Green & healthy BBQ options

Eco BBQ burns to ash after use - no waste or toxic fumes

Whether you’ve got a garden, terrace, small patio or are taking the family to the beach, park or countryside camping, a barbecue is THE summer accessory. Two in three households own a barbecue and as summer has started early for many of us, they will get more use than usual.

But according to experts at Kew Gardens, most of the 40,000 tonnes of charcoal we get through each year (and the figures are growing) derive from un-sustainable sources. In 1997 the barbecue market was worth £150 million, today it’s a £7billion industry.

So what does that mean for green BBQs?

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Tips on growing slug free veggies

egg shells deter softbellied slugs

So far the vegetable plot is surviving, despite the slugs.

Did you know that a cubic metre of garden can contain upto 200 slugs? And that there are 29 species of UK slug – but only one third of these are pests – the most destructive being Deroceras reticulatum or the Grey Field Slug.

Another scary slug truth is that only 5% of them are above ground at any one time. The other 95% are underground, eating seedlings, laying eggs, and feeding on roots. But as a fledgling eco- gardener, I’m  exploring ways to protect my crops without harming anything.

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Growing or building? Think permaculture!

Permaculture harmonizes man & earth

Permaculture is working with nature to create, design, build and improve all aspects of our lives. The word ‘permaculture’ derives from  ‘permanent agriculture’ and ‘permanent culture’.

But permaculture is not just about growing food – if the principles are adopted properly – permaculture is an ideal way of working with, and learning from the world around us.

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5 good reasons to grow-your-own

chillis and coriander are perfect for patios

Whether you’ve got a windowsill with one small pot or an allotment, growing your own food is the safest and quickest way to reducing your impact on the environment. And, growing and eating your own fruit, herbs and vegetables is an excellent way of reconnecting with nature and enjoying seasonal foods.

I’ve signed up to One Pot Pledge and planted out some chilli peppers, coriander and salad leaves. With a little bit of care and good weather, I’ll soon be tasting the fruits of my endeavours. If, like me, you’re no expert, start small with basil, or carrots or rocket.

And even if you’ve never grown anything before, now is the right time to start. Why? Because:

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Reusing ‘grey water’ saves money

grey water is perfect for your garden

Grey water comes from  hand washing, showers, baths, dishwashers etc and is  suitable for gardens and plants.

Installing a grey water tank is easy and once done you need never waste another drop of our precious, specially treated drinking (potable) water.

Rather than letting it drain away, re-using grey water is fast becoming the perfect solution to reduce  water consumption and save money. Continue reading

How to harvest rain water

capture rain water to save on water bills

Did you know that some older toilets can use up to 14litres of water every flush and a running tap drains away 6 litres of water a minute?

Becoming aware of your water usage and taking steps to reduce it will not only lessen your impact on the world, you will feel it in your wallet and reduce your carbon footprint. Heating your household water accounts for 25% of your home energy consumption!

Water Saving Week, now it its second year runs between 12th to 18th June and is an ideal time to fix leaky taps and resolve waste water issues. Despite our reputation as a rain soaked country, the UK averages less rainfall per person than any other EU country  (excl Belgium and Cyprus).

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How to make a wormery for super rich compost

a wormery makes great garden food

Whether you’ve got a large acre garden or a small city patio, you can turn you unwanted food and waste into the perfect organic fertiliser for potted plants, windowsill herbs, veg garden or allotments. Composting and wormeries are ideal for generating new stuff out of old and can really help in cutting down the amount of waste that goes to landfill. But let’s begin at the beginning:

What is a wormery?

A wormery is a device that transforms dead organic food waste into a highly nutritious worm cast compost (worm poo), also known as vermicompost and a liquid feed, also known as leachate – both of these bi-products make excellent food.

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