Monday, 28 January 2013

Laundry Piles return.keeping it eco friendly- doing the best I can ;-)

 May people have asked just how do I manage the laundry of a household of 8 and still do the best I can to keep it eco friendly well the picture above says far more about my current laundry status. I have narrowed down my products to just four from the ecosense line and have worked out that it costs on average 19 pence per load . I do have the luxury of a second hand 7kg top loader which washes on a cold wash and recycles its water. I do not have a tumble dryer instead I choose to hang my washing out each night saving on the electricity as well . I was introduced to these products by my sister who has 3 children of her own and gave them a trial run to see if they could keep with my children's daily antics and stains.
My youngest is forever the painter, gluer,  creater and is always covered in tell tail signs of daily artistry and you can also guess what she had for her breakfast lunch and tea by the time her clothes hit the laundry basket. for her clothes I tend to spray on diluted pre spot as it is 4 times concentrated it does go a long way and has a pleasant fresh smell to it. (For tougher paint stains I have resorted to asking my sisters advice and dabbed good old solumel on first but I have that under the kitchen sink anyway for general cleaning purposes.)
 Children do tend to get into everything in my house so it was important with a history of this for me to find something that should they open and taste the products they would not have an emergency dash to a & e . I still remember when my eldest had a passion for chewing soap bars and I found him foaming at the mouth at the age of 5 - I have never wanted to experience that awful feeling of fear ever since and these days with 4 of us in and out of the utility room I could no longer assume that things would be placed back where I expected them out of reach. These products tick that box for me as they do not contain any of the usual nasties and do not have the skull and cross bone warning .Mind you if these days any of mine could fit in a box this small for a discovery session I would be very surprised .
 Organising rotas and routines began in our house as my 5th child arrived , the need for a communication board arose and it rapidly took hold of the wall. We still have a board on which the children can check to see what needs doing including the laundry and the ironing . Since changing to these products I have also had to write down the instructions as to my surprise and their only a tiny capful of just 15ml is dispensed from the pump and is enough to do a whole load. I had to pop a reminder up as at first they were merrily pumping away cap fulls of soap to 'help' and I was getting a bubbly surprise on opening the machine lol !
Back in 2003 my 5th son began his messy faze , I assumed by now he would have outgrown in but needless to say eating is still his greatest pleasure and his favourite ketchup and chocolate stained t shirts do survive the new regime , so no complaints from him. I won't add a current photo of him in his smart uniform as he would inevitably disown me !
 My second eldest son who has always helped out in the kitchen being 'creative' now spends his days in whites at college learning the catering trade and for the first time has come to appreciate just how much laundry we generate ad how important that starch white can be when working with others . It took him awhile to get used to the new cleaning routine but now that he is on board it will be plain sailing and I can see that it has been worth while trying something different. I would love to hear what you have done to save time or money on laundry so do comment below and if you have blogged do leave me a link so I can pop over . Large families like mine may be unusual these days but I am determined to do the best I can to keep them clean and keep the costs down. Making mother nature smile and in turn making me smile too!

Friday, 11 January 2013

The importance of branding and recognising a logo.

 This week I was playing an app with my husband on recognizing logos we had a good chuckle as we competed against each other and then decided to work together on each level as the game became trickier as we went along. This lead me to taking a look at just how easy a logo is recognised within my facebook page. In fact very few people participated . But those of us who tried it found between 17-19 of these easy to recognise and remember. I was surprised at discovering some of the other interesting pages and really enjoyed browsing their pages and finding out a little more about each company but then I am a infomaniac lol

For more information on creating a Buzz with your branding contact

The challenge of a small business is to create an interesting banner and logos to suit their personality and their individual business as well as to capture your interest as we are visual virtual shoppers. Hats off to these ladies who have converted visual shoppers into real life ones with their fun pages and regular social media networking. A website can often help too for example .The advantage of the second example is that whilst  acting as an agent/consultant she has a premade website  with a very strong branding so how do they compete - the answer is they don't have to.

 It is more about developing relationships online and in person when possible. Then comes the timing , perhaps a birthday coming up or a seasonal thing like Valentine's and that visual logo pops back into your head . Let's say for example you remember that supporting and shopping local is part of your news resolution and you pop back to browse your favourites.Usually the ones you have connected with and remembered along the way. So even on the web first impressions count and a unique logo goes a long way towards that.

 Your final decision as to what to buy where will be your choice but just how much do you feel that you are affected by this type of media?

 example 1

example 2
 There is a lot of support out there for small business and plenty of ways to get some presence in the social media networking arena. Have fun with it . Your never know where your logo may end up who or may be viewing it , the same goes for blogs and having fun with photos.
Photo: profile facebook

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Recycling a challenge at the best of times!

We are into a new year and with my children home the rubbish bins and recycling bins are already filling up. We have a relatively good kerbside recycling system here so we only have to divide general rubbish, food waste and Recycled goods and the machines and then hand sorters do the rest. It can be overwhelming and soul destroying when my husband opens the recycling bin in the kitchen to find one of our sweethearts has mindlessly added a half eaten bowl of cereal or rotten apple and we have had to have many a discussion on what bin is used for what and why. Even today we found an empty fries packet in the food bin. My husband o spotting it came and asked my 8 year old what did this look like ? Sheepishly she said a packet , she then took it from him and proudly popped it in the correct bin. My husband came up with a funny anecdote which we laugh about which if you scroll down I will share with you to end this weeks blog. In the meantime I hope some of the information I have gathered to help my kids and myself will also help you.

Possibly the easiest item to recycle is cans and look at what a difference they hoped to make by 2010 I wonder how we are doing going into 2013 - Does anyone have any crafty ideas for cans / we would love to see those too so leave us a comment with your link.

Many schools are collecting your empty cartridges also look out for the bins in some stationary shops across the UK

Some schools gave the children mini battery bins for thier desks at home , don't pop them in your regular bin , find battery bins to dispose of them saving the mixed recycling unit from rejecting waste!

Just one contaminated bin affects the entire collection, think yourself as part of the bigger picture , if each of us is taking time to use the kerbside collection the last thing we want is for it to be rejected .

General recycling symbols
You're sure to recognise some of these common recycling symbols, but do you know the meaning of them all?
Recycling logos
Mobius Loop
This item can be recycled where correct facilities exist.
Mobius loop (with percentage)
This item contains x% of recycled material and can be recycled where correct facilities exist.
Green dot
In participating countries this means the manufacturer is funding a recycling program for products with this label. The UK isn’t a participating country.
WEEE directive
Shows that a product can be recycled separately from other household waste under the WEEE directive.
EU flower
An EU-wide award for non-food products that minimise impacts on the environment – detergents that are less harmful to rivers, lakes and oceans, for example.
Tidy man
Do not litter. A familiar addition to the packaging of many everyday items, this symbol simply suggests that the bearer should dispose of this carefully and thoughtfully.
This product (usually a drinks can) is made from recyclable aluminium.
Please put this recyclable glass container in a bottle bank.
Plastic recycling symbols
These symbols identify the type of plastic used in a packaging. Some councils only collect certain types for recycling – use the table below to identify which is which.
Plastic symbols and their meanings
Polyethylene Terepthalate
High Density Polyethylene
Low Density Polyethylene

Okay so you made it to the bottom of my blog - Great ! I know it is a boring topic but the impact is huge and so I leave you with this thought - words by my dd hubby.
One day, our daughter finished a packet of biscuits, got up, leaving the empty packaging on the table, which was becoming somewhat of a habit, and started to walk off.  I stopped her and asked "I'm curious as to why you didn't put the empty packet in the bin.  As I see it, there are four options..."
You didn't even think about doing it - That's thoughtless.
You thought about doing it, but you couldn't be bothered - That's Lazy
You thought about doing it, you knew you should do it, but decided not to - That's Bloody Minded.
You thought about doing it, but you honestly believe that it's my job, and why should you do it. - That's selfish.
So, given those options, which one was it?