Whipped Cacao-Peppermint Body Butter

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Having recently gotten back on the addictive Pinterest bandwagon, I’ve come across all sorts of things that I feel I just HAVE to make.

One such thing is the rediscovery of a whipped body lotion I first read about a year ago. It’s explained in brilliant detail on Holistic Squid, and it just looked so luscious and inviting that this morning I said ‘that’s it – I’m making it right now!’

It’s so simple to make and it feels so gorgeous when it’s soaked into the skin (it even softened my bf’s scratchy-workout-elbows). Plus it leaves you smelling like after-dinner mints…what could be better?! Continue reading

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Used Books: New Treasures

I love books. Growing up I was always the ‘bookworm’, and I don’t see signs of that changing any time soon. I even worked in three different bookshops within four years, which was absolute heaven!

Although the bookshops I worked in sold new books, from an environmental point of view, I do not recommend buying brand new books. New books are usually made from new paper, which means millions of trees get chopped down – often from pristine rainforests. Some books use recycled paper, but even then the amount of water, energy and chemicals (such as bleach) required to re-make the paper is colossal.

Instead, here are a few ideas of places you can buy used books, which have virtually no unfavourable environmental effects: Continue reading

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – Vegan & Gluten-free

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Two weeks ago I found myself participating in a vegan challenge. Now I’m usually someone who, although vegetarian at home, is very generous with ingredients like butter, eggs and cheese. Needless to say I found the vegan challenge rather, well, challenging! I experimented with making muffins twice in the week: the first were based almost entirely on this recipe by ‘An Ode to Mung Beans’, and the second used only the same ratios as that recipe – other than that it was complete experimentation!

And my gambling paid off! The muffins were moist, flavourful and everyone who had one loved it. I made them for a meal with some other of the challenge participants (one of whom has to eat gluten-free food) and they went down a treat…especially with the homemade whipped coconut cream I had a go at making.

And believe me, if I hadn’t made them myself I never would have guessed they were vegan or gluten-free! Continue reading

The Secret to Cheap, Eco-Friendly Fabric

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When I ordered a dress pattern online a couple of weeks ago, I just assumed I had enough calico with which to make a toile. I’m new to dressmaking and following patterns and I like the comfort of making the dress first in cheap fabric to ensure it fits.

Of course, once the pattern arrived and I went digging through my fabric store, I realised I had about ½ a metre of calico…and I needed 3.5 metres! Uh oh.

Minor panic set in as I was determined to get this toile done quickly. I looked online at organic calico (not wanting to go against my developing beliefs and buying chemical-laden fabric), and it came in at £4 a metre – even cheaper than non-organic, but still expensive when it’s all added up.

So I hummed and hah-d and dithered for a while. Then I remembered something I’d heard a while ago which is sheer genius: using second-hand bed sheets for trial projects. I immediately jumped on my bike and peddled into town (enjoying the sunshine and ‘warm’ 7 degrees!). Three charity shops and half an hour later, I’d spent £13 and had five big flat bed sheets – metres and metres of perfectly good fabric for next to nothing…not to mention, upcycled and totally eco-friendly!

I immediately threw them into the washing machine with a good 20 drops of tea tree oil (to get rid of the charity shop smell) and set it to the highest setting. Dried on the highest setting as well, folded immediately so they didn’t wrinkle…and Bob’s your uncle! A whole pile of usable cotton fabric for a song.

Now to make that dress!

First Post!

My very first blog post! I have such great hopes for this blog, but getting started is pretty daunting…so I’m easing myself in with this short and sweet introduction.

Over the past few years my interest and belief in living frugally, healthily and happily in a back-to-basics kind of way has really developed. It started a little slowly but has snowballed into something that is causing me to change many things about how I live my life and how I want to live it in the future. I believe in supporting local (hopefully organic) businesses, upcycling and recycling wherever I can, making as much as I can myself, and basically trying to be as self-sustainable as possible; all with the hope that in a small way this little earthling can help make this world a better place. I guess one way of describing it could be upholding my own environmental ethics; something that evolves constantly.

I want this blog to document how I attempt to do this in my life, where I find inspiration, and hopefully inspire some people myself.

Welcome to Little Eco Earthling!