Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Little actions, big difference...

That's the motto of this year's Proctor and Gamble Future Friendly Awards. If, like me, you're daunted by the scale of the problem (saving the planet) the zeal of the converted and the awesomeness of what everyone else is doing, it can be difficult to get going.

But get going I have. Earlier this year, you might recall, I bought a compost bin. That's quite something for a bloke without a garden. It's big. (It's bloody HUGE!) But it's already filling up nicely with all the stuff I'd normally chuck out after preparing the family supper. And there's a lot more of that than there was before. Because, in an effort to save both money and the planet as well as feed the family healthily, I've taken to preparing meals from scratch. I even make my own chips. (Yes, I know I said healthily but come on, man cannot live by lettuce alone... and we're saving that for the tadpoles.)

Anyway, your own chips make a lot of potato peelings. And making everything else makes a lot of mess, too. Mess that before would have gone to landfill. Mess that is now making my very own compost. Think Mr Bloom, only smaller. (The Compostarium, that is, not me. I think I've got at least a foot on Mr Bloom judging by the way he hardly has to bend his back to greet the 'Tiddlers'. And if you've no idea what on earth I'm on about, join the club have a look at this.)

And not content with that, Charlie persuaded me to buy a little windowsill herb garden the other day. (I wasn't kidding about not having a garden, you know.) It can go with all the other things he's growing, like random beans and a sunflower. Because growing things has been the theme at nursery just recently. Well, farming actually. We're doing it on a micro scale, that's all. Boutique farming, that's what it is.

Anyway, all this bucolic rambling is by way of alerting you to the Proctor and Gamble Future Friendly Awards because YOU ONLY HAVE UNTIL SUNDAY TO ENTER! Do it here, right now. Go on. Do it.

Admit it. I've inspired you with all that rubbish, haven't I?

Oh, ok then...

Then maybe you can inspire me to even bigger, better 'little' actions? What are your best 'Future Friendly' tips both for saving the planet and saving the pennies? Leave a comment below and share your ideas and you could win one of FIVE special 5 P&G Future Friendly product hampers consisting of:

  • Ariel Gel
  • Ariel Stain Remover
  • Lenor
  • Fairy Platinum
  • Fairy Liquid
  • Flash

...each of which can be used to help you be even more Future Friendly by saving energy, water and reducing waste. (Please note the Pampers aren't included - sorry!).

Anyway, if you'd like to be in it to win it you have until midnight on Sunday to share your own favourite little actions. Remember, together they could make a big difference.


  1. Hi there, how great to have found you! Was attracted by the picture of Boston Stump - I live and write in Old Leake - and read Writing Therapy. Thought it was extraordinary! Nice to have a connection with another parent/writer. You can find me here
    Love your 'bringing up Charlie' blog! My Charley - a girl - is 18 now but I'm still writing about them - in a home educating kinda way! Lovely to 'meet' you.
    All best wishes.

    1. You too, Ross! It's always good to shake virtual hands with a fellow local blogger. Thanks for stopping by and saying 'hello'.

  2. Hi there, my tip for saving the pennies - 500g asda pasta feeds family of 4/5 about 30p per bag I make my own pasta sauce from home grown tomatoes and home grown herbs, the only added ingredients being olive oil, salt and pepper and puree! Thats the family fed for a week for under £10! x

    1. And everyone loves pasta RP... at least, they do in this household. That's a great tip, thanks!

  3. We are firm believers in staying Future Friendly using lots of simple ways to save energy, water and reducing waste. My favourite tip is to encourage 'dirtying out'! Encourage the family to wear their clothes one more time before putting them in the wash. After one wear, clothing is often not even slightly dirty (obviously common sense needs to be applied here and I am not suggesting multiple use of underwear!!). One more wear will reduce the amount of washing that needs to be done, saving energy and water and detergent. Kind to the planet and the pocket! @wendymcd83

    1. My grandmother used to be a great believer in this. One of her favourite sayings was 'don't wash the nap out of it'. I had no idea what 'nap' was but another good reason for not overwashing clothes is that they keep their colour and shape a lot longer. We're not a 'wear it once, then wash it' household either!

  4. Cloth nappies! Far far cheaper than disposables and much better all round. We used them with Harry and I could never really understand why anyone wouldn't use them.

    1. You're making me feel guilty Rhian. Are they really that easy? What about the washing? I've toyed with the idea several times but as far as nappies go we're still rather future unfriendly in this household. Maybe you'll inspire me to give them a go...

  5. Aha - I like this one. I am an utter eco-novice & despair at the amount eco-friendly products cost so I am learning fast! If I can do it anyone can...

    1) Have an allotment (I now know that beans don't grow in cellophane packets but rue the fact that they don't come up with cooking instructions)Cheap, good food & exercise better than the gym
    2)Make your own bread & cakes (but need to dig allotment to burn off calories)
    3)Teach your dog to use the loo - a special 'eco' one for dogs available so no need to use plastic bags unless out in town (& then use biodegradeable ones). If you don't have a dog borrow one to feel that special 'glow' of being a responsible pooch parent :)

    Off to knead the dough...*smug*

    1. Think I'll draw the line at borrowing a dog, Suzie - but I'm all in favour of responsible dog owners disposing off their little darling's deposits.

  6. I buy as much as I can second-hand. Never buy knew if you an re-use something.

    One of the most practical things I bought in a charity shop was a beautiful tartan pure wool blanket. It now sits proudly on our sofa protecting it from wear and tear. In the evenings, instead of putting the heating on when it gets chilly, we snuggle under it to watch the telly. Reckon I've got my two quid's worth out of it!

    1. Couldn't agree more... and we're lucky to have several friends with older children who can pass on good-as-new clothes to our two!

  7. Where do I start? Yes I used Real Nappies on both my children. I use Soap Nuts for washing my clothes oh dear P&G won't like that. Green cleaning using vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lavender essential oil, far cheaper and produces lots less waste packaging than any P&G products. Support local businesses. I love natural and organic skincare products great for your skin. I also run my own Green retail business and Green & Natural Living Blog.

  8. Hi! Your blog is sooo sweet! It's great to have your own little miracle like Charlie :)
    May be you will be interested in our website, because we have a lot of deals for parents and their kids that will help you to save some money!


    Saving Mummys Money


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