How much do you really need?

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Flo
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138808Post Flo
Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:48 am

You can use washing soda crystals instead of detergent (about 68p a kilo in the right supermarket) - couple of tablespoons mixed in warm water and tipped into the detergent department of washing machine.

A kilo goes an awful long way even if you are a mudlark (show me mud and I need washing :mrgreen: :roll: )

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138822Post Jandra
Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:55 am

Yes, I also use loose tea leaves in a sieve-type infuser. I've gone from using 2 packets of 20 one-cup (separately packaged) tea bags a week to one package of loose tea in two weeks.

Jandra

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Milims
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138836Post Milims
Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:34 am

Thank you all for your interest and really positive responses to my question :mrgreen: As I said I was inspired by 2 things, credit cards and shampoo! It seems to me that in so many ways we are cajoled into accepting that in order to survive we have to follow the images/instructions/format etc that is presented to us, without question and with little thought to the consequences. One of the things that has really fueled my desire to lead a greener life is my children. I want them to have a future and it's important to me that I don't destroy what they have by desire for immediate gratification and carelesness. Your answers have shown just how easy it it to take care of when we have with a little thought and a few changes to the way we do things. It seems to me that something as simple as ignoring the instructions on the (recyclable :mrgreen: ) plastic bottle can make a huge difference - most especailly if we all do it!
As to the credit card question - as has been said in another thread - there are times when credit is really very useful and quite frankly almost a necessity. I needed a house to live in and didn't want to rent because it was important to me that I had something for my childrens future, so I chose to buy. Therefore I have credit in the form of a mortgage - after all how many of us have the price of a house tucked under the matress! But again there are so many times when we are cajoled (oh I wish I could spell persuaded!) into believeing that we really NEED to have that holiday abroad or those shoes - because that's what everyone else has. How sad that so many have given up on our most precious gift - freedom of choice - simply because so little time is taken to think about things, ask questions and experiment.
It really does give me hope for the future that there are people out there (i.e. you lot! :mrgreen: ) who do think, who do care and who haven't given up on their precious gift for the sake of immediate gratification. Keep up the good work! :mrgreen:

Another thought just struck me. Do people feel they NEED things to feel better about themselves? If so, isn't it sad that things are used to validate existance.
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138863Post Graye
Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:48 pm

As most of the posters on here who live in France will confirm, France has an ongoing love affair with something called a fosse septique rather than mains drainage, especially in country areas.

All very well in principle but they are very hard to live with. Firstly you need to constantly watch what is going down the loo in terms of loo paper (needs to be minimal ply), wet wipes (won't biodegrade and block the fosse), loo cleaners (hordes of people in the supermarket avidly reading the packs to see if they are "fosse-friendly" and also bleaches. Then you have to watch where the soakaway beds are in the garden and keep that clear (with us it's the extra bright green bit of lawn!!!).

Then you need to be stuffing "activators" down on a regular basis. There are websites that say that it should balance out and work perfectly well without but the smell in our garden during the summer attests to the fact that that isn't always the case. Then you need them emptied (by law) at least every four years, then try to get them "activated" again and working.

The point I'm really making is that you soon learn to make your own cleaners (bicarbonate, vinegar, etc), be stingey with shampoos, washing powder, washing up liquid, etc and think about what you are throwing down the drain on a constant basis. It does wonders at making you environmentally conscious though...
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138879Post mrsflibble
Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:28 pm

for me, one lysine ibuprofen wont stop a migraine but it will hold it off for a day or so, when it will return with a vengance and i will be laid up for another day at least in a darkened room... but if i take two it stops all together and never gets enough of a hold. i tested the theory recently by not taking anything at the first sign of trouble and i was in the dark for 48 hours barely able to move my head. I then tested again by only taking one at the first sign of trouble and it did what i mentioned above so i will stick to the stated dose. I've only had searing migraines since having sophie.

we have started watering down our washing up liquid and shampoo, but i found my conditioner doesnt work as well watered down so i stopped doing that- i have very flyaway hair and often wake up looking like russel brand!!

i use less washing powder than i used to, and buy super concentrated washing conditioner which gets watered down by 3 times. for towel loads i use minimal soap powder and vinegar with essential oils to rinse.

i use the dryer less, small loads and sheets go on the indoor airer and when the weather gets better the majority of it will go outside. but i can't see me getting rid of the dryer, i love the thing.

the guineapigs like fresh veg so they get half dry food and half fresh food instead of their "dietary complete" dry food. they're much happier and fight less. I am looking forward to them beig able to live outdoors again.

I tend to use the laptop more thn the desktop 'cos it's easy and i can keep an eye on sophie while i check my emails and such which i can't do on the desktop as it's in another room.

we drink less fizzy drinks too since james discovered that vimto/sunquick/asda high juice cordial made up with el-cheapo fizzy water is just as tasty and has no caffeine or aspartame in. ok so we're still having th sugar and crap, but not so much hahaha! i like fizzy water on its own, cos i feel like i have had a fizzy treat but in reality i havn't hahahahaha!
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138886Post The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Graye wrote:As most of the posters on here who live in France will confirm, France has an ongoing love affair with something called a fosse septique rather than mains drainage, especially in country areas.
We've also got a bac à grasse for all the grey water. But we didn't know we'd got it until the drains started blocking up on the dishwasher and kitchen sink and so forth. Then some smelly water started leaking up through the floor of the conservatory. Having smashed the tiles and found a big concrete lid I discovered that we had a two meter deep pit filled with sludge from decades of soap and detergent.

The smell!

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138904Post Graye
Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:11 pm

Oh, yuk! We've got a bac too but fortunately it's right by the fosse and accessible. Not much fun to open up and skim the grease off the top every few months even so. It makes me super careful NOT to let ANY greasy things go down the sink. Yes, it's strange that you soon learn to identify "eau de fosse" as you stroll around the French countryside...
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138920Post MuddyWitch
Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:37 pm

It strikes me that if every-one had these french gismos the world would be a greener place!

It seems to make you think much harder than most folk, who probably never give a second's thought, about what you flush or tip down the sink.

MW
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138932Post snapdragon
Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:41 pm

Milims wrote:Another thought just struck me. Do people feel they NEED things to feel better about themselves? If so, isn't it sad that things are used to validate existance.
Is it that folks feel they have to be able to brag/get one up on the Jones's or whatever?

Alternatively
Don't you find that the Very Best way of feeling good about yourself - is when you get the opportunity to do something good for someone else ?
Say what you mean and be who you are, Those who mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138950Post Big Al
Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:34 pm

LBR wrote:Nice subject for a thread, thanks!

When the laundry is only lightly soiled, I often just use baking soda and Borax. Otherwise, the Seventh Generation or Planet, and half as much. Wash in cold water, and short cycle. Hang up to dry.

I shampoo every four or five days, most of the time. Shampoo once, and use a leave-on conditioner.

Baking soda for toothpaste, just a tiny pinch. (And "nurdle" is a delightful word. Thanks for giving it to us!)

Using less tea, hmmmmm. I'm not willing to drink weaker tea, but I could reduce the number of cups I drink.

Clothing is very simple, too. I wear things a few days before washing them. I sometimes alternate, so that they can air in between wearings. Comfortable, easy-to-care-for clothing. Don't need much. Am sorting through things I've had for years, and finding new homes for them.

Have even begun to part with books! It's nice to give them to folks who will enjoy them.

Milims, thanks for starting the thread! :flower:
I've cut back on all sorts of things. Washing powder is one, washing up liquid is another. Sadly, I use a tspoon full then whisk it up. Add to that the cold water for washing up it works a treat and saves electric also. Cutting back on power is a massive achievment for me. Last year pre ilatest increase our yearly power bill was £1400 gas elec split 60 /40. With the increase this price was going to go up to over £1700 so I started cutting back and now we don't know the difference...well ok my wife says it's cold all the time but that's her,lol. I've been doing my spreadsheets today and my estimated power bill for the 12 months to June 09 will be aproximatly £838.10p so we have halved our bill and then some. I still plan to get a wood stove as our gas bill this month so far [and it's only the 18th] is £65.12.

Other cut backs are petrol, food, work day lunches. We haven't gone without but use all the available food and don't waste anything... even the peelings go next door for the rabbits to munch on. We don't just "go for a drive" anymore as driving is not a pleasure now for me.
I reckon we will be saving around £3k over a year but not seeing any decline in our standards of living.
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Flo
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 139314Post Flo
Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:47 pm

Oooh I'd like to meet Mrs Big Al. Not only has she got this bloke who likes going shopping, she has this bloke who likes keeping cool :mrgreen:

I wonder if she really feels the savings of around £3k have not affected her standard of living. :mrgreen:

Could she come in here and argue the other side of the coin? :mrgreen: :wink:

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 139329Post growingthings
Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:21 am

great thread!

Like Milims, I think that the majority of my wastefulness was cut right down after having my first baby just over three years ago now.

To begin with (although I have always been concerned about my lifestyle having an impact on the earth) alot of my decisions were made after comments about how much stuff a baby needs (total rubbish!) and an article that came out in the papers just as I was about to pop, saying that a child cost up to 34k in their first five years - mind you this was including new outfits and presents for every birthday party attended, new toys bought on a weekly basis :angryfire: , all totally unrealistic imo.

Both my children have been in second hand cots with second hand furniture, cloth nappies which are doing the second round, and second hand clothes picked up from many and varied places, also from a rather lovely SIL who has three rug rats and plenty to spare! :mrgreen:

Now that my elsdest is three, we are currently going through a faze of wrecking stuff, and me being the cruel parent that I am :wink: , will not replace what gets broken, as I want her to learn that she needs to take care of her things and treat them with respect. Its not taken long for her to be careful and tidy up after herself. I think thats a real achievement for a three year old. :cheers:

Toys are really the only thing that she WANTS! but she only gets them for special occasions and seems quite happy with that, whereas her nursery compadres are demanding new stuff whenever we see them - all sporting a huge pile of unplayed with things in the corner of their room. Therefore all waste.

Children can be wasteful if you let them...but not 34k worth of waste :roll:

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 139349Post Green Aura
Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:47 am

I know exactly what you mean, gt. The baby business is unbelievable. When my gal was 6 weeks old some friends turned up in a van saying they were off to London for the weekend - did we want to come. As I breastfed, I grabbed her sling, a few babygrows and vests, got a packet of disposable nappies from the shop and we were off.

A couple of years later, a friend was bemoaning the fact that she didn't get out anywhere since having her baby. As we didn't drive I suggested a bus trip. She couldn't - she needed to take bottles, warmers, nappies, buggy, wipes, rain gear (high summer), parasol, changing mat....... the list went on.

I feel sorry for these women who think they need all this stuff - I'm sure my daughter got a much richer experience going places, seeing things, all safely strapped to her mum and I didn't go stir-crazy.
Maggie

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 139354Post Rosendula
Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:11 am

I completely agree, GreenAura. We have what we call the 'nappy bag'. In it we keep some nappies, wipes, bags and a change of clothes. When we want to go out we just sling in a drink and snack (now she's older) and go. It's a rucksack, so pushing the buggy or carrying her is no problem (except she weighs a ton :lol: ).

I could never understand people who choose to bottle feed. Health benefits of breast feeding aside, I couldn't be bothered with all that bottle washing, sterilizing, mixing formula (buying formula!), and then having to cart it all about if I wanted to go anywhere along with cool bags to keep it cool and then having to find somewhere to warm it up while the baby's screaming for it. I don't mean to offend anyone who bottle feeds, but I just couldn't do with the hassle, especially with a baby to look after as well.
Rosey xx

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 139372Post Big Al
Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:34 am

Flo wrote:Oooh I'd like to meet Mrs Big Al. Not only has she got this bloke who likes going shopping, she has this bloke who likes keeping cool :mrgreen:

I wonder if she really feels the savings of around £3k have not affected her standard of living. :mrgreen:

Could she come in here and argue the other side of the coin? :mrgreen: :wink:
Well I'll ask her but I can give a rough answer to that and it would be an ENFATIC YES !!!!!!! lol.

Mr's big Al will put the central heating on full blast then 20 minutes later say " by it's hot in here and open the patio door or windows or take a jumper off...... She would wear a t shirt instead of a t shirt and a jumper. She would have 100 w light bulbs on and leave the hall one on ...FOR THE DOG when we go out because "he doesn't like the dark"..... I mean, he goes to bed when we are out until he hears a noise then he thunders about scaring all and sundry.
Mrs Big Al shuts the oven door after I use it rather than letting the heat get sucked outside via the fan rather than let the heat escape into the kitchen.
she would leave things on standby and chargers left plugged in, she'd shop at T***o's rather than look for different foods in different shops to save money....

.....BUT SHE STILL LOVEs ME....I think,lol.

I must admit it's only since being on sites like this ... and being skint that I have changed and i was totally the same as Mrs BA but she would also say it keeps me out of mischief... oh how little does she know.....

Big Al :mrgreen: :salute:


Also in answer to the question what do you need, fire, shelter, food, water. .... now that would impinge on her style,lol
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