
c) I didn’t really need a new pair of shoes.
d) Should I just re-gift the gift card?

After much umming and awing I came to the conclusion that I would go and do it. I resolved myself by doing a bit of research and taking the plunge. Fast forward to the present and honestly they are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever had. I’ve worn them every single day and they’ve been really good to me thus far. I’ve realised DSC_0005that feet are very important, after all they support your whole body. I hadn’t been treating them very well and these sneakers were easing the pain. I’ve already taken them to a cobbler once to glue the fronts of the shoes back together and now the seams are breaking open and unfortunately the glue’s coming apart. My question now is what to do. Do I try to keep mending them? When do you let them go?

Fair and ethical fashion is quite a topic these last few decades, some would say not nearly enough. In light of the very recent tragedies in Bangladeshi clothing and shoe factories, the debate has heated up.  Here at Otesha, we have our very own workshop on getting ethical about fashion, we blog away about  it, and have alumni involved in brilliant fair fashion projects.  But how do I get into the act myself?

On our site, we’ve got a brilliant fun action list for Fashion.  I definitely try to keep to it although I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect.  Keep in mind our tips when going out and buying something.  And remember, you can make a difference out there in what you purchase.  And if you think you’ve got it all down, check out our challenges to keep pushing yourself towards sustainable living.

Sewing-Needle-and-ThreadFor now, I’m going to get my needle and thread out, ignore my friends teasing me about my gaping shoes and attempt to sew the holes together.  Wish me luck!


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