I’m busy finalising the website’s Derbyshire guide for 2012…it’s going to be full of fabulous places and makers around the County and will be free for you to pick up a copy as you’re out and about! The guide will also be available at the next fabulousplaces.co.uk event (click here for details). The pocket guide will be perfect to keep with you, so wherever you are in Derbyshire you can check where the nearest fabulous place is!
I thought I would give preview of a handful of the pages…
As soon as the guide is out there and available I will let you know where you can collect your free copy!
The lovely people from Honeybuns in Dorset have very kindly offered some rather fabulous goodies for you to win!
Win 1 of 10 fabulous hessian hamper bags full to bursting with treats!
For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a review for a fabulous place or producer featured on fabulousplaces.co.uk Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire…simple as that!
Closing date is Friday 14th May 2010.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Honeybuns for kindly donating such a fab competition prize! To find out more about Honeybuns click here to visit their website.
I decided earlier this week that the next blog would have a green theme and straight away contacted the lovely Alison, owner of eco eco in Hope to ask for her advice. Alison owns the fabulous eco eco home & eco eco clothing in Hope, Derbyshire.
I would categorise myself as a beginner when it comes to being green…I’ve made lots of changes to the way I live over the past 12 months and proudly own a monitor that tells me how much electricity I’m using around my home at any one time, which is absolutely fantastic and, frankly, lifestyle changing! Saying that, I know there are many more changes I can make.
Here are some tips and advice from Alison to help you if you’re wondering how you can make some changes to your lifestyle:
The distance travelled by much of our food is pretty scary. Do we REALLY need to buy strawberries from Africa in the middle of winter? Click here to read up on the implications of long-haul veggies.
Consider buying seasonal and local produce where possible. The Big Barn website can help you find sources in your area and also provides recipes using seasonal ingredients.
The fabulousplaces.co.uk website can help you find local producers, like The Loaf in Crich, Bluebells Dairy in Spondon, Crow Wood Farm in Spondon & I Should Cocoa in Belper.
Local box schemes are a good idea as they usually concentrate on sourcing food from local producers. Search for one near you at the Find A Box Scheme website.
Reducing the amount you travel doesn’t have to mean staying at home. Opt for public transport where available, ride a bike to reduce your carbon footprint (with the added advantage of improving fitness), or try car-sharing. Journeys with only one person per vehicle are wasteful and have a large environmental impact so share the journey and the cost of the trip between the passengers.
Before you travel consider each journey – is it really necessary? Don’t pop down to the shops for one or two items but wait until you need to do a proper shop. Alternatively walk instead of taking the car; another way to save money, get fit and reduce your carbon footprint.
Buy less, make more
Unfortunately we seem to live in a society where shopping is considered a recreation. There is increasing pressure to buy new products even when we don’t really need them; one might argue we don’t even want them until we’re told we do! Buying a new phone just because it’s a prettier colour or has an interesting feature that we’ll never use is not a good use of our money. When you go shopping think carefully about everything you buy. If necessary go off and have a coffee before committing; perhaps the desire to buy will wear off!
Alternatively have a go at making things yourself. Knitting, crochet, dressmaking and DIY are enjoyable and constructive and you can create items that are far more interesting and individual than the mass-produced goods available from shops. Instead of buying gifts, spend a little time poring over books or wandering round the internet to find ideas for things to make. Home-made presents show more thought. Even if you can’t knit or sew, a jar full of cookie mix or a plant from your garden is a lovely and unexpected treat that will be enjoyed far more than yet another corporate bodycare product.
Some useful websites full of ideas include the Martha Stewart website and allaboutyou.com.
When you do need to buy, consider where and how the product was made. Instead of buying something that is disposable, can you find a similar item that will last? How about looking at second-hand furniture instead of just rushing to IKEA again? Alternatively, support local craftspeople and makers by buying goods that are made with skill and care, giving pleasure every time you look at them. Bear in mind that cheap products were probably made by companies with less than ethical policies. That two quid t-shirt might seem like a bargain but how long will it last and how many people suffered to make it? Start thinking rather than just shopping.
Enjoy nature, reduce consumption
Got a day off with the family? Instead of heading for the high street you could go for a walk together, ending up with a picnic. Even in towns and cities there are points of interest that you might not notice when you drive past, and local parks provide a safe place to finish. Failing that, aim for a local coffee shop or restaurant. If there are children in the party you can create or download nature-based games for them to play from the Wildlife Watch website and the BBC website.
Alternatively spend a little while before going out researching the area. Investigate local buildings and history or make up ‘spotting’ games, awarding points for different categories, perhaps 3 points for a yellow front door, or 1 point for a blue van. Using imagination can make even apparently uninspiring walks fun.
Detoxify your home
Take a look around your house at the cleaning products you use, then examine everything in your bathroom cabinet and make-up bag. Read the labels and then consult some of these sites; www.non-toxic.info and www.ewg.org.
Many of the products we use contain petroleum-based ingredients which will become increasingly expensive if present predictions regarding oil supplies are correct. However, more worryingly, a large number of chemicals in household products and personal care are actually harmful. Be aware of the risks to your health by educating yourself, and bear in mind the environmental impact of products that poison watercourses and kill wildlife.
Consider making your own bodycare and cleaning products from site such as www.ehow.com and www.care2.com.
Alternatively, buy from reputable companies that sell non-toxic alternatives.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A big thank you to Alison Jackson-Bass from eco eco in Hope for the eco hints and tips! Click here for full information about the fabulous eco eco.
Alison will be exhibiting at the next fabulousplaces.co.uk…a shopping indulgence evening at the gorgeous Blackbrook House nr Belper. Tickets are £5 each and the event will be supporting the Wirksworth Rotary Club’s Aquabox Scheme.
I am delighted to launch the fabulousplaces.co.uk Derbyshire Card is here! For many years I’ve been looking for a local card which is Derbyshire based and after no success I decided it would be perfect to launch one through fabulousplaces.co.uk for Derbyshire!
The Derbyshire Card is your perfect companion when visiting fabulous shops, cafes, farm shops and with many of the producers featured on the website.
The Derbyshire Card costs just £10 and gives you 12 months of fabulous offers and discounts. In addition, there will be exclusive Card holder events held throughout the year for you to attend. You will also receive a fabulous cotton shopper bag absolutely free!
Click here to find out more.