Single Mother Walking the Talk… 2014’s Lessons

7th January 2015 by

Happy New Year y’all!

Before I joined Otesha in February 2014, I think the areas of my life that were environmentally conscious and active were because of:

  1. My financial situation and my ‘make do and mend’ attitude because of it.
  2. The fact my mother raised me as (and when) she was raised (1940’s Philippines) and the influence of another culture and generation made me ‘waste not, want not’.
  3. Wanting my children to be responsible and conscious of their actions and their impacts on their local and wider environment.

So, these past 11 months as a member of Otesha HQ, has taught me a lot and I wanted to share these lessons with you all.

Here they are:

  • Eating flowers is fun… and TASTY! Allium flowers from onion and garlic chives are my favourite – they taste like little floral intense pops of oniony and garlicy goodness!
  • The water footprint of beef (15400 litres of water per kilogram of beef) and coffee (140 liters of water per 125 milliliter cup) is horrible. Calculate your water footprint here.
  • Making deodorant is really easy and no fuss! Not only does it work well, it doesn’t give you cancer! Click here for a good recipe.
  • Nestle owns BOTH Perrier and San Pellegrino!!!!!! :( :( :( These brands tend to be the only ‘easy to find’ naturally carbonated water – and since I don’t drink ‘fizzy’ drinks, I’m rather partial to carbonated water with fruit for a bit of taste.

Now both bottled ‘still’ and carbonated water are on my ‘do-not-buy’ list.

  • Nestle is stealing developing countries’ groundwater to produce its ‘Pure Life’ bottled water (oh the irony), this is leaving whole areas uninhabitable and essentially forcing people to ‘buy their water back’. Oh, and let’s not forget that Nestle’s CEO doesn’t believe that water is a human right, click here to watch him saying it.
  • Thrifting is my favourite thing of all time EVER. I’m passionate about slow fashion, recycling, reusing and rummaging around charity shops! I love a bargain, I think it’s great when everything you own has a story and a past and I love me some retro (the 1990’s were a great era for fashion)! I’ve even started chronicling my thrifting adventures on my personal Instagram account!
  • I like chutney! And, yes it takes a bit of time to make, but it keeps good for a year and goes with EVERYTHING! I personally like this recipe. I made mine with marrows from mum’s allotment and apples from the tree in my back garden.
  • The kids love making paper. The mulch is fun to play with! Thanks to Sarah at ECOactive for showing us how. We like the good ole’ fashioned clothes hanger and tights method – as outlined here. :) In 2014 we taught ourselves how to bind homemade books with string. 2015 will be handmade books with handmade paper!
  • If you take cuttings of your friend’s plants you never have to buy potted plants or seeds again! This year I got Aloe Vera (thanks Orsetta) and pineapple sage – which is great in cocktails! Here’s how-to.

Until next time folks!

Peace and bicycle grease!

Anna

Single Mother Walking the Talk – Fashion

10th November 2014 by

This weekend, I watched a show called Extreme Cheapskates, for the first time, which led me to SuperScrimpers – and, do you know what I learnt?

I learnt that being conscious of our environment and saving money goes hand-in-hand. HURRAH! Now, this might already be incredibly obvious to you but as one of the newer members of the Otesha team, this was a revelation!

I always assumed that buying organic seasonal food was more expensive than shopping in a supermarket, that wearing vintage was only for trendsetters with money to burn and keeping my two children amused appropriately every weekend and school holiday was neigh on impossible without spending loads of money.

Absolutely great news for a single mother learning to walk the talk!

So walk beside me as I learn and change my family’s life, one step at a time.

My first subject (and huge passion): Fashion.

 

Shopping in your friend’s closets.

I’m massively lucky because my closest friends are all relatively the same size as me. When they are clearing their closets I make sure I’m sitting in the front row! I even offer to take their old stuff to the charity shop as a thank you – check me out!

When I have a special event such as a birthday meal or party, I beg and borrow clothes, bags, jewellery and shoes – that way my wardrobe has an amazing ‘rotation’ of dresses that never seem to be worn twice! Happy days.

 

Charity shops.

I love looking through the rails of a good charity shop. The sales assistants are always so friendly, you can always find amazing vintage and retro and as we all know, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! And it’s cheap and cheerful and the money goes to a great cause!

Great for good quality bags, amazing chunky knit jumpers and vintage scarves.

 

Carboot sales.

Amazing for buying AND selling! A great day out for you and the family and you can haggle – super fun! I would recommend Capital Carboot in Pimlico on a Sunday.

A couple of weeks ago I got a pair of purple thigh high suede boots for a FIVER. Hardly worn, high quality and probably about £100 first hand in the shops. Not everyone’s cup of tea, sure – but hella 1970’s and beautiful for me!

 

Until next time!

Love, luck and light.

Anna


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