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Our World - Living Simply

If 'everything' seems too much, just start with something, which must be better than nothing!

A person who could afford to spend and consume more but regularly uses less heating and wears warmer clothes,

shows the kind of convictions and attitudes which help to protect the environment ……

they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably spreads. (Pope Francis “Laudato Si” online, par 211)

It's a beautiful world - let's keep it that way!


In the news!


have been labelled 'a toxic time-bomb

Un-inhabited island - ideal for Robinson Crusoe?

Found not long ago in the South Seas - with 38 milion pieces of plastic littering it.


About as useful as the small pieces found in fish, sometimes in tap water,

on popular beaches throughout the world, littering our streets......

But of course, no problem! It rots down, doesn't it?

No! Never! It's here for ever!

Some suggestions for avoiding plastics:

If storing raw food
cover with a plate

When shopping check before buying whether a container is recyclable!

Why not make the staff aware of your concerns!

buy whole fruits instead of slices -
fruit often has its own skin to keep it fresh.
Make your own mix
and see left for preserving if you don't want to use it all straight away!

Don't buy more than you can use -
a primary source of waste!
Fruit can be made into a salad and with some juice and a drop of alcohol it will be edible for a little longer!

Buy milk in bottles - they're used over and over again!

If you buy drinks in plastic bottles don't just throw them anywhere - take them home if necessary and put them in a bin for recycling

Leaving your bottles anywhere else
. is helping to choke the planet!

Buy bars of soap instead of handwash!

Don't forget that lots of wrappings e.g. toys, presents, toothbrushes, etc have a 'display' window which is plastic.even if attached to cardboard ir paper. Take care - it may end up in landfill or worse

Are you a tea drinker? At least BE AWARE

Buy loose tea if possible - the 'bags' in 'tea bags' are mostly of fine plastic.
Even if the particles are minute they could remain in your system - for ever!

Ask Google or other site about the risk and be prepared to look up "Coffee filters, sausage casings, and water filters"
Do let manufacturers know of your concerns!

When you need to replace domestic & electrical equipment try and do so with energy-efficient recommended models
When choosing a contract with an energy supplier should we consider their commitment to providing RENEWABLE ENERGY ?
(Due to a change in government subsidies this can be more expensive than energy from other sources.)

It’s wonderful how many things can be re-used in some form.

A page for those with ordinary needs and/or managing a household.

For the Food Bank -

tinned, bottled or packeted food; soap, shampoo, toothpaste; toilet rolls; washing powder, or detergent

Living Simply -

Re-use things - plastic bags till they disintegrate; donate unwanted items like furniture, electricals etc to Gift 92 (they will check what can be repaired

The statement on the right was made some time ago. If the 3rd runway goes ahead at Heathrow it will negate much of the UN Paris agreement.

It's therefore even more important that we all start to work to improve our environment and make a difference.

Governments are even more reluctant to make decisions that would improve our environment if they are going to be 'inconvenient' and to cost a great deal of money. They won't say that they refuse to make these changes, they will just find it easier to 'forget about them for the time being, ' i.e. till it's too late!

We are often guilty of the same. "It's too much trouble." "It will cost both time and money." "I'm too busy to even think about it."

But a few small changes will actually save us money and help to produce a cleaner environment. We can't do much about the environment here or anywhere on the grand scale, only being able to use our vote rather infrequently, and that often being ineffective in practice. What we can do is to make a few simple changes in our lifestyle which are not really that difficult.

Your own practical suggestions are equally welcome - and may be equally as effective as anything the government can or will do! Don't try to do everything at once - just pick one idea and work on it first - then come back for another!


In a letter to CAFOD, prompted by your campaign actions, Climate and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd recognised the importance of the UN Paris agreement on climate change as a clear turning point towards a sustainable and low carbon future

She also highlighted the important role that Pope Francis's encyclical "Laudato Si" ;played in securing an ambitious deal on climate:

I would like to thank CAFOD for the key role they played in helping to communicate the document and look forward to working closely together to build on what was achieved at COP21.

Together we can make a difference!

Take your pick. To put these ideas into practice - take one or two at a time and act on them! Then come back for more.....

Topics include:

Bee-ing Friendly

sorted into groups

Especially for The Reluctant Gardener!

Ideas from the Parish Bulletin

Your favourite home recipes would be welcome on this page, especially those involving leftovers..........

Local information - (with further details concerning a suggestion on the parish leaflet, weekend 21/22 May 2016) A new leaflet from the council about what to put in your various bins - and also of course what not to dispose of that way - should be due shortly for the coming year, 16-17. (Update - it's rather short on this anticipated information!) Do keep it in a safe place. For example some areas of the country may have ways of recycling some cartons, but Preston does not recycle drinks cartons or tetra packs at present. They should go in your grey bin, not with cardboard. (Note - Extra bags with the grey bin are not collected!)

Spotlight on plastic - very little plastic is recyclable locally, only milk bottles, pop bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles. The rest, plastic bags, wrapping and trays go along with polystyrene in the grey bin. In general it would be better where possible, to avoid buying items like this, especially those with excessive wrapping, to send the right message to the manufacturers!

When giving presents are you swayed by the wrapping? Are you sure the contents are worth the effort of your friend or relative fighting their way in! Seen recently - a box of chocolates with only 7 individual quite ordinary chocolates in a space large enough for 12! Needless to say no number appeared on the box. Other items have the weight given, why not chocolates? This is more of an insult than a gift!

from the parish leaflet and rearranged....


Have you considered a water meter?
Without a meter you are charged at a high rate, enough for a family, but especially in a household of only one
or two,you can save 65% of your old water bill
with a meter which measures what you actually use

Bottled water is mostly a con.
Keep it for emergencies, and you'll save a lot of money!

Turn off taps left running!
Do you really need gallons to clean your teeth?

Get dripping taps mended.

Am I leaving excess water to run away -
or storing it in a water butt for use during dry periods?
Rainwater is better for plants than 'refined' water from the tap!

Only boil the water needed e.g. for a drink -
more is unnecessary
(which is as good as throwing money away!)

Store unused hot water in a thermos
and give the kettle a flying start next time!

The elecricity companies begged us to be more frugal straight after the floods in Cumbria because, with some stations 'out', they were very short of power!

. Cooling things takes more energy than heating them !
(I mustn’t leave the door open...! )

I can turn off anything not in use - including the TV or the computer..

Use the minimum heat settings (30 or 40 C for most items) on your washing machine. You may want to do every 10th load or so at 60 C to give the machine a good clean. Try to do only full loads.

Ask myself: do I really need to use this machine, this appliance, this energy......Could I manage without?

Fit foil behind radiators to reflect heat away from outside walls. It is easy to paste foil onto a piece of hardboard and drop it behind the radiator.

Do I need light in an empty room?
Or when simply watching TV?
I could turn off lights when not needed.


Switch off at long-delay traffic lights?

Can you walk, cycle or use public transport,
when you find it possible?
(Of course it depends on health and age
but walking helps you to stay healthy!)

If you have two legs -
use them or lose them!

Don't set out late -
and keep calm while driving!

Fast driving is more expensive -
and tends to kill other people!

It costs at least 50p a mile to run a small car.
For “executive” cars it is probably closer to £1 per mile
- both costs increasing regularly of course,.

If you really want to 'throw money away'
Give it to people who really are starving!




Plastic liners from cereal bags, empty bread bags and fruit bags all make excellent sandwich bags.

Charity collection bags
which come through your door but are
never collected make good bin liners.

Worn out clothes, sheets, pillowcases, pyjamas etc all make good cleaning cloths and dusters


Spotlight on plastic - very little plastic is recyclable locally, only milk bottles, pop bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles.

The rest, plastic bags, wrapping and trays
go along with polystyrene in the grey bin.

In general it would be better where possible, to avoid buying items like this, especially those with excessive wrapping, to send the right message to the manufacturers!

Local information -(2016)

A new leaflet promised from the council about what to put in your various bins - and also of course what not to dispose of that way - (Update -it was rather short on this anticipated information!)

Do keep it in a safe place. For example some areas of the country may have ways of recycling tetra packs but Preston does not recycle them at present. They should go in your grey bin, not with cardboard.
(Note - Extra bags with the grey bin are not collected!)



Don't just guess.
Look in your cupboards first
- then make a shopping list!

Try to avoid wasting food. If I know exactly what I need to buy, it will avoid having a fridge full of food I bought on impulse that is now past its use-by date.

Things in the shops that I maybe don’t need ?

Wrapping fruit or vegetables in plastic makes them ripen znd go bad too fast. .Buy these goods loose and they'll be much cheaper too!

As for polystyrene trays etc - they'll overfill your rubbish bin and cause more trouble at the waste dump!

Try to avoid over-packaged goods.
If we all did,
the perpetrators would get the message....
It's beginning to work with non-recyclable plastic cups!

When giving presents are you swayed by the wrapping? Are you sure the contents are worth the effort of your friend or relative fighting their way in!

When buying cleaners, choose the most-environmentally-friendly products that will do the job; e.g. eco-friendly detergents, water-based paints, unbleached products.

Information online

Healthy food' - hundreds of recipes for free

It's easy to find the food value of any ingredient

Cooking a meal?
Cook twice as much and freeze half.
But to defrost take out the day before it's needed
rather than use the microwave.

Use the microwave for heating food
or cooking from scratch

Recipes galore for sauces online!
Avoid those ready made sauces full of sugar and salt and 'cultivate' your own
herb and spice shelf!


For the garden:
Whilst solar garden lights are a firmly established favourite, They have now been joined by a huge range of pumps and fountains for ponds, self-contained water features, alarms for sheds and even mole-scaring devices, all powered by sunlight.

Add chick peas - or lentils etc -to mixed vegetables to make soup

A variation on the humble potato
Sweet potatoes have the edge on white potatoes for food value

White potatoes:
Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, Vitamin C , phosphorus and niacin
Sweet potatoes:
Vitamins A, C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, Vitamins B1 & B2, phosphorus
Try chunks or wedges of both, boiled, fried, roasted or mashed....

.Acre by acre you can feed many more people with vegetables than with meat.

Less meat (especially less red meat), more vegetable,
is good for your heart, lungs, liver, energy.
..- just about everything -
and will keep your weight down far more easily and cheaply!

.Grill, rather than fry!

Eat more fish
but especially more sustainable fish,
which is also cheaper.
Plenty of scope for ingenuity
e.g. fish pies

To eat well I can forget complicated fancy diets and think
'colour' and 'vegetables''


all the colours you can find - to make an excellent stir-fry.

e.g. tear or chop into small pieces, batons etc: cabbage, kale, carrots, courgettes, green beans (any variety), sugar-snap peas, mushrooms, onions, peppers, mange-tout, broccoli florets, water chestnuts etc, a few cashew nuts
- add zing with one or two of hot chillies, ginger etc , cut meat etc if required, into strips - go for variety balanced with quantity of each ingredient. (Enough here to get started - there's lots more possible.....)
Can be frozen if stir-fried (enough to kill enzymes that would continue to over-ripen in the freezer, but don't overcook or it will be a mush!).
Average cooking time varies depending on ingredients, heat, amount in the pan, vegetables fresh or frozen etc but all within 8-10 minutes. You could start with the meat and finish with chopped frozen peppers for the last couple of minutes). A wok is best - in other pans you may need to cook more batches. Start with a ready-made one if unsure.Most groceries now sell several varieties - with lists of ingredients, instructions and timing.

Healthy Eating

Going green is win, win, all the way
We benefit in health and pocket.
The environment benefits.
Together we can make the world
a better place for us and our children.


Making your own bread may take a little practice (if at first you don't succeed...etc..) Moreover,
pummelling that dough lets out your frustrations
and is good for the bread too!

Or why not get that unused breadmaker
out of the cupboard - or give it away
if you really don't want to use it!

Gluten-free flour is designed for coeliacs or others with a gluten intolerance. If you're not one of these you won't get any special benefit from it and will find it very expensive!

If you want to cut down your use of (wheat) flour, eat less bread and find some other food without wheat to eat instead, e.g. rye, potatoes, vegetables (especially root vegetables) You still need fibre-rich food to stay healthy!

Ready meals are fine - in an emergency - but shouldn't be relied on for a wholesome diet! Makers use all manner of shortcuts, over-refined food, too much sugar, flavourings etc. Taste is NOT a good judge and some very 'tasty' food can be quite harmful.

Don't eat it! The price of the chocolate bar adding to my waistline could save someone's life!

Want to be grumpy and have a headache all day?
Miss breakfast .and have a black coffee instead!

Don’t forget to put your vegetable trimmings in your compost bin
Kitchen waste contains a variety of nutrients.
Vegetable, fruit trimmings and coffee grounds all have a high nitrogen content.
Eggshells also provide
a good source of soil nutrient,
but do take a lot longer to decompose than fruit and vegetable matter.
All good for the garden!


USE BY....?


To test whether eggs are fresh enough to eat -
put them in water and only discard those that float!

Fry stale bread to make croûtons

Put limp lettuce in cold water for an hour or two to crisp up!

Keep biscuits in an airtight container and they might last longer (i.e. if not too tempting!)
Don't make those 'special treats' an everyday affair - and you'll enjoy them more.

If your carrots turn black in the fridge just peel them - with gloves on if you prefer. Discard any root vegetable that's gone soft, but those black carrots could be fine underneath - try them.


Don't just accept 'sell by' or 'use by' dates for fruit and vegetables which are very dependent on the time of year, way stored etc

Potatoes left in daylight will turn green. Kept in a dark place they can still be used if the 'eyes' start growing little roots. Just feel the potatoes and if they're firm they'll be fine.

If your potatoes feel a bit soft, plant them in the garden, let them grow, and get back more than you 'lost'. (Don't plant them in the same place again next time though. Let that 'rest' for a while)

Don't forget that chopping root vegetables smaller does make them cook faster - and saves fuel!
If mixing chopped potatoes with sweet potatoes, add the sweet ones a little later as they take less cooking.

See if anybody else wants what you don'i, particularly big items, such as furniture, clothes, TVs etc. There are a number of charities which will re-distribute unused furniture.

If disposing of a computer, make sure you've removed all your vital information first!

GIFT 92 will take electrical goods and furniture (they'll tell you if repairs are possible), carpets etc for people in need......

Charity shops always welcome clothes.

Life welcomes those baby clothes you no longer need.

If these ideas seem overwhelming, just pick one or two a week ........


There are very few places for homeless people to go to quench their thirst. In our local towns and cities local authorities have succeeded in shutting down the majority of water drinking fountains.

Access to drinking water and lavatories represents a real hardship for our homeless people who struggle to remain hydrated.

  ===== from a report in 2014 about a serious problem in England. It will of course cost money, but given the will to solve it, it can be solved very easily! Not so for people living in other parts of the world! If they have access to water at all it is frequently out of a muddy ditch! Would you drink the water where cattle are drinking, people using a stream as their toilet, a stinking pool infested with leeches.....? This is all that many people have. They have to put up with it!

Return to the Notices or to the Cafod page.


A challenge for 2017

Become a Friend of the Honey-Bee!

( from a leaflet produced by the British Beekeepers Association - www.bbka.org.uk)
Lots more online!

Honey bees pollinate a third of all the foods we eat - without them we ourselves could go hungry!
Unfortunately, however, the bees are susceptible to all sorts of viruses, which are not only virulent but are spreading across the world at an alarming rate.

In the UK we no longer have any
wild bee colonies!

Bee keepers in the UK (and elsewhere) are struggling to ensure the survival of the bee which is not only dependent on dealing with the viruses but also making sure that the environment is bee-friendly!
Time to plan for next spring - even before the summer holiday!

'An outdoor space - however small - can be made bee-friendly'
- you can use hanging baskets, tubs and/or window boxes

Communal space, like a park or a playground could be specially planted - or part could even be left as a wildlower meadow!

Plant flowers like:
asters, sunflowers, hollyhocks, larkspur, foxgloves

Unfortunately a lot of the spectacular very cultivated flowers that are so popular now are useless for bees and may indeed be part of the problem!

Many vegetables are a good source of bee-food:
e.g. peas, beans

Many trees and shrubs are very useful:
fruit trees and soft fruits, and in particular the popular ones like buddleia (not just butterflies!) , hebe and hydrangea.

Why not start a herb garden this year?
e.g. mint, rosemary and thyme, especially those with fragrant flowers

(Some, like parsley, would go to seed if left alone and really need to over-winter somewhere like the kitchen windowsill)

and there's every reason to let a few wild flowers flourish!

e.g. Special message for the Reluctant Gardener!

Five Ways to be Bee Friendly the easy way

Fact: Bees are essential for the pollination of plants, both fruit and vegetable.
Over 20% of our bee species are now extinct.
A quarter of the rest (267 species) are in danger of extinction.
Our gardens and windowboxes need to take over from the countryside which is now suffering from
intensive farming with herbicides, industrialisation and, soon probably, fracking as well!)
Below: how you can help with very little effort!

1. Leave that little heap of brushwood at the bottom of your garden
2.Only cut your lawn at the end of summer, e.g. late August
3. Don't use improvers or weedkillers.
4. Windowboxes etc are ideal for the lazy gardener.
5.Get the children to plant lots of sunflowers!


It could be a shelter for bugs and hedgehogs and even some birds
Do remove the cuttings to keep it growing healthily.- and enjoy the flowers that grow!
Do leave the ivy and other wild plants which have lots of flowers!
Plant bulbs , e.g. crocuses when bee-food is in short supply
A real bonus -sunflowers will feed both bees and birds!

More ideas - do please send them!


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