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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Music music music

Hey - 


Just a brief post until this afternoon!


Give www.farisharemusic.com a look - every track you download they donate money to charity, and it doesn't cost you any extra!
 They have a huge range of songs and artists. I searched some of my more obscure music tastes and they had them :D Yay!


Give it a look......



Thursday, 19 January 2012

Food glorious food!

Being back at uni has thrown me into the realms of 'buy one get one free' and 'student specials'. The cheapest food I can buy (that doesn't look like it'll poison me) and I'm first in the queue. Unfortunately, this means that organic food is pretty much a no go, as it's often a lot more expensive in the local supermarkets. 

As much as I support organic food and trade, it's a little unnerving to read articles like this:


As much as I think it's great people want to support the market garden industry and organic food- surely the transport costs, in terms of food miles, or pollution and packaging, must outweigh the benefits of the produce actually being organic? I know it's a different type of pollution, and more carbon emissions is not the same as pesticide leakages and water pollution, but where do you draw the line? How do you know what is best?

As I've said, being back at uni often causes me to throw ethics to the wind and go with the cheapest offer Tesco's has. But - I did a little experiment. 

The local market in Oxford (the covered market) has several great shops selling fresh produce: bakers, butchers, fishmongers and grocers. At first I though it would be far more expensive to go there, Oxford being a relatively high income and affluent city. Result? I am totally converted!!!

 Things were certainly cheaper, even if only by a few pence in the case of some meats, but the lack of seducing offers, buy one get a million free, meant I was selective about my choices, and didn't end up throwing away and wasting food come the end of the week. 
  Although I'm not 100% sure on which produce was organic or free range, the staff at all the stalls were more than happy to answer my questions. So - not only was it cheaper, I didn't waste any food, and I cut my 'food miles', by buying local produce. 

 I know that Tesco delivery is often the easiest way of getting food, especially when you work antisocial hours or don't have great access to transportation, but take a minute to consider the impact of just changing your regular brands to British grown ones, and selecting the 'no plastic bag' option at the end of your order. 
  Simple little changes are easy to make, and have no negative consequences to you. Yay!

So, give it a go:
Buy local
Buy organic
Buy without plastic bags
Grow your own (if you're feeling adventurous)
Buy British 


Hope this helps! 




Monday, 16 January 2012

piercing

orry I've not written ina  while - I've been setting back into uni and doing exams ! ahhh!
  Anyhow - quick thing until I write again properly tonight....

I've just noticed, that Chanel used models with piercings in the s/s 2012 preview show. Finally - a break from convention, allowing pierced girls into the spotlight.


http://www.chanel.com/fashion/8-spring-summer-2012-ready-to-wear-chanel-fashion-show-26,0#8-spring-summer-2012-ready-to-wear-chanel-fashion-show-26,0

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bottle it

Rawr :)


I've developed a niggling dislike. After doing the recycling the other day, I was really shocked by the amount of plastic water bottles in the bins. I mean seriously.... hundreds. It got me thinking, how many people buy a new bottle of water every day, just to throw the last bottle away? 
Surely it must be pretty bad for the environment? 
I've had a quick internet trawl and found a few facts to get you thinking..... 



* Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
* 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
* 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled


                        

    Not only does this mean you're wasting your money, when you could have it free from home, but your also wasting thousands of gallons of oil and  millions of units of electricity by supporting the bottled water trade.

    Challenge:

    * Use a bottle you already have at home, and just keep reusing it. Remember to wash it out each time you finish using it.  Free. Easy. Simple. 
    * Buy yourself a sports bottle. If you don't fancy having an old bottle cluttering up your handbag, buy yourself a sports water bottle, or your own style of bottle - then only use this one :)

    If you have to buy a bottle of water, at least make it one linked to a charity. One water is a good example. 




    Thursday, 5 January 2012

      Today's been a bizzarre day for me so far. I'm packing and finalising everything to go back to uni tomorrow, and I've had a bit of a clear out of some old clothes, books and all the things I've accumulated throughout the years.

      I'm renowned for being a bit messy (read: MY ROOM IS A TIP!) and I've decided that it's time to do something about it. So - I'de identified the worst mess-causers in my room, and come up with a few ways of  sorting it all out, without sending anything to land fill in the mean time :)

    * Magazines: I am a magazine hoarder. I have YEARS of  issues of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, French Marie Claire, National Geographic and the Economist sitting around, and falling out of their 'neat' piles.
     
    - Donate them to the local dentist/hairdressers/doctors/opticians. I know I hate sitting waiting for a delayed appointment, with only a 6 year old copy of gardener's world to entertain me - pass on your old magazines and save some poor person from waiting room boredom!
    - Cut them up. I frequently complain about a lack of storage space for little things that don't really belong anywhere : spare hairbrush, lip balms, receipts.  So, find an old shoe box, cut out some of your favourite pictures or quotes from the magazines and stick them on the box. Ta da! New storage that's fun and can be designed by you to match your room decor. Another option here is to keep the pictures for personalised birthday or Christmas cards next year.
    - Recycle them. pretty standard. Find your local paper recycling centre and let the council deal with them.
    - Local arts colleges/schools/groups. Lots of colleges that have fashion, PR or business studies will appreciate copies of relevant magazines for their subject to go into their libraries or resources boxes. Women's magazines are often very useful for fashion colleges or any school that teaches art (make sure you scribble out any quiz answers though to avoid scaring young children with your 'how sexy are you' result!), educational ones... ditto... the languages department at my secondary school were always very grateful for up to date French or German magazines.
    - Shelters. Homeless shelters, and shelters for women and children escaping domestic violence are often bleak and uninviting. A few copies of a recognisable magazine could make all the difference to those in need.
    - Make a scrap book. I've hoarded several magazines because of a cute quotation or useful health information. Cut them out and make yourself a folder of the info you want to keep. Not only will it save your time when you go looking for it, but it will also help you create space where the whole magazine used to be.





    * CDs: Being a musician, CDs were a huge passion of mine. Now everything is digital, and all my music is backed up online and on an external memory, they seem a little redundant.
    - Musicmagpie.com, and other CD buying websites. They'll pay you money for old CDs (although they have to be reasonable quality and have all of the casing), and send you a bag to post them in for free. If you're feeling generous... donate the money to charity, or buy something fun from a non-for-profit shop.
    - Ditto selling things on amazon/ebay.
    - Donate them to Oxfam/Save the Children, or another high street charity store, even if they only get 50p per CD, its still a little step towards helping someone's life :)
    - For the arty.... back old CDs (particularly scratched ones) with felt or thick paper, and use them as coasters or place mats. Makes for interesting party conversation......







    *Clothes:
    There are a THOUSAND things you can do with old clothes, and we all know we have a few pieces lying around we say we'll 'fit again one day', or 'just know it'll be popular next season'. Get over it. If it's not been worn in over a year, and there's no real reason (like being pregnant, or being perpetually at work) then let's find something useful to do with it.
    - Again, Donate. Most major charity shops will accept worn clothes, especially if they are from respectable brands. Try the Oxfam site if you think you have something particularly nice/vintage/designer.
    Oxfam Shop
    - Upcycle or customise them. Take a quick look at a few fashion websites, or through the aforementioned magazines and see what trends are up and coming. As a pretty skint student, I'm constantly trying to update clothes with simple accessories, like tying scarves to bags, or changing the laces in my shoes. Tshirts are easily edited with fabric pens, badges or transfers, and fading jeans can easily be re-dyed into one of this season's colour block trend shades (Purple....Purple I say!)
    - Have a clothes party! Get your friends, their friends, some nibbles and drinks, and have clothes swapping party. This is ideal when you're after some new things yourself, but can't afford it, or when you have something you don't think you'll wear again, but can't quite let go of. If you eve want it back, just 'borrow' it from your friend!
    - For things that are truly scrapable - ripped or stained things, old underwear, pongy socks - rip them into rags and use them for household cloths, like dusters or rags to wash the car with. Again, for the very arty, you could stitch the salvaged bits into a blanket or throw - although this tends to require more durable materials then your old pants!





    * Cosmetics and toiletries.
    - Old make up tubes, especially foundation and mosturiser ones, can be washed out and used as travel bottles for shampoo and shower gel. Seeing as they're often handbag sized, old tubes and bottles like this are usually within the new flight regulations, and can be taken onto planes in hand luggage.
    - Yet again, art departments my want pots, bottles or tubs for arty creations.
    - Recycle...recycle....recycle.....
    - Have children? Wash them out and let them play with them in the bath. Old moisturiser tubes make fun water squirters!!!
    - Have a man, or enjoy DIY? pencils of any kind can be used as markers in building.
    - Some brands and stores run schemes where if you return a certain amount of packaging, they'll give you something for free (See http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/).





    Hope this helps!!!

    Wednesday, 4 January 2012

    Film Time :)

     I don't know about you - but today the weather is so foul, I just want to get back in bed and watch episodes of friends with a hot chocolate. However here's a better idea!!!


    Orange Wednesdays give you 2-4-1 cinema tickets, so you and a mate/boyfriend/girlfriend/stranger can go the cinema for half price. 


    I'm yet to check this film out, but it's had some great reviews and the story it is based on is truly inspirational. The film follows Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese opposition politician, who sacrifices everything to help bring democracy to her country. Prepare to cry a bit (It's so dark out no one will notice!) and to feel so grateful for the lives we lead. 


      Check out listings and times here: http://www.myvue.com/latest-movies/info/film/the-lady


    and an overview of the film here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_(2011_film)




















    p.s. I was joking about taking a stranger to the cinema. Unless you like that sort of thing :| 











    Tuesday, 3 January 2012

    Everyday edits...

    This website highlights the ways in which food, water, energy consumption and waste interact around the world, and within our everyday lives. 

    Go on some of the calculator links to find out how much water you waste, or energy you use, then read the tips on how to reduce your consumption - not only helping preserve resources, but also cutting your bills!! You could genuinely save a few hundred pounds a year by making some simple changes, such as altering your toilet flush, buying locally sources food at the end of the retail day (thus at a bargain price), or by turning off lights when you leave the room. 


    If music be the food of love

    For the music lovers amongst you, check out Pledge Music , where loads of artists, famous and hot-new-stuff, have released their tracks, memorabilia, promises and signed gear in order to raise money for their favourite charities. 

     You make an account on the site, then search your favourite artists. On their page they'll have a list of their 'pledges' and you bid the said amount (or more if you're feeling generous!). This means you will get the thing you've bid for, helped support the artist, AND donated money to charity. Fab. 

     At last count, I found 5518 different artists and groups on the site, so there really is something for everyone!


    I've personally bid for InMe CDs, and Dave McPherson's solo album (cheeky promotion there....) and they arrived on time, in great condition, and were great value. 

     

      Give it a look.....


    Shop till you drop....

    We've all heard of the dangers and environmental disadvantages of plastic bags.
    Not only does each plastic bag take over 400 years to biodegrade, they also require a lot of the world's scare oil resources to be made. For the fashion conscious amongst us, as well as  plastic bags being bad for the environment, they're  pretty unsightly. 
    So - now we're in the middle of the sales season, why not get yourself a re-useable shopper bag, and forgot plastic bags once and for all. 

    Take inspiration from the likes of Rhianna :



    and Angelina Jolie: 

    (Images from instyle.com)

    There are so many different types out there, but here's a pick of some of the best....


    Clever Baggers has a huge range of very cheap reusable totes, handbags, gym bags, shopping bags... any type at all! This one here is only 90p! However, if ordered in bulk you can get them even cheaper, and they are all fully customisable - next year's Christmas presents anyone ?! 






    This one is from Rebagz, a favourite with many celebrities (as seen in the above images!) 
      This site is, however, American, so aimed at US followers :) 









    However, if you're not ready to step away from your high street brands yet... treat yourself to one of these, and take it out with you every time you shop rather than using an evil plastic bag :)
    Topshop:                                  River Island:   




    Alternatively, use an old bag of yours, attach buttons, scarves, pins, beads, draw on it, dye it - whatever! 

    No matter what you go for..... just remember that using a shopper instead of getting plastic bags each time you go out, will help save the environment, and the earth's oil stores, one tiny purchase at a time.