Monday, 15 August 2016

#SmallSteps week 7 and why pay twice for water?

If you're new to this theme, I am blogging a series of Monday posts about SmallSteps lifestyle changes I think might help our disUnited Kingdom communities to get through the post-Brexit turmoil ahead. You can read the first post here. Let's at least keep our towns and communities afloat and vibrant whatever the politicians decide for the country as a whole.

I've decided to keep a track of my attempts to practice what I preach! My five SmallSteps are:

1) to CheckTheLabel and BuyBritish whenever possible
2) to ShopLocal and spend at least £5 each week in independent local shops
3) to eat healthily and walk or cycle short distances
4) not to use self-service checkouts or Pay At Pump
5) to reduce food waste completely

So how did I do this week?

We bought a huge BuyBritish beanbag chair from Dunelm. It's brown faux leather with a soft suedy-corduroy upper and looks smart amid our moving in chaos - more about that tomorrow! Foodwise, we chose BuyBritish Wookey Hole Cheddar which is fantastically strong so great for grating into sauces, and a Free Range chicken which did initially seem expensive at over £7 but will do for three meals so works out pretty economically.

Muffins cafe, East Hoathly 
My ShopLocal spend this week is about £40, a fiver of which we spent at Drowers, the good hardware shop in St Marychurch, on nails and fixings to hang pictures and on a set of small caster cups. The remaining £35 was actually spent back in Sussex at a lovely little cafe-boutique called Muffins. It's in East Hoathly, near the home of friends who kindly put up with us put us up for a couple of days. Thanks Andy & Barbara! Muffins do good lunches - I thoroughly enjoyed my Deep Fried Brie with a huge green salad - and the cakes looked delicious too although I didn't have any room left to try one.

We have been making sure to go walking for at least 45 minutes everyday except for yesterday when Dave had his first tennis session in Torquay and I went for my first jog in months. Retrieving the bathroom scales from storage is a wonderful fitness incentive!

On a sort of fitness note, this week I want to talk about water, particularly the buying of millions of small bottles of mineral water which we spend a fortune on in Britain every year even though we already pay to have perfectly good water straight from our taps! I've happily bought into the 'wisdom' that I must carry a bottle of water when exercising and walking, but I don't like the idea of buying and discarding a plastic bottle every day or of supporting mega corporations who are effectively making water a luxury commodity instead of a basic right. This video from Story Of Stuff helped to make up my mind:

I was delighted to see a special filtered water tap on the kitchen sink in our new flat although a glance at the works underneath revealed that the filter system might not have been cleaned out in while! I have also rediscovered my old runners' water bottle so I am all set up to never buy bottled water again. If you don't have a long lasting bottle already, shops like Go Outdoors and All Outdoor have wide selections at good prices although I don't know where the products come from. Alternatively, you can BuyBritish and support our struggling steel industry by getting a Glogg bottle from Sheffield. Prices start at £8.50 for an elegant 500ml stainless steel bottle so it won't break the bank! Glogg also produce stainless steel pint cups - as seen at Glastonbury - which are ideal for festivals and picnics. Check out the full range in their video below:

SmallSteps will be taking a two week break, returning in September when I will be looking at where my electricity and gas come from. In the meantime, feel welcome to shout out your favourite / your own BuyBritish and ShopLocal businesses in the Comments. Make sure to say in which town they are so other nearby folks will know to look out for them!

Finally I have made a blog badge from my SmallSteps logo image. If you would like to join in this Monday (or any day) blog theme, feel welcome to display the badge and let me know about your post so we can link up.

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

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