Archive for November, 2009

Just thought I share this great site with you1001 uses for vinegar


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I wish I’d had a chance to see this myself.

The Ghost Forest is an art installation on the Trafalgar Square aimed to highlight deforestation and climate change.

Learn more about the artist Angela Palmer and why she had embarked on this project. In case you’re wondering, the tree stumps fell naturally from adverse weather from a reserve in Western Ghana. The stumps will travel, but the project is carbon neutral.

More beautiful pictures from Flickr from Where the Art Is’ photostream.



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We love a good wine (don’t we all?). And we do have a bias for corked wine instead of the screwed-on ones. We just think the corked wines are better in quality. That and we’re just traditionalists at heart. Uncorking the bottle adds to the drama and rituals of wine drinking.  (So, yes, we steer clear of New Zealand wines.) 

Source : The WWF on “Cork and wine industries play a key role in the sustainability of forests

Cork is natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. No trees are cut to harvest cork. The bark of the trees are harvested every 9-12 years.The point is if more wine manufacturers stop using cork (through use of plastic stoppers or screw caps), it reduces the value of lands where cork oak trees are grown. And this could lead to their conversion for other uses. 

The WWF is campaigning for the conservation of the cork oak trees. And the wine industry plays a major role in that conservation accounting for some 70% of the cork market. 

Source: The Treevolution site on “Wine industry can help conserve cork forests”  

“cork forests are home and a source of income to thousands of people and support one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the planet. Decreasing demand from the wine industry for cork stoppers would force entire communities to leave, resulting in more forest fires, desertification and the permanent loss of 2.7 million hectares of forest,”

So what are the arguments for or against cork, environmental issues aside?  

  • Screw caps are easier to open. Great for bringing to picnics.
  • But wine needs to breathe to age properly, plastic corks can fail and let too much air in. Screw caps do not allow any oxygen in. Cork lets in minute amounts of air as it’s a natural product.
  • Cork taint affect every 1 in 10 bottles. This tends to impart a ‘corky’ taste, they said, similar to damp mouldy cardboard. So someone is always left out of pocket – the consumer, the restaurant or the manufacturer

Screw caps are easy to recognise. But I have no clue how to know if underneath the foil is a synthetic stopper or real cork!

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I would love to see this done across London. I see too many little plots of land turned dumping ground or overgrown with weeds just on the way home. And to think it takes years to get an allotment!

Read on – Dump sites used for growing veg.

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Walthamstow Farmer's Market
Walthamstow Farmer's market
Walthamstow Farmer's Market
Walthamstow Farmer's Market

The damage :
Walthamstow Farmer's Market

“organically reared rare breed Suffolk redpoll beef” minced beef £3.58/0.45kg  and “organically reared rare breed Tamworth pork” pork chops £4.24/0.42 kg from Muck & Magic Farming Ltd

turkey sausages with fresh cranberries £2.84/0.40kg and free range chicken thighs £3.20/0.39kg from Pastures Poultry Farm

ginger and spring onion sausages £3.86/0.39kg  from The Giggly Pig Company

2 half-loaf cakes (banana + ginger and fig) £2.50 each

Find your local markets from our list.

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I think I’m going to start wearing gloves tomorrow. My hands were frozen this morning as I trekked to work.

Last week had seen the weather turned quite warm for this time of the year. But winter is fast approaching, and at home we have been resisting turning on the heat in spite of some cold spells.

We’ve come across some great blogs sharing tips on how to keep warm without turning the heat up. 

Get clicking, we’ve got the tips from the Apartment Therapy Re-Nest site  which ran 2 helpful articles – 30 Ways to Live and Stay Green in a Cold and Frozen Climate and 14 Ways To Keep Warm Without Turning the Heat On or Up. We’ve thrown in also a few of our own ideas. So here some things we’re keeping in mind,

  • warm colours inside the home can make a difference
  • get cosy on the feet with rugs
  • get started on those winter warmer food and drinks – stews and baked goodies warms up the kitchen and the home, and of course a cup of good old tea, coffee or hot cocoa, and wrap your fingers around the mug.
  • when the sun is out outside, let the sunshine in.
  • use layers in your beddings. and layers on you as well – wear a hat. wear socks. put a hot water bottle under the sheets with you. or just snuggle up with someone.
  • cleaning is good exercise, keeps you warm too. keep moving around.
  • block drafts from doors or windows. we’re putting cling film on our drafty windows and drawing the curtains closed at night. if you can, put curtains over your doors.
  • close the doors on each rooms, and heat only rooms you’re using. Better yet, make the kids do their homework and your partner to drag the laptop on the dining table whilst you cook. Warm up the family together.
  • warm up some beanbags to keep hands warm. Use around the house or when you’re out and about.

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