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Angelina-M wrote: »
I am a jam maker and I get all my mum's neighbours to save their jars for me. Most of the neighbours used to throw the jars in the bin and not recycle. I then go out into the forest and collect blackberries, apples, rosehips and make hedgerow jam (in season of course). I give them a jar of jam and I end up with loads to last me all year for the price of a couple of bags of sugar.
schoolfundraiser wrote: »
Homemade jam is so much nicer anyway. You can do the same with chutneys - end of season green tomatoes vinegar and onions are the key to this and a bit of curry powder livens it all up. Make sure you only use recycled jars with a vinegar proof seal though ie those already used for chutneys, mustards, mayonnaise etc and they can only be used once as the seal will not last forever. Home made pickles and chutneys are so much more interesting than the rather limited range in the shops. Did one once with small wild plums as they make a rather sweet jam and raisins, onions and curry powder. For ideas get a book on preserving from the cookery section of your local library.
A word of warning if you should get inspired with reduced price but OK strawberries - the sweet ones really need some apple or something sharp adding or the sugar reducing or it will be far too sweet to eat except stirred into plain yogurt (and the jam will need pectin adding with the sugar). Modern varieties bred for sweetness are not always suitable for jam making. You need acidity.
And talking of acidity rhubarb jam can taste awful.
If you have a glut of fruit you don't have to jam it straight away freeze it whole or cook it to halfway then freeze it for later. (The same applies for marmalade oranges which can be frozen whole for use later - the freezing cuts down cooking time.) Or if you are into making jelly rather than jam freezing the juice after the jellybag stage means you have the option of using it to make the dessert variety of jelly instead (using gelatine) as a kids pudding as well as being able to mix and match your juices as you fancy. The juice takes up a lot less room in the freezer and can be stored in recycled plastic milk containers like you do with homemade soup, remembering to write on the plastic (with a permanent marker) what is in there!
You can also offer a few jars of jam for neighbours with fruit gluts. Cultivate apple tree owners and look for a recipe for spiced pears for those with pear trees - ideal for those hard pears and great for Christmas presents or to serve with cold meat.:rotfl:
Pennymore wrote: »
Ken68 - Does your £20 include the standing charges? I have a meter and I've got my water usage down to only 4 cubic metres per 6months, costing me £5.93 but the standing charges add another £9.15 making total of £15.08 per half year.
The sewerage charge on that totals £24.73 making my 6monthly bill approx £40. At £280 per year without the meter, thats a heck of a saving.
As to low-tech, Annie, its me! I harvest every drop of rain-water and flush my loo with a bucket (except when visitors come!) I help the cold fill of my washing machine with rainwater from a watering can and heat only to 30degrees. Bit time consuming, and the whole idea wouldn't work for a family, but living alone and retired, the one thing I have plenty of is free time.. Lastly, I have a separate kettle and heat rainwater, kept in a container on the draining board, for washing up, handwashing is cold rainwater. My shower of course comes off the mains, but I even save some of that for various uses, again including the loo.
My (grown up) family think I'm mad, but that £200 is spent travelling and on my garden.
Through the summer I have got my electricity down to 5p an hour, (have a key meter) - it would be less if I could keep off this ...... computer!
jessanna wrote: »
You could consider using real nappies. These are better for the environment than disposable nappies and save you money. Have a look at www.lizziesrealnappies.co.uk or www.thenappylady.co.uk for great advice on choosing brands etc
moonrakerz wrote: »
I must confess to being a little bit unsure as to the validity of that statement when all the costs of real nappies are taken into account; washing powder, energy, water, new washing machines ,etc, etc.
However, that isn't the main point of this post.
I went onto Google to do a little investigation on the subject and found lots of 'hits' on this subject. After going through the first 6 or 8 pages, and finding that they all said that we should be using real nappies I started to think that perhaps there was little doubt about what everyone should be using.
Then I noticed that practically all these websites were from Local Authorities or news outlets reporting them. The thrust of this multitude of sites was solely to reduce landfill. Now, this may be a laudable aim from one point of view, but it certainly isn't looking at the problem in the widest sense and arriving at the best ecological solution, rather than the solution which benefits your local council the most.
I do have some sympathy with the Councils, they have arbitrary targets imposed on them by central Government, this leads to them doing all they can to meet these targets without anyone seeing whether doing this actually benefits the environment.
I am urged to re-cycle plastic and cardboard, no complaints - but my council doesn't collect it, so have to drive to the nearest re-cycling centre, along with thousands/millions of others "to do my bit" for the environment. This is complete and utter lunacy ! but my councils is meeting its targets.
Why does central government impose targets on local authorities ? because it itself has targets imposed on it by the EU. What chance of getting the EU to look at this in a realistic fashion - absolutely zero !! :mad:
PS: we used real nappies on ours, but disposables were a godsend at times.
jessanna wrote: »
We only need to wash nappies as part of a full load, we should only be using small amounts of washing powder, we don't use fabric conditioners, and there are many good nappies now on the market which simply don't require tumble drying.
I feel that the local councils are right in promoting real nappies for reasons of money saving, environment and the benefit of the baby.
moonrakerz wrote: »
20,000 less deaths due to the milder winters.
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