Increasing wellbeing and becoming more environmentally friendly - this month's achievements

Making your own Mead

Ecojammer, Hannah Price, is using 2017 to make positive lifestyle changes. She hopes these changes will increase wellbeing for her and her family whilst also making them more environmentally friendly. To find out what has motivated her to make these changes read her first blog here

Here we look at the changes she has made in the last month...

Week 1: Junk mail

Junk mail litters our doorstep, before being collected and deposited straight to the recycling - what a waste! A friend sent me a link about stopping junk mail, which appears on the Citizen's Advice website. I followed the steps and found it quick and easy. I'll let you know how it goes! 

Week 2: Reinvent, fix or recycle

We recently had a clear out of our attic and after charity shopping a bundle of stuff there is still a hefty pile left over. It includes old video cassettes, tapes, scratched CD's, a broken plastic storage box, 2 punctured airbeds, a worn out handbag and some old tired looking handmade decorations. My challenge for the next few weeks is to either find new uses, fix or recycle as much of this as possible, rather that just sending it to landfill, which is what I would have done otherwise. 

Week 3: Baking and brewing

This week hasn’t quite gone to plan and needless to say the pile of ‘stuff ‘that I vowed to tackle is still sitting untouched in my hallway. I have however been busy baking and brewing using age old techniques. I made Mead by mixing raw honey and water and swishing it around a few times a day for several weeks until reluctantly I tasted it knowing it smelt terrible. I was however surprised how good it tasted, sweet and delicate in flavour. I’ll try mixing in elderflowers or fruit next time.

We have stopped buying bread, (we have however bought pitta’s, crumpets and wraps so still some work to do there) and as a substitute we have been baking soda bread. This week I baked my first loaf of Sour dough bread. It’s a long drawn out process and definitely in need of refining. In brief, you begin by making a starter, you mix a small amount of flour and water then you wait for airborne yeast to ferment it, gradually feeding it with more flour and water. When you come to baking you take a portion of your starter (the rest you feed up again ready to make your next loaf) and mix it with more flour and water and then bake it. It’s supposed to be much healthier than the normal bread we buy, and the slow preparation and locally born yeast make each loaf different.  Plus - no plastic! 

Week 4: Edible garden

I have come to realise that there’s still a lot I can do even with our relatively small garden and with limited time available. We get a vegetable and fruit box from a local farm, the problem is that my fussy children don’t always eat the vegetables they supply. I need to focus my efforts on growing things that they will eat rather than supplementing with plastic wrapped vegetables from supermarkets. We’ve not been in this house long and it’s taken some effort to turn the garden, with dominating bramble’s, a battered old shed and dandelion lawn, into something special to us. This week I have focused on painting two reclaimed wooden planters that we will use to grow salad plants. The borders, which we planted late last year, are finally filling with colour as leaves and flowers appear. We have planted lots of soft fruit bushes and two fruit trees and hopefully in a few years when everything is well established our garden will provide us with a good proportion of the fruit and salad we need.

Update - this week I have focused on mending the children’s airbeds as they will soon be needed - making slow progress due to multiple holes – not giving up though!