If I were a flower I would want my home to be Spain!

The sun really does bring out the very best in horticulture. If I were a flower, tree, fruit or vegetable I would must definitely want to grow up in Spain. The conditions for growth are perfect – provided there is water obviously.

It is 29degrees Celsius today in Spain and the sun was up early, I had a jog at 8am and a swim in a very cold sea….brrrr! I just walked around the area where we are renting a villa and there are the most magnificent flowers. Here are a few but you can check more out on my Instagram account – clairelewisco

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The Spanish Fruit & Veg!

I am currently on vacation in Nerja, Spain. The most amazing place, so old school yet you have everything you need to enjoy an amazing, relaxed, gastronomic and beach-life holiday you would ever care for without the over run holiday maker feel and high rises hotels!

The one thing I cannot get over is the value for money the sun brings to a country producing fruit and veg – it’s amazing. Spain can produce all its own fruit hence the quality and price. I come from Ireland where we produce great beef, turnips, potatoes and apples, to name just a few! Not an exotic fruit in sight. We have to pay air miles and VAT onto the amazing variety we have become accustomed to.

Just to put it in perspective in Ireland we do have a local strawberry growing market, but a small container would cost €4. In Spain you can buy a small wooden box full for the same price!!

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May is definitely my month all right – Woman of the month and Birthday – Yay!

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As my favourite month of May winds to a close I have to sit back and reflect on the great things that I have achieved since 2013 began. It all started with a very fabulous wedding to a very special man, who I have great times with. We are just embarking on a journey of discovery about ones self and what makes a marriage tick along nicely. The family life is jammed packed to the brim, you can hardly add more in – yet we all do! More kids, more responsibilities and more of the things that spur you on and get your creative juices going. For me this has to be writing about Environmental Responsibility – it gives me butterflies in my tummy and when ideas come to me I have to have a pen and paper at the ready.

The year also included my Less Is More Challenge something that I decided to do to challenge those in society who have not yet got all green and for whom the earth is just the dirt in the garden! This is by no means their fault entirely, being earthy is like a radio frequency it needs to be tuned in and well, right now it is not a major deal if people don’t regularly tune into the earth and the ways they can do simple things to help out. But alas this is all changing for the better and I cannot wait to be a part of it. With my 10 simple suggestions people will be able to feel positive about doing their green thing and being proud about it. The Less Is More Challenge is to highlight Earth Day – which is April 22nd every year. But I have plans to make this journey one that lasts the year and beyond. I also have to thank all of the brands that jumped on board for the very first Less Is More Challenge, I pulled it together really fast and all of the brands were great lending their names, discounts and freebies. I hope that 2014 will be an even better year with more brands and participants taking part. I can’t wait to do something to highlight the earth and the challenge on the 22nd day of every fourth month – April, August & December!

As May is coming to a close so to is my title as Woman of the Month from Amia Online Magazine. I was totally chuffed and really flattered that I was chosen for this title. It couldn’t have come at a better time as anyone who is self driven knows sometimes you need recognition that you are on the right path – well this article and title sorted me out big style and I was so thrilled and unaware that I had been chosen. Amia Online Magazine is a great read for all those of you who like a good variety of reading in a mag and it is online which makes it easy to get through when in the office or online at your favourite time of day.

It is my birthday on the 28th of May and I will be in Spain to celebrate and totally pull the plug out of my brain – well maybe shut my computer/brain off to 70% capacity. I cannot wait to jog every morning, buy fresh fruit in the local shop, totally detox and eat copious amounts of the most delicious ice-cream I have ever tasted. I can just taste the kinder egg flavoured ice cream now….! Indulge in prawn pill pill and warm crusty bread, drink chilled white wine at lunch time (some times when I am not on mom duties)  and play on the beach each after noon with Eabha.  I hope to  come home fully charged straight into My Waste Free Home mission. Read all about it on the Facebook page here.

Fun times ahead and I am so glad to have been born in May and a proud Gemini!

Does anyone know how to sustainably dispose of DOG POO!!

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Hello lovely readers…. I am looking for your help?!

My husband and I are in the process of transforming the outside of our home into a really cool sustainable living space full of interesting areas to eat, grow, cook and play. Now the trick is we have 2 lovely dogs who are part of the furniture and family – they also like to POO!

Q. I want to find a SUSTAINABLE way to treat and dispose of my Dog’s Poo?

Q. Can Dog Poo be used for anything? Grose question but you never know some plants might love it….?

My reason to want to find a sustainable way to treat the dog poo is I will be starting My Waste Free Home soon and this means I will no longer have a TRASH BIN.

I use Earth Rated biodegradable poo bags to clean up the mess but I end up putting these in the trash. Seeing as I want to get rid of my trash can I need to find a very suitable home for at least one bag of poo a day.

For my organic waste I will be using a Green Johanna not composter and I also have a traditional composter bin.

Any one who could give me their opinions or better still their solution to a wold wide problem, you never know we could sort out the problem for a lot of people and divert millions of dog poo from landfill.

 

The lovely dog’s in question are posing in the picture above – Callie O’Malley a boarder collie/Retriever X and Jessie a bit of a few breads not sure really but she is sweet and totally in love with Callie. in the picture Callie is totally transfixed on the ball, Jessie is transfixed on Callie….XX

Blogalist – Josephine Yorgason takes 2 top USA vehicles and compares them on Fuel Economy & Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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With declining environmental conditions combined with uncomfortably high gas prices, many people have shifted their attention to their trusty vehicles, which are relied upon for everyday and essential tasks. Questions of whether fuel efficient vehicles are worth the extra cost or whether old clunkers deserve retirement and replacement by smaller and environmentally efficient vehicles arise.

When buying a car, luxury SUVs can often seem like the most attractive purchase when compared to the usual small sedan or commonplace roadster, however, more thought should be put into such an influential decision. Besides style, power, and popularity, there are a plethora of factors to consider when purchasing a car. I will raise two points, based on what I believe are the most important factors to consider (other than safety) when comparing that swanky new diesel Audi Q7 to a reliable and efficient plug-in Chevrolet Volt.

  1. Fuel Economy
  2. Greenhouse gas emissions 

First on my list is Fuel Economy. This all encompassing term includes tank size, miles per gallon/ liter of gas, annual fuel costs, and cost to fill a single tank with gas.

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Closely after fuel economy, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by motor vehicles follows. The effect of greenhouse gases on the environment is direct and salient. Rising greenhouse gas emissions that are majorly sourced from motor vehicles explicitly aid in the insulation of heat on the earth. Of the many greenhouse gases that are produced by motor vehicles and natural causes, carbon dioxide is released directly by tailpipes of all vehicles. Various impact scores of the two previous vehicles can be compared in the table below:

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To conclude, there are various factors of motor vehicles that lead to impacts on the environment. While completely omitting motor vehicles from your everyday use will lead to minimal environmental impact, cars and vehicles are sometimes necessary to carry out everyday tasks. This comparison of a diesel and hybrid vehicle is useful knowledge which will lead to informed choices. These choices can ultimately save consumers thousands of dollars and time spent on the road.

 

 

The Life Cycle of your Trash Can

trash canOk, so I am going to get you to do a pop quiz about your trash can/bin and I want you to let me know genuinely how many you got right.

  1. What company do you use to collect your waste?
  2. How much do you pay them per month or per lift?
  3. Where do they bring YOUR recycling waste?
  4. Where do they bring YOUR trash can/bin waste?
  5. How much information is available on the company website to explain what happens to YOUR trash/recycling/compost?
  6. Do you know where the company processes the recycling and what countries are the main buyers of recycling waste?
  7. Do you know what all of the recycling symbols mean?
  8. Do you worry about the amount of rubbish you produce?
  9. Do you know what local authority/ government recycling amenities are available in your area?
  10. Would you like to reduce your waste or even better still have a waste FREE home?

There is a method to my madness with these questions. I want to start something to make people more aware of their own bin life cycle that everything we purchase will end up in the trash but this is not a good thing mind. Companies are producing products containing massive amounts of plastic, that not only costs a lot of energy, Co2, Dioxins, to produce & to transport, for a throw away society that has no connection with where it actually goes?

If you could let me know how you get on with these questions pretty please it would help 🙂

The Less Is More Challenge for 2014

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I am getting things ready for The Less Is More Challenge April 22nd, 2014. I hope that this challenge will grow exponentially as the founding year – 2013 was a great success. I would love for all the green brands that I mention in my 10 steps to back this challenge even more going forward. These green brands are Bobble, TerraCycle, Ecover, Lillies Eco Clean, The film’s HOME and Trashed.

The Less Is More Challenge primarily was created to challenge the less green in society who are the majority, hence my eagerness to challenge them. Even though I say the less green in society, I don’t mean it in a derogatory way as I know that life is a very busy place and governments and schooling do not do enough in my opinion to help the situation or put much emphasis on instilling life long learning commitments for our own earthly journeys. I use my tooth-brush model to explain what I mean by this – we are not born with the knowledge to brush our teeth twice a day we are thought by our parents. We are also encouraged by the dental professions to have healthy teeth for our life time we need to look after them. Now why are we not doing the same thing for the EARTH which we need to survive a lot more than fluoride tooth paste!

All 10 steps of the challenge are easy to accomplish to instill positivity and hopefully lifelong commitments to change for the good of the planet. What I hope is that year one someone will take the challenge and complete if not all 10 suggestions then as many as they can. Then year two they might make more of an effort and with the highlight events I will be having on August 22nd and December 22nd I hope to drive home the positive message that we all can make a difference. With global consumerism at an all time high and the trash problem out of control it is up to each one of us now to try to make our own little difference.

All you got to do as part of the LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE is to do as many of the following:

  1. Pack a lunch for work.
  2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.
  3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try to only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues in the production of the product. I don’t think in one day you will in counter a fashion emergency!!
  4. Swap a Chemical Based home cleaning product for an ECO alternative, two of my favorite companies are Lilly’s Eco Clean & Ecover
  5. Recycle & discover TerraCycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”!
  6. Buy local organic produce or pre think your shop for the week to reduce food waste.
  7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s LIKE.
  8. Cycle to work or take public transport.
  9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed.
  10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instill change in our world globally starting with yourself!

If you would like to find out more check out The Less Is More Facebook page or sign up to my Claire Lewis Blog (bottom right of this page)